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  • Peyton Hillis May Resign with Browns
    by DC Insider Rick Bennett


    Would they get the 2010 or 2011 version?

    After a breakout 2010 campaign that ended with Hillis being put on the cover of Madden, Hillis had an abysmal season in 2011. He missed several games due to illness and injury, and even when he was on the field he was less effective than he had been in the past.

    Through it all, a contract dispute was definitely part of the problem. Now, with the Browns still holding a decent amount of cap space following the first round of free agency, they may finally be interested in paying Peyton.

    Neither Hillis nor the team seems to have any bad blood that would keep them from striking a fair deal. When healthy, Peyton is easily the best offensive player the Browns have, and now it looks like they may pay him accordingly.

    Comment


    • Desean on the Move?
      by DC Insider Rick Bennett


      Heading out of town?

      Ever since the Eagles successfully signed free agent WR Vincent Jackson, rumors have been flying about the Eagles potentially trading disgruntled franchise player Desean Jackson.

      Desean wants a long term deal, but isn't going to get that in Philly, especially now. The Eagles are apparently seeking a late first round pick for Jackson.

      If the Eagles trade Jackson (or, if they can't find a suitor, simply pull their franchise offer,) it will free up around $10 million in additional cap space.

      It appears that Philly will use that money on a linebacker, as the team hosted a cavalcade of free agent linebackers today including former Packer AJ Hawk, former Seahawk Leroy Hill and former Titan/Buccaneer Barrett Ruud. LB was an area of major concern for Philly headed into this offseason and they have not yet addressed it.

      Comment


      • Terrence Newman Visits Texans
        by DC Insider Rick Bennett


        Staying in Texas?

        The Cowboys released CB Terrence Newman earlier in the offseason after an awful 2011 season. Newman was overpaid for the performance he gave on the field, and was booted from the team accordingly.

        However, one team's trash is always another team's treasure and the Houston Texans may be that other team. They brought in the veteran corner for a look earlier this morning.

        Newman has experience in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' scheme from their time together with the Cowboys would provide an experienced depth player if nothing else.

        Comment


        • Colts Host Garay
          by DC Insider Rick Bennett


          Might he bring his freaky hair and beard to Indy?

          Garay was viewed by many as one of the best 3-4 NTs available in free agency, but was surprisingly not made a single offer during the first round. Even his former team, the Chargers, opted to move on signing Paul Soliai to play the position instead of Garay.

          That doesn't mean no one is interested now of course. The Indianapolis Colts will be move to a 3-4 scheme in 2012 and, thanks to former GM Bill Polian's obsession with tiny defenders, are currently lacking anyone capable of playing NT in such a scheme.

          After resigning WR Pierre Garcon and DE Robert Mathis to Elite level deals in the first round of free agency, the Colts aren't left with much cap space. However, Garay may certainly take a below market deal at this point just to land a starting role in 2012.

          Comment


          • Anthony Spencer's Phone Still Quiet
            by DC Insider Rick Bennett


            Where will he end up in 2012?

            For a while, the Cowboys were expected to keep Anthony Spencer on the team via the franchise tag. However, the team opted not to and now, Anthony Spencer is still sitting at home.

            The Cowboys showed only faint interest in resigning the 3-4 OLB during the first round, but Spencer wanted a better deal. He is yet to receive such an offer.

            Spencer never lived up to his first round billing, even with superstar Demarcus Ware on the other side drawing the offense's attention.

            It's looking more and more likely that Spencer will have to accept a below market deal in order to play at all in 2012.

            Comment


            • Kroy Biermann Making the Rounds
              by DC Insider Rick Bennett


              "Beer Man" because there is only one "BeerBaron."

              Free agent defensive end Kroy Biermann did not receive any offers during the first round of free agency. It's not that his contract demands were unreasonable, it's more likely that there just isn't a lot of demand for base 4-3 ends who provide very little pass rush.

              Biermann's career high in sacks is 5 and he's coming off of a season where he registered just 2.5. He does play a very solid all around game and could certainly be productive as a member of any team's rotation.

