NFL Free Agency: 20 Players Who Will Be Wearing A Different Uniform in 2013
NFL Free Agency: 20 Free Agents Who Will Be Wearing A Different Uniform in 2013
Free agency is an exciting time in the NFL and for its fans. Where is your favorite player going? Who is your favorite team going to go after? Will they sign a free agent or decided to draft a player to fill a specific need? Will they make that big splash in free agency or sign a free agent or two to compliment what they already have?
In the salary cap era, teams will sometimes cut a player that they may not necessarily want to get rid of. They may cut that player and try to sign them at a cheaper rate later on in free agency.
It's also an exciting time for the players as well. These guys are looking around for their best offer and looking to go and get paid, which is clearly their right. Sometimes guys are looking for more playing time. Some guys are looking for teams to cut that check. Other guys just want to get out of a bad relationship with an organization.
Whatever the reason, free agency is the NFL's version of March Madness. You hear about teams who camp out in front of players' homes and at 12:01 try to get in their house to negotiate a new contract. You hear of owners sending their private jets to get a free agent to sign with their team before anyone else.
With all that being said, here are 20 guys who will be changing teams in free agency. If you have their current jerseys, consider them throwbacks.
QB: Chase Daniel
The Saints backup quarterback is looking for a chance to play. He's probably the backup quarterback that is the most interesting to other teams out of all the backups in the free agent class. A quarterback needy team like the Browns who have a ton of cap space could be interested in him. He could push Brandon Weeden for the job. Maybe the Buffalo Bills give him a look as well.
RB: Reggie Bush
The former number two pick in the draft emerged from a spare part with the New Orleans Saints, to a featured back with Miami Dolphins. He played in 31 out of a possible 32 games for the Dolphins as well, proving he could stay healthy. Bush is looking to cash in featured running back money. It doesn't look like negotiations with the club were going to well. Look for the Detroit Lions to jump right in on him.
RB: Shonn Greene
Don't blame Shonn Greene for the New York Jets offensive woes over the past couple of years. The running back rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons. He's also rushed for 14 touchdowns as well. With the Jets in a tough salary cap situation, Greene may be a guy who isn't re-signed. Maybe a team like the Atlanta Falcons, or another team look to have Greene as a part of a one-two punch could be interested.
WR: Mike Wallace
Wallace held out during training camp last year and rejected a deal at $10 million per season. Now that season has come and gone, and with the Steelers having cap issues along with having some depth at wide receiver, Wallace will be looking elsewhere for employment. The Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings are just three of the teams that could go after the play-making wide receiver.
WR: Greg Jennings
Jennings can still get the job done, even though he had an injury plagued season. The thing is, when you have Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones at the receiver position, how much more money do you want to tie up in that spot when your quarterback is in line for a record payday and you need to upgrade your offensive line and defense? Whatever team doesn't get Wallace may find themselves getting a pretty good consolation prize in Jennings.
TE: Jared Cook
Cook has found himself under utilized in the Tennessee Titans offense. Injuries prevented him from putting up the numbers he wanted, but he set a career high in touchdowns with four. The team and him are far apart on money and he's going to hit the open market. A team like the Chicago Bears could be a pretty nice fit for Cook.
T: Jake Long
The former number one overall pick has been one of the premier tackles in the game since he's been drafted. Now he wants to get paid. The thing is, the Miami Dolphins could easily take that money and spend it on a receiver or to re-sign another free agent. He's also coming off a season ending knee injury as well, so you have to wonder how much that will effect his stock.
WR: Randy Moss
Moss appears to be as good as gone from the 49ers. He even tweeted as much. The 35 year old had 434 yards and three touchdowns last season for the 49ers. First of all, does he even want to play next year. Second of all, who is going to take him? He's burned so many bridges in the league that there may not be anywhere for him to turn.
