NFL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Biggest Free Agents

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2014

Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) along the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Bears 54-11. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There is a host of talent set to hit the NFL free-agent market. As of Saturday, teams can begin to officially contact free agents, and on Tuesday, they can begin to sign them.

If recent patterns hold true, there will be a flurry of activity as free agency begins. It is an exciting time to be a fan.

In an effort to hit the ground running, I've compiled the rumors on three of the more interesting names set to hit the open market. 


Aqib Talib, CB 

January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aqib Talib is understandably looking to score big in the open market. 

Around the League passed along this rumor: 

As a matter of perspective, the Dolphins just re-signed Brent Grimes to a four-year, $32 million deal with $16 million guaranteed. Talib has a right to expect a similar deal. 

Talib has injury issues, but he is also three years younger than Grimes. 

The following stat pointed out by ESPN's Trey Wingo highlights the risk and reward of signing Talib: 

He provided excellent defense, but he also wasn't able to finish either game. Talib is arguably the best corner available in free agency, but with other talented corners like Alterraun Verner, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Charles Tillman also set to hit the open market, I wouldn't expect the market on corners to move very fast. 

Teams aren't going to jump to pay any of these guys top dollar right off the bat. 

The team I'd keep an eye on is the Denver Broncos. The Broncos will either have to spend to re-sign Rodgers-Cromartie or find a replacement.

Talib would be a great fit for a team firmly in win-now mode. 


Michael Vick, QB

Jan 30, 2014; New York, NY USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on radio row at the Super Bowl XLVIII media center at the Sheraton Times Square New York. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It can be debated how much Michael Vick has left in the tank. He's been a walking turnover in his recent play. In his 17 games played in the last two seasons, he has 13 interceptions and seven fumbles lost. 

He also has 20 combined passing and rushing touchdowns in that span. He remains talented and dangerous. And if he could stay healthy for a season, he has the potential to produce. Just ask Adrian Peterson:

Whatever Vick is able to do next season, it isn't likely to come in Philadelphia. This tweet from Eye on Football does a solid job of summing up the situation:

So cross the Eagles off the list. It's probably also safe to cross Peterson's Minnesota Vikings off the list now that Matt Cassel has re-signed

Among teams who will likely show interest, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora mentions the "Jets, Raiders and other teams are monitoring Vick."

The Jets appear to be the best fit for Vick.

Marty Mornhinweg is the offensive coordinator in New York, and it was in his offense in Philadelphia where Vick played some of his best football.

The New York Jets watched rookie quarterback Geno Smith go through his share of struggles last season. The youngster, however, didn't have many weapons to work with on offense, and it is too early to give up on him.

Vick would bring his playmaking potential to a team that needs it, and the Jets could still try and develop Smith without being so dependent on him. 


Michael Bennett, DE

Jan 30, 2014; Jersey City, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) at a press conference at The Westin in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Bennett signed late in free agency last offseason with the Seattle Seahawks for a relative bargain. 

He is reportedly going to try the process again, as this tweet from ESPN informs us:

Bennett signed for $5 million last year, and he led the Seahawks in sacks with 8.5. There is a good chance he will get a raise this year. 

If the following tweet has any validity, Bennett could become the latest piece in the rivalry between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers:  

I wouldn't be surprised if the 49ers leaked rumors to try and drive up Bennett's price. At any rate, if the 49ers don't have legitimate interest in Bennett, I expect him to get plenty of other interest.

The Oakland Raiders should make a run at Bennett. They need down linemen who can put pressure on the quarterback, and they have a boatload of salary-cap room.