Super Bowl 2012: Identifying the Top Free Agents in the Super Bowl

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IJanuary 26, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Defensive back  Aaron Ross #31 of the New York Giants celebrates with teammates  Antrel Rolle #26, Kenny Phillips #21 and  Mathias Kiwanuka #93 after Ross intercepted a Philadelphia Eagles pass in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Giants defeated the Eagles 29-16. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Here's quick look at the 2012 free agents for both the New York Giants and New England Patriots, who will play next Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.


DT Rocky Bernard

LB Chase Blackburn

S Deon Grant

WR Mario Manningham

T Kareem McKenzie

TE Bear Pascoe

CB Aaron Ross

DE Dave Tollefson

P Steve Weatherford

Quick notes

Manningham would be a significant loss, as the Giants offense has been at its best when all three of their top receivers are healthy and playing.

Ross and Grant are both key contributors on defense, and Tollefson and Bernard have both made their share of plays on the Giants defensive line. Blackburn has been an adequate backup at linebacker.

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Defensive end Mark Anderson #95 of the New England Patriots celebrates after sacking quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos (not pictured) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011
Patrick Smith/Getty Images


DE Mark Anderson

DE Andre Carter

WR Deion Branch

C Dan Connolly

DE Shaun Ellis

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis

S James Ihedigbo

WR Wes Welker

Quick notes

Welker is obviously the big name here, and there's no chance the Patriots let him get away this spring/summer. He's far too important for that offense. 

Anderson and Carter were the Patriots' two best pass-rushers in 2011, so you'd have to think they'll make an effort to bring both back. Branch, Connolly and Ellis are all veterans who could be expendable. 

The one guy to watch is Green-Ellis. He's been the Patriots' top rusher for two seasons, but there's a push coming from the young guys behind him. You could argue that New England doesn't need to overpay to bring him back.