The 2014 NFL free agency period has been wild thus far, but there is still plenty of talent left on the open market and rumors are flying.
With top names like wide receiver Julian Edelman, defensive end Jared Allen and polarizing playmaker Kenny Britt still on the board, the free-agency period is going to continue generating big news.
All of the following rumors have embroiled the football community.
Cleveland Browns Interested in Julian Edelman?
The Patriots did their best to keep wide receiver Julian Edelman in New England, even reportedly offering him a three-year deal, but he has hit the open market and is drawing interest from several organizations.
The team making the strongest push so far has been the Cleveland Browns, according to Michael Giardi CSN New England:
Browns making strong push to get Julian Edelman in the fold. The effort comes now that Cleveland expects Cincy to match offer for Hawkins— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 13, 2014
As Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reports, though, Edelman is in no rush to make a decision:
Julian Edelman likely to take his time. Don't expect a quick signing there.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2014
While re-signing with the Patriots would be his best chance of long-term success in the NFL, both on the field and financially, the allure of big money via free agency right now is something many players can’t turn down.
Edelman played in all 16 games last season and managed to rack up 105 receptions, 1,056 yards, six touchdowns and 54 first downs as Tom Brady’s primary target in the pass offense.
There is no question that Edelman’s numbers would plummet with Cleveland, but cashing in on his success may be his prerogative.
Predicted Landing Spot: Cleveland Browns
Jared Allen Willing to Walk Away from Football?
The Minnesota Vikings let veteran defensive end Jared Allen walk via free agency, and there are several teams interested in his services, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN:
While Denver focuses on DeMarcus Ware…Vikings free-agent DE Jared Allen is talking with the Bears and Seattle Seahawks, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
After drawing interest from the Denver Broncos before the team signed DeMarcus Ware, the latest report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network claims that Allen may be content with walking away from the NFL:
Jared Allen wants his fair value after averaging 13 sacks. I’m told he’d be at peace living his life without football if he doesn’t get it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2014
Allen is one of the most interesting players in the league, and his charisma and personality are only matched by his leadership qualities and on-field ability. The 4-3 defensive end is a veteran player who will make an instant impact on any franchise.
For the sake of NFL fans, Allen deserves to be signed.
Not only is he a great leader on and off the field for a defense, but he also still possesses elite talent even at 31 years old (will be 32 to start the 2014-15 season). Allen had his seventh straight season of double-digit sacks (11.5) and would be a force on any defensive line.
With Julius Peppers out in Chicago, the Bears would be smart to add a veteran like Allen.
Predicted Landing Spot: Chicago Bears
Teams Kicking the Tires on Kenny Britt?
The Tennessee Titans drafted wide receiver Kenny Britt in the first round of the 2009 draft with the hope that he would blossom into a top star in the NFL. After five seasons of injuries, off-field incidents and lackluster production, he has hit the open market via free agency.
Is Kenny Britt worth signing?
Britt is coming off of a season where he played in 12 games and amassed only 11 receptions for 96 yards and zero touchdowns. He still possesses the height (6’3”) and aggressiveness to be a difference maker, but his focus has always been an issue.
Washington is desperate for a receiver who can be a threat in the red zone and over traffic. While Britt would fit the Redskins’ need perfectly, the questions about his desire to be a contributing member of the team must be answered first.
Predicted Landing Spot: Washington Redskins
*Stats via NFL.com.