2011 NFL Free Agency: 10 Veterans Looking For One More Big Contract
Some of the biggest names in the NFL will hit the market this off season. The likes of Peyton Manning and Michael Vick will be looking to sign some of the largest contracts in NFL history.
A new collective bargaining agreement has yet to be reached, and the possibility of a lockout is looming over the league. Players on the free agent market need to get their new deals done by March 3, the last day that the current CBA will be in place.
If they don't get their contracts by then, they will have to wait until a new CBA is reached, and it doesn't look like that will be getting done anytime soon.
With all that being said, there are some seasoned vets that will be looking for one more big contract this offseason.
Writer's Note: Players on this list have played at least six seasons in the NFL and are unrestricted free agents.
10. Terrell Owens
Age: 37 Experience: 15 years
Terrell Owens is the oldest man on this list. He's been in the league for 15 seasons now and he has put a lot of miles on his body. Even after all of that, he's still a very productive wide receiver.
T.O. had 72 catches, 983 yards, and 9 touchdowns in 13 games for the Bengals last year. Owens has been one of the most productive wide receivers of all time. He has gone over the 1,000-yard mark in 9 seasons since 1998, and was just 17 yards short of the mark this year.
Owens also has a nose for the end zone and is tied with Randy Moss for second all time with 153 touchdown grabs.
Owens has often been cast as a "cancer" in the locker room throughout his career, and there is no doubt that there is some truth to that. But he really hasn't caused in big scenes with the media in his last two seasons, and much of the side show that is associated with Owens has actually died down quite a bit.
At 37 years old, Owens won't be seeking any sort of long-term deal. He's shown that he can still be effective and there will be a team who will be willing to pay for his services for the next season or two.
9. Randy Moss
Age: 33 Experience: 13 years
What? Randy Moss? The same Randy Moss who ran himself out of New England and Minnesota? The Randy Moss who had 28 catches for 393 yards and 5 touchdowns on the year? Yes, that Randy Moss.
Moss has been written off in his career before. In 2006, Moss had 42 catches for 553 yards and 3 touchdowns during his last year with the Oakland Raiders. Everyone thought that Moss was finished. The Raiders traded the "washed up" Moss for a fourth round pick.
Moss put together what may be the best season of his career in 2007. In his first year with the Pats he snagged 98 balls for 1,493 yards and had an NFL-record 23 touchdown receptions. The Patriots also happened to go undefeated that year and their offense had one of the most prolific seasons in NFL history.
As recently as 2009, Moss led the league with 13 touchdown receptions, and was fifth in receiving yards with 1,264.
Moss wants to get paid. We know this because he told everyone at the beginning of the year. In fact, he talked about it so much that New England sent him packing.
So will someone take a chance on Moss and pay him top dollar? Probably. The only guy who has caught more touchdowns than Randy Moss is some guy named Jerry Rice (T.O is tied with Moss at 153). In the three seasons prior to 2010, Moss caught more touchdowns (47) than any other wideout in the league.
At 33, Moss still has enough gas in the tank to be an elite receiver in the NFL.
8. Ike Taylor
Age: 30 Experience: 8 years
Ike Taylor has played a large role in Pittsburgh's defensive success over the last several seasons.
The eighth-year man out of Louisiana- Lafayette has played his whole professional career with the Steelers and he will be making his third Super Bowl appearance in two weeks.
Taylor's name may not ring like other available defensive backs like Champ Bailey and Nnamdi Asomugha, but Taylor still makes a large impact when he's on the field.
Cornerbacks get paid in the NFL, so it looks like Taylor has a lot to look forward to this off season.
7. Richard Seymour
Age: 31 Experience: 10 years
Richard Seymour is a six-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-NFL first teamer, and a three-time Super Bowl champion.
Seymour was franchised by the Raiders this past season and made $12.398 million. Seymour has stated that he would like to be a Raider if Oakland wanted him back.
The defensive end had 36 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and made his first Pro Bowl since 2006 this season. He has proven throughout his career that he be the anchor for any front.
Seymour should command anywhere from $12 million-$14 million on the open market.
