Oct 20, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley (88) reacts after scoring a touchdown in the 1st quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Updated 2014 NFL Mock Free Agency: NFC Edition

The franchise tag deadline has passed and the NFL free agent list is largely set.  Here’s the latest mock rundown of where the NFC teams will go.

Green Bay Packers – $35 million – Sign:  Linval Joseph

Rebuilding the defense was a priority for the Green Bay Packers at the start of the off-season and topping the list was getting more dynamic up front.  Linval Joseph is not only big and powerful against the run but his three sacks in New York showed he’s also disruptive in passing situations.

Minnesota Vikings – $35 million – Sign:  Alterraun Verner

Adding experience and playmaking ability to the secondary is a no brainer for the Minnesota Vikings.  They struggled in coverage all season in 2013.  Alterraun Verner is undersized but he’s athletic, scrappy and a playmaker who got five interceptions.

Philadelphia Eagles – $24.1 million – Sign:  Antoine Bethea

The mad rush for Jairus Byrd is sure to include the Philadelphia Eagles but they might not have enough money.  No matter.  They do have enough to lock up veteran and two-time Pro Bowler Antoine Bethea to secure the back end of their developing defense.

Washington Redskins – $22.4 million – Sign:  Jon Asamoah

Robert Griffin III was pounded repeatedly last season for the Washington Redskins and the problem stemmed from his interior blocking.  Though often overlooked Jon Asamoah was one of the better pass protector in the league last season for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Atlanta Falcons – $19.6 million – Sign:  Anthony Collins

Thomas Dimitroff typically likes to find veteran solutions to lesser problems so he won’t be compelled to spend high draft picks.  Matt Ryan needs help at left tackle badly.  Anthony Collins was a backup in Cincinnati but that was only because he played behind a Pro Bowler.  When given his chances the guy has the punch and athleticism to anchor.

New York Giants – $19.2 million – Sign:  Zane Beadles

The interior blocking was a mess for the New York Giants offense as well.  Eli Manning threw 27 interception and endured 39 sacks.  They have to get better up front to turn things around.  Zane Beadles protected his brother Peyton last season was a key cog in unleashing the overlooked Denver ground attack.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $18.7 million – Sign:  Jared Allen 

There’s a reason this rumor has continued to flow for weeks now.  It makes a ton of sense.  Jared Allen is one of the best pass rushers on the market but at age 31 won’t command a huge price.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers really need an edge rusher and their defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier coached Allen in Minnesota.

Seattle Seahawks – $17.8 million – Sign:  Jermichael Finley

Getting a tight end who is more active in the passing attack is something the Seattle Seahawks are certain to consider.  However, as they try to re-sign their own players they will have to seek out a bargain.  Jermichael Finley was a favorite target of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay before injuring his neck.  He’s certainly a risk, but one worth taking.

Detroit Lions – $12 million – Sign:  Hakeem Nicks

Hakeem Nicks has been favored to go down to Carolina but in truth he may find a better deal waiting for him with the Detroit Lions.  They currently have more cap space to spend and Nicks would be able to see near constant single coverage due to the presence of Calvin Johnson.

San Francisco 49ers – $10 million – Sign:  Walter Thurmond

Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers have never been above stealing players from division rivals, especially the Seattle Seahawks.  Given their need for help in the secondary, adding the versatile Walter Thurmond could provide several advantages.

Chicago Bears – $8.3 million – Sign:  Captain Munnerlyn

Everybody has jumped on the Michael Bennett bandwagon but frankly the Chicago Bears should not put their faith in a 28-year old defensive end who already has a ring and wasn’t even a starter on his team.  With Charles Tillman set to leave, adding the vastly underrated Captain Munnerlyn at cornerback across from Tim Jennings would do wonders for their defense.

St. Louis Rams – $7.3 million – Sign:  Malcolm Jenkins

Gregg Williams is in charge of the St. Louis Rams defense now and things are certain to get more aggressive.  With a need to bolster the safety position, look for the cash-strapped Rams to pursue Malcolm Jenkins who played some of his best football under Williams in New Orleans.

Carolina Panthers – $7.1 million – Sign:  James Jones

If there is an NFL free agency shot in the chamber for the Carolina Panthers it must be directed at their woefully inadequate wide receiver position.  James Jones isn’t a superstar but he’s better than many realize and his NFL production is something Cam Newton would love to have.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings New York Giants NFL Philadelphia Eagles San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Washington Redskins

  • Vallhala

    You have to think about what kind of person is willing to live in Green Bay, aka “the land of dopey, fat white people with mullets”. Jared Allen is the only one in this article that would fit in and I’m sure even he is smart enough not to want to live there.

