Dawan Landry to the Jets?

sbnation.com

sbnation.com

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that Dawan Landry visited the Jets yesterday afternoon. This is by no means a surprising location for Landry, since the Jets have a hole at the position after letting Dawan’s brother, Laron, leave in FA. If he were to sign with the Jets, he would settle in nicely, playing with a team that can generate a better pass rush than his former team, the Jaguars. That would allow him to play more instinctively instead of trying to cover people for longer than 3-4 seconds. He played well in Jacksonville the last two seasons, but his contract was ultimately too large for a rebuilding team to keep. Hopefully he gets a multiyear contract with a reasonable amount of money that will allow him to stick around for a while. I’ll let you know when I here anything definite about him signing with a team.

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Top 10 Tech NFL Players- #5 Philip Wheeler

Now that we are deep into the NFL offseason, let’s go back and take a look at the Tech players who performed the best on the field last season. I believe the most informative and exciting way to do this is to make a Top 10 list, counting down from 10 to 1. I’ll post one player a day for the next ten weekdays, so make sure to keep up and share your opinions by commenting below. The next player we are going to talk about and the number five player on this list is Philip Wheeler, an OLB for the Raiders last season.

rantsports.com

rantsports.com

Wheeler started his NFL career with the Colts after being drafted by them in the 3rd round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He increased his tackle totals each year with the Colts, but was not resigned prior to last year. Instead he chose to sign a one year deal with the Raiders and made the most of his opportunity. In his one year with the Raiders, he accumulated 109 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FFs, and 6 pass deflections. Along with gradually developing as a player, he was able to stay healthy for all 16 games of the season, which explains the excellent productivity.

Wheeler lands at #5 on this list because he was a consistent, above-average player for the entire season, which can’t be said for everyone below him. Looking forward to next year, I expect him to have another very good season now that he is playing on a better defense after signing with Miami yesterday. Therefore, I think he can rise a spot or two on this list, assuming he can also hold off healthy and consistent years from Derrick Morgan and Daryl Smith. Below are the rankings so far.

#10 Vance Walker- Atlanta Falcons

#9 Jonathan Dwyer- Pittsburgh Steelers

#8 Dawan Landry- Jacksonville Jaguars

#7 Derrick Morgan- Tennessee Titans

#6 Daryl Smith- Jacksonville Jaguars

Stats from ESPN.com.

Philip Wheeler Signs With The Dolphins

According to Pro Football Talk, Philip Wheeler has signed a five year contract with the Miami Dolphins. The contract is a 5 year, 26 million dollar contract, with 13 million guaranteed. Wheeler joins Mike Wallace and Dannell Ellerbe in the Dolphins’ stacked FA class. He’s going to be playing on a pretty good Dolphins defense next year, so congrats to him on the smart choice.

Top 10 Tech NFL Players- #6 Daryl Smith

Now that we are deep into the NFL offseason, let’s go back and take a look at the Tech players who performed the best on the field last season. I believe the most informative and exciting way to do this is to make a Top 10 list, counting down from 10 to 1. I’ll post one player a day for the next ten weekdays, so make sure to keep up and share your opinions by commenting below. The next player we are going to talk about and the number six player on this list is Daryl Smith, an OLB for the Jaguars.

Daryl Smith

Daryl Smith was a second round pick by the Jaguars in the 2004 draft and has played in Jacksonville for his entire career. He has been a force since entering the league, becoming one of the best 4-3 OLBs in the NFL. He had a stellar 2011 season, but was injured for much of the 2012 season. After missing the first 14 games of the season with a groin injury, he was activated off of IR and played for the Jags. He did not play up to his usual standards, but he was effective while on the field.

I debated where to put Smith on this list, since he didn’t play much last season. Ultimately I decided his overall talent was enough to keep him in the middle of the list behind the players who really had breakout seasons. Smith is an UFA this offseason and he should receive a lot of attention. He is one of the best LBs on the market(along with Philip Wheeler) and should get a pretty nice multiyear contract. I don’t think he will be back in Jacksonville unless he comes at a very reasonable price for them since they are in rebuilding mode. With that most likely out of the picture, he should try and sign with a playoff team since he has been on some bad teams throughout his years in the league. It will be interesting to see where he lands, but either way he will be higher up on this list next year if he can stay healthy. Below are the rankings so far.

#10 Vance Walker- Atlanta Falcons

#9 Jonathan Dwyer- Pittsburgh Steelers

#8 Dawan Landry- Jacksonville Jaguars

#7 Derrick Morgan- Tennessee Titans

#6 Daryl Smith- Jacksonville Jaguars

Dwyer Signs His Tender

According to Adam Schefter, Jonathan Dwyer has signed his sixth round RFA tender. The tender is worth 1.323 million dollars for next season. By signing his tender and foregoing FA, Dwyer will play on a one year deal and then be an unrestricted free agent heading into next offseason. This is good news for Dwyer as he had a solid year, but would prefer to sign a new deal next offseason after hopefully becoming Pittsburgh’s starter. If he can win the starting job next season and performs well, he will get a much bigger deal than if he had signed a multiyear deal this offseason. Congratulations to Jonathan for signing his tender tonight!

