Charting NFL free agency

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2012 - 10:26 PM
This is a particularly picky ranking of 15 premium players who will be available in free agency.

With the exception of four-time league MVP Peyton Manning, these players hit the market at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Manning also is an exception to most of the rules of thumb used to assemble this top 15.

Except for Manning, this top 15 doesn't include:

• Anyone older than 28. Sorry, Carlos Rogers (31) and Reggie Wayne (33).

• Any receiver older than 28 who wants in the neighborhood of $12 million a year. Sorry, Vincent Jackson (29).

• Running backs. They tend to age too quickly and good younger ones are plentiful. Sorry, Peyton Hillis.

• Anyone who was injured last season (call it our Javon Walker/Antonio Bryant Rule). Sorry, Mario Williams and LaRon Landry.

• Super Bowl heroes with inflated price tags (our Larry Brown Rule). Sorry, Mario Manningham.

• Quarterbacks with super-duper-short résumés (our Scott Mitchell Rule). Sorry, Matt Flynn.

• Restricted free agents who would cost a first-round pick. Sorry, Mike Wallace.

• Legal issues. Sorry, Jerome Simpson.

Here we go:

1. Peyton Manning, QB, unattached

If your doctors sign off on him and your team is a contender that lacks a leader, you hand the keys to Peyton.

2. Carl Nicks, LG, Saints

A dominant 6-5, 343-pound All-Pro and one of the league's top two guards. And he'll turn only 27 in May.

3. Brandon Carr, CB, Chiefs

A big cover corner coming off his best season and just entering his prime. He'll turn 26 in May.

4. Curtis Lofton, MLB, Falcons

Had 147 tackles and two interceptions last season. A leader who will be 26 when the season starts.

5. Ben Grubbs, LG, Ravens

A Pro Bowler and former first-round pick with 66 career starts. He'll be 28 when the season starts.

6. Cortland Finnegan, CB, Titans

Has a reputation for being moody and difficult. But he's physical, has 15 career interceptions and just turned 28.

7. Tracy Porter, CB, Saints

Remember him? The guy who caught Brett Favre's last throw in the 2010 NFC title game will be 26 this season.

8. Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts

A deep threat who caught a career-high 70 balls without Manning at QB last year. He'll be 26 this season.

9. Laurent Robinson, WR, Cowboys

Late-blooming deep threat who had 11 touchdowns in 2011. Will be 27 when the season starts.

10. Stephen Tulloch, MLB, Lions

Has 203 tackles playing for the Lions and Titans the past two seasons. He'll be 27 this season.

11. Jared Gaither, LT, Chargers

He's a risk. He's also a 6-9, 340-pounder who played well for the Chargers late last year. He turns 26 this month.

12. David Hawthorne, MLB, Seahawks

Has had 100-plus tackles in each of the last three years. Had three interceptions last year. Will be 27 this season.

13. Dwight Lowery, S, Jaguars

A safety with cornerback skills. Has eight interceptions the past three years. Turned 26 in January.

14. Pat Sims, NT, Bengals

A 6-2, 330-pound (or so) run plugger in the middle of a defense. Will be 26 this season.

15. Jason Jones, DL, Titans

A versatile 6-5, 276-pounder who has played tackle and end. Can rush the passer from both. He'll be 26 this year.

MARK CRAIG

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets 10 Top 9th Inning
Atlanta 2
Boston 3 Bottom 9th Inning
Baltimore 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox 10 Bottom 8th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Minnesota 2
Detroit 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Kansas City 4
Seattle 3 Top 7th Inning
Houston 4
Los Angeles 5 Top 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 4
Texas 0 Bottom 4th Inning
LA Angels 0
Philadelphia 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Oakland 2
San Francisco 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Diego 0
Arizona 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 4th Qtr 1:43
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 7 1st Qtr 4:00
Arizona 3
Denver 0 1st Qtr 10:33
Seattle 3
Kansas City 0 1st Qtr 10:40
Miami 0
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 2nd Half 25:00
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 7 2:53
Saskatchewan 3
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters
Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon
 
Close