For teams in the market for aging, red-flagged cornerbacks, it's a buyer's paradise.
Two of the big names fitting that bill are still languishing on the free-agent market, and both of them are clients of Kevin and Carl Poston: Oakland's Charles Woodson and the Jets' Ty Law. Interest in that duo has poured out as quickly as a jar of tipped molasses, with virtually no serious suitors in sight.
Now it's looking like the pair, along with Kansas City's Eric Warfield, may be waiting around for someone to offer a long-term deal. The problem for Woodson and Law is rumored to be cash – both want double-figure signing bonuses, and nobody seems inclined to jump at such a price tag.
Another Poston client, linebacker LaVar Arrington, also seems to be pricing himself out of a job, as he seeks what is believed to be a double-figure signing bonus and a base salary in excess of $5 million a year. That's believed to be too steep for his top suitor, the Giants, and has kept the Bengals from making any serious overtures.
With the market starting to slow down – and dollars drying up – many of the current top remaining free agents might have to wait around for new deals as teams hunt for better prices.
Here are the current top-10 unrestricted free agents:
1. LaVar Arrington, OLB, Washington Redskins – Arrington is hanging in limbo, waiting for teams to hash out how they feel about him. He's visited with the Dolphins and Giants, but none of those teams has been in a hurry to sign him. Julian Peterson's signing with Seattle should speed up the process – at the very least taking the best alternative at outside linebacker off the market. The Giants continue to be the most sensible option, but it doesn't bode well that Arrington's recent visit to New York came and went without any offer. The longer this drags on, the more likely it is that other teams like Jacksonville, Cleveland, San Diego and Philadelphia will get involved.
2. Charles Woodson, CB, Oakland Raiders – All is quiet on the Woodson front. While there should be some serious interest in Woodson, the cornerback market has been relatively slow this offseason. His injury last season likely won't help his demand, too. Now there is a growing feeling Woodson may end up being this year's Ty Law – a player who ends up signing after the draft. For now, the Chiefs and Jaguars remain possible suitors, but there is little clarity about when or if Woodson has even taken visits since the start of free agency. One thing is certain: He won't be going back to Oakland.
3. Jon Runyan, OT, Philadelphia Eagles – Runyan visited the Jets on Tuesday, as it continues to look like the Eagles have little interest in bringing him back. The Jets have a void at right offensive tackle that Runyan could fill, as do the Ravens, and it's believed that Runyan wants to remain on the East coast to stay relatively close to his New Jersey home. So don't rule out the Patriots. His age (32) and inconsistency last season are both concerns.
4. Stephen Neal, G, New England Patriots – Neal has spent time with the Vikings, Texans and Bills. There is a strong possibility the Seahawks will dip into free agency for a guard now that Steve Hutchinson is gone. Neal turns 30 in October, but he could be a serviceable starter for a few more years.
5. Tom Ashworth, OT, New England Patriots – Ashworth continues to make the rounds. By the time he signs, he may have visited as many as a half-dozen teams. The Jets and Texans remain strong possibilities, but Ashworth may not sign until after Runyan's situation has sorted itself out. He turns 29 in October, and like Neal, could be plugged in and perform solidly at right tackle. He's not a big-splash signing, but there aren't any of those left in the tackle pool.
6. Sam Adams, DT, Buffalo Bills – Cincinnati still looks like the destination for Adams, but he's waiting for the Bengals to clear up some of their other free-agent priorities. Wherever he lands, he's not expected to be much of a pass-rush factor anymore, but he can still be a good upgrade against the run with his size. Right now, that's exactly what Marvin Lewis' defense needs.
7. Ty Law, CB, New York Jets – Like Woodson, it's not really clear what the market is for Law. Miami seemed like a strong possibility, but the signing of Will Allen likely crosses the Dolphins off the list. Seattle could schedule a visit with Law at some point, but that hasn't happened. He may be pricing himself out of a job, thinking he can still land one last big contract, but the fact remains that teams don't seem to think Law is worth the bonus money paid to No. 1 cornerbacks. Like Woodson, teams may be waiting around on Law to settle on a more reasonable price tag.
8. Eric Warfield, CB, Kansas City Chiefs – Add Warfield to the glut of inconsistent, aging (he just turned 30) cornerbacks who are fishing for their last contract. Considering his off-the-field issues, he's likely to be the third option behind both Woodson and Law, even though he'll command a cheaper signing bonus. Also like Woodson and Law, he may have to take a short-term deal or wait around for a contract.
9. Kerry Collins, QB, Oakland Raiders – Now that Josh McCown and Jon Kitna are off the market, Collins should draw a little more attention. But he may have to wait to see what happens with Detroit's Joey Harrington, who is drawing plenty of interest. Baltimore still appears to be the likeliest destination, but if all else fails, Collins could end up going back to Oakland for a reduced price. However, there isn't a big hurry to get something done with him. Collins may end up signing after the draft.
10. Mike Vanderjagt, K, Indianapolis Colts – Now that Adam Vinatieri is off the market, Vanderjagt should be the next kicker to go. And as crazy as it may sound, don't rule out the possibility of him taking Vinatieri's spot in New Enlgand. The Patriots have already been in touch, but they may not stay in the hunt long, especially if they have to bid against the Cowboys and Packers, who are expected to express interest now that Vinatieri has signed elsewhere.
- Charles Woodson
- Ty Law