NFL Free Agency Rumors: 12 Teams One Free Agent Signing Away from a Super Bowl
Well as the NFL and NFLPA went back to the negotiating table, front offices and free agents sat and waited.
As part of the deal that extended the CBA deadline to this Friday, teams are not allowed to make any transactions. That includes signing free agents. As this mess gets sorted out (eventually), we'll see how things play out. But as it stands right now, the free-agent class could be a very lucrative one for teams looking for that one last piece.
There are a lot of teams looking for help, and there are a lot of high-end free agents who can be that one final piece to a championship puzzle. So with that in mind, here are the 12 teams who are one free agent signing away from a Super Bowl and what that signing is.
Philadelphia Eagles: CB Nnamdi Asomugha
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The Eagles have a couple of pressing needs, but the biggest one is at cornerback alongside Asante Samuel. Samuel is one of the better corners in the game, but he's more of a ballhawk and the Eagles need a shutdown cover corner desperately.
Enter Asomugha, who's one of the best of the game. All of a sudden, the Eagles secondary doesn't look as vulnerable, the defense shores up and things are looking better. If they could land Asomugha, then a Super Bowl is not out of the picture (considering Michael Vick holds up).
Indianapolis Colts: DT Tommie Harris
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The Colts could also very easily use an offensive lineman, especially with Doug Free available, but the belief is the Colts will take an offensive lineman in the first round. So with that said, the Colts could also use a strong defensive tackle, which Harris provides.
He can cause havoc in the backfield and also be a strong run-stopper, which would be a great asset to the Colts. A defensive tackle like Harris also opens up lanes for Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, which makes him even more valuable and makes the Colts' defense pretty stout.
Dallas Cowboys: S Dawan Landry
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If the Cowboys want to head back in the right direction towards a championship next season, then the defense has to improve, especially the secondary.
Landry gives the Cowboys a physical safety who's not afraid of contact and is also improving in pass coverage. And in that secondary, the Cowboys need all the coverage help they can get. It doesn't hurt that he played with Ed Reed and has that type of ballhawk mentality, either.
San Diego Chargers: WR Santonio Holmes
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If the Chargers don't re-sign or can't bring Stephen Cooper back at linebacker, then the needs change for San Diego. But with the uncertainty surrounding their two best receivers in Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson, the Chargers could use a big-play receiver as insurance.
Holmes has some character issues, but he's big, has great hands and is hard to defend. He's also gaining a knack for being a clutch receiver who makes big plays, something he's honed with Ben Roethlisberger and Mark Sanchez.
And if you're a Chargers fan, just imagine Philip Rivers throwing to Santonio Holmes.
New England Patriots: RB DeAngelo Williams
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The Patriots could use an upgrade at offensive and defensive line, two areas they can stand to rebuild. But while BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a solid runner for them, Williams would give the Patriots a dominant running back in his prime, something they haven't had since Curtis Martin.
Tom Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the game, but eventually he's going to need help from his running game. Williams gives him a great option at running back and also makes the Patriots' offense very explosive. Now the Panthers have tendered Williams and he's already said publicly he expects to be back in Carolina, but it's still an interesting thought.
New York Jets: DE Cullen Jenkins
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If there's one area the Jets can stand to upgrade, it's at defensive line.
Jenkins gives the Jets that big body up front that can pressure the quarterback and also provide solid run support. The Jets could go another route, depending on what happens with some of their key free agents. But Jenkins would be a solid choice to get the Jets back in the AFC Title Game at least, if not the Super Bowl.
New York Giants: MLB Barrett Ruud
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The Giants don't have a ton of glaring holes with the exception of offensive line and middle linebacker, but it's hard to ignore the hole up the middle.
Historically, the Giants have had their fair share of impact linebackers, but the last impact linebacker they had was Antonio Pierce. If the Giant defense wants to stay where they are and get back to that attacking Giants defense of old, they need a force at linebacker since what they have on the roster hasn't panned out.
Ruud is a solid middle linebacker who'll get to the ball and control the play. He may not be the best middle linebacker, but he's a better option than what the Giants have.
Baltimore Ravens: CB Ike Taylor
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Ravens' fans probably won't like that the best free agent for them is a Pittsburgh Steeler, but he's also the main need for the Ravens.
Cornerback was a revolving door last season and the Ravens haven't had that true shutdown corner that can change a game since Chris McAllister. Ike Taylor won't be that, but he's physical and always seems to be able to hold his own against some of the best receivers out there.
Let's put it this way: Despite his age, he's still the best cover corner the Ravens can find assuming they won't make a play for Asomugha.
Chicago Bears: WR Malcom Floyd
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In a perfect world, the Chargers would want to keep Floyd. But there's a chance he could be out on the open market as an unrestricted free agent, according to Bill Williamson of ESPN.
If that's the case, wouldn't the Chicago Bears love a tall receiver with great jumping ability and good hands to be Jay Cutler's No. 1 target? Offensive line is also a need, but Devin Hester is not a No. 1 receiver. Floyd can be and he could become a superstar the Bears need on that offense. All of a sudden, that Chicago passing attack looks a lot better with Floyd.
New Orleans Saints: DE Ray Edwards
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One of the bigger problems surrounding the Saints last season is that the defense looked vulnerable at times. The turnovers the Saints got in bunches in 2009 dried up in 2010. Getting to the quarterback doesn't solve all those problems, but it takes a lot of pressure off of the secondary and it also frees up stud defensive end Will Smith.
Of course, the question surrounding Edwards was whether or not he was a product of Jared Allen and the Williamses in Minnesota. But we'll find out when he hits the open market. Put Edwards in New Orleans, he makes the Saints a better defense again.
Atlanta Falcons: WR Mike Sims-Walker
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The Falcons don't have a ton of holes, but one thing they could use is another receiver to go with Roddy White.
In Sims-Walker, they basically get another version of White: A tall, lanky receiver who's a little slower than White but can still stretch the field and also be a touchdown machine and a tall target in the end zone.
Imagine an offense with Sims-Walker, White, Michael Turner and Matt Ryan. Pretty dangerous, to say the least.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: MLB Stephen Tulloch
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The Buccaneers wouldn't be a classic Super Bowl team, but we've seen teams make a jump from out of the Playoffs to Super Bowl before (1999 Rams), so it's not out of the ordinary. One thing that would have to happen would be an upgrade at defensive lineman and linebacker.
And since they're going to probably take a pass rusher in the Draft, I'll go middle linebacker here and say Stephen Tulloch, who was offered a deal as a restricted free agent but falls into that category of probable unrestricted free agent in the new CBA according to the Tennessean, would be a great fit here. He's a ballhawk, a smart player, a tackle machine and he's a great fit.
Plus he's a need considering the Buccaneers have probably moved on from Barrett Ruud.