Tom Brady Talking Extension: Who'll Be Top NFL Free Agents Next Year?
The big news in all of New England heading to Patriots training camp is the current state of talks over Tom Brady's contract extension. The Patriots All-Pro quarterback enters the final year of a deal that will pay him just $3.5 million this season.
Yet, Brady just doesn't want to talk extension, he wants to talk new contract and who can blame him? Brady's situation is just one of many examples of what will be highly sought after free agent class following the upcoming NFL season.
However, the dark cloud hanging over all of these free agents is the possibility that there will be no 2011 NFL season due to distance in a settlement over a new collective bargaining agreement.
The uncertainty over the 2011 season leaves owners very reluctant to dole out big money extensions at the moment. If they do not though, they could be looking at a market flush with these free agents.
Brady could be near the top of the class, but not THE top because of Peyton Manning (depending on who you ask). Brady could also be waiting for his deal until Manning's is squared away.
However, Manning's situation is far different. Colts owner Jim Irsay has made it plainly clear that Manning will not reach free agency and is willing to go over nine digits and possibly give Manning the richest contract in league history.
The Washington Redskins traded for Donovan McNabb prior to the draft and new head coach Mike Shanahan voiced his belief that McNabb has many years left in him. That statement combined with the fact that the Redskins avoided a quarterback in the draft likely means the Redskins have every intention of resigning McNabb.
But the uncertainty over the 2011 season is likely preventing even the loose-spending Daniel Snyder from ponying up an extension.
The market running backs is becoming less and less of a priority with each passing season, but that doesn't mean teams won't go for value on the market when they see it. Williams will be the best running back on the market after the season.
The Panthers running back has rushed for over 2,600 yards over the last two seasons and made his first Pro Bowl in 2009. Williams will be 28 years old when he hits the market which should be enough for a team to jump on him at least through his 30th birthday.
It seems like yesterday when the Patriots inked Randy Moss to a three-year extension. Well, that extension runs out after the 2010 season and it is very difficult to see the Patriots resigning Moss again. Moss will be 34 after next season and has expressed that retirement is not in his future. Additionally, Moss has already knocked the Patriots for failing to pay their veterans and sees himself as another one of those casualties.
Moss will likely follow the long list of Patriots veterans to find themselves on the open market this time next season.
Sidney Rice became Brett Favre's favorite receiver and reaped all the benefits. Rice caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with Favre, and received the resulting Pro Bowl appearance.
Rice is probably hoping Favre comes back in 2010 to help boost his numbers as he heads into free agency. Nevertheless, we've all seen what Rice and do when he has a very capable quarterback throwing to him. That should net big bucks for Rice if/when he hits the market.
The Colts move to lock up Peyton Manning is going to come with an attachment-and a big one. Ugoh is Manning's personal body guard on the left end of the offensive line and has been responsible for keeping the All-Pro quarterback upright.
Ugoh will be 27 years old at this time next season and is viewed as the guy to hold down the always important left tackle spot and keep Manning on his feet.