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clevestinks
05-14-2006, 11:48 AM
Five names remaining in picked over free-agent market
May 11, 2006
By Clark Judge




without the usual June cuts, clubs looking to fix cracks in their rosters must do it with the unrestricted free agents who are out there now. Just a hunch, but I don't think they're going to like what they see.

"It's bad," said one NFC personnel director.

I asked him to produce a list of his five top players, and it took him a couple of hours to respond. So I tried another pro personnel director in the AFC, and the results were worse.

"I can give you two," he said.

Swell. That won't cut it. We need five, and, no, running back Onterrio Smith doesn't make the cut. There's something about suspensions, Whizzinators and a lack of common sense that scares off clubs.

Imagine.

So what's left? Read on. What follows are five of the best free-agent options, and beware: It's neither a buyers' or sellers' market. It's really no market at all.

Ty Law, CB

The New York Jets leased him for a year, and he responded with a league-best 10 interceptions. He also was named to the Pro Bowl for a fifth time. Law believes that makes him a big contract waiting to happen, but, so far, nothing's happened. Seattle, Tennessee and Kansas City are interested, but all have the same complaint: He wants too much money. "The great ones don't come cheap," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. He's right.


Will Ty Law join Herm Edwards in Kansas City? (
It's not that Law can't start. He can. And he will. And he can and will be a useful second cornerback for someone. I know, he doesn't run as he once did, and he's 32. But the man has a knack for finding the ball, with Law leading the Jets in passes defensed. The problem now is what it was a year ago when he shopped his talent: Money. "If the price comes down," said one GM, "he's your man."




Kerry Collins, QB

He started 28 of the last 29 games at Oakland. That's the good news. Now comes the bad: He lost 21 of them. You might be able to live with that if Collins didn't have so much trouble sustaining drives, with 32 interceptions and 20 fumbles in his two seasons at Oakland. OK, so he threw 41 TD passes, too, and once guided a team to the Super Bowl. But that was six years ago, folks. "He makes too many mistakes," said a personnel director. "He's fine if you protect him, but he has problems if he has to move." Collins can help a club looking for a veteran backup, but he'd like to be a starter. That could be a problem. You don't step to the front of the class with a 7-21 resume. There's a reason he's out there, and it's not his age.

Brad Hopkins, T



I know, I know, he says he plans to retire. Gary Zimmerman used to say the same thing, too; then he'd appear in Denver's starting lineup. So find out if Hopkins is serious. He anchored the left-tackle position for the Oilers for 13 years, and he can still pass protect at 35. One scouting director said his play tailed off the past two seasons and complained that he's less durable. OK, it happens.


After 13 seasons with the Titans, Brad Hopkins may be helping a new QB up this fall. (
But he's experienced, and he knows angles and, most important, he knows the game. One guy said he thought fast, quick pass rushers would give him trouble, but let's find out. I know several clubs that could use a steady tackle to cover their star quarterback's back. Hopkins is reliable, dependable and more than adequate. So find out if he could be a candidate for your next opening on the offensive line.





Kevin Johnson, WR

Once, he was a star receiver for Cleveland, leading the team in receiving for four successive years and producing a career-high 84 catches and nine TDs in 2001. Now the guy can't get a sniff after falling by the wayside in Detroit. One problem is a torn Achilles that ended his season last year. Another is that he's little more than ordinary now, a fourth wide receiver waiting to happen in somebody's offense. "There is nothing special about him," said one scout. "He's OK at everything. He used to be fast, but not any more." Johnson has decent hands. Not great, but adequate. That should count for something. Overcoming that Achilles injury is another matter.

Kendyl Jacox, G

He's versatile, able to play either of the guard positions or center. A four-year starter at left guard with New Orleans, Jacox is a wide-body who can combat huge defensive tackles. He's strong and has decent feet. If there's a knock on him it's that he can get heavy. He's listed as 6-2, 325, but his weight can become an issue. Apparently, so can his height. One scout called him "a bit undersized" because of his height. He has a reputation as an above-average pass blocker, which should make him attractive to someone looking for offensive-line help. "He can start," said a personnel director, "or slide in as the sixth man on a good offensive line. He'll help someone." It could be Green Bay.

Anybody interest you???

Black@Gold Forever32
05-14-2006, 11:57 AM
Not really. Ty Law had a very good year last year no doubt. But his asking price would be to high. Kerry Collins noway I would want the Steelers to sign him. Batch if fine as the backup. Plus we have Omar to develop as a backup. Kevin Johnson I say no also. Johnson doesn't have the speed he once had. Plus the Steelers have enough recievers at them moment. The two Olineman Hopkins and Jacox would interest due to their experience. You can never have enough Olineman. But the Steelers have some young players in the fold. I would like to see the young guys like Essex, Kemoeatu, Colon and Phillip develop.

hardwork
05-14-2006, 04:44 PM
I see it pretty much like black and gold 32 does. I'd love to have Law back, but the Pats aren't going to give him any real serious money, and they shouldn't.

I like the idea of Jacox but I have no sense of whether the Pats like, or feel the need for, him or not.

Suitanim
05-15-2006, 09:03 AM
I take it Eddie George did the rigt thing and finally retired then? That way we won't have to hear any more ridiculous notions of him resurecting his career in the B&G.

clevestinks
05-15-2006, 09:22 AM
I take it Eddie George did the rigt thing and finally retired then? That way we won't have to hear any more ridiculous notions of him resurecting his career in the B&G.
Thats a good question, I have not heard that he did or didn`t retire, maybe its just he was worthy of a top five free agent, Tommy is probably ranked higher.