top 32 free agents

One of many experimental iterations ...

brandies

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http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/12945380/top-32-fas-capfree-year-needs-restricted-infusion
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Welcome to uncharted territory.

This will be an uncapped year in the NFL, provided the owners and the NFLPA don't agree to a new deal before March 5. That isn't likely, so it was presumed that we would have a wild free-agent market.

The rich would spend. And spend. And spend.


Prime age and prime pass-rush production make Elvis Dumervil a free-agent commodity. (US Presswire)
Nice thinking in theory, but what the heck would they spend on? The market for unrestricted free agents isn't very good.

"It's the sick, the old and the injured," one NFC personnel director said.

As part of the rules for the uncapped year, players who have expiring contracts must have six years of service to be unrestricted free agents. That has put a real damper on the free-agent class.

Take the receiver position as an example. The top restricted free-agent receivers are San Diego's Vincent Jackson, Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos and Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys.

All are in their prime and should be ready for contracts that include $15 million signing bonuses. As it is, their chances for moving are limited.

Their current teams will put restricted tenders on them, probably ones that would require a first- and a third-round pick from any team that signed them. Even then, their original teams could match the offer.

When I talked with several of the "born-at-the-wrong-time" group of free agents at the Pro Bowl, they didn't seem all that worked up about it -- at least on the record. Privately, it was a different story. They weren't happy.

For the purpose of ranking the league's top free agents, I included the restricted players on my list for two reasons.

One is that some still could get action on the market, even with restrictions. And the second is if it was a list just of unrestricted free agents, you might throw up on your shoes looking at it. I don't think I could get to 32 good players worth making a run at for most teams.

So my list of the top 32 free agents includes a lot of restricted free agents that should be unrestricted, but the system is holding them back -- fair or unfair as it is.

Of the top 10 on my list, New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is the only unrestricted free agent of the group. That has led to the thinking that the restricted market just might be an active one for the first time in a long time.

Why not? There's nothing else to spend on.

1. Elvis Dumervil, OLB, Denver Broncos (RFA): At 26, coming off a 17-sack season, what's not to like?

2. Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers (RFA): He's big, strong, fast and he's only 27. His best football is coming.

3. Vince Wilfork, DT, New England Patriots (UFA): The Patriots will probably use a franchise tag on him, but if not, he will be a wanted commodity. He needs to trim down.

4. Brandon Marshall, WR, Denver Broncos (RFA): Baggage aside, he can play. But will teams push his issues to the side?

5. Jahri Evans, G, New Orleans Saints (RFA): He's a mauler in the run game who really improved his pass protection the past two years.


Will breakout Miles Austin be able to cash in? (US Presswire)
6. Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys (RFA): Is he a one-hit wonder? The Cowboys don't think so and plan to do everything they can to keep him.

7. Willie Colon, T, Pittsburgh Steelers (RFA): He has improved every year for the Steelers, and his best football is coming.

8. DeMeco Ryans, MLB, Houston Texans (RFA): He's a star in the middle of their defense, one they will not let leave.

9. Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans (RFA): He's coming off an ACL injury, so there is concern. But he should be ready for the open of the 2010 season.

10. Logan Mankins, G, New England Patriots (RFA): He's been the best lineman on the New England line the past three seasons. He plays with a mean streak.

11. Julius Peppers, DE, Carolina Panthers (UFA): At 30, his age is a concern. So is h
 

Bulldog

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For practical purposes we can eliminate the restricted free agents from the category of FREE agents :)

The only players to consider are the UFAs.

The Redskins aren't going to be giving up 1st and 3rd round picks for anybody this offseason.

The poison pill of the 6 year service requirement in an uncapped year was no doubt put in there by the Steelers and Cardinals owners that are constantly afraid of those with a bigger stick.
 

Bulldog

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The Redskins need depth on the offensive line whether they draft Okung or Williams or not.

I would look to see if we could sign Pashos on a two year deal to play RT and take Heyer off the field as a regular.

Pashos at 30 has had some injury problems but is still young enough to be a solid bridge for the next couple of years.

He is also a guy you can move inside to guard as well based on need.
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Lanky Livingston

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You know, we should have signed a guy like Jeremy Bridges, who was the starting RT for the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals - he really could have held down the RT spot.

Oh wait...
 

servumtuum

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did mike williams really do that bad? seriously considering where he came from, what he had to do and then what he was asked to do in such little time i think the guy did alright.

was he NFL material? not last year for sure. but he did all he could to contribute. its not his fault that he was given such a big load.
You make a very good point here, Mike-the problem was with the skill, or more accurately the lack thereof, when it came to assessing personnel and their capabilities in a given position and situation. One hope I have is that under the Allen/Shanahan regime such lapses of judgment will become less frequent and glaring.
 

The Burgundy Ghost

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did mike williams really do that bad? seriously considering where he came from, what he had to do and then what he was asked to do in such little time i think the guy did alright.

was he NFL material? not last year for sure. but he did all he could to contribute. its not his fault that he was given such a big load.
that's fine if we're talking about a guy who's developing, is young and can be a serious help if not now but in the future. Say Ed. Williams as an example. But that's not Mike Williams, a struggling former bust who is trying to get back into game shape has serious injury issues and is pushing 30.

While Mike Williams is a nice story of a guy becoming healthier and working hard to get into football shape, the fact of the matter was that he shouldn't have been on a NFL roster in 2009 for any team especially a Redskins team that had serious questions about the RG position with Randy Thomas breaking down as easy as balsa wood these days.

Like you said, the fault isn't with Williams who did the hard work to at least put himself in position to attempt to make the team at camp. The fault was on Zorn and Cerrato for thinking that out of the many linemen at camp, that Williams was one of the ten best to make the team. Also, I think there is an issue with Snyder/Cerrato being too close to some players and bringing in and keeping Williams was a favor to Derrick Dockery (all speculation on my part, but it wouldn't surprise me if I'm right).

Now I am being harsh on Williams somewhat. At guard, he had some good moments and was generally ok (probably would have ended the season starting over Ed. Williams and Will Montgomery had he not suffered another injury) at the guard position. But, that's not where he was supposed to be in the first place. Cerrato brought him in to challenge Stephon Heyer at the RT spot. The "insider sources" were saying that the organization was hoping that Williams would win the spot b/c they weren't happy with Heyer's progress.

If that was the real goal, then the Skins failed miserably.
 

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