NFL Free Agency 2013: Predicted Landing Spots for Top Remaining Players

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIMarch 16, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03:  Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with the VInce Lombardi trophy after the Ravens won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers during Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a whirlwind start to the 2013 NFL free-agency period, things have finally started to slow down. Despite all the big names swept off the market, there's still plenty of talent to be found out there.

With an ample list of stars remaining on the market, and a lot of cash yet to be spent, you can be sure that the excitement is far from over.

Here's a breakdown of some of the biggest names still on the market, with predictions of where they'll land.


Sebastian Vollmer, T

Predicted landing spot: New England Patriots

The Patriots entered the offseason with some money to play with, and so far they've been generally conservative.

The Pats decided to cut ties with Wes Welker and instead brought in the cheaper Danny Amendola. And as reported by CBS Sports, they've decided to cut ties with wide receiver Brandon Lloyd while bringing back cornerback Aqib Talib.

With plenty of wiggle room still open on the books, it has to be assumed New England makes every effort to retain the services of tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

The Patriots have always taken pride in their stout offensive line, and that was no different in 2013. When healthy, there's no better player on that line—and possibly in the NFL—than Vollmer. The big issue though is that Vollmer can't stay healthy. The 28-year-old played in just six games for New England in 2011, and 15 in 2012.

But without a whole lot of depth, the team's best bet remains bringing back Vollmer. He's a proven competitor, knows the blocking schemes and is a great talent.

Even with the injury risk, the Pats would be foolish to let Vollmer walk.


Jake Long, T

Predicted landing spot: St. Louis

The tug-o-war over tackle Jake Long continues, as it was recently reported by the's Dan Hanzus that Long has contracts in hand from both the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams.

Now all he needs to do is make a choice.

Despite injuries that have caused Long to miss six starts over the last two seasons, the 27-year-old remains one of the premier left tackles in the league.

Obviously there's some loyalty to consider here, since the Dolphins did draft him No. 1 overall in 2008. But if Long hopes to go somewhere where he can win, the better option has to be St. Louis.

After many years in the dark, the Rams are starting to reemerge in the NFC West. Sam Bradford is finally starting to develop into an able quarterback, and the Rams sport one of the most underrated defenses in the league.

Not to mention the team has two first-round picks in this year's NFL draft.

While the Rams still have a ways to go towards becoming a championship-caliber team, they're closer than the Dolphins. With the chance to really solidify that offense for the future, Long and St. Louis are a perfect fit.


Brent Grimes, CB

Predicted landing spot: Atlanta Falcons

Despite how good they were on offense, the Atlanta Falcons struggled on defense in 2012. A lot of the issues stemmed from an ineffective secondary. Opponents averaged 242.2 passing yards a game against Atlanta.

That should make Brent Grimes a priority.

The young cornerback has shown tremendous promise early in his career, accumulating 12 interceptions and 50 defended passes from 2009 to 2011.

Unfortunately, health issues derailed Grimes in 2012, as he only played in one game.

But without a lot of options, Grimes remains a great option for Atlanta. He not only gives it a great building block for the future, but an effective defender on an otherwise lackluster squad.

If Atlanta's smart, it'll do everything it can to ensure Grimes stays put.


Ed Reed, S

Predicted landing spot: San Francisco 49ers

No other free agent has the Hall of Fame credentials that Ed Reed carries, and it makes him one of the biggest names remaining on the market. Even at 34 years old, at one of the NFL's most physical positions, Reed started all 16 games for Baltimore last season, compiling four interceptions and 15 passes defended.

With plenty of teams facing holes at safety, Reed's list of suitors gets longer by the day. He's already paid a visit to the Texans, and it's believed he remains high on San Francisco's, Indianapolis' and Baltimore's lists.

While Reed will have his pick of teams, the 49ers could be the one that makes the most sense.

San Francisco recently cut ties with safety Dashon Goldson, and that defense could use a shot of veteran leadership from a player like Reed.

Not to mention his physical style of play fits in perfectly with Jim Harbaugh's system.

It would give the safety an opportunity to not only play for a Super Bowl contender, but also to play alongside former teammate Anquan Boldin.

Looking for the last big contract of his career, San Francisco remains the best fit for Reed.