NFL Q&A with Allen and The Ace is a weekly column featured on during the NFL Season. Allen and The Ace are big time NFL junkies and are Falcon and Packer fans, respectively. Each week the guys will ask questions and talk about the NFL.

You can follow Allen on Twitter @Allen_Strk and The Ace @TheAce18.

Ace: After a month or so hiatus, we’ve returned to discuss NFL Free Agency. We did this article on a weekly basis from August to the week after the Super Bowl. We won’t be back on a weekly basis, perhaps a bi-weekly basis since the next few months, aside from free agency beginning and the NFL Draft, it’s relatively slow until July or so. My team needs some help on their offensive line, your team also needs some help. Lets find out what we think they’re thinking!

Allen: After February 3rd ended with Ray Lewis pretending to be a disciple, I've been waiting for this date. Free agency is finally here, which is the time to upgrade or keep your respective team afloat. The crop of talent isn't as good as past years, but there is certainly some good talent out there to add. The positions that have more talent than others are mostly wide receivers, tight ends, and pass rushers. This is the week that I'll be glued to twitter since I follow several NFL analysts that will have information. It should be a hectic week following all the action as well. Let's get into the questions.

Ace: We've seen several veteran players either released or will test free agency. Charles Woodson, John Abraham, Dwight Freeney, Steven Jackson and Ed Reed are a few.

Do you see any of these guys making a big impact on a new team or will they just end their career in a new destination?

Allen: All of the names that you mentioned will contribute, but Steven Jackson stands out to me. Jackson is still 29 years old and can still carry the load. There are a few championship-caliber teams that would love to add Jackson to their offense. It will come down to the Broncos, Falcons, and Packers in the race to add Jackson. All three teams could use a running back and there isn't a better one out there in Jackson. He may have a lot of mileage on his legs, but Jackson is hungry to play in January and still has at least 2 years where he can be productive. The other names will mostly be role players, especially Freeney and Abraham. They can still pressure the quarterback for 20 to 25 snaps a game, along with the fact that most teams need pass rushers. Woodson and Reed could still play for a few years, but they are going to be role players at best. Jackson is most capable to make the biggest impact helping any of those three teams become more balanced, instead of being completely pass-first offenses.

If you were a team like the New York Jets or Oakland Raiders and needed so many needs, who's the number one free agent on the list of free agents? Who would you consider someone that is a player that you must have in free agency, who hasn't been franchise tagged or a restricted free agent?

Ace: The Raiders and Jets don’t have a ton of cap space, but I believe that if I’m the Oakland Raiders, I’d set my sights on someone to help their dreadful defense. A guy that comes to mind would be cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He would be an anchor in their secondary for the next 5-7 years and give the Raiders to draft a pass rusher on defense. I think they’re decent on offense, but they need to really improve their defense. For the New York Jets, I believe that if Oakland can’t pull the trigger on DRC, the Jets should try, especially if they’re going to trade Darrelle Revis. The Jets do have much bigger issues, they don’t have a solid running game, and their receivers aren’t anything to brag about. They should look at trying to resign Dustin Keller. As we’ve talked about during last season, Keller has been Mark Sanchez’s go to guy in an offense that really hasn’t had a #1 receiver. The Jets are in far worse shape than the Raiders, in my opinion.

Allen: I do think cornerback is a necessity for both teams. The market for cornerbacks has some possible star talent available. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is up there, but I could see someone like Aqib Talib or Brent Grimes available that would be a better option. Even though Rodgers-Cromartie is very talented and younger, his character issues could be a problem for a team that is in rebuilding mode. Paul Kruger would be my pick in terms of overall talent. Both teams are in desperate need of a pass rusher and he is ready to have a break out season. They would have to over spend but the potential of Kruger is very high. You could have a great secondary, but it won’t matter as much without a good pass rush. The Jets should know that considering that their pass rushing issues played a role in why they lost two AFC championships in a row.

Teams that are relevant in February and March generally have a tough time being relevant the following January. The Philadelphia Eagles 'Dream Team' comes to mind most recently. The Kansas City Chiefs, holder of the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft hired a big name head coach in Andy Reid, locked up their top receiver in Dwayne Bowe and signed CB Dunta Robinson. Last year the Chiefs were a trendy pick to win the AFC West (as you and I predicted).

Do you think this team has a shot at the postseason after getting a great head coach and a seemingly competent quarterback in Alex Smith?

Allen: The Chiefs have always been a solid team to me. I'm not sure what happened last year in the collapse, although it was clear Matt Cassel isn't a starting quarterback. If you have been reading our column on a weekly basis, you know I've never been high on Smith. He's a good game manager and can make plays, but he's more similar to Matt Cassel than an Eli Manning. He doesn't turn the ball over, but he isn't exactly someone that is going to throw for 300 yards on a consistent basis. If the Chiefs continue to run the ball with Jamaal Charles, then Smith should have a good year. They will benefit from a weak schedule and a bad division. Oakland is a complete mess and San Diego isn't anything special. They could challenge for a wild card spot, but I'm not expecting more than 9 wins. This draft coming up is going to be huge for them in the future. If they can add more playmakers for Alex Smith and add more help in the secondary, then they could be back in the playoffs.

