Long-time Panthers TE Kris Mangum announced his retirement today…
Where Will They Go (Part II)
Wide Receiver Donte' Stallworth/UFA/Philadelphia Eagles - When healthy, there aren't many receivers that can stretch the field like Stallworth, who had a 19.1/catch average in 2006. But the key point is when he's healthy. During the first two years of his career with the New Orleans Saints, Stallworth had repeated hamstring problems. He did a good job of managing that issue over the following two seasons but they hampered him again and he wound up missing four games last season. He's unlikely to re-sign with Philadelphia because it's believed Stallworth will want $10-$12 million in signing bonus money which some teams also may scoff at. Possibilities: New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans Analysis: With the veteran WR Amani Toomer coming off of an ACL injury, the Giants lacks a solid option opposite WR Plaxico Burress. Minnesota doesn't have a starting quality receiver on their roster currently so Stallworth could give them that and more. The 49ers don't really have a good solid starting receiver so Stallworth makes sense here. Keep in mind that the Patriots came close to acquiring him prior to last season. If they had a linebacker to trade to New Orleans, Stallworth could have been headed to New England. Because of the seriousness of veteran WR David Givens' knee injury and the free agent status of WR Drew Bennett, Tennessee badly needs help at the position. They also have a lot of cap space. Drew Bennett/UFA/Tennessee Titans - The team would like to re-sign Bennett but both sides are far apart on his value. With that said, Bennett is expected to fit the free agent market on Friday. He's only had one really good season (2004) but is pretty athletic and can stretch the field well. Possibilities: Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs Analysis: Tennessee is still trying to get him re-signed before Friday but there's only about a 25 percent chance that they'll get it done sources say. Bennett is good running after the catch and would be a good fit for the West Coast offense that Philadelphia and Minnesota use. The 49ers badly need help at receiver and Bennett would be a good fit for their down field passing game. New England is another team that badly needs help at receiver and he would start for them. It's not a secret that Kansas City needs help at receiver so Bennett could draw some interest there. Kevin Curtis/UFA/St. Louis Rams - It looked liked he was on the verge of stardom two years ago but Curtis wasn't used as much after the team made a coaching change prior to last seaon. Some see Curtis as a slot receiver so that could be an issue in him getting paid top dollar. But then again, it's a weak free agent class so he should receive plenty of interest. Possibilities: Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans Analysis: It's not a secret that Detroit OC Mike Martz would like to have him and they could use another receiver to fit in their scheme. Minnesota head coach Brad Childress said last week at the combine that Curtis was the top receiver in free agency. Whether it's a smoke screen or not, Minnesota needs receivers badly and Curtis is fast and tough. Mid-Level Ashley Lelie/UFA/Atlanta Falcons - There's no question that he's underachieved a bit but Lelie can get deep so he'll draw some interest and he won't cost much. His receivers coach with Atlanta, George Stewart, is now with Minnesota. The Philadelphia Eagles had some interest in him last year before he was dealt to Atlanta. Travis Taylor/UFA/Minnesota Vikings - He had arguably his best season of his seven-year career but Minnesota, sources say, will not be re-signing him. He's basically a good slot receiver at his point. D.J. Hackett/RFA/Seattle Seahawks - He's probably the most intriguing wide receiver out there but he's restricted which makes things tricky. It's not a real surprise that Seattle is looking to deal veteran WR Darrell Jackson despite denials to the contrary. Hackett can really stretch the field and he has pretty good hands. In limited playing time the past two seasons, he has really opened some eyes. As scout.com discussed last week, Hackett will likely be tendered at first-round or second-round level. A first-round tender could have other teams shying away but if he gets a second-round tender, Hackett could receive significant interest. Minnesota, who badly needs help at receiver, is a possibility and he would be a a good fit for their offense. Bobby Engram/UFA/Seattle Seahawks - He has the illness that he dealt with last season under control and Seattle would like to re-sign him and Engram is one of head coach Mike Holmgren's favorite players. He's a little younger version of New England's Troy Brown. Tight End Daniel Graham/UFA/New England - During Senior Bowl week in 2002, Graham put himself on the map with an excellent showing as a receiver at his position. Unfortunately, that might have been the last time he dominated the competition in the passing game. Graham has become one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL but hasn't been given much a chance as a receiver and has battled through various injuries over his five seasons of play and hasn't played more than 14 games in any of them. Possibilities: New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Denver Broncos Analysis: As scout.com first reported last week, Graham would receive solid interest during free agency due in part to a weak class of players available. The teams mentioned from the list above were the final three. New Orleans has a big need for a younger tight end that's versatile and Graham fits the bill nicely. Minnesota is expected to release at least one of their veteran tight ends and Graham would be a nice fit for their West Coast offense. Keep in mind they were interested in selecting University of Wisconsin TE Owen Daniels in last year's draft so they clearly have a need at this position. Mid-Level Jerramy Stevens/UFA/Seattle Seahawks - The former first-round pick has been an underachiever but clearly has some upside and is a big target but has inconsistent hands. Seattle hasn't shown much interest in re-signing him. Eric Johnson/UFA/San Francisco 49ers - The oft-injured veteran still can catch the ball well but isn't much of a blocker. San Francisco has expressed some interest in re-signing him as the backup to Vernon Davis. Reggie Kelly/UFA/Atlanta Falcons - He does one thing well and that's block. The team does have interest in re-signing him but if they pass on him, he should find a job quickly. Kyle Brady/UFA/Jacksonville Jaguars - He's clearly on the downside of his career but Brady can still block well and should find a home somewhere.
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