In case none of you were following, a lot of news happened over the course of the day. Free agency officially starts tomorrow, March 12th, so naturally there are many pre-free agency news, transactions, and rumors.
Chris Gamble retires
Chris Gamble was a cornerback for the Carolina Panthers who was released on March 9th. He would have been an excellent fit for the Patriots as he is a cornerback who plays at a high level. Gamble decided to retire today, leaving one less cornerback on the market and thus driving up the market price for cornerbacks. The market for cornerbacks now consists of: Sean Smith, Brent Grimes, Aqib Talib, Chris Houston, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Keenan Lewis, Greg Toler, and now DeAngelo Hall (and not to mention rumors of the Jets shopping Darrelle Revis).
DeAngelo Hall released
Another potential great fit for the Patriots, DeAngelo Hall, was released today by the Washington Redskins. He would be an upgrade to the Patriots defense (just as Talib was last season), elevating the level of play and essentially becoming a game-changer. He is turning 30 next season, and already has 39 interceptions throughout his career.If the Patriots ultimately choose not to sign back Talib, then Hall would be a serious free agent option.
Eagles show interest in Danny Amendola
The Eagles are reportedly after Amendola too. Danny Amendola would be a nice addition to the Eagles offense, and with Chip Kelly, he could rack up some nice numbers. What this means to the Pats is that if Welker doesn’t come back (see next section), then they could find themselves in a bidding war for Amendola. With limited cap space and major problems with the defense, the Patriots obviously don’t want to find themselves in that situation.
Patriots want to get Talib deal done soon
According to NFL.com, the Patriots are trying to get a deal for cornerback Aqib Talib done soon. There is no doubt that he changed the whole secondary last season in New England, and the Patriots have finally come to their senses to try to bring him back. Now the question is: will they come to a team-friendly deal? And if so, are they going to bring in more cornerbacks from the market?
Wes Welker “widely believed” to stay with Patriots
— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) March 11, 2013
How many mixed reports are we going to get on Welker. There have been rumors that there was “progress” on contract negotiations, then rumors of Welker having disdain for the Patriots, and wanting to go to the Dolphins for revenge, and now this? I personally wouldn’t trust any news on Welker unless its official, but this is something I want to be true. The report says that Welker will ultimately test the open market and realize that he wants to stay in New England. This is something that can be argued both ways. All I can say is that Welker needs the Patriots and the Patriots need him, but both sides may be too greedy or too “disdainful” to see it.