Evan Silva

Free Agency Update

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Top 100 Free Agency Forecast

Monday, March 11, 2013



41. Safety Kenny Phillips -- A worrisome history of knee injuries figures to limit Phillips to one-year, prove-it offers. When healthy, the former 31st draft pick has flashed difference-making cover skills and sure-tackling ability. Healthy in 2011, Phillips racked up 82 tackles, 11 pass breakups, four interceptions, and a forced fumble for the Super Bowl champ Giants. New Carolina GM Dave Gettleman was on New York's staff at the time, and his Panthers are needy at safety.

Free Agent Forecast: Panthers on a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

42. Outside linebacker James Harrison -- Released by the Steelers on Saturday due to conflicting opinions of his worth, Harrison's body is breaking down as he approaches age 35. He's missed eight games over the past two seasons. Harrison can still rush the passer, though, with 15 sacks and four forced fumbles during that span. Losing Paul Kruger in free agency, the Ravens could pair Harrison with Courtney Upshaw in a rotation to replace Kruger opposite Terrell Suggs.

Free Agent Forecast: Ravens on a two-year, $8 million contract.

43. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod -- The Saints don't have much salary cap space at the moment, but the flood gates will open a bit when they release Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, and (likely) Roman Harper early this week. Bushrod, 28, is their top free-agent priority. Expect the sides to hammer something out before Tuesday evening, at a rate lower than Will Beatty's deal.

Free Agent Forecast: Saints on a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

44. Outside linebacker Connor Barwin -- Barwin's market was quiet over the weekend, not surprisingly. After a fluky, 11.5-sack 2011 season, Barwin was exposed as "just a guy" with three sacks in 2012. He simply lacks explosive edge-rushing talent. The Texans want Barwin back and figure to re-sign him affordably. Doing so would allow them to kick Brooks Reed inside.

Free Agent Forecast: Texans on a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

45. Defensive lineman Israel Idonije A poor man's Michael Bennett, Idonjie holds his own as an early-down left end who rushes the quarterback his best from a three-technique position in the nickel. Idonjie's age (32) will keep him affordable enough to reunite with Rod Marinelli on the cap-strapped Cowboys. He'd be the No. 3 end behind Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware.

Free Agent Forecast: Cowboys on a two-year, $4 million contract.

46. Running back Rashard Mendenhall -- Mendenhall annually underwhelmed behind poor offensive lines in Pittsburgh, but he's only 25, a full year removed from his ACL tear now, and offers versatility. The Dolphins are interested in Mendenhall as an upgrade on Daniel Thomas behind Lamar Miller. Mendenhall is young enough that pursuing one-year deals is his best bet.

Free Agent Forecast: Dolphins on a one-year, $3 million contract.

47. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher -- Though somewhat penalty prone, Fletcher is a put-together (6-foot, 200) cornerback with press-man cover skills. He played well in St. Louis last year before inexplicably falling into coach Jeff Fisher's doghouse. Fletcher had his best NFL season in 2010, recording 11 pass deflections, 75 tackles, and four interceptions as a 15-game starter. His position coach then was Clayton Lopez, who is now coaching the defensive backs in Oakland.

Free Agent Forecast: Raiders on a three-year, $9 million contract.

48. Defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey -- Miscast as a 3-4 end, Dorsey managed a pathetic four sacks across five seasons in Kansas City. Dorsey, 27, still has a shot to be an effective rotational defender, ideally in a 4-3 scheme. A one-year, prove-it deal could give Dorsey a chance to enhance his worth. Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham was on the Chiefs' staff when Dorsey was drafted, and needs a third tackle behind Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.

Free Agent Forecast: Lions on a one-year, $2 million contract.

49. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie -- McKinnie was a difference maker during Baltimore's Super Bowl run, but is unlikely to attract significant interest on the market. Going on age 34 with worrisome recent weight fluctuations, he might not even be viewed as a starter. The Ravens want him on an incentive-laden deal. McKinnie would be smart to accept GM Ozzie Newsome's offer.

