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 NFL free agency 
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Post NFL free agency
As free agency approaches as the first way to bolster our roster, is there any one or two individuals or positions you would like to see the Lions pursue? We have a few FA's of our own to address as well. I believe they should try to improve our DT's in free agency. The ones we have aren't getting it done in stopping the run. Better linebacker play would also go a long way towards improving our run stopping ability.


http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300000 ... ts-of-2017

By Gregg Rosenthal
Around The NFL Editor
Published: Jan. 12, 2017 at 12:54 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 12, 2017 at 05:50 p.m.

NFL free agency always winds up looking drastically different in March than it does in January.

Most of the top players on my first crack at the "best of" list of pending free agents below will be re-signed or retained with the franchise tag before the new league year officially starts on March 9. The list of available players will also swell with veterans released for performance or salary reasons.

In short: Expect a much different set of rankings by the time Chris Wesseling and I post our annual Top 99 Free Agents list in late February. In the meantime, here's a quick first look at the upcoming market. The players are ranked by their ability to impact a team for the next two to three years -- this does not necessarily reflect who will make the most money.
Top 25 2017 Unrestricted Free Agents

1) Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers running back: NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that the Steelers will use the franchise tag on Bell, the author of an entirely unique style of running. A one-year deal is ideal for the Steelers, considering Bell's previous suspensions and injuries, but it could lead to offseason friction between the running back and team.

2) Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs safety: Berry checks every conceivable box. He's a superstar at a scarce position (practically every team is looking for a safety). He's a locker-room leader and squarely in his prime at 28 years old. Retained with a franchise tag that created acrimony before the 2016 season, it's time for the Chiefs to pay up.

3) Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins quarterback: In his "prove it" season, Cousins proved he's a mid-level starting quarterback. That's worth a lot in today's NFL. The Redskins would likely use the franchise tag on Cousins for a second consecutive season if they can't reach a long-term deal.

4) Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers defensive tackle: General manager Dave Gettleman unceremoniously booted cornerback Josh Norman last offseason, in theory because the team needed room to retain Short. Now it's time to pay up.

5) Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker: After being traded to Arizona, Jones did a better job than his former teammate Patriots Jamie Collins of proving he can thrive in any defensive system. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians already declared the team will retain Jones with the franchise tag if it can't sign him long-term.

6) Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears wide receiver: Jeffery could wind up No. 1 on this list by March 9 because he's the most likely player ranked in the top eight to hit free agency. Injuries marred his 2015 campaign, and his suspension in 2016 is a concern, but there's no denying his ball skills or production. True No. 1 receivers don't become available too often.

7) Melvin Ingram, Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker: Don't just look at the sack total. Ingram slowly evolved into one of football's most disruptive, complete outside linebackers in 2016. His profile isn't so different from that of Olivier Vernon, who scored big in free agency last season.

8) Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals defensive end: There's no other player quite like Campbell, as thoughtful and savvy as he is physically overwhelming at 6-foot-8, 282 pounds. He would make a great "get over the hump" piece for a team looking for a title.

9) Brandon Williams, Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle: Williams is a one-man solution to your favorite team's run-stopping problems. Damon Harrison paved the way last season for nose tackles to get paid like pass rushers.

10) Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants defensive end: Before his recent sports hernia surgery, Pierre-Paul's incredible stamina and snap-to-snap effort was a calling card. He proved this season he can still finish plays despite having an amputated index finger. Just don't offer him a one-year contract.

11) Jamie Collins, Cleveland Browns outside linebacker: The hardest free agent to rank on the list. The Browns will be highly motivated to retain Collins after dealing a compensatory third-round pick for him. His time in Cleveland was unremarkable, and New England's willingness to trade him is a red flag for interested teams. While his production does not match his skill set or reputation, Collins should not fear. He may not get top-tier money as hoped, but any player this versatile will get paid somewhere.

12) Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati Bengals guard: After earning second-team honors on Pro Football Focus' 2016 All-Pro team at 26 years old, Zeitler is set to make a lot more money than many players with a lot more name-brand value.

13) Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills cornerback: He has weeks, even months, on film where he looks like a true No. 1 cornerback. He had other weeks in 2016 where he looked lost, perhaps fearful of getting hurt in a contract year. If he makes it to the open market, some team will believe it can make him a star because of his skill set, although I suspect the Bills will use the franchise tag on him.

14) A.J. Bouye, Houston Texans cornerback: No player has made himself more money this season. While there is undeniable risk in signing a player with only 19 career starts, Bouye has played like a borderline Pro Bowler in his first full season as a starter. He looks the part of a former first-round pick, not a former undrafted player.

15) Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots linebacker: After Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins were traded, the conventional wisdom in New England held that Hightower would be re-signed. Bill Belichick has talked up Hightower's leadership in the past, but Belichick rarely does what fans and writers expect.

16) Dontari Poe, Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle: The Chiefs may have to choose between Poe and Berry, resulting in Poe hitting the market. Though he's a solid starter, his career hasn't taken off as I expected after his terrific rookie season in 2012.

17) Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots tight end: He'd worn out his welcome with three different organizations before finding a home in New England. Bill Belichick should do what he can to retain the best Gronk insurance possible.

18) DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins receiver: There is some risk that Jackson's explosive but limited skill set will erode now that he's 30, but it's hard to detect on the field. Few players can take the top off a defense better, and teams know to pay Jackson as a great puzzle piece, not a No. 1 threat.

19) Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland Browns receiver: Well, here's a ranking that would have looked ridiculous at this time a year ago. Maturity questions linger, but Pryor's 1,000-yard season hinted at an even higher ceiling ahead for the converted quarterback.

20) T.J. Lang, Green Bay Packers guard: A "criminally underrated" starter may have to leave Green Bay at age 29 to get his fair market value.

21) Nick Perry, Green Bay Packers outside linebacker: General manager Ted Thompson brought Perry back on a one-year, $5 million contract last offseason after a boffo playoff run. Perry will cost a lot more after collecting a team-high 11 sacks.

22) Trumaine Johnson, Los Angeles Rams cornerback: Given the franchise tag last season, Johnson turned in a relatively unremarkable campaign as a starter in coordinator Gregg Williams' system. Don't be surprised if Williams' new team, the Browns, go after Johnson.

23) Tony Jefferson, Arizona Cardinals safety: Was he a product of the Cardinals' aggressive system? Jefferson can make plays all over the field if he finds a coach who knows how to deploy him.

24) Ricky Wagner, Baltimore Ravens tackle: Consistent, quality play from a starting right tackle could be worth north of $10 million per season in this market.

25) Barry Church, Dallas Cowboys safety: As Conor Orr mentioned in his great piece this week, Church can up his value with a big playoff run. Church is a steady, tough, run-stopping constant in a Dallas secondary that overachieved this season. He's a glue guy.

Notable omissions: Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers; Riley Reiff, T, Detroit Lions; Kenny Britt, WR, Los Angeles Rams; Johnathan Hankins, DT, New York Giants; Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Andrew Whitworth, T, Cincinnati Bengals; Chris Baker, DE, Washington Redskins; Larry Warford, G, Detroit Lions; DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Denver Broncos; Jabaal Sheard, DE, New England Patriots; LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots; T.J. McDonald, SS, Los Angeles Rams.


January 13th, 2017, 12:41 pm
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Post Re: NFL free agency
I wouldn't mind them taking a shot at Poe, Hightower, and Blount. I don't think many of the players on this list are even a real option since they will get resigned or tagged, but those three seem like real possibilities if your willing to spend a bit on one or two of them.

If Trumaine Johnson's stock is down with teams he is one CB I wouldn't mind them spending some money on as long as it isn't CB 1 money. Johnson would give the Lions a big CB to pair with Slay and that should actually make the Lions secondary able to help the Dline if they can't land a better second starter at DE.

