Tuesday, March 13, 2012
AFC East free-agency mailbag
By James Walker
We are cancelling this week's 4 p.m. ET chat for the start of free agency. But I figured it would be good to replace it by digging into the AFC East mailbag and answering a few questions.
John Bruce from Lyndhurst, NJ, writes: How good of a fit would you think safety LaRon Landry is to Rex Ryan's scheme, and what would you think the odds are of the New York Jets taking a shot at acquiring him?
James Walker: Good question, John. Landry has his strengths (size, big hitter) and weaknesses (coverage, injury-prone). He wouldn't be New York's first choice, but he's probably the best of the remaining group after several free-agent safeties were tagged last week. The diluted pool makes Landry a top target for the Jets. They can't afford to leave this offseason without at least one starting-caliber safety, maybe two. I expect the Jets to show interest. But, as usual, it could come down to money and cap room.
Gabriela from Florida writes: How committed are the Buffalo Bills to Ryan Fitzpatrick? Do you think they'll draft a QB or add one in free agency?
Walker: You would be surprised how often I get this question. Fitzpatrick is the guy in Buffalo. The situation is actually pretty similar to New York's with Mark Sanchez. Both quarterbacks just received big extensions, which ensues they will be the starter for at least the next two or three seasons. Therefore, I don't see Buffalo adding a veteran quarterback. The Bills may draft a project-type in the middle or late rounds to develop.
Forrest from Tucson, AZ, wants to know if the Miami Dolphins really want Peyton Manning.
Walker: The Dolphins want Manning bad, Forrest. They met with him Monday night. He's a guy who can instantly change the fortune of this losing franchise. The bigger question is, does Manning want Miami? The Dolphins do not have that answer at the start of free agency, which makes it tricky because they are also interested in former Green Bay quarterback Matt Flynn.
Sloan from Seattle wants to know if the New England Patriots will get free-agent defensive end Mario Williams.
Walker: The Patriots are a possibility. But I think money is what doesn't make them the favorites. I expect New England to go after several solid players instead of one expensive superstar. That's usually been the Patriots' model. They have several holes to fill, including rushing the passer. But Williams is going to cost a ton and deservedly so. He instantly makes the defensive side of the football a lot better.
Enjoy 2012 NFL free agency, everyone, and remember to check out the AFC East blog this evening and throughout the week for constant updates and analysis.