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    10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    By Vinnie Iyer - Sporting News

    Here are some of the biggest names left unsigned in the NFL free-agent market: Ray Lewis, Jason Taylor, Marvin Harrison, Kurt Warner, Amani Toomer, Derrick Brooks and Jeff Garcia.

    Other than their lack of a team for 2009, they all have something else in common: They are all well older than 30.

    Considering many of the expensive first-tier free agents have either signed or been franchise-tagged, the attention is starting to turn to the second wave. Still, the best investments remain younger players with untapped upside, rather than well-known veterans fading from the marquee.

    The younger, the better, because teams can make the right deal to lock a player up for his prime without breaking the bank, something they might have to do short term for more established stars.

    Here are 10 of the most intriguing remaining free agents who are comfortably younger than 30:

    1. Igor Olshansky, DE, Chargers. Now that former Cowboy Chris Canty has signed with the Giants, Olshansky is the best 3-4 end left unrestricted. Several teams are planning to use consistent three-man fronts this year, and both his age (27 in May) and size (6-6, 309) should get him signed soon. Best suitor: Packers.

    2. James Butler, S, Giants. At 26, the 6-3, 215-pounder showed signs that he could be a top playmaker last season with 68 tackles and a three interceptions, both career highs. He needs to stay in an aggressive scheme to blossom, and really, he would benefit if he kept playing for Steve Spagnuolo. Best suitor: Rams.

    3. Sean Jones, S, Browns. Before the start of free agency, there were many reasons to tab him as a undervalued strong safety. Like Butler, Jones offers good size (6-1, 220). He is a good, physical run support with an underrated nose for the ball that has produced 14 interceptions over three years. Best suitor: Texans.

    4. Khalif Barnes, OT, Jaguars. Durable starting left tackles just donít go on the market often, and heíll turn 27 only days before the draft. Barnesí off-the-field blemish (DUI in í06) is enough in the past where it shouldnít be a character issue in his signing. Best suitor: Raiders.

    5. Freddy Keiaho, LB, Colts. Heís undersized (5-11, 226), but itís surprising that Indianapolis didnít tender an offer to this high-effort, versatile linebacker, making him an unrestricted free agent. Keiaho has plenty of starting experience for just three years in the league, and is a tackling machine. Someone will see his energy and find him a spot, at least in a linebacker position. Best suitor: Patriots.

    6. Leonard Weaver, FB, Seahawks. Heís a different kind of fullback, in the sense that he has a full cadre of rare athletic talent for the position. At 6-0, 242, he is an excellent receiver and a good change-of-pace runner. Strangely, lead blocking was his weakness in Seattle, but thatís gotten better to the point where he can stay on the field more on early downs. His skills fit best in a West Coast scheme, and for some teams, he can be a capable No. 2 running back. Best suitor: Eagles.

    7. Kevin Burnett, LB, Cowboys. When youíre paying a free agent, the more roles you can fill with one player, the better. Burnett, with his quickness, can play either outside spot in a 4-3 or 3-4. He can also contribute as a special teams cover man and potentially start after being a top backup in Dallas. Best suitor: Chargers.

    8. C.J. Mosley, DT, Jets. Hereís another player every team thatís at least tinkering with the 3-4 should be considering. He is a good lineman to put in a rotation, whether itís inside in four-man fronts or even sliding over to end. Every team wants to have ideal defensive line depth and versatility, and Mosley can help provide it rather cheaply. Best suitor: Jaguars.

    9. Chris Carr, KR/CB, Titans. Itís two good young players in one. Thanks to Carr, Tennessee was the best kickoff returning team in the NFL last season. He is also an above average punt returner, and contributed well at nickel and dime back when given the chance. Again, itís the combination of quantity (multiple roles) and quality that has four teams (Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and St. Louis) interested. Best suitor: Steelers.

