NFL Offseason: 3 Players Who Will Change Teams in 2012
Just when you think you have everything figured out about your favorite NFL team, they make a blockbuster trade or free-agent pickup you never saw coming.
After Jason Campbell's injury, Oakland Raiders fans were hopeful for a valid replacement, but most did not believe a trade for Carson Palmer would be done. A couple first-round picks later, and Raider Nation got their guy.
No one expected free agent Nnamdi Asomugha to land with the Philadelphia Eagles, as the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets and Houston Texans were all talked about as frontrunners. However, the Eagles made a last-minute maneuver, surprising football fans everywhere.
That's how quickly life in the NFL can change for a player and a franchise.
Here's a list of players that will be mentioned at length this offseason.
REASON FOR MOVE:
Prior to his untimely season-ending injury, Jason Campbell had been enjoying his most productive season in the NFL. The former Auburn Tigers standout had led the Oakland Raiders to the top of their division and looked to have a sound grasp of the offense.
Unfortunately, if you get hurt and your successor picks up where you left off, then you are quickly forgotten. The Raiders aggressively went after a replacement for Campbell to capitalize on their strong start.
A couple first-round draft picks and a former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback later and realization set in for the man with some bad fortune.
Of course, not all things are grim for Jason Campbell, who is a free agent at the end of the season. There are several teams around the league that need a suitable quarterback, and some of them have enough weapons in place to win right away or at least be competitive.
Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs
REASON FOR MOVE:
The Cleveland Browns and their unsatisfied running back Peyton Hillis have yet to come to terms on a new agreement. Hillis has expressed on more than one occasion his desire to sign a new deal and remain in Cleveland.
Mike Holmgren and the Cleveland front office seem prepared to play hard ball if things get ugly in the offseason. Teams have become increasingly sensitive to running backs wanting to restructure their contracts and using their loyalty to the team as leverage.
The negotiations between the Tennessee Titans and Chris Johnson can be used as an example. Johnson's desire to stay in Nashville helped his position of wanting a new contract translate over to the fans.
Most would not dispute Johnson's talent nor his standing amongst the top running backs in the league prior to this season, but he has had a rough go of it since putting pen to paper.
Running backs come and go like the wind in the NFL; you don't want to write a big check for someone who only has a couple good years left.
Holmgren has been in the league for a few decades now and will not re-sign a player if he doesn't feel it's conducive with the team's success. Cleveland could opt to cash in on the running back for draft picks or a position of need.
After all, Hillis is no Chris Johnson and his head may still be swollen from his Madden 12 cover appearance.
Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, New York Giants, Denver Broncos
REASON FOR MOVE:
The Philadelphia Eagles cornered the market during the shortened free-agency period this summer and in doing so have a surplus of Pro Bowl cornerbacks.
The Philadelphia front office did not exactly make their efforts to shop Asante Samuel around during the waning weeks before the trade deadline a secret.
Samuel is owed $8.4 million in 2012 and $10.4 million in 2013 if he were to stay in Philadelphia. Joe "Nickles" Banner—as he's affectionately called in Philly—would love to move those numbers off the books for an aging Samuel.
Philadelphia's disastrous season could see a whirlwind of changes within the team from the top on down. Asante Samuel seems to be an obvious selection to boot out of town with the old regime.
Whether or not large changes take place in Philly this offseason, expect to see the ball-hawking Samuel in a new uniform in 2012.
New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers