Free agent outlook: Defensive ends

One story in a series of free agents by position that may warrant pursuing by other teams. Today – a look at defensive ends:

 

 

Chidi Ahanotu, Buffalo (unrestricted): He has been productive for most of his career but better rushing the passer than defending the run.

 

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Green Bay (restricted): The perception was that Gbaja-Biamila was better as a situational player. His production, however, did not decrease in 2002 when given the chance to starter 11 games.

 

Duane Clemons, Kansas City (rumored salary cap cut): He can still be an effective pass rusher but last year's declining performance raises a red flag.

 

Adrian Dingle, San Diego (unrestricted): His production increased last season but still must be used efficiently to maximize.

 

Hugh Douglas, Philadelphia (unrestricted): Definitely the best at this position among free agents and he figures to cash in heavily. Douglas has become equally tough against the run and pass. Buffalo has shown interest. 

 

Vonnie Holliday, Green Bay (unrestricted): Despite missing six games, Holliday would be a solid pickup for a club needing a strong-side end. NFC North rival Minnesota has shown interest.

 

Lance Johnstone, Minnesota (unrestricted): Johnstone enjoyed his best season since 1999 as an Oakland Raider. Don't be surprised if he's wearing Silver & Black for a second tour of duty.

 

Willie McGinest, New England (rumored salary cap cut): His production increased after a subpar 2001 season and could be a good pickup as a situational player, which would help keep him healthy.

 

Chike Okeafor, San Francisco (unrestricted): Performed decently after earning a starting job but does not provide enough to be a starter.

 

Carl Powell, Washington (unrestricted): Is versatile enough to play end or tackle but clearly is a better end.

 

Bryan Robinson, Chicago (rumored salary cap cut): Can still be an effective run stopped but his production dropped off in 2001.

 

Brad Scioli, Indianapolis (unrestricted): He blossomed playing in new head coach Tony Dungy's scheme so resigning him is a priority.

 

Willie Whitehead, New Orleans (unrestricted): He had never been a full-time starter but showed he could be effective in that role.

 

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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