Bills: New Quarterback to Be One of the Highest Paid Backups
The starting experience Ryan Fitzpatrick got last year with the Cincinnati Bengals really has paid off. A league source said he'll wind up being one of the highest paid backup quarterbacks.
Fitzpatrick's $1.820 million base salary for this season is guaranteed and if he sticks on the roster for all three years of his deal, he'll pocket at least $8.25 million and could make significantly more if winds up having to start a decent amount of games.
UPDATED THURSDAY 11:39 AM ET
Seahawks: Phillips Not Really an Option?
A league source told Scout.com that while the Seattle Seahawks have scheduled free agent SS Jermaine Phillips in for a visit, he's unlikely to sign with the team. Apparently, president and general manager Tim Ruskell was interested in him because he was familiar with him from his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, the coaches are happy with starting safeties Deon Grant and Brian Russell and would only interested in Phillips as a backup.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 7:33 PM ET
Eagles: Team Had Little Interest in Houshmandzadeh
While free agent WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh wound up signing with the Seattle Seahawks, the team he really wanted to sign with was the Philadelphia Eagles. A source said that the former Cincinnati Bengal had the Eagles as the top of his list and he was privately "pining" to join the team. The problem, however, was that Philadelphia had next to no interest in him. They're said to be looking for an outside receiver with size who can get down field--two things which Houshmandzadeh doesn't possess.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 11:13 AM ET
Falcons: Davis Gets Starter's Deal?
When the Atlanta Falcons re-signed DE Chauncey Davis to a four-year, $14.1 million deal earlier this week, it was assumed that Davis would be back in his usual backup role. However, with the money they're now going to pay him, he might be starting over former first-round pick Jamaal Anderson this season.
A league source said Davis will receive $5 million in guarantees ($3 million signing bonus, $2 million base salary guaranteed in 2009). Davis' cap number will rise each season and with his play from last season, it would be a surprise if he was used in more than a situational role. Davis was mostly used in pass rushing situations in the past with Anderson sliding inside on third downs.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 10:19 AM ET
Lions: Still Searching For Cornerback Help
Even though the Detroit Lions acquired CB Anthony Henry from the Dallas Cowboys and signed CB Eric King, a league source said the team is still trying to sign another cornerback.
The team remains interested in free agent CB Jabari Greer and other defensive backs.
UPDATED TUESDAY 1:37 PM ET
Broncos: Team Taking Risk With Dawkins' Signing
When the Denver Broncos signed FS Brian Dawkins to a five-year, $17 million deal last weekend, it sent shockwaves through the minds of Philadelphia Eagles fans. Many were wondering why the team wouldn't offer him such a deal.
According to a league source, Dawkins received a signing bonus of roughly $5.8 million and a base salary of $1.4 million for 2009 from Denver (about $7.2 million cap number for 2009). Here's why the Eagles probably decided not to offer him a similar a deal. Even if Dawkins decides to play only two seasons, he's not required to give back any of his signing bonus. So even if he gets hurt or decides to retire after just two seasons, he'll receive approximately $7.18 million from Denver no matter what ($9 million overall if he plays the second season). That's a high price to pay a player who is very close to the end of his career (he turns 36 in October). Another source said Dawkins will have one of the highest salary cap numbers of any safety for 2009.
Sources also said Dawkins has been essentially become a box player the past two seasons--especially in 2008. Meaning he's playing closer to the line of scrimmage and isn't as much in coverage--more reasons why Philadelphia wasn't going to overpay the safety.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, continues to look to someone to replace him. While the coaches remain high on S Quintin Demps, it's believed he's probably a year away from taking over the free safety job full time which explains why they offered James Sanders essentially a one-year deal. It's believed they will look to sign a veteran safety to a short-term deal who would groom Demps for the job.
UPDATED TUESDAY 12:47 PM ET
Browns: Team Still Looking For Safety and Cornerback Help
As Scout.com has noted a few times, the Cleveland Browns are looking for depth and upgrades in secondary.
