2011 NFL Free Agents: These 5 Players Could Upend AFC East
It appears that the NFL owners and NFL Players Association are nearing a deal that will end the lockout, which is a very good sign for NFL fans.
Once the lockout officially ends and the new collective bargaining agreement is in place, there will be a mad dash by each team to sign free agents to fill the holes on their rosters.
The AFC East race is going to be one of the most competitive division races and these free agent possibilities will only make it more interesting.
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Ronnie Brown is a very solid running back and a main part of the Miami Dolphins offense.
Brown played in all 16 regular season games last season, something he had yet to accomplish in his six-year career, and that should be a telling sign to teams looking to sign him.
Brown is 29 years-old and won't be a huge off-season targets for many teams. The Dolphins should have a good shot at re-signing him.
If Brown does end up leaving Miami, it would leave them with big holes at quarterback and running back and really hurt them next season.
Miami should work on re-signing Brown to a short deal, even if it means overpaying slightly, to keep him as a main part of their offense.
If Brown does leave, the Dolphins are in trouble.
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The New York Jets stole Santonio Holmes from the Pittsburgh Steelers last off-season and he may be moving teams once again.
Holmes is a top NFL receiver and would be a huge addition to many teams across the league.
If Holmes does leave the New York, the move would take the Jets' growing young offense a few steps back and force them to find a new go-to guy on offense.
All that said, it's almost a guarantee that Holmes will stay with the Jets and they should not have any problem with paying him big money.
After holding out most of last season, Logan Mankins came back to the New England Patriots and had a solid year for them.
Mankins is a great run blocker and would be a huge addition to any team that signs him. Mankins is an anchor of any offensive line he plays for and is a very tough player.
Mankins will attract a lot of off-season attention and should score a big payday.
If the Patriots offer him the right deal he would have no problem re-signing with them, even after they refused to give him a new contract last off-season.
Another free agent the New York Jets are going to have to look into re-signing is Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie came to the Jets last season and was solid playing alongside Darrelle Revis.
Cromartie has play making ability and while his man-to-man defense may be a weak part of his game, he has the ability to grab interceptions and make plays on defense.
Cromartie will demand big money and should be on the Jets' agenda to re-sign to keep their defense as good as it is.
If Cromartie leaves, the Jets defense could suffer and they would have another hole to fill at corner.
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The New York Jets front office has a ton of work to do this Offseason and they will almost definitely lose one of the players on the list.
Braylon Edwards is the guy they will most likely part ways with due to money concerns and their funds will have run out by the time they re-sign Antonio Cromartie and Santonio Holmes.
Edwards is a deep threat, big-play receiver with a big body who has the ability to catch the ball down the middle of the field.
He has a lot of drops but guys with his size are hard to find and he should score a big contract when the market opens up.
The Jets will lose something on offense if he does end up leaving and it could cost them the division title.