Free Agent Forecast: Ravens on a two-year, $6 million contract.

50. Cornerback Cary Williams -- Ravens game watchers know Williams was regularly burned last season, and he overshot his hand by turning down GM Ozzie Newsome's three-year, $15 million offer. Expect Williams to sit on the market for a while, and ultimately accept a one-year, prove-it deal. At 6-foot-1, 190, he's a fit for new Jaguars coach Gus Bradley's secondary scheme.

Free Agent Forecast: Jaguars on a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

51. Defensive tackle Richard Seymour -- The Packers showed interest in Chris Canty late last month, indicating GM Ted Thompson is pursuing defensive end help. Seymour is going on age 34, but remains a stout run defender with some pocket-pushing ability when healthy. He will come relatively cheap and at least help paper over the hole created by Jerel Worthy's ACL tear.

Free Agent Forecast: Packers on a three-year, $7.5 million contract.

52. Strong safety Glover Quin -- A middling safety despite his lofty reputation during the free-agency buzz period, Quin is strong versus the run but struggles against the pass. He is unlikely to command William Moore money. The Texans still want Quin back desperately.

Free Agent Forecast: Texans on a five-year, $24 million contract.

53. Right tackle Eric Winston -- The Eagles were among the first teams to reach out to Winston following his March 6 release by Kansas City. Athletic and an impact run blocker on the move, he's a fit for Chip Kelly's up-tempo, zone-read offense. The addition of Winston would allow Philadelphia to kick right tackle Todd Herremans inside to guard, shoring up two weak spots.

Free Agent Forecast: Eagles on a four-year, $22.5 million contract.

54. Tight end Fred Davis -- The Browns might be a team to watch -- Cleveland tight ends coach Jon Embree was Davis' position coach for a year in D.C. -- but otherwise there has never been much doubt. Despite Saturday's re-signing of Logan Paulsen, the Redskins envision Davis as their starting tight end in 2013. Coming off an Achilles' tear, Davis might be smart to bet on himself and sign a one-year deal. If he plays well, he could get something more lucrative in 2014.

Free Agent Forecast: Redskins on a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

55. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw -- Tampa re-signed LeGarrette Blount on Saturday, but has designs on trading him and needs a better No. 2 back for Doug Martin than D.J. Ware. Bradshaw is familiar with Bucs OC Mike Sullivan's offense from their time together in New York.

Free Agent Forecast: Buccaneers on a two-year, $5 million contract.

56. Cornerback Mike Jenkins -- Bucs GM Mark Dominik was high on Jenkins coming out of South Florida in 2008, and Tampa Bay will need two cornerback starters after it releases Eric Wright. Jenkins will be an affordable No. 2 due to his injury history and scant 2012 role in Dallas.

Free Agent Forecast: Buccaneers on a four-year, $14 million contract.

57. Tight end James Casey -- Casey is a Swiss-army-knife offensive weapon, capable of playing heavy snaps at tight end, and even lead block in a pinch. He also can cover kickoffs and punts on special teams. Casey, 28, would be an upgrade on Delanie Walker as Vernon Davis' running mate at tight end. 49ers offensive and special teams coaches would love his versatility.

Free Agent Forecast: 49ers on a five-year, $15 million contract.

58. Guard Brandon Moore -- Moore turns 33 years old in June, but has gas left after grading out as Pro Football Focus' fourth-best guard in the league last season. Chicago can't afford Andy Levitre and Louis Vasquez, but could fit cheaper Moore under its salary cap.

Free Agent Forecast: Bears on a three-year, $9.5 million contract.

59. Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips -- Phillips is on his last legs at age 32, but remained productive in San Diego last season, ripping off 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles across 16 starts. He could push underwhelming Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield for rush linebacker snaps.

Free Agent Forecast: Cardinals on a two-year, $7.5 million contract.