Even if they wind up signing free agent Jabari Greer or some other cornerback, a source said the team probably will look to sign another veteran cornerback for depth purposes. Cleveland was woefully thin at the position last year. As Scout.com first reported last week, the team would have pursued CB Joselio Hanson had he not re-signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The team also remains interested in signing a strong safety after losing out on James Sanders and possibly another safety for depth purposes.
UPDATED TUESDAY 12:29 PM ET
Why Sanders Chose New England
When the New England Patriots were able to bring back S James Sanders with a three-year deal, some around the league were surprised since there was at least one better offer elsewhere.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Sanders received interest from the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, and Philadelphia Eagles in addition to New England.
Denver dropped out early after they signed free agent S Renaldo Hill.
Philadelphia actually offered a very competitive deal, but it was a high one-year contract with an option. Sanders was looking for more security and it's not a secret that the Eagles are looking for a safety to hold down the FS job until Quintin Demps is ready.
In the end, Cleveland actually offered a little more to Sanders than New England did, but the defensive back chose familiarity over money. This is a similar decision WR Randy Moss made last year when he re-signed with the Patriots and spurned a higher offer from the Eagles.
UPDATED TUESDAY 11:17 AM ET
Browns: Team Was Interested in Hanson?
A league source said had the Philadelphia Eagles not re-signed CB Joselio Hanson, the Cleveland Browns would have pursued the former undrafted free agent.
Hanson would have competed with CB Brandon McDonald for a starting job opposite CB Eric Wright had he signed with the Browns.
Cleveland is believed to be interested in signing at least one cornerback with meaningful playing experience during free agency.
UPDATED FRIDAY 1:50 AM ET
Rams: Brown to Visit?
A league source said free agent C Jason Brown will be visiting the St. Louis Rams over the weekend. The Rams have openings at center and right guard.
Brown was expected to visit the Washington Redskins some time on Friday.
UPDATED FRIDAY 12:57 AM ET
Rams: Bartell Out of Reach?
A league source said St. Louis Rams CB Ronald Bartell and team remain far apart on getting a deal done before the start of free agency this evening.
The source notes unless Bartell lowers his asking price, he'll be playing elsewhere in 2009 and beyond.
UPDATED THURSDAY 10:55 PM ET
Browns: Leonhard an Option?; Looking For Cornerbacks?
Should the Cleveland Browns not re-sign SS Sean Jones, a league source said Baltimore Ravens S Jim Leonhard could be an option to replace him.
According to the source, Cleveland general manager George Kokinis holds Leonhard in high regard.
In other related news, league sources said the team will look to sign a cornerback during free agency who could compete for playing time against CB Brandon McDonald who struggled a bit last season. At worst, whoever they sign would be no worse than their nickel back.
UPDATED THURSDAY 10:27 PM ET
Ravens: Lewis Expected to Stay?
According to a league executive, Baltimore Ravens MLB Ray Lewis is expected to re-sign with the team. The executive notes that talk around the league is that there really isn't a lot of interest in the 33-year old inside linebacker.
UPDATED THURSDAY 9:31 PM ET
Bengals: Houshmandzadeh Pushing For Philly?
While the Cincinnati Bengals continue to push to re-sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh, a league source indicated that the veteran receiver is pining to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, Philadelphia hasn't shown the same interest, according to league sources.
As mentioned earlier, Houshmandzadeh also could draw the interest of the San Francisco 49ers. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Houshmandzadeh has also been linked to the New York Giants and Chicago Bears, who both have the need for receiver help.
UPDATED THURSDAY 9:09 PM ET
Falcons: Brooking Voids Contract
A league source told Scout.com that Atlanta Falcons LB Keith Brooking has notified the team of his intention to void the final year of his contract, thus making him an unrestricted free agent on Friday. Brooking had to receive 35 percent of the defensive snaps in any of the first three years of his four-year deal to void the fourth season.
