The excitement of free agency has come to a halt as teams prepare for the NFL draft. After the draft, teams will likely make decisions on the remaining free agents to see how can be a low-risk, high-reward type of signing. The thing is, there’s still a lot of talent in free agency this year. Let’s take a look at who’s left…
- Zach Brown – ILB (Bills)
Zach Brown is coming off of a very impressive year with the Buffalo Bills last season with Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense. The lack of signing here puzzles me because he was great last season and there are plenty of teams that could use a starting-caliber inside linebacker on their roster. My guess is due to a sub-par agent (who he fired during the free agency period) mixed with a good defensive draft means that teams will bite on Brown after the draft. The only real concern is that he has only had one season of play worth calling him a starting-caliber player.
Prediction: Signs with Raiders on a 2 year deal after the draft.
The Raiders are lacking on defense, especially at the ILB position. Getting a stop-gap player who can provide at a low-cost is a good option until they can build an ILB through the draft.
2. Jonathan Hankins – DT (NYG)
Hankins is coming off a year on a New York Giants defense that absolutely balled out last year. After spending money on the defensive line with Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and now Jason Pierre-Paul, it was expected Jonathan Hankins would have a breakout season. While being good at run-defense, there wasn’t much else he could provide. The problem now is that he wants money like his trench-mate Damon Harrison, who is a top DT in the league. Sorry, but that’s not going to happen here.
Prediction: Re-Signs with the Giants.
I believe he will have no other option but to fold on his bluff for more cash and re-sign with a team that could quietly snatch the NFC Conference (yeah, I said it). As for how many years, I have no idea. I’d imagine he will probably want to play on a prove-it deal to make more money next year. There’s also the off-chance another team’s DT gets injured and he gets signed to replace the roster spot.
3. Adrian Peterson – RB (MIN)
Peterson really hasn’t played in two years. Granted, the last time we was playing he was a stud, as he always has been. Here’s the issue I have with Peterson. He’s old, and age doesn’t bode well for running backs. Not to mention he’s had essentially two years off from playing in the NFL. Lastly, his running style is so one-dimensional that it hurts. He can’t catch passes, and he is only successful running in standard formation. Peterson was one of the greatest running backs ever, but I think his time of greatness is over. With all of that said, I find it hard to believe a team will sign him for 6 and a half million dollars with all of these impending problems.
Or a free agent. I just don’t see a team biting on him for that asking price. Maybe next season when his price goes down he will play for a team, but right now I just don’t see it happening.
4. LeGarrette Blount – RB (NE)
Blount has a huge year last season including 18 touchdowns and a 1,000 yard season for the Patriots. His rushing attack created a more multi-dimensional offense, which was a huge reason the Patriots ended up as Super Bowl Champions at the end of the year. So far, Blount hasn’t had much news in free agency. Hovering around 30 years old as a running back, it’s tough to make noise in the market. With this being said, there’s not much debate on where he ends up next season.
Prediction: Re-signs to the Patriot on a 1 year deal.
It makes enough sense to bring Blount back since his asking price can’t be too expensive given the current market. Getting a guy with his hard-nosed running style paired with the shifty Dion Lewis and pass-catching James White seems like a no-brainer, seeing how well it worked last season. Expect a similar result as far as success from the running back crew as last year, even if Blount declines this year (which I expect).
5. Darelle Revis – CB (NYJ)
Revis proved to the NFL that he was, in fact, one of the greatest CBs to play the game back in 2014 with the Patriots. Then, he signed a multi-year deal with his old team the Jets to an absurd amount of cash, and now he is struggling to find a team. What happened? Revis is about the money, there’s no denying that. So he got lazy on a failing team. Congrats man, now you’re getting paid 6 million by the Jets to sit out from the season. Apparently he’s lost a lot of weight and is prepared to make a comeback in the NFL.
Prediction: Signs with the Patriots.
Is there another option besides retirement? Nope. Revis knows the system, he knows he will fit and succeed, and the Patriots could use another new CB with the departure of Logan Ryan and impending departure of CB Malcolm Butler. As long as his price is small, it makes sense to bring in a low-risk high-reward player. Revis likely won’t be the #1 or #2 guy on the roster anymore, but putting him as a slot corner (where NE has lost depth without Logan Ryan) in man-to-man press makes a lot of sense.
For Revis, it makes sense to play in New England again on a one-year deal. He’s getting paid 6 million already from the Jets this season, so he’s making plenty of money this year. Playing on a team where he can come in and succeed just gives him a new opportunity to get paid next offseason by some other team stupid enough to bite. The Patriots and Revis can yet again use one another for their own benefits. Seems like a no-brainer to me.