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HEAV
01-02-2010, 07:21 PM
QB




Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos (27)
Losing Orton for the second half against the Redskins and having him forced off the bench against San Diego showed Orton’s real value to Denver, as the offense became anemic with Chris Simms. Without his efficient passing, the Broncos really struggle to put points on the board. It’s surprising the Broncos haven’t already looked to extend Orton who just does a great job leading the offense to long scoring drives. Maybe they’re hoping to get a little more leverage should the CBA fall through, which could allow the Broncos to keep Orton on a restricted tender. If he’s allowed to hit the open market, all hell could break loose. Orton doesn’t carry the aura of a franchise quarterback, but has now managed two different offenses to winning records.

Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins (28)
A big week of 367 yards and 3 touchdowns in the heartbreaker against the Saints a couple weeks back showed Campbell's potential. His numbers are actually improved across the board everywhere from a season ago, except interceptions where his total has doubled in three less games. Campbell has played better over the second half of the season, but it seems like he’s played his way out of Washington, who seems ready to gamble for an elite quarterback than stick with the so-so Campbell. With a number of talented quarterbacks possibly lining up to enter the 2010 NFL Draft, in a best case scenario, Campbell could possibly get a 1-2 year deal to compete as the starter on a quarterback-starved team.

Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins (34)
Pennington wasn’t finding the same success this year as he had in last year’s great campaign, even before suffering another season-ending injury. His shoulder injury luckily showed no damage to his rotator cuff which has already been operated on twice. He should be able to start throwing again in January, but is unlikely to be retained by the Dolphins where Chad Henne has shown promise as one of the league’s best young quarterbacks. Henne has the arm strength to stretch the defense, something Pennington has always been heavily criticized for lacking. A 33 year-old Chad Pennington coming off a third shoulder injury won’t garner much excitement in free agency, but may have the opportunity to compete for a one-year job on a needy team. Pennington doesn’t have age on his side, the arm strength, or the durability to be considered anything more than a stop-gap solution at this point in his career.

Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings (27)
It’ll be interesting to see how a season behind Brett Favre will have changed Tarvaris Jackson. He looked like a player showing gradual improvement with the potential to finally turn the corner this year. Favre’s retirement decision will likely come down to the last moment again and will depend on he and his team’s play down the stretch of the season. If a new CBA isn’t agreed upon, Jackson will become a Restricted Free Agent in which Minnesota will most likely retain him. If not, his decision to stay or leave Minnesota could very well come down to how Favre’s decision turns out, or he could stick it out and go the Aaron Rodgers patience route. Regardless, in the sparing time he’s gotten this year in blowout wins over the Rams and Seahawks, Jackson has completed a high percent and has a 124.0 QB Rating on the year through 15 attempts. Keep in mind he was coming of a preseason rating of 118.4. In limited playing time, the numbers game heavily favors Jackson over the last year.

Kellen Clemens, New York Jets (27)
Drafting Mark Sanchez spelled the end of Kellen Clemens’ future in New York. He was rather disappointing in his duty as a starter, making little progress before this season. If Clemens is satisfied as a career back-up, he could decide to accept a small contract to play behind Sanchez. When he finally got the chance to play in Buffalo, after Sanchez’s injury, Clemens took 3 sacks, threw 2 passes, and ran twice against a tough Bills pass defense in 22 snaps. Against a below average Buccaneers defense, he was only able to muster 111 yards through the air, minimizing mistakes and allowing his defense and running game do the brunt of the work. Clemens didn’t have a particularly great game, but could compete for a starting position on one of the league’s lesser teams if the Jets let him walk.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers (35)
Kyle Boller, St. Louis Rams (29)
David Carr, New York Giants (31)
Brodie Croyle, Kansas City Chiefs (27)
Daunte Culpepper, Detroit Lions (33)
Rex Grossman, Houston Texans (30)
Joey Harrington, New Orleans Saints (31)
Jon Kitna, Dallas Cowboys (37)
Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers (26) – Restricted FA
Chris Redman, Atlanta Falcons (33)
Brett Ratliff, Cleveland Browns (25) – Exclusive Rights FA
Troy Smith, Baltimore Ravens (26) – Restricted FA

SoCalBronco
01-02-2010, 07:23 PM
An underwhelming list. Even so, that does not justify giving Orton a long term deal. If he'd like a 2 year deal while we figure out how to get a high quality starter, that would be cool.

HEAV
01-02-2010, 07:24 PM
WR

Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos (26)
Even after a sluggish start to the beginning of the season, Marshall has rebounded well and increased his production over the recent weeks to put over 1000 yards and 9 touchdowns on the year with 86 catches. 200 yards and 2 touchdowns came on his record-setting 21 catches against the Colts in Week 14. Marshall has proven that no matter whose throwing him the ball, he’s one of the premier possession wideouts in the league. If he can maintain a good work ethic and stay clean off the field, Marshall has everything going for him. Because of some of those off the field issues, it’ll be interesting to see how much he actually makes because the Broncos don’t seem to be ready to cut him loose.

Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers (27)
After getting off to a sizzling start, Jackson had cooled off over a 4 week stretch (Week 10 through 13), totaling only 9 receptions for less than 150 yards and no touchdowns. Jackson redeveloped that deadly connection with Philip Rivers beating the Cowboys for 120 yards on 17 yards per catch. Jackson still has the size advantage to stretch the field vertically and become one of the premier wideouts in the league. His ability to out-jump and out-muscle defenders on high passes makes him a real red zone and deep ball threat. Jackson will see a big raise from his mid-round rookie contract, but if he can produce at an elite level again down the stretch and in the playoffs, like he did against the Cowboys, he can still attach a couple more million to his next contract. The Chargers do have a number of key contracts expiring at season’s end and could really use the relief of an uncapped year to retain all or most of them. With the chemistry he and Rivers have developed, Jackson should be at the top of the Chargers’ priority and it would be shocking to see him become an unrestricted free agent.

Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (26)
With the season nearing an end, the Cowboys made a smart non-move in not extending Austin a mid-season offer, but will see his price substantially increase in the offseason. Austin has developed in the Cowboys go-to wide receiver and is about the only player capable of seriously stretching the field for the offense. Austin is looking at finishing with over 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns on his current pace, which includes four games in which he totaled only 80-some yards. If Roy Williams can develop into the player the Cowboys expected to get when they traded away a first round selection for him, Romo will have a pair of weapons to even further improve the offense that is already at franchise-record level in yards per game this year.



Braylon Edwards, New York Jets(27)
Edwards’ size brings a unique skill set to the Jets’ receiving corps opposite Jericho Cotchery, but has struggled with concentration and dropping balls as he did in Cleveland. The Jets gave up a considerable amount to land Braylon Edwards so it would be startling if they didn’t extend his stay in New York. Edwards has a winning combination working for him in New York with a promising young quarterback delivering him balls, a charismatic coach, and a team dedicated to winning ball games right now. If Edwards continues posting pedestrian numbers, the Jets will most likely look toward a more incentive-based deal.

Terrell Owens, Buffalo Bills (36)
Owens is as good as gone after this year. He’s kept quiet despite having a type of year (individually and collectively) that he’s been accustomed to. If TO can stay under the radar the rest of the year, he could open up more landing spots for this offseason, with a more competitive team. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, Owen’s numbers have gone up and he’s shown that he can still be productive. Owens keeps himself in great shape and should still be able to produce given a healthy quarterback option, but it’s all the baggage that comes with this star WR that make teams shy away. So far, he’s done all of the right things this year off the field. He hasn’t ruled out a return to Buffalo and would also be open to returning to San Francisco where his career began.

Antonio Bryant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29)
Bryant may have cashed in a big check last year, but as I predicted, he hasn’t been able to give a repeat performance – not that it’s all Bryant’s fault with a lack of consistency from the quarterback and an arrhythmic offense in general. The Buccaneers have enough money to re-sign him and should be able to get a fair market price for him this season if he is open to a return to a team that is at the bottom of the league. With Josh Freeman in the lineup, Bryant’s numbers have improved and if he finishes the season strong, he could make a case for strong number two receiver contract.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens (36)
Mason is the consummate pro and as reliable a receiver as any in the league. He’s been a consistent 1000 yard receiver for his entire career and continues to hold that pace for this year at 35. If Mason decides that this year will not be his last, he’ll have an offer to re-sign with the Ravens who have struggled to match his production from any other receiver over the past seasons. If he has any place where he’s always wanted to play, this could be the offseason where he readies for his last hurrah.

Steve Breaston, Arizona Cardinals (27) – Restricted FA
Breaston won’t reach 1000 yards again this year, but has been productive out of the slot yet again behind Fitzgerald and Boldin. The Cardinals will look to keep him for at least this year under a restricted free agent contract. If he continues his impressive performance it could potentially signal the end of Boldin’s career in Arizona once they find an offer worthy of allowing the semi-disgruntled receiver to walk. Breaston is also a dangerous return man for the Cardinals.

Malcom Floyd, San Chargers (28)
Over the recent weeks, Malcom Floyd has been given more responsibilities, starting 6 of the last 7 games, in the Chargers offense and this lengthy, 6’5”, 225-pound receiver has delivered for the Chargers. Similar to Vincent Jackson, Floyd does a great job getting vertical down the sidelines to make grabs in single coverage. He uses his height and balance to come down with the ball more often than not. Floyd will be a full-time starting number two receiver next year either in San Diego or elsewhere.

Kevin Walter, Houston Texans (29)
Walter hasn’t been nearly as effective as last year, coming off an injury early in the year. For the Texans offense that hasn’t been short of scoring this year, it could be a good thing for the team. Keeping Walter under the radar could help them hang on to him at season’s end for a less competitive price. His size and style of play suggests that he should be a solid complementary receiver for a long time in the league.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Jason Avant, Philadelphia Eagles (27)
Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins (24) – Exclusive Rights FA
Mark Bradley, Kansas City Chiefs (28)
Isaac Bruce, San Francisco 49ers (37)
Chris Chambers, Kansas City Chiefs (32)
Mark Clayton, Baltimore Ravens (28)
David Clowney, New York Jets (25)
Ronald Curry, St. Louis Rams (31)
Domenik Hixon, New York Diego Giants (25)
Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints (27)
Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers (37)
Josh Reed, Buffalo Bills (30)
Brad Smith, New York Jets (26)
Bobby Wade, Kansas City Chiefs (29)
Kelley Washington, Baltimore Ravens (31)
Demetrius Williams, Baltimore Ravens (27)
Troy Williamson, Jacksonville Jaguars (27)
Jerheme Urban, Arizona Cardinals (29)

HEAV
01-02-2010, 07:27 PM
OL


Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints (27)
Jahri Evans is continuing to grade out as the team’s best run-blocking linemen week after week. The Saints have done a nice job of efficiently running the ball through the middle and on the right side of the line. His continual high level of play and positive, team-first attitude should translate to a high-end offensive guard contract at year’s end. Expect the Saints, who have nothing but positive things to say towards Evans, to richly reward him for his hard work and production.

Logan Mankins, New England Patriots (28)
Logan Mankins has been a very consistent player for the Patriots since he was drafted, starting all 77 games. That type of consistency is difficult to match, but with free agency inflating the value of offensive guards, the Patriots may end up letting him walk if the price isn’t right. They drafted a couple interior linemen last year and have to use some of their free money to re-sign other players. From what Mankins has said, he wants to stay on this winning franchise, but he could be one of the top players available next offseason.

