The countdown draws closer and closer to zero hour. With the top names for 2014 NFL free agency lining, which teams will they likely fit best on?
Jairus Byrd – FS – Best Fit: Cleveland Browns
The rumors are flying for a reason. Not only do the Cleveland Browns have more than enough to sign Jairus Byrd if he reaches the open market, but he would be reuniting with former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, now head coach in Cleveland. Byrd is exactly the kind of athletic playmaker that fits with Pettine’s approach.
Brian Orakpo – OLB – Best Fit: Indianapolis Colts
The Washington Redskins are flirting with the franchise tag but haven’t done anything yet. That means Brian Orakpo could reach the market, and if he does there is little chance another team lets him return to the capital. One such team in need of outside pass rush is the Indianapolis Colts, who could put Orakpo across from Robert Mathis.
T.J. Ward – SS – Best Fit: Tennessee Titans
Feelings are mixed on the 2014 NFL free agency value of T.J. Ward but the fact remains he is a Pro Bowler at age 28 who is tough, durable and a good leader on the back end. Perhaps the best thing for him to do if Cleveland lets him go is reunite with coordinator Ray Horton, the same man who sent him to the Pro Bowl last season. The Tennessee Titans would be more than happy with that.
Michael Johnson – DE – Best Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars
Gus Bradley needs pass rush help wherever he can get it. The Jacksonville Jaguars have loads of cap space so they can pursue almost anybody they like. Michael Johnson had a quiet year in terms of sacks but he is still disruptive and only 27-years old. He has the athleticism and length to fit right in with Bradley’s system.
Michael Bennett – DE – Best Fit: Chicago Bears
The Seattle Seahawks are trying to make sure Michael Bennett stays in-house but the defensive end seems intent on shopping his wares. The Chicago Bears are sorely in need of help at the position and run a defense he would fit well with. The fact his brother Martellus plays tight end for them might lend a small hand in the matter as well.
Eugene Monroe – OT – Best Fit: Miami Dolphins
It’s really a tossup to who is the best left tackle in 2014 NFL free agency but Eugene Monroe is certainly in the conversation. He is a good run blocker and serviceable in pass protection and not yet 30-years old. The Miami Dolphins badly need stability on the blind side of Ryan Tannehill and have plenty of money to make Monroe their guy.
Alterraun Verner – CB – Best Fit: Minnesota Vikings
The 25-year old could be the best cornerback on the market. He finished the 2013 season with a league-high five interceptions. He is a little undersized but instinctive, athletic and scrappy in coverage. The Minnesota Vikings were horrible in pass defense last year. Verner would bring more experience and more playmaking ability.
Alex Mack – C – Best Fit: Oakland Raiders
It really doesn’t matter. Anywhere the offensive line can be improved for the Oakland Raiders would be welcome, though the interior could use special attention. Alex Mack might be the best center in pro football coming off his second Pro Bowl at age 27. He is smart, tough, strong and has not missed a start since being drafted in 2009.
Tags: 2014 Nfl Free Agency Alex Mack Alterraun Verner Brian Orakpo Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Eugen Monroe Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Jairus Byrd Miami Dolphins Michael Bennett Michael Johnson Minnesota Vikings Oakland Raiders Tennessee Titans