Leading up to the beginning of the NFL Free Agency period I will be going through some of the former Georgia Tech players who will be looking for new teams and big contracts. There are some notable players on the list of FAs this year and quite a few should get multiple year deals. Let’s take a look at arguably the best Tech linebacker of all time, Keith Brooking.
Brooking has had a very decorated career in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors during his time with the Atlanta Falcons. After leaving the Cowboys two season ago, most people believed he was out of the league. Brooking, however, signed a one-year contract with the Broncos and eventually earned the starting job a few games into the 2012 season. He racked up 54 tackles while playing in all 16 games, which is quite impressive given how long he has been around.
His one-year contract before last season shows the Broncos weren’t expecting much from him and one has to imagine that he doesn’t have much left in the tank. The only thing Brooking is still chasing is a Super Bowl ring, so he may choose to re-sign with the Broncos to give it one last shot. With that said, I honestly see him testing out the free agent market, but eventually retiring. He’s given all he has to the NFL and it is better to go out a starter than a back-up. It will surely be interesting to see what road Brooking takes because he won’t have many options when free agency starts.
The NFL Free Agency period begins at 4 P.M. on March 12th and there are quite a few former Georgia Tech players looking for a job. As we get closer to the beginning of FA, I’ll write a few posts about certain Tech players and where they should end up. For now, Michael Johnson is the only player who knows where he’ll be next year. He was franchise tagged by the Bengals, ensuring he will be with them for at least one more year. Here’s the rest of the free agents this year.
UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent)- Player is allowed to sign with whatever team he would like at the start of the FA period.
RFA (Restricted Free Agent)- The player’s old team places a qualifying offer on them and the player is allowed to talk to other teams. If the player signs a deal with another team, his original team is allowed to match the offer. If they choose not to match it, they will receive draft pick compensation in the round the RFA was designated in. This is somewhat confusing and it makes it pretty hard for RFA to sign with a different team because most teams don’t want to give up draft picks for players.
Exclusive Rights Free Agent- These FAs have two years of NFL experience but are not currently on a roster. If their former club offers them a three years veteran’s minimum contract, then they must take it or else not play in the NFL.
Tashard Choice- UFA
Jonathan Dwyer- RFA
Anthony Allen- Exclusive Rights
Will Heller- UFA
Andrew Gardner- RFA
Michael Johnson- Franchise Tagged
Vance Walker- UFA
Keith Brooking- UFA
Daryl Smith- UFA
Philip Wheeler- UFA
Gary Guyton- UFA
Free Agent info was acquired from footballfutures.com