NFL Free Agency: 10 Free Agents Whose Stock Fell Most After the 2011 NFL Draft
I have reiterated plenty of times during this slide show about how much of a killer the 2011 draft was on offensive and defensive linemen that are looking for a new place of work for next season.
Half this list is taken up by linemen that have either had troubles with injuries, the law or inconsistency but also having that stock plummet even more due to the depth at these positions in the draft.
Here are 10 people who I think will have to settle on a contract if they want a starting job, or even a spot near the top of the depth chart in 2011. I have also included the positions of each player and the team they played for in 2010.
Cullen Jenkins (DE/DT), Packers
Jenkins’ stock has been steadily declining due to his injury problems but this draft put a cherry on top. A deep draft for defensive lineman may prove to be what gets Jenkins a smaller contract than the four-year, $16 million deal he signed in 2007.
Kris Jenkins (NT), Jets
A similar issue as his brother Cullen, Kris Jenkins finds himself bitten by the injury bug and with the deep defensive draft, Jenkins will either have to find a lower contract or a team willing to take a risk on a guy who has only participated in seven games within the last two seasons.
Gerard Warren (DE/DT), Patriots
Again, the draft was a pain in the sides of every free agent defensive linemen. The worse part for Warren is that he wasn’t a consistent starter for the Patriots in 2010, although they moved him around a few times and utilized his skill at both nose tackle and as a defensive end. He signed a late contract with the Pats last season and it could be more of the same for Warren but like I said, the draft killed his stock, just like most other linemen out there.
Willie Colon (OT), Steelers
He might be one of the more lucrative offensive linemen out there. The only problem is that he is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon and missed all of last season. The worse part is that just like all the other offensive (and defensive for that matter) linemen saw their free agency stock drop because of the abundance of big, strong linemen that came out of the draft, filling the roles they couldn’t and the fact is that even though he didn’t play, the Steelers still made the Super Bowl, showing he may have not have been as important to that team as most people thought. He should sign on but will do it for less money in my opinion.
Matt Light (OT), Patriots
With plenty of teams focused in on protecting the quarterback early in the draft, if Light is to sign with a team, it will be more of a mentoring role. He has played for the Patriots through three Super Bowl titles but he is starting to show fatigue. He surrendered seven sacks last season and when you factor in how poorly the offensive line played in their playoff exit, Light’s points go down even more.
He would make a great presence on any team but like I said, with the draft going the way it did, his numbers dropped and at 33, I don’t expect him to sign a lengthy deal and if he does, it will take him to retirement.
Jammal Brown (OT), Redskins
Brown is another player in the long list of linemen that lost plenty of luster due to the amount of good quality linemen chosen in the draft.
He spent last season with the Redskins after he was traded from the Saints.
Kerry Collins (QB), Titans
The Titans will not play with Vince Young in 2011 and apparently, not Kerry Collins either. The veteran QB showed he still had some gas left in the tank with his brilliant performance against the Colts in Week 17 of 2010 but since the Titans chose Jake Locker, Collins has shown to be fair game.
The lack of faith that the organization had for a QB that has served them well since 2006 may have lowered his stock, as well as the fact that he has had to split the top QB duties with Young for the last couple seasons. Mainly though, the fact that the Titans have shown that they are ready to move on and not even have a veteran presence in the locker room to help out their new starting QB shows that Collins has fallen off the QB wagon and although I believe a turn around season is ahead for him, his stock fell and it will be that way until an NFL team can prove me wrong and show a little faith.
Michael Bush (RB), Raiders
Judging by the draft, a lot of teams have focused in on the pass first offense that New England modeled to the best record in football in 2010. That being said, a guy like Michael Bush has seen his stock drop well before the draft with his problems off the field when he was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving in February.
Teams will probably steer clear of Bush until he gets that sorted out but don’t be surprised if someone takes a shot at him, but with that point, don’t expect him to get a starting job right away.
Terrell Owens (WR), Bengals
Where do I begin on this one? The fact that at 37, he isn’t likely to sign anything that lucrative? The fact that he has had two of his worst seasons in succession in 2009 and 2010? The fact that most teams interested aren’t interested in what his off field antics?
Owens is a character, that is for certain but it seems that since the draft, there are more teams focused on other free agent wide receivers like Santonio Holmes. Owens has been working hard to keep in shape and could become a great acquisition and honestly, if he can make a liar out of me, good for him but until he can show that he still has that big game capability, his stock will continue to fall.
Randy Moss (WR), Patriots/Vikings/Titans
We all know where Moss wants to go. The question is that if New England doesn’t grab their former No. 1 wide out, which team will take a shot at him? He is past his prime and will want a big contract.
The draft showed some suitors beefing up the wide out position and like I said, Moss is limited to where he can go as he wasn’t all that great when he left the Patriots via trade last season.
You may say that a lot of these picks have lost their luster before the draft but since then, any kind of luster that remained was lost and will remain lost until they prove their vigor on the field.