Marcus McNeill, San Diego Chargers (26)
McNeill isn’t playing at an elite level this year, but is still an above average left tackle. He’s one of the “bigger” names at the left tackle position thanks to his spectacular and deservedly-hyped rookie season. McNeill has also been undercompensated the last few years playing on his rookie contract as a 2nd round pick, which may incline him to ask for more money than he “deserves.” Any of the Chargers could feasibly be had this offseason and McNeill is no different, but with some of the offensive line woes of the Chargers, McNeill may be one of their top priorities. His long-term neck and back problems could be in the back of the team’s mind as well.

Willie Colon, Pittsburgh Steelers (27)
After catching a lot of heat after last season’s wildly inconsistent performance, Willie Colon has done a fine job at right tackle for the Steelers. He’s done a nice job keeping Roethlisberger clean and turned in one of the better seasons for a right tackle in pass protections this year. Though Colon hasn’t been able to blow people off the snap in run-blocking, he’s done an average job for a line that has done a nice job allowing Mendenhall to become a good, young runner.

Jared Gaither, Baltimore Ravens (24) – Restricted FA
After being taken off the field on a stretcher in New England, Gaither luckily suffered no season or career threatening injury. His return to the field has helped the Ravens a little, but never really regained his level of play prior to the hit. The offensive line, Gaither included, has been one of many reasons for the team’s downhill turn. Still, with him on one side and impressive rookie Michael Oher on the other, the Ravens have found their bookend tackles. Even if the team and Gaither can’t settle on a long-term deal this offseason, they still have the ability to put a tender on him. At the very least, it would force teams to give up serious compensation for his services. Gaither’s length and athleticism are the ideal mold of a modern day left tackle.

Donald Penn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)
Penn is one of the more underrated left tackles in football today and will be one of many talented offensive linemen set to become unrestricted free agents this year. While Penn hasn’t had his best season this year, he has proven in the pass to be one of truly balanced left tackles. Penn has done a nice job in the past of keeping the blindside clean of pressure and the Buccaneers have done a nice job this year running over left tackle. The Buccaneers should try to re-sign him quickly because a young left tackle on the market may see some high-end coin.

Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans Saints (26) – Restricted FA
The Saints called upon Jermon Bushrod to play left tackle the entire year after placing Jammal Brown to the IR due to a hip injury and a sports hernia. Bushrod has done a commendable job replacing the All-Pro Brown, who has a voidable contract at the end of this season. If Brown decides to become a free agent, the Saints would have an interesting choice. Brown will be coming off an injury and will ask for significant money, but has played at a Pro Bowl level whereas Bushrod is the younger, cheaper option with upside. Both of these players are talented enough and good enough to play left tackle on many teams.

Daryn Colledge, Green Bay Packers (28)
Colledge is no longer viewed as the solution at left tackle in Green Bay. Mid-round TJ Lang has taken over the back-up position there. That alone is enough to make his value take a significant plunge. Colledge was even “put on notice” and warned about his subpar level of play, but has since picked it up a notch, as has the entire O-Line. His value outside of Green Bay may not be as high as it is within the organization because of a poor performance in the team’s biggest stage to date – Monday Night in Minnesota. Still, he’s an average starting offensive guard and a good pass protector in the interior. Colledge’s value will most likely be highest to the Packers because he’s a great fit for what they do and they know his true value.

Kevin Mawae, Tennessee Titans (39)
Mawae has started all six games for the Titans this year, but with his contract expiring, the line may turn to Leroy Harris who will have been groomed for 3 years, sparingly seeing the field. If Mawae is up for another season, he could land on a number of teams, or just re-sign in Tennessee. He still has a little gas left in the tank and it the Titans pass on him, several teams will be lining up for him and accept the leadership he brings to the team.

Chad Clifton, Green Bay Packers (34)
Clifton has suffered an ankle injury earlier this season forcing the Packers to retreat to other options at left tackle. After returning healthy to his position, Clifton and the entire offensive line has picked up their play and protected Rodgers at a more respectable level. Still, it’s quite clear that this year’s Clifton isn’t the model pass protector he’s been in the past. Clifton has lost a step and is now more susceptible to speed players and double moves. If Clifton isn’t offered another contract in Green Bay, where he’s played his entire career, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the franchise’s great blind side protector call it quits.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Eugene Amano, Tennessee Titans (28)
David Baas, San Francisco 49ers (28)
Khalif Barnes, Oakland Raiders (28)
Alex Barron, St. Louis Rams (27)
Mike Brisiel, Houston Texans (27)
Jeromey Clary, San Diego Chargers (26) – Restricted FA
Nick Cole, Philadelphia Eagles (26)
Ryan Cook, Minnesota Vikings (27)
Tyson Clabo, Atlanta Falcons (29)
Harvey Dahl, Atlanta Falcons (29)
Mike Gandy, Arizona Cardinals (31)
Cornell Green, Oakland Raiders (34)
Rex Hadnot, Cleveland Browns (28)
Ben Hamilton, Denver Broncos (33)
Justin Hartwig, Pittsburgh Steelers (31)
Stephon Heyer, Washington Redskins (26) – Restricted FA
Richie Incognito, St. Louis Rams (27)
Jon Jansen, Washington Redskins (34)
Charlie Johnson, Indianapolis Colts (26)
Nick Kaczur, New England Patriots (31)
Chris Kuper, Denver Broncos (27)
Deuce Lutui, Arizona Cardinals (27)
Stephen Neal, New England Patriots (33)
Rudy Niswanger, Kansas City Chiefs (27)
Chester Pitts, Houston Texans (31)
Manuel Ramirez, Detroit Lions (27) – Restricted FA
Rob Sims, Seattle Seahawks (26)
Chris Spencer, Seattle Seahawks (28)
Jason Spitz, Green Bay Packers (27)
Adam Terry, Baltimore Ravens (28)
Jeremy Trueblood, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)
Bobbie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals (33)
Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens (25)

