Here Comes…The NFL
We’re so close to the actual start of the 2011 NFL season, after over 125 days (Yes, that’s actually longer than the NFL regular season) the lockout is about over. Monday, July 25th, looks like the day to circle even though its likely a deal could be struck Wednesday or Thursday. While the smaller details get straightened out and the new CBA gets resolved over the next 36-48 hours – we could see the locks to team facilities opened and possibly training camps come Friday or Saturday. Monday is the day to have circled because it’ll probably be the day transactions begin, thus opening Free-Agency. Its no secret that moves will have to comes quick – realistically teams will be making 40+ moves in a two week span – with just about 50 days until the start of the actual games. Reports say…
New Agreement on CBA – Thursday, July 21st
Facilities Open – Friday, July 22nd
Players Report – Saturday, July 23rd
Free-Agency – Monday, July 25th
-3 Day period to re-sign your own Free-Agents and undrafted rookies
Open Free-Agency – Thursday, July 28th
Training Camps Start – Monday, August 1st
In my two previous post: https://joshmitchell24.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/nfl-free-agency-expectations/ and https://joshmitchell24.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/on-the-verge-nfl-free-agency/ – I made some Free-Agency predictions and such, So I figured I’d update those expectations as we inch closer to the NFL season. Enjoy!
1. Nnamdi Asomugha, CB – Signs with Eagles (5yr 53million w/ 18 Mil. bonus); Raiders, Dallas, Saints, Jets, Texans, Redskins also options
2. QB Kevin Kolb traded to Arizona or Seattle for a 1st Round Pick; Buffalo, Miami, Raiders, San Francisco also options but 1st Rounder may be too steep for those teams.
3. DE Ray Edwards leaves Minnesota for big contract. Falcons will be the favorite, while Cleveland and Tampa Bay would have the cap space; Cincinnati, Seattle, Jaguars also options.
4. DeAngelo Williams, coming off an injury filled season is the premiere RB – but may not have many buyers. Returning to Carolina could be the best option with the Dolphins as a real possibility; Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Raiders, Colts, Seattle also options.
5. Reggie Bush gets cut, Vince Young gets cut. Reggie Bush may end up re-signing for less money with Saints; Dolphins, Chargers, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Atlanta also options. Vince Young wants to start, but may not be able to – Seattle, Buffalo, San Francisco would be the best options for him; Eagles, Miami, Redskins, Vikings, Texans also options.
6. High demand for Plaxico Burress, Eagles seem like front runner but Miami, Chicago are real options; Steelers, Rams, Carolina, Jaguars, Giants also options.
7. Redskins go hard after Santanio Holmes and/or Sidney Rice. They need a big WR, even if Santana Moss does re-sign they’ll throw some cash at one or the other. Holmes likely to return to Jets; Bears, Dolphins, Carolina, Chargers also options. S.Rice will probably leave Minnesota, even with a hip injury he has upside, so if not Washington; Bears, Jaguars, Rams, Seattle, Cincinnati also options.
8. Ike Taylor will get over paid, probably not by the Steelers – look for him to leave Pittsburgh and get 5 million plus annual because of lack of quality CBs on the market. Eagles are favorite is they miss/pass on Nnamdi; Tampa Bay, Texans, Dallas, Saints, Jets, Carolina, Jaguars also options.
9. Carson Palmer, Brett Favre both – actually retire. A return by Favre wouldn’t surprise, but isn’t likely. Palmer won’t play for Cincinnati so only real option is if they trade him for 3rd or 4th rounder to Seattle; San Francisco also option.
10. Vincent Jackson get paid by San Diego. He wants 10 million this year, according to sources reporting on active lawsuit holding up the CBA. They have cap space, and should sign him to a multi-year contract – something like 4 year 48 million, with 12 mil bonus.
