And away we go…
Welcome to free agency in the uncapped year.
The market opened with a flurry of reports early Friday morning as several big-name free agents scheduled trips to meet with very interested teams. While it appears at the current moment that several of the marquee players looking for a new home won’t get a deal done within the next few hours, there is still plenty of action taking place around the country.
Among the highlights from early Friday morning…
1. Da Bears look to make a serious splash
Chicago is currently out in front in the race to land coveted free agent defensive end Julius Peppers, with the latest reports indicating that the former Carolina Panther will be in Chicago on Friday. NFP analyst Michael Lombardi had this to tweet:
“Peppers on his way to Chicago, not to visit but to sign deal. How many 1st visits do not result in a signing?Bears won.”
Rumors circulating around the league indicate that the Philadelphia Eagles dropped out of the race due to the price tag and that the Washington Redskins may no longer be interested as well.
In addition to Peppers, running back Chester Taylor is also rumored to be heading to Chicago to meet with the Bears.
2. Fish have first dibs on Dansby
The free agent linebacker is jumping on a plane bound for Miami and will meet with the Dolphins front office on Friday.
This match has been rumored for the last few weeks as the Dolphins are in need of linebacker help for their 3-4 scheme, with Dansby being the top 3-4 inside linebacker available on the market.
The New York Giants are also rumored to be in the market, but they may have other plans…
3. Antrel rolling into the Big Apple
Since Rolle was cut by the Cardinals on Thursday, he didn’t have to wait until the 12:01pm eastern deadline to sign with a new team.
Regardless, the Bears quickly emerged as the front-runners on Thursday evening, but have since dropped out of the race due to their pursuit of Peppers and Taylor.
According to Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins offered Rolle a five-year contract, but it wasn’t enough to lock up the veteran safety.
Rolle is getting on a plane headed for New York and will meet with the Giants on Friday. They may be willing to get a little closer to that $8 million per year price tag the safety is looking for.
With the Giants expressing such an interest in a safety like Rolle, you have to wonder what kind of shape Kenny Phillips is currently in.
4. Vanden Bosch to be reunited with Schwartz?
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz showed up at defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch’s house right at the start of free agency. The two have worked together before when Schwartz was the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans.
As of now, the Lions are the front-runners to land KVB’s services.
5. Baltimore is (shockingly) looking at wide receivers
According to our own Aaron Wilson, the Ravens are actively pursuing wide receiver Kevin Walter.
The seven-year veteran caught 53 passes for 611 yards with two touchdowns in 14 starts for the Houston Texans last season.
With Derrick Mason hitting free agency and the rest of the Ravens depth chart at the wideout position looking suspect at best, this could be Walter’s best fit.
6. Where’s the market for Antonio Bryant?
Haven’t heard a peep about Bryant tonight.
The guy caught 83 passes for 1,248 yards two years ago. Somebody has to be interested in that type of production.
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