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NFL Draft

Best Potential Landing Spots For These 5 Released Veterans

  • The Draft Network
  • March 17, 2021
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The second day of the legal tampering period was yet another day full of excitement for NFL fans, as teams continued to agree to deal with free agents in hopes to get their team where it needs to be to compete for a playoff spot next fall. Tuesday saw the quarterback market heat up as Jameis Winston re-signed with the New Orleans Saints, Jacoby Brissett agreed to sign with the Miami Dolphins, and last, but certainly not least, the Chicago Bears added Andy Dalton. Along with the quarterbacks, Tuesday also saw other marquee free agents find new homes, as players such as Hunter Henry, William Jackson, Mike Hilton, Marvin Jones, and Shaquill Griffin all agreed to contracts with new teams. 

While Tuesday did bring plenty of excitement and buzz around the free agent signings, it was actually the players that teams released that had me most intrigued. 

One of the things that people often forget is that in order for a team to sign new players, they often have to restructure or cut their current players to find the money. Veteran players whose contracts may outweigh their current value to the team may find themselves as a “cap casualty” and be released. This often leads to good players hitting the open market unexpectedly and now other teams can sign them for their own benefit. Well, Tuesday saw a good number of good players released, and the players now available on the market just got a solid influx of talent.

Below are five players who got released matched with their best potential landing spot as a newly-made free agent.

Adoree' Jackson: Dallas Cowboys

The Tennessee Titans announced multiple transactions releasing veterans as they worked to free up cap space to make some moves. One of the veterans that was released was former 2017 first-round pick Adoree' Jackson. Jackson has been one of the starting corners for the Titans since his rookie season and will now look to start for a new football team. Jackson has a ton of talent, and when healthy has shown to be a playmaker who has the athleticism to cover in man-to-man coverage. He has the versatility to play inside or outside and can also be an asset in the return game. Dallas adding Jackson would make a ton of sense as the team struggled at corner last season, failing to properly replace Byron Jones. With Jackson, the team will have a solid option to pair with Trevon Diggs or another rookie corner. 

Rodney Hudson: Kansas City Chiefs

Perhaps the most surprising of all the transactions Tuesday was Rodney Hudson being released by the Las Vegas Raiders. Hudson has been a stalwart manning the middle of the Raiders' offensive line for six seasons. In his half-dozen seasons as a Raider, Hudson was named to three Pro Bowls and was recently named an All-Pro in 2020. Per reports, the relationship between Hudson and the Raiders began to sour as the Raiders played hardball with his fellow offensive lineman plus the fact that he had only experienced one winning season. Regardless, the decision to release Hudson is one that weakens the Raiders' offense considerably, and one that can greatly help another. 

One such team that can stand to benefit from Hudson’s release is none other than his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have a major hole at center as former starter Austin Reiter is now an unrestricted free agent. Hudson would be a slam dunk option to replace Reiter and would actually be a huge improvement at the position. Now, of course, cap space could be tricky here, as a player Hudson’s caliber will demand some money. However, Hudson could be willing to take a discount to play with a Super Bowl-caliber team and a team that he is familiar with. 

Dennis Kelly: Cincinnati Bengals 

Dennis Kelly may not be a household name, but his release was pretty surprising. Kelly is an above-average starter who has a ton of position versatility. He may not be a Pro Bowl-level player, but he’s someone you feel good about as a starter and someone you would love to have as a backup swing tackle. The Bengals surprisingly haven’t signed a single offensive lineman yet, when that to me was their biggest need. Now that most of the top-tier offensive linemen are gone, signing Kelly as a veteran option at right tackle or to be their swing tackle in the event they draft one in the first round would make a ton of sense. 

Damien Williams: Seattle Seahawks

The former star of Super Bowl LIV now finds himself on the streets after his team released him just a year after coming up huge in the big game. Williams opted out of the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but he is still a solid player who can contribute as a runner, a receiver out of the backfield, and on special teams. The Seattle Seahawks have a huge need at running back as Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde both will not be returning. Williams can provide Seattle a solid option in the backfield and he would be a great piece of a running back by committee if Seattle drafts a rookie. 

Vince Williams: Arizona Cardinals

Williams was a very steady player on an outstanding Pittsburgh Steelers defense for the last four seasons, but now the team is moving on from him in an effort to free up cap space. Williams is coming off one of his best years stepping up while his running mate Devin Bush was out with a season-ending knee injury. Williams may lack great movement skills in coverage, but he is a tough, downhill middle linebacker who is excellent at playing the run and even offers ability as a pass rusher. Williams can provide the Cardinals a veteran presence at inside 'backer, and the team does have a hole there as last year’s starter De’Vondre Campbell is a free agent. Williams would be a great addition to the team’s improving defense. 

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