Free Agency 2011 – Offense, Who’s Left?

| August 5, 2011

I think it’s safe to say that things got a bit hectic once the lockout was lifted. Free agency was a much anticipated feeding frenzy as teams were desperate to sign players and rush them to camp.
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As things have slowed since the initial push and most of the top free agents have been signed, we’re left looking at the second tier players … but that’s not to say there aren’t guys available who can contribute.
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Let’s look at the best of what teams still have to choose from.


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Quarterback
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Troy Smith: The quarterback market isn’t exactly very deep right now. Although Smith has had chances in the past, he has never really been able to make the most of them, despite impressing us from time to time. A team looking for a veteran QB could do much worse.
Suggested Team: Kansas City Chiefs -  If Matt Cassel goes down, who’s going to step up?

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Running Back
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Clinton Portis: It’s been surprising how little interest there has been in Portis. The worst case scenario is that you get an excellent third down back that has run the ball well over the past two years (when he hasn’t been injured). This may come down to Portis wanting to be a feature back, but who would take him?
Suggested Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – With such a physical running style, the Bucs may want to lighten some of Blount’s load, while keeping Portis in on passing situations.
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Jason Snelling: After a decent start to the season, Snelling showed himself to be a limited runner, but one with value as a third down back. He’s solid enough and is good at picking up the blitz.
Suggested Team: Tennessee Titans – Chris Johnson is a feature back that has never had the benefit of a true third down companion. Snelling can help him without taking away any of his carries.

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Fullback
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Deon Anderson: In 2009, the former Cowboy was our sixth ranked fullback. Fast forward a year, and Anderson managed 17 snaps before injury saw him lose his place as a Cowboy. Regardless, he’s an extremely talented lead blocker.
Suggested Team: St Louis Rams – They appear to be bringing back Mike Karney, over whom Anderson would represent an upgrade anyway.

