2011 NFL Free Agency: 5 Players Most Likely to Be on the Market Again in 2012
You've heard the phrase "one hit wonder."
It typically refers to the music industry, of course. But the same principal applies to NFL free agency.
Sometimes an NFL free agent can't get the long-term deal he wants and has to settle for year-by-year offers from teams who are only willing to make short-term commitments.
It's usually not the ideal situation for a player. But it usually beats the alternative—not playing at all.
Here are five big-name 2011 free agents who are going to find themselves on the open market again in 2012.
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Terrell Owens is a perpetual free agent.
The remainder of his career will most likely be spent considering one one-year contract offer after another.
Of course, it's of his own doing that he's in this situation in the first place.
Owens spent most of his NFL career whining, complaining and generally being a disruption to the teams he's been employed by—San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas.
That being said, he's piled up Hall of Fame worthy numbers and he's been on his best behavior the past two years in Buffalo and Cincinnati respectively, even as those teams fought through losing seasons.
I believe Terrell Owens still has a lot to offer the game.
At 37-years-old, he's not the player he used to be but he is in great shape, he works hard and he can be productive as a second or third receiving option.
Nevertheless, there isn't a team that will be willing to gamble more than one year on T.O.
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Like Terrell Owens, Randy Moss' bizarre behavior over the years is going to cost him in the long run.
That long run is now and Moss is looking for work.
As one of the most freakishly gifted athletes to ever play in the NFL, Moss seemingly had the world at his feet until his tremendous success unearthed a prima dona attitude that has since rendered him as being "difficult" to deal with.
Because of that, most teams don't think he's worth the effort anymore.
In fact, after he was booted out of Minnesota last season, only one team claimed him off waivers—the Tennessee Titans. And they want nothing to do with him anymore.
Moss is also 34-years-old, not exactly prime time for most NFL players.
At least one of the 32 NFL teams will give him a chance in 2011. But it will be a one-year deal.
Then Moss will find himself without a football home again in 2012.
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Getting old isn't easy.
It's even more difficult when you're adding up the years and trying to play quarterback in the NFL.
Matt Hasselbeck's pro football days are numbered.
As the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks for 10 of his 12 NFL seasons, Hasselbeck has had impressive numbers, throwing for over 3,000 yards seven times. He's also the Seahawks’ all-time, highest-rated passer and a three-time Pro Bowler.
But all good things must come to an end and 2011 looks like it could be the year Hasselbeck is shown the door. And in all likelihood, it's the same door he'll be shown, by another team, next year.
Although he can still play the game at a high level, Hasselbeck is certainly a risky investment.
He could provide outstanding veteran leadership along with the mental and physical skills to lead an NFL team. But at 35 years old, his health remains a huge question mark.
Primarily because of his consistency and personality as a defensive back in San Diego, Antonio Cromartie was a contractual question mark before he signed up to be the Robin to Darrelle Revis' Batman in New York last year.
Then he went out and had a pretty decent 2010 season with 42 tackles, 17 passes defensed and three interceptions.
But his days with the Jets might soon be coming to an end as second-year cornerback Kyle Wilson develops into Cromartie's role.
That means Cromartie will be available for hire on the open NFL marketplace and more than a couple teams will be impressed with his athleticism to give him a chance. And rightfully so, because he has the talent.
But he won't thrive in an environment as a No. 1 corner and his consistency as a targeted No. 2 is questionable.
So, wherever he ends up, the 27-year-old Cromartie still has to prove he deserves a long-term deal because he'll be a free agent again in 2012.
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Over the course of his 15 NFL seasons, Darren Sharper established himself as one of the premier safeties.
As recently as 2009—the New Orleans Saints' remarkable championship season—Sharper was not only an integral part of the team's defense, he dominated.
Sharper had a career high nine interceptions and returned three of them for touchdowns. He also had a career high 15 passes defensed and 51 tackles.
But Sharper spent much of last season recovering from knee surgery and only played in eight games, starting just one in an otherwise forgettable season for both himself and the Saints.
Now healthy again at 35 years old, Sharper feels he can still handle a full-time workload. But with safety Malcolm Jenkins filling his former role, Sharper has to figure out whether he wants to stay with New Orleans in a situational role or try to return to his Pro Bowl form of 2009 as a full-time starter with another team.
Whatever he decides, he'll get a one-year deal in 2011. And if he doesn't retire, another one-year offer in 2012.