lots of players moving around… or will they stay with their present team? The crew bandies about some ideas on some of the players who are entering free agency.
Plus, which college QB will go first in the draft?
It’s all in this week’s NFLRT… now…
1) Martellus Bennet is ready to enter into free agency … (1) what are the chances he remains with the Patriots, and, (2) if he doesn’t stay with the Patriots, then where do you see him winding up?
Chad: I don’t him staying in NE because I don’t see them re-signing him to a long-term deal or taking a discount to tag team with Gronk.
I think, he winds up where the most money is since I don’t think he cares about the situation (being on a team competing for a championship) since he has a ring now.
Dan: Martellus Bennett has come out and told the media on Twitter, and other sources, that he will test free agency. Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t come back to New England, but, according to Spotrac, he’s projected to make around $6 million a year on his new contract. I think the price is going to be too steep for the Patriots and they will let him walk. A lot of New England fans have been calling for Bennett to take a pay cut, but, he doesn’t like that.
There are two options I have for Bennett, with a possible third, although the third is a stretch in my opinion.
He could go to the Dolphins. It’s a tad of a stretch due to their recent acquisition of Julius Thomas but I think Gase and the rest of the Dolphins’ front office will realize that Thomas can’t block and doesn’t. Bennett would fit perfectly in that offense.
Another option is Jacksonville, giving them a solid tight end play and a huge boost to the offense.
And, the final team I have is the Los Angeles Rams. He would give Jared Goff some help in the receiving department. The New York Giants could also be looking for some tight end up and he’s an option to going there. I think the two teams who it will come down to are the Miami Dolphins and the Jaguars (with New England in the mix but bowing out just before he signs).
Earl: Martellus Bennett will not be back with the Patriots. Why? They aren’t going to pay him what he is going to get in free agency to be the 2nd tight end on the team. They will just plug someone in and they will be fine.
So, with that said where does Martellus go? My guess is the Giants bring him back. Eli needs a tight end and the Giants already know what Martellus can do.
2) Adrian Peterson has spent his entire career with the Vikings. He has an $18 million option for 2017, with a $6 million roster bonus due on March 11.
Should the Vikings ask him to rework that deal or just be done with it all and simply release him outright?
(Editor’s Note: Since this question was posed to the Roundtable crew it has been announced the Vikings will let Peterson go.)
Chad: Cut ties and be done with him so that the Vikings can move forward Peterson is on the back nine of his career has had severe injuries
Dan: The Vikings have already said that Adrian Peterson will become a free agent. I think that’s a good move by Minnesota and that was what they should’ve done. He’s struggled with injuries the past couple of seasons and last season, when he was healthy, he struggled mightily in the games he played. He’s had a great career, but, he is getting to that point where running backs just shut down and stop performing.
I think he’ll land a one-year deal based on name recognition alone and his past history. But, I don’t see him being a top five running back in the league again and only playing one or two more seasons.
Earl: The Vikings should move on. Adrian Peterson still has a good season or two left on the tires, but, I think his time in Minnesota needs to come to an end. Things there are tenuous enough.
I can easily see him with the Buccaneers, the Texans, or the Giants.
3) The NY Jets went into this offseason with a seriously bad salary cap situation and in the last couple of weeks have decided to do something about it… they refused an option on tackle Ryan Clady saving $10 million in cap money; they cut kicker Nick Folk and tackle Breno Giacomini saving $7.5 million more and now they have reportedly cut Nick Mangold that would save another $9-million-plus in cap space.
Mangold… except for last season when he missed 8 games… has always been relatively injury free during his career and will most likely will have many teams looking to sign him as their center.
Where do you see Mangold going or being the best fit?
Chad: Early rumors have him going to Baltimore and helping that offensive line which I think would be a good move on the Ravens’ to make that line stronger.
Dan: I think a great fit for Mangold would be Indianapolis. They need some offensive line help for Andrew Luck and he’d be a great fit. A great offensive line always starts with the center, and, who better than someone with many years of experience as a top center in the NFL? The center is the quarterback of the offensive line. They set up blocking schemes, they read the defense to know how to block and who to block to provide the offense with enough success to move down the field and score. It all starts with the center and Nick Mangold in Indianapolis would be great for Andrew Luck and trying to take over the AFC South.
Earl: As a Jets fan, I would like to thank Mangold for his years of service to the team.
With that said, I imagine he’ll end up somewhere in the Midwest. I don’t know what the market is for Nick but somewhere like Cleveland or Indianapolis would make some sense.
4) It’s a good year to be a top flight college QB this year as many NFL teams have a need at the position, including 4 of the top 6 team picking in this year’s draft.
In your opinion, which college QB… North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Clemson’s DeShaun Watson or Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer or maybe another QB entirely… goes off the board first? Why?
Chad: Right now, I think, Trubisky from UNC is getting the most looks either from Cleveland, San Fran or from the New York Jets.
Dan: Personally, I’ve seen way more drafts with Trubisky going first, and, that’s who I believe will. They’re saying he’s the most talented out of the quarterback class and he’s the most NFL-ready as well.
I think the first team who takes a quarterback will be the San Francisco 49ers especially since they currently are sitting without a quarterback on their roster after Colin Kaepernick opted out and became a free agent.
Earl: I’m partial to DeShaun Watson. I think he’s the most complete quarterback on the board. For that reason alone, I think, he ends up going pretty high. He’s not the QB I like the best, but, I can see Cleveland, or San Francisco, thinking they can get a quicker return on him then they can on Trubisky or Kizer who both have less experience as starters in college.
5) One prominent NY sports writer is saying Victor Cruz is a perfect fit for the New England Patriots (there are also reports that he has already visited with the Panthers and that the Broncos are very interested) … (1) do you believe he could fit in with the Pats and (2) do you think the Pats will seriously try and sign him?
Chad: He would be a good fit as a comeback project, which NE does so well. And, as for NE, a lot will come down to if he is available for the right price. If so, then they will try and sign him.
Dan: I think Victor Cruz would be an excellent fit for the Patriots offense. Their receivers are usually very fast and quick like how Cruz was in New York. He would have Tom Brady throwing him the ball and he would remind me of a poor man’s Randy Moss in the New England offense. Bill Belichick knows how to work with anybody and he’s arguably the best coach, or, one of, of all-time and Cruz would thrive in that offense. He’d be most similar to Wes Welker in my opinion.
I think the Patriots can try and sign him to a cheap, one-year deal and see how he works out. If, he has a good, solid season for them and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick both like him and he fits, then, he’ll get a multi-year deal next season. The Patriots have the cap space to try and pull a move like this, so why not?
Earl: He is a perfect fit for them. He’s great in the slot; he’s a pros pro, and, he will adjust well to what they do there. He also has the big market experience, and, the big game experience, so as long as he’s healthy, he’s good to go.
With that said, I don’t think the Pats go all out to sign him. Especially, since Carolina or Denver should be banging down the door to sign him ASAP.
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