Well, the football season has been over for 3 days and I am already going through withdrawal. What is a football lover to do from now until the 2012 season starts? I am not concerned with what law Lindsey Lohan breaks next or what cause Sean Penn is fighting for now. I want football, football, & more football! Every true fan knows the football does still go on, just not in the way of weekly games. All Coaching Staffs and Front Office types are busy analyzing players for the upcoming NFL Draft and for the upcoming Free Agency signings. I will be looking at some of the big names available in Free Agency and the best possible fits for that player and the new team that they sign with.
Drew Brees – He is not going anywhere. Don't be fooled by the lack of talks happening right now. The Saints know he is their future Quarterback and will pay him handsomely to stay.
Matt Flynn – The biggest question mark available, but also perhaps the biggest upside. A lot of what happens will be the result of what happens with Peyton Manning. In the end, I can see Matt Flynn getting paid to go fight for a starting Quarterback job in either Seattle or Cleveland.
Alex Smith – The post-season play of Alex Smith really turned some heads and the 49ers loved what they say. The connection between Smith and Vernon Davis was special in those games and the 49er brass will reward Smith with a contract to stay in the Bay area.
Kyle Orton – Can Kyle Orton finally find a home? He could be looking for his 4th home in 5 years. Much as was the case in previous years, I believe Orton will have to wait and see where the chips fall before he signs anywhere. In the end, the Dolphins look like the landing spot. What about the Orton to Marshall connection?
Peyton Manning – Yes, I know he is not a Free Agent.... Yet. It is becoming more and more obvious that the Colts are in full rebuilding mode and will give Manning his wish and give him his walking papers. Mr Daniel Snyder in Washington is known to spend during Free Agency and will sign Manning & a WR early to try and get the Redskins back in contention.
Ray Rice – Not going anywhere. End of conversation.
Matt Forte – A little bit of an injury concern. The Chicago offense runs through him and nobody else. Will get paid very well.
Marshawn Lynch – Beast Mode is the toughest one to predict here. His career started great in Buffalo, but then fell flat. In Seattle he started poorly, but starting in 2010 playoffs has taken off. Injury is a concern with his hard-running style also. Remember Marion Barber??? I think he stays in Seattle on a 1 year deal.
Michael Bush – Wow. What a great back-up. Can he handle the Running Back lead roll for an entire year? It is my guess that several teams will kick the tires and the one willing to take a chance on him will be Tampa Bay.
Peyton Hillis – Another big question mark here. 2 years ago he surprised everyone with a great year, but he did tail off late in the year. Last year could have been the dreaded "Madden Curse". My guess is that he will hold out hoping for a possible starting gig, but will eventually have to settle into a smaller role. Maybe a goal-line back for the Jets, Chiefs, or Ravens.
Cedric Benson – Has never really lived up to expectations coming out of college. He has had some success with the Bears and Bengals, but looks to be on the outs again. Probably only a role player for now
Mike Tolbert – The Chargers have had a great deal of success with their back-up Running Backs over the years -- Darren Sproles and Michael Turner. Add Mike Tolbert to the list. Has some nice skills, but can he handle the full load? Another very good fit would be in Tampa Bay, but do they sign both Tolbert and Michael Bush??
Wes Welker – Has proven way too valuable to Tom Brady. Will be a rich man.
Vincent Jackson – Seems like the marriage with the Chargers will finally come to an end. There are many teams that could bid for his services. In the end, I see him taking some crowded boxes away from Maurice Jones-Drew and going from one coast to the other.
Dwayne Bowe – I think the injury to Jamaal Charles really stopped Dwayne Bowe from having another monster year. Jonathon Baldwin did not do much his first year and the Chiefs need somebody to catch the ball. Bowe resigns with the Chiefs longterm.
Marques Colston – Do the Saints have enough money with Drew Brees also a Free Agent? That is the big question. Colston has stated that he wants to be paid like a #1 and will leave if he has to. The Browns and the Redskins (to go with Manning) could be possible spots.
Stevie Johnson – Has all the skills needed, but can be a head case. Who will risk it?? My guess is the Jaguars will grab him to help their your Quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the new Head Coach.
Brandon Lloyd – Has had a spotty career. Some decent times with the Bears, then injuries. A low-ball Free Agent signee with the Broncos and led all Wide Receivers 2 years ago, and injury last year. He has stated that he will follow Josh McDaniels, who now is in New England. Do the Patriots have enough catches for Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, & Lloyd?? I don't think so, so Lloyd resigns with the Rams.
Desean Jackson – Another headcase. He has the skills and speed that coaches love, but seems to lose it during games. I don't think the Eagles overspend on him; remember that they got Steve Smith on the cheap last year. Jay Cutler's arm strength seems to be a good fit, and the Bears always love speed.
Reggie Wayne – Has had a Hall-of-Fame career, but is not what he used to be. With the Colts and their new Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Quarterback already there, I think they let Wayne go. Does he follow Manning? Or does he answer a big need opposite Andre Johnson in Houston?
Mario Manningham – Seems to be the 3rd option in New York behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Will probably want to see if he can do more elsewhere. Is he a cheap replacement of Colston in New Orleans? Can he be an upgrade in Chicago if they don't sign Desean Jackson?
Jermichael Finley – Seems to be full of potential, but does not quite play that way. Way top many dropped passes. He says he wants Wide Receiver type money. Will some team pony up?? The Chiefs seem to have a need if they want to spend, but I think Finley stays in Green Bay.
Fred Davis – The talent is there, but so is Chris Cooley. If the Manning rumors are true, do they line-up both Tight Ends like the Patriots? I think so and Davis stays a Redskin.