60. Strong safety LaRon Landry -- Landry is coming off a highly productive season in New York -- 100 tackles, two picks, and four forced fumbles -- but his market isn't as hot as he hoped. Ex-Jets coordinator Mike Pettine is now running the defense in Buffalo, and needs a strong safety.

Free Agent Forecast: Bills on a five-year, $25 million contract.

61. Strong safety Pat Chung -- A year removed from seeming to emerge as one of the league's most promising young safeties, Chung's market has been slow to develop after nosediving in 2012. He lost his starting job to special teams-type Steve Gregory. Strong safety has been a problem area in San Diego since the Patriots signed away Rodney Harrison in 2003.

Free Agent Forecast: Chargers on a one-year, $3.25 million contract.

62. Safety Charles Woodson -- Woodson is going on 37, so he'll want to end his career on a playoff contender. The Broncos are in obvious win-now mode, as well, and need better safety play than Rahim Moore provided in 2012. Woodson is declining, but he can still force turnovers.

Free Agent Forecast: Broncos on a one-year, $4 million contract.

63. Fullback Jerome Felton -- Felton was the NFL's premier lead blocker in 2012, but he generated minimal interest during the free-agent negotiating period. The Vikings remain a run-first team and value him highly. Felton should exceed top Vonta Leach's three-year, $11 million deal.

Free Agent Forecast: Vikings on a three-year, $11.5 million contract.

64. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe -- Ellerbe's agent may be overplaying his hand. Inside linebackers don't make big bucks in the NFL, but he's seeking $6 million per year. The Ravens are offering $5 million. Expect the sides to meet in the middle as Ellerbe replaces Ray Lewis.

Free Agent Forecast: Ravens on a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

65. Cornerback Jerraud Powers -- ESPN's Bill Williamson reported Saturday that the Chargers would likely have "deep talks" with Powers during the weekend negotiation window. Powers is only 25 and San Diego must replace both Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer.

Free Agent Forecast: Chargers on a three-year, $16 million contract.

66. Linebacker Victor Butler -- Buried behind Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware the past four seasons, Butler still racked up 11 sacks and four forced fumbles despite starting just 2-of-63 games. He knows new Saints coordinator Rob Ryan's defense from Dallas, and unlike projected rush 'backers Martez Wilson and Junior Galette, Butler has played the position before.

Free Agent Forecast: Saints on a four-year, $10 million contract.

67. Linebacker Philip Wheeler -- Wheeler is the rare 4-3 linebacker who excels in all three phases; he can rush the passer, stuff the run, and cover tight ends in the passing game. St. Louis is annually in the market for outside linebackers and could plug a big hole with Wheeler.

Free Agent Forecast: Rams on a five-year, $17.5 million contract.

68. Cornerback E.J. Biggers -- Biggers was the one Tampa cornerback who came to play in 2012, grading out as a top-20 cover corner in Pro Football Focus' ratings. 25 years old, Biggers should be getting better. Tight with old Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris -- now the defensive backs coach in D.C. -- Biggers could be another cheap signing for the corner-needy Redskins.

Free Agent Forecast: Redskins on a two-year, $3.5 million contract.

69. Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy -- Shaughnessy, 26, enjoyed a seven-sack, two-forced fumble campaign in 2010 with Oakland, before back-to-back disappointing seasons. His Raiders position coach was current Rams defensive line boss Mike Waufle. St. Louis needs to replace free agent William Hayes, who backed up starters Chris Long and Robert Quinn last year.

Free Agent Forecast: Rams on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

70. Defensive lineman Chris Canty -- The dots are connecting Canty to Carolina. The 30-year-old grew up in Charlotte, and played in New York when new Panthers GM David Gettleman was a Giants front-office exec. Canty is a run-stuffing defensive tackle, and Carolina needs that. Canty has also stated he's willing to give the cap-strapped Panthers a "hometown discount."

Free Agent Forecast: Panthers on a two-year, $4 million contract.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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