Total 2014 free agency prediction special

NFL free agency begins in a few hours. For the past weekend, agents have been allowed to negotiate with teams. Some have agreed to terms, and must wait until later today to officially sign a contract.

Predicting where NFL free agents will go is almost impossible. Some may seem obvious because of past coaches or GMs, but nothing is sure.

With over $60 million in cap space, the Oakland Raiders could make a splash or two to restock their team

 

Here we look at 130 free agents and where they possibly might go.

Josh McCown QB Chicago Cleveland
Michael Vick QB Philadelphia Minnesota
Josh Freeman QB Minnesota Oakland

It is a mighty weak free agent crop of signal callers this year. McCown only has the luxury of being put on here for his stat inflated stint filling in for Jay Cutler. While he should not be an outright starter, he would be a fine bridge option and eventual backup to a rookie QB that Cleveland will most likely draft. Vick is hitting the market with value for the first time ever, and there’s not many options. He could go to Oakland, but him in Minnesota to compete with Matt Cassel for the starting gig seems right. Josh Freeman didn’t get a fair shot last year in Minnesota, and now his old OC, Greg Olsen, is in Oakland and needs a quarterback. It’s a worthwhile flier for the Raiders.

Knowshon Moreno RB Denver Arizona
Maurice Jones-Drew RB Jacksonville Atlanta
Michael Bush RB Chicago Cincinnati
Ben Tate RB Houston Cleveland
Darren McFadden RB Oakland Denver
Donald Brown RB Indianapolis Indianapolis
Darren Sproles RB New Orleans Minnesota
LeGarrette Blount RB New England New England
Andre Brown RB NYG NYG
James Starks RB Green Bay NYG
Rashad Jennings RB Oakland Oakland

Some big names are on here, but it’s not a valuable group. Moreno had a good year, but may not be able to repeat that success without Peyton Manning beside him. However, he can get what is blocked, catch, and block, and could do great as a utility option backup to Andre Ellington in the desert.

MJD struggled last year, but his blocking did not help either. His former offensive Dirk Koetter is in Atlanta and previous free agent aquisition Steven Jackson flamed out quick.

Bush serves as the pounder to complement Gio Bernard. Ben Tate is the most talented back and would instantly start in Cincy. McFadden will have a cold market, but Denver could take a chance to utilize his running talents. Donald Brown only has value to a team like Indy. Sproles is expected to be released, and while he has been mocked to New England, putting him behind Adrian Peterson to play on passing downs would help whichever quarterback up there. Blount should return to be part of the ground committee in New England. Brown is a known commodity that New York needs to retain. Starks could also go New York to help their running game, following former coach Ben McAdoo. Jennings was the most talented runner in Oakland last year, and should be retained.

Vonta Leach FB Baltimore Cleveland
John Kuhn FB Green Bay Miami
Henry Hynoski FB NYG NYG
Michael Robinson FB Seattle Seattle
Le’Ron McClain FB San Diego Tennessee

Leach struggled last year, but still is a talented lead blocker. Someone like the Browns should kick the tires to help their running game. Kuhn will likely not be back in Green Bay, but his former coach, Joe Philbin, in Miami might be able to get the last bit of juice out of him. Hynoski is a great lead blocker and should go back and help spark whichever running back plays for the Giants. Michael Robinson is a serious team leader and player for the Super Bowl champs and should be back. Le’Ron McClain is more of a name, but could be useful in Tennessee, where he’d be the latest person to blame for Chris Johnson’s failures.

Santonio Holmes WR NYJ Arizona
Hakeem Nicks WR NYG Baltimore
Lance Moore WR New Orleans Chicago
Nate Burleson WR Detroit Dallas
Jacoby Jones WR Baltimore Detroit
Eric Decker WR Denver Indianapolis
Sidney Rice WR Seattle Kansas City
Jason Avant WR Philadelphia Kansas City
Julian Edelman WR New England New England
James Jones WR Green Bay NYG
Emmanuel Sanders WR Pittsburgh NYJ
Jerricho Cotchery WR Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
Jerome Simpson WR Minnesota Seattle
Golden Tate WR Seattle Seattle
Andre Roberts WR Arizona Tampa Bay
Kenny Britt WR Tennessee Washington

2014 is the year of the wide receiver. The FA class and draft is primed to fill up rosters.

Holmes has been injured and seemingly untalented for his New York tenure. If he can go hook up with Bruce Arians in Arizona, it could help offset the loss of Andre Roberts. Nicks and Britt were the gems of the 2009 draft class and now are free agents with awful contract years. Nicks would be good opposite Torrey Smith in Baltimore and Britt could be had for cheap in Washington. Decker will get paid, but is nothing more than a talented no. 2. Stick him opposite Reggie Wayne, and Luck will prosper. Edelman is worth nothing outside of New England. Rice is talented but frequently injured. A minimal contract could give Alex Smith a deadly downfield weapon. His former teammate Golden Tate should not leave Seattle. James Jones will see a cold market, but could be a cheap veteran option to replace Nicks. Andre Roberts is a talented option that can play all over, and would probably like to bump up to a no. 2 option, but running as the slot man in Tampa Bay could help that offense explode.

