Recently there have been posts flying around this web site due to recent combine results on mock drafts, and prospects that people believe to be good fits on the team. However, there is one GIGANTIC problem with these mocks and that is the fact that one of the most crucial elements that leads up to the draft is not being taken into account: Free Agency. Free agency is what fills some teams needs, or it leaves holes in others. So lets say that the Texans either have to give up Mario Williams in order to sign Arian Foster, that leaves the Texans with a hole at a 3-4 OLB. The team that signs him then has one spot that they needed addressing filled (3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE).
So with this mock FA signing part 1 of 3 I will make an unbiased and (for the most part) logical or reason based attempt to designate certain FA's to one or more (in some cases I may write 2 but no more than 3) teams that I see that particular FA going to. I will only make notice of the notable FA's seeing as only the notable one's "fill holes". I will also include Restricted Free Agents and Unrestricted Free Agents that will either be signed by their current team, tendered, or left unsigned.
Note: The bolded teams under possible considerations are the teams that I think are the more likely of the options.
(Warning this is kind of long)
QB- (Explanations after the position has been completed)
NO Drew Brees- re-signed, IND- Peyton Manning released; KC signs him, GB Matt Flynn unsigned; MIA signs him, SF Alex Smith re-signed, KC Kyle Orton unsigned; WSH signs him, OAK Jason Campbell unsigned; signs him, MIA Chad Henne unsigned; NYJ sign him.
Explanation: Manning goes to KC because: 1) They've already acknowledged their interest 2) They were 14th in the league in sacks allowed, and were 16th in the league in hits allowed (better than SEA or MIA who allowed the most and third-most hits respectively) 3) They've got a decent defense when healthy 4) Have an elite RB when healthy and 5) Has the 2nd easiest division in football. Cardinals are a wild card here but I don't see that happening. Oh and yes I do think that we sign Henne.
RB- BAL Ray Rice one way or another he stays with the Ravens, CHI Matt Forte re-signed, HOU Arian Foster re-signed, SEA Marshawn Lynch re-signed, CLE Peyton Hillis unsigned; SD signs him, SD Mike Tolbert unsigned; CLE signs him, NE- Benjarvus Green-Ellis unsigned; KC signs him, OAK Michael Bush unsigned; MIN signs him, CIN Cedric Benson unsigned; ARI signs him
Explanation: Cincinnati wants a playmaker at RB and this is the best available; they could go for Trent Richardson in the draft but I don't think they want to solely rely on that and Michael Bush is the best available imo.
WR- PHI Desean Jackson franchise tagged (may be traded), SD Vincent Jackson unsigned; TB signs him, NE Wes Welker re-signed, IND Reggie Wayne unsigned; CAR signs him, KC Dwayne Bowe tagged, NO Marques Colston not resigned; STL signs him, BUF Stevie Johnson unsigned; possible considerations: JAX, CHI, CLE, STL Brandon Lloyd unsigned; NE signs him, PIT Mike Wallace re-signed, NYG Mario Manningham unsigned; possible considerations: SD, or CLE, NO Robert Meachem re-signed, DAL Laurent Robinson unsigned; SEA signs him, IND Pierre Garcon resigned. FA Braylon Edwards signed by NYJ
Explanation: Tampa Bay signs Vincent Jackson because they are going to throw money at him (I think TB has over 50 million is cap space!). That's where V JAX's heart lies. Reggie Wayne isn't offered too much by anyone but Carolina needs another option for their budding star Cam Newton. I don't think Stevie Johnson gets resigned by BUF and he will receive many offers but CHI has been dying for an option at WR for years. I think we won't be reaching for any big additions via Free Agency due to being handicapped in cap space. I would love to get Meachem but it seems as though the Saints will lose both Nicks and Colston due to Brees likely getting franchised now making Meachem affordable. Edwards would come at the veteran minimum and could be a bargain if he is able to recover from his injury. I think we will look for a WR in the later rounds (if Stephen Hill miraculously hits the 3rd round then that's a done deal). I think that Edwards would be great if he can get back to 2010 form.
TE- WASH Fred Davis unsigned; NYG sign him, SEA John Carlson unsigned; PIT signs him.
OL- NO Offensive Guard Carl Nicks unsigned; possible options: STL, ARI, and JAX, HOU Center Chris Myers re-signed, Buffalo Bills Offensive Tackle Demetrius Bell unsigned; DEN signs him, PHI Offensive Guard Evan Mathis re-signed, SD Offensive Tackle Jared Gaither unsigned; PIT signs him, MIA Right Tackle Vernon Carey unsigned;NYJ sign him.
Explanation: St Louis desperately need to protect Sam Bradford and that means building the O Line and Carl Nicks is elite at Offensive Guard. Pittsburgh had trouble protecting Big Ben this season and that led to a few injuries throughout the season. Jared Gaither could help them out if he stays healthy. As every Jet fan should know we had a glaring freaking weakness on the right side of the offensive line. Wayne Hunter is not and will never be the answer for RT and Vernon Carey played adequately at RT. Carey specializes in run blocking and we also have for Miami HC Tony Sporano as our OC and he may want some of his guys coming with him.
DE & DT- HOU Mario Williams unsigned; SEA signs him, IND Robert Mathis unsigned; TB signs him, DT TEN Jason Jones unsigned; STL signs him, ARI Calais Campbell re-signed, DET Cliff Avril re-signed, NYJ Sione Pouha re-signed, SD Antonio Garay unsigned; JAX signs him, ATL John Abraham unsigned; TEN signs him
Explanation: Seattle would be a really good fit for Williams. I'm sure Pete Caroll will be offering Williams 18-22 million a year which is ridiculous but after losing out on Matt Flynn they spend their money on an elite 4-3 DE. We resign Pouha due to the uncertainty at the NT position with promising rookie Kenrick Ellis legal situation not sorted out yet.
OLB & ILB: ATL MLB Curtis Lofton re-signed, DAL OLB Anthony Spencer unsigned; BUF or GB signs him, DET ILB Stephen Tulloch re-signed, WASH ILB London Fletcher re-signed.
Explanation: I think that Anthony Spencer will get a lot of hype. Maybe most teams know that he benefited lining up opposite DeMarcus Ware, but the GB packers have an OLB close to that caliber in Clay Matthews so they might be more willing to test it. However I think the Bills are so desperate for pass rush that they'll outbid anyone else.
CB: SF Carlos Rodgers re-signed, TEN Cortland Finnegan unsigned; STL signs him, NYG Terrell Thomas unsigned; CHI signs him, ARI Richard Marshall re-signed.
FS: TEN Michael Griffin unsigned; NYJ sign him, SF Dashon Goldson tagged, ATL Thomas Decoud re-signed
Explanation: The Jets will probably be financially conservative for the most part; except I think they will offer Michael Griffin a good deal. I anticipate us to overpay a little bit but I think it would be a good move and would be welcomed with open arms up here.
SS: OAK Tyvon Brach re-signed, WASH Laron Landry unsigned; NE signs him.
Explanation: Laron Landry seems like the kind of players that the Patriots love to pick up. He's undervalued because of being prone to injuries, but he has good upside if he can get back to tip top shape. They'll probably get him for cheap (2-3mil) and it'll be a low risk-high reward pickup. I am not sure how it would work but it would make sense for the Pats to do this.
K: CLE Phil Dawson unsigned; NYJ sign him
Part 2 will consist of who I believe the Jets will be targeting and why. I'll include an overview of what happened through FA and what prospects fit into what I have projected us to have already done in the offseason.