The madness of free agency, trading, cutting and everything else that usually takes months to develop will begin tomorrow morning.
With that in mind, it is time for us to take a glimpse into the near future and check out some of the players that you should be hoping that your favorite NFL team avoids.
Is he a linebacker or a defensive end? This tweener has showed glimpses of dominance since coming into the league but the soon-to-be former New York Giant has a neck injury that continues to linger.
While he is likely to not receive a long-term deal, he should get a respectable amount of money. This is a huge gamble for a team looking for a pass-rushing force.
Sure, Cromartie has had his moments but he is relatively good in a man-to-man system. Last season, Cromartie disappointed somewhat despite playing next to Darrelle Revis. Sure, Revis missed some time due to a hamstring injury, but Cromartie is often more bark than bite. With the contract he will likely receive, he will not be worth the trouble he will bring defensively. Look for Cromartie to make a few highlight reels but other than that, he is an overrated defender set in a strong free agent cornerback class.
The days of Santana Moss torching defenders and breaking free down the sidelines after a great catch are over. His legs are no longer the same and he doesn’t beat the defender like he used to. He has topped 1,000-yards receiving twice in the last five seasons while scoring nine times in 32 games. Moss’s yards per reception has declined every year since 2004 as well.
Another wide receiver that is no longer what he used to be is Randy Moss. Moss is actually in a more worse position than his counterpart Santana Moss. Randy Moss’s skills have diminished to the point where it would be a lively debate as to whether or not he would be better served retiring today and walking into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in five years.
A defensive end who piles up terrific numbers in a contract year is one most teams often like to avoid. Well, that may not be the case this year. Starting tomorrow, teams will be on Babin’s tail despite putting up good numbers on a horrific defense last year. His 12.5 sacks in 2010 outnumber his sack totals from 2006 through 2009. Babin is a weak pass-rusher that will undoubtedly bust when he joins his sixth team since coming into the league in 2004.
Running backs are a dime a dozen and Ronnie Brown will prove that in 2011 when he doesn’t live up to the hype he has received since his rookie year. Brown is often injured and has posted just one 1,000-yard rushing season since entering the NFL. He is no longer a Miami Dolphin, and his lack of a second-gear will keep him from becoming a preeminent force elsewhere.
When it comes to signing a huge contract, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers is the perfect example of failing to live up to expectations. That will certainly continue since the past is the perfect suggestion of the future. Rogers has the talent to be a wrecking ball defensively, but he has the motivation of a Homer Simpson. He will collect a fat paycheck in free agency but will fail to live up to the hype like he did in Cleveland.
When it comes to offensive linemen, teams prefer a left tackle to protect their quarterbacks. Locklear has played predominantly at right tackle but might garner left tackle-like money. With that in mind, it is true that he was good in Seattle, but the fact is that he is overrated to a degree. Many teams looking for an anchor on the offensive line will give Locklear a look but at the end of the day, he is just not worth a ton of money. He can’t play the left and may actually end up on the interior of someone’s offensive line.
Three years of being riddled with injuries and yet pundits still talk of Cullen Jenkins like he is a force to be observed on the defensive line. At defensive tackle, he is one of the more prominent free agents but his skill set does not give him the respect that he has been given since he has more time on the sidelines hurt than he does on the gridiron, seemingly.
Ike Taylor is known for fitting well into the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive scheme. Beyond that, he is a marginal coverage guy who will get paid by someone foolishly. Taylor is not a young pup anymore and his inability to be a force and place a good jam on the wide receiver will hurt him in 2011. Regardless, someone will pay him money despite not being nearly as good as Nnamdi Asomugha.
Originally published at Gridironed.com -- Quarterbacking What Matters on Sundays Every Day.