Leading the list of needs is the cornerback position, where several big names will likely be there for the taking.
Below is an extensive list of free agent cornerbacks that should be available next week, including detailed notes and tidbits specific to each player.
Valley Ranch Insiders suggest the Cowboys will be much more willing to spend the money to sign a "top flight" cornerback this year, as opposed to selecting one in the 2005 draft.
Leading the list of early names to keep an eye on is Seattle's Ken Lucas, an underrated corner that should compliment Terence Newman extremely well. He also may not command the dollars of a Fred Smoot.
Smoot, the former Mississippi State star and current Washington Redskin, may be an option, but would likely come at a higher price.
|2005 Free-Agent Cornerbacks
A listing of the cornerbacks scheduled for NFL free agency in 2005. UFA=Unrestricted Free Agent; RFA=Restricted Free Agent; ERFA=Exclusive Rights Free Agent. For definitions of free-agent terms, click here. The "Best of the Bunch" is ranked by Scout.com's Lane Adkins. The "Rest of the Bunch" is sorted by free-agent type, then by most recent team. Comments provided for unrestricted free agents.
|BEST OF THE BUNCH|
|Player||Free-Agent Type||2004 Team|
|Woodson, simply put, is one of the top cornerbacks in the game. While the Raiders don't much want him back, he is the lesser of two highly talented cornerback evils and could be named the team's franchise player.|
|While Dyson is not a great cornerback he does have the skills to be one.A new home might benefit him.|
|Ken Lucas continues to fly under the radar screen, much like he has done over his entire career in Seattle.Lucas offers great size and speed and someone will sign him early.|
|Smoot is certainly a player on the rise in the eyes of most league observers. In the past he has rebuffed overtures from the Redskins for a contract extension and looks poised to cash in big as a free agent.|
|The Browns like Henry but remained puzzled by him.He will likely sign elsewhere.|
|Word is that the Ravens are planning on using their franchise tag on Baxter despite him coming off of a sub-par season in 2004. Baxter is a big phyical cornerback who if he is not tagged will get plenty of action early.|
|Though Beasley is getting long in the tooth, he provides a veteran cornerback with years of experience as a starter for a team that needs a veteran in the mix.|
|In 2003 Renaldo Hill was the talk of the Cardinals and looked poised to strike it big. He apparantly is not in coach Dennis Green's long term plans, though, and he looks like he will play elsewhere in 2005.|
|Harper is one of the Colts' best cornerbacks but he is also protected by the Colts cover-two scheme. Indianapolis wants him back but knows not to overpay to get him.|
|Craft has been a disappointment in New Orleans.|
|The Steelers would probably like to keep Williams, but they will not overpay for him.|
|Wright will likely stay in Houston.|
|Offers depth and special teams play.|
|Sanders offers prototype size and skills but has not lived up to expectations.|
|The Ravens probably want to keep Sanders.|
|Tate could re-sign in Arizona as a backup.|
|Williams is on his last legs, but might find a team willing to take a chance on him.|
|Sidney can also play safety.|
|REST OF THE BUNCH|
|Player||Free-Agent Type||2004 Team|
|McMillon will be an afterthought in free agency.|
|Spencer might move to the coaching ranks full-time now.|
|Ivy could get on as deep backup defensive back somewhere.|
|Stone can play safety as well.|
|Wyrick might generate some surprising interest.|
|Rossum will be a hot commodity moreso because of his special teams skills than his coverage skills.|
|Thomas never developed for the Jaguars.|
|Buckley could fit in as a veteran dimeback with a team looking to make a playoff run.|
|Horton will try and move on to greener pastures.|
|Carter might have to retire.|
|Walls will be a competant backup.|
|Dennis has good size and little else.|
|Bell is a depth player.|
|Simmons will re-sign if he can.|
|Ross is talented but his reputation may keep teams away.|