Rumors and speculation run wild in the off-season, but nothing compares to the action and frenzy of the free agent player signing period. The speculation is starting and Scout.com will be here to provide insight on what is being mentioned in league circles.
The Indianapolis Colts have not officially made a decision on unrestricted free agent running back Edgerrin James. The team and player have had a less-than-cordial relationship at times during James' tenure in Indianapolis and the team is facing financial uncertainty. As a result, the Colts have not expressed the desire expected in retaining a player of James' caliber. At this time, James appears poised to move on, with the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets being two teams being mentioned behind the scenes.
Although he is rehabbing from shoulder surgery, the San Diego Chargers and Drew Brees have engaged in discussions regarding the future of the quarterback in San Diego. The Chargers would like to retain Brees' services and appear to be relatively sure his shoulder will be sound prior to the 2006 season opener. While the San Diego organization has denied any interest in dealing backup Philip Rivers, we are hearing the team is behind Brees and would be willing to trade the second-year signal-caller for the right price, once Brees proves to be healthy. We hearing that the price is likely a first-round draft pick in the 2007 draft and the timing is sometime late in the summer.
The New York Jets are quietly looking at making a move at the running back position. Veteran Curtis Martin has been solid for the team, but will soon be 34-years of age and is coming off knee surgery. A new coaching staff and change of attitude within the New York organization may hasten Martin's departure.
A couple Lewises have been important fixtures for the Baltimore Ravens in recent years and both could find themselves new addresses for the 2006 season. While unlikely, linebacker Ray Lewis' name has been lobbed out in league circles as a player that could be on the move. Still wanting a reworked contract and getting up in age (32), Lewis is no longer considered to be the brutal, impact defensive wrecking machine he was just a short two seasons ago. The other Lewis, Jamal, is coming off a season which his production suffered and he did not endear himself to some within the organization. The Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans could be interested in the former rushing champion, if the price is right.
Defensive end John Abraham could be a hot commodity in the free agent market, if he gets that opportunity. Abraham, the New York Jets franchise player in 2005 could again be in line to receive the tag from the team. Coming to an agreement on a long-term deal has not been in the cards with the team and Abraham wants the opportunity to move on. The Patriots, Browns, Chargers, Redskins, and Bengals all have kept an ear to the ground in regards to Abraham's status.
One rumor which has made some rounds in recent days has the Minnesota Vikings trading quarterback Daunte Culpepper to the St. Louis Rams for a first-round draft selection, with the Rams then dealing quarterback Marc Bulger to the Miami Dolphins for an undisclosed draft selection.
Speaking of the Dolphins, it appears the Saban-led troops have an interest in oft-troubled free agent wide receiver Koren Robinson (Seattle and Minnesota). Also, Miami is believed to have an interest in free agent wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.
The Arizona Cardinals are looking for a starting caliber running back. Not sure if 2005 draftee J.J. Arrington has the physical makeup to be a starting running back, the team has quietly been breaking down the potential free agent market. Ahman Green and Jamal Lewis interest the team, but there has been an ongoing belief head coach Dennis Green will make a play for Minnesota's Michael Bennett.