Free Agency Free For All

With the upcoming free agency period, the 49ers have decisions to make. I think most of our current free agents will be working at Walmart next year, but we will see.In fact, of the 16 free agents listed, my thought is Phil Dawson and Jeremy Kerley may be the only two worth a plugged nickel. Well, Tony Jerrod-Eddie has been a fairly consistent back up all these years. And I suppose you could stash DuJuan Harris as the 3rd string RB, but the rest are training camp fodder.

Still a couple weeks before the free agency period kicks off, so who do you think we should be focussing on? Kyle Shanahan’s latest word is that he wants a ‘violent’ defense (no shit?), and a non-short-term QB. Saleh is apparently installing a 4-3 defense, going away from their long-standing 3-4 D. One that was basically a sieve last year. He calls it semantics though, saying he’ll put a LB on the line with the D linemen to make it 5. Seattle does this a lot, and it is great at stopping the run, but it is predicated on being able to cover with minimal help. Seeing as we don’t really have an NT, and haven’t for quite a while now, it could seem to make sense. Then again, we are short athletic linebackers, so that becomes a need.

Here’s a list of the top 50 free agents. The ones that stands out to me is Eric Berry and Calais Campbell.

1. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins

Age: 29 in August

Analysis: Teams can’t win without a quarterback in today’s NFL, and it’s rare for a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback to hit free agency. Cousins probably won’t get there, but if he does, he could become the highest-paid player in NFL history, raising the bar on quarterback deals significantly.

2. Chiefs S Eric Berry

Age: 28

Analysis: Berry is a no-doubt superstar at a key position entering his prime. After last year’s acrimonious franchise tag situation, and Berry’s recent threat to sit out if the tag comes again, he and the Chiefs could be headed toward a divorce if they can’t give him the long-term deal he wants.

3. Panthers DT Kawann Short

Age: 28

Analysis: A top-level interior pass rusher with 17 sacks over the last two seasons, the Panthers will probably move to use the tag on Short. If he hits the market, he would be in major demand.

4. Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones

Age: 27 in February

Analysis: The Patriots traded Jones to Arizona after some non-football concerns, and Jones proved himself scheme-versatile with an 11-sack season. The Cardinals will franchise tag him if they cannot agree to a long-term deal.

5. Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell

Age: 24

Analysis: Bell is one of the league’s best offensive players, and his unique running style would appeal to many teams. Health is a potential concern, as are his past drug policy suspensions. Teams rarely make significant investments in running backs, but Bell could be an exception if the Steelers let him hit the market.

6. Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Age: 27 in February

Analysis: Jeffery has had injury issues, and his four-game suspension for PEDs this past season will lead to questions. He’s a proven No. 1 receiver, though, and his size will entice a lot of teams if he hits free agency.

7. Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram

Age: 28 in April

Analysis: His situation is reminiscent of Olivier Vernon’s last year. Ingram has been extremely productive for a bad team, gaining little national buzz, but the talent and athleticism is there.

8. Cardinals DE Calais Campbell

Age: 31 in September

Analysis: He’s had at least five sacks for eight straight seasons, with five seasons of seven-plus sacks. His age is a concern, but Campbell will give any defense instant pass rush production.

9. Bills CB Stephon Gilmore

Age: 27 in September

Analysis: Gilmore has had an up-and-down tenure in Buffalo, but he’s looked like a star plenty. If the Bills don’t tag him, Gilmore could be this year’s version of Janoris Jenkins – a corner who raises his game to a different level in a new, more accommodating setting.

10. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Age: 28

Analysis: JPP proved he is still an impact player in 2016. The question now is how much people are willing to pay him. He has an injury history, although it’s somewhat overblown (he’s only missed nine games in seven seasons for football-related injuries), and some say he’s a streaky player who feasts on inferior competition. Case in point: 5.5 of his seven sacks this past season came against the Bears and Browns in back-to-back weeks.

11. Bengals G Kevin Zeitler

Age: 27 in March

Analysis: He’s a durable guard entering his prime who is strong in both the run and pass games. What’s not to like?

12. Patriots TE Martellus Bennett

Age: 30 in March

Analysis: Can the Patriots keep these two together? Bennett has worn out his welcome in plenty of places, but the Patriots seem to be a good fit for the eccentric pass catcher. He may get paid more than they’re willing to give him elsewhere, though. Bennett’s injury history might give some teams pause before investing big money.

13. Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower

Age: 27 in March

Analysis: He had a great Super Bowl, and you’d think the Patriots would move to re-sign him after shipping Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones out of town. But you never know with the Pats.

14. Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth

Age: 36 in December

Analysis: Forget his age, or the fact this will be a short-team deal. Whitworth is an elite left tackle who can help a team (like the Giants, maybe) win a Super Bowl.

15. Packers G T.J. Lang

Age: 30 in September

Analysis: Lang’s age and recent hip surgery cloud his status, but he was a Pro Bowler this past season. He has said he wants to return to Green Bay, but will the Packers pay him?

16. Chiefs DT Dontari Poe

Age: 27 in August

Analysis: Poe has underproduced in Kansas City, but he will be in line for a significant payday if the Chiefs let him walk. Teams are always looking for interior help, and they will bet Poe can blossom in their program.

17. Redskins WR DeSean Jackson

Age: 31 in December

Analysis: Injuries are a concern, but Jackson remains one of the game’s great home run hitters.