11. Cedric Benson, even with an arrest, re-signs with Cincinnati. I’d say a 3 year contract voidable after 1 season. 3 years for 28 million with 10 mil bonus, thats really a – 1 year 6 million w/ 4 mil bonus and has 2 years remaining on club option at 12 million w/ 6 mil bonus. I doubt anyone else offers him much better now.
12. Adrian Peterson will sign a contract extension with the Vikings. He is entering last season of current contract for 10 million – the new one could be around 75 million over the life of it.
13. Donovan McNabb wont be back with Washington, Yes – The contract extension was weird, but only was technically a 1 year deal with an option. They seem serious about giving he job to John Beck and I doubt they’d pay McNabb that contract to be a back-up. Arizona is always mentioned as a landing spot and could be if they pass/miss on Kolb, but Minnesota is the likely spot for him on a short contract; Tennessee, Miami also options.
14. Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, and Randy Moss. Owens has an injury (ACL) and wont see much interest (he didn’t even last season) – he could be a mid-season signee for someone but I think a return to the 49ers would make a lot of sense. Ochocinco (Johnson) is probably going to end up being cut by the Bengals and I think he’ll land with the Jets on a 2 year deal or so; Patriots, Carolina, Jaguars also options. Randy Moss, I think, will end up having a solid 50+ catch season but isn’t going to be real attractive to most teams – the Jets are an options if the miss on Ochocinco or don’t re-sign Braylon Edwards; Redskins, Rams, Chargers, Bears, Jaguars, Patriots also options.
15. Matt Hasselbeck and Marc Bulger are most appealing QBs on market. Hasselbeck, while likely to return to Seattle, has make it clear the Tennessee is a serious option. I say Hasselbeck ends up a Titan; Dolphins, Bills also options. Bulger is up there in age, but will serve as nice ‘understudy’ for a youngster – I’d say Cincinnati or Carolina; Buffalo, Vikings also an option.
16. Whats up New York – the Giants need to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Mathias Kiwanuka. Plus they have looming questions with Brandon Jacobs and Osi Umenyiora. I think they keep Bradshaw, and let Jacobs go – then go after a Willis McGahee or Joseph Addai type on a short contract. Steve Smith is likely to demand too much money – they don’t need him as much as they once did, he could land in Seattle; Carolina, Jaguars, Browns also options. They need Kiwanuka if they can’t resolve the Osi issue – I say they work it out with Osi and let Kiwanuka walk; Titans, Seattle, Jaguars, Browns are options.
17. Decision time in Dallas. Marion, Roy, Terrance…even Marc could be on the outs. I think it’s likely that Marion Barber is cut; Chicago and Denver would be options. The others may have to take pay cuts, but I see them on the roster. Marc Columbo would be the other likeliest to get cut. If they want to sign a Safety or make a run at Nnamdi they need to free up some cash.
18. TE Zack Miller could be hot target to a few teams. The Raiders will surely lock him up but I could see Miami making a run at him; Arizona, Buffalo, Giants, Browns also options.
19. WR Steve Smith, The Carolina version, should be cut by the Panthers. He doesn’t want to be there and I think San Diego makes a lot of sense if he doesn’t stay in teal and black. If available, he should see a lot of interest – probably from the Ravens; Redskins, Jaguars, Jets, Bears, Browns, Seattle, Cincinnati, Dolphins also options.
20. DE/DT Cullen Jenkins will draw interest from 3/4 scheme teams – most notably the Washington Redskins. They expect to make an offer to him, but he could return to the Super Bowl Champs; Vikings, Bears, Jets also options.
21. Braylon Edwards may be too pricey for the Jets, if they lock up Santanio Holmes – so look for him to go elsewhere. The Bears would be an ideal fit, but the market if likely to be pretty competitive for Edwards; Carolina, Jaguars, Redskins, Ravens, Bengals, Seattle, Rams also options.
