In buyer's market, big names finding it hard to find big money
Jake Long. Ed Reed. Dwight Freeney. Big-name free agents still abound, but Jason La Canfora says don't expect any more blockbuster deals in this buyer's market.
As free agency stretches on, it remains very much a buyer's market, and teams are holding a hard line with spending. The names still out there might be big -- Jake Long , Nnamdi Asomugha and Dwight Freeney among them -- but the paydays very likely won't be due to age, injury or production concerns.
|NFL free agency|
The group of top tackles still on the market are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to round up quality offers. Thus, Long, still considering a return to Miami, remains in St. Louis talking about a deal with the St. Louis Rams . But league sources maintain he's not going to get a blockbuster deal. Andre Smith 's best bet is to return to the Cincinnati Bengals , and Sebastian Vollmer , finding a soft market, is expected to be back with the New England Patriots . Long, in particular, is likely to make his decision on Friday.
That's not to say there won't be news to report and big names changing teams. Safety Ed Reed remains in Houston on a visit with the Houston Texans , who are trying everything they can to get him signed on Friday. The Baltimore Ravens are still in the mix, but several sources involved in the matter said Reed has been blown away by the visit, which included dinner with Andre Johnson and team officials. The San Francisco 49ers are monitoring Reed's situation, too. But in the meantime, they are bargain hunting, talking to Asomugha, a corner, and safety Charles Woodson , both of whom visited the team this week. Again, though, we're talking short-term, low-risk deals.
Aqib Talib is one of the younger corners on the market, but his off-field matters complicate things. The cap-strapped Washington Redskins have interest, but a return to the Pats could be in order for him as well, with New England's standing offer. Antoine Winfield continues to draw interest and could make a trip soon -- Washington, Denver, Cleveland, Minnesota, New England are among the teams looking for value corners -- and still more corners could hit a flooded market, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would release Eric Wright should they complete a trade for Darrelle Revis (and those talks will heat up again next week at the owners' meeting, sources said).
It's slow going for older pass rushers as well. John Abraham is visiting the Pats, along with Freeney, but New England is all about short and cheap deals at this point; Abraham has already visited the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks , and the Denver Broncos are interested in Freeney, sources said. Atlanta Falcons , Pittsburgh Steelers , the New York Jets and 49ers are looking for edge help as well but won't break the bank to do it. Richard Seymour has fielded calls from several teams, but the prospect of a low, one-year deal does not interest him at this point, sources said, so he has held off on making moves. And teams interested in pass rushers also know the Broncos are very likely to release Elvis Dumervil on Friday rather than pay him $12 million, so he, too, will hit the market. It has been very slow going for James Harrison since his exit from Pittsburgh, and Osi Umenyiora is another older pass rusher who is looking at a market where big money will be difficult to find.
Several teams are still sorting out their quarterback situations as well. Arizona Cardinals released Kevin Kolb on Friday, and the Jets have interest in Kolb. (The Jacksonville Jaguars might be interested as well.) Jason Campbell has an offer to return to Chicago Bears , but the Cleveland Browns are also interested in him. The Bengals could end up bringing back former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick as a back-up.
Cleveland and Miami are interested in adding a tight end as well, but Fred Davis is limited by his injury and off-field issues. Though the Browns like him, he could still end up back in Washington. Dustin Keller is also available, but teams aren't coming after tight ends hard with so much depth there in the draft. And, should Green Bay keep Jennings as expected, it would mean Jermichael Finley would likely hit the trade market.
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