Monday, January 7, 2013
AFC East's top free agents: Nos. 10-12
By James Walker
The 2013 offseason should be a memorable one with several key free agents set to hit the open market.
With the New England Patriots still in the playoffs, we won't go too heavy on offseason analysis just yet. But as an appetizer, this week the AFC East blog is ranking the top dozen free agents to keep an eye on this offseason in the division.
Here are Nos. 10-12:
No. 12: Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets
2012 stats: 28 receptions, 317 yards, two TDs
Analysis: Keller had poor luck in a contract year. He played in just eight games due to multiple injuries. But Keller is one of New York's most reliable weapons when healthy. He could get some interest on the open market but could be a possibility for the franchise tag. If not, Keller could walk. The Jets may not have the cap room to sign Keller to a sizable long-term extension.
No. 11: Shonn Greene, RB, Jets
2012 stats: 276 carries, 1,063 yards, eight TDs
Analysis: Greene is a durable back who has gotten a lot of carries the past two years. But he's not the game-breaking rusher the Jets need and could bolt in free agency. Greene is best as a complementary rusher, not a feature back. He averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in 2012. I don't think Greene returns to New York unless he's willing to take a home-team discount.
No. 10: Randy Starks, DT, Miami Dolphins
2012 stats: 27 tackles, 4.5 sacks, one INT
Analysis: Starks quietly had a good year for the Dolphins. Miami's front seven is difficult to run on, and Starks was one of the primary reasons. Good defensive tackles are coveted in the NFL, and it only takes one team to make a high bid. The Dolphins have the cap room to keep Starks, but I doubt they will overpay. Miami has the flexibility to move versatile defensive end Jared Odrick inside next season if needed.
That's the start of our top dozen free agents in the AFC East. We will continue moving up the list during the week.