22. Tyson Clabo, Matt Light, Jamon Bushrod, Jared Gaither, Jamaal Brown, Ryan Harris. The OT spot is always of value and these 6 fellows are the top available. I’d suspect that Clabo would return to Atlanta, but if not, he – along with all the others would draw interest from these teams: Redskins, Saints, Ravens, Bears, Eagles, Raiders, Arizona, Tampa Bay, Chiefs, Lions, and Bills. Light will probably leave New England; Chiefs or Chicago possibly. Bushrod could be on Philly’s radar but may remain with the Saints. Gaither and Brown are likely on the move – Gaither could fit on Buffalo or Oakland while Brown may have interest from Detriot, Arizona, or Tampa Bay. Harris most likely will remain in Denver or be a target for Washington.
23. Brandon Mebane, along with Aubrayo Franklin head the DT spot and should get a nice payday. Seattle has the cap space to keep Mebane if they chose, they will in my opinion, but; Chargers, Redskins, Dallas, Vikings, Bears, Bills also options. Franklin has been a ‘Franchised’ player by San Fran in the past so on the open-market he could be pretty valuable; Bears, Denver, Redskins, Seattle, Chargers are options if he doesn’t return to the 49ers.
24. Marshal Yanda, Davin Joseph, Justin Blalock, Harvey Dahl, Carl Nicks are the top OG of the class, and while I expect them each to re-sign with their respective teams – they could see big money. Yanda is on Washington’s radar, but its not likely Baltimore lets him leave. The teams that would be interested in purchasing an OG include; Oakland, Dallas, Lions, Seattle among others.
25. Dawan Landry and Roman Harper are the best available Safety’s (also Quintin Mikel) – Eric Weddle would join them in an UFA. I dont see either leaving Baltimore and New Orleans respectively, but there should be a number of teams after help at the S position. Landry may have options with Colts, Carolina, and Oakland as well while Harper could be targeted by New England, Tampa Bay, Bills, or Dallas. Other teams after these guys, and other safety’s are Detriot, Bengals, and Jaguars.
26. Stephen Tulloch and Paul Posluzny lead a Linebacker class that doesn’t have big names to offer (others include: LeRoy Hill, Thomas Davis, Julian Peterson, Mike Peterson, Kirk Morrision, and Ernie Sims). Tulloch could leave Tennessee and bolt for Detriot, but will also draw interest from Browns, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Jacksonville. Posluzny needs to find the right scheme if he choses not to return to Buffalo, I think he will – but Browns, Bengals, Jaguars, Seattle could be options for too.
27. Antonio Cramartie should be available for a decent price. I’d look for Detriot to go hard after him, as well as Pittsburgh. Cromartie is a tremendous athlete who is somewhat undervalued, and could be a steal at 3-4 million annually. Dallas, Texans, Bears, and Raiders are options as well.
28. Jason Babin and Charles Johnson are the best of the rest at DE – Babin will find a new home, and should be the target of many teams for a reasonable price – most likely the Eagles or Browns; Atlanta, Denver, Detriot, Tampa Bay could get into the mix. Johnson will likely be re-sign in Carolina, but the same teams will target him as Babin.
29. Matt Roth is underrated, and will be a popular target for 3/4 schemes as a DE/OLB and 4/3 teams as a DE. Atlanta or the 49ers would make sense – I’d look for Minnesota to take a run as him possibly; Dallas, Colts, Denver, Jaguars, Rams, Eagles, Patriots, and Chargers could be choices.
30. The ‘Old Veterans’. Clinton Portis, Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins, Tiki Barber, Jason Taylor, Ricky Williams, ect…are on the move. I think they’ll be wanted, but not in high-demand. Portis as a compliment back, Woody as a spot starter (similar to Flozell in Pittsburgh), Jenkins as a 12-18 play stuffer, Barber might not make a team, Taylor will contribute somewhere, and I think Ricky can be productive. Other “older”, but familiar names on the market will find home, for cheap.
