NFL Rumors: Predicting Landing Spots for Top Available Players

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IMarch 16, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 14:  Jake Long #77 of the Miami Dolphins looks on against the St. Louis Rams at Sun Life Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

There are still several marquee names left on the free-agent market in the NFL, and each has met with teams in their search to find a home, but nothing has come of those meetings yet.

Former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long is still on the market after leaving a visit with the St. Louis Rams without a contract, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Safety Ed Reed went to Houston to meet with the Texans, but he also left without getting a deal done, according to Chris Wesseling of

Charles Woodson is also a top safety still on the market after he recently met with the San Francisco 49ers, per Marc Sessler of

Let's take a closer look at the latest on each of these players' situations and where they will likely end up.


Jake Long, Offensive Tackle

It looked like Long was heading to St. Louis to join the Rams only a few days ago, but that thought process took a huge hit after it was discovered Long left St. Louis without a contract in place, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

After spending parts of 3 days in St. Louis league sources say Jake Long scheduled to leave town his afternoon. At this point still no deal.

— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) March 15, 2013

It now appears that the Miami Dolphins are making a strong push to keep Long with the the team, per Adam Schefter of ESPN:

Not sure if it'll be good enough, but this much is sure: Miami making a strong push to re-sign OT Jake Long.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2013

The Rams and Dolphins have been the only two teams we've heard much about in regard to where Long might land, but St. Louis appears to be in bad shape after Long left without hammering out a contract.

It remains to be seen exactly what caused the two sides to part ways without a deal, but it likely has to do with money considering the Rams were reportedly fine with Long medically.

The Dolphins have not been shy about spending money this offseason and have seriously beefed up their roster on both sides of the ball. Keeping Long on the roster would be huge for Miami's offense since he's the best option it can get at the tackle position at this point in free agency.

As long as the Dolphins can pay up, Long should have no problem rejoining his mates in Miami in what is an impressively revamped offense.

Landing Spot: Dolphins


Ed Reed, Safety

Reed looked likely to return to Baltimore when free agency began, but the Houston Texans have recently emerged a potential suitor for the future Hall of Famer.

After a meeting with the Texans, Reed left with no contract in place, although it looks like he will continue to talk with the team, per

Ed Reed left the Houston Texans' facility without a deal Friday but will continue to talk with the team.

Reed departed in order to tend to a previous engagement, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported.

A source previously told ESPN that the chances of the free-agent safety signing with the Texas is "50-50" at best.

The fact that Reed left Houston with his free-agent status intact is great news for the Ravens, who have lost several key pieces from their Super Bowl XLVII run. It's even better news that Reed appears to be "50-50 at best" to sign with the Texans.

According to Mike Garafalo of USA Today Sports, the Ravens have remained in contact with Reed throughout his trip to Houston, so the talks are still ongoing.

Contrary to what appeared to be a willingness to let Reed leave, as cornerback Cary Williams and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger did, the Ravens have remained in contact with Reed, according to a person informed of those talks.

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing, said general manager Ozzie Newsome has remained in contact with Reed's camp throughout his visit to Houston.

It would be shocking to see Reed leave Baltimore, although he would be just the latest shocking departure from the Ravens. Granted, it's certainly possible, but the Ravens are likely more inclined to re-sign Reed after everyone they've lost and at the threat that Reed signs with another team like the Texans.

It's time for the Ravens to do what is necessary to keep Reed in Baltimore and I expect them to do just that.

Landing Spot: Ravens


Charles Woodson, Safety

Woodson and the San Francisco 49ers have been talking about the veteran safety filling the Niners void at the same position, per Akbar Gbaja-Biamila of

Update: The @49ers are n serious discussion w/Asomugha and Charles Woodson. Reuniting these 2 in the 2ndary is a major upgrade. #FreeAgency

— Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja) March 15, 2013

The fit with Woodson and the Niners is just too perfect.

Woodson has already stated he wants to finish his career with a contender, which is something the Niners are after falling just a field goal short in the Super Bowl XLVII. Meanwhile, the Niners lost their All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so they have a need at the position.

Asomugha will be a bit harder to figure out considering he's the younger of the two and may be looking for the biggest payday possible, which will greatly expand the amount of teams that have a chance to sign him.

But in regard to Woodson, going to the Niners will give him the best chance to win at this late stage in his career, so look for him to join San Fran when the dust settles.

Landing Spot: 49ers


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