              During this round of free agency, his name is starting to pop up more and more, including a visit scheduled to the Tampa Bay Bucs who could use depth behind sophomores Adrian Clayborn and DaQuan Bowers.

              Comment


              • Redskins Eye Brian Hoyer
                by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                He may not be Peyton Manning, but he's a better option that last year's QBs.

                The Washington Redskins came close but failed to land free agent QB Peyton Manning during the first round of free agency. They did land former Texan Matt Leinart, reuniting him with former his former QB coach in Kyle Shanahan, but he's definitely more of a backup option than starting QB.

                With Kyle Orton returning to the Chiefs and Chad Henne going to Seattle, the free agent QB market looks pretty bare. So, the Redskins are now taking a long look at restricted free agent QB Brian Hoyer of the Patriots.

                With Ryan Mallett waiting in the wings behind Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer is expendable in New England. Hoyer doesn't have much experience in games that counted, but he has looked reasonably good in limited opportunities.

                Hoyer currently has a 2nd round tender placed on him, but the Pats may be willing to let him go for less than that. While he's not the ideal option for the Redskins, they would be better served taking a chance on him than entering the season with the likes of Rex Grossman and John Beck once again.

                Comment


                • AJ Hawk Visits Ravens
                  by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                  He's not pretty, but he's a solid NFL linebacker.

                  We mentioned in passing earlier that one of the linebackers who visited the Eagles was former Packer AJ Hawk.

                  Well, later in the day, Hawk traveled just a short distance south to meet up with the Ravens in Baltimore. With players like Jameel McClain, Jarret Johnson and Brendan Ayanbadejo likely to move on as free agents, the Ravens have very little left on the roster to play around Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs.

                  Hawk has always been a solid though pretty unspectacular linebacker, and was released from Green Bay earlier this offseason. He'd certainly start in the Ravens 3-4 defense next to the future HoFer in Ray Lewis.

                  Comment


                  • Brandon Jacobs "Pissed" About Lack of Offers
                    by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                    The Giants didn't even want him back.

                    RB Brandon Jacobs has yet to receive even a single offer in free agency, and the big back is none too happy about it.

                    "I'm pissed man. that . I ran for the champs last year, I should get some offers," he said when asked by the media.

                    Jacobs did run for over 500 yards and 7 TDs for the eventual champion Giants. But his average YPC dropped almost 2 full yards from 5.6 in 2010 to 3.8 this year.

                    And despite his size, Jacobs has never been a great inside runner. He ofter goes down at first contact due to a lack of great balance and doesn't punish defenders as much as he could.

                    Add this to the fact that he'll be 30 when the season starts, and it's little wonder why Jacobs has yet to receive an offer.

                    Comment


                    • Patriots cut three more

                      Former second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham was one of the players jettisoned.

                      New England continued the process of releasing players today, severing ties with three roster reserves. OG Donald Thomas, DE Jermaine Cunningham, and DE Justin Trattou were all informed that they do not currently factor into the team's plans for 2012.

                      Cunningham is the most notable player to get walking papers; he was a second-round draft pick in 2010 but failed to develop as a pass rusher and offered little special teams value before finishing last season on injured reserve. The pass rusher has just one career sack in 24 games and saw his snap count diminish greatly in 2011. The Patriots pride themselves on playing the best players regardless of draft position or contract.

                      Donald Thomas is a graduate of the University of Connecticut who functioned as a reserve offensive guard as well as a fullback in the team's jumbo packages, but appeared in less than one percent of the team's 2011 snaps and figures to be even less of a factor now that the Patriots have a healthy offensive line. Ryan Wendell and Rich Ohrnberger both have the versatility to play at guard and center, while Marcus Cannon can fill in at guard if needed as well.

                      Trattou was recently acquired in a trade for defensive end Alex Silvestro, but the deal was an inconsequential one. Trattou's work ethic and special teams value mean that he is candidate to appear on New England's practice squad next season if he goes unclaimed in free agency.

                      The players' 2012 cap hits are as follows:

                      Donald Thomas - $615,000
                      Jermaine Cunningham - $490,000
                      Justin Trattou - $465,000

                      Total: $1,570,000

                      Comment


                      • Giants Very Interested in Terrence McGee
                        by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                        Jumping ship to play in New Jersey?

