Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Free Agency: Top Fits For Top Names Available

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

  • Bob

    If the Raiders get Mack their O line becomes a top 16 line rather than a bottom 16 line.

    • Erik Lambert

      Sounds like a plan.

      • Bob

        I don’t know why most people discount the Raiders to pick up any FA this year. Players play for the ring or money and the Raiders will have the money this year. The Riders pick up Mack and a WR and fill the rest through the draft and UDFA. The QB situation is waht concerns me the most.

        • Erik Lambert

          Which is precisely why they’ll probably get theirs in the first round.

          • Sterling Archer

            Not Sold on the Raiders taking a QB in the first Round. Bridgewater will be gone by 5 (Thank goodness) and I donot see them drafting Manziel or Carr in 1st Bortles Maybe but that is a very risky choice in top 5 yet RM took a gamble on an Injured CD last year so maybe Bortles.

    • Demarkus Tramail Swan

      And somewhere their e are FLYING ELEPHANTS & UNICORNS#LAY OFFTHE OPIUM

  • Ken Tomlin

    Vikings getting Verner would be great! If we could then trade down from 8, pick up Pryor and then some one who could fill our nickel spot(Fuller/Verrett if they’re still around in 2nd) we’d solve our secondary issues right away. Then target DE/LB/QB/DT( any combo from those for picks 72&96) we’d be looking at a real productive draft. Plus the extra picks you got from trading down, we’d be in good shape.

    • Erik Lambert

      Every team wants to trade down this year. It’s merely a matter of which one holds the proper position to do so. Not sure the Vikings are in such position. We’ll see.

  • Jarod Cook

    The browns aren’t going to let go of Mack and Ward, they’ve got $55 mil in cap space. They should be able to work out a 4-6 year deal with Mack. and probably end up tagging Ward. I hope they get Byrd, then the Browns would have one of the top tandems at safety.

    • Erik Lambert

      If that’s true they better do it soon because they’re running out of time.

  • Matthew Marcella

    I’m pretty sure if Miami signs grimes that are main priority would be Branden Albert

    • Erik Lambert

      Chiefs seem hell bent on keeping Albert, so Monroe is their fallback plan.

    • Johnny

      I’d take Monroe over Albert… He’s younger and more athletic… Both are franchise LTs, but Monroe would be ideal… Then draft T Zach Martin in the draft… He can start immediately at RT.. He’s also versatile and can play Guard or play LT if Monroe goes down…
      That would be ideal with Monroe at LT and Martin at RT… Pouncy at Center and that kid Brenner stepped up at guard… Got a rookie guard from last year, but I would draft a 4th round guard… Garner is still around and is serviceable… This would shore up this OLine…
      Priority #1.. Get MONROE in FA
      and #2. Draft T Zach Martin…
      If this happens, the OLine is tremendously better and younger…
      Unlike Albert, Monroe can be tagged, but I doubt Balt has would do that cause of cap space…
      (Plus Albert has some red flags and I think he’s the type to get that big payday and get complacent) Plus I really like that Monroe is 2.5 yrs younger then Albert…

  • Demarkus Tramail Swan

    There is no way MACK considers the Raiders, why would he want to PLAY there? If anything he might as well stay in Cleveland or sign with SD.

    • Erik Lambert


      • Demarkus Tramail Swan

        You guys are so simple. Just because the Raiders have $$ doesn’t mean SHAT. Players are looking @ the workplace these days, OAKLAND IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THAT LIST, the SEWER UP stadium sux, the regime SUX & the team is picking @ 5 for a reason. The cap has been increased so teams have an easier time paying players.

        Teams have the option to TAG players, players are following coaches to other teams & players are signing with teams that have a chance to WIN. Players want to play for a stable ORGANIZATION & that is everything the Raiders ISN’T.
        Oakland will get a few decent players @ best, what they need to do is focus on trading down to aquire more draft picks for that is the only way the have a chance at having a stud player coming here in ’14.

  • Carl Eagan

    Ah the delusions of the browns fans all 28 of them. Players look at the front office and know it along with the coaching staff will change in a year or two and no player wants that except those looking for their last payday. Any players signing with the browns will demand most of the money in their signing bonus. There is a reason that the majority of football fans in Cleveland are Steeler fans?

    • Erik Lambert

      Everything depends on Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine being able to convince free agents that they are in it for the long haul. Otherwise nothing but the franchise tag with keep Mack or Ward in house.

    • Todd Limpert

      Oh really i no very few Clitsburg fans. Know matter how bad the Browns Suck i would never route for the Urine stain Yellow.

    • John Duquette

      So talking about delusions ur right there eh! Browns have the most loyal fans in football history and we have the bruises and wrinkle marks on our foreheads to prove it. Let’s wait until this draft is in the books and we will see where are. Although I certainly respect the Steelers ownership and management I think the Steelers may be in for a couple of down seasons

  • 3kolu

    Alterrraun Verner can also play the slot where Josh Robinson has struggled mightily. Robinson would come in on nickel situations and Verner would slide to the slot. I expect the Vikings yto draft a big CB who would come in and compete with Robinson, but would probably start the season competing for dimeback.