UPDATED THURSDAY 8:33 PM ET
Broncos: Team Expected to Chase Cornerbacks
According to league sources, the Denver Broncos are expected to pursue a cornerback to replace Dre' Bly, who was released recently.
However, the team is said to be looking for a younger replacement and could also look to the draft.
Denver currently has $37-$38 million in salary cap space, but will receive a cap credit of over $7 million from last season which will put their space to roughly $45 million.
UPDATED THURSDAY 8:10 PM ET
Falcons: New Destination For Tight End?
A league source told Scout.com that Philadelphia Eagles TE L.J. Smith, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on Friday, has drawn interest from the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta is said to be looking for an upgrade at the tight end position. Smith was not offered a contract from Philadelphia to re-sign.
UPDATED THURSDAY 5:19 PM ET
Bills: Another Team to Chase Brown?
A league source told Scout.com that the Buffalo Bills have a strong interest in Baltimore Ravens C Jason Brown.
With the release of LG Derrick Dockery, Buffalo has openings at left guard and center. As Scout.com noted in this space previously, Brown is capable of playing guard or center.
Sources believe the Washington Redskins are the front runners for Brown with the Miami Dolphins next and Buffalo third.
UPDATED THURSDAY 4:49 PM ET
49ers: Next Destination For Receiver?
A league source told Scout.com that if veteran WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh doesn't re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals by early Friday, his preference is to play on the West Coast for a team such as the San Francisco 49ers.
The source said there were two points of interest in him playing with San Francisco. Houshmandzadeh hails from California and the 49ers have a dire need for help at receiver.
San Francisco currently has around $18 million in salary cap space, but is expected to get over $14 million in cap credits, which would bring the total space available to around $32 million.
UPDATED THURSDAY 4:37 PM ET
Jaguars: Plenty of Cap Space Available
The Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of needs from both sides of the ball and they'll have plenty of money to spend. A league source said once they get a cap credit of $6.3 million from bonus money that DE Jeremy Mincey didn't achieve from last season, the team should have around $30 million in salary cap space.
UPDATED THURSDAY 4:16 PM ET
Jason Brown: Dolphins/Redskins Likely Suitors?
As Scout.com first noted several weeks ago, Baltimore Ravens C Jason Brown would be seeking a contract exceeding the six-year, $37.5 million deal Jeff Faine got from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.
Sources said last week at the NFL combine that Brown could get significantly more if other teams were interested in him playing guard instead.
As of Thursday afternoon, league sources indicated that the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars, who had been linked to Brown, were not going to pursue him.
The two teams linked to him lately have been the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.
With Washington, the team could choose to play him at left guard in place of Pete Kendall whose contract will expire on Friday.
As Scout.com first noted over a year ago, Miami wanted to move C Samson Satele to guard and was looking for an upgrade at the position. Miami, as of Wednesday evening, had around $20 million in salary cap space. However, that was before re-signing LB Channing Crowder and S Gibril Wilson. However, a league source said the team would getting over $16 million in cap credits from DT Jason Ferguson ($10.125 million) and S Renaldo Hill ($5.94 million).
UPDATED THURSDAY 3:49 PM ET
49ers: Yet Another Team With More Cap Space Than Expected
Like many teams around the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers will have cap credits adjusted to their 2009 salary cap.
RB DeShaun Foster ($7.187 million) and CB Donald Strickland ($7 million) will account for over $14 million in likely to be earned incentives which weren't met during the 2008 season, a league source told Scout.com. Both players are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on Friday.
Currently, San Francisco is scheduled to have at least $28 million in available salary cap space once the league adjusts their credits by Friday. The team could save even more cap space once OT Jonas Jennings is released, as expected and they restructure QB Alex Smith's contract. The former first pick overall in the 2005 draft carries a cap figure of over $12 million.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 5:47 PM ET
Colts: Clark Restructures to Clear Up Cap Space
Many around the league were surprised when the Indianapolis Colts were able to sign CB Kelvin Hayden to a lucrative contract last week.
