greg hardy

Here are my predictions on the top NFL free agent players and where they will go come March 11 in the 2014 NFL Free Agency period.

Josh McCown

josh mccown

The best free-agent quarterback, Josh McCown carried the Chicago Bears while Jay Cutler was injured and nearly got them to the playoffs. In eight games, he threw 13 touchdowns and only one interception.

While being 35 years, he isn't the only ''old'' starting QB. I think he can still start in this league. However, because of Jay Cutler's injury history, I think the Bears would want to keep a good backup.

Prediction: Stays with Bears.

Knowshon Moreno

knowshon moreno patriots

Coming off a 1,000-yard, 13-touchdown season, the 26-year-old Denver Broncos running back will be a hot commodity this year. He also had a few receiving scores as well last season.

The biggest knock on Moreno is that he only did what he did because of the passing of Peyton Manning. Still, I think Moreno is a quality starter in the NFL. A team needing a young, quality running back are the Cleveland Browns and they have a good offense as well as some money to spend.

Prediction: Signs with Browns.

Eric Decker

Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker (87) runs with the ball in the first half during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field against the New England Patriots at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Playing as the No. 2 wide receiver his entire career, he will now have the chance to be the No. 1 WR. He has good size and better than advertised speed. He drop 8.4% of his targets, so his hands aren't as reliable, but overall he is a solid WR.

Some teams that need receivers are the New York Jets, New England Patriots and the Browns, but the Jets are looking mostly at Jeremy Maclin and Emmanuel Sanders. I don't know if the Broncos will be able to re-sign him because they have quite a few free agents, so I think Decker goes somewhere else.

Prediction: Signs with Patriots.

Branden Albert

branden albert buccaneers

One of the more well-known offensive linemen, Albert refused to switch to right tackle for the Chiefs last year and now it seems he has priced himself out of Kansas City's range. Albert is still only 28 years old and plays pretty well.

I don't think KC re-signs him, so I think he jumps ship.

Prediction: Signs with Ravens.

Alex Mack

alex mack

Who? Alex Mack is the star center (wait, what?) of the Cleveland Browns. He plays the run and pass well and gets good push at the snap. He consistently blocks for all of his quarterbacks and running Backs. He is only 26, so he is young and is in line for some cash.

The Browns could sign an older, cheaper center or try to keep Mack. I think as much as they would like to keep Mack, he goes somewhere else.

Prediction: Signs with Ravens.

Jeremy Maclin

jeremy maclin february 2014

Coming off a torn ACL, Maclin is looking to show NFL teams that he can still play. He is a dynamic slot WR when healthy and can even return punts. He is coming off an injury, so he will be cheaper.

The Jets could use a slot guy like Maclin in their West Coast Offense, which would help Geno Smith.

Prediction: Signs with Jets.

Greg Hardy


greg hardy

Arguably the best defensive end in the NFL, Hardy went off in 2013 recording 15 sacks. Now, he expects to get paid bucks. There's only one problem: The Panthers have to spend money elsewhere.

I think Carolina will make a good effort to re-sign their star, but you can't give him everything he wants, so I think Hardy leaves.

Prediction: Signs with Buccaneers.

Aqib Talib

aqib talib february 2014

One of the better corners in the league, Aqib Talib is coming off another year exiting the playoffs due to an injury. Will teams pay him less? Probably not, as when he is healthy he can shut down most receivers (not named Josh Gordon).

The Patriots do have a few other free agents, but ultimately I think Aqib Talib stays.

Prediction: Stays with Patriots.

TJ Ward

tj ward

One of the better all-around safeties, TJ Ward is in line for a big payday after a 100-plus tackle and multiple-INT year. Despite the poor play of the Browns, TJ Ward played hard every game.

I think the Browns would be fools not to re-sign him, but they also shouldn't break the bank for him either.

Prediction: Stays with Browns.

Jared Allen

jared allen

The guy keeps on sacking. He just won't stop. The Vikings do have problems past Allen, so the question is will the Vikings spend big money on an aging player or sign someone younger and potentially cheaper?

It will also depend on whether Allen wants to stay or get paid. I think he wants to get paid, and I think he fills the same position somewhere else.

Prediction: Signs with Panthers.

Michael Bennett

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) speaks to the media during Media Day for Super Bowl XLVIII at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a Super Bowl season with the Seahawks, Bennett was a cheap but very productive DE for Seattle. Now, he faces the possibility of playing for another team.

A team like the Green Bay Packers or Chicago Bears could use an impact defensive player.

Prediction: Signs with Packers.


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