NFL Free Agency: Philip Wheeler

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 one of Tech’s best linebackers in the NFL, Philip Wheeler.

Philip Wheeler was drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He played for four seasons in Indianapolis until he signed a one year deal with Oakland last offseason. His tackle numbers have increased each year as he has gotten more playing time. His one year deal with the Raiders will end up paying off, however, as he had a very strong year for them. For the 2012 season, Wheeler had 109 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 FFs, and 6 pass deflections. Those numbers put him towards the top of the 2013 Free Agent class and he will be looking for a big pay day.

Wheeler is still relatively young(only 28) so I expect him to sign a three or four year deal with a team. I also don’t see him worrying about the team’s past performance, meaning he will go to the highest bidder. It will be interesting to see who will get a better contract between him and Daryl Smith, since both are top tier linebackers in this year’s FA group. Free Agency starts tomorrow at 4 P.M., so news on his status may come quick. Teams have been allowed to talk to players’ agents, which means he should already have visits line up. If he gets an offer he likes, he may be signed by a team within the next few days. Hopefully he can find the best deal for himself and I’ll let you know where that is when it happens.

Stats from ESPN.com.

Dawan Landry Released by the Jaguars

Today the Jaguars released Dawan Landry in order to save more cap space. This was definitely a cost outweighing performance cut for a team who is in full rebuilding mode. Landry played pretty well last year for the Jags, but they do not want to pay him the money he is guaranteed on the contract he signed two years ago. The Jags have a new GM and he has come in and immediately started to eliminate overplayed players. This also means Daryl Smith probably won’t be back with the Jags, as he is a top tier 4-3 OLB. I’ll keep everyone updated when I here more information about free agency. Remember, it starts on Tuesday at 4 P.M.

Top 10 Tech NFL Players- #9 Jonathan Dwyer

Now that we are deep into the NFL offseason, let’s go back and take a look at the Tech players who performed the best on the field last season. I believe the most informative and exciting way to do this is to make a Top 10 list, counting down from 10 to 1. I’ll post one player a day for the next ten weekdays, so make sure to keep up and share your opinions by commenting below. The next player we are going to talk about and the number nine player on this list is Jonathan Dwyer, a RB for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

bleacherreport.com

bleacherreport.com

Last season was Jonathan Dwyer’s third year in the league after being drafted by the Steelers in 2010. In his first two seasons he was a back-up and received little playing time. Luckily for Dwyer, Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman constantly dealt with injuries in the 2012 season and he was finally given a chance to play. In 2012, Dwyer ran for 623 yards and 2 TDs on 156 carries for an average of 4 YPC. Those are very good numbers for his first year getting real playing time.

Dwyer got the nod over Vance Walker because he was able to start for the Steelers in multiple games and became a playmaker for them. He set himself up nicely going into FA and now the Steelers will have to pay him a little bit more to keep him. All four of the Steelers’ running backs are free agents, so it would be smart on their part to keep Dwyer and find a complimentary back for him. His physical running style goes well with Pittsburgh’s young and improving offensive line, which should help him put up good numbers again if he stays. He has a good chance to move up on this list if he is able to secure a starting spot over the offseason and beat out Redman. Otherwise he may drop if players like Vance Walker and Stephen Hill can put it all together next season. Below are the rankings so far.

#10 Vance Walker- Atlanta Falcons

#9 Jonathan Dwyer- Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Stats from ESPN.com.

NFL Free Agency: Keith Brooking

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.

NFL Free Agency: Daryl Smith

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 player set to hit FA this offseason, Daryl Smith.

Daryl Smith, drafted by the Jaguars in 2004, has spent all eight of his NFL seasons in Jacksonville. He has made a name for himself with his impressive play and has consistently been recognized as one of the best 4-3 OLBs in the NFL. Unfortunately for Daryl, he sustained a groin injury in the preseason last year and missed 14 games. Prior to last season he was expecting a large contract, but he probably won’t get that type of money after his contract year injury.

Daryl Smith

zimbio.com

By all accounts, Smith would like to stay in Jacksonville now that he has two kids and has a house there. However, the Jags have gone through a complete front office overhaul and may not see him as a long term solution for a rebuild. If he comes at a cheaper price, I expect him to resign with the Jaguars. If he is intent on getting as much money as he can, then he will most likely sign with a playoff contender who is one or two defensive players away from winning it all.

I can see multiple teams giving him a contract loaded with incentives, since he is a very good player. If he can prove that last year was a fluke, then he shouldn’t have an issue playing through the end of his next contract. He certainly has a lot to prove this year so keep an eye out for his name when the FA period begins at 4 P.M. on March 12th.