After 15 weeks, the NFL season has been full of surprises, especially with teams like the Jaguars, Rams, and Saints coming out of nowhere to be division leaders. Yet the biggest surprise so far is how many marquee players have suffered season-ending injuries. With that in mind, imagine what the league would be like if all these injured players became free agents? Which player would fit best on which team? Let’s start with the offense:
Carson Wentz – Chiefs
Aaron Rodgers would have been the obvious choice, but his return takes him off the list. Yes, he is heading right back to the IR, but his ability to play in Week 14 makes him ineligible. With that being said, Carson Wentz becomes the clear choice. Wentz was clearly having an MVP season before an ACL tear ended his campaign and the hopes of Eagles fans everywhere. The second-year QB would certainly fit best with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Alex Smith continues to be unable to throw a pass 10+ yards downfield while being hit or miss all season, so Wentz would certainly be able to allow Kansas City’s weapons to live up to their potential. Also, this sets up a potential Andy Reid-Carson Wentz partnership which is something the city of Philadelphia would most likely be drooling over.
David Johnson – Seahawks
Johnson had an incredible 2016 campaign and thus shot to the top in many fantasy drafts. However, his season was lost to a dislocated wrist in Week 1. The Seahawks, whose current leading rusher is Russell Wilson, could certainly use Johnson’s dynamic playmaking ability to jumpstart an offense that never does anything until the last two minutes of a game. A team filled with a bunch of no-name runners and a shapeshifting Eddie Lacy is clearly not going to get the job done in Seattle as we saw in last week’s blowout loss to the Rams.
Odell Beckham Jr. – Panthers
OBJ suffered a preseason injury and his performance was certainly hindered this season before he suffered a fractured ankle. Every team would love to have Beckham, but the Panthers, who traded their big-name weapon in Kelvin Benjamin, signing him due to a lack of competent wide receivers. Also, could you imagine a team with both Odell and Cam Newton? Not only would there be so much drama, but the touchdown dances would be can’t-miss television.
Allen Robinson – Rams
Robinson suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 and while the Jaguars have excelled without him, his absence is certainly noteworthy. The Rams, although currently thriving with what they have, could certainly make great use of Robinson’s size as it would make Jared Goff’s life easier and give the Rams and their west-coast offense another red-zone target. As long as Jeff Fisher is not around to ruin the offense, the addition of Robinson makes LA that much more dangerous.
Julian Edelman – Saints
Edelman’s expertise in the slot makes him fit perfectly on this team. Drew Brees loves finding his receivers and this team has no slot receiver with any sort of talent, so the Saints would become a much deadlier offense with Edelman. I’m sure Edelman would be devastated to leave the love of his life Tom Brady and the Patriots, but Drew Brees is not that bad a consolation.
Tyler Eifert – Steelers
Eifert suffered a season-ending back injury early in the year that put him on IR. The division-rival Steelers (who would have the No. 1 seed currently if the Big Ben knew how to manage the clock) have gotten limited production out of tight end Jesse James. When James finally did get involved, it turned into one of the most controversial plays of the season. Eifert would give Big Ben a competent tight end who can have big-play ability, and make opponents miserable by having to cover Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eifert. The only problem is there is a solid chance Eifert gets hurt as soon as he arrives there because that man can just not stay healthy.
Joe Thomas, Mike Iupati, Weston Richburg, Marshal Yanda, Jason Peters – Lions
Although all players but Richburg, who suffered a severe concussion, have been named to the Pro Bowl before, Richburg was PFF’s top center of 2016, making this a very impenetrable O-line. Rather than each player signing independently, we’ll pretend these five come as a package deal. The Lions are certainly in the playoff hunt, and their unit is towards the top of the league in most sacks given up this season. Keeping Matt Stafford on his feet is clearly important, but this offensive line could finally give the Lions a chance at having someone rush for over 100 yards.