HEAV
01-02-2010, 07:30 PM
DE

Julius Peppers, Carolina Panthers (30)
Playing on a franchise tender, an enormous one-year contract, Peppers has played at a high level. With 8.5 sacks on the season, Peppers can reach double-digit sacks for the 6th time in his career. The offseason will be interesting because Peppers no longer carries the reputation for being the league’s most fear end, primarily because he’s fairly inconsistent and fairly one-dimension in comparison to say, Jared Allen. Last year vocalized his desires to stand up in a 34 defense. This year, we’ll see how the Panthers handle his expiring contract. My bet is on a tag and trade, though Carolina could also end up paying him in excess of $20 million, due to a 120% raise required to apply the franchise tag on Peppers again this offseason. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and should receive less than half that amount per year if he signs a long-term extension.

Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos (26)
Dumervil has become one of the league’s best pass rushers and a potential candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. He leads the league with 15 sacks, with 11 coming on 3rd down. He excels in using his long arms and hands to keep defenders off his body, despite his unconventional proportions. The Broncos will find a way to retain their most prized asset on defense, probably by throwing high-end outside linebacker coin in his direction. Dumervil has already exceeded 40 sacks and is one forced fumble away from 10 in his short 4-year career. Playing a position of great need in any good 3-4 defense, Dumervil will sit with a lot of leverage if a CBA is agreed upon and he is able to become an unrestricted free agent.

Johnny Jolly, Green Bay Packers (27)
Like Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly has very quietly put together a great season at defensive end for Green Bay’s front line under Capers’ scheme. Jolly has been very active up front playing contain and peeling off blocks to make plays himself near the line of scrimmage. Keep in mind that the Packers have a number of starters with expiring contracts this offseason, so Jolly could be one of the guys left out. He excels against the run, but doesn’t give much in the form of a pass rush. He’s played his best ball at defensive end in the 34, but has the size and ability to play some reps at nose tackle.

Aaron Kampman, Green Bay Packers (30)
Kampman’s struggles to OLB were blown out of proportion. Through 9 games, he did a fairly decent job considering he had been given a role unfamiliar to him. The former Pro Bowler suffered a knee injury in Week 11 against San Francisco requiring surgery and was placed on the IR a couple weeks later. 7th round rookie Brad Jones has done an ample job as his replacement, playing the position with remarkable awareness and immeasurably better athleticism. The Packers will likely allow Kampman to enter free agency and move back to his more comfortable position at defensive end. Sadly, Kampman is coming off a knee injury and is at an age where defensive ends start to lose their edge off the snap.

Ray Edwards, Minnesota Vikings (25)
Jared Allen and the two Williams men up front have paved way for left end Ray Edwards to emerge this season. According to the stats, teams have actually had more difficult running over his side than at Jared Allen. Edwards also has 6.5 sacks. The Vikings should keep try to keep the league’s best pass rush in tact by re-signing the former Purdue standout. Edwards is a complete defensive end who will have a number of interested team should the Vikings be unable to keep him.

Marcus Spears, Dallas Cowboys (27)
Spears has done a good job for the Cowboys on the left side and his solid season has shown partly through the improvement made by OLB Anthony Spencer behind him. He does a better job playing the run than the getting after the quarterback. He’ll be one of the 34 ends with good value this offseason.

Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tennessee Titans (31)
Vanden Bosch has started all 13 games for the Titans at defensive end, but has struggled to get to the quarterback, recording only 3 sacks on the year. He no longer carries the reputation at a feared pass rusher off the edge and has always been average against the run. He’s at a point where he’d benefit from situational play to try and boost production when he’s actually in the game. The Titans do seem interested in keeping him in Tennessee, for what it’s worth.

Leonard Little, St. Louis Rams (35)
At 35, Leonard Little is still giving the Rams some solid production from the end position. Under Steve Spagnuolo, Little has started all 13 games this year, recording 6.5 sacks and a pick six in the process. For the one time elite defensive end, it’s the most productive season he’s had in 3 years when he notched 12.5 sacks. There’s little left in the tank and it’s unsure whether the Rams will renew his contract at year’s end. Little has been a career-long Ram, so that may factor into his plans if St. Louis does decide to let him walk. He may retire, stay with the Rams or try to land a spot in a rotation for a Championship contender in hopes of adding one more ring to his collection.

Adewale Ogunleye, Chicago Bears (33)
Ogunleye has started every game at left defensive end for the Bears this season, notching 6 sacks on the season, breaking last year’s total of 5. He also leads the team in that category. The Bears have some talent at the position in Alex Brown, Mark Anderson, and Gaines Adams, but haven’t gotten consistent production out of any of them. The Bears already spent a 2nd round pick in acquiring Gaines Adams and don’t have any high-draft choices available, but they need to add a bigger pass rush to the defense. It looks like Ogunleye will be back for the Bears because they need him.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Mark Anderson, Chicago Bears (27)
Derrick Burgess, New England Patriots (32)
Phillip Daniels, Washington Redskins (37)
Ryan Denney, Buffalo Bills (33)
Jarvis Green, New England Patriots (31)
James Hall, St. Louis Rams (33)
Reggie Hayward, Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
Jevon Kearse, Tennessee Titans (33)
Travis Kirschke, Pittsburgh Steelers (35)
Anthony Montgomery, Washington Redskins (26)
Chike Okeafor, Arizona Cardinals (34)
Darryl Tapp, Seattle Seahawks (25)

Doggcow
01-02-2010, 07:31 PM
That Oline list looks awesome. Mankins and Jahri Evans would be awesome to sign.

