6 NFL Free Agents Who Won't Be Signed Until the Season Begins
With the NFL lockout coming to an end just days before the 2011 training camp was scheduled to begin, free agency was a giant frenzy. In an effort to solidify training camp rosters in just a few days, teams were signing players and making deals left and right.
Heading into Week 2 of the preseason, many of the prime free agents have been picked up by teams, and things are slowing down. However, there are still a few free agents on the board that will likely be picked up, but probably not until the season begins. This slideshow highlights a few of those players.
Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver
Coming off of a mystery ACL tear and sidelined from training for the past few months, Terrell Owens is rumored to be just a couple weeks from being healthy. The prima-donna wide receiver, who was once considered one of the best at his position, will likely remain an unsigned free agent, at least until the NFL regular season begins.
A 37-year-old drama-filled wide receiver nursing a knee injury does not exactly top many teams' list of needs, however, despite all of the stipulations, Owens still possesses the ability to be an aerial threat.
After all, Owens had an impressive season just a year ago with the Cincinnati Bengals, catching nine touchdown passes and accumulating 983 yards. With the exception of the knee injury, his body is still very much in peak physical condition, and much of his talent is still there.
If the knee is indeed healthy and a team can control his character, Owens could potentially be an x-factor.
Darren Sharper, Safety
One decision the New Orleans Saints made this free agency was to move on with out their five-time Pro Bowl free safety Darren Sharper. Sharper, who was the Saints' starting free safety, was limited to eight games last season due to micro-fracture surgery in his knee. Entering his 14th season in the NFL, youth is not exactly on Sharper's side.
However, don't count him all the way out of his prime. It was just two short years ago that he enjoyed one of the most successful seasons of his career. During the Saints' 2009 Super Bowl season, Sharper was an integral part of the outstanding defense, snagging a league-high nine interceptions.
Although Sharper is working out with the New England Patriots this week, word is the team is still feeling out the market. There is chance that Sharper may not land with a team until the preseason is over.
Lofa Tatupu, Linebacker
Despite being a three-time Pro Bowler, the Seattle Seahawks made the decision not to re-sign linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Rumors are flying and Tatupu has visited with a few teams, but the established linebacker remains un-signed.
At 29 years old, Tatupu is still in his prime. However, offseason arthroscopic knee surgery on both knees may be sending a red flag to some teams.
Regardless, Tatupu will likely end up being a good acquisition for one lucky team come the start of the regular season.
Heath Evans, Fullback
Heath Evans spent two years with the New Orleans Saints, including their 2009 Super Bowl season. Early in free agency, and following signing fullback Korey Hall, Saints head coach Sean Payton announced that the team would move on without Evans.
Evans, a well liked teammate and fan favorite, has yet to chose another team, but there is talk that perhaps his career is over. Evans, who admittedly wants to play for either New Orleans or New England, spent week 1 of the preseason on the sidelines of the Patriots-Jaguars game reporting for the NFL Network.
According to Evans though, he is not ready to discuss the r-word just yet, so look for him to possibly sign with a team come the beginning of the regular season.
LenDale White, Running Back
Released this week by the Denver Broncos, running back LenDale White is looking for a new home. White missed all of last season with the Broncos after tearing his achilles tendon in the final preseason game.
An achilles tendon tear is one of the hardest injuries for an NFL player to return from and during training camp it was quite apparent that White was still nursing that injury.
At 26 years old, White still has youth in front of him and if he can overcome this growing pain, may have enough talent to produce a promising career.
Kirk Morrison, Linebacker
Kirk Morrison is a middle linebacker known for his ability to make tackles. Before playing with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, Morrison played with the Oakland Raiders, where he racked up over 100 tackles numerous times.
Last year, Morrison's tackle number dropped off to 89. That number doesn't seem overly terrible, but for a guy that has been consistent his whole career, this may be a red flag for some teams.
Morrison has never missed a game in his career, which also makes him a nice prospect for a few teams.