Predictions for Free Agency
Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace (17) prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Every year, each team in the National Football League tries to retool their team for the upcoming season and on March 12, teams get their first chance to acquire game changing players through the open market. This year there is tons of high quality talent on the market, with each player surrounded by the mystery and excitement of which city they will call home for the 2013-2014 season. When it comes to free agency there are no givens, no certainties, but I will try to peek into the future by predicting where the top flight free agents will land.
1. Jake Long, OT, Dolphins- When healthy, Long is arguably the best tackle in the NFL, but injuries have plagued his career to this point. Long will still command a high salary, despite the injuries, and one team will bite. I see Jake Long suiting up for the Saint Louis Rams.
2. Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers- Mike Wallace is not a true number one WR, but he is a huge weapon in any offense because of his speed. Wallace will receive a Vincent Jackson like deal this offseason because of his big-play ability. I see Mike Wallace going to Minnesota, giving them a passing attack to compliment Adrian Peterson.
3. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers- Green Bay showed that even with Jennings out of the lineup that they could still light up opposing defenses. Jennings will seek a large contract and I don’t see the packers giving it to him. Jennings will play next year in Seattle, giving the ‘Hawks a real passing threat.
4. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots- Welker is the best possession receiver in football and he is commanding a large salary I don’t think Welker’s market will develop like he wants, and he will return to the Patriots on a 3 year deal.
5. Reggie Bush, RB, Dolphins- Bush is an electric runner who has the potential to take every snap to the house. Bush’s durability is a problem and his tendency to dance in the back field will drive teams away. I think Bush will end up in Detroit because they need to add some balance to their lineup.
6. Brent Grimes, CB, Falcons- Grimes is a really solid corner, but he has questions concerning his health after tearing his Achilles tendon after week 1. Grimes won’t receive a huge contract, as he will look to rebuild his value. I think Grimes will come back to his home town and suit up for the Eagles.
7. Dannell Ellerbe, ILB, Ravens- Ellerbe is a young, solid ILB who has great upside. He played extremely well during the playoffs and proved to be a key part of the Ravens Super Bowl run. I don’t see Ellerbe going anywhere, especially with the loss of Ray Lewis.
8. Dashon Goldson, s, 49ers- Goldson is one of the best safeties and football and safeties of his caliber are hard to find. Goldson will receive a large salary on the open market. In the end, I see the Eagles dishing out the most money to bring him to Philadelphia to help solidify their defense.
8. Ed Reed, S, Ravens- Ed Reed is one of the best safeties to every play and is headed straight to Canton when his playing days are over. Reed has been a life time Raven and i see him ending his career their after he signs a three-year deal to stay in Baltimore.
9. William Moore, S, Falcons- Moore, like Goldson, is another good safety on the market and will a be seeking a large contract. After the Falcons freed up tons of money by cutting key players like John Abraham and Dunta Robinson, the Falcons will have the money to keep Moore in Atlanta for years to come.
10. Sean Smith, CB, Dolphins- Smith is a big, young corner with the potential to be a number 1 corner in the NFL. Smith has all the talent, but has had trouble being consistent. Smith will ask for a large amount of money and I think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the team to give him the money that he is asking for.
Tell me your predictions for the upcoming free agency in the comment section or on twitter @Geoff_Zlobes.