NFL free agency is set to begin in less than 10 days and many former LSU players are on the verge of entering the open market and news has already tricked potential landing spots.
Here’s a look at some of the best former Tigers in free agency starting next week and each of their current situations.
Tyrant Matthew (S)
One of the greatest defensive players to ever step into an LSU uniform, Mathieu is coming off a remarkable three-year run in Kansas City that included two trips to the Super Bowl, with one victory. There aren’t many more accomplished defensive backs in the NFL and at 29, there are still years of choice left in Mathieu’s NFL career.
There will obviously be mutual interest between Mathieu and the Chiefs once again, but one team to watch is his hometown New Orleans Saints. The Saints are in a sticky spot with star safety Marcus Williams likely demanding a hefty second contract and if Mathieu really intends to come home, a slightly cheaper deal might be something to settle.
Mathieu lit fuel to the fire this week when he responded to a social media post of himself in a Saints jersey.
Odell Beckham (WR)
Beckham is coming off a Super Bowl win after signing mid-season and being a major contributor to the Los Angeles Rams. He had some great numbers, including 52 yards in the first half of the Super Bowl before tearing his ACL against the Bengals.
Several reports have indicated that Beckham is likely to quit with the Rams as he recovers from his injury and hopes he will be back during the regular season.
Leonard Fournette (RB)
Fournette also enjoyed great success in a career revival with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After being pretty much an add-on piece in the Bucs’ Super Bowl run two years ago, Fournette took over as primary running back and had a very strong season.
He rushed for 812 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 454 yards on 69 receptions for the Bucs, reaffirming himself as a true No. 1 back who can affect the ground game and throw through the air. Fournette is expected to test the open market after such a great season and will likely attract a ton of attention for hungry teams. A fun destination to consider could be the Buffalo Bills who have dynamic quarterback Josh Allen and could be an even more powerful offense with Fournette in the fold.
DJ Chark (WR)
When healthy, Chark has been a vertical threat unlike many others in the league. He’s an explosive game waiting to happen, but he’s been stuck in Jacksonville purgatory and will also come out of a season that was cut short due to a fractured ankle.
While a team is unlikely to give him No. 1 receiver type money, his value might be diminished a bit for someone to get his services at a bargain price. The Saints are again a team that needs a reliable No. 2 next to Michael Thomas and could certainly go for a mid-level free agent offer like Chark. Ultimately, it’s unclear what kind of market Chark has at the moment, but he’ll likely get a nibble from a few interested teams.
Russell Gage (WR)
Gage has been a very dependable receiver for a Falcons team whose receiver room has been in disarray for the past few seasons. At one time possessing one of the scariest receiving cores in the entire NFL, Atlanta has lost a lot of talent for a variety of reasons over the past few years.
But Gage has been the consistent force in this room and with Calvin Ridley now suspended for the year, there could be more pressure to bring Gage back into the fold. Like Chark, Gage is one of those mid-level free agents who should garner league-wide interest as a reliable addition to an offense.