It’s difficult determining the generous buyers in a season in which many owners will be generous in lowering their expectations. Without a normal off-season, it would surprise me to see any quick fires – Josh McDaniels, Mike Singletary, Eric Mangini, Jim Mora – like we have seen in previous years.
The criteria for big spenders are
a. big market
b. past success
c. recent drought, and
d. coach on the hot seat
These now or never teams for 2011 that fit some or all of the criteria are: the Texans, Bears, Cowboys, Redskins, Jets, and Falcons.
Jerry Jones missed out on O.J. Atogwe to bolster his secondary, he hasn’t had a chance to oversee what feast-or-famine CB Mike Jenkins looks like, and he sees a little Deion in Nnamdi Asomugha. The falling ice and overbooking at Cowboys Stadium for the Super Bowl has only emboldened Jerry Jones to try to alter his fortunes. This is exciting because Nnamdi has never played in a playoff game.
Ray Edwards had a really strong year of pass rush for the Vikings. He has seized the opportunity that Jared Allen double teams have given him and accumulated 8 of the Vikings’ 31 sacks, 34 hurries and 4 tackles for a loss in 14 games. The Falcons have decent DT depth but no consistent edge threat outside of the Abraham, who is in his twilight. Three seasons and no playoff wins might influence their decision but I don’t think Smith is on the hot seat. He kind of reminds me of a Jeff Fisher type, who is so beloved – AKA taken advantage of – by players and respected by the community that his job is always secure.
Cullen Jenkins will probably place right after Ray Edwards and Sidney Rice as the highest-paid free agent in the off-season. The Redskins – usually big spenders – will probably choose between offering a load of money to Asomugha or to Jenkins. They could offer to both. I’ve heard that Asomugha is interested in winning, not cash. The Redskins are interested in Jenkins and they are anxious to get a DT that wants to play in their system and will go all out. Ultimately, their pass rush – taking down the quarterback just 29 times – is hurting more than the corner position. Also, Jenkins wants to play there. The additions of Jarvis Jenkins, Ryan Kerrigan and Cullen Jenkins would bolster their blitzing capabilities.
Finally, I know Terrelle Pryor‘s agent has talked about him going to the Dolphins but I realized that the Jets’ interest in Brad Smith will be subdued now that kick-off returns for TDs will be rarer. Smith might want to go somewhere where he isn’t buried by Holmes, Cotchery and a few others. Gang Green could replace his Wildcat role with Terrelle Pryor. Rex is all in every year and isn’t afraid to take chances on players with character issues (Edwards, Cromartie).