Titans vs. Chiefs: Here are the 10 best 2020 free agents to watch in AFC Championship Game
NFL general managers will be keeping eye on these players in the AFC title game
Fans will be watching Sunday's AFC Championship Game to see which team is able to advance to Super Bowl LIV, but NFL general managers, while interested in the outcome, will also be watching for a different reason.
Rest assured that NFL general managers will be keeping an eye on several soon-to-be free agents who will be taking part in Sunday's game. Both the Titans and Chiefs will try to keep many of these players, but will inevitably lose several to free agency when the NFL's new year officially starts in March.
Here are Sunday's notable soon-to-be free agents, ranked in order, as the Chiefs and Titans look to keep each of these free agents for at least two more weeks
1. Derrick Henry
The NFL's reigning rushing champion, Henry has earned himself a big pay day after spearheading the Titans' run to the AFC Championship Game. Henry has rushed for 588 yards and four touchdowns in the Titans' last three games, and has a projected market value of four years, $55.3 million and an annual salary of about $13.8 million, according to Spotrac. While awarding running backs with big contacts has become taboo in the NFL, Henry has certainly proved his worth to the Titans over the course of the season.
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2. Ryan Tannehill
Traded to the Titans last offseason, Tannehill, the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, has enjoyed his best NFL season to date, winning nine of his 12 starts this season while helping the Titans advance to Sunday's championship game against the Chiefs. According to Spotrac, the 31-year-old Tannehill's calculated market value is four years, $122.3 million with an annual salary of about $30.5 million. While the Titans may elect to explore other options, it's going to be hard to part ways with Tannehill, especially if he is able to lead the Titans to their second Super Bowl.
3. Marcus Mariota
The man Tannehill replaced is also slated to become a free agent this offseason. The second overall pick in the 2015 draft, Mariota has not been able to duplicate the success he enjoyed in 2017 while helping lead the Titans to the divisional round of the playoffs, fielding a 9-10 record as a starter over the past two seasons. That being said, Mariota is still just 26 years old, and like Tannehill, a change of scenery could make all the difference. He will also be a relatively affordable quarterback for a NFL team that is looking for depth/competition at the position.
4. Jack Conklin
The eighth overall pick in the 2016 draft, Conklin, a starter on the Titans' offensive line each of the past four seasons, has enjoyed a sterling season while helping open holes for Henry and passing lanes for Tannehill. Conklin can expect a nice payday this offseason, as his expected market value is targeted at six years, $90.1 million for an average annual salary of $15 million.
5. Logan Ryan
A seven-year veteran who has spent the past three seasons with the Titans, the 28-year-old Ryan has become of the NFL's most productive cornerbacks. In 2019, Ryan, who is enjoying a base salary of $10 million per season, recorded 113 tackles to go with 4.5 sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and 18 passes defensed. His pick-six sealed Tennessee's wild card win in New England, while his 13 tackles helped the Titans upset the Ravens in Baltimore in the divisional round.
6. Chris Jones
The 37th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Jones, the Chiefs' defensive tackle, earned his first Pro Bowl selection this season after recording nine sacks for the Chiefs. Jones has 24.5 sacks over the past two regular seasons and will likely be one of the most sought-after defensive linemen this offseason. His current market value is projected at five years, $96.4 million with an average annual salary of $19.2 million.
A nine-year veteran, Wisniewski spent his first five NFL seasons as a starting center before moving to guard after signing with the Eagles in 2016. Signed by the Chiefs earlier this season, Wisniewski made two starts in 11 games during the regular season and didn't miss a snap in Kansas City's win over Houston in the divisional round of the playoffs.
A veteran cornerback who spent four years in Washington and an additional year in Green Bay before joining the Chiefs, Breeland has put together a solid season during his first year in Kansas City. In 15 regular season starts, Breeland picked off two passes while returning one of his two fumble recoveries for a touchdown. He also broke up eight passes while recording 48 tackles. He recorded seven tackles in Kansas City's divisional round playoff victory over the Texans.
While he hasn't blossomed into a star, the four-year veteran has turned into a solid backup linebacker for the Titans. In two seasons with the Titans, Correa has recorded 52 tackles and 8.5 sacks while receiving nine starts over that span. And at just 25-years-old, he would provide young, solid depth to a team's linebacker corps while also serving as a spot starter.
10. LeSean McCoy
Remember this guy? Arguably the NFL's best running back during the 2010s, McCoy appeared in just one snap during the Chiefs' playoff win over Houston. McCoy, who scored four touchdowns during the regular season while averaging 4.6 yards per carry, could improve his value on the open market with a solid postseason performance.
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