Should I Stay or Should I Go? NFL 2010 Free Agent Talk

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 13:  Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings on December 13, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Bengals 30-10.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With three big games still yet to go in the NFL season, many players are looking ahead to 2010 with hopes of finding new teams, new contracts, and more importantly, new starts.

While the list includes many big-name quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, many teams are on the hunt for new stars who could ultimately turn their teams around.

Smash mouth players, finesse players, and skilled players headline this year's free agent talk.  Who will walk and who will re-sign?

Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals)

At the moment, Warner has bigger things on his mind then what team he play for next season.  Retirement is the question that is plaguing the Cardinals' QB, and many analysts are predicting that Warner will walk away during the upcoming offseason.  With nothing left to prove and a Super Bowl ring already to his name, you can't really blame Kurt if he does decide to hang it up.

If the verdict comes through and Kurt decides to come back for another year, well, he is more than likely going to sign with the Cardinals.  He has already proved to everyone just how talented he is when he has a good wide receiver corps and there is no point in signing with a team that struggles to reach .500 each season. 

A Hall of Fame plaque is likely in the future for Warner and there is no need to endanger his career or status by signing with another team.  We all know how his quarterback career turned out with the New York Giants, and if you ask me, that's something I don't really want to relive again.  Kurt Warner will stay an Arizona Cardinal.

Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills)

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This one is debatable.  The Buffalo Bills are going nowhere and Terrell is struggling to even get recognized.  Terrell's first season in three years with fewer than 1,000 yards occurred in 2009 and it's an accomplishment that the loud mouth doesn't like to have next to his name.

Opinions aside, Owens still has talent.  Signing with the Bills in the first place was a mistake, and re-signing would be more of a joke on Owens' part than it would be for the fans.  A young team like Washington or Cleveland could do well with T.O.  With mediocre receivers such as Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El, new head coach Mike Shanahan could do well with a guy like Owens to get the job done in Washington.

Washington or Cleveland may not be able to fork out the big salary the Owens requires each season, but with his age and stats from last season, he should take what he can get.

Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles)

Head coach Andy Reid hasn't hinted at letting go of Vick, nor has he hinted at re-signing him.  He has however, stated that Donovan McNabb is the Eagles starter for the 2010 season and that if Vick is to resign he will once again warm the bench for No. 5.

Some will argue that Vick has no talent, while others will argue that his career is going down the drain in Philadelphia.  Either way you look at it, I think it's time Vick left the City of Brotherly Love.

With only one touchdown pass and 86 yards with the Eagles, Vick still has some rebuilding to do.  Like Terrell Owens though, a young team like Washington or St. Louis could benefit from a guy like Vick.  A unique, left handed throwing arm, and a few young wide receivers could prove to be a group that gives either of these teams some much needed wins.

With Vick though, talent comes with controversy.  It's something that will never go away, and whether Washington or St. Louis could handle that is another story.  Don't be surprised to hear about Vick again in July after the draft, about whether he is happy or not in Philadelphia. The mention of him signing with another team is soon to arise. 

Washington and St. Louis are the best fit.

Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals)

Benson is underrated.  This is probably so because the Bengals struggled to utilise him well.  Cedric is the type of runner that feeds off of inside hand offs, and when he bounces off the first tackle he is going to take it up the field for a decent gain.  Therefore, the Cincinnati Bengals would be wise to resign him.

At times he struggles to get going, but when it matters he delivers.  With 1,251 yards in the 2009 season, many teams will be chomping at the bits to get their hands on this young man.  Like an overprotective parent though, head coach Marvin Lewis should do all he can to keep Benson happy.

Entering his sixth season in the NFL in 2010, Benson is looking to break into the upper echelon of NFL running backs.  A new team like San Diego could prove fitting for him, especially if LaDainian Tomlinson walks.  A powerhouse style team is what Benson needs to be considered among the best, so San Diego or possibly Denver could be his new home.  The Bengals want to keep him, but I get the feeling Cedric is ready to leave.

Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys)

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Miles Austin is going to remain a Cowboy.  With quick feet, sharp judgement, and great hands, Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones will pay whatever it takes to keep the young superstar in Blue and Silver. 

A Pro Bowler and a future star, Miles Austin has already taken over the leading receiver role from Jason Witten and Roy Williams.  Whether a deep route or short route, Austin delivers and is showing signs of becoming a future Michael Irvin.

A new team is out of the question.  There a few guys that stick with one team throughout their whole career, but I feel Miles Austin may be one of them.

Jeff Garcia (Oakland Raiders/Philadelphia Eagles)

There were other guys I could have given this last spot to, but it seems fitting for this old veteran to be up here.  In a way it's almost sad to see what's become of him.  A former star, reduced to a replacement, and then reduced to a possible fade out. 

The funny thing is many teams could use him.  We thought the Raiders could, but they blew it, and now Jeff is on the hunt yet again for a new home.  This time though, I don't think it will happen.  Like many other washed ups or has beens, Jeff will struggle from now on to find a starting job anywhere.  I hate to say it, but retirement may be the best option for the former star.

Honorable Mentions:

-Hank Baskett

-Kerry Collins

-Byron Leftwich

-Shaun Alexander

-Tatum Bell

-Darren Sproles

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