NFL free agents can begin signing with teams in less than one week.
On March 12, several big name players are expected to leave clubs that they’ve been with for several seasons. Two of the best players that could be wearing different uniforms in 2013 are Mike Wallace and Charles Woodson.
Wallace signed a restricted free agent tender worth $2.7 million, prior to the 2012 regular season. The wide receiver had been hoping to get a long-term contract, but the Pittsburgh Steelers were unable to meet his demands. Now, the 26-year-old may get the deal he was looking for, but from another organization.
During last year’s negotiations, Wallace reportedly was looking to make at least $55 million over five years, which is what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave Vincent Jackson. According to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com, the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins may have the best chance of landing the wide out.
The Vikings are in need of playmakers on offense, other than Adrian Peterson. Percy Harvin has been productive when healthy, but his status with Minnesota seems to be tenuous. Harvin wanted to be traded last offseason, and could hold out for a new contract this year. There have been rumors that the Vikings will deal him, as he’s looking to make more than his scheduled $2.9 million in 2013.
Miami may be in the lead to sign Wallace. Darlington reports that Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is determined to pair Wallace with receivers Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. Ryan Tannehill had some good moments in his rookie campaign, but struggled at times without an elite target.
Ben Roethlisberger connected on many long pass plays with Wallace in his first few seasons, though Wallace's production was down in 2012. Despite receiving a career-high 119 targets, Wallace failed to register 1,000 yards.
Still, the free agent will likely command a large price tag, especially with the Kansas City Chiefs recently giving Dwayne Bowe $56 million over five years.
Along with Wallace, sources say the Dolphins are interested in acquiring Woodson. The defensive back can sign with any team after playing with the Green Bay Packers for seven seasons.
According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, several teams have inquired about Woodson. The former Defensive Player of the Year has been reportedly contacted by the New York Giants, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.
Even at his age, the 36-year-old is valued by teams looking to contend in 2013. He was injured for much of last season, playing only seven games. However, he registered seven interceptions in 2011.
The Giants may be in the most need of Woodson’s services. New York was 28th in passing yards allowed last season, with one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL. Also, the Giants are built to win now, and could afford to add a player that is close to retirement.
The Jets and Seahawks have two of the best secondaries in the league. Seattle might be his preferred destination, since they will probably be one of the top Super Bowl contenders next season. Woodson’s versatility could work well with defensive backs Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.