If you’ve already written your favorite team off as the Seahawks, Dolphins, Niners etc. all bulked up in the hopes of making a Super Bowl run, I hope you did so in pencil. As I write this article we are less than a month away from the NFL draft, and you know what that means... If not, it means teams desperate to jockey for draft position, and team’s that weren’t so lucky in free agency are going to be scrambling like mad men to make trades - or so we in the field of sports journalism hope so.
There’s solid free agents aplenty at nearly every position other than quarterback. What this means is that quarterback needy teams will be willing to part with players they can readily replace in free agency to get that backup that just needs a shot. Due to the salary cap there are contenders that will have expendable, pricey pieces they feel they can upgrade in free agency, and penny pinching franchises more than willing to rid them of their burdens. Whatever the case, there is reason to expect at the very least SOME movement between now and the draft. Here’s a look at some of the more likely candidates.
Darrelle Revis: The hiring of former Seahawks executive John Idzik as the new general manager in New York was made primarily to fix the abhorrent cap situation the Jets had on their hands. Having seen John Schneider perfectly execute a rebuild in Seattle, he’s probably learned a thing or two about fixing aging franchises. Since getting the job he’s released several veterans, and I think the next trick up his sleeve will be moving Darrelle Revis. He’s been a contractual headache for this club for as long as I can remember, and apparently wants a new contract that would pay him somewhere in the neighbourhood of $16M a season. That’s not a very rebuild friendly number. The Jets are apparently actively shopping Revis around the league, and the current frontrunner to land his services are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Matt Flynn: Speaking of the Seahawks... After signing a 3 year contract worth nearly $20M it seemed like Flynn had finally found himself a starting job. Or so he thought. The Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson in the 3rd round of the draft, and the rest, as they say, is history. Flynn’s cap hit for the 2013 season is $7.25M and the Seahawks can clear about $3.25 of that by dealing him. This team appears to be all in for the 2013 season, and could certainly use the cap space, so it only makes sense that they’d move him. That being said, I won’t be too surprised if he sticks around for next season. If he is on the trading block, I expect he’ll wind up in Jacksonville.
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Ryan Mallett: Coming out of college many believed Mallett had all the physical attributes to be a first rounder. Off field issues, of course, led to his being a third rounder and waiting patiently behind Tom Brady to this point in his career. The Browns were rumoured to have interest in Mallett, but they’ve since backed off and seem intent on giving Brandon Weeden another chance to lock down the starting job. As far as I’m concerned the Browns still make sense as a potential destination, as do the Jaguars and Cardinals.
Nate Washington: Be it with the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Tennessee Titans, it just seems like this guy never gets the respect he is due. Which leads me to my next point. The Titans are apparently shopping Washington, who’s been their leading receiver for two years in a row. It seems kind of odd that they’d throw him on the block, but word has it they have. It seems all the more odd that they’d do this after losing Jared Cook to free agency. Washington’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but he can still play very well as a number two receiver. Maybe he makes his return to Pittsburgh?
DeAngelo Williams: Something tells me Williams’ heart was never in it after he landed the big cash he’s still getting paid on his current contract. That or he just never deserved it to begin with. With the Panthers desperate to find cap space, any way they can get it, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if they ship Williams out of town. Maybe the Broncos - who are desperate for help in the running game - make an attempt at landing Williams.
Davone Bess: In what’s been one of the league’s more lackluster receiving corps, Bess has always found a way to be productive in the slot for Miami. That being said, his time in Miami might be coming to a close after they signed just about every pass catcher on the market. Bess is also going into the final year of his contract, and is probably going to cash in during the 2014 offseason. I don’t see him landing those big bucks with Miami though, as there is just very little room for Bess in their logjam at receiver. As such, he could be on his way out of town. Maybe the Rams go for Bess after losing Amendola to the Patriots.
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