NFL Free Agency: 7 2012 Free Agents Sure to Turn a Team Around
Every team has a position that could use a quick fix in the 2012 NFL free agency period. A few teams have bigger needs and even bigger checkbooks, and will try to bring in that one player who will take them to the next level.
So, who will be the next Drew Brees? Could it be Drew Brees? Who is the next Michael Turner? Who is the next impact player who's just dying to get a bigger piece of the action?
Here are seven impact players that could turn a team around in 2012.
The Houston Texans will likely slap the franchise tag on Mario Williams if they cannot sign the pro bowler to a long-term contract. However, if he somehow slips through the cracks, Williams will be the biggest name available on defense.
The former first overall pick was having an even bigger impact as an outside linebacker. Williams had five sacks and a forced fumble through five games after “slumping” to 8.5 sacks at his natural defensive end spot in 2010.
Whether it is with the Texans or elsewhere, Williams has scary potential as a 3-4 outside linebacker and will only get better as he learns the nuances of the position.
Are the Kansas City Chiefs prepared to say goodbye to Dwyane Bowe? They brought in Steve Breaston and drafted Jon Baldwin in the first round. If Bowe hits the market, he will be a hot commodity.
With the exception of his injury-plagued 2009 season, Bowe has been good for at least 70 catches and 995 yards in every year of his NFL career. Bowe could be a great fit for a team in search of a top receiver, such as the St. Louis Rams.
Drew Brees will likely not touch the free agent market—but imagine if he did. Brees would shake up the NFL’s hierarchy for the second time in his career.
When he signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006, he turned a sorry franchise into an immediate Super Bowl contender and finished the job in 2009. Unlike the San Diego Chargers, I doubt the Saints have a pro bowl quarterback stashed on the bench. Therefore, I cannot picture Brees moving elsewhere, but crazier things have happened.
Jermichael Finley has a huge payday coming, but will it be the Green Bay Packers that pay him?
The Packers have a ton of money locked up in Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. What's more, the team already proved they can win a Super Bowl without Finley. Aaron Rodgers will hit whoever is open.
As a featured option, Finley could easily be a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown player. A subpar team will likely offer Finley a huge contract to be the focal point of their offense, rather than just another weapon in Rodgers’ arsenal.
For the last eight seasons, Darnell Dockett has been the lone constant on the Arizona Cardinals defense. Dockett can stop the run, rush the passer and has missed just one game in his NFL career.
Dockett is trying to hold down the fort single-handedly, but could make an bigger impact on a team full of solid veterans. Dockett brings toughness, versatility and Super Bowl experience wherever he signs.
Marques Colston could be available to a team willing to pay him as their top playmaker. He is currently making just three million dollars for the New Orleans Saints as a piece of the Drew Brees machine.
Colston has been valuable (1,000 yards in four of five seasons), but New Orleans probably feels comfortable with any receiver going forward, as long as it is Brees throwing him the football.
Welker and Brady work in such perfect harmony that it is difficult to believe the Patriots would let him walk. However, New England has not had a problem saying goodbye to productive players. They let Super Bowl starters Deion Branch, Asante Samuel and Randy Moss move on in the past.
If the asking price is too high, Welker could be chewing up secondaries in a different uniform in 2012.
Thanks for reading.
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