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.
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.
|Darren Sproles||RB||New Orleans||Minnesota|
|LeGarrette Blount||RB||New England||New England|
|James Starks||RB||Green Bay||NYG|
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.
|John Kuhn||FB||Green Bay||Miami|
|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.
|Lance Moore||WR||New Orleans||Chicago|
|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|
|Andre Roberts||WR||Arizona||Tampa Bay|
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.
|Andrew Quarless||TE||Green Bay||Green Bay|
|Jermichael Finley||TE||Green Bay||NYG|
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.
|Brandon Albert||OT||Kansas City||Miami|
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|
|Geoff Schwartz||OG||Kansas City||Cleveland|
|Rodger Saffold||OG||St. Louis||Jacksonville|
|Davin Joseph||OG||Tampa Bay||Miami|
|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.
|Mike Neal||EDGE||Green Bay||Atlanta|
|Anthony Spencer||EDGE||Dallas||New Orleans|
|Will Smith||EDGE||New Orleans||Seattle|
|Michael Johnson||EDGE||Cincinnati||Tampa Bay|
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.
|BJ Raji||DT||Green Bay||Miami|
|Paul Soliai||DT||Miami||San Diego|
|Kevin Williams||DT||Minnesota||Tampa Bay|
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.
|Brandon Spikes||LB||New England||Houston|
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.
|Derek Cox||CB||San Diego||Denver|
|Aqib Talib||CB||New England||New England|
|Jabari Greer||CB||New Orleans||Oakland|
|Carlos Rogers||CB||San Francisco||San Diego|
|Tarrell Brown||CB||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|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.
|Chris Clemons||FS||Miami||Green Bay|
|Malcolm Jenkins||FS||New Orleans||St. Louis|
|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.