    10. J.P. Losman, QB, Bills. Unfortunately, just five years later, heís been the black sheep of the 2004 first-round class of quarterbacks. Ben Rothlisberger already has two Super Bowl rings, and Eli Manning has one. Philip Rivers also has established himself as a top starter. Losman really didnít get an extended chance to develop in Buffalo, and some coach should be confident he can work on getting the most out of Losmanís natural arm strength and athleticism. He will need to find a home as a backup on a team with a potential for an open QB compettion. Best suitor: Lions.
    Last edited by RamsSB99; -03-04-2009 at 01:08 AM.


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    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    See, everybody thinks Butler should be a Ram, can someone let him know that.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    11. Ray Willis, OT - Seattle 6-6 315, played little first three seasons, then pushed into service due to injuries last season and started 10 games and played well. Is only 26!! Should most definitely be affordable.

    (I am going to keep throwing his name out there until someone gives me a reason not too).
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    I would love to see SS, Sean Jones or SS, James Butler a Ram.
    MLB & SS is the weakest spots on the Rams team.
    You do know that the Rams would have to trade or cut at least Holt to be able to sign one of these players.
    I like Holt, A great Ram. This is a business , move on and get younger.
    Take one of the freeagent SS and then draft a WR in draft.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    11. Ray Willis, OT - Seattle 6-6 315, played little first three seasons, then pushed into service due to injuries last season and started 10 games and played well. Is only 26!! Should most definitely be affordable.

    (I am going to keep throwing his name out there until someone gives me a reason not too).
    He woud be my next target after Butler. I have heard nothing but Rave reviews about this guy. He did good at LT when given the chance. It is hard to believe more are not talking about him.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    Other than the obvious that being James Butler. I'm also hoping we go after Chris Carr.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    I would also be happy with looking at Mosley or possibly even Tank Johnson, who seems to have rehabilitated ok down in Dallas. At least he stopped making the news when he got on a team with TO, Romo and Pacman! The other key is that he's absolutely a 4-3 NT, and has Super Bowl experience. He knows how to win, and could help bring it back to St. Louis. Plus, Spags saw him a couple times a year the last two years and would know how he could use him.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    I hadn't even thought about Chris Carr being a FA... wow. He'd be a great addtiion to both the return teams and as a nickel or dime guy in our still weak CB's.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    If Curry is at the top of the Rams board, then they are looking at an OT in free agency. They have to be.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    Namely a young one, Tx. No use getting an over the hill one to replace Pace. Barnes would be an interesting grab, as then we could let Pace go and easily accept a lesser draft pick(4th, high 5th?) in my mind as we'd have filled his spot for free essentially. I think there may be a couple of other younger OT's out there that aren't starting LT's, but could be after a year or two more.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    I agree that SS (either Butler or Jones) remains the top priority, but I'd like for the Rams to strongly consider Leonard Weaver for the FB position. And what a bonus it would be if he could also fill the backup RB position at the same time. It would be like getting a two-for-one deal at a good, cap-friendly price. He's also tailor-made for the Wuss Coast Offense that Spags and Shurmer want to rub- seeing how he comes from Seattle where they run the same thing-and he would appear to be an excellent fit for the Rams. I hope that we can get him.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    I agree that SS (either Butler or Jones) remains the top priority, but I'd like for the Rams to strongly consider Leonard Weaver for the FB position. And what a bonus it would be if he could also fill the backup RB position at the same time. It would be like getting a two-for-one deal at a good, cap-friendly price. He's also tailor-made for the Wuss Coast Offense that Spags and Shurmer want to rub- seeing how he comes from Seattle where they run the same thing-and he would appear to be an excellent fit for the Rams. I hope that we can get him.

    WHAT SAY YE?
    Yeah I would agree that Weaver would be a good fit considering the Rams will be running a W.C.O. It makes sense much like Butler becoming a Ram.

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    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    Barnes could be a good fit at RT here as well as Rey Willis.

  14. #14
    tonyray05 Guest

    Re: 10 intriguing free agents younger than 30

    Willis would be a pretty good pickup for us and Carr would fill a few holes for us on Special Teams.

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