I'd also love to make a move for VJack, and or miles austin, especially if we let marshall walk.

HEAV
01-02-2010, 07:32 PM
DT


Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots (28)
The Patriots acknowledged being unable to keep both of their elite defensive linemen by trading away Richard Seymour, freeing up enough money to retain Vince Wilfork. Wilfork is one of the league’s premier nose tackles and one of the cornerstones for the Patriots’ defense. Once the season ends, the Patriots should start immediately trying to get him under contract so not to give him an option to walk. If he hits free agency, there are a number of teams that will heavily court Wilfork at a premium position.

Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders (30)
Seymour has been coined one of the best defensive linemen of the decade and made himself a fixture in Honolulu prior to the last two seasons, including one curtailed by injury. Seymour has the ability and experience of playing 4-3 DT and 3-4 DE. He excels in run defense, but also has the ability to apply pressure and collapse the pocket. Moving to Oakland, the defensive line has been injected with a burst of energy and has performed pretty well overall. Seymour didn’t seem too excited about being blindsided in a trade to Oakland and I’d be surprised to see him make a full-time switch to a losing team from a winning organization like the Patriots.

Aubrayo Franklin, San Francisco 49ers (30)
Franklin has emerged as one of the elite nose tackles this year, helping the 49ers to fielding one of the best run defenses in the league this year. He doesn’t provide much against the pass, but is able to occupy blockers and hold at the point of attack. If the Niners can’t reach a deal with Franklin, they’re expected to use the franchise tag on him.

Casey Hampton, Pittsburgh Steelers (32)
Hampton has played pretty well this season, just outside of an elite level with a contract set to expire at the end of the year. The Steelers are among the top 3 teams in run defense this year and lead the league from a raw yardage standpoint. With a number of teams making the switch to the 3-4 without a proper nose tackle, Hampton’s salary could skyrocket through free agency. Great championship teams like the Steelers won’t overpay for players and that could be the case here. Hampton, earlier this season, hinted toward a move away from Pittsburgh if the money warrants it.

Ryan Pickett, Green Bay Packers (30)
Under Dom Capers, the Packers defense has made a complete transformation into a new unit. The most impressive turnaround comes from the defensive line and the front 7’s ability to stop the run. Pickett has turned around his career in Green Bay and done a fantastic job at NT on run downs, where almost all of his snaps have come. First round pick BJ Raji is seeing most of the snaps in passing situations. He’s one of the under-the-radar tackles in the league. The Packers should look to retain Pickett, but if he ends up costing too much, the Packers already have some coin committed to Raji who has also played remarkably well in shared snaps. Losing Pickett would be a big blow to the depth of the Packers DL.

Tony Brown, Tennessee Titans (29)
While some of the Titans’ defensive line has struggled this season, Tony Brown hasn’t been one of them. Actually, he’s one of the underrated defensive tackles in the league and one of the best pass rushers from the interior. He is a quick, penetrating UT that the Titans are expected to re-sign. After losing Haynesworth last year, losing Tony Brown would be a big blow to the front line.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Kendrick Clancy, New Orleans Saints (32)
Barry Cofield, New York Giants (26)
Jason Ferguson, Miami Dolphins (35)
Kedric Golston, Washington Redskins (27)
Tank Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals (28)
Travis Johnson, San Diego Chargers (28)
Fred Robbins, New York Giants (33)
Clifton Ryan, St. Louis Rams (26)
Tank Tyler, Carolina Panthers (25) – Restricted FA

HEAV
01-02-2010, 07:35 PM
LB

Shawne Merriman, San Diego Chargers (26)
With his first two sacks since returning from injury coming in week 8, Merriman doesn’t seem to be exactly the same player he was prior to his injury, which is to be somewhat expected. He lacks the explosiveness he had in the past, but some of that should return after this offseason as it continues to heal. The Chargers defense has been a large liability so it becomes a question whether or not the team wants to even commit that much money to a player who has been pretty unproductive. What the Chargers do with Merriman will be a decision based on the ultimate risk-reward analysis, as well as a decision reflecting which of their many free agents they choose to and are able to retain. Remember that the team also drafted pass rusher Larry English in the first round last year. The best guess is that the Chargers will place a franchise tag on Merriman, so as to not commit a long-term deal, but also not to allow the former All-Pro to just walk away.

Barrett Ruud, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)
Locking the young middle linebacker up should be a priority for the Buccaneers and with all the cap room they have, it’s a little surprising they haven’t already gotten it done. Ruud is one of the league’s best pure tacklers and has great instincts. Ruud’s new deal should be in the area of what Bart Scott received the past offseason (6 years, $48 million) from the Jets. He’s the leader of the defense now and will consistently be among league leaders in tackles for the next several years, as he is again this year. The Bucs should and will lock him up at some point in the near future, but it’s just about both sides agreeing on the terms.

Karlos Dansby, Arizona Cardinals (29)
Dansby has played okay for the Cardinals, but isn’t making the number of impact plays we’ve seen out of him even in the past. Quite frankly, the linebackers as a unit have been a big problem for the defense this year. At the top of his game, Dansby is one of the better scheme-diverse linebackers in the league and will likely have a number of teams lined up ready to woo him this offseason. The Cardinals may re-sign him, but after this season, it won’t be quite as big a loss as some would have expected prior to this season.

DeMeco Ryans, Houston Texans (26)
Ryans has been a stalwart for the Texans, displaying consistency from game-to-game and year-to-year. With rookie sensation Brian Cushing next to him, the Texans have the beginnings of a good front 7. Ryans would like a long-term contract with the Texans, and Houston will almost definitely re-sign Ryans to keep intact the foundation of Ryans-Cushing-Williams front 7. If the two sides can’t reach a deal, there’s a chance he would be willing to accept a deal elsewhere.


