Pauline Mailbag: The latest NFL free agency news and rumors, including Byron Jones, the NY Jets, and more

    In this week's mailbag from PFN Insider Tony Pauline, he gives the inside scoop on the latest free agency news and rumors from around the NFL.

    Every week, I open up the mailbag for anyone to send me their questions on college football, the NFL, or the 2020 NFL Draft. With the NFL Scouting Combine in the rearview mirror and free agency just a few weeks away, the news and rumors are going to come fast and furious. This week’s mailbag includes information on the New York Jets free agency plans, Yannick Ngakoue and his next destination, Bryon Jones’ free agency tour, Tom Brady and his next team, the Miami Dolphins, and more.

    If you have a question you want to send me for next week’s mailbag, send it to or send a tweet to @PFN365 on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTonyPFN, and we’ll try to include it in an upcoming mailbag column.

    The Tony Pauline Mailbag

    What have you heard about the Philadelphia Eagles and Byron Jones?
    Throughout the week of the NFL Combine, everything I heard pointed to the Philadelphia Eagles being the favorite for CB Byron Jones. Then late in the weekend, someone told me to “expect the Eagles and New York Giants to get into a bidding war for Jones.” As I reported last week – Jones is going to make a lot of money and he’ll be able to pick the team he wants to play for.

    Related: 2020 NFL Scouting Combine: Latest news and rumors around the NFL

    Are there any legs to the Jack Conklin and New York Jets connection? What is their overall plan for free agency?
    I don’t know what’s being said about the “Conklin/Jets” connection other than what I reported from the NFL Combine – Conklin is one of the top free agent targets, if not the top target for the New York Jets.

    Additionally, I was told that there were a few teams who were concerned by my report from the Combine since they intend to bid for Conklin when free agency begins. And as I reported, teams expect the Jets to meet Conklin’s price.

    Now – a lot more than just big offers go into this. How does the best offer match up when factoring in potential income tax brackets in the different cities? Remember – this was a big part of the reason the New York Giants lost out on Andrew Norwell to Jacksonville a few years ago. Who does Conklin want to play for? Who does he not want to play for?

    The bottom line? The Jets are interested in Conklin but so are a lot of other teams.

    As far as their overall free agency plan – they will attack the offensive line and would like to re-sign WR Robby Anderson. If Anderson gets too costly, they may turn away and prioritize the offensive line. In a perfect world, they sign Conklin, Thuney, somehow bring Anderson back, and get their center in round two.

    When do you expect the CBA to pass (if it passes), and is that when you expect there to be mass moves around the league?
    I would be surprised if it goes past next week and wouldn’t be surprised if it happens a lot sooner. I would not expect mass moves around the league.

    Related: The very latest on the NFL/NFLPA CBA: How will it impact the 2020 season and beyond?

    What are the chances the Miami Dolphins trade up before draft or when they are on the clock?
    I’ve heard nothing on the Miami Dolphins trading up in round one. But what I can tell you is that it’s possible they use their final first-round pick on Ezra Cleveland – the Boise State junior – to fill their hole at left tackle.

    Do you think the Jets will have a shot at getting one of the top four offensive tackles in this draft? If all four are gone and they can’t trade down, who should the Jets be looking at?
    In my opinion, there are five really good offensive tackles in this draft with Austin Jackson being the fifth prospect that many people leave out of the conversation. I think at most, three are gone by the time the Jets are on the clock with the 11th pick.

    As far as other positions in the first round – a lot depends on what happens in free agency and with WR Robby Anderson. There is speculation – and I repeat speculation – they could take Henry Ruggs with their first round pick, which is a mistake in my opinion.

    Related: 2020 NFL Draft: Key pro days to watch for wide receiver prospects

    What compensation would be enough to get DE Yannick Ngakoue and do you see Seattle Seahawks as a potential suitor?
    I’ve been told by a very good source that the Seahawks would like to acquire Yannick Ngakoue via trade. My sources tell me they believe compensation would include something like a second-round selection and possibly a situation where the Seahawks swap their pick in round one for the Jags pick in the second round.

    What is the latest you are hearing about Tom Brady? Will he sign with the Tennessee Titans?
    I continue to hear the Las Vegas Raiders when teams are mentioned with Tom Brady. The San Francisco 49ers are also in the conversation now. Never in a million years would I have believed a trade sending Tom Brady to the Niners in return for Jimmy Garoppolo was realistic. Yet, someone I spoke to early on Wednesday told me that this rumor has legs.

    Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365

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