A number of surprising names landed in NFL free agency as teams made their last cuts to get down to the mandatory 53-player limit. Of those names which ones are certain to get heavy looks, and where could they end up landing?
Jonathan Dwyer – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There is no question Doug Martin is the starting running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but after him it gets awfully cloudy after the team traded LeGarrette Blount. For all his issues, Jonathan Dwyer looked improved during the preseason with Pittsburgh. He could make a solid backup and goal line runner behind Martin.
David Gettis – New York Jets
It’s hard to fault the Carolina Panthers for letting David Gettis go. They waited patiently while he battled injury problems that knocked him out for two years. So when he went down before the fourth preseason game, they’d seen enough. That said, he was having a solid preseason before the setback. When healthy he is a big, inviting target and the New York Jets could use as many of those as they can find for Geno Smith.
Tim Tebow – San Francisco 49ers
His moment to shine came too little too late for Tim Tebow. Another 4th quarter burst over the New York Giants wasn’t enough to secure a spot with the New England Patriots. Once again without a team, many wonder if Tebow is done in the NFL. However, he is exactly the kind of player the San Francisco 49ers would bring in for a look. He does fit parts of what they do on offense and they have the excuse of taking such risks being a good team.
Danny Watkins – Cleveland Browns
The 2011 first round pick suffered some inconsistency problems for the Philadelphia Eagles and it bit him at the worst time when Chip Kelly took over as head coach. Danny Watkins is still young and talented enough to stick somewhere else though. The Cleveland Browns have been searching for depth at guard. They look like a perfect landing spot for him to start rebuilding his stock.
Tony Moeaki – Pittsburgh Steelers
At one point Tony Moeaki was viewed a potential superstar in the making when he helped the Kansas City Chiefs make the playoffs in 2010. Sadly injury problems stunted his growth and the team finally cut ties with him. If he’s to find redemption, he might want to seek out his former coach Todd Haley, currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers who just so happen to have some depth issues at tight end with Heath Miller returning from his own injury.
J’Marcus Webb – Oakland Raiders
Beggars can’t be choosers as they say. The Oakland Raiders are absolutely starved of offensive linemen, especially tackles after the loss of Jared Veldheer for the season. Despite obvious consistency problems, J’Marcus Webb started two seasons for the Chicago Bears at left tackle and didn’t rate as the worst in the league either of those years. He isn’t the first solution a team would pick, but Oakland is beyond being picky.
Jimmy Clausen – Green Bay Packers
Grahama Harrell and Vince Young are out. Suddenly the Green Bay Packers have only untested B.J. Coleman backing up Aaron Rodgers. Considering the state of the offensive line the team is living very dangerously. Finding another body to put on the depth chart seems prudent. Jimmy Clausen may not sound like the first choice but he is a former second round pick who is only 25-years old. He ran into problems at Carolina, namely talent issues around him. Joining Green Bay could give both sides a reprieve.
Austin Collie – San Diego Chargers
The former Colts standout receiver failed to catch on in San Francisco but has vowed to continue his comeback from concussion problems. His youth and remaining talent are certainly attractive despite the injury red flags. One team that might give him a tryout is the San Diego Chargers. They have their own injury problems at the position and might need cheap depth to make up the difference. With Philip Rivers in a critical NFL season, he needs all the help he can get.