Free agency doesn’t officially start until March 17th, but that doesn’t mean that teams aren’t doing their homework on impending free agents. According to rumors around the league, running back Aaron Jones and the Miami Dolphins share some mutual interest, while wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster could be heavily pursued by the New York Jets, New York Giants, and Las Vegas Raiders.
NFL Rumors: Aaron Jones, Juju-Smith Schuster In High Demand
Rumors: Aaron Jones Linked to Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers
The Miami Dolphins tried to fix their running game in the 20202 offseason but weren’t quite able to get the job done. Offseason acquisitions Jordan Howard and Matt Breida simply weren’t capable of beating out seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin, and Miami clearly wants an upgrade at the position. Jones is one of the best running backs in the league, and this three-down skillset should be a perfect fit for a struggling Tua Tagovailoa.
Jones is reportedly interested in the Dolphins, but that doesn’t mean he’s destined to leave Green Bay. The Packers would love to retain Jones’ services, and they reported offered him top-five money at the position a few months ago. Miami might have better weather, but the Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers. Assuming the money is equal, it’s anyone’s guess where Jones will go.
Miami and Green Bay are the frontrunners, but they’re not the only team that could want to sign Aaron Jones as a free agent. The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals could both use another running back, as both teams have aging veterans set to hit the open market. Could either one of these teams be a dark horse suitor for Jones’ services? Only time will tell.
Juju Smith-Schuster Linked to New York Giants, New York Jets, Las Vegas Raiders
Juju Smith-Schuster, meanwhile, seems like a much safer bet to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team has two talented youngsters in Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool and simply don’t have the money to retain the former third-round pick. Smith-Schuster is coming off two disappointing seasons but at point looked like one of the best young receivers in football. Anyone signing Smith-Schuster would do so hoping that a change of scenery brings out the best in the former Pro Bowler.
The New York Jets figure to be one of the biggest spenders in the coming weeks. Armed with tons of cap space, this team needs to completely revamp their roster from top to bottom. Whether it’s Sam Darnold or a rookie, New York’s passer won’t have a chance without an improved supporting cast. Smith-Schuster is likely to be one of the best receivers to actually hit the open market, and his ability to quickly win in the slot should make him a reliable safety valve.
The New York Giants don’t have the same spending flexibility as their AFC counterparts, but they’ll definitely try to do something to upgrade the supporting cast. Dave Gettlemen’s job is hanging by a thread, and he’ll need Daniel Jones to show some signs of life if he wants to remain employed. The best way to do that is by giving Jones better weapons than Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate.
Las Vegas clearly wanted more out of Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards as rookies. Neither player did much of anything and, to be quite honest, didn’t look all that special with their limited opportunities. Like the Giants, the Raiders will need to clear cap space in order to make a run at Smith-Schuster. That said, the Raiders have the resources to do this, with Marcus Mariota being one of the most likely moves.
Embed from Getty Images