Alex Hoysradt, Staff Writer
This offseason some of the NFL’s biggest names will be on the market seeking the highest bidder. While some are certain to re-sign with their respective team (i.e. Demaryius Thomas and Randall Cobb), for others it is not as clear. Salary cap issues and players’ asking price are typically the main culprit for players swapping teams. Lets take a look at some of the more intriguing free agents this offseason.
1)Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle, Detroit Lions:
Over his first five seasons, Suh has made headlines for his stellar play as well as his controversial antics on the field. Multiple “dirty” incidents have occurred involving Suh stomping on a opposing players leg, kicking a groin here and there, etc. Outside of those antics, Suh has been clean off the field and spectacular on it. Whether you like him or not, he is the best DT in the NFL. Suh has only missed two of a possible 80 games in his career, so durability is no issue. Coming off a season tallying 8.5 sacks and playing stifling run defense, Suh will command a heavy price tag. That being said, a return to Detroit has become more and more likely, especially after how dominant the Lions defense was last season. Don’t be surprised if Suh jumps ship, but Detroit will be looking to keep its defensive cornerstone around, no matter the cost.
2)Dez Bryant, Wide Receiver/Demarco Murray, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys:
These two players go hand-in-hand because of their impact on the Cowboys and the choice Dallas will have to make: Bryant, Murray or both? Unless Dallas gets creative with its current contracts, they will likely only have the cap space to sign one. Bryant had yet another dominant season, totaling 88 catches and 16 touchdowns, while Murray shouldered the load with 1,845 rushing yard and 13 TDs, as the Cowboys made it back to the postseason for the first time since 2009. So who is more valuable? Murray played his first full 16 game season, but carried the ball a heavy 392 times and caught 57 passes. Historically, most backs don’t dominate much longer after a workload like that. Bryant is a dangerous weapon, will likely last longer and is ultimately more valuable to Dallas for the future. Murray will land with a RB-needy team with deep pockets.
Prediction: Bryant stays with Dallas, Murray to Indianapolis
3) Justin Houston, Linebacker, Kansas City Chiefs:
While J.J. Watt got all the headlines, Justin Houston quietly had just as dominant a season, totaling 70 tackles, four forced fumbles, and came half of a sack away from breaking the single season sack record of 22.5. One of the most underrated pass rushers, Houston has seen his sack total rise every season since he was drafted in 2011. At 26, Houston is in his prime and the Chiefs would be wise to keep him around. Kansas City has very little cap room and are actively exploring options to clear some money to sign Houston. If not, teams with money, such as Oakland or Atlanta, could grab him.
Prediction: Kansas City
4)Others to watch: Devin McCourty, Free Safety, Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver, Mike Iupati, Guard, Julius Thomas, Tight End.