During this past off-season, some very well-known names became available in the free agent market. The Chicago Bears cut ties with linebacker Brian Urlacher, the Green Bay Packers severed their relationship with Charles Woodson, and the New York Giants simply couldn’t afford to keep Ahmad Bradshaw at his current salary. Many fans probably thought that these perennial all-pro selections and possible Hall of Famers would get swooped up quickly. However, it’s now the middle of May, and all three are still looking for teams who need their services.
LB Brain Urlacher (Retired May 22, 2013)
Urlacher, after 11 seasons leading the defense for the Bears, is looking for a new home. As of right now, he is trying to decide between a team that fits his playing style better, or a team that offers him a legitimate chance to win that long coveted Super Bowl ring. The Minnesota Vikings appear as the frontrunner for Urlacher, since the team run a 4-3 defense, and have a spot just for him waiting. Plus an added bonus, he could pound on the Bears twice a year, reminding them that he still has plenty left in the tank. The Denver Broncos are loading up for a Super Bowl title or bust type of season, and Urlacher would help offset the losses of both Elvis Dumervil and D.J. Williams. Wherever he ends up, he is sure to make a positive impact.
CB Charles Woodson (Signed with Raiders May 21, 2013)
Once considered the best all around defensive player in the league, Woodson has had his shares of highs and lows of life in the NFL but now he's surprised at how little interest he has received from teams around the league. The 36-year old corner has two primary suitors, both in the AFC West. The Oakland Raiders are reported to have discussed the financial parameters of bringing Woodson back to his original team. While the Denver Broncos are looking to add leadership and depth to their secondary that got embarrassed during their playoff loss. The Broncos had Woodson in on Wednesday for a visit, but did not make any type of contract offers. The Carolina Panthers have also scheduled a visit for Woodson, who prefers playing for a contender. Tampa Bay would also like to visit with the defensive back to temper his interest in coming to South Florida.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Interest in running back Ahmad Bradshaw has heated up over the past few days. The Carolina Panthers have restructured the contract of DeAngelo Williams to create cap space to add Bradshaw to the mix along with Jonathan Stewart. The Pittsburgh Steelers are also showing a high amount of interest, looking to have Bradshaw come in and share carries and mentor rookie Le’Veon Bell. Other teams that have made motions towards signing Bradshaw also include the Dallas Cowboys, the New Orléans Saints, the Green Bay Packers, and Bradshaw’s original team, the New York Giants. It appears he can choose both his workload and his paycheck as training camp gets closer.
Depending on what each of these marquee free agents are looking for, they most likely will find it. Whether that money is definitely close to what they were making last season prior to getting cut, or the opportunity to win a Super Bowl, the options are now plentiful for three of the biggest names still out on the open free agent market.
Other Top Available 2013 NFL Free Agents