Free agency has the potential to drastically change the landscape of the league. With one move, a team could become a Super Bowl contender. While there are no Peyton Mannings in this year's free-agent class, there is plenty of talent all around. Here are predictions for seven of the top free agents this offseason.
Jake Long, OT, Miami Dolphins
Predicted Landing Spot: San Diego Chargers
Long may no longer be the elite offensive tackle he once was, but he can still significantly upgrade a team with a subpar offensive line situation. The former first-overall pick and four-time Pro Bowl selection is likely to be overpaid, due to his past success. The Chargers look like the perfect fit for the 27-year-old, as their inability to block opposing pass-rushers in recent years has led to a regression from Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers.
Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
Predicted Landing Spot: Green Bay Packers
The Packers have the luxury of boasting three other capable wide receivers in Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones; still, it's never a bad thing to have more offensive threats. Jennings has been Rodgers’ favorite target since the California product replaced Brett Favre as Green Bay’s starting quarterback, and for good reason. Jennings' combination of solid speed, crisp route-running and good hands make him one of the top receiving threats in the league, even with constant injury concerns. Expect the Packers to franchise Jennings and bring him back to the Wisconsin for another season.
Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Predicted Landing Spot: Minnesota Vikings
Mike Wallace may have effort and attitude problems, but he has the potential to be the most dangerous deep threat in the NFL. Wallace’s blistering speed and solid frame make him a mismatch for any defender. Over his four-year career with the Steelers, Wallace is averaging over 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns a season. The Ole Miss product is due for a mega payday, and he is likely to get it from the Vikings, who are in desperate need of talented receiving options for Christian Ponder.
Anthony Spencer, OLB, Dallas Cowboys
Predicted Landing Spot: Cincinnati Bengals
For years, Anthony Spencer took the backseat in Dallas to DeMarcus Ware, but he finally broke out last season. In a contract year, Spencer racked up 95 tackles, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles—and made his first Pro Bowl. The 29-year-old is likely too expensive for the cap-strained Cowboys to re-sign, but he would make a perfect fit in Cincinnati. The Bengals, who already boast a stellar pass rush, have loads of cap space and are a star outside linebacker away from having an elite defensive unit.
Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit Lions
Predicted Landing Spot: Detroit Lions
While Cliff Avril offers little outside of pressuring the quarterback, he is incredibly good at his one major skill. Avril has emerged as one of the finest pass-rushing defensive ends in the NFL in recent seasons, as he has recorded 29 sacks and seven forced fumbles over the last three years. The Lions cannot afford to let one of their star defensive players go, and they have the cap space to bring Avril back to Motown.
William Moore, S, Atlanta Falcons
Predicted Landing Spot: Atlanta Falcons
William Moore has quietly emerged as one of the most complete safeties in the NFL. Moore recorded 75 tackles, nine pass deflections, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and a sack last season, while anchoring one of the league’s best secondaries. While the 27-year-old is likely to test the open market, Atlanta will be determined to bring back one of the key cogs in its first playoff run in the Matt Ryan-Mike Smith era.
Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins
Predicted Landing Spot: Indianapolis Colts
After years of playing just a third-down role in New Orleans, Reggie Bush finally emerged as a solid feature back in Miami the last two seasons. Since 2011, Bush has recorded over 2,600 total yards and 15 touchdowns, while averaging upwards of 4.5 yards per carry. Despite the former Heisman Trophy winner’s success in South Beach, the Dolphins are unlikely to bring Bush back in 2013. The USC product would be a perfect fit for the Colts, who possess plenty of cap space and need an infusion of talent at running back.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!