QB: David Carr
Carr has been Eli Manning's backup for the past few years. After being the number one pick by the Houston Texans and taking his lumps (literally and figuratively) Carr may be looking for another chance to compete for a starting job. He clearly won't be the starter with the Giants. A place that could be interesting is Tampa Bay, where former Giants receiver coach Mike Sullivan is the offensive coordinator.
WR: Wes Welker
The New England Patriots tried to phase out Welker from the offense. Then injuries occurred and Welker was back to his old tricks of being one of the top slot receivers in the game. The Patriots could easily re-sign Julian Edelman to a cheaper rate and use the rest of the money to upgrade the defense. Maybe a team like the Minnesota Vikings could pick him up in free agency.
DE: Cliff Avril
Avril was offered a three year deal worth $30 million before last season by the Detroit Lions and turned it down. Now he's looking for even more money this time around. He could get it and even from a team that runs a 3-4 scheme like the Browns or Bengals. Avril is the best pass rusher and arguably the best defensive end on the market and he'll get paid like it.
DE: Osi Umenyiora
Speaking of pass rushers, the strip sack specialist Osi Umenyiora will hit the open market. Umenyiora is basically a pass rush specialist at this point. His ability against the run isn't what it once was, however he's very effective still getting to the quarterback. He could be brought in by a team like the Atlanta Falcons to replace John Abraham, or maybe the New York Jets want to bring him in as an edge rusher.
DT: Glenn Dorsey
Dorsey is a former high first round pick who probably was a bad fit in a 3-4 scheme that Kansas City ran. Dorsey will be 28 this season and is coming off a year where he had played in just four games. A fresh start is definitely needed for him. The New York Giants could be an interesting fit if his price is low enough due to their cap issues.
LB: Paul Kruger
Kruger was one of the elite 3-4 outside rush linebackers last year. The thing is though, the Ravens are capped out. They have other holes to fill and a team like the Cleveland Browns or the Indianapolis Colts, who run a 3-4 and need a outside pass rusher, could offer him a huge sized contract. Kruger really stepped up in the playoffs and is going to get himself a nice contract.
LB: Daryl Smith
Smith had been a stalwart in the Jacksonville Jaguars' linebacker corps since 2004, however, he only played in nine games last year and none of those games he started. The Jaguars have a new regime and their plans aren't going to include Smith. The New York Giants need some help at linebacker and could use the veteran's presence.
LB: Rey Maualuga
Maualuga played in all 16 games for the Bengals last season and had 122 total tackles last season. The problem with him is that when you dive into the analytics, it doesn't look good. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the worst grade of any free agent linebacker at a -26.2 and played the most snaps of any free agent linebacker. I think a team looking for a linebacker on the cheap could bring him in.
CB: Sean Smith
Smith believes he is a top corner in the league. Therefore, he wants to be paid like one. Apparently the deal that Jason McCourty got at six years and $43 million. The question is, who could be interested in paying him that kind of cash? Well, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadlephia Eagles may want to pony up that kind of money for him.
CB: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
The trade of DCR to the Philadelphia Eagles for Kevin Kolb hasn't worked out that well for either side. Kolb has been injury prone and Cromartie didn't live up to expectations, much like the Eagles' “Dream Team.” He's sixth worst free agent corner according to analytics, but I don't think he really fit the Eagles scheme. A team that misses out on Sean Smith could go and get DCR.
S: Dashon Goldson
Goldson was first team All-NFL according to the AP and made his second consecutive Pro Bowl. Goldson is rumored to want over $8 million per year, something the 49ers aren't interested in paying. The Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns could go after Goldson to add to their defense. Maybe even the New England Patriots if they want to add to their secondary. Goldson is the sixth ranked free agent among safties according to Pro Football Focus.
S: Kenny Phillips
Phillips may find himself the odd man out in New York. The Giants have some depth at safety and some holes to fill at other positions. Phillips has missed at least eight games twice in his five year NFL career. He's talented, no doubt, but needs to be healthier. The San Francisco 49ers could make a play since it looks like Dashon Goldson won't be back.