Top Tier Talent Still Available
Teams still seeking to fill holes after unrestricted free agency and the draft aren't out of luck just yet.
Come June 1, teams can cut veterans without taking the entire cap hit next season. There isn't expected to be a big rush for the names likely to be available, but there are a few early presents under the tree.
The market for two big names in particular -- cornerback Ty Law and linebacker Peter Boulware -- is beginning to heat up.
Law is being courted by Detroit, Miami and the New York Jets, among other teams. However, he's unlikely to sign in the real near future as suitors wait to see how his broken foot progresses.
"If healthy, Ty Law is still one of the best cornerbacks in the game," Browns head coach and former New England defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said.
Boulware is also coming off a serious injury. At age 30 and coming off toe and knee injuries that cost him all of last season, there is a very real risk factor with the former Ravens pass-rushing linebacker. But that didn't keep nine teams from contacting him within days of his release from Baltimore.
Seattle doesn't have much cap room, but might be willing to cut a few players to create the necessary space. The Seahawks are in dire need of an outside pass rusher, and in return Seattle offers Boulware the opportunity to play with younger brother Michael, a Seahawks starting safety. Seattle is in the market having released two of their own injured linebackers, Chad Brown and Anthony Simmons.
Brown, who was cut by Seattle in April, might have set the bar for veteran linebackers when he signed a two-year deal worth $2 million per season with the New England Patriots. But Boulware is much younger, so its reasonable to expect that he could command more money. In order for that to happen, NFL teams would have to be 100% convinced that hes healthy.
Another intriguing possible destination for Boulware is Cleveland. The Browns are looking to switch to the 3-4 defense, but lack the quick outside linebackers to pull it off successfully. They know Boulware possesses that quality -- heck, they've seen it firsthand twice a year since Boulware entered the league in 1997.
Is it worth spending a few million dollars on a 30-year-old linebacker who had shoulder issues to go with his other ailments? Well, of course ... according to his agent.
"He's healthy and when healthy he's one of the premiere pass rushers in the league," agent Roosevelt Barnes said.
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