NFL Rumors: Reggie Bush, Cliff Avril and Hottest Free Agency Buzz
It's important to take all these rumors with a grain of salt, though. According to Indianapolis Colts' beat writer Mike Chappell:
Talked to an agent today who said 98 percent of what you're hearing about team and interest in players 'is complete BS.'— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) March 11, 2013
Still, it's fun to believe that your favorite team has a shot at one of the league's top players, no matter how far-fetched an idea it may be.
With that in mind, here are the latest rumors regarding some of the hottest free agents on the market.
Reggie Bush Would Be a Dangerous Weapon with the Detroit Lions
The Arizona Cardinals are in hot pursuit of Bush, but so are the Lions, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
DetroitLions.com's Tim Twentyman confirms the team's interest, and he believes that Detroit push harder for Bush than any other free agent this year.
Bush isn't a dominant, inside-the-tackles runner, but he is still a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands. In his seven-year career, Bush has rushed for 4,162 yards and 29 touchdowns and has caught 372 passes for 2,730 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Adding him to the offense to play with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Ryan Broyles and Brandon Pettigrew would give Matthew Stafford a dynamic arsenal of weaponry with which to assault opposing defenses.
Cliff Avril Would Automatically Give Ray Horton's Defense in Cleveland Some Teeth
Avril is the best free agent in this year's free-agent class, and the Browns are pushing hard to land either him or Paul Kruger, according to SI.com's Peter King, who puts his money on Avril.
Kruger has put together one good season with the Baltimore Ravens, while Avril has been posting upper-echelon sack totals for the past three—not to mention his nine forced fumbles.
Better fit for the Browns: Avril or Kruger?
Avril has been doing all this as a 4-3 defensive end, but he's struggled to stay on the field for all three downs, given his slight frame. The 6'3", 260-pound pass-rusher isn't great at stuffing the run as a defensive end, but he's a perfect fit for the Browns as an outside linebacker.
With big men like Phil Taylor, Ahtyba Rubin, John Hughes and Billy Wynn clogging up the middle of the field and keeping the interior linemen occupied, Avril will be going one-on-one on the outside with offensive tackles almost 100 percent of the time—a matchup he'll win more often than not.
Andy Levitre Would Be Perfect Fit in Peyton Manning's Offense
Andy Levitre is being pursued by multiple teams. The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt first stoked the fires about the Tennessee Titans as a team in the mix for his services, and SI.com's Peter King has further confirmed the team's interest.
Then, Rapoport dropped this bit of knowledge on us early on Monday morning:
The Colts have plenty of money to spend, but Denver is the intriguing destination on this list.
Levitre is a talented pass-blocking guard who isn't particularly dominant as a run-blocker. He graded out as Pro Football Focus' (subscription required) top pass-blocking guard in 2012, but he struggled in the running game.
Sounds like he's a perfect fit for the Broncos. The biggest selling point for Levitre might be that he has a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl run with Denver, which features a burgeoning young defense to go along with an explosive offense.
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