With the restricted free agent tenders made, here’s a list of some players that could see some offer sheets headed their way based on the tender level they were given by their current club.
OT Jared Gaither – Baltimore – He was tendered by the Ravens at teh first round level. The left tackle is 6’9″ 340 pounds and just 23-years old. Yet he has 28 starts under his belt and is widely being considered a sure fire Pro Bowl talent in a year or two. If there’s a team in the bottom half of the first round that needs a tackle (see: Green Bay 23rd pick) I’d strongly consider making an offer to this guy and see what Baltimore does.
QB Troy Smith – Baltimore – The backup for the Ravens just hasn’t had much time on the field, but he’s got a strong arm despite being undersized. If there’s a team with no clear cut starter and they’re ready to go to camp with an open competition, they might consider adding a guy like Smith when the cost is just a 5th rounder.
S Danieal Manning – Chicago – I realize it’s a deep draft for safeties, but if you want to solidify the middle of your secondary Manning might be worth it for a third-round pick. He’s 27 and played FS, SS and can even play some CB in a pinch. He’s coming off a career season.
TE Tony Scheffler – Denver – Again I don’t know if I’m a team drafting in the top half of rounds that I’d be willing to give up a 2nd round pick for Scheffler, but if I’m a team like Cincinnati I’m thinking about it. Team him up with Carson Palmer and you could have something really special there in the pass game.
QB Tavaris Jackson – Minnesota – With Brett Favre’s future again in doubt, the Vikings didn’t show Jackson much love tendering him at the original level. But because they tendered some other RFAs on their roster at the second round level, Jackson’s original draft round doesn’t apply (2nd), so he would cost a team a third round pick. I’m not saying I would do it, but with a thin QB class in the draft this year you wonder.
OT Jermon Bushrod – New Orleans – Bushrod did a great job filling in for injured starter Jammal Brown at left tackle all season for the Super Bowl champion Saints. At 6’5″ 315 and just 25, some team might consider forgoing a 2nd round pick to land him, knowing the tackle run in the draft is going to start early.
RB Pierre Thomas – New Orleans – Thomas really benefited from the exposure he got in the Saints high-powered attack and he was a vital cog. At just 25 there’s a lot of tread left on his tires. It’s a good RB class in the draft, but you’d know what you’re getting in Thomas for a 2nd round pick as compensation.
ILB Kirk Morrison – Oakland – Tendered at just a third-round level, Morrison does nothing but produce. Over 115 tackles in each of his five NFL seasons, it might be hard to pry the Oakland native out of his hometown, but if you need help in the middle this guy can provide it.
OLB Chris Gocong – Philadelphia – The Eagles tendered him at the low level as he’s never really been a good fit in their 4-3 defensive scheme. At 6’2″ and 263 the 26-year old is a better fit in a 3-4 as an OLB, and since he probably knows that it’s likely he would be open to going to a 3-4 team. All he costs is a third rounder.
G Rob Sims – Seattle – The Ohio State product has 34 career starts under his belt. He missed almost all of the 2008 season, but came back to start 14 games for the Seahawks last year. A steady player that a team can rely on might be worth a 4th-round pick, especially with a draft class that’s light on interior linemen.
Tags: NFL free agency
Posted in Inside the Bills