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 Solid Players Still Available in Free Agency 
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Post Solid Players Still Available in Free Agency
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June 22, 2005, 5:52 PM ET


Verba heads list of available players


By John Clayton
ESPN.com



Here are the top 10 players still available on the NFL free-agent market:

1. Ross Verba, Left tackle: At 31, it can be argued that Verba might be headed for the downward part of his career and might be a risk for the $5 million-plus contract he seeks. What can't be argued is where he is now as a player. He's a top-level left tackle. Some scouting services have him in the top 10 at the position, and for a 31-year-old, that puts him in his prime. The Texans have the best chance of landing him because they have the cap room.

2. Peter Boulware, Defensive end/linebacker: The microfracture surgery to his knee that caused him to miss all of the 2004 season has scared a few teams from offering him big dollars, but Boulware isn't without suitors. Cleveland, Seattle and Houston want him at the right price, but that price isn't what Boulware is asking for right now. He still wants $3 to $4 million because he believes he has a 10-sack season ahead of him.


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Ty Law
Cornerback


3. Ty Law, Cornerback: Normally, he would be at the top of the list, but he's been out there since March and nobody has made him a big offer. Law is just starting to make cuts after more than a month of running on his surgically repaired foot. The Dolphins have a minimum salary one-year offer out for Law, and the Bucs are interested but can't do much better than that. The sleeper could be the Jaguars.

4. Anthony Simmons, Linebacker: Simmons still has the speed to be a linebacker who can cover fast running backs coming out of the backfield, but his surgically repaired wrist isn't totally healthy yet. Simmons has been reluctant to take a minimum salary deal. The Saints were interested but didn't want to pay a lot. Simmons plans on waiting to make a decision on where he'll end up.


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Koren Robinson
Wide Receiver


5. Koren Robinson, Wide receiver: Things are on hold until close to the start of training camp. His recent DUI following alcohol rehab has teams concerned. The 49ers would have signed him once the Seahawks released him, but they were concerned about the public reaction. Instead, they opted to sign Johnnie Morton. Robinson has the ability to be a No. 1 receiver if he can clean up his off-field problems.

6. Scott Gragg, Right tackle: Gragg knows he will land a starting job. Teams such as the Jets and Lions want to look at younger right tackles at their minicamps, and might wait a week or two into training camp to reconsider bringing Gragg into the fold. Gragg is a dependable right tackle with durability. He's an instant starter for most teams, even if he's signed two weeks into camp.

7. Chris Terry, Right tackle: Terry has had off-field issues, but when he plays, he can dominate. The Seahawks offense operated at its best when he was at right tackle and Walter Jones handled the left side. Like Gragg, Terry might have to wait until August to get a job. As a tackle, Terry mauls defensive ends. Teams that get into training camp and don't like what they see at right tackle will give him a look as the summer progresses.


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Lance Schulters
Safety


8. Lance Schulters, Safety: At the very least, Schulters hopes to get a contract similar to the $1.51 million given to R.W. McQuarters. Teams that are interested, though, have tight caps. The best fit would be in Atlanta where he could reunite with Jim Mora, his former defensive coordinator in San Francisco. But the Falcons' cap is tight. The Redskins can't do more than the minimum, so he won't be going there.

9. Ellis Johnson, Defensive tackle: For whatever reason, Johnson has been available since March and nobody has made a move. Sure, he's aging, but Johnson still has pass rush ability from the three-technique defensive tackle spot.

10. Vinny Testaverde, Quarterback: Sure, he's 41, but if he was good enough to start for the Cowboys last season, he's good enough to be a backup somewhere once training camp starts. Lots of teams have made him minimum salary offers to help them out. He'd be a nice fit in Seattle as Matt Hasselbeck's backup. Testaverde heads a list of big-name quarterbacks still looking for work, including Quincy Carter, Rick Mirer, Shaun King, Jeff George and Kordell Stewart.

Best of the rest: Wide receivers Curtis Conway, Bobby Shaw and Tai Streets; tight ends Chad Lewis, Cam Cleeland and Ken Dilger; linebackers Kevin Hardy, T.J. Slaughter, Ronald McKinnon and Jason Glenn; defensive ends Kenny Mixon, Erik Flowers, Juqua Thomas and Travis Hall; safeties Rogers Beckett, Cory Bird, Zack Bronson, Brock Marion, Brian Walker and Eric Brown; guard Dan Neil; halfbacks Amos Zereoue, Eddie George and Garrison Hearst.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.



Interesting list of players still available.

