NFL Free-Agency Expectations
It appears, while maybe not this week, that a deal between the NFL and the NFLPA on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is already beginning to take shape. Horray!!! We all knew a deal would eventually get done, but what we all were even more sure of is that we didn’t want to miss any NFL football games. While that seems to be the case, finally, we all have been so deprived of football reports, news and rumors for the past few months that we need to expect a fury of action when the league year official starts. It’s expected that all teams will open Training Camp on schedule; however, from the time of a new CBA there will a week waiting period until Free-Agency starts. The projected date according to Adam Schefter on ESPN.com is July 28th, the date when Free-Agency will begin, and players will have a chance to sign with other team. So, what should we expect…….
1. Nnamdi Asomugha will obviously want a big payday, and he’ll get. Rex Ryan and Darrelle Revis wanted him in New York last season so look for them to make a run, but they cant afford him. Nnamdi made 16 Million last season but he’ll get a deal similar to Revis – I’ll say around 50-55million. So who will sign him? Dallas? No. Texans? Doubt it. Tampa Bay? Hmmm. Saints? Possibly. Eagles? Surely. He’ll sign with the Eagles (5yr 53mil, 18mil bonus)
2. Who has salary cap room? The cap is projected for 2011 at around 120 million per team (could be anywhere from 117-125 though). How much to spend? Who can go after and sign players….
Tampa Bay – 60 Million
Carolina – 47 Million
Chiefs – 45 Million
Jaguars – 42 Million
Eagles – 39 Million
Seattle – 39 Million
Arizona – 37 Million
San Diego – 34 Million
Oakland – 34 Million
Cincinnati – 29 Million
Bills – 24 Million
Browns – 21 Million
49ers – 19 Million
Ravens – 19 Million
Falcons – 18 Million
Patriots – 18 Million
Rams – 18 Million
Dolphins – 17 Million
Saints – 15 Million
Bears – 15 Million
(Based on 120 Million Cap to sign Rookies, Franchised, Restricted, and all Free-Agents)
3. Who can’t sign Free-Agent? Which teams are over, close to cap and may have to cut their own players? (+ = amount over 120 million cap, – = amount under 120 million cap)
Dallas + 16 Million
Packers + 10 Million
Jets + 8.5 Million
Giants + 6 Million
Denver + 5 Million
Texans – 1.5 Million
Steelers – 4 Million
Colts – 4.5 Million
Redskins – 5 Million
Lions – 6 Million
4. Kevin Kolb will get traded. It seems the most likely spot will be Arizona. I think Seattle, Buffalo, Dolphins are other possibilities with maybe Oakland and San Francisco as outside chances.
5. Dallas won’t be a player in Free-Agency. They are cash strapped and may have to cut Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Terrance Newman, and Marc Columbo to create some cash – problem is, they’d have ‘dead money’ from those players still on the salary so they might find a way to keep them.
6. Adrian Peterson signs a long-term deal. He is in final year at around 10million and new deal will benefit him and help the Vikings financially. You can bet it’ll be a big deal.
7. The Steelers should cut DE Aaron Smith. Well, maybe he’ll re-due his deal for less money – but they need to have money for a CB. Ike Taylor will probably be gone, he wants too much (he’ll want upward of 4-5 Million per) – so they’ll make a run at Antonio Cromartie for around 3-4 Million per or go after a smaller name (Richard Marshall, Eric Wright).
8. Ike Taylor will get over paid. He’s been decent, but the lack of talented CB’s will allow him to drive his price up. If the Eagles miss on Nnamdi they have 4-5 Million to throw at him, but the Texans (if they creat some cap space) Saints, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Seattle, and Jaguars could be in play. I’d say a he’ll get a 25-32million deal over 4 years with 8-10million bonus.
9. The Bengals will have a new-look. Carson wont be back. Chad is probably gone. They’ll probably make a run at a big receiver (Malcolm Floyd, Braylon Edwards, Mike Sims-Walker) to pair with Jerome Simpson and Jordan Shipley. Hello Andy Dalton. Will Cedric Benson get his payday? I’d say so, from Cincy or someone – but the Bengals need to fork out cash for a RB. Benson will re-sign for a good deal. I’ll say average annual of around 7.5mil…so 3yrs for 32mil, 10 mil bonus.
10. Remember Vincent Jackson? We’ll San Diego will pay him. He’ll get a nice deal that will make him happen. He should sign a multi-year deal with them having salary cap space, they may even make a run at another WR (Steve Smith, NYG – Steve Breaston, ARZ – Randy Moss – Santana Moss).
11. Wide Receivers will be attractive, and on the move. Big names out there. Santanio Holmes, Sidney Rice, Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith (NY), Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Malcolm Floyd, Steve Breaston, Santana Moss, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Jacoby Jones with the possibility of plenty more Lee Evans, Chad Johnson, Steve Smith (Car), Roy Williams. Some predictions….
Sidney Rice to Redskins
Vincent Jackson to Chargers (re-sign)
Steve Smith (NY) to Seattle
Plaxico Burress to Eagles
Braylon Edwards to Bears
Santonio Holmes to Jets (re-sign)
Randy Moss to Jaguars
Malcolm Floyd to Bengals
Steve Breaston to Chargers
Chad Johnson to Jets
Santana Moss to Carolina
Steve Smith (Car) to Jaguars
Terrell Owens to 49ers
TJ Houshmandzadeh to Jets
Mike Sims Walker to Carolina
Jacoby Jones to Texans (re-sign)
Mike Williams (Sea) to Seattle (re-sign)
James Jones to Packers (re-sign)
Brad Smith to Dolphins
Donte Stallworth to Lions
Early Doucet to Arizona (re-sign)
Devin Aromashadu to Saints
Mark Clayton to Rams (re-sign)
Laurent Robinson to Bills
Lance Moore to Ravens
Danny Amendola to Rams (re-sign)
Chansi Stuckey to Browns (re-sign)
Sam Hurd to Patriots
Legedu Naanee to Bears
Ben Obomanu to Redskins
12. So long Minnesota – DE Ray Edwards will find work elsewhere. He’ll get a fat paycheck, but it wont be from the Vikings…Im not sure they really want him back, but they need to find a repalcement. The Falcons and Bengals have enough space to go get him, along with Cleveland and Tampa Bay. The Vikings will probably go with the re-signing of underrated Brian Robison.
