NFL Free Agents 2016: Rumors and Predictions for Players with Multiple Suitors

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
NFL Free Agents 2016: Rumors and Predictions for Players with Multiple Suitors
Michael Perez/Associated Press

It was a busy Monday in the NFL. With the first day of free agency beginning on Wednesday, waves of cuts poured in as teams prepare cap space in an attempt to sign needed free agents.

Most notably, the Washington Redskins had the busiest day of all teams by cutting four notable players, according to ESPN.com's John Keim, including former Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III.

Not only is Griffin III's future home a mystery, but the same can go for quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Denver Broncos and the believed-to-be heir apparent to Peyton Manning are nowhere near close to an agreement.

Here's a look at the latest rumors and some predictions on where a few notable free agents will end up.

 

Let the Robert Griffin III Sweepstakes Begin

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman reported Friday that at least 10 teams will be in the running for the services of the former Heisman Trophy winner.

The favorite for a long time seemed to be the Dallas Cowboys, but Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson says he doesn't see the Redskins' rivals in play for the former Baylor Bear.

The Kansas City Chiefs could be a fit for RG3, playing under head coach Andy Reid, as noted by NFL.com's Jeff Darlington (via NFL Network's Albert Breer). Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News also has the idea of the San Francisco 49ers going after Griffin to replace Colin Kaepernick.

Since tearing his LCL and ACL against the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs during his rookie season, Griffin hasn't been the same. He went 5-15 in his next two years and didn't play at all in 2015, even being relegated to the scout team as a safety.

Griffin hasn't thrown a ball in over a year. Pushing him immediately into a starter's role would not be a good idea, seeing how he wasn't even prepared for game speed in Washington. He needs to work his way back into game shape.

The Chiefs seem to be a perfect situation for Griffin. Kansas City could be in play if it doesn't re-sign Chase Daniel and needs a backup quarterback. Reid's offenses have thrived with an athlete of Griffin's caliber, and the Chiefs may also need to consider moving on from Alex Smith if he's not getting them to where they want to go.

 

Going for Broke for Brock Osweiler

The Denver Broncos are ready to make Brock Osweiler their quarterback of the future now that Peyton Manning is riding off into the sunset.

Apparently, the two sides are far from getting a deal done, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

The reigning Super Bowl champions offered Osweiler a three-year, $45 million contract in an incentives-laden deal. However, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport (via NFL.com's Austin Knoblauch) is reporting Osweiler doesn't want to take that deal because he would not be in position to renegotiate for a bigger deal if he has a strong 2016 season.

Also, the plot thickens because the Houston Texans are "viewed as a legitimate threat" to pry Osweiler away from Denver, according to Rapoport.

Osweiler's future destination could also impact the way teams focus their attention on the NFL draft. The Texans are one of many teams that could address quarterback in the first round, and that could change if they get the former Arizona State quarterback. Even NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis brought up the idea of the Cleveland Browns, who hold the No. 2 pick in the draft, making a play on Osweiler:

At the end of the day, it's tough to see the Broncos not finalizing a deal with Osweiler. He's sat behind Manning on the depth chart since Manning signed with the Broncos in 2012. Going 5-2 as a starter last year, Denver knows what they're getting. Having to start over with a new quarterback and/or a rookie is not the ideal possibility for the champs.

 

Chris Long Meeting with Redskins

In the midst of the Redskins cutting Griffin, another noticeable cut happened in Washington on Monday. The Redskins released defensive end Jason Hatcher after two lackluster seasons in D.C., according to NFL.com's Conor Orr.

Washington will be in the market for a defensive end, and it appears they'll get a chance to see if former No. 2 overall pick Chris Long is their ideal replacement.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Long is set to meet with the Redskins on Tuesday, per Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. The longtime Los Angeles Ram recorded 54.5 sacks in eight seasons with the team and was cut from the Rams on Feb. 19.

The odd aspect of the Redskins being interested in Long is how they'd utilize him. Long spent his entire career playing as a 4-3 defensive end, and the Redskins run a 3-4 scheme. Either Long would have to be more of a run-stuffing defensive end or convert to a pass-rushing outside linebacker, which he's never done.

Long hasn't played a full 16-game season in two years and has recorded only 12.5 sacks over the last three seasons. He recorded his first double-digit sack campaigns the two years prior in 2011 and 2012.

With his health being in question, having Long play a style of defense he hasn't done before is a risky move. A 4-3 team is an ideal fit for Long, and him going to a playoff-bound team should also be in play. The Dallas Cowboys come to mind as they search for a replacement for Greg Hardy. The Seattle Seahawks could use another defensive end alongside Cliff Avril as they pry a key component from a division rival.

But if there's interest, the Oakland Raiders would be the perfect fit for Long on many fronts. Oakland has $65 million in cap space, per Spotrac. Defensive end Justin Tuck just retired, and the Raiders could benefit by not moving star linebacker Khalil Mack to a full-time defensive end. And Long's dad, Hall of Famer and NFL on Fox analyst Howie Long, was a Raider legend for 13 years.

The Raiders are a team on the rise, and Long following in his dad's footsteps would make a great story while adding a great pass-rusher.

 

Follow Danny Webster on Twitter.

Follow B/R on Facebook

Team StreamTM

NFL

Subscribe Now

By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up.