Noteworthy (to me anyway) is that 4 on the list - Rick Mirer, Tai Streets, Brock Marion and Brian Walker - where all Lions last year. As none of them are on the top 10 list I attribute this to Millen doing an outstanding job of up grading the talent on the team.

Also, somewhat related is a few players still under contract who are being offered in trade. Darren Howard leads that list and I suspect that John Abraham is still on it also.

My question is: Given the lions needs and cap restraints; Who would you sign and, if necessary, who would you cut to obtain someone on this list?


June 23rd, 2005, 5:38 am
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My question is: Given the lions needs and cap restraints; Who would you sign and, if necessary, who would you cut to obtain someone on this list?
I'd like to see them go after Gragg or Terry for RT. I would just feel more comfortable if we had a good veteran in there and let Butler learn the system a little more. Maybe a rotation between Butler and the veteran. Who would I cut??? Walker, Edwards for starters.......

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June 23rd, 2005, 9:26 am
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I'd like to see them go after Tai Streets, Brock Marion, and Brian Walker.

laughing7.gif


June 23rd, 2005, 11:25 am
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I've seen them do dumber this in the past. Hopefully were are beyond that now days. :oops:


June 23rd, 2005, 11:45 am
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Brian wrote:
I'd like to see them go after Tai Streets, Brock Marion, and Brian Walker.

laughing7.gif

Yeah, I'm sure the Turdnals could use their help laughing7.gif

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June 23rd, 2005, 1:03 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
]I'd like to see them go after Gragg or Terry for RT. I would just feel more comfortable if we had a good veteran in there and let Butler learn the system a little more.


Im with ya wags, the only real cred Ive read about Butler is that he is the strongest player on the Dline and has a mean streak... that could be good for KJ, but could also be bad for Harrington... I d rather have someone who can do both


June 23rd, 2005, 1:12 pm
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I don't see the Lions being able to sign Chris Terry or Scott Gragg. Both will want more money than what the Lions can give. Besides, I feel that if Butler can't handle the spot, Kosier can do well there. Butler can backup at RT while Victor Rogers backs up at LT. I agree that the first players to be cut would be Bracy Walker and Kalimba Edwards, but only if we sign a replacement for them. We are short on safeties as it is, and Edwards represents the only real speed rusher we have from the defensive end position. I don't know exactly what the Lions cap situation is, but they are teetering on the edge of maximum I think. Two possible moves would be to renegotiate with Dan Wilkinson (due to make over $2 million in salary, too much for him I feel) and to cut Holmes ($1.55 million salary) if Lehman is designated the starter in the middle. The savings from cutting Walker and Edwards will be minimal ($405,000 and $490,000 respectively) while those two will still count as $450,000 against the cap combined if cut. The Lions could get much more out of renegotiating with Wilkinson and Holmes, or cutting them altogether.

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June 24th, 2005, 10:20 am
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Let's cut Walker, Edwards, Holmes and Wilkinson. Give Schulters a 2 year contract at about the same amount we gave McQ. Squeeze the turnip alittle more and see what we can offer Gragg or Terry. See how easy that was.

If only I could balance my checkbook that way. :roll:

Git er done Matt.


June 24th, 2005, 10:45 am
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jomo269 wrote:
Let's cut Walker, Edwards, Holmes and Wilkinson. Give Schulters a 2 year contract at about the same amount we gave McQ. Squeeze the turnip alittle more and see what we can offer Gragg or Terry. See how easy that was.

If only I could balance my checkbook that way. :roll:

Git er done Matt.


You assume Shulters won't get a healthier offer from other interested teams, and that he will automatically accept the same salary given to McQ. I think he may want more.

OK, who replaces Wilkinson? That would give us Rogers, Cody and Bell as our DT's, who becomes the fourth? Brandon Kennedy? I'd rather they renegotiated with Big Daddy than cut him outright. Holmes is still our best run stopping linebacker. I was never a fan of cutting him, unless Lehman wins the Mike spot outright, which I don't feel is happening. All reports I've heard out of camp is that Earl is still manning the starters spot in the middle and Lehman hasn't really offered a challenge to him. Lehman should be switched to working on the weakside to be the starter there. Leave Holmes in as the starter this year and draft a quality inside linebacker to replace him.

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June 24th, 2005, 11:15 am
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m2karateman wrote:
Leave Holmes in as the starter this year and draft a quality inside linebacker to replace him.


Ahmad Brooks or Kai Parham anyone? Also, Spencer Havner could be worth an early first day pick.


June 24th, 2005, 11:30 am
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