The climax of free agency has come and gone, and the draft is still (exactly) a month away. In the meantime, here are five things to monitor:
1. Brandon Marshall’s future
Barring a wild turn of events, the star wideout won’t be back with Denver in 2010, which means the Broncos are likely going to trade away their best player for the second straight offseason. Either that or some crazy team will sign him as a restricted free agent and give up a first-round draft pick.
Obviously, the most likely scenario is a trade. Seattle has expressed the most interest so far, but I think pursuing Marshall would be a big mistake on their part. The Seahawks aren’t going to win in the next year or two — can you see a crybaby like Marshall staying cool for that long? If anyone wants to take a chance on Marshall, it has to be a squad within reaching distance of success.
The Bengals, Cowboys and Bears make the most sense to me.
2. Brett Favre’s future
Don’t hold your breath on this one, but based on the fact Favre was reportedly urging LaDainian Tomlinson to sign in Minnesota, I’m thinking the odds are pretty good he decides to come back for one more season. And I’m also thinking he doesn’t announce that move until the Vikes’ training camp is coming to a conclusion.
3. Philadelphia’s quarterback situation
The Eagles have three solid quarterbacks on their roster, while teams like the Browns toil with zero. No team can afford that luxury (Philly’s, not Cleveland’s), so they have to find somewhere to dump either Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick. No one appears to want Vick as a starter, while Kolb has the most “upside.”
In my opinion, they should look to deal McNabb, who would be an upgrade for teams like Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tennessee (McNabb and Vince Young together?), Oakland, Kansas City, Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis. Keep Vick as a special option and give the 25-year-old Kolb a chance to take the reins.
4. Terrell Owens looks for a job
Just today, Owens’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he’s in “active discussions” with three teams about T.O.’s future. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio makes a good point in saying that Owens’ fate is very much tied to what happens with Marshall. Once Denver makes a move there, Owens would probably be next on the list for a team like Seattle.
Again, though, I’m not feeling the whole Seahawks thing. I know every team has a shot every year, but there’s still a very obvious thing missing in Seattle: talent. One veteran receiver with a bad attitude won’t change that. A headache like Owens would only be a waste of time and money for a team like the Seahawks.
5. Darren Sharper’s future
Sharper’s an unrestricted free agent with two things going for him (he’s coming off a Super Bowl victory and a fantastic season) and two things working against him (he’s 34 years old and injured).
Nothing’s going to happen on this front until Sharper recovers from knee surgery in a couple weeks. The Saints are still in the picture, and there’s a decent chance they bring the five-time All-Pro back.