NFL teams are always looking for ways to improve, which is why it's shocking to see some of the players still available on the 2013 free-agency market.
With the dog days of summer fast approaching and teams having already completed OTAs and minicamps, there are still some veritable stars who have yet to sign on with new teams.
Rest assured, these players will find jobs before the start of the 2013 NFL season. Veterans with something left in the tank will likely end up making a significant impact for their new teams as leaders in the clubhouse and on the field.
Here's the latest buzz surrounding the top players left on the market as the NFL shifts its focus from offseason training to the beginning of training camp and the start of a new season.
Richard Seymour Content to Wait for Market to Come to Him
Seymour and the Atlanta Falcons had been in talks recently to see if they could work out a deal. At this time, however, as CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported, the talks have stalled, though Seymour thanked them "for their efforts":
Falcons were trying to sign DL Richard Seymour but he tells me they couldn't agree on contract terms. "I thank them for their efforts."— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 16, 2013
ESPN's Adam Schefter more recently reported on SportsCenter (via Rotoworld.com) that Seymour is in no rush to sign on with a team. Schefter mentioned Seymour's likely aversion to attending two-a-days during training camp and noted that "He's only gonna play if the money is absolutely right."
There's a school of thought, as expressed by D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that the Falcons and Seymour could revisit contract talks after the team negotiates a long-term extension with superstar quarterback Matt Ryan.
Though Seymour is certainly nearing the end of his career at the age of 33, there is no doubt that he still has a lot to offer. A powerful defensive tackle who can also slide out to play as a five-technique defensive end in 3-4 schemes, Seymour is a force in the middle.
Throughout his career, Seymour has consistently dominated the line of scrimmage and is capable of pushing the pocket from inside. The Falcons would certainly benefit from a player of his caliber, and Seymour knows it.
Which veteran lineman will have a better season in 2013?
Atlanta should pounce on Seymour as soon as possible, because there will undoubtedly be other teams interested in landing him this summer.
Israel Idonije Likely Won't Re-Sign with Chicago
The Chicago Bears have long had a "standing offer" for Idonije's services this year, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported back in April.
After the team signed Sedrick Ellis recently (h/t ESPNChicago.com), however, it doesn't appear likely that Chicago will be able to re-sign Idonije, given salary-cap constraints. Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune essentially ruled out the idea (Digital Plus; subscription required) after Ellis' signing.
Though Idonije isn't as prodigious a pass-rusher as the top defensive ends in the league, he's a capable situational player who has consistently provided pressure off the edge for the Bears the past few years.
With 28.5 sacks in his career, Idonije has averaged 6.5 sacks the past three years.
While the market appears to be cool for Idonije's services, he'll certainly find a home before training camps conclude this summer.
Desmond Bishop Already In High Demand After Release
Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers officially released Bishop on Monday, June 17, as reported by Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Within hours of his release, Bishop was being linked to the Minnesota Vikings, per the Packer Report:
As has been speculated on here already, source says look out for Minnesota to make a strong run at Bishop, league source says.— Packer Report (@PackerReport) June 17, 2013
ESPNWisconsin.com's Jason Wilde confirmed that report and noted Bishop would be visiting the Vikings on Tuesday:
Finally, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Bishop would be visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday after his visit with the Vikings:
Judging by the way things are unfolding, it won't be long before Bishop lands on his feet with a new club, despite the fact that he missed the 2012 season with a torn hamstring.
Bishop was a solid player for the Packers in 2011 before his injury, so it's not a big surprise to see him garnering so much interest. At the age of 28, Bishop still has a lot to offer a team in need of a middle linebacker.
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