13. TE Zack Miller is good, but not being talked about much. The Raiders will surely like to keep him, and they very well will – but he’ll draw a lot of interest. The Bills, Cardinals, or Dolphins may make a push for him but Oakland wont let him go, they’ll have the money to lock him up.
14. Big DT’s will cash in. Haloti Ngata, Paul Soliai have big paydays coming their way – but get familiar with the names Brandon Mebane, Aubrayo Franklin, and Cullen Jenkins because they’re gonna draw top dollar too. While Ngata and Soliai will re-sign, the others should draw interest from Washington, Chicago, Arizona, San Diego, Jaguars. Other possible available targeted DT’s are Albert Haynesworth, Tommie Harris, Kris Jenkins, Pat Williams, Barry Coefield, Gabe Watson, Anthony Adams, Derek Landri, Justin Bannan, Shaun Smith.
15. Find DeAngelo Williams. I doubt after an injury filled season and with Jonathan Stewart on board they’ll fork out too much money in Carolina to keep him, but they may. Plus Mike Goodson emerged in Williams’ absence. He’s the premiere back of the FA group, but where is he going to go? I think the favorite would be the Dolphins (if he doesnt return to Carolina – they have the cap space). Miami is set to lose Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and while Daniel Thomas is there – I could see the Dolphins going after him. Cincinnati could be in play if they lose Cedric Benson, or possibly Tampa Bay to team with LaGarrette Blount – with an outside chance of Oakland.
16. Brett Favre will actually retire. It should have been No.1 on the list – but then again…you just never know.
17. The Two-Back league. They are quality RB’s available in Free-Agency, or as possible cut (Brandon Jacobs, Reggie Bush, Marion Barber, Beanie Wells, LaDanian Tomlinson, Willis McGahee, Steve Slaton), but where will they land. Along with the possible cut names – the Free-Agents include D.Williams, Benson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ronnie Brown, Michael Bush, Mike Tolbert, BJG-E, Joseph Addai, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Tim Hightower, Ricky Williams, and Clinton Portis. This means teams will not only need two good back – they’re just going to have two good backs. Predicted potential backfields – Fantasy Owners take note….
Dolphins: DeAngelo Williams (Car) – Daniel Thomas – Lex Hilliard
Patriots: BenJarvus Green Ellis – Danny Woodhead – Shane Vereen – Stevan Ridley
Bills: Fred Jackson – CJ Spiller – Johnny White
Jets: Shonn Greene – LaDanian Tomlinson – Joe McKnight – Bilil Powell
Bengals: Cedric Benson – Kevin Smith (Det) – Bernard Scott – Brian Leonard
Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall – Isaac Redman – Tiki Barber (FA) – Jonathan Dwyer
Browns: Peyton Hillis – Montario Hardesty – Mewelde Moore (Pitt)
Ravens: Ray Rice – Michael Bush (Oak) – Jalen Parmele – Mike Hart (Indy)
Colts: Donald Brown – Willis McGahee (Balt) – Javarris James – Deleone Carter
Titans: Chris Johnson – Javon Ringer – Jamie Harper
Texans: Arian Foster – Derrick Ward – Ben Tate
Jaguars: Mo Jones-Drew – Rashad Jennings – Tim Hightower (Arz)
Denver: Knowshon Moreno – Marion Barber (Dallas) – Lance Ball
Chiefs: Jamaal Charles – Thomas Jones – Dexter McCluster
Oakland: Darren McFadden – Brandon Jacobs (NYG) – Taiwan Jones
San Diego: Ryan Mathews – Mike Tolbert – Jordan Todman – Jerious Norwood (ATL)
Dallas: Felix Jones – DeMarco Murray – Tashard Choice
Redskins: Roy Helu Jr. – Ryan Torian – Keiland Williams – Evan Royster
Eagles: LeSean McCoy – Joesph Addai (Indy) – Dion Lewis
Giants: Ahmad Bradshaw – Laurence Maroney (Den) – Da’Rel Scott
Packers: Ryan Grant – Cadillac Williams (TB) – James Starks – Alex Green
Lions: Jahvid Best – Mikel Leshoure – Maurice Morris
Vikings: Adrian Peterson – Toby Gerhart – Steve Slaton (Tex)
Bears: Matt Forte – Ricky Williams (Mia) – Chester Taylor – James Davis (Wash)
Saints: Mark Ingram – Pierre Thomas – Reggie Bush – Chris Ivory
Carolina: Jon Stewart – Mike Goodson – Jerome Harrison (Philly)
Falcons: Michael Turner – Jason Snelling – Jaquizz Rodgers – Mike Bell (Clev)
Tampa Bay: Ronnie Brown (Mia) – LaGarrette Blount – Kenneth Darby (STL)
Rams: Steven Jackson – Darren Sproles (SD) – Clinton Portis (Wash) – Keith Toston
Arizona: Ryan Williams – Beanie Wells – LaRod Stephens-Howling
49ers: Frank Gore – Anthony Dixon – Kendall Hunter
Seattle: Justin Forsett – Marshawn Lynch – Leon Washington