Steelers receiver Mike Wallace extends for a catch against San Diego on December 9, 2012. Wallace is set to become a free agent in March.
Free agency is 28 days away. Then, all 32 teams will swarm the free-agent market, looking to swoop up as many key offseason additions as their budgets allow. Noteworthy players will receive top dollar contracts from teams looking to add a playmaker to their roster, while others will wait for the right fit.
It’s during this time in the NFL where the chaos begins leading up to April’s Draft. It’s during this time where general managers up their opposition by luring in the best free agents on the market.
Here are a few of the 2013 free agents who can turn a team around in an instant.
Mike Wallace is fast, really fast. He darts off the line of scrimmage leaving would-be defenders in his wake. He’s one of the premier deep threats in the NFL.
Following back-to-back seasons of 1,000 plus yards receiving, Wallace had just 64 receptions for 836 yards and eight touchdowns for Pittsburgh in 2012.
But, the speedy receiver is set to become a free agent in March, and it’s safe to say a swarm of teams will be reaching out for his services.
Wallace brings both speed and talent—a skill set envied by many teams around the league.
It’s almost certain the Steelers won’t pay Wallace the type of money he’s pursuing. But whichever team lands Wallace will benefit immediately in 2013.
Another top receiver on the market is Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe. The 28-year-old receiver caught just 59 passes for 801 yards and three touchdowns for Kansas City last season—a team that was dead last in the league in passing offense. Bowe's numbers from a season ago were masked by the Chiefs subpar quarterbacking.
Prior to last season, Bowe had consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more yards receiving. In his six years with the Chiefs, Bowe averaged nearly 14 yards per catch and close to 70 receptions per season.
The 2010 Pro Bowl receiver has enjoyed just one winning season in his six-year career, as a member of a team that won the AFC West Division at 10-6 in 2010.
Kansas City may convince Bowe to stay put, especially with a new coaching staff in place. Then again, Bowe is too talented not to look for work elsewhere and become a centerpiece on a winning team in 2013.
Quarterbacks, running backs and receivers are all important in boasting an efficient offense. But the offensive line is the fuel behind all of it.
New England offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer is arguably one of the best in the NFL at his position. But, the Patriots are in a predicament. They have 18 free agents to try and cut deals with, including star players like Wes Welker, Aqib Talib and Vollmer.
Owner Robert Kraft has already stated he wants to keep Welker around, though, the 31-year-old receiver could come with a hefty price tag. The Patriots would also like to keep Talib, but whether they dish out a long-term contract is not known.
That leaves Vollmer, who could end up as one of the biggest attractions on the market. Vollmer’s size, strength and overall skill will be intriguing to many teams seeking offensive line help. If Vollmer parts ways with New England, his next team will surely benefit from his dominant style of play.