Michael Vick and the Top 25 NFL Free Agents: Where Could They Land?

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer INovember 23, 2010

Michael Vick and the Top 25 NFL Free Agents: Where Could They Land?

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The 2011 NFL season is now in the back half and a lot of teams already are starting to think about 2011, whether they're in the playoff race or not.

    Michael Vick quickly has become one of the hottest free agents on the market and the Eagles now find themselves in the rare position of having two good quarterbacks on their roster.

    Peyton Manning also is up for a contract, but the chances of him going anywhere else are so slim that we're not putting him on this list.

    All over the league, players who didn't get the big contract this year are hoping the lockout doesn't happen and that they can get the big contract next year.

    Here are the top 25 free agents coming up for bidding this offseason.

Honorable Mention: Ricky Williams

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Profile: By next season, Ricky Williams will be 34 years old. His time out of the league means he doesn't have the mileage most other running backs his age have, but he's definitely not as fast as he was five years ago.


    Where He Goes: At 34, Williams has few options. But Seattle might give him a chance at this point, or Miami might decide to give him a short-term contract.

Honorable Mention: Troy Smith

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    Profile: The former Ohio State quarterback is getting an opportunity in San Francisco now that Alex Smith is injured. He looked good his first two weeks before laying an egg this past Sunday. But with six more weeks to go, he still has time to impress if he gets the opportunity.


    Where He Goes: Smith has lots of options. Just showing you can win as a starter opens up opportunities in Carolina, Minnesota, Seattle and with his current team, San Francisco

25. Matt Hasselbeck

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    Profile: Matt Hasselbeck is in the twilight of his career, but he's still a good quarterback.


    Where He Goes: If the Seahawks keep Hasselbeck, it only would be a two-year contract. At Hasselbeck's age, 35, he can't expect much more than that from any team.

    Hasselbeck will find work somewhere, though, and if it isn't in Seattle, he could move in the division to Arizona as a better alternative to Derek Anderson while the team searches for another young quarterback.

24. Phil Dawson

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    Profile: Phil Dawson has been the Cleveland Browns' most reliable player since their return in 1999, but the Browns don't seem interested in signing a kicker moving into his late 30s for $3 million a year.


    Where Will He Go: He still might stay in Cleveland, as the Browns may just be making sure his production doesn't fall off this year before signing him. However, the Steelers already cut one kicker this year, so they may want a guy who kicks well in cold weather and knows the AFC North stadiums like his own backyard.

23. Carlos Rogers

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Profile: Carlos Rogers is one of the Redskins' best defensive players. He covers the best receivers in the league well and he shows no signs of slowing down.


    Where He Goes: Rogers will stay in Washington. At 29, he still has two or three good years left and the Redskins have enough holes to fill at the moment without having to go look for a new corner.

22. Ahmad Bradshaw

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    Profile: Averaging 4.7 yards per carry, Bradshaw is a vital component of the New York Giants running game.


    Where He Goes: With Bradshaw's youth, he's probably not going anywhere, but the Redskins might try and steal him to add more power to their running game.

21. LaMarr Woodley

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    Profile: A great linebacker on one of the league's best defenses, LaMarr Woodley is one of the reasons teams don't like playing Pittsburgh.


    Where He Goes: The Steelers know their defense is aging and Woodley is one of the few young guys on there. He's not going anywhere. If he does, don't think there won't be a bidding war for his services in the AFC North.

20. Logan Mankins

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    Profile: One of the Patriots' best offensive linemen, Mankins has missed most of the season due to a contract dispute, not signing his contract until Nov. 2. He's one of Tom Brady's best friends on that line.


    Where He Goes: To the highest bidder, which may not be New England. The Patriots decided to play hardball with the potential for a lockout, and Mankins may decide to play elsewhere next year.

    The Cleveland Browns definitely will put a bid in if Eric Mangini still is the head coach next year.

19. Shawne Merriman

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    Profile: Shawne Merriman was a beast in San Diego, but steroid allegations and injuries have taken a toll on the once-dominating linebacker.


    Where He Goes: Merriman is currently with the Buffalo Bills and that could be where he stays. With the injury problems he has had in the last few years, not many other teams are going to be willing to take a chance on him.

    Other possibilities would include other bottom-feeder teams like Carolina or Cincinnati.

18. Braylon Edwards

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    Profile: The Jets receiver is one of the more controversial receivers in the league by choice, as he tries to represent himself as the second coming of Jerry Rice. The problem is he drops a lot of balls, although his hands have been better this year.


    Where He Goes: Hard to say. Edwards has a pending DUI charge in New York and the Jets also have to think about signing Santonio Holmes, whose issues appear to be resolved at the moment.

    If Edwards continues to not drop balls, he may stay. Otherwise he'll look to sign in Miami or Oakland.

17. Alex Smith

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    Profile: The former first-round draft pick has fallen on hard times in San Francisco, but he's no JaMarcus Russell. The 49ers have to make a decision at the end of the year, and Alex Smith still is young enough to start fresh somewhere else.


    Where He Goes: Carolina. Jimmy Clausen isn't ready to be a starting quarterback and Alex Smith gives the Panthers good insurance in case Clausen busts out.

