Free Agency Primer

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

With the NFL Scouting Combine coming up quick, free agency rumors will start churning very quickly.  This is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a quick catch-up on some of the league news around players that might be on Jets fans free agency radar.  Remember, that the Jets are going to be challenged by the salary cap so, on the whole, the big names won’t likely be seen much in conjunction with the Jets … 

Quarterbacks

Michael_Vick_Eagles (1)Not that it seemed likely once the Jets hired Marty Morhinweg that Michael Vick would come to New York, but now it’s official … Vick just restructured his contract with the Eagles and will stay on in 2013.

Peter King wrote today that Matt Flynn might be had for a “late round pick.” Idzik would have detailed knowledge of Flynn’s capacities and could easily work out a deal with his old team if he wanted to … of course the contract numbers could be problematic for the Jets.

Backup Bruce Gradkowski will most likely stay put in Cincinnati to work behind Andy Dalton.

Drew Stanton might be a free agent, but don’t expect he’d try it again with the Jets … more than likely he might look to reunite with Bruce Arians in Arizona.

Draft Bonus: Coming off an injured shoulder, Matt Barkley is planning on doing all the work he can at the Combine.

Running Backs

Could Rashard Mendenhall benefit from a offensive line scheme change in Pittsburgh?  If so, it might mean that one of the “top” free agents in the running back class might have a better chance at returning to the Steelers in 2013  than previously anticipated.

The Dallas Cowboys are not expected to re-sign pending free agent Felix Jones.  Jones was a vanity pick for owner Jerry Jones (they share the same alma mater and Jerry liked his speed) and he’s run his course with the team.

Wide Receivers 

Someone is going to pay Dwayne Bowe a lot of money, but it’s hard to imagine that that team would be the Jets.  Bowe has some questions around him and the Jets aren’t going to have the kind of money to get the level of talent that Bowe would possess via free agency.

Brian Hartline and the Dolphins are not close to coming to terms on a deal, but it sounds as if Hartline wants a contract that tracks like Laurent Robinson’s does.  That would mean about $33 million over the course of five seasons.

Percy Harvin might fetch upwards of one second or third round draft pick by whomever decides to trade with the Vikings.  That said, he’s on the books for $2.9 million in 2013 and would be a free agent thereafter, so an extension might be part of trading for the dynamic, but rebellious receiver.

While Mohamed Massaquoi never worked out for the Browns and he’s never been able to play a whole 16 game season since he was a rookie, he won’t cost anyone much in 2013.  The Jets might look to add some depth to their receiving corps this season and a player who could easily be cut if others don’t emerge might be a smart play.

Offensive Line

Steelers Guard Ramon Foster is an up and down player, he’s just not that consistent but works better against the pass than the run — not a great sign for a Guard.  Even so, the Steelers don’t plan to re-sign him in 2013 and Foster is looking for a new team … he might come cheap for a team looking for depth or potential starter …

RT Doug Free is expected to be cut from the Cowboys based on an inordinate cap number for 2013.

Linebackers

shaunphillipsThe Chargers are very likely to release LB Shaun Phillips.  Phillips is 32 but has accumulated 69.5 sacks over the course of his career and sounds like is looking to continue playing and the Cardinals are being batted around as a potential landing spot. A veteran minimum deal might be what a team would pay for such a player.

Defensive Backs 

The Panthers are not expected to resign Safety Sherrod Martin, who was a starter but who suffered serious ligament damage to his knee.  Martin is known as a plus coverage safety and can drop into the slot to take on a receiver when needed.  Of course, he would come cheap in 2013, because it might be a stretch for him to be ready before the start of the 2013 season.

Both Nnamdi Asomougha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie looked terrible in their time in Philadelphia.  Rex Ryan has a knack for taking out of favor defensive backs and making them player better than expected … since they are both better players than the Philly defense has showed them to be in the last two years, could the Jets try and snag one or either of them on a flyer if they are cut?