The third wave of free agency will last from now through the early part of training camp, and there are still some quality players on the market. Matt Miller and I, Sigmund Bloom, discuss a few of our favorites and debate their best landing spots above.
Matt likes the idea of Dennis Dixon going to the Saints. I don't like the pairing of the Saints and Dixon for two reasons. First, Dixon's game isn't well suited for the quick-decision pass offense, which is based more on accuracy than athleticism and arm strength. Second, any move that could be seen as hedging against a Drew Brees holdout could make already chilly negotiations even frostier.
James Farrior, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, would be a perfect one-year signing for the Indianapolis Colts. He can be a mentor for the young LB corps and help the transition to the hybrid 3-4 defense under new head coach Chuck Pagano. He'll be cheap, and Farrior's help in the development of players like Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner will justify the signing on its own. Matt disagrees because, at 37 years old, Farrior's best football is behind him.
Matt likes Cedric Benson going to the Packers, but I have to disagree with the fit. Cedric Benson has never been a good teammate when he doesn't get a full workload, and even the full workload in the Packers backfield is something like what a committee back gets elsewhere. James Starks, Alex Green, Brandon Saine and John Kuhn together can handle all of the duties of the Green Bay backs, so there's no reason to bring in a potential locker-room cancer like Benson.
Wallace Gilberry is one of the more underrated pass-rushing 3-4 ends in the league, and he could provide much-needed pressure from the inside for the Arizona Cardinals. The team lacks a good backup to Calais Campbell or Darnell Dockett, so the rest on some passing downs for the duo and supplemental rush to add a so-so OLB group led by Sam Acho would be an excellent addition in Arizona. Alas, Matt and I agree here.
Matt likes Marcus McNeill going to the New York Giants, but I must express some hesitation. My problem with Marcus McNeill is that he has sat out there in free agency for this long despite a need for quality tackles around the league. If a prudent organization with a hole at right tackle like the Giants hasn't signed McNeill yet, I am wary about his ability to contribute this year. The Giants won a Super Bowl with poor play from Kareem McKenzie. They can probably get by with James Brewer or Sean Locklear instead of risking money on McNeill's health.
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