A league source indicates that the team recently converted TE Dallas Clark's $8.2 million roster bonus into a signing bonus and by doing so, they were able to spread the money over five seasons. This move helped clear up additional cap space needed to secure Hayden.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 10:11 AM ET
Bills: Plenty of Cap Space Available?
The Buffalo Bills have various needs on both sides of the ball and should have around $20 million available in salary cap space at the start of free agency, a league source told Scout.com.
Going into free agency, Buffalo has needs at center, wide receiver, tight end, and defensive end.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 9:49 AM ET
Panthers: Delhomme to Get Roster Bonus; Extension Possible
Carolina Panthers QB Jake Delhomme is due a $1 million roster bonus on Friday and a league source told Scout.com that the team will not only pay the bonus, but it's possible they'll start looking at signing him to a contract extension.
Delhomme, who is on the final year of his contract, carries a salary cap number of just over $11 million and the source notes the team may look to lower that number by extending his deal.
UPDATED TUESDAY 7:36 PM ET
Colts: Manning's Contract Will End Early
Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning carries a huge salary cap number (just over $21million) and a league source tells Scout.com that Manning's contract will void after the 2011 season since he met minimum playing levels needed to end his contract one year early (he was signed through 2012).
UPDATED TUESDAY 7:29 PM ET
Cardinals: LaBoy's Future Secure?
When the Arizona Cardinals signed DE/OLB Travis LaBoy to a five-year, $22 million deal last March, they felt they found a solid pass rusher. However, LaBoy was plagued by injuries almost all of the 2008 season and missed three games and wind up losing his starting job to veteran DE/OLB Bert Berry, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.
The Cardinals have over $30 million in projected salary cap available once the league year starts on Friday so LaBoy's job might still be safe. However, a league source told Scout.com that he's due a $1.5 roster bonus which could put his status in jeopardy. Should Arizona decline the roster bonus, LaBoy will still have pocketed $6.5 million.
UPDATED TUESDAY 7:09 PM ET
Bears: Team in Good Cap Shape
A league source notes the Chicago Bears in good cap shape with around $19-$20 million currently available. They'll get about $9.7 million back in cap space once the league recalculates their cap credits by the start of free agency on Friday, pushing their available space to around $29-$30 million.
UPDATED TUESDAY 6:56 PM ET
Many Teams Looking For Cornerbacks
The buzz at the NFL combine was that plenty of teams are looking for cornerbacks. Specifically, there are about 12 teams expected to pursue veteran free agent cornerbacks starting on Friday.
That list includes: Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
UPDATED TUESDAY 3:47 PM ET
Bengals: Scott a Possibility?
A league source notes that if the Baltimore Ravens aren't able to reach a contract agreement with LB Bart Scott by early Friday morning, a surprise team that could show interest in him are the Cincinnati Bengals.
If signed, Jones probably would replace MLB Dhani Jones, who turned 31 last week. Jones is capable of backing up at all three linebacker spots. Other reports have Scott linked to the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
Meanwhile, the team is continuing to make a run at re-signing T.J. Houshmandadeh. One of the reasons why the team is more interested than expected in re-signing the veteran receiver is due to the lack of development of WR Jerome Simpson. A 2008 second-round pick, Simpson seemed lost at times last season and a source said he lacked even a working knowledge of the playbook.
UPDATED TUESDAY 3:23 PM ET
Vikings: Team Looking for Nickel Back?
A league source notes than when free agency starts on Friday, the Minnesota Vikings will be looking for a nickel back. Last season's nickel back, Charles Gordon, is a restricted free agent and is coming off of a broken ankle.
Possibilities include veteran cornerbacks such as Dre Bly, Leigh Bodden, and Drayton Florence. A source said had Philadelphia Eagles CB Joselio Hanson not re-signed last week, Minnesota would probably have made a run to sign him once free agency started on Friday morning.
