The 2014 NFL free-agency period officially kicks off Tuesday, March 11 at 4 p.m. ET, and the latest rumors surrounding the biggest names on the open market have football fans excited once again.
Teams were allowed to talk to free agents during the legal tampering period, but contracts could not be signed until Tuesday afternoon. That has led to a huge rush of rumors engulfing the football community.
Here is the latest chatter surrounding the biggest names on the market and where each will land after all offers are submitted.
Jared Allen, Defensive End
Free-agent defensive end Jared Allen was one of the most entertaining players in the NFL during his time with the Minnesota Vikings, but the team’s signing of end Everson Griffen made it clear that Allen’s time in purple was over.
According to Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press, there is a good chance Allen signs with the Denver Broncos:
Source close to the situation would be "shocked" if Jared Allen doesn't end up with the Denver Broncos.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) March 10, 2014
With Peyton Manning under center, it is clear that the Broncos are in win-now mode, and adding a veteran defensive end who will guarantee pressure off the edge consistently is exactly what the franchise proved it needed during the 2013-14 postseason.
FoxSports.com’s Mike Garafolo shared the team’s interest:
Just said in a taped segment to air on @FOXSportsLive tonight: Broncos are going to make a strong push for DE Jared Allen starting tomorrow.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2014
Add the fact that Allen is the perfect fit at defensive end in John Fox’s system, and this rumored reciprocated interest would be a perfect short-term deal that could help spawn a Super Bowl Championship in Denver.
After racking up double-digit sacks (11.5) for the seventh straight year, Allen would be a wise investment for a team on the cusp of winning a title.
Predicted Landing Spot: Denver Broncos
James Jones, Wide Receiver
James Jones emerged as a viable No. 2 option in the high-powered Packers offense, but he now has the chance to take the gaudy numbers he amassed in Green Bay and cash them in for a big contract elsewhere.
While playing with Aaron Rodgers again is be an enticing option, several teams, including the Detroit Lions, are interested in Jones via free agency, according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net:
I'm told wide out James Jones receiving heavy interest from the Detroit Lions & New York Jets...Green Bay Packers may still be in the mix..— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 11, 2014
As great as a return to Green Bay would be for Jones' offensive production, the possibility of playing alongside Calvin Johnson in Detroit and acting as his complement is too good an opportunity for Jones to pass up.
Jones has undoubtedly earned a hefty payday with his consistency on the field. Green Bay will try to lure him back with a fair deal, but Detroit understands its need for a viable No. 2 receiver and will ensure he signs with the Lions by overpaying.
Predicted Landing Spot: Detroit Lions
Karlos Dansby, Inside Linebacker
The Arizona Cardinals found success stopping the run last season due in part to the elite play of free-agent inside linebacker Karlos Dansby. With Dansby one of the defensive options on the open market, the Cleveland Browns are one of the teams showing interest.
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Dansby amassed 114 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, four interceptions and two touchdowns last season, and he would be a spark on the field and in the locker room for any team lacking depth and talent at the middle linebacker position.
Cleveland has the need after cutting veteran linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (who signed a four-year deal with Indianapolis), and it also has the salary-cap space to pay Dansby what he wants, but whether he will agree to join the Browns is another story.
Money talks, though, and Dansby will likely take his talents to Cleveland.
Predicted Landing Spot: Cleveland Browns
*Stats via NFL.com.