2017 NFL Free Agents: Rumors and Predictions for Notable Veterans

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2017

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

At times, one name on its own can dominate the NFL rumors circuit.

These infancy stages of training camps around the league are one of those times thanks to Colin Kaepernick's continued stay on the market. He's not the only name making the rounds, but the veteran quarterback is the biggest by a long shot.

The dance between the biggest name on the market and quarterback-needy teams will end at some point, though either way summer injuries, contract squabbles and other details will mean more action on the free-agent market than the current otherwise dry spell.

In fact, we're starting to see hints of increased activity alongside the Kaepernick story, so let's take a look at the latest. 


Revis Sweepstakes Revival? 

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Remember Darrelle Revis

The former best cornerback in the NFL remains on the market and seems like one of those veterans who lands a deal right before the season starts after teams have gone through cut days and identified problematic areas. 

Revis, now 32, spent last season with the New York Jets in a continued downward spiral of poor play over 15 games, which is why fans haven't heard much from him this offseason. 

He still wants to play, though, and according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, via NFL.com's Conor Orr, there is one interesting link worth addressing: "Rapoport reported Friday that although many are connecting Revis with the Philadelphia Eagles, there is not 'much legit interest.'"

The Philadelphia Eagles are, at the least, a team to keep an eye on when it comes to this angle. While the depth chart has an interesting mix of names with Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and Ron Brooks ready to go, depth like Revis could create some interesting subpackages and a mentor of sorts for a rookie like Rasul Douglas. 

It's also important to keep in mind Revis isn't in a situation where he will gobble up whatever opportunity comes his way—the Jets still owe him $6 million in 2017, so if he signs a deal for less than that number, he'd be playing for free in 2017 with his new team. 

Based on his play over the past few years, a team isn't giving Revis north of $6 million. He'll likely seek out a would-be contender like Philadelphia because sitting out a year over cash would make him untouchable in 2018. But it's going to take time before a team like Philadelphia is ready to clear a spot on the depth chart. 

Prediction: Revis signs with the Eagles 


RGIII Saga Begins Anew 

Don Wright/Associated Press

Perhaps Kaepernick is the only name big enough to overshadow Robert Griffin III at this point. 

Griffin fell on his face with the Cleveland Browns last year in large part thanks to nagging injuries. He never got his feet under him over five games, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns on a hapless rebuilding team before the front office went another direction. 

Still, it's easy to forget Griffin is only 27 years old. He likely won't ever hit former expectations tossed on his shoulders, but he's a valuable get for a team hoping a backup can have some upside. 

Hence the Baltimore Ravens working the phones after a Joe Flacco injury, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, who spoke with owner Steve Bisciotti: 

The revelation comes on the heels of Flacco reportedly going down for three to six weeks, according to Rapoport. Topping it off is a report from Jamison Hensley of ESPN suggesting backup Ryan Mallett imploded recently: "The backup quarterback looked awful in filing in for Joe Flacco (back) with the first team on Friday. He was intercepted at least five times and was nearly picked off two more times. On his last interception, Mallett threw his white towel in the air."

If the above reports are true, it's not hard to see why the Ravens would give Griffin a ring. Mallett is 29 years old and boasts a career 55 percent completion percentage with seven touchdowns against 10 interceptions. 

At the least, Griffin provides upside to the offense with a few tweaks for the coaching staff. He's not direct competition to Flacco, but he gives the team a fighting chance if the starter struggles to stay on the field.

The only problem with the link here is Kaepernick and a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter a little while back revealing Griffin worked out with the Los Angeles Chargers. With less reported competition for the job there and a better chance at competing for snaps, look for Griffin to take his talents West. 

Prediction: Griffin signs with the Chargers 


Kaepernick and the Ravens do the Dance 

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

It seems like a matter of time before the Ravens get Kaepernick under contract. 

From an on-field perspective, it makes sense the Ravens would want to gun for the best possible player on the market as a reaction to the Flacco news mentioned above. 

And Kaepernick certainly fits the description—he's a signal-caller who has been to a Super Bowl and last year over 12 games managed an efficient 16 touchdowns against four interceptions and added another 468 yards and two touchdowns as a runner, although he admittedly did it on a 59.2 completion percentage. 

What usually gets lost when talking about Kaepernick is how miserable the team around him last year was, though, which wouldn't be the case in Baltimore, where he'd sling it to Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin, provided the coaching staff tweaks the offense for his legs a little more than it would have to for Griffin. 

But the off-field discussion has to come into play, as Kaepernick is a polarizing figure due to his protests of the national anthem last season. Rapoport reported Sunday a deal is "becoming more of a possibility," but Zrebiec reported Bisciotti continues to do research into how fans would react to the move. 

For his part, Kaepernick has made it clear he likes the idea of Baltimore: 

Reasons vary for Kaepernick still sitting on the open market, though if his time there is going to end because of something other than a freak injury to a starter during camp, it's probably going to be here for the Ravens. 

And really, Kaepernick teaming up with John Harbaugh is one of the better fits imaginable, all things considered. Look for this one to go final soon, though the talk surrounding it will only just begin when the ink meets paper. 

Prediction: Kaepernick signs with the Ravens 


Stats courtesy of NFL.com.


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