Monday, July 25, 2011

NFC East Free Agency Outlooks

NFL Free Agency is going to "begin" today. Teams will be able to negotiate with players, but not officially sign them until the players union officially reforms this weekend. Rumors will be flying all day, every day. Here are some predictions on who goes where and why. We start with one of the toughest divisions in football: the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys Top Needs: Safety, Offensive Line
Top Targets: At safety, Eric Weddle is the best option for new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's aggressive defense, but Michael Huff, who has played in Rob Ryan's defense in Oakland, might be a more fiscally responsible for the Cowboys because Dallas will need to spend money solidifying its offensive line, specifically at tackle. Look for Dallas to make a run at offensive tackle Jeromey Clary.

New York Giants Top Needs: Running Back, Linebacker
Top Targets: The good news for the Giants is that there are a number of solid options at linebacker in this free agency class. From James Anderson and Thomas Davis as outside linebackers to Barrett Ruud and Stephen Tulloch as inside linebackers, the Giants will have their pick of the litter. At running back, re-signing Ahmad Bradshaw should be New York's first order of business. If not, the Giants can make a run at DeAngelo Williams, Ronnie Brown, or Darren Sproles, but Bradshaw is a better fit than all other options in a year where familiarity is as important as talent.

Philadelphia Eagles Top Needs: Cornerback, Linebacker, Pass Rushers
Top Targets: Philadelphia is one of the real possibilities for the crown jewel of this NFL offseason: Nmandi Asomugha. If the Eagles decide to go for a more cost effective option, Antonio Cromartie, Brent Grimes, and Jonathan Joseph are available, but are a significant drop-off from Asomugha. The Eagles will also target the same linebacker targets as the Giants.

Washington Redskins Top Needs: Quarterback, Defensive Line
Top Targets: Head Coach Mike Shanahan has created quite the mess at the Quarterback position alienating his best option in Donovan McNabb in favor of "Sexy Rexy" Rex Grossman and John Beck. If I knew what Washington was going to at Quarterback, I would be a very rich man. However, I am not, and the mystery will continue all the way through training camp culminating in what will most likely be a revolving door at Quarterback throughout the season. On the defensive line, Cullen Jenkins makes a whole lot of sense for a defense that could not create turnovers. Jenkins is a relentless pass rusher and could create more space for upstart Brian Orakpo. Other nice fits could be Marcus Spears, Shaun Ellis, or Mathias Kiwanuka.

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