Kirk Morrison, Oakland Raiders (28)
Morrison has been a fixture for in the Raiders starting lineup for his entire five year career now. Morrison is as sure a tackler as any in the league, amassing 100 for his 5th straight year. He doesn’t make many big plays from MIKE linebacker, but is the most consistent down-to-down player the Raiders have. Of all their priorities this season, Seymour and Morrison should be 1-2 on the list, respectively. If they lose Morrison, the porous run defense will become that much worse.

Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers (27)
Davis started his career on a sour note at safety, but has since converted to become a superb outside linebacker. Next to Jon Beason, the Panthers have a very nice young corps that they should be able to maintain over the next decade. Prior to his injury, Davis continued his success from last season, giving the Panthers great production out of his position. His presence is most sorely missed in coverage where he had 2 picks and 5 deflected passes before the torn ACL in his right knee. The Panthers should still bring him back for next year, but probably on a shorter contract to make sure Davis hasn’t lost his agility in and out of cuts that made him great in coverage.

D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns (26)
Even after missing one game, D’Qwell Jackson remained the team leader in tackles and was one of the cornerstones of the Browns defense. He injured his shoulder in a loss to the Steelers, which has forced him to the Injured Reserve and has ruined his contract year. With few pieces to build around, the Browns will chart his recovery and try to re-sign him based on how he’s progressing.

Thomas Howard, Oakland Raiders (27)
Howard’s ability to cover ground has helped him become the coverage backer he is today. Yet year after year, the Raiders finish near the bottom of the pack in run defense. Not to put the blame solely on Howard, but his play definitely reflects his inadequacies in playing through blockers. Howard is a nice blitzer and does a nice job of knifing through blocks to make plays in the backfield, but when he misses, he leaves a big void wide open behind him. Howard doesn’t have the bulk to go head on and stand up guards and that could be a big reason why Oakland pushes him down on their list of priorities.

Other Notable Free Agents:

Antwan Barnes, Baltimore Ravens (25) – Restricted FA
Bertrand Berry, Arizona Cardinals (35)
Chase Blackburn, New York Giants (27)
Gary Brackett, Indianapolis Colts (30)
Keith Bulluck, Tennessee Titans (33)
Danny Clark, New York Giants (33)
Angelo Crowell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29)
Keith Ellison, Buffalo Bills (26)
Larry Foote, Detroit Lions (30)
Omar Gaither, Philadelphia Eagles (26)
Chris Gocong, Philadelphia Eagles (26)
Clint Ingram, Jacksonville Jaguars (27)
Rashad Jeanty, Cincinnati Bengals (27)
Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs (27)
Akeem Jordan, Philadelphia Eagles (25) – Restricted FA
Cato June, Houston Texans (30)
Rocky McIntosh, Washington Redskins (27)
Matt Roth, Browns (27)
Scott Fujita, New Orleans Saints (31)
Jason Taylor, Miami Dolphins (36)
Zach Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs (37)
Pisa Tinoisamoa, Chicago Bears (29)
Stephen Tulloch, Tennessee Titans (25)
Mike Vrabel, Kansas City Chiefs (35)

broncos-rock
01-02-2010, 07:56 PM
I would really like to see Casey Hampton in a broncos uni next year!

TheReverend
01-02-2010, 08:02 PM
That's an OVERWHELMINGLY talented OL list. I'd say none of the top 15 players on that list sniff FA.

eddie mac
01-02-2010, 08:38 PM
The above lists bar a few positions are like a shoppers dream until reality hits, no CBA extension and the shops shut early for the offseason.

Ratboy
01-02-2010, 09:06 PM
Kirk Morrison would be badass.

strafen
01-02-2010, 09:10 PM
Nice post, Heav ^5

gunns
01-02-2010, 09:19 PM
I would love to see Mankins, Ruud, and Franklin in orange and blue but it's like wishing for Suh.

baja
01-02-2010, 09:59 PM
An underwhelming list. Even so, that does not justify giving Orton a long term deal. If he'd like a 2 year deal while we figure out how to get a high quality starter, that would be cool.

I agree Orton has been mediocre but consider he is in a new system where he seems to be over thinking and and under trusted by his coaches. He seems to be playing in fear of making a mistake. Now maybe he just flat doesn't have the skills to play a full blown play book or maybe he just needs more time in this complex system for him to fully utilize his talent. Hard to fix slow though....

ZONA
01-02-2010, 10:17 PM
What ever we do in FA I would like to see us build with younger talent mostly. We already have a plethora of older players on the defense so I would like to see us get younger there via FA.

If the price was right, I would love to see Stokes retire and bring in Mason for the slot.

Popps
01-02-2010, 10:43 PM
What ever we do in FA I would like to see us build with younger talent mostly. We already have a plethora of older players on the defense so I would like to see us get younger there via FA.

If the price was right, I would love to see Stokes retire and bring in Mason for the slot.

Keep in mind...

-Ayers
-Bruton
-Smith
-McBath
-Carter

All very young.

-Goodman
-Hill
-Feilds
-Haggan
-Williams
-Doom

All at a point where aging isn't a concern.


Champ and Dawk are old. But most others aren't really an age worry yet, and we've drafted some young defenders.

I think it's sort of inaccurate to say we're an old defense. We just have a couple of impact guys who are.

Wes Mantooth
01-02-2010, 10:46 PM
Matt Moore would be interesting, but dougt he is available.

WABronco
01-02-2010, 10:46 PM
FA is for the fail brigade.

Jarvis Green. An interior OL. Domenik Hixon. Boom, outta here.

Killericon
01-02-2010, 10:48 PM
I want me some D'Qwell Jackson.

ZONA
01-02-2010, 11:01 PM
Keep in mind...

-Ayers
-Bruton
-Smith
-McBath
-Carter

All very young.