16. Antonio Cromartie

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    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Profile: Antonio Cromartie is a perfect fit for Rex Ryan's attitude on the team and he is one of the reasons the Jets defensive secondary is as good as it is.


    Where Will He Go: The Jets probably can get him to stay and they appear to have a solid relationship. Other teams that might show an interest in him include Oakland and Houston.

15. Ronnie Brown

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    Profile: The other half of the Miami backfield, Ronnie Brown also is headed for free agency and he'll turn 29 next month. His days as a featured back are numbered.


    Where He Goes: Miami will probably try and keep him so the Dolphins only have to look for one running back this offseason. But he also could find work as a backup in Arizona or Chicago.

14. Champ Bailey

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Profile: Another victim of the potential lockout, Champ Bailey is in line for another big contract.


    Where He Goes: Another tough one to predict because of the way the Broncos' season has gone. You don't want to lose a guy like Bailey from the defense. But if the team goes into any kind of rebuilding mode, why would you pay a guy who might be losing a step by the time the team is ready for another playoff run?

    Bailey could end up in Green Bay or Detroit.

13. Malcom Floyd

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    Profile: Malcom Floyd is having a great year with four touchdown grabs and an average of 20.7 yards per catch through Week 11.


    Where He Goes: San Diego is keeping him. With Vincent Jackson most likely leaving after the season, the Chargers can't afford to lose him.

12. Santonio Holmes

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Profile: After a rough offseason, Santonio Holmes landed on his feet with the Jets and hasn't looked back. He's become Mark Sanchez's favorite target.


    Where He Goes: If the Jets don't re-sign this guy, Mark Sanchez will have some serious issues with the team.

11. Michael Bush

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    Profile: Backing up Darren McFadden, Bush still averages four yards per carry and has four touchdowns through Week 11.


    Where He Goes: Depends on what Oakland wants to do. Bush is reliable, so there's no reason to look elsewhere. But there are about a dozen teams who would put bids on him.

10. Miles Austin

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Profile: Miles Austin, along with Dez Bryant, are the two main reasons Dallas doesn't run the ball a lot.


    Where He Goes: Dallas would be crazy not to re-sign this guy, but stranger things have happened. Miami or Denver would have an interest in bidding for his services.

9. Cedric Benson

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Profile: Despite numerous legal troubles over the years, Benson has become a solid running back in the league.


    Where He Goes: Benson will go to the highest bidder, but the Bengals will want to keep him. He's one of their main offensive threats, but his production is down this season.

    If Oakland lets Michael Bush go, Benson would be a guy the Raiders target.

8. Joseph Addai

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    Profile: Joseph Addai has been injured, but all that did was show just how much the Colts need him.


    Where He Goes: Nowhere. Along with Peyton Manning, this is a deal the Colts get done.

7. Jamaal Charles

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    Profile: The Chiefs have one of the best backfields in the league this year, and Jamaal Charles is one of the reasons.


    Where He Goes: This should be qualified as a "no-brainer" for the Chiefs. Otherwise, there will be a long list of suitors for Charles.

6. Darren Sproles

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    Profile: Darren Sproles is one of the fastest guys in the league. He is not one of the reasons the Chargers got off to a slow start.


    Where He Goes: The Chargers are being stingy, so it's possible Sproles goes elsewhere. The Broncos definitely would put a bid in on him just to get him away from the Chargers.

5. DeAngelo Williams

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Profile: DeAngelo Williams was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a foot injury, but he's one half of Carolina's "Smash And Dash" offense—you know, back when Carolina was an actual NFL team.


    Where He Goes: Carolina can't afford to lose Williams, but if there's a giant front-office makeover in the offseason, Williams could look for work in New England.

4. Randy Moss

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    Profile: Randy Moss, the scourge of NFL teams everywhere this year, will have one more chance at a contract after this season is over. The question is if any team is going to want him.


    Where He Goes: The Titans were the only ones to put a claim in on him with his current contract, so that could open more avenues in free agency. And if Terrell Owens could get a job this year, then Moss can get one next year.

    His options are very limited, though. The Jaguars may take a chance on him to give David Garrard another downfield threat, or the Patriots just might decide to take another chance on him.

3. Sidney Rice

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Profile: Sidney Rice has been one of the best receivers for the Vikings since they drafted him in 2007. He missed most of the season with a hip injury but now is back.


    Where Would He Go: The Vikings are going to want to keep this guy, but with his talents, the Patriots may try and outbid the Vikings for his services and give Tom Brady another good target to throw to now that Randy Moss is gone.

2. Vincent Jackson

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    Profile: Vincent Jackson just returned to the Chargers after holding out most of the season due to his unhappiness with his contract tender.


    Where He Goes: Cleveland. Jackson is done with San Diego after this season and the Browns need wide receivers. That is one of their top offseason priorities.

1. Michael Vick

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    Profile: Michael Vick is the Comeback Player of the Year. No one has had a bigger impact on the league this year than Vick.


    Where He Goes: Philadelphia. The Eagles didn't bench Kevin Kolb in favor of Vick after giving Kolb a huge contract just to let Vick go in the offseason.