2012 NFL Free Agents: 6 Big-Name Players Who Will Be Looking for Huge Money
Well, of course Peyton Manning is expecting a big signing deal.
And considering, as reported by NFL.com, that the now ex-Colts QB got 12 offers Wednesday after “he hit the waiver wire,” he will probably get that deal.
Sure, the Colts didn’t give the four-time MVP his $28 million payday. But that doesn’t mean that another team won’t.
Manning is worth a big contract. And teams with cap room in desperate need of a franchise QB are going to pay handsomely to get a healthy Peyton Manning on their squad.
But Manning isn’t the only well-known free agent on the market looking for a big payday.
Here is a look at six other big-name players who will be looking for huge money...and whether or not they’re likely to get it.
It might be too soon to say whether a year off turned Randy Moss into a new man.
But with a successful workout with the New Orleans Saints under his belt, the wide receiver might have a better chance of convincing teams that he’s worth the big bucks.
While his next paycheck will probably be nothing close to the three-year, $27 million deal he signed with the New England Patriots in 2008, his stellar workout at Saints camp could speak very well for a future contract.
Moss will also have to prove that his talent is worth the headache, but that’s another story entirely.
Another wide receiver looking for a big payday will be Reggie Wayne.
And with Wayne reportedly hearing nothing, not even a phone call from the Colts, he will no doubt be exiting Indianapolis like teammate Peyton Manning.
Not to mention that both former Colts could end up on the Dolphins—Wayne lives in Miami during the offseason and played college ball there with the University of Miami.
Wayne made just under $6 million last year as part of the tail-end of his six-year deal with Indianapolis. And although his stats dipped a bit in the 2011 season—undoubtedly, at least partly attributable to Manning’s absence—it is expected that he will have a better 2012.
Hard to believe that a quarterback with only two starts could be (aside from Manning) the most coveted young QB to hit the market next week.
Flynn has been quite vocal about his desire to be a starting quarterback, and no doubt is looking to be paid as such. With teams such as the Seahawks and the Browns looking for a new signal-caller, Flynn shouldn’t have any trouble finding a team to call home.
Flynn could be looking at a contract no lower than $10 million a year, but expect him to hold out for the highest bidder.
Any team in need of a quality receiver—and with an insane amount of cap room—should be falling over themselves to scoop Jackson up.
And that’s exactly what happened the second the San Diego Chargers chose not to put the franchise tag on Jackson this past week.
While Jackson told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he would take a “slight pay cut” to stay in San Diego (h/t CBS Sports), the Chargers are going to have to compete with the likes of the Bears and Redskins.
With various sports media outlets—including ESPN and CBSSports.com—reporting that a bidding war could start over the receiver, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Jackson with a new contract worth more than $11 million a year.
Mario Williams is NFL.com’s free-agent pick to “earn more money than anyone else on the open market.” And with running back's Arian Foster’s new five-year, $43.5 million deal, the Houston Texans have their work cut out in keeping linebacker Williams on their squad.
It is estimated that Williams could come out of free agency earning around $13 million a year, with the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys being the front-runners to nab the six-year veteran.
No free agent is shopping teams as fiercely as Plaxico Burress.
The 10-year veteran hasn’t ruled out the possibility of staying with the New York Jets, but has made a point of throwing as many compliments as he can at interested teams.
But all that buttering up won’t be enough to make wide receiver the big money he might be expecting.
The first-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2000 is coming off a dismal season with a beaten-down Jets team. The Eagles wouldn’t give him $3 million a year previously, and with their top three receivers already signed, they’re unlikely to pick Burress up.
The Steelers, meanwhile, are flirting with their salary cap as it is, so if they actually are interested in bringing back Burress, they wouldn’t be able to enter any kind of bidding war for him.
For all his talk and praise of other teams, Burress might not be getting the paycheck he’s seeking.