Most of the major names have found new homes and eyes have turned to the draft, but both the free-agency and trade markets are something to still watch intently. There is apparently a major trade possibility, and underrated free agents that will have a ripple effect on the league have yet to put ink to paper with a team.
Things move fast in this frantic space before the draft, but monitor the following developments the closest. The outcomes will impact each team in the league, not just those directly in the proceedings.
Kenny Britt to Take Talents to Buffalo?
Rutgers product Kenny Britt remains one of the most intriguing names on the market, but was certainly expected to not find a new home quickly.
Britt is just 25 years old, but enters the market after just 11 receptions for 96 yards last season. He fell out of favor with the coaching staff last year and now has something to prove, so it makes a bit of sense he will visit Buffalo, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
It's an interesting fit if it comes to fruition. Buffalo has a second-year quarterback in EJ Manuel who can use as much help as possible, but already has Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods to work with. As far as career-rehab destinations go, Britt could probably do better.
At the same time, Britt may see less attention from defenses. It also would take the Bills out of the running for a top receiver in the draft, but an elite tight end would still very much be in play.
It makes sense the Bills would want Britt based on what is surely his cheap cost and alarming ceiling if he can get all facets of his career on the same page.
James Ihedigbo Has a Large Market
Albeit quietly, James Ihedigbo has one of the hottest markets at the moment.
Thanks to the alarming lack of quality at the position around the league, Ihedigbo was bound to be a hot commodity once names like Jairus Byrd left the market. He ranked as the No. 16 safety in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
While a bit of a one-dimensional player at the age of 30, Ihedigbo has plenty of potential suitors, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun:
Detroit has to be considered the favorite, not just because it is an obvious need, but because Ihedigbo himself said he wants to join the team after a visit, as captured by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press:
As he stepped into a Metro Car en route to the airport today, Ihedigbo said he was doing so without a deal in place.
“Still hoping to,” he said.
Does he expect to be a Lion eventually?
“God willing,” Ihedigbo said. “If (Lions contract negotiator Jon Dykema) helps me out, we’ll make it happen.”
With Baltimore a bit cap-strapped and sounding as if it removed itself from the running, Detroit looks to have a great upgrade against the run inbound.
Will There Be a Trade—and Bidding War—for DeSean Jackson?
The idea of DeSean Jackson getting shipped out of Philadelphia continues to make more and more sense.
At least three teams have now called the Eagles about Jackson, according to Rapoport:
Whether or not Jackson is truly available is hard to tell, but the teams that have reportedly given the Eagles a call make too much sense.
New York has to do everything in its power to make sure second-year quarterback Geno Smith succeeds, so that's an obvious fit. Oakland has the worst roster in the NFL and may draft a rookie signal-caller, so that's a fit. Carolina has no notable names for Cam Newton to throw to—another fit.
But why would Philadelphia want to get rid of Jackson? Like most everything else in the NFL, it comes to money. Bleacher Report's Brad Gagnon put it best:
As we said two weeks ago, trading Jackson is not as silly as it sounds. Right now, 15.54 percent of Philadelphia's cap space for 2014 is committed to the receiving corps, per Spotrac.com, which is an unusually high percentage for any position except quarterback. And Eagles general manager Howie Roseman even admitted last month that investing too heavily in one position could be problematic.
It's interesting that so many teams would be willing to take on more than $10 million in a salary cap hit this year, not to mention the assets required to trade for Jackson in the first place, but he is coming off of a season in which he tallied 1,332 receiving yards and nine scores.
Stay tuned, as each team in the league will be impacted by the Jackson saga.
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