SI Vault
 
FREE-AGENCY FRENZY
Peter King
August 01, 2011
WHERE THE TOP 50 AVAILABLE PLAYERS WILL LAND
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
August 01, 2011

Free-agency Frenzy

WHERE THE TOP 50 AVAILABLE PLAYERS WILL LAND

View CoverRead All Articles
Pos. Player Old Team New Team
1. CB Nnamdi Asomugha Raiders Texans
Best free-agent corner since Deion Sanders in 1995.
2. RB DeAngelo Williams* Panthers Dolphins
Good fit for Miami, which still wants to power-run.
3. DE Cullen Jenkins Packers Redskins
Follow the money: Jenkins wants it; Dan Snyder has it.
4. NT Aubrayo Franklin 49ers 49ers
Top nosetackle in this class and, at 30, still in his prime.
5. WR Sidney Rice Vikings Jaguars
But expect the Rams to go after him very, very hard.
6. DE Jason Babin Titans Jaguars
Led all free-agents-to-be with 12½ sacks in 2010.
7. WR Santonio Holmes Jets Jets
Has two strikes against him in player discipline.
8. T Matt Light Patriots Seahawks
Only proven above-average left-tackle starter available.
9. CB Antonio Cromartie Jets Raiders
Al Davis? Overpay for a cornerback? Yup. He always does.
10. DE Ray Edwards Vikings Eagles
Rush end to complement the underrated Trent Cole.
11. CB Johnathan Joseph* Bengals Steelers
Good, aggressive Pittsburgh-quality cornerback.
12. QB Matt Hasselbeck Seahawks Titans
Tennessee outbids Vikings on best quarterback in crop.
13. G-T Marshal Yanda Ravens Ravens
But beware of Washington, which could break the bank.
14. T Doug Free Cowboys Cowboys
Dallas will pony up for rising star who'll protect Tony Romo.
15. RB Ahmad Bradshaw* Giants Broncos
New York wants to keep him, but not at silly money.
16. FS Eric Weddle Chargers Jaguars
But he won't get away from San Diego without a fight.
17. DE Charles Johnson* Panthers Panthers
Makes no sense for a team with cap space to lose him.
18. DT Brandon Mebane* Seahawks Broncos
John Fox needs interior-line beef to bolster run defense.
19. G Harvey Dahl Falcons Dolphins
Miami has to get better up front.
20. LB Barrett Ruud Bucs Bucs
Tackling machine. Tampa Bay has to have him back.
21. CB Ike Taylor Steelers Steelers
Has strengths and weaknesses; Pittsburgh knows both.
22. SS Melvin Bullitt Colts Patriots
Overshadowed by top safeties, but a solid NFL starter.
23. WR Braylon Edwards Jets Raiders
Will want too much money. Al will likely give it to him.
24. T Willie Colon* Steelers Steelers
Missed 2010 (Achilles tendon); still best T option for Pitt.
25. WR Malcom Floyd Chargers Chargers
San Diego can't afford to lose Floyd and Vincent Jackson.
26. FS Dashon Goldson 49ers 49ers
San Francisco has made retaining him a high priority.
27. CB Josh Wilson Ravens Ravens
Local kid, reasonable cost. And Baltimore needs him.
28. T Ryan Harris Broncos Broncos
Denver wants to keep its young tackle combo intact.
29. LB Paul Posluszny Bills Jaguars
Perfect MLB for desperate Jags—and he's only 26.
30. CB Carlos Rogers Redskins Bengals
Cincinnati is going to have to spend money on someone.
31. WR Steve Breaston* Cardinals Cardinals
Arizona has to have an option opposite Larry Fitzgerald.
32. SS Quintin Mikell Eagles Texans
Should have been a star by now—and could be in Houston.
33. RB Ronnie Brown Dolphins Patriots
Bill Belichick loves depth and versatility at running back.
34. SS Bernard Pollard Texans Falcons
Amazing that this physical playmaker is only 26.
35. RB Cedric Benson Bengals Bengals
When not in trouble with law, he's good for 1,000 yards.
36. G Robert Gallery Raiders Bears
Chicago must rebuild its line, and he's a decent value.
37. SS Dawan Landry Ravens Cowboys
Dallas will make a move for either Landry or Abram Elam.
38. CB Richard Marshall* Panthers Jets
New York has to sign a corner if it loses Cromartie.
39. CB Kelly Jennings* Seahawks Jets
No kidding: Rex Ryan wants four starting-caliber CBs.
40. SS Abram Elam Browns Texans
Physical upgrade for porous Houston secondary.
41. LB-S Thomas Davis Panthers Jets
Coming off two injury-plagued years. Only 28, though.
42. G Davin Joseph Bucs Bucs
Part of Tampa Bay's protection plan for Josh Freeman.
43. TE Kevin Boss* Giants Giants
Eli Manning would sorely miss one of his favorite targets.
44. T Jermon Bushrod* Saints Saints
New Orleans will value him more than other teams.
45. LB Kirk Morrison Jaguars Giants
Expect the Giants to also go after Posluszny.
46. SS Roman Harper* Saints Saints
Don't expect New Orleans to let this key contributor leave.
47. T Jared Gaither* Ravens Bills
Enigmatic lineman wore out his welcome in Baltimore.
48. WR James Jones Packers Bears
Now this would add some deep-threat spice to rivalry.
49. CB Chris Carr Ravens Eagles
Good nickel insurance for aging cornerback group.
50. DE Matt Roth Browns Patriots
Rush DE-OLB could flourish in New England's scheme.

FOR THE FIRST TIME in years, teams will be able to fill one of the game's most important positions through free agency. (The signing period begins at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Friday.) "I haven't seen this many good corners on the market in a long time," one veteran pro personnel man said on Sunday. By my count, nine of the top 50 free agents are cover men, including Nnamdi Asomugha. Look for him to leave the Raiders and get paid $1 million a game by a cornerback-needy team such as the Texans or the Cowboys. Here's where I see the top 50 free agents landing.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

*Restricted free agent (current team can match offer or take compensation)

1