Our pal Josh Garcia is back to drop some wisdom on us from the Left Coast. This time, he runs down the top ten free agents that will be on the market this offseason. You can read more of Josh's guest posts right here.
The NFL offseason chatter started over their meaningless, non-watched exhibition game that they play in Hawaii. Upcoming free agent Pro-Bowlers talking about where they might go and what might happen. That's the only thing I take away from the Pro Bowl. So here is my list for top 10 free agents.
1) Albert Haynesworth - DT
Albert is a force in the middle and can dominate games when he wants to. He is going to get a higher contract than that of Jared Allen's last year, and he might bring a team from good to great.
Where he will go: Atlanta is where I think Albert will end up. His home is there and Atlanta is in a position to make a push for him.
2) Ray Lewis - LB
Ray Lew is arguably the most coveted FA and not because of his on-the-field play. It's what Lewis brings to the locker room, as well as the field, that makes him such a highly regarded and highly wanted player.
Where he will go: Dallas may chase him but when all is said and done, Ray Lewis will be back home in Baltimore.
3) Karlos Dansby - LB
Coming off a Super Bowl loss, Dansby will not be a cheap signee. He was one of the bigger names on the Arizona defense, which isn't saying much, but Dansby will be a good signing where ever he goes.
Where he will go: New Orleans will be looking to re-stock at LB and look for them to make Dansby, "Saint Karlos."
4) Julius Peppers - DE
When Ju Pepps is on his game, he is probably the best defensive end in the game. Yes I know he's been franchised, which makes this situation a little more complicated. That's also why he is lower on the list.
Instead of getting into what teams will have to do to get him, I will focus on the fact that he doesn't want to be in Carolina for a long term deal and wants to be traded because he was tagged. He has indicated four teams.
The Saints, and Bucs are two of those teams so I don't see that scenario working out. The Panthers don't want to see him twice a year. Atlanta is a possibility but that would ruin my Albert pick.
Dallas is the last team but the Cowboys don't have a first round pick so that scenario is unlikely as well.
Where he will go: I don't know, he could hold out but I think he will begrudgingly play for the Panthers this year.
5) Jonathan Vilma - LB
Nothing flashy here just a tackling machine. He hasn't been what a lot of people expected coming out of the U, but he finished in the top 10 last year in tackles and could bolster any team's defense.
Where he will go: Since Dallas is letting Zach Thomas and Kevin Burnett go via free agency, and it is unlikely they will get Ray Lewis, I think they will try and succeed in signing Vilma.
6) T.J. Houshmandzadeh - WR
Our first offensive player to make the list, his solid play has been overshadowed by Ocho Cinco's mouth. He caught 92 balls last year for 908 yards with who at QB? Yeah, I don't know either.
Just imagine what he is capable of after getting out of Cincy and to a potentially winning team.
Where he will go: T.J. will be an Eagle next year and be that number one guy that Donavan McNabb has missed since T.O. left. T.J. can also catch the ball and run in the end zone without letting go of the ball before crossing the goal line.
7) Brian Dawkins - S
I know he is a bit old (35) but he is a veteran that a lot of younger on the thresh teams could look at. Plus, players play longer now and are in better shape. Okay, I'm reaching a little bit.
Where he will go: The Houston Texans and Dawkins seem to fit like peanut butter and jelly. They need a hard hitting safety and defensive leader. He could be just the guy to get that Texans D to the next level.
8) Atari Bigby - S
I know what you're thinking, I don't want some guy on my team that was named after an old video game system and who is this joker anyway? Okay, well, Bigby was hurt most of the year last year but is an up and comer in my eyes.
He seems to be everywhere on the field when he is healthy, sort of like the pong ball when you get to the last level. Just like boop boop boop. In 2007, playing 16 games, he had 86 tackles and five picks.
He is only 27 and his best years are in front of him. I think he may be the steal of free agency.
Where he will go: Miami is re-building and Bigby would be a good piece to put in place in the secondary.
9) Devery Henderson - WR
This Saints speedster will be coveted for just that...speed. He may be one of the fastest men in the NFL, but with New Orleans having an arsenal of weapons he will be somewhere else next season.
Where he will go: This scenario hinges on Oakland not drafting Michael Crabtree, but considering they just signed Nnamdi Asomugha (sound it out) to a three-year/$45 Million deal, maybe Al Davis will spend less money on a wideout.
Maybe? Anyway,Devery can run forever and let JeMarcus Russell launch 80 yard passes his way.
10) Jeff Garcia - QB
Laugh all you want but out of all the free agent quarterbacks he makes the most sense to me for a team that wants to win now. Any team that is looking at him has a phenomenal back which will set Jeff up in the play action and out of the pocket where he is most dangerous.
He knows how to manage games and doesn't turn the ball over.
Where he will go: Minnesota is a perfect scenario for him because he can hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson 25 times a game and they have one of the best O-lines in football. To me it's a no-brainer.
Also keep an eye out for big cuts like Marvin Harrison from the Colts and Roy Williams from the Cowboys. Well, safety Roy Williams from the Cowboys.
I'm sure there will be more big names, maybe T.O.?