UPDATED MONDAY 2:16 PM ET
Ravens: Ray to Dallas Talk Legit?
Plenty of rumors have been flying the Baltimore Ravens MLB Ray Lewis will wind up playing with the Dallas Cowboys next season. A league source told Scout.com that the inside linebacker has been telling some of his teammates that he'll playing with Dallas next season because Baltimore still hasn't been willing to pay him market value. Plus, as the source notes, long-term defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is gone and the new defensive head man, Greg Mattison, just spend his first season with the team in 2008.
UPDATED MONDAY 2:11 PM ET
Ravens: Brown Not Expected to Return?
As Scout.com noted on Friday, Baltimore Ravens C Jason Brown could receive significant interest in the free agent market because of his ability to play guard. With that being the case, a league source said he would be "shocked" if Brown re-signed with the team because interest in Brown's services should be high starting next Friday.
UPDATED SATURDAY 10:43 AM ET
Vikings: Garcia an Option?
As Scout.com noted back during Senior Bowl week, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to add another quarterback to the roster at some point and league sources believe that player will wind up being Jeff Garcia.
The veteran signal caller has played all but one of his 10-year career in the West Coast offense so he'd be a natural fit for Minnesota's offensive scheme. If Garcia is added, that could be an end to veteran QB Gus Frerotte's tenure with the team. Frerotte has a salary cap number of $2 million for 2009.
UPDATED SATURDAY 10:43 AM ET
Eagles: McNabb Situation To Protect Both Sides?
While many have speculated that Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb will receive a contract extension, a league source with knowledge of the team's thinking told Scout.com that McNabb could be offered few different options.
McNabb has five years left on his contract, but the final three will void because he met a minimum playing time requirement (35%) that was needed in just one season of his deal.
McNabb's content, according to sources, is that the team could easily cut him
and actually save a good amount of cap space, so he'd like the team to suffer
should they cut him. A source said one of the options is to guarantee his $9.2
million base salary for 2009 and add a roster bonus for 2010. If he plays well
in 2009, they'll be more willing to pick up the bonus for the following season.
This way, the risk is on both sides, not just one.
UPDATED SATURDAY 10:29 AM ET
Dolphins: Bell Next on the List?
With the Miami Dolphins being able to re-sign starting ORT Vernon Carey on Friday, the team is expected to turn their attention to re-signing SS Yeremiah Bell, a league source told Scout.com.
The source adds Carey was their top priority to re-sign with Bell then possibly CB Andre' Goodman next.
UPDATED FRIDAY 5:23 PM ET
Falcons: Brooking's Future Undecided
As Scout.com first reported several weeks ago, the final year of Atlanta Falcons WLB Keith Brooking's contract could be voided if he played in at least 35% of the team's defensive snaps in any season of his four-year deal.
When asked by Scout.com about Brooking's future, general manager Tom Dimitroff said Brooking still had to make a decision if he wanted to be back, which leads us to believe Brooking hadn't given the team notice of his decision to void the final season just yet.
UPDATED FRIDAY 5:05 PM ET
Ravens: Brown Could Get Guard Money
While many have speculated that Baltimore Ravens' Jason Brown could wind up being the highest paid center in the league shortly after free agency starts, a league source said many teams are actually interested in him playing at guard. And if that happens, it's possible he'll wind up making a lot more money.
Other sources believe he'll wind up receiving interest from the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and possibly a few other teams to play center.
As noted over the past few seasons, Miami has not been satisfied with the play of C Samson Satele and plan to move him to guard.
Jacksonville's starting center, Brad Meester, is unsigned for 2009 and they have no one on the roster who is slated to replace him.
UPDATED FRIDAY 4:52 PM ET
Vikings: Team to Talk to Meet With Birk's Representative
Amid various reports that Minnesota Vikings C Matt Birk has played his last down for the team, his agent, Joe Linta, is expected to meet with the team today to discuss his contractual situation, Scout.com has confirmed.