After yesterday’s trades, what offense would you fear more in San Francisco or Seattle?

Ace: I loved the Seahawks last year, except for that Monday Night Fail Mary and adding a guy like Harvin, while he’s had his share of injuries and headaches (had them and given them to others) he’s still an exciting player to watch. What I find odd about the trade yesterday is that after trading Harvin to Seattle, reported that the Vikings offered the Ravens a 7th Round Pick in exchange for Boldin. If you’re the Minnesota Vikings you need to up the ante a bit. If you’re willing to take on Boldin’s $6 Million contract, which is probably at least less than half of what you’d be paying Harvin annually, why would you not throw in a 5th or 6th round pick? Anyway, I do think that Seattle will be the favorite (as of right now, 9:00am the day free agency starts) to win the NFC West because their offense should be feared by many. As much as I love Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch is a far superior back right now between the two and your receivers are Harvin, Golden Tate and Sidney Rice. Russell Wilson has options now and I fully expect, if he’s healthy, Sidney Rice to have a big 2013 with a lot of attention being given to Harvin. The one thing that worries me if I were a Seahawks fan is this: Darrell Bevell as your Offensive Coordinator, a great quarterback, a monster running back and your receivers are Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. The Minnesota Vikings told that story in 2009 and it didn’t end well.

Allen: Even though Kaepernick is more dynamic than Wilson, I’m still going with the Seahawks. I’m aware of Percy Harvin’s attitude and injury problems, but he has to be rejuvenated to be on a new team. Harvin is one of the top playmakers in football and has the ability to score anytime he touches the ball. It’s going to be a scary addition to a team that is already explosive with Russell Wilson leading the way. Now you’ll have Golden Tate continuing to develop, after showing some promise as a deep threat last year. Marshawn Lynch is still the focal point of the offense, but the addition of Harvin brings a whole new dimension to an already good offense. Boldin was a nice addition, but he’s aging and I don’t see him replicating much of his success from the playoffs.

Before we go, we wanted to list our top 5 free agents that we believe will change residences this offseason. Here’s mine:


Ace’s Top Free Agents

1. Mike Wallace, WR- He’s the best receiver in the free agency class due to his talent and age.

Where I think he’ll end up: Miami Dolphins

2. Cliff Avril, DE- He wants to get paid like a top defensive end in the league. I think he will.

Where I think he’ll end up: Cleveland Browns

3. Greg Jennings, WR- He’s had injury issues the last few seasons, but when he’s healthy he can be a deep threat or a slot threat.

Where I think he’ll end up: St. Louis Rams

4. Jake Long, OT- It’s possible he could end up back in Miami, but I doubt it.

Where I think he’ll end up: Chicago Bears

5. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB- DRC has a ton of upside, he’ll be 27 next month, but he’s got a lot left in his career.

Where I think he’ll end up: New England Patriots

That’s it for this week. We’ll let free agency take shape and be back next week. In the meantime, be sure to check out Macho Men Radio for the best (*The Ace’s opinion) NFL Chatter on Thanks and enjoy the new NFL year!


Allen’s Top Free Agents

1. Mike Wallace WR- In the right offense, he can be a top 5 wide receiver. I’m not sure why Pittsburgh wants to let him go, but sometimes it’s just not worth it similar to Percy Harvin and the Vikings.

Where I think he’ll end up: Miami Dolphins

2. Jake Long OT- I’ve heard rumors teams may be interested putting him in right tackle. I highly doubt that, he’s still one of the best left tackles in the league and should be paid like it. Something behind the scenes tells me Miami doesn’t want to pay him though.

Where I think he’ll end up: Chicago Bears

3. Cliff Avril DE- He hasn’t convinced me that he’s a true elite pass rusher and seems to be a bit overrated, but 39 sacks in 3 seasons is an impressive feat regardless. Detroit hasn’t shown much intention of re-signing him, so he’s on the way out.

Where I think he’ll end up: Indianapolis Colts

4. Aqib Talib CB- There will be a few teams that shy away from Talib due to his off the field issues. Talib has had his troubles, but there is no denying his cover skills. He will have some interest on the market, but New England will decide to keep him.

Where I think he’ll end up: New England Patriots

5. Paul Kruger OLB- Another player that seems to have more hype to him than he should. Still Kruger was very productive and can help a lot of teams that need pass rush help. It may come as a surprise, but the trade of Boldin helps the Ravens keep Kruger.

Where I think he’ll end up: Baltimore Ravens

Allen: The free agent class looks even weaker after making that top five list. Nevertheless, this should be a fun week and TJRSports will keep track of every major move that goes down. Thanks for reading and enjoy the exciting week.