    • Ross

      Spoken like a true bears fan. They literally live there for maybe 5 months. Maybe you should ask “what kind of player would want to play for the most prestigious and storied franchise in the NFL that has won their division more times than the rest of the teams combined and has won more championships than any other NFL team? Oh and also have probably the best QB for the better part of the next 10 years.” You’re right. Nobody would want to play on that team.

      • Vallhala

        Ross, I live in Wisconsin, no where close to Green Bay thank God. I love it here because I’m retired, I like to fish and hunt and I brought a good looking woman with me who is under 120lbs. Now if I were still in my mid 20′s, single and wanted to enjoy a life outside of my job besides fishing, hunting and banging fat women, then Green Bay is the last place I would want to live. Also you have to think about life outside of football for the African American players stuck in the wasteland of mullets and cheese! I’m also a Texans fan, I find some Bears fans almost as annoying as most Packer fans, which is what this was about, not how good the team is or was.

  • blumagic6640

    Greenbay is the best place for any football player. There are no distractions just focusing on football.

    • Erik Lambert

      Yeah because clearly Jermichael Finley and Greg Jennings weren’t distractions when they complained about Aaron Rodgers and different points over the past couple years.

      • Ross

        Spoken again like a Bears fan. Those aren’t distractions. Greg Jennings was an idiot and Jermichael Finley was a crybaby for about 6 months. Then he almost died and has said multiple times he wants to play in Green Bay again. Not a distraction…

    • Deke Petrol

      They should spell better than you though. Try Green Bay.

  • Mike Flannery

    Signing Munnerlyn (5’8) would give the Bears the shortest starting CB combo in the league (Jennings is also 5’8), in a division with some of the tallest WRs in football (C. Johnson 6’5, J. Nelson 6’3, C. Patterson 6’3).

    • Erik Lambert

      If they played man defense that would be a bigger problem, yes, but the Bears feature more zone looks which is why Jennings thrived in it and Munnerlyn did so well in Carolina. If they need to add more size they should be able to find it in the draft.

      • Mike Flannery

        Even in a zone base scheme there will still be man coverage responsibilities depending on the offensive formation. Jennings has always had a big corner opposite him to handle the tall receivers, just like Carolina had a 6’1 CB opposite Munnerlyn (Melvin White). Spending the Bears limited cap space on a Tim Jennings clone would just create another defensive weakness for teams to exploit.

        • Erik Lambert

          Okay, so what if they added Justin Gilbert or Keith McGill in the draft, guys who can play on the outside? Then you have Munnerlyn to shift around and fully exploit his versatility.

          • Mike Flannery

            In a perfect world with tons of cap space or multiple picks per round, then sure why not? But if the Bears spend about half their current cap space on Munnerlyn ($5M) and a top pick on Gilbert (1st) or McGill (2nd/3rd), then what are they going to do about the rest of the defense (DE, DT, S, MLB)? A great group of corners won’t matter if the Bears can’t stop the run or pressure the QB. Not only is Munnerlyn a bad fit, but he plays the wrong position. The Bears are deeper at CB than any other defensive position except outside linebacker. Jennings, Hayden, & Frey is a decent group. The Bears can re-sign Bowman for relatively cheap ($1.5M) and use a 3rd/4th round pick on a tall CB like McGill, Desir, or Exum. That would give them a solid group of DBs with a good mix of youth (Desir, Frey), size & experience (Jennings, Hayden, Bowman). It would also free up their cap space for an impact free agent(s) that fills a greater need like DE Lamarr Houston, DT Linval Joseph, or S T.J .Ward.

          • Erik Lambert

            Come on, Mike, I think we both know they’re not going into free agency with just $8.9 million. More cuts and restructures are coming and Munnerlyn can be one of several bargain buys to round out the secondary like him, S Antoine Bethea, and then bring back Bowman on cheap so you have an all experienced secondary, leaving the front office to do what you suggest which is focus on the front seven. Taking Timmy Jernigan, Aaron Donald or Kony Ealy in the first. Get Scott Crichton, Kelcy Quarles or Ego Ferguson in the second then maybe add Chris Borland or Shayne Skov in the third for the middle linebacker spot. Then you can add a Jay Ratliff, D.J. Williams and Red Bryant for experience at reasonable prices. That way you still have the fourth round and later to still get that young defensive back. This way you have a young and dynamic front with a versatile and experienced secondary behind them.

          • Mike Flannery

            What makes you think Munnerlyn is going to be a bargain buy? He was PFF’s 11th rated CB last year, ahead of guys like Verner, Peterson, and Haden. I’m pretty sure Munnerlyn will get close to the same contract Jennings got (5.6M). I’m also sure it won’t be from a team whose other starting corner is 5’8! The Bears will have some additional cap space after cuts/restructures, but after resigning some more of their own players, some depth signings to fill out the roster, and taking out the draft pool money… they might have enough for 2 impact players in free agency and a few veteran bargains. Using one of those impact slots on another mini-corner is a frivolous use of the Bears limited resources.