PFTV: Where will T.O. go?
March 3, 2010: Mike Florio says that the Ravens and Redskins both have interest in Terrell Owens, and it might take long before he finds a new team.
Under the new rules, players don’t hit unrestricted free agency until they have been in the league six seasons. With few exceptions, players only get to the market because their teams didn’t truly want to keep them.
Behold: the top-50 unrestricted free agents for 2010. We did not include restricted free agents that require trade compensation in return. Previous team is listed in parenthesis.
1. Julius Peppers, DE (Panthers)
Signed with Chicago
He’s not Reggie White, but Peppers is the best pass rusher to hit free agency since the Hall of Famer. He’ll cost an insane amount of money for a player with inconsistent effort, but is undoubtedly one of the league's most talented players. Seattle, Washington, and Chicago are possibilities.
2. Karlos Dansby, LB (Cardinals)
Signed with Miami
It’s a big drop to number two on this list. Dansby is a smart, versatile linebacker who excels in coverage. He a knack for big plays, but has yet to make a single Pro Bowl.
3. Dunta Robinson, CB (Texans)
Signed with Atlanta
He’s a good, not great, young cornerback who is about to be paid like a Hall of Famer.
4. Aaron Kampman, DE (Packers)
Kampman looked like a fish out of water as a linebacker in Green Bay’s 3-4 defense. He fits better as a rock-solid starting defensive end. He’s coming off a torn ACL.
5. Antonio Bryant, WR (Bucs)
Sure, he's a head case. But he's a head case in his prime who can stretch the field! Towels not included.
6. Antrel Rolle, S (Cardinals)
Signed with N.Y. Giants
He’s going to do well for someone who was once benched for Rod Hood. A failed cornerback, Rolle is an above-average free safety.
7. Leigh Bodden, CB (Patriots)
A solid starting cornerback who has size and playmaking ability. He should be a better value than Dunta Robinson.
8. Chad Clifton, T (Packers)
Re-signed with Green Bay
Clifton has some knocks against him (34-years-old, so-so run blocker), but he’s easily the best pass protector on the market.
9. Dwan Edwards, DE (Ravens)
Young linemen who don’t mind doing the dirty work are hard to find. The Ravens pedigree helps.
10. Gary Brackett, LB (Colts)
Re-signed with Indianapolis
11. Ben Watson, TE (Patriots)
Watson is athletic, can play every down, and will help a team in the red zone. Just don’t expect him to be a huge difference maker.
12. Kevin Walter, WR (Texans)
Re-signed with Houston
A secondary receiver with size, Walter gets a huge bump because he’s only 28 and is low maintenance.
13. Terrell Owens, WR (Bills)
He’s like Walter, except the exact opposite. T.O. can still help a team out as a second receiver if he can accept the role.
14. Darren Sharper, S (Saints)
Overrated because he’s a stat-hound who struggles in run support, Sharper still is a weapon if used correctly. He’ll likely wind up back in New Orleans.
15. Thomas Jones, RB (Jets)
Was his late-season decline because of overuse or is age about to catch up to Jones, 31? He’s a committee back stopgap at worst.
16. Chester Taylor, RB (Vikings)
Signed with Chicago
17. Lito Sheppard, CB (Jets)
He’s competent, young and has starting experience. An acceptable starter, but two teams have let him go.
18. Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE (Titans)
Signed with Detroit
The Titans can spot good defensive linemen, so it’s not a great sign they are letting him walk away.
19. Derrick Mason, WR (Ravens)
Still putting up 1,000-yard seasons as a possession receiver, year after year.
20. Ryan Clark, S (Steelers)
He wouldn’t look as good away from Troy Polamalu, but Clark could be a good value for a team looking for an enforcer.
21. Justin Bannan, DT (Ravens)
Signed with Denver
Little known Ravens reserve has some upside.
22. Bobbie Williams, G (Bengals)
Williams, 33, is a mauler in the running game.
23. Derrick Burgess, LB/DE (Patriots)
Took a while to adjust to playing linebacker in New England, but he closed the season strong. New England traded two mid-round picks for him only a year ago.
24. Adewale Ogunleye, DE (Bears)
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
25. Stephen Neal, G (Patriots)
Re-signed with New England
We’re afraid of what the former NCAA champion wrestler would do if we didn’t rank him this high.
26. Jason Taylor, LB (Dolphins)
Far from his peak, Taylor is still a useful tool when his snaps are limited.
27. Leonard Little, DE (Rams)
Washington and St. Louis would both love to have Little as a situational pass rusher if he chooses not to retire.
28. Chad Pennington, QB (Dolphins)
Re-signed with Miami
There are two ways to look at his last shoulder surgery — he had no arm strength anyway; and what arm strength will he have left?
29. Joey Porter, LB (Dolphins)
His mouth is looking for a check his play can no longer cash.
PFT: Tom Brady says the loss of Wes Welker didn’t come as a surprise because Brady has been around long enough to know that there are no safe jobs in the NFL.
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