-Goodman
-Hill
-Feilds
-Haggan
-Williams
-Doom

All at a point where aging isn't a concern.


Champ and Dawk are old. But most others aren't really an age worry yet, and we've drafted some young defenders.

I think it's sort of inaccurate to say we're an old defense. We just have a couple of impact guys who are.

How is it that you say Dawkins and Champ are old but Hill and Goodman's age is not a concern when they both are the same age as Champ? I never said we were an old defense. I said we have a plethora of older players on defense and I think we should add more FA's that are young. If we added FA's that are older, then we instantly become an older defense very quickly.

Law - 35
Bailey - 31
Goodman - 31
Holliday - 34
Peterson - 31
Davis - 31
Dawkins - 36
Hill - 31

That's 8 players who are older then 30 on the defense alone. I think you don't want to raise that number if you can help it.

Popps
01-02-2010, 11:19 PM
Ayers, Doom, Fields and DJ Williams, all young or young enough. That's over 50% of our front 7 starters not in the worry-zone.

Davis will be fine for at least a year or two.

Law and Holiday are bit-players.

I agree, we should continue to build the defense out. But, I don't think we're necessarily an old team, it just happens that our two most important players are old. Nothing we can do about that but try to draft their replacements, which we are doing.

I hope they work out this free agency thing. What a massive downer that would be if there's no normal FA period this year.

TomServo
01-03-2010, 02:55 AM
Doesnt matter, josh will pick one good FA like dawk and F the rest up.

HEAV
01-03-2010, 11:48 AM
Doesnt matter, josh will pick one good FA like dawk and F the rest up.

? Ummm

Goodman
R.Hill
A.Davis
J. Gaffney
C.Buck

Doggcow
01-03-2010, 11:51 AM
I also wouldn't mind Matt Moore if we could get him.

Broncoman13
01-03-2010, 11:55 AM
Doesnt matter, josh will pick one good FA like dawk and F the rest up.

Yes b/c guys like Gaffney, Buckhalter, Andra Davis, Goodman, Hill, and Fields have just been horrible.


I'm actually kind of excited to see McD do what he did on defense to this offense. Lots of turnover coming.

bloodsunday
01-03-2010, 12:20 PM
I'd like to see Jason Avant replace Brandon Marshall as the possession receiver and then we can find a way to draft a big play guy.

Broncoman13
01-03-2010, 12:24 PM
I'd love to add a guy like Avant, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be a RFA no?

bloodsunday
01-03-2010, 01:13 PM
I'd love to add a guy like Avant, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be a RFA no?

Possibly - I haven't really studied it more than the list posted here. That said, I doubt Philly will go to great lengths to keep him considering how deep they've suddenly become at WR.

TheReverend
01-03-2010, 01:19 PM
I'd love to add a guy like Avant, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be a RFA no?

I doubt Philly would let him go after spending years grooming him.

bloodsunday
01-03-2010, 01:21 PM
I doubt Philly would let him go after spending years grooming him.

I don't know that this is a given. They now have a Maclin and Jackson.

HEAV
01-04-2010, 10:05 AM
My list of free agents wants:

Resign

Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos

Chris Kuper, Denver Broncos

Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos

Sign 2 O-Line

Logan Mankins, New England Patriots
or
Nick Kaczur, New England Patriots

Justin Hartwig, Pittsburgh Steelers


Would love to see Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots here, but that's a pipe dream...unless the Pats think Brace is ready and let Vince walk.

Casey Hampton, Pittsburgh Steelers I like Casey...but age and motivation sometimes work against him and he's going to want $$$

Maybe Ryan Pickett, Green Bay Packers could be a long term NT.


Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs after yesterday...he's worth a long look.


Steve Breaston, Arizona Cardinals (27) – Restricted depending what Denver gets in return for Marshall it could be used to cover the restricted tag.

PRBronco
01-04-2010, 10:14 AM
? Ummm

Goodman
R.Hill
A.Davis
J. Gaffney
C.Buck

No joke, it's our best free agent haul in years. Fields, Reid and Holliday too.

HEAV
01-04-2010, 10:19 AM
No joke, it's our best free agent haul in years. Fields, Reid and Holliday too.

Fields is a stop gap at NT, I like his effort, but he's not a space eater.

Reid made some plays, but he also had a few F-ups also.

Vonney still has pass rush but the time is ticking on him.

Over all it was a solid free agent offseason for the franchise.

PRBronco
01-04-2010, 10:22 AM
Fields is a stop gap at NT, I like his effort, but he's not a space eater.

Reid made some plays, but he also had a few F-ups also.

Vonney still has pass rush but the time is ticking on him.

Over all it was a solid free agent offseason for the franchise.

I agree, but I'm so blown away that we got 9.5 sacks (i think?) out of Reid and Vonnie, I can't complain about them. Reid did have some epic F-ups though, in hindsight.

It'll be nice when we can rotate Fields in to spell a legit #1 nose tackle, he would fill that role nicely.

ColoradoDarin
01-04-2010, 10:42 AM
My list of free agents wants:

Resign

Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos

Chris Kuper, Denver Broncos

Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos

Sign 2 O-Line

Logan Mankins, New England Patriots
or
Nick Kaczur, New England Patriots

Justin Hartwig, Pittsburgh Steelers


Would love to see Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots here, but that's a pipe dream...unless the Pats think Brace is ready and let Vince walk.

Casey Hampton, Pittsburgh Steelers I like Casey...but age and motivation sometimes work against him and he's going to want $$$

Maybe Ryan Pickett, Green Bay Packers could be a long term NT.


Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs after yesterday...he's worth a long look.


Steve Breaston, Arizona Cardinals (27) – Restricted depending what Denver gets in return for Marshall it could be used to cover the restricted tag.

