NFL Trade Rumors: Nick Barnett and 10 Defensive Players on the Move in 2011
Anyone needing to improve their defense still has options.
Plenty of free agents remain on the market, and many like Mike Vrabel, Fabian Washington and Marcus Spears will likely be on the move. Inside linebacker Nick Barnett will be joining them more than likely following a recent announcement by Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
Who will join that bunch?
I've got a good idea. Besides Barnett, here are 10 other defensive players on the move:
Chris Carr, CB, Baltimore Ravens
Carr is an unrestricted free agent and wasn't among the list of players tendered by the team.
He started every game last year and told Pro Football Weekly he's open to re-signing with the team. The website reports that there have been "preliminary" talks with Carr, who said he likes the team's camaraderie and is excited about Chuck Pagano being promoted from Ravens secondary coach to defensive coordinator.
Shaun Ellis, DE, New York Jets
Ellis has been with the Jets for 11 years and has become one of the faces of the franchise.
Last year he had 4.5 sacks and 36 total tackles, his fewest since 2005. Ellis is 33, and there is an abundance of talented defensive ends in the draft.
Bart Scott, though, is hoping Ellis returns.
"Of course, he played tremendous for us throughout the playoffs," Scott told ESPNNewYork.com.
"Of course I’d like to see him back. He’s a tremendous teammate, a tremendous leader. He's one of those staples, like Ray Lewis is in Baltimore. He’s one of those guys. When you say Shaun Ellis, you think of the Jets."
Drayton Florence, DB, Buffalo Bills
Florence, a free agent, wasn't among those mentioned by general manager Buddy Nix when he talked about the starting cornerbacks in 2011.
Looks like the team will be sticking with Terrence McGree and Leodis McKelvin.
"I think Leodis had a good year, not a great year,” Nix told the team's website. "Leodis has missed a lot of time and the upside is really good on him. Terrence is hitting that magic number (turning 30) and is going to have to keep himself in great shape to play a lot longer."
Gerald Sensabaugh, S, Dallas Cowboys
Sensabaugh was fourth on the team last year in tackles with 71.
He was a free agent after 2009 and was hoping for a multi-year contract, but ended up with a one-year deal. Sensabaugh and Alan Ball were the starters at the safety positions last year, and part of a Cowboys secondary that was among the NFL's worst.
There need to be major changes at both the safety and cornerback positions, and no one from those groups should be untouchable.
Mike Vrabel, LB, Kansas City Chiefs
Vrabel will turn 36 in August.
Last year, he finished with 48 total tackles. Don't be shocked if the Chiefs try to find his replacement in the draft.
Barrett Ruud, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He wasn't tendered by the team last month and is likely seeking a higher-paying contract elsewhere.
Ruud would be a quality addition for any team.
He's missed one game since 2007, and has over 110 tackles in each of the last four seasons, including a career-high 142 in 2009.
Cullen Jenkins, DE, Green Bay Packers
He persisted last year through a broken hand and calf injury and was still a contributor for the Super Bowl champs.
Jenkins has since said in numerous reports that he's expecting to be gone, and that it's "time for a new start."
At least he's realistic about the situation.
Fabian Washington, CB, Baltimore Ravens
The unrestricted free agent recently told the Carroll County Times he doesn't expect to have a spot on the team's roster.
"I just don't see where I would fit in their plans," Washington told the paper.
"I feel like they've got to sign either Josh or Chris back to go with Foxy and Lardarius Webb. It's a business. I absolutely enjoyed my time there. I have nothing bad to say about the organization. I'm pretty confident I'll find another job once we find out what's going on with the labor stuff."
Washington, who could play nickel, thinks he can help teams like Arizona, Jacksonville and Houston.
Marcus Spears, DE, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are allowing Spears and Gerald Sensabaugh to test free agency.
Spears, who had 19 total tackles last year, hasn't lived up to the potential the Cowboys saw in him when he was a first-round pick.
Spears even seems content with the situation, recently tweeting, "Testing the market folks! Thank you all in Dallas for the support. It’s still possible I could be back, but it’s shaky."
Nick Barnett, LB, Green Bay Packers
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that Barnett's days as a starter are done.
"We line up tomorrow, it's A.J. (Hawk) and (Desmond) Bishop," McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel while at Wisconsin's pro day.
The paper reported that Barnett is set to receive $6.25 million this year, which would make him the highest-paid backup in the league.
Barnett missed most of last year with a wrist injury similar to the one Brian Urlacher had in 2009.
Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Oakland Raiders
Ah yes, my favorite moment—writing about something Raiders-related, while eagerly awaiting for my favorite fanbase to curse me out just for the sake of it.
Let's assess the facts: Richard Seymour got a two-year, $30 million deal, including $22.5 million guaranteed. The team also signed cornerback Stanford Routt to a three-year, $31.5 million deal.
I don't think Nnamdi's going to ask for chump change, so do you still think, Raider fan, that you're going to keep your All-Pro? Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network doesn't like Oakland's chances, telling USA Today they're "slim and none, and I would favor none."