Offseason Primer: Free Agent Predictions 26-50
The Scouting Combine is in the books and all the attention will be turned to pro days and free agency. With the 2013 salary cap appearing to remain pretty stagnant, teams will be re-shuffling their rosters over the course of the next two weeks to get under the salary cap by March 12. With teams looking to cut high priced veterans, this list could grow as teams make tough decisions on players soaking up cap room.
We continue our free agency predictions with the bottom half of our top fifty.
26. Brent Grimes, Atlanta Falcons, CB, 30
Brent Grimes may be the toughest prediction in this free agency class. He’s come off a season-ending knee injury. Before the injury Grimes was working his way into a premier corner in the league. Two factors that will affect Grimes market will be his age and injury. Just not sure the Falcons will be able to afford paying Moore and Gonzalez. The Dolphins would be an intriguing place for Grimes to resurface on a one year deal.
Destination Point: Miami for one year, $6 million
27. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons, TE, 37
The only decision will be if Gonzalez is retiring or not. It looks to be a strong lean towards one more year. It will be in Atlanta.
Destination Point: Atlanta for one year, $7.5 million
28. Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants, DE, 31
He’s capable of producing at a clip of 7-10 sacks a year
Bill Sheridan may bang the table to bring Umenyiora in as a pass rusher in Tampa’s defense. He’s not an everydown DE but as a situational pass rusher he’s capable of producing at a clip of 7-10 sacks a year. Sign the Bucs up for that.
Destination Point: Tampa Bay for four years, $26 million
29. Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens, S, 34
Will the Ravens be able to bring Ed Reed back with Flacco’s megadeal? That’s the question. I think they find a way to bring Ed back to finish his career where it all started.
Destination Point: Baltimore for one year, $5 million
30. Keenan Lewis, Pittsburgh Steelers, CB, 26
I can’t see how the Steelers can retain Lewis. He came into his own in 2012 and could be headed towards a nice payday. The Browns would love to steal Lewis from their divisional rival. They may be willing to overpay for his services as they lose out on some of the top CB’s.
Destination Point: Cleveland for five years, $33 million
31. Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams, WR, 27
Danny Amendola was prime for a big payday before his injury in 2012. His market will be a little more conservative and the Rams could convince him to stay with Sam Bradford. Denver could be in the market for a Danny Amendola type but St. Louis wins out on this one.
Destination Point: St. Louis for four years, $24.5 million
32. Phil Loadholt, Minnesota Vikings, OT, 27
Loadholt is a mauler at RT and very important piece to the success of the Vikings run game. I can’t see Minnesota letting him walk without throwing some cash his way. He winds up a Viking on a solid deal.
Destination Point: Minnesota for four years, $34 million
33. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams, RB, 30
Steven Jackson is going to test free agency and may have some suitors despite being on the back nine of his NFL career. One of those suitors could be the Falcons as they are left without a legitimate starter. Jackson could end his career in Atlanta on a three-year deal
Destination Point: Atlanta for three years, $17 million
34. Randy Starks, Miami Dolphins, DT, 29
Jeff Ireland has come out and said they will use the franchise tag. It’s become clear it won’t be on Sean Smith or Jake Long, leaving us to surmise that it will go to Randy Starks. This one is as good as done.
Destination Point: Miami via the franchise tag
UPDATE: Starks franchised by the Dolphins on March 4
35. Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans Saints, OT, 29
I don’t see any way the Saints can let Bushrod walk. They have nothing to replace him and don’t have the cap space to sign someone on the open market. Despite not having cap, the Saints will carve out room to get Drew Brees’ blindside protector locked up.
Destination Point: New Orleans for four years, $30.5 million
36. Louis Vazquez, San Diego Chargers, OG, 26
The Chargers are offensive line deficient but could be outpriced on Vazquez. I would expect a couple of teams to be in on a good, young guard. The Colts make a splash in free agency with the signing of Paul Kruger and Louis Vazquez. They need help on the interior of their offensive line and Vazquez is a good one. The question will be if $6 million per will be enough to pry him from the Chargers.
Destination Point: Indianapolis for seven years, $42million
37. Chris Houston, Detroit Lions, CB, 28
Houston is a solid corner and could be the priority for the Lions in the offseason. They can’t afford to lose anyone in the secondary but it may come down to Houston and Louis Delmas. Houston could be an affordable option. I think he stays in Detroit on a three-year deal.
Destination Point: Detroit for three years, $17.5 million