Garrett Graham TE Houston Baltimore
Scott Chandler TE Buffalo Detroit
Andrew Quarless TE Green Bay Green Bay
Dustin Keller TE Miami Miami
Jermichael Finley TE Green Bay NYG
Brandon Pettigrew TE Detroit NYJ
Kellen Winslow TE NYJ Tennessee

Tight end is another soft market this year. Finley would be a highly sought option, but a serious neck injury could hamper his payday. If he clears, reuniting with McAdoo in New York could give Eli another option. His former teammate Quarless will likely stay in Green Bay and is a more all-around tight end. Keller was once a promising receiving tight end, and will likely get a one year offer coming off a gruesome ACL tear. Miami could retain him for cheap. Winslow is more of a name at this point, but he deserves a chance on a team like the Titans.

Tyson Clabo OT Miami Atlanta
Eugene Monroe OT Baltimore Baltimore
Anthony Collins OT Cincinnati Carolina
Michael Oher OT Baltimore Miami
Brandon Albert OT Kansas City Miami
Austin Howard OT NYJ NYJ
Jared Veldheer OT Oakland Oakland

It’s a buyer’s market this year for tackles. Veldheer is one of the most promising and Oakland need to retain him. Monroe is close to getting another deal in Baltimore to protect Joe Flacco. Collins showed last season his skill, and although Cincy would want to keep him around, he could get an offer too nice from a team like Carolina. Albert is likely going to Miami to restock their offensive line, along with Oher.

Jon Asamoah OG Kansas City Atlanta
Travelle Wharton OG Carolina Carolina
Geoff Schwartz OG Kansas City Cleveland
Rodger Saffold OG St. Louis Jacksonville
Daryn College OG Arizona Miami
Uche Nwaneri OG Jacksonville Miami
Davin Joseph OG Tampa Bay Miami
Willie Colon OG NYJ NYJ
Harvey Dahl OG St. Louis Oakland
Zane Beadles OG Denver San Diego

Guard is another strong market filled with starters. I picked Miami for Colledge, Joseph, and Nwaneri because Miami has no starting caliber men, and Nwaneri and Colledge are cheap options, while Joseph could come cheap after being injured and talent-less in Tampa. Schwartz finally showed his talent in KC and will be a sought after option, and would do well next to his brother in Cleveland. Asamoah got benched but still is a nasty blocker, and is likely to go Atlanta. Saffold has been talked up as a tackle, but played better as a guard. In Jacksonville he could play either right guard or right tackle. Dahl is on his last legs and but could offer a final nasty streak for Oakland

 

Jonathan Goodwin OC San Francisco Arizona
Evan Dietrich-Smith OC Green Bay Miami
Brian De La Puente OC New Orleans New Orleans

Center doesn’t feature many starters, but Goodwin is a talented Pro Bowler and finally replace Lyle Sendlein in Arizona. If Miami doesn’t land one of the guards above, Dietrich-Smith could fill in well as a guard or backup interior swingman in Miami.

Edge player

Mike Neal EDGE Green Bay Atlanta
Willie Young EDGE Detroit Buffalo
Corey Wootton EDGE Chicago Dallas
Shaun Phillips EDGE Denver Denver
Jared Allen EDGE Minnesota Denver
Robert Ayers EDGE Denver Detroit
Jason Babin EDGE Jacksonville Detroit
O’Brien Schofield EDGE Seattle Houston
Anthony Spencer EDGE Dallas New Orleans
Justin Tuck EDGE NYG NYG
Lamarr Houston EDGE Oakland Oakland
Will Smith EDGE New Orleans Seattle
Michael Johnson EDGE Cincinnati Tampa Bay
Lamarr Woodley EDGE Pittsburgh Tennessee

Edge is the general name for 3-4 outside linebackers and 4-3 defensive ends. Michael Johnson is the predetermined top option after Greg Hardy was franchised. He would flourish under Lovie Smith in Tampa. Lamarr Houston was a highly disruptive player for Oakland and should return. Jared Allen’s play has dropped off, but playing for a ring in Denver with Shaun Phillips is the best way for him to end his career. Lamar Woodley was released due to cap space and injury, but he would fit right in Ray Horton’s defense in Tennessee.

