Tuesday, January 8, 2013
AFC East's top free agents: Nos. 4-6
By James Walker
The AFC East blog continues its ranking of the top dozen free agents.
Here are Nos. 4-6:
No. 6: Sean Smith, CB, Dolphins
2012 stats: 59 tackles, two INTs, three forced fumbles
Analysis: The Miami Dolphins are in a tough spot with Smith. Miami cannot afford to lose more corners. Cornerback is a premium position and Smith may be able to command upwards of $8 million per year on the open market. The Dolphins may not want to pay that much in a multi-year extension. Miami also has the option to use a one-year franchise tag on Smith. But that would eat up a lot of cap room for Smith, who is a good but not elite corner.
No. 5: LaRon Landry, S, Jets
2012 stats: 99 tackles, two INTs, four forced fumbles
Analysis: Landry's stock rose dramatically this year with the New York Jets. He stayed around the football, recording 99 tackles, four forced fumbles and two interception. Landry also made the Pro Bowl. The Jets were able to sign Landry to a team-friendly, one-year contract last season due to injury concerns with his Achilles. But Landry showed his durability by playing in all 16 games and will be looking for a multi-year extension. The Jets don't have much money available to use in the free agency and could lose Landry.
No. 4: Andy Levitre, G, Bills
2012 stats: 16 starts
Analysis: Levitre might be Buffalo's best offensive lineman. He's a versatile guard who plays a big role in Buffalo's offense. There is a reason C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson had so many running lanes over the past two seasons. It's clear Buffalo wants to keep its offensive line in tact. The Bills signed guard Kraig Urbik to a four-year, $15 million extension last month. Levitre, the other starting guard, will come with a higher price tag.
We will have the division's top three pending free agents later in the AFC East blog.