Free-agent movement has died down, but there are plenty of big names left to sign and depth charts that need filling. Let's break down the biggest hanging questions.
Where will the new free-agent quarterbacks land?
The quarterback market oddly looks better now than when free agency started. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Hasselbeck and Kevin Kolb are all backup-type options at this stage of their careers. But they are better than a lot of backups out there.
The early buzz has Hasselbeck joining Andrew Luck and the Colts in Indianapolis. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Monday night that the sides are close to agreeing to a two-year contract. Fitzpatrick had talked about a return to the Cincinnati Bengals or being a possible replacement for Hasselbeck in Tennessee, and Rapoport reported the quarterback chose the latter, agreeing to a two-year contract with the Titans. Kolb could find a job with the New York Jets.
What is Ed Reed waiting for?
Who are the best players available?
We're keeping a running list of the best remaining players on NFL.com. Most of the best players left are veterans who are coming off an injury or just looking for a few more productive years. Cornerback Antoine Winfield absolutely can help a team in the slot. Former Oakland Raiders defensive back Michael Huff can play multiple positions at a capable level. Tight end Fred Davis was one of my favorite bargains heading into free agency; he should land with the Washington Redskins or Dallas Cowboys.
Why can't veteran pass rushers get a job?
NFL free agency is underway. Follow all of the latest player rumors and signings in our free-agent tracker. More...
James Harrison: It sounds like the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year is last in this line of free agents looking for a job.
Richard Seymour: It wouldn't surprise us if Seymour retires rather than take a massive pay cut.
Folks like Seymour or even Harrison might have to wait until after the draft to find jobs they like.
Was there collusion going on in free agency?
You could ask this question another way: Are teams getting smarter in free agency?
It's remarkable how many teams "set a price" on a free agent and stuck to it. The teams usually nailed the player's value, whether it was Jake Long, Wes Welker, Sean Smith or Greg Jennings. That has some agents wondering aloud if collusion was going on between teams ahead of time. We don't think it was anything that nefarious.
Second, teams always will act in their own best interest.
Rapoport: Market valueless?
Ian Rapoport explains why cornerback salaries are plummeting. Plus, a potential Geno Smith suitor nobody's talking about. **More ...**
Sure, some "McContracts" were handed out at cornerback once the market was set, but that was for a reason. There was too much supply out there, and none of the free agents was a difference maker. It was a deep group, but it wasn't top heavy. No one got Cortland Finnegan money because Finnegan easily was better than anyone in this cornerback crop. The handful of deep positions in free agency (offensive tackle, cornerback, running back) also look pretty deep in the draft.
The middle class of NFL veterans got squeezed. Guys like Avril, Welker and Jennings who passed on contract extensions a year ago lost out in the process.
The flat salary cap ultimately forced teams to make smarter decisions in free agency. A league full of general managers acting more like Ted Thompson simply is good business.