                        The NY Giants felt the sting that often follows a Superbowl victory. While the victory itself is very sweet, their free agents tend to see their value inflated highly and skip town for more money.

                        This is exactly what happened to the Giants at the CB position, where they lost both Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas to big money deals in Jacksonville and Cincinnati respectively.

                        This has left the Giants awfully thin at the already precarious CB position, where Corey Webster is the only surefire starter on the team. As a result, the Giants are scrambling for help there and are currently fixated on former Buffalo Bill CB Terrence McGee.

                        McGee has only started 9 games during the last two seasons, due in large part to injury. The 31 year old has seen his level of play decline as well in the games he has played.

                        Still, he is one of the more attractive options on the market as the #2 corner for the Giants. The Giants have also brought in several other free agent CBs for a tire kicking, including former Viking Cedric Griffin and former Seahawk Marcus Trufant.

                        All three are solid corners when healthy, but each has struggles with injury in recent seasons.

                        Comment


                        • Richard Marshall Resurfaces in San Diego
                          by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                          Could Marshall be headed towards the Chargers?

                          Following the 2010 season, Richard Marshall was a free agent leaving Carolina and was expected to be one of the hotter names at the position. After generating low levels of interest, he signed a one year deal in Arizona and spent most of the season as a nickel player and occasional safety.

                          Now, after going untouched in the first round of free agency, Marshall's name has surfaced in connection with the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers seem set with Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer as starters at CB, and have Eric Weddle and the recently signed Roman Harper at safetey, so Marshall would figure to provide depth at both positions.

                          He is still a top quality run defender from the CB position and would fit well with any team in a nickel role.

                          Comment


                          • REPORT: DESEAN JACKSON NOW A 49ER!
                            by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                            Desean headed to the Bay Area.

                            Well, now it's official. The Philadelphia Eagles have traded WR Desean Jackson (and a 4th round pick) to the San Francisco 49ers for LB Larry Grant and the 49ers 1st, #30 overall.

                            Jackson wanted a long term deal in Philly but the team wasn't in a position to give it to the disgruntled WR. After signing free agent WR Vincent Jackson, Desean became expendable.

                            Desean now heads to San Francisco, who will extend his franchise tag offer long term. He joins a San Francisco offense that sports weapons like Michael Crabtree, Vernon David and Frank Gore, but lacked a deep threat WR who could actually catch the ball. (Looking at you, Ted Ginn Jr.) Jackson will also contribute to the return game.

                            In addition, the 49ers sent RFA LB Larry Grant to the Eagles. Grant played well in a reserve linebacker role last season, filling in for Patrick Willis while he was out. Grant can play inside or weakside in Philly's 4-3 scheme. The Eagles are still expected to look for a free agent LB to further address the position.

                            Comment


                            • Andre Carter Visits Jags
                              by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                              Mark Sanchez is still feeling that one.

                              Andre Carter was the Patriots best pass rusher last season, registering 10 sacks before getting injured and winding up on IR. It was a career rebirth year before the injury after Carter struggled with inconsistency in Washington for several seasons.

                              Now, after missing out of some of the top free agent pass rushers in the first round, the Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing in Carter for a look.

                              Carter got some minor interest in the first round, including from the Patriots, but no on really stepped up to make a big offer. The Jaguars still have a good deal of cap space and are apparently willing to make him a fair deal.

                              Comment


                              • Hill Meets With Saints
                                by DC Insider Rick Bennett


                                Could he be the impact linebacker they need?

                                It wasn't too long ago that Leroy Hill was a pro bowl level player who received the franchise tag from the Seahawks. However, declining play and a marijuana arrest have seen his stock take a hit to the point where he was completely passed over in the first round of free agency.

                                Now the Saints have brought him into town for a look-see. They traded LB Jonathan Vilma to the Giants, lost Jo-Lonn Dunbar to free agency and released Scott Shanle earlier in the offseason, so they have a need at the linebacker position. Hill would fit nicely into new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnulo's blitzing scheme.

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