Not everyone has signed their franchised players and some like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Leon Hall are quite surprising to find yet unsigned. However, for most of the players that are still without a contract for next season, there’s usually a very good reason when it’s closer to April than the beginning of March.
The New York Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick are still at an impasse. What’s going to be the middle ground, because it doesn’t seem anyone out there will meet the demands Fitzpatrick and his team are making? Well, maybe the average. The Jets were offering, reportedly, $8 million a season, while Fitzpatrick is looking for something closer to $15 million. The Jets are meeting with players (like Robert Griffin III), but in the end it might be more about the guaranteed money and not something else.
Two Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs, Reggie Nelson and Leon Hall, are on this list. Right now it seems that no teams are interested in the 33-year old Nelson. It’s not just age that might be a problem, but a possible, hidden ankle injury from the playoffs last year. In any case, what might be the resolution of his situation seems like a one-year deal for very little money, going back to the Bengals, in a slightly different role. It’s either that or waiting around for teams to pick up injuries during camp from the looks of it.
Hall isn’t all that young either (turned 31 at the end of last season), but he has a lot more demand than Nelson. The cornerback has been visiting teams and looks like the more likely of the two to end up playing somewhere else while getting his demands met. He’s been most strongly linked to the Dallas Cowboys, but right now it doesn’t look like the Cowboys are too eager to spend a lot of money in free agency, waiting to see what the draft brings.
Another Bengals player who is still a free agent is defensive end Wallace Gilberry. He hasn’t gotten a lot of interest so far, but despite him being on the wrong side of 30, there are no injuries that teams need to worry about. He’s not an explosion coming off the edge when rushing the passer, but he’s a solid addition to any team. Right now, it’s all quiet on his front, but the likelihood of him leaving Cincinnati seems rather high.
Kamar Aiken of the Baltimore Ravens isn’t likely to leave. Right now they’ve used a second round tender on the 26 year old receiver, who had something of a breakout year in 2015 with 944 yards and 5 touchdowns. There hasn’t been much noise about anything coming out of Baltimore regarding the former UCF player, but it does seem the Ravens have different things on their minds right now. Most likely he’s signs back with them, as the second round pick might be a bit too expensive for others.
There are other players like Roddy White who could be useful but are getting very little interest at the moment. Right now White and his agent are busy blaming Kyle Shanahan for pushing him out of Atlanta through the plays he designed and called, but White unable to get separation and losing his speed is what’s probably keeping him from signing a new deal. Either way, teams are more and more interested in what the draft has to offer instead of the older guys, at least for the short term.