February 10, 2012 3 Comments
The most important position in football has some big free agent options and will talked about heavily this off season.
Free Agency starts March 13 in the NFL, why wait?
1.) Peyton Manning:
With every day that passes by, it seems more and more likely that Manning will be released by the Colts. Technically, he is not a free agent but with a $28 Million roster bonus due to him and the uncertainty surrounding his health, it seems inevitable he will be released.
Manning on the open market will of course draw a lot of attention.
Manning will have his pick on where he wants to play. Also sources say, Manning is open to a contract that is based on playing time and low guaranteed money. That is great news for teams hoping to sign Manning.
2.) Drew Brees:
The Saints need to re-sign Drew Brees…
Brees wants to stay in New Orleans and New Orleans wants Drew Brees to stay. I find it hard to believe the Saints would allow Brees to walk and we all know how much Drew means not only to that franchise, but to the community of New Orleans.
Brees set the all-time passing yards record in a season, passing Dan Marino, a record that stood tall in the NFL for 20+ years. Brees will get paid, the question is how much?
If the Saints give Brees too much money, free agents such as Marques Colston and Robert Meachem will have no choice but to find other suitors. Brees deserves a big contract but I think he even knows it’s about building a team around you, getting a mega-contract will only make it tougher to get back to the super bowl.
The Saints have the cap room and will sign Brees.
3.) Alex Smith:
Under Jim Harbaugh, Smith has finally found a coach that believes in him and will actually be around the following season. The hard part is gauging how much Smith is worth.
Let’s not forget that the 49ers drafted quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the 2nd round last season out of Nevada, so the Niners do have a plan B if someone overpays for Smith.
However, I also find it very hard to believe that Harbaugh would let Smith walk and I find it hard to believe Smith would want to leave a team that was a fumbled punt away from a super bowl birth.
4.) Matt Flynn:
Flynn has quietly developed behind Aaron Rodgers and has reaped the benefits of it.
Flynn showcased himself in Week 17 against the Lions and proved he can play in this league. Throwing 6 touchdown passes and over 400+ yards is not an easy thing to do.
Flynn will obviously not be back with the Packers next season and lucky for him there are teams looking for a quarterback.
Teams such as Miami, Washington seem to be great fits for Flynn.
I give Miami the edge to sign Flynn, Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator with the Packers last season and it is only right he brings Flynn along to help install the new offense in Miami.
However, this could all change depending on where Manning lands. Manning will be the first domino to fall of quarterbacks this offseason. Once Manning makes a decision on where he plays next year, there will be a scrum for the leftover teams to fill their quarterback vacancies.
5.) Kyle Orton:
Orton can still play in the NFL if given the chance.
Unfortunately, I do not see him being signed as a starting quarterback by any team this off season. However, there are teams looking for backups and depth at the quarterback position.
The place I see him signing is the New York Jets.
Sanchez has not earned the right to have no one pushing him for the starting job. Orton gives the Jets a reliable and steady quarterback behind Sanchez. Also if Sanchez gets hurt, Orton can fill in and do a decent job especially in a run-oriented offense.
One last point, lets not forget how Sparano coveted Orton in the beginning of the 2011 season as Miami was trying to cut a deal for Orton.
This would be a good fit for both sides.
Donovan McNabb/Jason Campell:
I give Campell the edge in finding a spot to land because injury cut his season short which forced the Raiders hand in selling their draft soul to the Bengals.
Campell had the Raiders in contention before his season was cut short and looked like he was finally making strides as a quarterback. Campell would be a solid pickup for a team looking for depth at the quarterback position.
On the other hand, McNabb I believe, will find a much harder time finding work.
McNabb was the starter in Minnesota until he stunk up the place enough to pave the way for young quarterback Christian Ponder. McNabb looked slow and out of shape in Minnesota and I do not see him finding a spot to land unless injury.
I ultimately see McNabb retiring.
Stay tuned for NFL Offseason 2012 Part III: Wide Receivers!
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Check out Part III: Running Backs