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Plenty of Veteran Stars Available in Free Agent Market

Plenty of Veteran Stars Available in Free Agent Market

A theme of the NFL offseason continues to be past-their-prime free agents or big names that teams could not afford to keep that are now on the market. At this point, Ed Reed remains the most notable and most coveted in this category. He is also probably the most likely to return to his former team. Here is the latest on Reed and other free agents:

  • The Houston Texans are putting the full court press on the future Hall of Famer, Ed Reed. He was flown out to Houston on Thursday on owner Bob McNair’s private jet and remains in Houston today. It is clear that Reed wants to play for a contender and, given Baltimore’s recent losses, the Texans may be closer to a Super Bowl ring than the Ravens. Another part of Houston’s appeal is Andre Johnson, a former teammate of Reed’s with the Miami Hurricanes. Reggie Wayne and Frank Gore are also former teammates who remain close with the safety and are on teams (Colts and 49ers) that fit Reed’s criteria of contender. Reed still could end up in Baltimore, but he is definitely in intense flirtations with other organizations.
  • Bernard Pollard is another casualty from the Baltimore’s defensive backfield and was actually the leading tackler for the Ravens last season. Pollard, who played with broken ribs for most of last season, was a physical presence for Baltimore who was released due to cap concerns. It is unclear where some possible destinations might be although general manager Ozzie Newsome said the decision to let him go was “difficult.”
  • Oakland has jettisoned a number of top stars including former #7 overall pick Darrius Heyward-Bey. The disappointing speedster had begun to perform at a higher level, but an excessive contact for the cost cutting Raiders and some off the field issues resulted in his dismissal. The Lions and Bills have been mentioned as possible destinations.
  • While the Raiders have lost several key contributors, aka high draft picks who never really panned out or bloated contract players who were never worth the money in the first place, they have added several minor free agents with the most high profile being Bears’ starting linebacker Nick Roach who could start at inside or outside for Oakland. However, that signing has left the Bears short-handed, increasing urgency to re-sign future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher who has been in talks with the Minnesota Vikings.
  • The Vikings are also doing their best to woo another star from a division rival, Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers. The receiver could make a decision at any time. 
  • While the Dolphins have certainly made a splash in free agency, their decision to release leading tackler Karlos Dansby has been perplexing for many. The move made room for Dannell Ellerbe to be added to bolster the linebacking corps, and the Giants, Vikings, and Ravens could be teams that could take a look at Dansby.
  • As the 49ers look to replace Pro Bowl safety Dashon Goldson and bolster their secondary, they may be looking to add former top corner Nmadi Asomugha who has languished since joining the Philadelphia Eagles. The former Oakland Raider is visiting the 49ers who are also targeting Ed Reed and Charles Woodson to potentially strengthen their defensive backfield. 
  • The New England Patriots are also looking to bolster their roster with veteran talents. They are bringing in former Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson, former Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, and former Falcons defensive end John Abraham for visits. 
  • Looking to replace some of the departed defenders, the Ravens seem to be targeting 34-year-old former Steeler James Harrison. The former Defensive Player of the Year is not in serious talks at this point although this would make sense for the Ravens as a stop gap as they may opt to use the draft to fill other various needs.
  • One veteran who will not have to look for work is Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil who was seen as a potential casualty as the John Elways looked to restructure his deal. However, the two sides came to an agreement Friday.


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