Even as the franchise tags shrunk the 2014 NFL free agency pool, salary cap cuts continue to swell it. Where will the most recent big names land?
Devin Hester – KR – Best Fit: Kansas City Chiefs
The record-setting return man did some amazing things in Chicago but it was easy to see he was living on borrowed time once the touchdowns began to dry up. Devin Hester is in his 30s now and not the explosive wonder he was seven years ago but in the right situation he has enough speed and shiftiness to still impact games. While many expect him to reunite with Lovie Smith in TampaBay, it’s far more beneficial from his point of view to join the Kansas City Chiefs and former special teams coach Dave Toub, the man who turn him into a star.
Champ Bailey – CB – Best Fit: San Diego Chargers
There is little doubt it’s only a matter of time before Champ Bailey gets his jack for the Hall of Fame but for the time being the old warhorse must find a new team for the second time in his career. He’ll certainly want to join a team that has a chance to compete for a championship but also has a need for secondary help. The San Diego Chargers were putrid quite often in pass defense last year but still made the playoffs. As they look to overhaul the secondary, adding a savvy veteran like Bailey could really help their cause if they plan to bring in lots of young blood.
Levi Brown – OT – Best Fit: Atlanta Falcons
The former starting left tackle had a chance to redeem himself in Pittsburgh but unfortunately suffered an injury before he ever saw the field. Now Levi Brown is hoping for one more chance to prove he has what it takes to cut it. One team that could very well give him a chance in 2014 NFL free agency is the Atlanta Falcons. While the team may seek out their left tackle in the draft, bringing in a veteran like Brown couldn’t hurt since he’ll likely come cheap. They need all the blockers they can find after all.
John Carlson – TE – Best Fit: New England Patriots
Injuries have also played havoc with veteran tight end John Carlson. Once a rising star in Seattle, the man just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Last season was really the first time he was able to make a meaningful contribution. If he wishes to find that last opportunity to make a difference, he should seek out the New England Patriots. Given the uncertainty around Rob Gronkowski, Carlson would at least provided them with depth and perhaps even get some playing time with one of the best quarterbacks in the business.