As the season approaches we still have several top level 2017 NFL free agents available. First up is offense. Who signs where and will anyone retire?
NFL minicamps have opened. OTAs and training camps begin this month. We are officially out of the offseason and into the preseason. With that, it is time to speculate wildly on everything from depth charts to position battles to standings to signings.
There are a number of intriguing 2017 NFL free agents remaining on the market. The list is short, but contains big names and some true quality. Starting on offense, where will these final big names land? We can’t imagine they remain unsigned through the start of preseason football.
Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss 2017 NFL Free Agents in today’s NFL Sports Debate.
Todd Salem: At this point, Colin Kaepernick is going to be signed as strictly a backup. Its unknown whether he was originally willing to accept such a role, but that’s the market now. No team with a real need or worry about its starter is going to hand snaps to him. I still like him though! He would surely be an upgrade on any number of franchise’s backup plans.
Perhaps it’s too big of a stylistic switch, but who would you rather have backing up Andrew Luck, Kaep or Scott Tolzien? He would be an upgrade on the Chargers, Cowboys, or any number of other teams. Where do you see Kaepernick settling?
Dan Salem: Nick Mangold is a perennial pro bowl player with a season or two left in the tank. He’s a great veteran leader for any offense, but he’s coming off an injury and carries a higher price tag that most younger centers.
I can’t imagine Mangold being available for much longer. He’s still one of the top centers in the NFL and would add depth to any championship contender. Mangold has stated he won’t play for the New England Patriots, so I expect him to land on a similarly talented team, likely in the NFC.
Dan Salem: Victor Cruz is not the No. 1 receiver he used to be, but he has a lot to offer an offense for a season or two. He’s an excellent second or third receiving option and forces defenses to respect him when he’s on the field. I see him landing with a championship contender looking to add depth. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks come to mind. It’s what every accomplished veteran wants at the end of their career.
Todd Salem: One of the early sufferers of the NFL Draft, Gary Barnidge was cut after Cleveland drafted his replacement. I was very surprised by this move, considering how useful of a player he had become and how raw David Njoku appears to be. Any team that needs a tight end should be constantly calling up Barnidge and see what he wants. If it’s reasonable, sign him! The Jets need a tight end. The Rams don’t have anyone. Atlanta is the spot I would like to see him go.
Dan Salem: Another highly productive tight end is still on the market. Because the 2017 NFL Draft offered several solid options at the position, Jacob Tamme has yet to find a new home. But several teams, including my New York Jets, could use his veteran skills in their offense. Most contenders already have their starting tight end on roster, so it’s up to Tamme to choose who he’s willing to play for.