The 2014 NFL free-agency period has been as wild as anyone could have predicted, but there are still many players who could be difference-makers left on the open market.
With free agents like wide receiver Julian Edelman, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and safety Ryan Clark all still available, the mad rush to sign these players will continue until each finds a landing spot.
Here are the latest rumors surrounding several of the top free agents available.
New England Patriots Still Favorites to Land Julian Edelman?
The New England Patriots initially offered wide receiver Julian Edelman a three-year deal to keep him from reaching free agency, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, but he turned it down to test the market.
After seeing the other offers, New England may be Edelman’s best option.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots are actively trying to work out a deal that would bring him back for the 2014-15 season:
Patriots working to get a deal done with WR Julian Edelman. Most likely scenario all along was a return there. Few other options available— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 15, 2014
Edelman is coming off a career year in which he amassed 105 receptions, 1,056 yards, six touchdowns and 54 first downs. While those numbers will help him draw interest in free agency, the lack of consistency over his career will keep his asking price low.
Not only does New England need the clutch pass-catching skills of Edelman in its offense, but the wide receiver would also be wise to re-sign with the Patriots in order to continue putting up monster statistics.
After a few more seasons of success with New England, Edelman’s next trip to free agency should yield a monstrous return.
Predicted Landing Spot: New England Patriots
Antonio Cromartie and Arizona Cardinals Reach a Stalemate
While there is a chance cornerback Antonio Cromartie re-signs with the New York Jets, the veteran is receiving plenty of intention on the open market. The Arizona Cardinals hosted him for a visit Thursday and Friday, according to Kent Somers of AZCentral.com, but the two parties have yet to come to an agreement.
Cromartie is coming off a mediocre season in which he only racked up 35 combined tackles and three interceptions in 16 games, but he is a veteran of the NFL who has composure in unfavorable situations.
After being cut by New York, Cromartie took to Twitter to comment on the situation:
I would also like to give a big up to The Jets Fan base. Thank you for all the support thru my 4 yr career with you. Thank you again.— ANTONIO CROMARTIE (@CRO31) March 9, 2014
Arizona already has one of the most dynamic defensive backfields in the league with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, and the addition of a hard-hitting veteran like Cromartie would help the team reach the next level.
Whether the two teams can reach a deal will be the top storyline of the coming days.
Predicted Landing Spot: Arizona Cardinals
Washington Redskins and Ryan Clark Working on a Deal?
The Washington Redskins and former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark have been working on a deal, according to Mike Jones of The Washington Post, but the two parties have been unable to hammer out the details.
Which free agent is the most intriguing?
The 13-year pro proved last season that he still has plenty left in the tank. He totaled 104 combined tackles, two interceptions and four pass deflections, but it's his versatility and ability to drop into coverage or step up against the run that make him a strong addition.
Add in his leadership abilities, and this will be a great signing for Washington, Minnesota or whatever team finally inks the veteran.
Predicted Landing Spot: Minnesota Vikings
*Stats via NFL.com.