Top 10 2012 NFL Free Agents
Heading down the final stretch of the NFL season, there are many teams already out of the playoffs. As these teams look to build up their roster for next year, one key will be the 2012 NFL Free Agents. With head coaches already being fired, GM’s will be scouting all the potential free agents for the rest of the season.
On the other end of the spectrum, the NFL players who will be free agents, must prove in the final weeks that they deserve a higher paying contract.
Lets take a look at the Top 10 NFL Free Agents for 2012:
1) Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
The current New Orleans Saints quarterback will be the most sought after free agent in 2012. Brees has been carving up secondaries all season and has already thrown for 4,368 yards, to go along with 32 touchdowns.
It would be a huge mistake if the Saints don’t break the bank for Brees in the offseason. At 32 years old, Brees will be looking for a long-term deal, and should get offers from many teams who are looking for a huge upgrade at quarterback.
2) Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Foster will become a restricted free agent for the Houston Texans at the end of the year. Being that Foster will only be 25 years old at the start of the 2012 season, Houston will make sure they hold on to their young running back and lock him down with a long contract.
With 957 rushing yards on the season, Foster ranks 8th in the NFL, even with the two games he has missed. Foster is a duel threat out of the back-field and still has plenty left in those young legs.
3) Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Currently under contract with the Baltimore Ravens, Rice is one of the best all-around backs in the NFL today. Rice has already topped 1,000 rushing yards this season, which will mark his third straight season going over the century mark.
Rice will be demanding a long-term deal, with a huge salary, as he is still only 24 years old. I can’t imagine the Ravens will let their best player on offense walk in free agency.
4) Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears
Forte was on his way to having his most productive season in his young NFL career before suffering an MCL sprain in his right knee. The current Chicago Bears running back has not ruled out returning for the playoffs, if the Bears make it, which doesn’t look good right now.
Forte has not been treated very well in Chicago since asking for a new contract earlier this year. If GM Jerry Angelo doesn’t offer his star running back a new contract, it would be a huge blunder by the Bears. Look for Forte to test the market, as he’s not very happy in his current situation.
5) Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Wallace will be a restricted free agent in the coming year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wallace already has 1,034 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. This is his second year he has toppled 1,000 yards receiving, as he ended the year last season with 1,257.
Pittsburgh has never had a deep threat quite like Wallace. He forces the safeties to play very deep to protect against his deep speed, which in turn opens up the middle of the field. Wallace will definitely be getting paid in the off season, but the question is will it be the Steelers?
6) Carl Nicks, RG, New Orleans Saints
At 6’5” and 343 pounds, Nicks is one of the premier guards in all the league. The former 5th round pick is surely to see a lot of money thrown his way this offseason.
The New Orleans Saints might find it difficult to sign one of the best guards in the NFL. If Nicks doesn’t offer a hometown discount, I can see Nicks receiving better offers outside of New Orleans.
7) Robert Mathis, DE, Indianapolis Colts
Mathis has been one of the Indianapolis Colts most consistent players on defense. Mathis has had at least 7 or more sacks in eight straight seasons.
With Indianapolis already committing $14 million to Dwight Freeney next year, expected Mathis to look elsewhere if he wants Freeney type money. Mathis still has 5-6 good years left, so expect him to sign a very lucrative deal in free agency.
8) Brent Grimes, CB, Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons will have to shell out big money if they want to retain one of the best young defensive backs in the league. Grimes ranks fifth in tackles for the Falcons, and leads the team in pass deflections with 12.
Grimes has missed the last two weeks after suffering a knee injury in week 12, but it is not expected to be serious. Atlanta can’t afford to lose Grimes this offseason, so expect Atlanta to throw big money at the talented cornerback.
9) Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Dwayne Bowe will be the top priority for the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason. Bowe is an excellent big-bodied receiver, who excels in the redzone. After 13 games, Bowe has amassed 65 catches for 937 yards.
With Jamaal Charles expected back for training camp next season, Kansas City cannot afford to lose their best receiver. Bowe will be on the radar for many teams during free agency, but I can’t imagine the Chiefs letting him go elsewhere.
10) DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
After two promising seasons in a row, Jackson has not been the type of player the Philadelphia Eagles expected in 2011. Jackson is on pace for a career low in receiving yards and has only 3 touchdowns this season, compared to 9 last season.
Jackson has not been happy with the Eagles front office this season, and it has shown on the field. I don’t picture Jackson being back with the Eagles next year, but crazier things have happened.