Birk's contract will expire next Friday.
UPDATED FRIDAY 12:03PM ET
Jaguars: Barnes Approached About Re-signing
While Jacksonville Jaguars OLT Khalif Barnes will be playing elsewhere in 2009, a source with knowledge of the situation told Scout.com that the team recently approached him with a short-term deal.
Meanwhile, Barnes is looking for a long-term deal and is expected to look to sign elsewhere once free agency gets underway next Friday.
UPDATED FRIDAY 12:03PM ET
Bears: Garcia Unlikely
While the Chicago Bears are expected to sign a veteran quarterback to compete for the starting job against Kyle Orton, a team source told Scout.com that it's unlikely they'll pursue Jeff Garcia.
The team is said to prefer quarterbacks who have a strong arm and that's not a trait which Garcia possesses.
UPDATED FRIDAY 11:39AM ET
Vikings: Robinson Might Have Been Targeted
If the Houston Texans didn't use their non-exclusive franchise tag on CB Dunta Robinson, league sources believe the Minnesota Vikings would have shown interest in the former first-round pick out of the 2004 draft.
With veteran CB Antoine Winfield's contract set to expire after the 2009 season, Minnesota will be looking for his eventual replacement so any interest in Robinson makes sense.
UPDATED FRIDAY 10:51 AM ET
Steelers: Colon Could Receive Solid Interest
Pittsburgh Steelers ORT Willie Colon is set to be a restricted free agent next Friday. In discussions with a few league executives, there's a belief that the former fourth-round pick out of the 2006 draft could draw attention of several teams.
The key for any potential interest in Colon will be at what level he's tendered at. Should he receive a second-round tender, it's believed at least five to six teams that need help at right tackle or guard could pursue him. Should he get a first-round tender, which many believe he'll receive, teams probably will pass on him.
UPDATED FRIDAY 9:59 AM ET
Buccaneers: Team Still Loaded With Cap Space
Despite placing their franchise tag on WR Antonio Bryant, a league source told Scout.com that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have plenty of salary cap space left.
After the move, which will cost $9.88 million against the cap, Tampa Bay will still have $33-$35 million left available to spend. Part of that big number can be attributed to DE/OLB Patrick Chukwuhrah who had over $10 million in likely to be earned incentives which weren't achieved. The source notes that the money will be resolved as a cap credit once the league recalculates the cap numbers prior to the start of free agency next week.
Chukwurah signed with Tampa Bay late last season and didn't suit up for one game.
UPDATED 3:29 PM ET
Should Crowell not be re-signed, the team is expected to look in free agency or to the draft for his replacement. What makes Crowell attractive to other teams is his ability to play SLB or WLB.
Crowell missed the entire 2008 season after not missing a game the season before.
UPDATED 3:15 PM ET
Browns: Many Decisions Coming up For Team
The Cleveland Browns have a new coaching staff and will be facing many contractual issues on several key players coming up before free agency starts next Friday.
After several recent roster moves, a league source said the team has just over $10 million left in available salary cap space.
Here's a look some of the key players who have roster bonuses due either right before or right after the start of free agency:
1) QB Derek Anderson-$5 million roster bonus/salary cap number-over $8.8 million
Analysis: Look for the team to feverishly try to deal him before the bonus is due since Brady Quinn is slated to remain as their starting quarterback.
Teams that could have interest: Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets
2) RB Jamal Lewis-$4 million roster bonus/salary cap number-over $6.5 million
Analysis: The expectation is that the team will draft a back who could eventually become the starter at running back, but there's a better than 50-50 chance that they keep Lewis around for another season.
3) WR Donte' Stallworth-$4.75 million roster bonus/salary cap number-over $6.4 million
Analysis: There's next to no chance that Stallworth will be paid his robust bonus because of his injury history and underperformance.
4) DE Corey Williams-$6 million roster bonus/salary cap number of over $8.8 million.
