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2012 NFL Free Agents: Peyton Hillis and Drama Queens Worth the Risk

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24:  Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns looks on from the sidelines during the closing moments of the Browns 20-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the 2012 NFL free agency pool full of huge stars, there is still talk about which teams will take the risk on the drama queens.

While Terrell Owens is a hot name, more realistic drama queens on the move would be players like Peyton Hillis or Cedric Benson; stars with the baggage to make it risky and enough talent to make it worth it.

All of the following NFL veterans will be hitting the free-agent market this offseason, but don’t be scared if your team signs them. Just prepare for the potential drama.

Peyton Hillis

Despite having an absolutely terrible 2011 campaign, Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is one of the biggest prizes on the market. It just so happens that teams will get him cheap.

While many will discount the Madden Cover curse, Hillis’ success in 2010 and subsequent injury-plagued season should be enough to show that the odd superstition is real. Over 500 yards less production is a huge drop off.

After a 2010 that saw him gain over 1900 all purpose yards and score 13 touchdowns, any team would be lucky to get a powerful back without many miles on him. If the curse wears off, Hillis will return to his star form.

Cortland Finnegan

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 11:  Jed Collins #45 of the New Orleans Saints dives to make a first down reception as Cortland Finnegan #31 of the Tennessee Titans defends during play at LP Field on December 11, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Grant Ha
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans will be looking to keep their Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback Cortland Finnegan, but if he makes it to free agency, he will be a headache worth having.

Finnegan doesn’t take trash talking very well and plays a very aggressive style at the cornerback position. With contact getting under many receivers’ skin, Finnegan is effective before the ball is even in the air.

Add in the fact that he is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL and you have a volatile mix of anger and intensity. He would be a great addition to any secondary that could handle the baggage he brings.

Cedric Benson

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 18:  Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball ahead of middle linebacker James Laurinaitis #55 of the St. Louis Rams in the first half of the game on December 18, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome i
Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Despite a lack of elite production in Cincinnati and some off-field troubles that became synonymous with the club, Cedric Benson is a valuable commodity on the open market.

With veteran experience and a history of running against eight players against the run, if Benson found a team with a potent passing game, he could break out for a huge year.

Take, for example, the Green Bay Packers. If Benson were to sign with them, despite their shabby offensive line, the powerful back would have a monster season running the delay. It’s something the Packers, along with other pass-heavy teams, should look into.

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