Also if Reiff and/or Warford aren't retained they should make a play for Ricky Wagner or maybe even TJ Lang. Wagner could easily replace Reiff and even has the ability to play OG. He would cost a bit of money but I doubt it would be much more than Reiff. Lang would be a good steal from the Packers if they can't resign Warford or if Warford's price seems to high.


January 13th, 2017, 1:24 pm
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Post Re: NFL free agency
Not that the Lions don't need help, but I am really hoping Quinn doesn't target many, if any, top free agents.

I just find it some what suspicious that so many high priced free agents have such high production during their final year prior to free agency, but never get back to that level after the big free agency check clears.


January 13th, 2017, 9:12 pm
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William Clay Ford Sr.
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Post Re: NFL free agency
Jafo wrote:
Not that the Lions don't need help, but I am really hoping Quinn doesn't target many, if any, top free agents.

I just find it some what suspicious that so many high priced free agents have such high production during their final year prior to free agency, but never get back to that level after the big free agency check clears.


Not mentioning any names Deandre Levy.


January 14th, 2017, 12:32 am
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Team President - Rod Wood

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Post Re: NFL free agency
I think the biggest gains the Lions can make are running the ball and rushing the passer.

Id consider dropping a big offer for Melvin Ingram and also try to swing a deal for Mike Gillislee.


January 15th, 2017, 2:50 am
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Post Re: NFL free agency
The Legend wrote:
I think the biggest gains the Lions can make are running the ball and rushing the passer.

Id consider dropping a big offer for Melvin Ingram and also try to swing a deal for Mike Gillislee.


IMO Ingram is not big enough and is a bad fit for the Lions. They don't have the talent at linebacker to make up for a weak run defense from the dline. Even if they had 2014 Levy back, they are still going to need a bigger body opposite Ansah. I can't see Ingram fixing any of the issues they currently have with Hyder starting opposite Ansah. We would basically have to see the wide 9 again to give Ingram his best chance at success. Maybe if you flipped Ansah to the other side and had him put more focus on the run, but he's always seemed at his best with his head down going straight for the passer.

Gillislee could be good if the Bills don't want a lot for him and he has decent hands. I've never seen enough of him to know how well he can catch or if he has even shown any potential for it. Who ever the Lions add really needs to be able to catch or they are just tipping their hand between him and Riddick. Unless the guy requires the opponents to stack the box he needs some catching ability.


January 16th, 2017, 2:07 pm
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Post Re: NFL free agency
Ingram so far has been a 3-4 OLB which may be a transition but he s more explosive and stout than Cliff Avril was and I think will bring more to the table. The Lions need the athleticism and ability on that edge. I think Ingram will be able to do that no problem but when I go down that list and find Nick Perry I think thats more of the player that would struggle with the change from 3-4 to 4-3. I consider Ingram to be a big upgrade over Taylor and another player that they could be flexible moving around or dropping off into coverage. (Ive seen enough of Haloti Ngata covering Jordy Nelson or Doug Baldwin). In the draft Im watching Derek Barnett and Demarcus Walker.


January 16th, 2017, 6:21 pm
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Post Re: NFL free agency
The Legend wrote:
Ingram so far has been a 3-4 OLB which may be a transition but he s more explosive and stout than Cliff Avril was and I think will bring more to the table. The Lions need the athleticism and ability on that edge. I think Ingram will be able to do that no problem but when I go down that list and find Nick Perry I think thats more of the player that would struggle with the change from 3-4 to 4-3. I consider Ingram to be a big upgrade over Taylor and another player that they could be flexible moving around or dropping off into coverage. (Ive seen enough of Haloti Ngata covering Jordy Nelson or Doug Baldwin). In the draft Im watching Derek Barnett and Demarcus Walker.


