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Carolina Panthers

Takeaways from the NFL's Top 101 free agents in 2020

Perry Knotts/AP
Perry Knotts/AP

With free agency set to begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, analysts Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling revealed their picks for the "Top 101 Free Agents of 2020."

Here are some of the biggest takeaways before the new league year kicks off:

Bill Sikes/AP

Quarterbacks galore

Holding down the top spot on Rosenthal and Wesseling's list is quarterback Dak Prescott – who just received the franchise tag from the Cowboys. The tag gives Prescott another year in Dallas, but he's not the only signal-caller on the list.

Of the top 20 players, six are quarterbacks. Close behind Prescott is Ryan Tannehill at No. 4, who on Sunday agreed to a four-year deal to stay with the Titans, followed by Drew Brees (8th), who has agreed to return to the Saints, but has yet to sign. Rounding out the top 20 are Tom Brady (10th), Philip Rivers (13th) and Jameis Winston (16th).

The other BIG names

Beyond the quarterbacks, there are plenty of attractive players in the Top 101.

Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper, Seahawks edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones, 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead, Patriots offensive guard Joe Thuney and Rams linebacker Cory Littleton are the non-quarterbacks in the top 10. When it comes to choosing who to sign, teams have to weigh their own needs against a player's history, how they fit into the scheme, and, of course, how much money they're willing to spend.


Panthers up for grabs

Among the 101 ranked players, three members of last year's Panthers squad made the list: cornerback James Bradberry, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, and edge rusher Mario Addison.

Coming in at No. 28 is Bradberry, who finished 2019 tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Bradberry has solidified himself as an elite cornerback after facing off against some of the league's best receivers in the NFC South. After being drafted by the Panthers in the second round in 2016, Bradberry is now an unrestricted free agent.

Joining Bradberry on the list is McCoy, ranking 58th. McCoy didn't spend much time in Carolina – only one season after he left Tampa Bay in 2018 – and now the 10-year veteran is on the market again.

At No. 90 is Addison, the Panthers' sack leader from last year (9.5). Addison came to the Panthers in 2012 after bouncing around a few teams as an undrafted free agent, but it was in Carolina that he finally flourished. Through eight years in Carolina, Addison has totaled a team-high 55 sacks.

Leaving the NFC South?

Those Panthers aren't the only NFC South players to make the list. What does the future hold for these divisional opponents?

Atlanta Falcons: TE Austin Hooper (23), EDGE Vic Beasley (66), LB De'Vondre Campbell (71)

New Orleans Saints: QB Drew Brees (8), S Vonn Bell (24), QB Teddy Bridgewater (54), CB Eli Apple (61), OT Andrus Peat (83), DT David Onyemata (91)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Jameis Winston (16), EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul (22), DT Ndamukong Suh (56), WR Breshad Perriman (69), OT Demar Dotson (72)

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