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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Top 10 NFL Superstars Who Could Have A New Home In 2015

10.  WR Torrey Smith - Baltimore Ravens

Torrey Smith has played a nice role as the 2WR for the Baltimore Ravens.  Smith is deadly on post routes, and primarily will be sought by teams interested in his speed.  He has good hands for a speedy receiver, but it's his ability to stretch the field for the running game that makes him a valuable receiver.  There are concerns swirling around that Smith may be a one trick pony, and will struggle outside of Baltimore's offensive schemes.  This could be smoke and mirrors too.

9.  OLB Jason Worilds - Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh slapped Worilds with their franchise tag during the off-season, after he led the Steelers with 8.0 sacks last season.  Worilds is one of the top 3-4 pass rushing linebackers in the league.  He's only 26 years old, and has just recently begun to peak.  His services will be shopped by contending teams next off-season, which could be a factor in his leaving, considering the Steelers might miss the playoffs this season.  Pittsburgh may be tempted to tag him again, but they have other areas they must address first on their roster.

8.  DE Cliff Avril - Seattle Seahawks

Cliff Avril played a big part in the Seahawks success on defense last season, as they strolled their way to the Super Bowl Championship.  Avril is fast of the edges on both rushing and passing downs.  He also uses that speed to blind opposing offensive lineman when running stunts inside.  Avril is a player that can put up 10 sacks per season, so it's difficult to see him leaving a Super Bowl contender like the Seahawks.  However, with Michael Bennett continuing to play solid at the opposite end, his price tag could be more than Seattle cares to pay him, and it's unlikely they will slap him with a tag.

7.  RB Mark Ingram - New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram hasn't really fit into the Saints offensive system.  The Saints drafted the former Heisman Trophy winner, with hopes he would become the featured back on offense.  The Saints favor a more pass oriented offense, which doesn't allow for Ingram to fully unleash his abilities on the field.  Ingram will be an unrestricted free agent next off-season, and it's likely the Saints won't fight very hard to keep his services.  Ingram should be getting 200 or more carries per season, and his talents are wasting away in New Orleans.

6.  WR Jeremy Maclin - Philadelphia Eagles

Jeremy Maclin remains a difficult receiver to cover within Chip Kelly's high powered offense.  Maclin missed last season due to an injury, but he has returned to form this season, leading the Eagles with 27 receptions for just under 500 yards receiving, and 4 touchdown receptions.  Head coach Chip Kelly loves receivers with Maclin's abilities on the field, so it's likely the Eagles will do everything they can to retain him, including considering the franchise tag.  In the event the Eagles let him walk, he might be the second most sought after receiver in this class at only 26 years of age.

5.  TE Jordan Cameron - Cleveland Browns

Cleveland has made excellent progess as a team this season.  They will likely become big spenders in next's seasons' free agency class, as despite their success, they still need to place star players at key positions.  They alsan extension after next season, so there is a chance the team could allow the blossuming tight end to walk.  Cameron has good speed, and excellent lateral agility for a tight end, plus he also makes decent blocks on passing downs.  He will be a popular name in next years class.

4.  QB Brian Hoyer - Cleveland Browns

Brian Hoyer has given Cleveland the franchise quarterback they have sorely missed since re-joinging the league in 1999.  Hoyer has the Browns offense playing at a playoff contending level, and other teams are taking notice, thanks in large part to the fact he will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Now that the Browns are in the hunt for the AFC North Championship, right now is not the best time to start discussing free agency next season.  Backup quarterback, and first round pick, Johnny Manziel may have a differing opinion.  Manziel is all about his brand, and he doesn't feel he was  drafted to sit on the bench until Hoyer retires.  Thus, the Browns would have to trade Manziel if they re-sign Hoyer, or they will have to allow their best quarterback in almost two decades to walk after this season.

Hoyer's name will be at the top of most teams' list next off-season, like the St. Louis Rams or the New York Jets, for example, teams that are in desperate need for a quality passer.  Manziel is unproven, so letting Hoyer walk could backfire bigtime on the Browns.

3.  RB DeMarco Murray - Dallas Cowboys

DeMarco Murray has stepped up his play, looking to attract potential buyers next off-season, since he's in the final year of his contract with the Cowboys.  Prior to this season, Murray's performance was mixed as a starter for the Cowboys.  The team had offensive line issues during the past two seasons, which played a big part in his struggles out of the back field.

Dallas is in position to contend for the NFC East title this season, in addition to potentially making a run at the Super Bowl itself.  DeMarco Murray is still young (only 26), so their is plenty of upside still left for him at this level.  How far Dallas goes this season will be the difference maker in whether or not the Cowboys re-sign Murray or left him play elsewhere next season.

2.  DT Ndamukong Suh - Detroit Lions

Ndamukong Suh is a beast within the Lions defensive line.  He has good speed and agility for a defensive tackle, but his strength off the snap is the best in the league at the position.  While his play on the field is to be admired, his selfish and self indulged attitude away from the field is a big concern.

Rumors have already begun to swirl about Suh prefering to play in New York, or for a team located in a larger market than Detroit.  What makes Suh even more difficult for the Lions to retain, is the fact he will likely demand a league record contract for a defensive tackle.  Detroit also has Nick Fairley hitting free agency after the season, so it's important they retain at least one of their two defensive tackles.

Of course, Detroit always has the option to slap Suh with their franchise tag, but unless they are prepared to pay him an insanely large amount of money, it might not be worth it in the long run.

1.  WR Dez Bryant - Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant quickly developed into the franchise receiver the Cowboys had been missing since Irvin departed.  That may sound like a stretch, but it isn't in reality.  A large part of Tony Romo's success in recent years was due to Dez Bryant's receiving talents down field.  There's a reason Michael Irvin allowed him to wear his team retired 88 jersey, and gave Bryant his full 100% support.

Dallas is facing some big decisions following this season.  As with DeMarco Murray, their success this season will play a huge part in determing which direction the Cowboys choose to go.  If the team whiffs the remainder of this season, Jerry Jones could be tempted to rebuild.  However, if they make the playoffs, it's likely Jones will empty his wallety to keep his winning team intact.

It's hard to see a scenario taking place where Jones lets Bryant walk rather than trade or franchise him, but Bryant will be the top name on every team's board next off-season if he is allowed to test the waters of free agency.


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