After mutually agreeing with the Denver Broncos to have his restricted free agent tender revoked, what are the latest rumors for Phillip Lindsay when it comes to NFL free agency? Will we see Lindsay play a big part for a team in 2021?
Phillip Lindsay’s potential landing spots
With Melvin Gordon entrenched as the starter in Denver, Phillip Lindsay was no longer a priority for the Denver Broncos. However, with limited opportunities around the NFL, where could we see Lindsay wind up in 2021?
The Arizona Cardinals have lost Kenyan Drake in free agency and do not have a clear situation outside of Chase Edmonds. With uncertainty surrounding whether Edmonds is capable of being a lead back, it is somewhat surprising that rumors surrounding Phillip Lindsay have not picked up.
The young, formerly undrafted, running back is a capable contributor in both the run and pass game. Therefore, he could be a useful piece as a backup to Edmonds.
The Falcons have no clear situation in their running back room. They currently have Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison as their top two listed backs. Therefore, it seems as though the Falcons will be players in the running back market at some point in free agency. So far, the rumors have been relatively mute, but Phillip Lindsay could be an intriguing candidate.
Lindsay does not fit that mold of a Derrick Henry type back, which is what Arthur Smith had in Tennessee. He is, however, an effective dual-threat back who can contribute in both facets of the game. Therefore, he could be an intriguing piece, either as a backup or as a starter.
Phillip Lindsay as the backup to Christian McCaffrey feels like a dream pairing. Both backs are able to be contributors in the run and pass game, meaning the Panthers could run the same game script regardless of who is in the game.
The issue for Lindsay is that McCaffrey is not someone who regularly comes out of the game. If McCaffrey is healthy, Lindsay could find himself cutting a frustrated figure on the sidelines.
The Cincinnati Bengals have the opportunity to move on from Giovani Bernard and save salary cap space in 2021. Assuming they could get Lindsay at a discount, then he would make for an intriguing replacement for Bernard.
Lindsay’s ability to be a weapon in both the pass and run game makes him a useful backup for Cincinnati. However, with big-money committed to Joe Mixon, Lindsay may prefer a destination where he can compete for a starting role.
New York Jets
The Jets are certainly a place that Phillip Lindsay could compete for a starting role, especially as the rumors link the Jets to a rookie running back in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With rookie backs often needing extra time to bed in, especially when it comes to pass protection, Lindsay could be the initial starter for the Jets. It may be worth it for Lindsay to take a chance on a one-year prove-it type deal in New York, where a strong season could boost his stock ahead of the next offseason.
Another place Lindsay could compete for a starting role is in Seattle. Neither DeeJay Dallas nor Rashaad Penny is locked in as the starter. Therefore, Lindsay would have the opportunity to come in and compete ahead of the 2021 season. It would be a fascinating competition between three players who are clearly extremely talented.
What is Phillip Lindsay’s potential market value in free agency?
Lindsay was due to earn around $2 million with the right of first refusal tender. However, as Spotrac projects, Lindsay’s market value is potentially much higher. Spotrac has Lindsay with a market value of $8.2 million a year.
They have Lindsay comped to Joe Mixon, Kareem Hunt, Melvin Gordon, and Austin Ekeler, with an average value of $8.4 million per year. Lindsay’s stats are slightly below, leading to the $8.4 million valuation.
That seems a little on the high side for Lindsay, especially in the current running back market. His value does seem much closer to that of Austin Ekeler as a ceiling.
Ekeler received $6.125 million to remain with the Los Angeles Chargers. In truth, with the running back free agency market almost at a standstill in terms of rumors, Phillip Lindsay may find his contract value coming in around that $2 million he would have received in Denver.
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