NFL: Offensive Free Agency Preview

Austin Penny@@AustinPennyAnalyst IFebruary 17, 2009

Much as this off-season has already proved to be somewhat of a coaching carousel, many key players will find themselves wearing different colors come training camp.

Here is a look at some of the key players who will come available at their individual positions.

Feel free to sound off below if you're ready to see one of these guys punch their ticket out of town or if you're salivating for your team to take a shot at a big name free agent.


Kerry Collins (Tennessee): Getting up there in age, but still managed to lead the Titans to the best regular season record in the NFL in the absence of Vince Young.

Look for the Titans to attempt to retain him, but don't be surprised if another team struggling at the quarterback position makes a run at the veteran.

Jeff Garcia (Tampa Bay): According to, the Bucs have told Garcia it's time to move on.

With the recent signing of Luke McCown to a two-year deal, it seems as though that's a wise assumption.

Look for teams hurting at QB to pick up the 39-year old Garcia who still has gas in the tank. 

Rex Grossman (Chicago): After his struggles in Chicago and the Bears signing Brett Basanez to obviously get younger at the quarterback position, look for Grossman to land a back up role with a chance to start heading into training camp.

Kyle Boller (Baltimore): With the emergence of Joe Flacco, it's unlikely that Boller will remain a Raven.

Boller will likely wind up with a back up position, but could challenge for a starting job if the opportunity presents itself.

Byron Leftwich (Pittsburgh): Leftwich proved to be a solid back up option behind Ben Roethlisberger, and barring any dispute from him, expect the Steelers to wrap up Leftwich as Big Ben's back up for a few years to come.

Never count out Leftwich starting again, though.


Brandon Jacobs (NY Giants): A huge part of the Giants' success in the last few years, look for Jacobs to land a long term deals with the team.  If not, he's headed for big money somewhere else. ##FRANCHISED##

Darren Sproles (San Diego): The Chargers have a decision to make on whether to keep the aging and ailing LaDanian Tomlinson or to wrap up the young, explosive Sproles.

Don't be surprised to see Tomlinson head out in a trade and Sproles sign a long-term deal. ##FRANCHISED##

Dominic Rhodes (Indianapolis): Look for the Colts to keep up with the current NFL trend of having two solid running backs on the roster.

If not, Rhodes could provide some stability anywhere he goes.

J.J. Arrington (Arizona): With Edgerrin James perhaps headed out in Arizona; the Cardinals may keep Arrington as a viable backup option to Tim Hightower.

Arrington is also a solid utility player as he can return kicks and punts with sometimes-deadly efficiency.

Derrick Ward (NY Giants): A cornerstone in the Giants backfield of "Earth, Wind, and Fire," look for Ward to remain a Giant along with Brandon Jacobs.

Correll Buckhalter (Philadelphia): With Brian Westbrook's injury concerns, expect to see the Eagles attempt to keep their valuable backup in Philly.


T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Cincinatti): The biggest free agent wide out on the market.

Look for Housh to head to a team in need of a number one receiver as he has been playing in the shadow of Chad Ocho Johncinco or whatever he is calling himself these days.

Devery Henderson (New Orleans): A deep target of Drew Brees', Henderson should garner some attention on the free agent market.

Don't be surprised to see him stay in New Orleans as a valuable pawn in the chess set that is the Saints offense.

Shaun McDonald (Detroit): A career number two receiver, McDonald has shown he can be solid, effective and reliable.

If he can get out of Detroit, he may be able to make a name for himself lining up opposite of the double-team side.

Jabar Gaffney (New England): One in a long list of Patriots receivers and Tom Brady targets.

Gaffney could serve as a number two for a team thin at the wide out position or as a threatening slot receiver in any offense.


Owen Daniels (Houston): A solid pass catching tight end that will make a good addition to any offense.

Look for Houston to try to retain him.

Leonard Pope (Arizona): A restricted free agent, he will cost some draft picks for any team looking to add his services.

His big body and blocking ability would be effective in most any scheme and has above average hands.

L.J. Smith (Philadelphia): Smith has seen improvement in each of the last couple of seasons, and should remain an Eagle, however, if he does not, his speed makes him a unique brand of tight end that will surely be sought after.

Bo Scaife (Tennessee): With Alge Crumpler coming to town before the 2008 season, it is unlikely the Titans will keep Scaife and his starting tight-end contract for the 2009 season.

Scaife played college ball with troubled Titans quarterback Vince Young, so a decision on Young's future could affect the proceedings with Scaife.  ##FRANCHISED##


Matt Birk (Minnesota): The Pro-Bowl center will likely remain with the Vikings for the next few years, but the team has already drafted and begun grooming his replacement, so a move isn't out of the question.

Jeff Saturday (Indianapolis): Look for the Colts to do everything they can to re-sign Saturday before he hits the open market, but if he does make it that far, expect teams to line up with their check books ready.

Jon Runyan (Philadelphia): A staple in Philadelphia's offense for years, it may be time for the Pro Bowler to move on, however it is likely he will stay in Philly until the end of his career.

Tra Thomas (Philadelphia): Another key piece of the Eagles' offensive line that will need to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid the Eagles winding up with major gaps in the O-line that will be protecting an aging and slowing Donovan McNabb.

Mike Goff (San Diego): An intricate piece of the lines that have seen LaDanian Tomlinson rise to prominence in the NFL.

As a seasoned veteran, look for the Chargers to retain Goff, especially if they decide to part ways with Tomlinson.

It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks pan out in the NFL and whether or not these players remain where they are or end up with a change of scenery and a donation to the NFL's never ending parity among its teams.


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