With another Super Bowl in the books all eyes are on free agency and where those players that are out of contract will play in 2019. Teams can of course negotiate with their own impending free agents at any time, and there is always the franchise tag looming over players which could pull them out of free agency and put them on a lucrative one-year deal to stay at their team, but for everyone else it is a chance to test the market and get a big pay day, while teams are looking for players that can give them that extra boost toward the Super Bowl.
In Madden 19 you can get a head start on your free agency in Franchise Mode. If you go to the “My Team” tab and select “Salaries” you can see the contract details not only of your own players but of every player in the NFL. Those with 1 year remaining on their contract will be free agents at the end of the current season and will be available for you to sign unless their team signs them to a new deal. Let’s take a look at the best impending free agents after season 1 of Madden 19.
For a full list of impending free agents over 80 OVR please see the table at the bottom of the page
Earl Thomas, FS, Seattle Seahawks (OVR 96)
Development Trait: Star
Contract Expectation: 5 years/$55 million
Best Stats: Zone Coverage (97), Play Recognition (94), Awareness (94), Acceleration (92), Speed (90), Hit Power (87)
The best impending free agent in Madden 19 is Seattle’s superb free safety Earl Thomas. Thomas has been at the heart of Seattle’s success ever since they drafted him 14th overall in 2010. He was the linchpin in Pete Carroll’s cover 3 defense and the dominant Legion Of Boom secondary that took Seattle to its first Super Bowl victory and within a yard of a second.
Thomas has racked up 28 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles during his time with Seattle, though injury cut his 2018 season short. His ability to cover acres of space in the middle of the field, make plays on the ball, and bring down runners will make him a vital part of any Madden team. He is the highest rated safety on the game, and if Seattle allow him to hit free agency then there are very few teams that shouldn’t prioritize signing him.
Le’Veon Bell, HB, Pittsburgh Steelers (OVR 93)
Development Trait: Superstar
Contract Expectation: 4 years/$43 million
Best Stats: Juke Move (96), Agility (95), Ball Carrier Vision (95), Acceleration (93), Break Tackle (92), Stiff Arm (92), Speed (90), Spin Move (90)
Le’Veon Bell is a dynamic, game-breaking threat in Madden 19. An electrifying and elusive runner, Bell joined the Steelers as a second-round draft pick in 2013 and immediately flashed quality. As a rookie Bell scored 8 touchdowns on the ground and caught 45 of his 66 targets.
It was in his second year that Bell really exploded. He was named First Team All-Pro as he put up 2,215 yards from scrimmage, scored 11 times, and finished the year with 83 catches and 4.7 yards per carry. Bell’s patient style and extreme agility made him a very awkward prospect for defenses to deal with.
Bell’s rookie contract expired after the 2016 season. He played the 2017 season on the franchise tag, but when the Steelers attempted to do the same thing for the 2018 season Bell refused to sign it and sat out the whole year. If he makes it to free agency in Madden 19 then you can expect to have to offer him in the region of $43 million over 4 years, but you can also expect a lot of competition for his signature.
Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia Eagles (OVR 93)
Development Trait: Star
Contract Expectation: 4 years/$58 million
Best Stats: Power Moves (92), Tackle (91), Play Recognition (91), Awareness (91), Block Shedding (87), Acceleration (86)
This years free agent class is rich in outside pass rushers, but the best available on Madden 19 could well be Brandon Graham. The Eagles edge defender was the 13th overall pick in 2010 but took some time to develop. He picked up just 3 sacks as a rookie and barely played in his second season. In 2012 he had 5.5 sacks and slowly became a reliable player for the Eagles. In 2016 & 2017 he began to finally give a return on his promise though. In those two years he had 15 sacks, 32 QB hits, and 4 forced fumbles.
Graham will turn 31 before the second season of Madden 19, but he is one of the most talented pass rushers in the game, and with the Eagles having a slew of free agents to deal with there is every chance he makes it to free agency in your franchise mode.
Jadeveon Clowney, OLB, Houston Texans (OVR 91)
Development Trait: Star
Contract Expectation: 5 years/$73 million
Best Stats: Play Recognition (94), Awareness (94), Pursuit (93), Acceleration (90), Block Shedding (89), Power Moves (88)
Jadeveon Clowney came to prominence in college when he obliterated a Michigan running back during the 2013 Outback Bowl. His raw athleticism and rare size made him the first overall pick for the Houston Texans in 2014 but as a rookie Clowney barely played due to requiring knee surgery.
In his second year he picked up 4.5 sacks, using is natural athleticism to beat blockers, but slowly Clowney developed technical skills and good instincts for the art of pass rushing. Over the last 2 years Clowney has racked up 18.5 sacks, 42 QB hits, and 37 tackles for loss and is now one of the most consistent edge defenders in the NFL. Clowney is going to be Houston’s priority when it comes to re-signing players, so he is unlikely to make it to the open free agency period. If he does though, then he can fit into both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes, making him an ideal signing for every team.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys (OVR 91)
Development Trait: Star
Contract Expectation: 5 years/$75 million
Best Stats: Finesse Moves (94), Play Recognition (91), Awareness (91), Power Moves (89), Acceleration (88), Block Shedding (87)
Didn’t I say this class was rich in outside pass rushers! Here is another 90+ defensive end in DeMarcus Lawrence. He joined Dallas as a second-round pick in 2014 and didn’t see much action as a rookie. In his second year he became a started and picked up 8 sacks, but injuries in 2016 slowed his progress again.
In 2017 Lawrence really broke out, he played all 16 games and finished the year with 14.5 sacks and 26 QB hits. As a result the Cowboys put Lawrence on the franchise tag for the 2018 season where he was once again a key part of their team. Dallas have a few important contracts coming up and several other pieces hitting free agency, but Lawrence is likely to be Dallas’ priority in Madden 19.
There are plenty of other very good potential free agents after season 1 of Franchise Mode. Jason Verrett is a nice option if you need a cornerback, and both Golden Tate and Cole Beasley can fill your slot receiver position. On the offensive line Trent Brown and Matt Paradis could be available, while CJ Mosley and Frank Clark are other defensive stars that could join your team if you are willing to pay.
Every potential free agent with an OVR of 81 or higher
|Adrian Amos Jr||CHI||SS||88|
|Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||WAS||FS||83|
|Thomas Davis Sr||CAR||OLB||82|
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