Analysis: This one is going to interesting. Cleveland traded for Williams last year, but his performance was somewhat disappointing. However, he dealt with a lingering shoulder injury last season.
The belief is that Williams will remain on the team because of his talent and upside, plus they really don't have anyone who is on the roster who is ready to replace him.
UPDATED 2:09 PM ET
Cardinals: Warner to Play?
While he hasn't announced whether he'll play in 2009, a league source who knows Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner well said while it's far from a lock, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent probably will delay retirement at least for one more season.
Even with their franchise tag being placed on LB Karlos Dansby, Arizona still has over $27 million left in available salary cap space.
Warner is expected to remain in the Arizona area well after his playing days are over.
UPDATED 1:14 PM ET
Vikings: Was Team Prepared to Offer Big Money to Gross?
With the news that the Carolina Panthers were close to re-signing OT Jordan Gross to a six-year deal, a few league sources said the Minnesota Vikings were prepared to make the former first-round pick a significant free agent offer.
Gross, according to sources, was Minnesota's top rated player on their free agency board and they had planned to play him at right tackle, a position which has been a revolving door for the team.
The other team that sources indicated would go after Gross was the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia, as noted previously, has an enormous amount of cap space available and are looking for help at both offensive tackle spots.
UPDATED 11:31 AM ET
Giants: Ware Could Replace Ward
When free agency starts next Friday, New York Giants RB Derrick Ward is not expected to re-sign, leaving a job opening in back of starter Brandon Jacobs, who received the team's franchise tag.
While many have speculated Ahmad Bradshaw will take over that role, a team source said seldom used RB Danny Ware could actually be the best fit.
Ware has a similar build to Ward and the source adds that should Jacobs get hurt, Ware would be best suited to handle the starting job since they use more of a power rushing game. Bradshaw is seen more as a change of pace based on his skill set.
UPDATED 11:23 AM ET
Dolphins: More Cap Space Available Than Anticipated
The Miami Dolphins currently have around $20 million in available cap space, but a league source told Scout.com that they'll have an additional $10 million coming next week.
Jason Ferguson had over $10 million in bonus money included in his contract last season which he didn't achieve. That money will be carried over as a cap credit pushing their available cap space in reality to over $30 million.
UPDATED 10:46 AM ET
Chargers: Big Receiver to Get Big Attention?
With the receiver position looking pretty weak for free agency, multiple league sources told Scout.com that San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd could receive plenty of attention starting next Friday when the free spending begins.
Floyd, who is set to become a restricted free agent, only caught 27 passes last season. However, scouts love that he runs well (17.2 yards per catch) for his size (6'5").
The key will be what level the team tenders him at. It's believed they'll tender him at least at a second-round level. Even so, teams that are looking for immediate receiver help still could show significant interest because many believe he's ready to be a starter.
UPDATED 10:26 AM ET
Eagles: Philly to have the Most Cap Space?
If the Philadelphia Eagles decide they want to sign a few key free agents, they'll certainly have the salary cap space to do so.
A league source told Scout.com that Philadelphia will have more than $48 million in available cap space once the league adds cap credits from last season.
Philadelphia currently has around $30 million in cap space, but will get an additional $18 million or more from three players.
FB Dan Klecko ($10 million), G/T Chris Patrick ($7 million), and WLB Akeem Jordan ($1 million) make up the additional cap resources based on likely to be earned incentives which weren't achieved.
UPDATED 9:48 AM ET
Titans: Scaife Negotiations Pick up Steam
One way or the other, Tennessee Titans TE Bo Scaife may not make it to free agency.
Sources close to the negotiations said both sides were exchanging proposals as of late Wednesday evening and it's possible both sides will continue to negotiate up to Thursday's 4:00 PM ET deadline for franchise/transition tag designations. However, there was still considerable distance between two sides and unless major progress is made, they'll likely use their franchise designation on the former sixth-round pick out of the 2005 draft.
UPDATED 9:37 AM ET