La Canfora On Manning, Suh, McCown, Saints

Weighing in on two of the biggest offseason stories, Jason La Canfora of leads off his latest piece by looking at the Peyton Manning and Ndamukong Suh situations. In La Canfora’s view, Manning will ultimately return to the Broncos after the two sides tweak his contract a little. As for Suh, the scribe doesn’t have any updates on the Lions‘ talks with the defensive star, but says he thinks the Jaguars and Raiders will be major players. For those teams to be involved in the Suh derby, he’d have to reach the open market, which would mean no long-term deal or franchise tag from Detroit.

La Canfora also passes along plenty more tidbits related to free agency, so let’s dive in and round up the highlights….

  • When it comes to the market’s top pass rushers, La Canfora thinks Pernell McPhee can reach $10MM per year, with Jerry Hughes in the $9MM range, and Brandon Graham and Jason Worilds around $7.5MM. La Canfora also believes that all four of those players will join new teams next month.
  • Free agent quarterback Josh McCown is expected to decide on his new team later this week or early next week, and could land another deal worth $5MM annually. The Bills and Browns look like the best bets for McCown, according to La Canfora.
  • The Saints are working through contract issues with about a half-dozen players on their roster, sources tell La Canfora. If things work out the way the team hopes, Marques Colston, Jahri Evans, and Curtis Lofton would likely stick around on reduced salaries, while Ben Grubbs, Brodrick Bunkley, and David Hawthorne could be let go. As for Junior Galette, La Canfora is hearing that head coach Sean Payton has “expressed a desire” to part ways with him, following his January arrest. However, Galette’s contract still contains a sizeable chunk of guaranteed money, and the team likely can’t void those guarantees.
  • Percy Harvin probably won’t accept a pay cut from the Jets, which means the team will likely cut him. La Canfora expects the wideout to gamble himself in free agency, signing a one-year deal with a team that has a good quarterback in place.
  • The Jaguars will be seeking a top pass catcher, and La Canfora wouldn’t be surprised if the team lands a player like Randall Cobb or Julius Thomas. Per La Canfora, the Packers recognize Cobb’s market could get out of hand, and may focus on re-signing other key free agents, like Bryan Bulaga and Letroy Guion.
  • Chiefs center Rodney Hudson came very close to signing a four-year extension worth $6MM per year during the season. He’s a good bet to exceed that amount in free agency, and the Raiders are one viable suitor.
  • La Canfora anticipates the Ravens will work out a restructured deal with Lardarius Webb, but isn’t as certain about Haloti Ngata, who may play for a new team in 2015.
  • The Jets would have interest in Ryan Mallett if he reaches the open market. However, the Texans have made their interest in the quarterback clear, and Mallett himself said today that he’d like to return to Houston (Twitter link via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle).
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