31. Ronnie, The Law Firm, Cadillac, Bush, Addai, Pierre, Sproles and Mike. A lot of Quality RBs will be on the market, and on the move. I think Michael Bush could have the most upside of the group; possibly as a compliment to Ray Rice in Baltimore. BJGE will be back in New England, no question there – Mike Tolbert should be back in San Diego, but Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, Joesph Addai, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles could be playing ‘musical running back’. The target teams will depend on who is re-signed, teams that lose one of these back will most likely pick another to replace him.
32. Owen Daniels and Kevin Boss are quality TEs who may be open to leaving their current situations. Daniels, when healthy, is a big boost to the Texans and Boss has been a quite surprise for New York – but they’ll be targets of other teams as well. Arizona, Miami, Buffalo, Seattle, Denver, Cleveland could be options.
33. Malcolm Floyd, Steve Breaston, Santana Moss, Mike Sims-Walker and TJ Houshmenzadeh (probably even Brad Smith) will be in high demand. Floyd could end up a Bengal, Breaston will have numerous options for a payday; Chargers, Carolina, Jaguars, Seattle or a return to Arizona. The others will all be targeted by those teams along with Philadelphia, Washington, New England, Miami, San Diego, Cleveland, among others.
34. If Tebow starts, what happens with Kyle Orton? I think Tim Tebow is going to at least start the season as Denvers QB – but Denver wont part with Kyle Orton. Apparently they’re even high on Brady Quinn. Orton could be a salary cap dump, or traded – but I don’t see it unless the offer blows them away. Maybe Arizona, maybe Seattle – but Orton won’t be anyones QB option for more than 2 years so his production has little value.
35. Drew Stanton, I like him. If he ends up being an UFA I think Buffalo, even Miami, should take him on a 2 year contract. Detroit wont offer him much to play behind Stafford and Shaun Hill and I think he can play. The Bills, 49ers, Oakland – teams without a solidified ‘future’ QB – could take a shot for cheap.
36. Tim Hightower and Tavaris Jackson – athletes, guys who I’d want on my team. They aren’t starters, but offer quality production. Hightower would fit nicely with the Rams, or a team that runs a spread, pass attack offense. Jackson never really had a chance, but I’d take him as a back-up QB any day – look for the Eagles to take a chance if they trade Kolb; Texans, Oakland, Kansas City could also be options.
37. Richard Marshall, he’s really the best of the ‘non’ big names at CB. He isn’t totally bad and may be had for fairly cheap. Pittsburgh could be a nice fit for him, as well as San Francisco, Detriot, Seattle, Minnesota, Oakland. I’d take him or Kelly Jennings over Eric Wright, Chris Houston, Josh Wilson, or Carlos Rogers.
38. Cliff Avril, Brodney Pool, Marcus Spears, and Thomas Howard could be steals for a team. They aren’t overly talented, but they have been solid – and are the next best defenders available. They could come cheap, with low risk as role players and develop into a nice surprise. I could see Avril to Minnesota as Ray Edwards replacement, Brodney Pool filling the void of Sensabaugh in Dallas, Spears jumping to Houston with Wade Phillips, and Howard heading to Jacksonville.
39. Albert Haynesworth will be released, joining other DT’s (Pat Williams, Gabe Watson, Barry Coefield, Tommie Harris, Anthony Adams) as a free-agent. He has to be released, right? Its hard to say where he’d end up, or if he is even willing to play anymore – but he has talent. I’d look at someone with cap space (Arizona, Jacksonville) first off, then maybe someone he’d take a discount to join (Philly, Chicago).
40. The fight for Andrew Luck. Yeah, I think it’s gonna be a pretty big deal. The worst team? Hmm..Surely the 49ers wouldnt throw a season so Harbaugh could get his guy. Oakland? They improved last season, but Jason Campbell isnt the future. Miami? They may be in a rebuilding year and struggle. Buffalo? Sorry Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the Bills have to be the favorite to land the Stanford star. Seattle? If they lose Hasselbeck, they could keep on losing. Arizona? They could be bad if they don’t land a QB this season. I mean, he could be the next Peyton Manning right?