NFL’s 2013 Top Free Agents
It may be the offseason in the National Football League, but a day doesn’t go by without some type of NFL news making the headlines. The offseason will get busier with free agency beginning for 32 NFL football teams today, March 12 at 3 p.m. CDT.
Free agency is a great way for teams to build their teams in hopes for a Super Bowl run in the coming year, and this year, there are plenty of big names on the market.
Here are the biggest names on display for teams to talk to, and potentially sign for next year:
In a year that the NFL Draft is lacking a true No. 1 quarterbacks, and teams may turn towards free agency to find a quarterback. Matt Moore, and Jason Campbell lead the free agent quarterbacks, and are great options if teams are looking for a back-up quarterback. David Garrard, and Brady Quinn may draw some interest from teams as well. With the Kansas City Chiefs adding Alex Smith, Matt Cassel may be on the market.
At the running back position, veterans Steven Jackson, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Michael Turner top the list. Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, Danny Woodhead, Felix Jones, Shonn Greene, and Cedric Benson are all notable backs on the markets as well. Kevin Smith, and Tim Hightower are a pair of running backs that teams could get at low expense.
There aren’t any bigger names on the market than Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings, and Wes Welker at the free agent wide receiver position. Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeter earlier today, “League-wide expectation is that WR Mike Wallace winds up in Miami with the Dolphins.”
As for Jennings, with the trade of Percy Harvin to Seattle, a potential signing Minnesota may be in the talks. However, it’s been reported Jennings is asking for 12 million a year.
For Welker, New England still has to be the favorite.
Josh Cribbs, Jabar Gaffney, Steve Breaston, Austin Collie, Julian Edelmen, Randy Moss, and Danny Amendola are a few other names on the market.
Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is a restricted free agent.
Tony Gonzalez is the biggest name, and Kevin Boss, Kellen Winslow, Jeremy Shockey, Martellus Bennett, Fred Davis, Jared Cook, Dustin Keller, Anthony Fasano, and Dallas Clark all are unrestricted free agents. Two names that may be sleepers are Delaine Walker, and Brandon Meyers.
At the tackle position, Sam Baker, Andre Smith, Eric Winston, Jermon Bushrod, and Jake Long are the big names. Demetress Bell, and former first-round pick Jason Smith also are free agents.
At the guard position, Russ Hochstein, Andy Levitre, Stephen Peterman, Louis Vasquez, Leonard Davis, and Deuce Lutui, Chris Kemoeatu are the free agents that may draw the most interest.
At the center position, Todd McClure, Dan Koppen, and Andre Gurode are a few names to keep an eye on. Green Bay has a decision on restricted free agent Evan Dietrich-Smith after releasing Jeff Saturday earlier this offseason.
At the defensive tackle position, Ron Edwards, Israel Idonije, Ryan McBean, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Dorsey, Chris Canty, Mike Patterson, Casey Hampton, Jason Jones, and Ricky Jean-Francois hit the market.
Canty is expected to draw interest from Green Bay.
At the defensive end position, John Abraham, Lawrence Sidbury, Frostee Rucker, Cliff Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Dwight Freeny, and Michael Bennett are a few big names to watch.
Avril and Freeny are the biggest names at the end position, and so far, Freeny has drawn interest from Denver. Cullen Jenkins signed with the Giants after many speculated a potential return in Green Bay.
Bart Scott and James Harrison headline the free agent class at linebacker. Takeo Spikes, Michael Boley, Calvin Pace, Stewart Bradley, Quentin Groves, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Nick Barnett, Dan Connor, Brian Urlacher, Rey Maualuga, Thomas Howard, Scott Fujita, Justin Durant, Connor Barwin, Bradie James, Aaron Curry, Keith Brooking, Barrett Ruud, Chase Blackburn, Erik Walden, Brad Jones, and Clark Haggans.
Green Bay’s Brad Jones may be a linebacker that teams could get on the cheap, after recording 77 combined tackles in 2013. It may be hard for Baltimore to sign Kruger, after signing Joe Flacco to a big deal. Kruger may be the “sleeper,” of the class after recording 69 combined tackles in the regular season and postseason along with 15.5 sacks in 2012.
The 49ers Dashon Goldson and the Ravens Ed Reed lead the safety class. Adrian Wilson, Gerald Sensabaugh, Louis Delmas, Charles Woodson, Jim Leohard, Kenny Phillips, Dawan Landry, Quintin Mikell, LaRon Landry, and Ronde Barber are a few big names as well.
It’s all speculation, but New England may try to nab Ed Reed.
Greg Toler, Brent Grimes, Cary Williams, Terrence McGee, Captain Munnerlyn, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, Chris Houston, Drayton Florence, Bryant McFadden, Leigh Bodden, Lito Sheppard, Rashean Mathis, Aaron Ross, Sean Smith, Aqib Talib, DeAngelo Hall, Quentin Jammer, Marcus Trufant, Will Allen, and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie are the free agents in a deep cornerback class.
If a team is looking for a veteran cornerback or safety, this is the year for a team to bite on one of them.
As the free agent market opens today, be sure to stay tuned in to see if your teams makes any big moves.