5 NFL teams that became playoff contenders in free agency

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 08: Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 08, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

With NFL free agency largely behind us, we look at the teams who can be considered playoff contenders after their dealings on the open market.

Most of the free agency moves that matter have now been made, with teams turning their attention to next month’s draft.

The draft is where successful teams are constructed. However, smart free-agent signings can take a team to the next level.

After their respective dealings on the open market, there are several teams who missed the playoffs in 2019 who should now be considered contenders to make the postseason.

Here we look at five such teams who should be in the playoff discussion after their free agency business.

Los Angeles Chargers

There is still doubt over who will be playing quarterback for the Chargers in 2020. However, if they do stick to their apparent route of going with Tyrod Taylor, they have at least ensured they have a team around him capable of keeping Los Angeles in the hunt.

Guard Trai Turner, acquired in a trade with the Carolina Panthers, and tackle Bryan Bulaga should improve an offensive line that has consistently struggled.

On defense, Linval Joseph and Chris Harris fill the voids left by the exits of Brandon Mebane and Jaylen Watkins.

Melvin Gordon is unlikely to be missed after the Denver Broncos signed him to a two-year, $16million contract. Austin Ekeler outperformed Gordon last season and was rewarded with a  four-year, $24.5m contract.

Hunter Henry was kept around on the franchise tag, the tight end remaining as part of an extremely talented group of pass-catchers with which Taylor should be able to have success.

The Chargers could yet draft a rookie with the sixth overall pick and have them compete for the starting job. Regardless of who is under center come Week 1, the Chargers should be in a position to contend providing the supporting cast plays up to its obvious potential.

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