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Wide Receiver
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Derrick Mason: He’s not the youngest guy out there, but Mason is still one of the most reliable receivers around. Over the past three years Mason has ranked 11th (2010), 18th (2009) and second (2008) in our receiver rankings.
Suggested Team: New York Jets – No longer sold on Jerricho Cotchery, a spot for a reliable and underrated receiver comes open.
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Malcolm Floyd: 19.4 yards per catch in 2010.  17.2 yards per catch in 2009. Both top five numbers and an indication of how dangerous of a deep threat Floyd is. Probably not suited to being a number one, but will be a very dangerous number two.
Suggested Team: Baltimore Ravens – Floyd would present the deep threat that the Ravens sorely lacked and form an excellent tandem with Anquan Boldin.
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Brandon Stokley: After leaving the Colts, Stokley bounced around for a while in Denver not really doing anything substantial. However, in Seattle, he found himself a role as a guy who caught nearly everything that came his way (75.4%) and earned an impressive +7.3 rating from us. He still has something to offer potential suitors.
Suggested Team: Dallas Cowboys -They have Miles Austin and Dez Bryant for the every down role, but a guy who can find space in zones like Stokley will make life easier for Tony Romo.
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Steve Smith: Injuries sometimes happen at the worst time. Smith was superb in 2009, but has seen his play fall off as injuries have taken their toll. He won’t be ready until the season is well under way, but he could be a bargain of a signing for the future.
Suggested Team: Cleveland Browns – They’re in rebuilding mode, so they can wait for Smith to get healthy. He’d be an upgrade over every receiver on their roster.
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Jerricho Cotchery: It’s a baffling one that the Jets gave up on Cotchery after one bad year (which was later attributed to injury). He finished eighth in our receiver rankings in 2009.
Suggested Team: Tennessee Titans. Cotchery can work the slot and play outside, and with Kenny Britt possibly facing league imposed sanctions, he could provide a cost effective short term solution.
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Tight End
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Kevin Boss: 2010 was when the big hits started to catch up with Boss, as he had a down year after a breakout 2009 campaign. Back then he was our fourth ranked blocking tight end and 12th ranked receiving TE. He’s the complete package.
Suggested Team: New York Giants – It makes too much sense for the Giants to lose one of their own. Signing Ben Patrick is nothing more than picking up a guy who should suffice in two tight end sets.
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Alge Crumpler: Crumpler isn’t quite as mobile as he once was, but he is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league, finishing third in our rankings last year.
Suggested Team: New England Patriots – They had too much fun with two tight end sets featuring Crumpler and Rob Gronkowski.
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Offensive Line
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Shaun O’Hara: The former Giants center has never been short of talent, but right now he doesn’t appear to have the health to match it. That’s the only reason why a guy who has been our fifth ranked center over the past three years hasn’t been picked up.
Suggested Team: New Orleans Saints – If he can prove that he’s healthy, the Saints won’t be scared off by his age as they’re built to win now.
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Leonard Davis: Never a favorite of the fans he plays for, Davis is prone to a few lapses here and there. He’s still one of the most punishing guards out there and was our ninth ranked on the right side last year.
Suggested Team: Miami Dolphins. – They want to get more of a push in the run game.
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Vince Manuwai: Last season was a weird one for Manuwai. At times he was flat out dominant, and at times he struggled to handle defensive linemen. What he did to the Browns was one of the best games a guard had all year.
Suggested Team: Jacksonville Jaguars – Once he gets himself in shape, they should bring him back in.
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Rich Seubert: The versatile linemen performed admirably at guard and at center last year and that alone is enough for teams to be interested in him.
Suggested Team: New York Giants – They felt the benefit of his versatility last year and could probably use some depth in case some of their new starters don’t pan out.
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Brian Waters: While he went to the Pro Bowl last season, it’s safe to say it was base mostly upon his rep. So, while he can hold his own in pass protection, Waters just isn’t physically the same player he once was.
Suggested Team: Chicago Bears – Does he want to carry on?  He’ll upgrade a team’s pass protection and no team could use that more than Chicago.
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Shawn Andrews: What happened to that dominant guard from the Eagles? Even when he got on the field for the Giants something wasn’t quite right. He’s young enough that you’ll take a chance on the talent still being there.
Suggested Team: Chicago Bears – I appear to be taking the “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” approach.
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Bryant McKinnie: If and when McKinnie gets himself in shape, he won’t struggle to find suitors. Even though he has underachieved based on his talents, he’s still a top ten left tackle.
Suggested Team: Buffalo Bills – They could put an in-shape McKinnie at either tackle spot and he’d be an upgrade.
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Max Starks: Much like McKinnie, Starks showed up overweight. Worse for him is that he missed most of 2010 due to injury. He has the kind of talent that when healthy he’d better a teams’ tackle situation.
Suggested Team: Arizona Cardinals – They seem to be in love with bigger linemen (how else is Levi Brown still employed). Starks is probably more athletic at 400lbs than their current left tackle.
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Langston Walker: Walker sure can run block and he sure can’t pass block. He had our second highest grade with his run blocking, and 11th lowest grade with his pass blocking.
Suggested Team: New York Giants – If they can’t bring back Kevin Boss they could always use Walker as an additional lineman when needing that sixth blocker.
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Barry Sims: Sims is a weird one. Much mocked earlier on his career, he’s become the poster child for ‘stable replacement to come in when a better player is injured’. Teams need guys like Sims for the worst case scenario of losing a starter.
Suggested Team: San Francisco 49ers – The match up works so why change it?
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Sean Locklear: Locklear was our highest rated right tackle in pass protection last year, though he followed that up with a negative grade in his run blocking abilities. An extremely frustrating player, he pulls from the tackle spot and gets out into space with upper echelon athleticism but so often doesn’t consistently show that. Could be a steal for someone.
Suggested Team: Cleveland Browns. – The tackle pickings are getting slim and he’d make life easier for a sophomore quarterback.
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Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled … and be sure to follow our main Twitter feed as well: @ProFootbalFocus
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  • stebutt

    Kevin Boss to the Giants may make sense in New York, but there’s also a gaping Zach Miller sized hole in Oakland that needs filling too.

    • stebutt

      I love it when I’m right.

  • uppercut

    I would have been ok with him leaving, but Malcom Floyd + Vincent Jackson together again = winning :p

  • Misfit74

    Jamie Harper makes the Titan’s need for Snelling obsolete. I agree that Floyd in SD is a great move for SD, if not a flashy one. Locklear to Redskins is something the WAS fan-base isn’t going to be happy with. We don’t miss him in Seattle.