Thursday, March 04, 2010


So starting this Friday, free agency is upon us! There are ton of free agents available and in no particular order, I'd like to look at some of the more noteworthy Unrestricted Free Agents (who are free to sign with anyone, with no compensation given to the players former team). -- Julius Peppers, DE: I guess we had to start here didn't we. 10.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, and 42 combined tackles (assists and solo). Not bad, but the pay demands are gonna be high. Repeated applications of the Franchise tag means Peppers has got used to good pay and will want a similar deal elsewhere. Ideally he wants to be a 3-4 outside linebacker, but I guess beggars cant be choosers. Many people are pointing at New England, but I'm not sure if Belichick will be happy with the big salary needed to lure him in. Philadelphia could do with Peppers to boost a slightly anaemic defense. -- Karlos Dansby, LB: Dansby seems to think he's in for a big payday, but he didn't clock anywhere near as many tackles as some of the top LB did last year. Yes, he's probably one of the better free agents on the market, but that says more about the market than it does about Dansby. I think teams might over reach for this guy, who will be good without being spectacular. Now that sounds more like the kind of guy Belichick would go for. -- Darren Sharper, FS: Let's be absolutely clear about this. Sharpers numbers from last year are not, I repeat not the norm for him. He had a stand out year statistically, but I want to make something really clear here. The Saints were facing a number of poor teams due to their poor finish in the NFC South the previous year. Out of Sharpers' 9 picks, 7 came against inexperienced QB (Chad Henne, Mark Sanchez & Matthew Stafford who provided two each, Josh Freeman, Chris Redman) (Redman counts due to being a career backup). Sharper is not going to travel somewhere else and produce the same numbers. Pick him up at your peril is my message. -- Gary Brackett, LB: More valuable to the Colts than anyone else I think. Brings experience, but not a lot of game compared to many LB already out there on teams rosters. The price would be too high I feel. Maybe gets taken by a team lacking depth. -- Antonio Bryant, WR: Not a huge amount of buzz round him right now, but when I watch him I see fantastic receiving skills and some good runs after the catch. I think Bryant is going to surprise a lot of people next season if he ends up somewhere with a decent QB, such as Houston. -- Antonio Pierce, LB: There are questions about his health, but if it all checks out, Pierce is a great find. I think his ability to read and diagnose plays is well known and he brings great leadership from the Mike LB spot to any defense. -- Thomas Jones, RB: A lot of people are giving Jones no credit for his achievements. Yes he was on a run heavy team and yes his O-line was good, but his explosion through the hole was still a pretty sight to watch. Not sure what his salary demands will be, but there's still a lot of 'go' left in this guy. -- Chester Taylor, RB: He may be 30-years old, but being a backup to Adrian Peterson has shielded him from a lot of harm. He is a versatile player who brings a lot of goods to the table. Someone is about to get a free agent bargain. -- Darren Sproles, RB: Not entirely sure whether he is unrestricted, but I'm reliably informed he is. If so, Sproles will find a home easily. He's fast, can catch, plays very well on special teams and has developed a technique for effective blocking in the passing game. All around a very solid back. -- LaDanian Tomlinson, RB: The question is this; can he still give you the goods between the tackles and at the LOS? I believe so. My big bug this week (other than the NFL networks choice of camera angles and cameramen at the Combine) has been people saying that LT doesn't have it any more because his numbers have dropped. In response I would simply say, look at the Chargers O-line. They couldn't open a running lane for Chris Johnson. When LT moves he will hopefully end up somewhere a little more run friendly and I think he will produce the goods. -- Kevin Faulk, RB: A solid back for New England, there's life left in the old dog yet. The thing that surprised me most last year was how well he ran behind a pass first O-line and how solid he looked at times in short yardage play. The Patriots haven't been a run heavy team for a long time, so despite his age, Faulk is still in pretty good shape. -- Brian Westbrook, RB: Versatile back, but maybe too many questions about his health. He's contributed a lot in both the passing and running game for the Eagles, but not really enough combined or individually to really make him an attractive prospect. -- Willie Parker, RB: So maybe he's not quite 'fast' Willie Parker anymore, but he still has some gas left in the tank I feel. He's 29, but his injury last year means he had a lot of time out of the firing line. I think he might have a point to prove after losing his starting job to Mendenhall. Keep an eye on this one. -- Kevin Mawae, C: The Titans veteran O-linemen is likely to end up going back to his original team, maybe as a backup, but I'd be interested in him if I was a coach. With his solid off-field reputation combined with his veteran years, he is a good role model and motivator for any under achieving side, as well as being a savvy linemen in his own right. -- Ben Watson, TE: More of a pass catcher than a run blocker, but a lot of teams need a TE and Watson will certainly bring value no matter where he ends up. -- Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE: Minus Albert Haynesworth, the Titans Defense was in trouble. Vanden Bosch is still a very capable player, but teams knew that and could focus more attention on him. Get him on a team where there are other threats on the line, where the pocket can be squeezed a little more, and he'll have success. -- Aaron Kampman, DE: Was just getting the hang of playing in a 3-4 when he went down injured. I think Kampman can make the transition still to OLB, but I think he'd be happier and therefore probably more productive if he could his hand in the turf again in a 4-3 scheme. -- Terrell Owens, WR: With a good QB I think he can still roll, but it remains to be seen where he ends up. Don't expect miracles if he arrives in Cleveland for example. -- Joey Porter, LB: Hmm. 32 years old now. It depends on the contract. For a veteran minimum, I think he's worth a shot. Well, that about wraps that one up. We still have to wait a few days before we see free agency open, but when it does, I think it might prove more interesting than people think. Just remember that in this uncapped year, the top eight teams are quite restricted as to their dealings in free agency. I also think that outside of the first and second round, this years draft probably wont amount to much, so look for the worse off teams to going shopping.

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