NFL Free Agent Rumors: Possible Destinations for Top Remaining Players

Vincent Frank@VincentFrankNFLCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2012

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 09:  Outside linebacker Mario Williams #90 of the  Houston Texans during game action  in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Some of the top players on the free-agent market might have already found homes, but considering there were over 430 on the open market, you can bet that a lot of talent remains.

In fact, there are enough to form a couple Pro Bowl rosters with the remaining players on the market.

This article is going to help you decipher where each of the top players remaining might end up.


Mario Manningham, Wide Receiver, New York Giants

The former Giants No. 3 receiver is drawing some interest out there, but it seems to be much more sparse than most people would have expected. The San Francisco 49ers are going to be hosting the wide receiver, while both the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are showing interest.

It seems to make sense that these three teams would be the front-runners for his services. The 49ers are in desperate need of building both depth and talent at wide receiver, even after signing Randy Moss. The Bills missed out on Robert Meachem when he signed with the San Diego Chargers. The Dolphins also traded their No. 1 receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears.


Chris Myers, Center, Houston Texans

Could Myers join Manning in Tennessee?
Could Myers join Manning in Tennessee?Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Myers was one of the best centers in the entire NFL last season, utilizing the Texans' zone-blocking scheme to the best of his ability. There is now a tremendous amount of interest in his services around the National Football League.

He is expected to meet with the Tennessee Titans, who are said to be looking for an upgrade at the center position from Eugene Amano. The Green Bay Packers also seem interested with Scott Wells apparently set to leave via free agency.


Stephen Tulloch, Linebacker, Detroit Lions

Tulloch was one of the many surprises for the Lions in their run to the postseason last season. He did, however, come on a one-year contract. This means that the talented linebacker is currently free to sign anywhere he desires.

Despite this, the linebacker market hasn't been too active since free agency started Tuesday afternoon. Tulloch has not visited with any potential suitors. Prior to the start of free agency, it was reported that the Philadelphia Eagles were expected to show strong interest in the linebacker.This makes a lot of sense considering that Philadelphia was poor in the tackling department last season. You can fully expect multiple teams that run the 4-3 scheme to show interest as free agency progresses.


Marcus McNeill, Offensive Tackle, San Diego Chargers

It did come as a surprise to me that McNeill was released by the Chargers. After all, he is one of the best pass-protecting offensive tackles in the entire league. There were reports that McNeill was dealing with an injury, but his agent took offense to that idea.

McNeill would definitely be an upgrade in Detroit
McNeill would definitely be an upgrade in DetroitNick Laham/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions will become the first team to host the former All-Pro tackle when he visits the Motor City on Thursday. People within the organization seem to think that McNeill is an upgrade over fellow free agent Jeff Backus. It is hard to argue against that sentiment.


LaRon Landry, Safety, Washington  Redskins

If it weren't for injury concerns, the former first-round pick would have easily been a top-10 free agent. In fact, the Redskins probably would have placed the franchise tag on the safety. These injury issues have caused his stock to drop a great deal.

Multiple teams are still lining up to possibly sign Landry. The most recent reports indicate that the New England Patriots have joined the New York Jets in showing the most interest. Both teams are in need of an upgrade in the back end of the secondary with the Patriots seeming most desperate to add a difference maker. The Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions are also interested in his services.


Ben Grubbs, Guard, Baltimore Ravens

Grubbs struggled with consistency and injuries last season. This doesn't change the fact that he is still one of the best run blockers in the entire league and provides a tremendous amount of value. This is a player who will dominate between the hashes and in the trenches.

Could Grubbs replace Nicks in New Orleans?
Could Grubbs replace Nicks in New Orleans?Larry French/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints, who lost Carl Nicks in free agency, are reported to be interested in Grubbs. Other reports indicate that the free-spending Washington Redskins are courting the former first-round pick. It goes without saying that both of these teams have needs at left guard. Other teams are surely going to show interest if he doesn't sign within the next day or two.


Michael Bush, Running Back, Oakland Raiders

The running back market has been incredibly quiet in the first two days of the offseason. This just goes to show that the value franchises place on this position isn't too great. With that said, Michael Bush has to be considered the top dog at this point. He performed at an extremely high level replacing Darren McFadden with the Oakland Raiders last season.

The Cincinnati Bengals were said to be interested in his services, but new teams have since gotten involved in pursuing the talented young back. The Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears seem to be showing some interest.


Matt Flynn, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Many thought that the market for Flynn would be much more expanded at this point, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. He has a tremendous amount of upside, we just don't have a huge sample size to look at in regards to the young quarterback. I believe that the Kevin Kolb situation has had a direct impact on the market thinning out for Flynn.

The "Emerald City" is looking like Flynn's most likely destination
The "Emerald City" is looking like Flynn's most likely destinationJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are going to meet with Flynn Thursday. This is happening as it appears the Cleveland Browns are pulling out of the chase. Of course, the Miami Dolphins could show interest if they lose out on Peyton Manning. This promises to be a fluid situation moving forward, but I would hedge my bets on Seattle signing the former Green Bay Packers backup.


Eric Winston, Offensive Tackle, Houston Texans

It did come as a bit of a shock that the Texans decided to release a player who could be considered the best run-blocking right tackle in the National Football League. Apparently they just didn't value him enough in their zone-blocking scheme.

There is ample interest in Winston. He is scheduled to visit with the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday after sitting down with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday. He has also met with the Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams.


Brandon Lloyd, Wide Receiver, St. Louis Rams

A player who was considered a "cancer" in the locker room early in his career, Lloyd has matured a great deal over the course of the last few seasons. His on-field production has also gone up tremendously during this span. Depending on the specific situation, Lloyd can be a No. 1 receiver in the right system.

At this point it appears to be a two-team race between the San Francisco 49ers, who met with Lloyd on Wednesday, and the New England Patriots. One offers him a chance to play for his former offensive coordinator and head coach Josh McDaniels, while the other is the team that drafted him out of Pittsburgh. Both teams could use the vertical threat.

Lloyd back to the 49ers could bring his career full circle
Lloyd back to the 49ers could bring his career full circleOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images


Mario Williams, Defensive End/Linebacker, Houston Texans

At first glance it appeared that the Buffalo Bills were going to land the most heralded defensive player in free agency. That has since changed and we appear to be back at square on in regards to Super Mario. Still, the Bills are the only team to have publicly made it known they want to sign Williams. I am pretty sure that other teams are going to get into the sweepstakes, the most likely being the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

Pro Football Talk is reporting the following in regards to Williams.

Williams supposedly is attending the Buffalo Sabres’ hockey game, a source with knowledge of the situation says that negotiations on a contract are moving toward some sort of a conclusion, good or bad.


Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts

Do you really need more information on this saga? In case you have been under a rock, this is the most recent news in regards to Manning.

Manning finished his visit after eight hours with the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday. They join the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos as the four teams in pursuit of the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

One report indicated that the Titans and Broncos are the favorites to land Manning, but that has since lost steam.

Super Mario could be headed to Buffalo
Super Mario could be headed to BuffaloBob Levey/Getty Images

This is a fluid situation that might take some more time to play out before Peyton finally comes reaches a decision.


Follow me on Twitter @VincentFrankNFL


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