Monday, March 12, 2012

2012 NFL Free Agency Projections

With the NFL’s 2012 season (finally) getting off to an official start at 4:00 pm Tuesday, here are my projections for where the key free agents will land. 

Peyton Manning – Cardinals
Matt Flynn – Dolphins
Alex Smith – 49ers
Josh Johnson - 49ers
Jason Campbell – Broncos
Chad Henne – Chiefs

Michael Bush – Bengals
Mike Tolbert – Chiefs
Peyton Hillis – Giants
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Broncos
Cedric Benson – Raiders
Vincent Jackson – Bucs
Reggie Wayne – Cardinals
Marques Colston – Redskins
Brandon Lloyd – Patriots
Robert Meachem – Saints
Mario Manningham – Vikings
Laurent Robinson – Cowboys
Mike Wallace – Steelers
Pierre Garcon – Broncos
Plaxico Burress – Eagles
Harry Douglas – Cardinals
Eddie Royal – Bucs

Carl Nicks – Cowboys
Ben Grubbs – Seahawks
Evan Mathis – Bucs
Jared Gaither – Chargers
Demetrius Bell – Bears
Chris Myers - Packers
Scott Wells - Broncos

Mario Williams – Bears
John Abraham – Titans
Jeremy Mincey – Browns
Brodrick Bunkley – Bucs
Jason Jones – Panthers
Red Bryant – Seahawks

Stephen Tulloch – Lions
Curtis Lofton – Bucs
Dan Connor – Cowboys
David Hawthorne – Eagles
Joe Mays – Bears
Erin Henderson – Rams
Jarret Johnson – Colts

Courtland Finnegan – Bucs
Carlos Rogers – Cowboys
Brandon Carr – Rams
Richard Marshall – Vikings
Terrell Thomas – Giants
LaRon Landry – Jets
Reggie Nelson – Dolphins

Friday, March 9, 2012

What Will Peyton Do?

Peyton Manning will be starting for a team other than the Colts for the first time in his decorated professional career, and he unsurprisingly has more than a few suitors. A while back, I touched on this topic and hypothesized the possibility of Manning ending up in New York with the Jets. Would that instantly become the NFL’s #1 story or what? Peyton making a comeback come back and doing so in the media metropolis of New York, a city already inhabited by his two-time Super Bowl winning brother. Unfortunately, I just don’t see that happening. I believe a lot of things would have to go wrong for several other teams in order for the Jets to reach the top of Peyton’s list.

According to reports from those close to Manning, he’s looking to land with a team that’s basically on the doorstep of a championship and plays in either a dome or mild weather. He’s not ruling out the NFC but would prefer to not switch conferences. That team would also possibly need to make room for Reggie Wayne because the two ex-Colts would like to (not have to) go somewhere as a combo deal. What teams fit that description?

I had a bit of a write-up for Washington, but they just traded up to #2 for the right to draft RGIII. Cross Seattle off the list too. They apparently want him, but I can’t see Peyton playing in that weather for a team lacking severely at receiver.

With Peyton expected to make a decision in the next few days, the list of potential destinations is narrowing quickly as it appears to be down to a three team race – Denver, Miami, and Arizona.

Peyton spent Friday in Denver, but that just doesn’t seem like a fit to me. They’re not exactly a mild weather locale, and they’ve got that Timmy guy at QB. Don’t get me wrong, Peyton was probably a better passer than Timmy a week after his last procedure, but Timmy’s a $$$ cow. Might Peyton be flirting with Denver in order to drive up the bids from other teams?

I really think this comes down to Miami and Arizona. How about a little point-counterpoint?

Miami has Brandon Marshall.
Arizona has Larry Fitzgerald.
Point Arizona.

Miami is a mild climate city.
Arizona has the retractable roof.
Lean Arizona.

Miami has a rookie HC in Joe Philbin.
Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt is entering his 6th year as HC.
Point Arizona.

I also think Arizona’s young defense is more attractive than Miami’s, as is their running game. Reggie Wayne would also slot in very nicely as a #2 across from Fitzgerald.

Those certainly aren’t all the factors, but I think they will be some of the keys that lead Peyton Manning to become the next QB of the Arizona Cardinals.