I just don't see him working well with Ansah the way he currently plays. It's especially concerning given the poor state of the interior run defense while Ngata's corpse is starting and no linebackers to help. I do think its possible to make it work, but it would probably take a significant length of time. If they are going to spend that kind of money, I would much rather see something more plug and play. My problem is actually more with the fact Ansah seems a little one dimensional and given his size he should be more of that do it all guy at DE and not just the primary pass rusher.


January 16th, 2017, 7:56 pm
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Team President - Rod Wood

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Post Re: NFL free agency
If they think they can somehow get Barnett in the draft then they should do something different in free agency. He probably goes ahead of the Lions pick though.


January 16th, 2017, 11:36 pm
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Post Re: NFL free agency
The Legend wrote:
If they think they can somehow get Barnett in the draft then they should do something different in free agency. He probably goes ahead of the Lions pick though.


Free agency is just a bad place for 4-3 DEs this offseason. Add that to the fact this is talked about as an especially deep draft for edge rushers and I think they should avoid the FA DEs. If the Lions must go to FA for an end then they have to look at guys like Shead, Collins, Mario Addison, or Charles Johnson; however, all those guys have either production issues or are to old for their likely price tag.

I just looked at Ingram again and I thought he was in the 250s, but he's been playing under 250 for the last 2 seasons. I in no way want to see him as a starting DE for the Lions. Now if they want to sign him to play Sam and can sign a big 285+lbs run stuffer for cheap to play end I wouldn't be sad at all. Ingram coming off the edge over top of Ansah would be hard to stop.


January 17th, 2017, 10:51 am
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Post Re: NFL free agency
Ingram beats NFL tackles, thats all there is to it. He s very disruptive on that front, I dont care if he s 5'10 like Elvis Dumervil or 245 vs 265. He can make a difference whether they play him on the line, off the line or a little bit of both. His versatility makes him more attractive if anything.


January 18th, 2017, 8:03 pm
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Post Re: NFL free agency
The Legend wrote:
Ingram beats NFL tackles, thats all there is to it. He s very disruptive on that front, I dont care if he s 5'10 like Elvis Dumerville or 245 vs 265. He can make a difference whether they play him on the line, off the line or a little bit of both. His versatility makes him more attractive if anything.


That's all great if he's playing with 3 DTs and lined up out wide of the LT or standing up, but the Lions need a closed end in Austin's defense. The only thing disruptive about him in the closed end position is going to be how much worse the already terrible run defense will be. There is just no way he works at DE in the Lions defense without a new scheme on the dline or a big change in Ansah's assignments.

On a different note, lets get ready to say bye bye to Warford. The jets gave their starting OG an 8M/yr extension and most would say Warford is a better player. Warford is going to take 8M to 10M+ to resign if he goes by market value and no way is he worth that.


January 18th, 2017, 8:33 pm
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Team President - Rod Wood

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Post Re: NFL free agency
rao wrote:
The Legend wrote:
Ingram beats NFL tackles, thats all there is to it. He s very disruptive on that front, I dont care if he s 5'10 like Elvis Dumerville or 245 vs 265. He can make a difference whether they play him on the line, off the line or a little bit of both. His versatility makes him more attractive if anything.


That's all great if he's playing with 3 DTs and lined up out wide of the LT or standing up, but the Lions need a closed end in Austin's defense. The only thing disruptive about him in the closed end position is going to be how much worse the already terrible run defense will be. There is just no way he works at DE in the Lions defense without a new scheme on the dline or a big change in Ansah's assignments.

On a different note, lets get ready to say bye bye to Warford. The jets gave their starting OG an 8M/yr extension and most would say Warford is a better player. Warford is going to take 8M to 10M+ to resign if he goes by market value and no way is he worth that.



it will be tough to keep him at that price. the guy winters is also injured. maybe the jets are just insane and the market doesnt follow? tomlinson and dahl better have a damn good offseason and swanson hopefully comes back from his concussion. at least there are internal options at guard for the lions. they may be forced to do something crazy for reiff or another rt.


January 19th, 2017, 12:50 am
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Post Re: NFL free agency
Seems like $7-8m per is the market rate for decent starting guards now, with the cap increases. If we want players that are good enough, we need to pay it or hit on a player in the draft again. Seems to me we need to pay our own free agents who are worth keeping around market rate if we're ever going to get out of rebuilding and in to contending. So I'd be ok with Warford getting a deal like this.

Quote:
Still seven weeks away from free agency, the New York Jets made a pre-emptive strike by locking up their No. 1 priority, guard Brian Winters, who signed a four-year contract extension on Monday.

The knee-jerk reaction: Wow, the Jets mean business. They're ticked off by the 5-11 season, and they can't wait to start fixing things.

There might be some of that sentiment at One Jets Drive, but there were other factors in play. For one, the two sides actually began negotiating late last season -- before Winters suffered a rotator cuff tear in Week 15.

Secondly, this was a business opportunity for the Jets. And for Winters.

Brian Winters' rotator cuff surgery likely played a role in his signing an extension with the Jets rather than testing the free-agent market. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
If healthy, Winters would have been one of the most coveted guards on the free-agent market, but he underwent rotator cuff surgery at the end of the season. Even though he should be fine for the 2017 season, he evidently felt that the injury would have affected his value on the open market.

That factored into his decision to sign in January. The Jets pounced on the early-bird special, probably saving some money.

The averages $7.25 million per year, according to sources. The guarantee ($15 million) is the 10th largest for a guard, per ESPN data. The two sides worked off two contracts from last offseason -- Jeff Allen (four years, $28 million, $12 million guaranteed) and J.R. Sweezy (five years, $32.5 million, $14 million guaranteed). Winters gets a lot of money for a solid, if not Pro Bowl-level player, but it falls in line with the market when factoring in the projected salary-cap increase.

From the Jets' perspective, the deal carries risk. They've committed a boatload of money to a player only one month removed from a significant shoulder operation -- a player who had major knee surgery in 2014 and never has started for a full season. But they felt it was a worthwhile gamble because he's still young (he'll be 26 in July), he played well last season before the injury and he still hasn't reached his ceiling. They know the player and they know the injury, and they felt comfortable with the situation. If they had lost him in free agency, it would've cost at least $8 million per year to replace him with a top guard, i.e., Kevin Zeitler (Bengals) or T.J. Lang (Packers).

Winters, too, took a chance because he surrendered the opportunity to become an unrestricted free agent. Evidently, he didn't think he'd have much bargaining power because of the injury, so he took what he could get while the getting was good. The best deals usually involve risk from both sides.

From a personnel standpoint, this means two-fifths of the offensive line is secure -- right and left guard (James Carpenter). Now all the Jets have to do is figure out what to do with center Nick Mangold and both tackle spots. They have a lot of work left, but they cleared a big item off the to-do list by securing Winters.


http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york-jets/ ... ly-winters


January 19th, 2017, 5:18 am
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Post Re: NFL free agency
http://detroitjockcity.com/2017/01/18/detroit-lions-free-agent-prediction-larry-warford/

I thought that article was kind of an interesting look on Quinn's preference for guys with faster short shuttle and how Warford may not fit his mold along with the money increase at OG. The writer may just reading to far into things, but NE has always had pretty athletic linemen no matter their size.

I would let Warford go because the value just isn't there. I understand the thought on needing to start retaining your own good players, but you can't overpay them. Tomlinson looked much better when he was filling in sporadically for Warford on the right and actually got a little better on the left at the end of the season. If they can keep Reiff I won't be overly concerned about Tomlinson at RG along with hopefully Dahl pushing him for the spot. Quinn also was spotted spending at least one whole day watching Olinemen at the East-West Shrine game practices, so I imagine we see at least one new Oline drafted no matter what happens. There are also some cheap options for interior linemen in FA if they look for a reclamation project or a vet band aid.


January 19th, 2017, 11:11 am
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