Nick Mensio

Free Agency Dose

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NFL Hot Stove, Day 1

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



The Colts have a number of high-dollar free agents on their radar, most notably guards Louis Vasquez and Andy Levitre and outside linebackers Cliff Avril and Paul Kruger. Early bets are on the Colts being the front-runner for Vasquez. It’s quite possible that Cleveland and Indianapolis could get into a bidding war over Avril, and the loser ends up with Kruger. … The Colts were mentioned as a suitor for free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings, but the local media shot that down. … Indianapolis is scratching for cornerback help, and they are still in talks with free agent Jerraud Powers. … The Colts tendered offers to restricted free agent offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach and exclusive rights free agents nose tackle Martin Tevaseu and guard Joe Reitz. They did not tender offers to running back Deji Karim, guard Seth Olsen, or linebacker A.J. Edds.

The Cowboys continued their Offseason of the Restructure on Monday. Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and cornerback Orlando Scandrick turned portions of their base salaries into signing bonuses. Linebacker Dan Connor was released. The three moves got Dallas back under the salary cap, and they have less than $1 million to spend heading into Tuesday. … Recently released safety Gerald Sensabaugh visited the Cardinals on Monday.

The Dolphins are the overwhelming favorites to land free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, and it’s believed that he’ll be the only player to eclipse $10 million annually on the open market this year. Fellow free agent receiver Brandon Gibson has been confirmed as a fallback option if Miami somehow doesn’t obtain Wallace. … The Dolphins have been in contact with free agent right tackle Eric Winston’s representatives, but Miami will likely wait to see what happens with Jake Long before making a move on Winston. … Free agent tight end Anthony Fasano has been mentioned as a possible sleeper for a team in the second wave of free agency. Ultimately, we would be surprised if Fasano left the Fins.

The Eagles are another team swimming in available money, and they plan to be major free-agent players. Philadelphia has been linked to free agent safeties LaRon Landry and Dashon Goldson. Landry would be cheaper; Goldson is a much better player. … There have been conflicting reports on the level of interest the Eagles have in free agent slot receiver Danny Amendola, but he’d be a great fit in Chip Kelly’s spread-out offensive attack. … A couple of free agent defensive linemen have been connected to Philadelphia: Desmond Bryant and Ricky Jean-Francois. Both are scheme-versatile and would be nice fits in DC Billy Davis’ hybrid attack. … The Eagles locked up a pair of their own free agents. Safety Colt Anderson signed a one-year deal and long snapper Jon Dorenbos agreed to a four-year pact.

The Falcons fully expect free agent tight end Tony Gonzalez to return for a 17th season. Atlanta will likely allow Gonzalez to miss out on some training camp as part of the package to lure him back. … The Falcons are reportedly not interested in trading for Darrelle Revis. They could revisit the idea if a capable replacement for Dunta Robinson isn’t found. … Atlanta is said to covet free agent running back Steven Jackson, along with a handful of other teams. We feel his best fit is in the Falcons’ high octane attack.

The Giants kept to themselves Monday. Their only action was assigning tenders to three restricted free agents and declining another. Wide receiver Victor Cruz was extended a first-round tender, and running back Andre Brown and safety Stevie Brown were tendered at the second-round level. Running back Ryan Torain was allowed to walk. ... Cruz and GM Jerry Reese are in a squabble over the receiver’s perceived value. Cruz wants to be paid like a No. 1, at around $11 million a year. There might be a team or two to flirt with Cruz, but we seriously doubt he will land elsewhere. … Free agent tight end Martellus Bennett is expected to hit the open market, and the 49ers plan to act fast on free agent kicker Lawrence Tynes.

The Jaguars are not expected to be active players in free agency even though they have plenty of cap space. New coach Gus Bradley and GM David Caldwell are focusing on rebuilding the team from the ground up, and they are stressing development, competition, and the draft. … Jacksonville did reach out to free agent cornerback Derek Cox on Monday, and they also are believed to be interested in free agent defensive tackle Desmond Bryant. Said to be seeking $24 million on a four-year deal, Cox remains likely to move on. Versatile Bryant would be an excellent fit on Bradley’s defensive front.

The Jets don’t have much money, but they did sign some quarterback competition on Monday. David Garrard inked a one-year deal and is one of five quarterbacks on the roster. The 35-year-old hasn’t played since 2010. … OC Marty Mornhinweg confirmed that Tim Tebow will play quarterback for however long he is with the team. Mornhinweg added that Mark Sanchez likely has a leg up on any competition. Free agent Brady Quinn is still in play for the Jets. … The Jets reportedly have a “good” trade offer on the table for Darrelle Revis, but it’s unknown which team it is from. … New York wants wide receiver Santonio Holmes to take a pay cut, and it’s likely that he’ll be released if he refuses. Holmes holds much of the leverage with $7.5 million of his $11 million guaranteed. … The Jets tendered restricted free agent right tackle Austin Howard at the second-round level, and restricted free agent long snapper Tanner Purdum wasn’t extended an offer.

The Lions sure are connected to a lot of free agents for a team that doesn’t have much money to spend. Free agent running back Reggie Bush and defensive tackle Jason Jones are rumored to be at the top of Detroit’s wish list. It’s widely believed that Bush will be the team’s top target. … Free agent safeties Dashon Goldson and Glover Quin are being linked to the Lions. Detroit has even been called one of the two favorites for Goldson, who is expected to command $8 million annually. Quin makes much more sense financially for this team. … The Lions have also been named as a team that covets free agent running back Steven Jackson. Free agents cornerback Antoine Cason and defensive end William Hayes are also in play. … Detroit re-signed exclusive rights free agents wide receiver Kris Durham, tight end Shaun Chapas, and safety Ricardo Silva. They also extended an original-pick tender to restricted free agent offensive tackle Jason Fox, who is expected to compete for a starting job.

The Packers are always quiet on the free agent front, and 2013 hasn’t been much different so far. Green Bay was linked to free agent running backs Shonn Greene and Steven Jackson on Monday, but it’s not GM Ted Thompson’s M.O. to spend on players approaching 30 years old. … Green Bay reportedly hasn’t ruled out re-signing Greg Jennings. We suspect if his market isn’t as fruitful as Jennings anticipates, then he could be back at a cheaper rate. … Free agent defensive lineman Shaun Smith was also connected to the Packers on Monday. A run stuffer, Smith would be a cheap buy on a one-year deal. … The Packers extended an original-pick tender to restricted free agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith. He could get some play from other teams.


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Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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