6. Champ Bailey
Age: 32 Experience: 12 years
Champ Bailey has been shutting down receivers for a decade now. The nine-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-NFL first-teamer will be hitting the open market this offseason.
When the Broncos traded for Champ back in 2004, they signed him to a then-record seven-year, $63 million deal.
There have been reports that Bailey would like to remain with the Broncos, and that he is looking for around $12 million per year for his services.
It remains to be seen if the rebuilding Broncos are willing to shell out top dollar for a 32-year-old cornerback. Champ may not be the same corner that intercepted 10 passes in 2006, but he remains to be one of the most feared defensive backs in the NFL.
If the Broncos aren't interested in Bailey's services, he won't have any trouble finding another team that is.
5. Logan Mankins
Age: 28 Experience: 6 years
Both men on the left side of the Patriots' offensive line are unrestricted free agents this year.
Logan Mankins has played a large role in the Patriots' success over the last several seasons. The left guard has been protecting Brady's backside for the last six seasons and has made three Pro Bowls.
Mankins is the most highly touted offensive lineman available this off season. He's been a great bodyguard for Brady, and it is very likely that he ends up back in New England.
4. Vincent Jackson
Age: 28 Experience: 6 years
Vincent Jackson sat out the first 10 games of the season due to a contract dispute with the San Diego Chargers.
Jackson will be the prized receiver in the open market this year. The Chargers had Jackson under contract for $3.628 million last year, but the receiver is looking for something in the $9 million per year range.
In the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Jackson went over 1,000 yards, and led the league in yards per catch both years. The demand for Jackson is going to be very high, and he's going to get a fat contract when it's all said and done.
3. Nnamdi Asomugha
Age: 29 Experience: 8 years
Nnamdi Asomugha is the best cornerback in the NFL, period. The Raiders have already franchise-tagged Asomugha twice, so he is now free to go out and test the market.
We saw Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis hold out at the beginning of this year and he got $16.25 million a year over a four-year span, making him the highest paid corner in the league, surpassing the $16.14 million that Asomugha made this year.
Asomugha is the type of player who can be the face of a franchise and the cornerstone to build a team around. He will be rewarded handsomely for his talents this offseason, and should be the top-paid corner in the game again after he gets his new contract.
2. Michael Vick
Age:30 Experience: 9 years
The Eagles traded Donovan McNabb away to make room for their quarterback of the future, and that's exactly what they did. They just didn't know that Mike Vick was going to be that quarterback.
Vick lit the league up this year. For the first time in his career, Vick threw for over 3,000 yards, 20 touchdowns, completed over 60 percent of his passes, and had a quarterback rating of 100. He also ran for 676 yards and had a career-high 9 touchdown runs; he did all of this in 12 games worth of work.
Vick proved not only that he could be a pocket quarterback, but that he can be deadly in the pocket. There were many times throughout the season that Vick looked flat-out unstoppable.
For the first time in his career, he put all of his talents together this year and became the player everyone thought he would be when he came out of Virginia Tech all those years ago.
Vick is 30 years old, but his best football is ahead of him. The people of Philadelphia love Mike Vick and there is no way that Eagles management would let him play elsewhere.
Vick will either sign a long-term deal with the Eagles or they will put a franchise tag on him. Either way, he's not leaving Philadelphia.
1. Peyton Manning
Age: 34 Experience: 13 years
Peyton Manning is going to be the league's richest player in NFL history come the start of next season (if we have one). The four-time MVP has been working with the Colts to try and get a deal done before the new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
Tom Brady signed a four-year, $72 million deal, with $48.5 million guaranteed, at the beginning of the 2010 season.
ESPN reports that the Colts have vowed to top that offer; however, they need to get the deal done by March 3 because that is the last day the current collective bargaining agreement is in effect, and a player can't sign a deal without a collective bargaining agreement in place.
Manning's worth every penny he's about to get from the Colts. He has lead Indianapolis to nine straight postseason appearances, he's never missed a game, and has made two trips to the Super Bowl, coming away with a championship back in 2006.