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Insider

Will Patriots be aggressive this offseason?

3/5/2012

Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag twice a week. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.


Q: The New England Patriots have some cap room and multiple draft picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Do you see them being big players in the free agency market? Could they go after Mario Williams?

-- Jerry (Vermont)

A: No question the Patriots need to add pass rushers, Jerry, and Williams will be the No. 1 free agent out there (if Peyton Manning isn't available). But it's usually not the Patriot Way to pour their resources into one marquee player such as Williams. He would be great in their system, and the Patriots certainly could use him, so it's logical to make the connection between the two sides -- it won't be the first time it happens. But my sense of it today -- and senses seem to change many days during free agency -- is that he will wind up elsewhere.


Q: I read Gary Horton's piece on Vincent Jackson and his possible landing spots, if he isn't franchised. Where do you think is the most likely place for him to land? Any chance he goes to the Minnesota Vikings?

-- Trent (Louisiana)

A: Trent: As I write this on Monday afternoon, my understanding is that it's highly unlikely that Jackson will be tagged, which means he would become the most sought after wide receiver in this free-agent class. Minnesota made a run at Jackson before and could do so again. San Francisco will be in the market to add another wide receiver, as might Carolina. But given his choice, I think Jackson would like to remain in San Diego. He might give the Chargers a slight discount, not much, but enough that the Chargers have a small advantage over other teams. Still, he will not be easy for San Diego to re-sign.


Q: Adam, please tell me a team that would be a better fit for Peyton Manning than the Kansas City Chiefs? With a good defense and a weak AFC West, it seems like a good fit. Who is the front-runner to get him right now? Could he be back in Indy?

-- Adam (Kansas)

A: Adam: A lot of teams would be good fits for Manning. If he goes to Miami, Washington, Seattle, Arizona or Kansas City, those teams automatically improve their chances of winning their divisions and advancing in the playoffs. Your point on Kansas City is a fair one. But there are a lot of teams that have a lot to offer. It's up to Manning to choose. Given his choice, my sense is he'd prefer to remain in Indianapolis. But there are a lot of factors that come into play that make that unlikely. So if Manning is set free, it will be up to all of the teams mentioned in this answer -- and others -- to try to woo Manning. Suffice it to say, he would be the most high-profile free agent in NFL history.


Q: Being a die-hard New York Jets fan, I can only pray that Mike Tannenbaum pulls a rabbit out of his hat this offseason and signs a guy that not only looks good on paper, but is an outstanding leader. Which free agent(s) do you think would look in green and white, both on the field and in the locker room?

-- Jake (New York)

A: A logical candidate would be Baltimore defensive end Jarret Johnson, who played for Rex Ryan with the Ravens. Johnson is open to leaving Baltimore, Ryan would love to have him in New York and it's a match that makes a lot of sense. The big issue is that the Jets don't have a lot of wiggle room under the salary cap. But teams always can find a way around that. Cash is more important than salary-cap space, and the Jets will try to find enough cash to make enough moves to find some of those rabbits.


Q: Hey Adam, I'm wondering why the Niners chose to franchise Dashon Goldson instead of Carlos Rogers. It seems like Goldson would be not only more likely to re-sign with the Niners anyway, but easier to replace than Rogers if he did leave. What's the reason for not franchising Rogers?

-- Dave (California)

A: Fair points, Dave, but Goldson is younger and has more upside than Rogers, who turns 31 this summer. Cornerbacks are tougher to find than safeties, but Goldson was so good last season, that San Francisco might have lost him if it didn't tag him. So it went that route. Plus, Rogers had his best season for San Francisco last season. He never played better. Whereas he struggled to hold on to footballs in the past, they seemed to stick to his fingers last season. I think the 49ers were just more sold on Goldson than Rogers, though they're both very good players.