2012 NFL Free Agents: Vincent Jackson and 4 Players Who Will Sign Quickly

Louis HamweyAnalyst IIIMarch 13, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers is met by  Matt Giordano #27 and Tyvon Branch #33 of the Oakland Raiders after his catch at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Vincent Jackson will undoubtedly be one of the first NFL free agents signed when the window opens later this afternoon. Along with the likes of Matt Flynn, Mario Williams and Cortland Finnegan, he is a top talent who will not remain without a team for very long.

The names below have been linked with many teams and are eagerly awaiting the moment when they can begin to hear their offers.

Here is a breakdown of what they will be listening to and how long before they are signed.


Vincent Jackson

According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the two-time Pro Bowler has expressed interest to remain with the San Diego Chargers, but the Chargers are allowing the market to help dictate the price of his services.

Other potential suitors include the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins.

Giving their quarterback Jay Cutler someone to throw to would greatly help the Bears, as Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. As long as Cutler has been in the Windy City, he has not had a target that can match his own talent level. The deep threat would also open up more of their already strong running game.

The Redskins have already caused a stir by agreeing to trade for the second pick in the draft to take Robert Griffin III. Acquiring Jackson would give the rookie a dangerous weapon.


Matt Flynn will be a Dolphin
Matt Flynn will be a DolphinJonathan Daniel/Getty Images


When all is said and done, I expect Jackson to sign with San Diego before the week is over.



Matt Flynn

It only took one game for Matt Flynn to make himself one of the most desired names in the NFL. His record-breaking performance on the last game of the NFL season against the Lions ensured him a big payday this offseason.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins will pursue Flynn if they cannot acquire Peyton Manning. After having an up-and-down year, the Dolphins need to find a franchise quarterback and Flynn could be that guy.

The Seahawks could also be interested in Flynn according to Danny O'Neil of The Seattle Times. Their transition following Matt Hasselbeck's departure in 2012 has not been as steady as they would have liked.



The Dolphins are not going to risk missing a franchise player for the future. Flynn will be in Miami in the next couple days signing papers as Seattle sits and prays for the call from Manning.

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 02: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans on October 2, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.Texans won 17 to 10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/G
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images


Mario Williams

Williams was sidelined for most of the 2011-12 NFL season, where he had to watch a defense he was once the heart of lead the team to their first-ever playoff appearance. Now at the end of his contract and with the team showing they can play well without him, the cap space could be more useful than his talent.

According to John Mullin of CSN Chicago, the Bears are the favorites to land the coveted defensive end. The defensively proud club is always looking to strengthen a line known for being one of the toughest in the league.


However, as early as today a surprise addition popped up in the Williams race. According to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald, the New England Patriots could express interest in the 27-year-old. He would be a much-needed weapon for a team that was a good pass rush shy of winning the Super Bowl.



Teams are going to have to act fast to get Williams and I see him gone in two or three days most, with the Bears as the landing spot. Hard for him to pass up the chance to join a defensive history like they have at Soldier Field.


Cortland Finnegan

There are quite a few cornerbacks that will be on the market, but none are as big as Finnegan.

As reported by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams are dumping $18.8 million in cap space. This would be enough to make a bid for the former Titan. With one of the worst pass defenses in the league, St. Louis would welcome some depth in the secondary.

According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Vikings are among other teams targeting the player. The Vikings have a poor pass defense in a division with pass-heavy teams and even bigger receivers. If they want any hope of improving, they need a shutdown corner.



With the Rams in disarray over the Gregg Williams bounty scandal, Finnegan will stay away from St. Louis and land in Minnesota in little over a week.