Defensive Tackle

Antonio Smith DL Houston Houston
Arthur Jones DL Baltimore Indianapolis
Jonathan Babineaux DT Atlanta Atlanta
Vance Walker DT Oakland Atlanta
Jason Hatcher DT Dallas Chicago
Randy Starks DT Miami Chicago
Clinton Mcdonald DT Seattle Jacksonville
BJ Raji DT Green Bay Miami
Linval Joseph DT NYG NYG
Pat Sims DT Oakland Oakland
Paul Soliai DT Miami San Diego
Tony McDaniel DT Seattle Seattle
Kevin Williams DT Minnesota Tampa Bay
Henry Melton DT Chicago Dallas

Many former starters line this list. Henry Melton is wanted back by Chicago, but Dallas might want him to replace or complement Jason Hatcher, who could fill in for Melton back in Chicago. BJ Raji has a standing offer from Green Bay, but would probably do better in a 4-3 in Miami. Randy Starks has been mocked to Atlanta a lot because of his former coach, Mike Nolan, but if he is put in Chicago as a 1-tech tackle, the Bears defense would improve. His former Dolphin linemate, Paul Soliai would slide in nicely as a true nose tackle in San Diego.  Pat Sims and Vance Walker were good cheap options for Oakland last season, but they will likely only keep one, and Sims was the far better player.

Linebacker

Karlos Dansby LB Arizona Arizona
Daryl Smith LB Baltimore Baltimore
Brandon Spikes LB New England Houston
Jameel McClain LB Baltimore Minnesota
Wesley Woodyard LB Denver NYG
Jon Beason LB NYG NYG

The list is small but talented. Dansby is likely to return to Arizona, forming an unstoppable pairing with Daryl Washington. Daryl Smith played well in Baltimore and should remain. Spikes played his way out of New England, but deserves a fresh start in Houston. Woodyard had an awful year as a middle linebacker for Denver, but a return to weakside linebacker in a place like New York could help his career. Beason was a strong force after coming to New York, and could give them consistency at a position that has lacked it since Antonio Pierce.

Corey Graham CB Baltimore Baltimore
Antonio Cromartie CB NYJ Buffalo
Asante Samuel CB Atlanta Carolina
Captain Munnerlyn CB Carolina Carolina
Terrell Thomas CB NYG Carolina
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Denver Denver
Derek Cox CB San Diego Denver
Vontae Davis CB Indianapolis Indianapolis
Brandon Browner CB Seattle Jacksonville
Alterraun Verner CB Tennessee Minnesota
Aqib Talib CB New England New England
Champ Bailey CB Denver Oakland
Jabari Greer CB New Orleans Oakland
Mike Jenkins CB Oakland Oakland
Carlos Rogers CB San Francisco San Diego
Tarrell Brown CB San Francisco San Francisco
Walter Thurmond CB Seattle Seattle
Dunta Robinson CB Kansas City St. Louis
Charles Tillman CB Chicago Tampa Bay

CB is a stacked group this year. Cromartie could see a slew of suitors, but Buffalo or Cleveland will probably lure him. Captain Munnerlyn played out of his mind last year, and should return to Carolina, while Asante Samual and Terrell Thomas can join him to finally put other starting caliber corners in Charlotte. DRC, Walter Thurmond, Tarrell Brown, and Vontae Davis should likely return to their teams. Browner is a highly talented option with a thick  skull, but could give good reinforcements to Jacksonville after his suspension. Champ Bailey had an injured year, but could salvage his career by traveling to Oakland, who needs reinforcements to stand up to Peyton Manning. Verner is the top name and will likely head to Minnesota to join his old defensive coordinator.

Safety

Thomas DeCoud FS Atlanta Carolina
Jarius Byrd FS Buffalo Cleveland
Chris Clemons FS Miami Green Bay
Antoine Bethea FS Indianapolis Indianapolis
Louis Delmas FS Detroit Miami
Mike Mitchell FS Carolina NYG
Stevie Brown FS NYG Oakland
Usama Young FS Oakland Oakland
Malcolm Jenkins FS New Orleans St. Louis
Ryan Clark FS Pittsburgh Tennessee
Kerry Rhodes FS Unsigned Tennessee
TJ Ward SS Cleveland Cleveland
Donte Whitner SS San Francisco San Francisco
Roman Harper SS New Orleans St Louis

Byrd and Ward are the biggest options here, and with the cap space, Cleveland could get both and be a dominant defense. Clemons is a true ballhawk safety and could fix Green Bay’s struggles.Louis Delmas is a superb option for Miami to pair with Rashad Jones. (note: was signed over the Weekend to Miami.) Stevie Brown had a great year in 2012 before tearing his ACL early in 2013. He will likely get a one year deal, and Oakland needs safety help (note: Brown resigned with New York early Tuesday.) Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper would be great with former DC Gregg Williams in St. Louis. Ryan Clark and Kerry Rhodes have experience running Ray Horton’s defense, and could infuse massive talent into that defense.