I'm with you on a whole lot of this. Imagine if Breaston only gets a 3rd round tag on him. We let marshall go and get Breaston + a 1st?

55CrushEm
01-04-2010, 10:52 AM
Doesnt matter, josh will pick one good FA like dawk and F the rest up.

Honestly....where do people come from? Do you even pay attention to the moves we make?

McD had one of the best group of free agent signings we've had in quite some time....far better than anything Shanny put together in recent memory.

HEAV
01-04-2010, 11:03 AM
I'm with you on a whole lot of this. Imagine if Breaston only gets a 3rd round tag on him. We let marshall go and get Breaston + a 1st?

I would guess it depends on Anquan Boldin.

A: His health.

B. If they think they can make him happy


No doubt that there is talent availble in both the draft and free agency to replace Marshall.

HEAV
01-04-2010, 11:05 AM
Honestly....where do people come from? Do you even pay attention to the moves we make?

McD had one of the best group of free agent signings we've had in quite some time....far better than anything Shanny put together in recent memory.

Certian people hate McDaniels and will sand-bag anything he does,until the team wins titles under his lead... so just don't want to wait for the turn around and expect results yesterday.

Florida_Bronco
01-04-2010, 11:06 AM
Reid did have some epic F-ups though

Which comes with making the switch from 4-3 DT/DE to 3-4 LB. Ayers had the same problems this year.

They'll both be better next year.

PRBronco
01-04-2010, 11:08 AM
Certian people hate McDaniels and will sand-bag anything he does,until the team wins titles under his lead... so just don't want to wait for the turn around and expect results yesterday.

I feel like if McD wins a superbowl here, at least 65% of the posters will hate his guts for getting us such a low first round pick.

bpc
01-04-2010, 11:08 AM
There is a lot of talent in this FA class which could help us... now the question is, will we be active participants in spending what it takes to get talent in here?

Florida_Bronco
01-04-2010, 11:10 AM
I would really like to see Pennington here as our backup. He's a very smart and extremely accurate passer that we can fall back on if Orton gets hurt again.

PRBronco
01-04-2010, 11:10 AM
Which comes with making the switch from 4-3 DT/DE to 3-4 LB. Ayers had the same problems this year.

They'll both be better next year.

I was thinking more along the lines of penalties taken, I haven't sat down to look at our penalty stats, but I seem to recall hearing his name more often than I wanted to :-/

Florida_Bronco
01-04-2010, 11:10 AM
There is a lot of talent in this FA class which could help us... now the question is, will we be active participants in spending what it takes to get talent in here?

Why wouldn't we be? We have a very significant amount of cap space.

Florida_Bronco
01-04-2010, 11:11 AM
I was thinking more along the lines of penalties taken, I haven't sat down to look at our penalty stats, but I seem to recall hearing his name more often than I wanted to :-/

The only ones that really stick out to me where the ticky tacky roughing the kicker calls he got in the Patriots game.

55CrushEm
01-04-2010, 11:11 AM
I feel like if McD wins a superbowl here, at least 65% of the posters will hate his guts for getting us such a low first round pick.

LOL

Probably true. At the very least they'll be saying that it wasn't McD, it was Nolan....or that Shanny would have gotten the SB win much sooner....or some other bull****.

HEAV
01-04-2010, 11:11 AM
Which comes with making the switch from 4-3 DT/DE to 3-4 LB. Ayers had the same problems this year.

They'll both be better next year.

I hope so with Ayers! Only two plays he will be remembered for this year ar the TD return verse the Steelers and the body slam yesterday for 15 yards.

55CrushEm
01-04-2010, 11:12 AM
Why wouldn't we be? We have a very significant amount of cap space.

Yep. We had the MOST dead cap space in the league this year....and most of that should be wiped off in 2010. We should be in a GREAT cap situation.....

Who's the expert.....is it eddic mac or HERC ?

HEAV
01-04-2010, 11:17 AM
Yep. We had the MOST dead cap space in the league this year....and most of that should be wiped off in 2010. We should be in a GREAT cap situation.....

Who's the expert.....is it eddic mac or HERC ?

Both are always on point with the numbers.

PRBronco
01-04-2010, 11:18 AM
I hope so with Ayers! Only two plays he will be remembered for this year ar the TD return verse the Steelers and the body slam yesterday for 15 yards.

Is there a clip of the body slam floating around here? I haven't seen it yet!

Aftermath
01-04-2010, 11:35 AM
i would love me some k.morrison/a couple OL :) and possibly miles austin in return for marshall somehow

Rulon Velvet Jones
01-04-2010, 11:37 AM
Any interest in Martellus Bennett from the Cowboys? John Phillips stepped up while Bennett was out and is proving to fit in just fine. Bennett hasn't been as big a part of Garrett's offense this season and may be expendable.

Florida_Bronco
01-04-2010, 11:58 AM
I hope so with Ayers! Only two plays he will be remembered for this year ar the TD return verse the Steelers and the body slam yesterday for 15 yards.

Ayers was making a huge transition, but we saw some flashes out of him. Afterall, he was regarded as a project during the draft so I guess we have to be understanding of that.

Yep. We had the MOST dead cap space in the league this year....and most of that should be wiped off in 2010. We should be in a GREAT cap situation.....

Who's the expert.....is it eddic mac or HERC ?

Just an FYI, but Eddie did post this thread here that shines some very positive light on our cap situation.

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=87725&highlight=xanders

Crushaholic
01-04-2010, 12:07 PM
I would love to see Mankins, Ruud, and Franklin in orange and blue but it's like wishing for Suh.


Mankins could be a STRONG possibility...

HEAV
01-04-2010, 02:44 PM
Mankins could be a STRONG possibility...

Any current Patriot is a possibility. McDaniels is going to bring in more team guys and players he knows. It's the only way he's going to change and teach the mentality and youth of teh current and future players.