The NFL free agent market opens tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. but teams can “tamper” with players now. While there hasn’t been a lot of leaked deals, pricing leaks have started to trickle in.
Everything at this point is really just a matter of rumor as it pertains to players contracts that really don’t exist until tomorrow. Teams typically don’t release numbers but the players’ agents will typically waste no time. All in an effort to drive a bigger market.
This could be the case for soon to be former Miami Dolphin defensive end Andre Branch. The Dolphins would have liked to have Branch back on the team but it was reported earlier in the off-season that the team viewed him more as a rotational defensive end and as such wanted to pay him in that range.
Information today from the almost universally unreliable Jason Cole has Branch’s price tag to be in the $7-9 million range.
The deal here is that it very well could be rising. The defensive end market this year is horrible which is only marginally worse than it was last year when Olivier Vernon signed a huge deal with the Giants. And the Giants didn’t get that return in production.
With recent team re-signs like Charles Johnson with the Panthers, Branch is moving up on the list of eligible DE’s and that equally equates to big dollars. What could however keep his salary number down in reality is the depth at the position in this years draft. One of the deepest in recent years.
Another problem Branch may find is that he has really had only one very good season and last year he was supposed to be the back-up to Mario Williams who flamed out early. He made the most of his opportunity and will get a sizeable raise wherever he goes. It just looks as though it will not be with Miami.