18. Rams CB Trumaine Johnson

Age: 27

Analysis: Johnson had a down year in 2016 after getting hit with the franchise tag, but he will still be in demand if the Rams can’t get him re-signed.

19. Texans CB A.J. Bouye

Age: 26 in August

Analysis: Bouye has become a star in Houston, but can the Texans keep him? His age makes his market standing even better.

20. Browns WR Terrelle Pryor

Age: 28 in June

Analysis: He was a breakout performer … on a 1-15 team. Pryor clearly has ability, but will teams be willing to pay him like a star wideout after one season?

21. Ravens RT Ricky Wagner

Age: 28 in October

Analysis: Wagner is the best right tackle set to hit the market.

22. Packers OLB Nick Perry

Age: 27 in April

Analysis: Perry had a sensational 11-sack year while playing on a one-year deal; he’s set to cash in now.

23. Ravens DT Brandon Williams

Age: 28 in February

Analysis: A strong run-stuffing nose tackle hoping to ride Damon Harrison’s financial coattails.

24. Cardinals S Tony Jefferson

Age: 25

Analysis: He’s young, hard-hitting and makes plays. There’s a lot to like.

25. Giants DT Johnathan Hankins

Age: 25 in March

Analysis: His age will make him attractive to a lot of teams because there could be more maturation to come. The key question: Was his 2014 season (seven sacks) an blip, or can he do that consistently?

26. Cowboys S Barry Church

Age: 29 in February

Analysis: Church is an underrated defensive back.

27. Lions RT Riley Reiff

Age: 29 in December

Analysis: Reiff was shaky at left tackle, and solid when moved to the right side.

28. Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Age: 28 in October

Analysis: A solid corner option flying a bit under the radar.

29. Rams WR Kenny Britt

Age: 29 in September

Analysis: He’s deserving of a payday, but not with the Giants. Bringing him home is a bad idea given his past off-field issues.

30. Packers RB Eddie Lacy

Age: 27 in June

Analysis: If he’s in shape, he’s an impact running back.

31. Jaguars DT Abry Jones

Age: 26 in September

Analysis: He’s not much of a pass rusher, but Jones is good against the run and finished strong down the stretch this past season.

32. Patriots CB Logan Ryan

Age: 26 in February

Analysis: The Jersey guy has proven himself a strong slot cornerback.

33. Rams DT Dominique Easley

Age: 25 in February

Analysis: The Staten Island native and former first-round pick got his career back on track a bit in Los Angeles.

34. Lions G Larry Warford

Age: 26 in June

Analysis: Warford had a strong 2016 season just in time for free agency.

35. Broncos OLB DeMarcus Ware

Age: 35 in July

Analysis: The future Hall of Famer thinks he has some tread left on his tires, and he’s worth the bet on a short deal.

36. Jaguars CB Prince Amukamara

Age: 28 in June

Analysis: Prince is a very good player when he’s healthy. That’s been an issue throughout his career, though.

37. Dolphins WR Kenny Stills

Age: 25 in April

Analysis: He will have plenty of suitors.

38. Redskins WR Pierre Garcon

Age: 31 in August

Analysis: He had a great year for the Redskins, but it seems they may let him walk.

39. Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon

Age: 28 in December

Analysis: He’s the best of the young(ish) backups who could be competent starters, but no one knows for sure.

40. Redskins DE Chris Baker

Age: 30 in October

Analysis: He had a down year in 2016, but can be a good mid-level option.

41. Rams S T.J. McDonald

Age: 26

Analysis: A recent reckless driving guilty plea may complicate his situation.

42. Panthers DE Mario Addison

Age: 30 in September

Analysis: He’s coming off a 9.5 sack season.

43. Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne

Age: 27

Analysis: Health is a major concern, but Claiborne is a good player when on the field.

44. Panthers DE Charles Johnson

Age: 31 in July

Analysis: He turned down less money from the Giants to return to the Panthers last year.

45. Packers TE Jared Cook

Age: 30 in April

Analysis: He’s a playmaker. Injuries hurt him this year in Green Bay.

46. Patriots DE Jabaal Sheard

Age: 28 in May

Analysis: He played better down the stretch after being in Bill Belichick’s doghouse earlier in the season.

47. Saints DT Nick Fairley

Age: 29

Analysis: Health can be a concern, but Fairley pushes the pocket and had a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2016.

48. Eagles DT Bennie Logan

Age: 28 in December

Analysis: The Eagles probably won’t be able to afford this run-stuffer.

49. Bills OLB Lorenzo Alexander

Age: 34 in May

Analysis: Age is a red flag, but 12.5 sacks is 12.5 sacks.

50. Bears QB Brian Hoyer

Age: 32 in October

Analysis: He’s the best of the veteran quarterbacks who can be a competent bridge starter.


About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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5 Responses to Free Agency Free For All

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Hah! Scrollin’ like a big dog . . .

    They see me scrollin’. They hatin’. Tryin’ to catch me scrollin’ dirty . . .

  2. unca_chuck says:

    DSJ and Terrelle Pryor wouldn’t be bad either.

  3. Winder says:

    That was a lot of names. I don’t have a clue what we are gonna do in FA but i bet we get involved pretty deep. I like the idea of getting proven D guys through FA. Of course if someone falls to us in the draft we gotta take em. I would like to see the draft focusing on the offense. But, everybody says this draft is D heavy so that probably isn’t happening.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    Nice, Winder.

    New thread is up.

Comments are closed.