2011 NFL Free Agency: Reggie Bush and 5 Offseason Moves That Just Might Happen
For all you fans who waved fists in fury while watching your favorite team pass on the guy dubbed a “sure thing” in your mock draft, anger may be a bit premature.
Like a kid who didn’t get the toy he wanted on Christmas, your team still has a chance to catch the after holiday sale known as free agency to fill all its wants and needs.
Here are the most likely transactions that would make any fan of these teams grin with excitement come 2011.
RB, DeAngelo Williams, Green Bay Packers
Now a free agent, Williams suddenly finds himself in a crowded Panther backfield with Jonathon Stewart and 2010 breakout player Mike Goodson.
Green Bay, on the other hand, won a super bowl with third-string running back James Starks taking the hand offs. While the Packers may not need a playmaking running back after seeing what they just did without one, they still squeaked into the playoffs with a 10-6 regular season record.
A potential 1,000 yard rusher will help them sustain their offense and give them a great chance of doing something a team hasn’t done since 2004, win back-to-back super bowls.
Williams fits in perfect with Green Bay. He’s a good receiver out of the backfield and can run those screen passes we all know the Packers love to run. His speed and agility would complement Ryan Grant’s tough, up the gut running style.
The Packers don’t have many weaknesses, but a playmaking running back is definitely one of them.
RB, Reggie Bush, Seattle Seahawks
Clearly discontent with the recent selection of Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the first round of last week’s draft, Bush may be on his way out in New Orleans.
Though he’s shown flashes of greatness, most notably in the Saints 2009 super bowl run, he hasn’t been good or healthy on a consistent enough basis for the Saints to give him $11.8 million in 2011.
If Bush wants another shot to be an elite running back, he should look no further than the team that pulled off one of the biggest upsets in playoff history last season against his own team, the Seattle Seahwaks. Of course, there’s the Pete Carroll connection, which may increase the odds of this trade happening.
But the Seahawks also need a little star power. Bush has a chance to break out of his role as a third-down back and become a star in the pacific-northwest.
CB, Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles didn’t address their biggest need in the draft, which was cornerback, so it only makes sense to pursue the biggest prize in the 2011 free agent pool.
A proven veteran, Asomugha has been on the radar of many teams including the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos. But the Eagles are perhaps the team that needs a cover corner the most.
During the last two season’s, the Eagles have been getting toasted by receivers all throughout the NFL. Titans receiver Kenny Britt had a career day against them last season that cost them a win.
Cowboys receiver Miles Austin became a house hold name against them as well. The Packers receivers had their way with their secondary in the playoffs. It’s about time the Eagles grab a shut down corner.
DE, Ray Edwards, Atlanta Falcons
After giving up a slew of picks to acquire Julio Jones in the first round of the 2011 draft, the Falcons clearly know their best chances of winning the super bowl are in the next three years.
Edwards could help sow up a defensive line that aside from Jon Abrahams, didn’t put enough pressure on the quarterback last season.
Edwards had a quiet eight sacks last season on a mess of Vikings team that couldn’t recapture the magic they had in 2009. Plus, at just 26 years old, his best years are ahead of him.
Though a defensive end is high on their needs list, the signing of Ray Edwards may be tricky because the Vikings tendered Edwards as a restricted free agent, so they will likely need to work out some type of sign and trade deal.
DT, Cullen Jenkins, Bears
Chicago has some questions at the defensive tackle position, and the 30-year-old vet may be a good answer.
Jenkins has already said he won’t be back with Green Bay next season, after talks of contract extension never evolved. Jenkins recorded at least four sacks per season since 2004, and has been relatively healthy throughout his career. If nothing else, it would anger a lot of Packer fans.
Picking up Jenkins won’t make as a big of a splash as the Julius Peppers signing last season, but it may help the Bears even more.
Jenkins is one of the more underrated linemen in the last five years, and his ability to play the three-technique will help take pressure off Peppers in order to honor the Bears interior pass rushing abilities.