Day three is waking up and the 2014 NFL free agency period is still rich in available talent. Here is a list of predictions of where some top names could land.
Anthony Collins – OT – New Team: Oakland Raiders
Whatever plans the Oakland Raiders had for their offensive line going into 2014 NFL free agency took a major blow when their biggest purchase, Roger Saffold failed his physical. This prompted him to be sent back to St. Louis where he quickly signed a five-year deal. Left out in the cold, it’s important the Raiders act quickly to salvage their plan. He might not be quite as versatile but Anthony Collins proved himself as a very capable left tackle last season in Cincinnati. The strength and athleticism are there and his price should not be as high.
Henry Melton – DT – New Team: Dallas Cowboys
Releasing DeMarcus Ware and letting Jason Hatcher walk have created a serious vacuum in the pass rush department for the Dallas Cowboys. They don’t have a lot of money so if they do spend any of what they have, it must be to bolster their defensive line. Henry Melton is rumored as a top target given his connections to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and his ability as an interior rusher. Provided his knee is healed from the torn ACL, Dallas could be the landing spot.
Hakeem Nicks – WR – New Team: Carolina Panthers
The saga of Steve Smith has apparently caused a serious back loading of wide receivers who remain unsigned. Until the Carolina Panthers make a move on him, that will not change. One thing remains clear though. Former Giants #1 guy Hakeem Nicks is their top target. He hailed from Charlotte and has team connections there including with GM Dave Gettleman. Provided another team doesn’t get more aggressive with their offers, Nicks should be the one to replace Smith.
Brandon Spikes – ILB – New Team: Minnesota Vikings
One player who has been conspicuously quiet in 2014 NFL free agency so far despite a very solid history and relatively young age is inside linebacker Brandon Spikes. While not the most reliable option in coverage he is an outstanding run defender that a lot of teams could find great use for. One with the money and the motive is the Minnesota Vikings. Their linebacking corps is still rather thin following the dismissal of veteran Erin Henderson. They have the cap space to absorb Spikes without much trouble and could be a big help in that division.
Michael Vick – QB – New Team: Buffalo Bills
Josh McCown was the first quarterback off the board, which was a little surprising considering most experts believed Michael Vick would be the top target. However, McCown knew where he wanted to go where as Vick seems to have multiple options. The favorite team referenced was the New York Jets but they seem focused on upgrading the receivers. Meanwhile the Buffalo Bills dumped their former backup quarterback in Kevin Kolb, leaving the roster spot unfilled. Putting Vick in competition with E.J. Manuel while also mentoring him is a sound strategy.
Jared Allen – DE – New Team: Seattle Seahawks
The defending champions still have some cap space to work with in 2014 NFL free agency but know they must use it wisely. After cutting defensive end Chris Clemons their pass rush has suffered a slight dip in depth. That is why they have been repeatedly connected to All Pro Jared Allen. He is anxious to join a team that has a chance to win but also has stated he won’t play for anybody unless offered a fair market value for his services. It’s a tough call for Seattle, which is why they might wait Allen out to see if his attitude changes.
Walter Thurmond – CB – New Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Gus Bradley is like any other new head coach. He wants to bring in “his” guys to continue rebuilding his new team. The Jacksonville Jaguars already signed Red Bryant and are nearing a deal with Chris Clemons, both of whom played for him in Seattle. No one should feel surprised if underrated cornerback Walter Thurmond gets in on that action as well. Jacksonville still has plenty of cap space to burn and the 5’11” corner is an ideal fit for Bradley’s defense.
Tags: 2014 Nfl Free Agency Anthony Collins Brandon Spikes Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Dallas Cowboys Hakeem Nicks Henry Melton Jacksonville Jaguars Jared Allen Michael Vick Minnesota Vikings Oakland Raiders Seattle Seahawks Walter Thurmond