After a barrage of kicking woes through the first 4 weeks of the season, the NFL waiver wire (no, not your fantasy football league’s waiver wire) has been abnormally busy just a quarter of the way into the year. Bills Insider Chris Brown reported today that the Buffalo Bills signed former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff and ex-Raider WR Denarius Moore, and he reported yesterday that the team added former Colt Daniel ‘Boom’ Herron in wake of Karlos Williams’ concussion.
These recent transactions that have filled the NFL rumor mills may be just the start. There have been a lot of injuries in the first four weeks, and there are a few capable free agents waiting to fill in those spots.
Lets take a look, position by position, of who is available to be called up by NFL franchises in need.
Matt Flynn: The journeyman, who has spent tours with Green Bay, Oakland, Buffalo, Seattle, and Green Bay again, and New England, and New York has made almost $19 million in his playing career. Now, while that number seems a bit high for a guy who has never started even 10 games as a QB in a single season in the NFL, the guy can still play.
Teams with quarterback woes should call Matt Flynn before anyone else. The Colts, who have injury issues with Andrew Luck’s shoulder and questionable backup health for the ancient Matt Hasselback, have turned to Josh Johnson as their third QB. Flynn may get a call up from Chuck Pagano if Johnson fails to do the trick.
Potential destinations: Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers
Christian Ponder: The former Vikings starter has bounced around quite a bit after his career crashed up north. But Ponder still has a unique pocket passer + athleticism combination that makes him a better option than other free agents available. Teams with athletic, dual threat QBs may turn to Ponder in case of injury.
Potential Destinations: Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears
T.J. Yates: The former UNC standout and Texan QB finds himself jobless once again. But of the possible options available, Yates’ canon arm will draw interest for pass first offenses. He’s not a great option, but he can step in if need be.
Potential Destinations: Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jonathan Dwyer: The definition of a thumper, Dwyer and his massive frame would be useful for almost any goal line situation. Both the Chargers and Raiders could have interest in a guy to use inside the 5 yard line.
Potential Destinations: San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders
Antone Smith: The ex-Falcon scored 5 touchdowns (3 rec, 2 rush) last season, even gaining fantasy relevance at one point. Smith is a pure speedback, incapable of going between the tackles or through them. Smith would be helpful to a team that needs some energy out of the backfield as well as a receiving option.
Potential Destinations: Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints
Knowshon Moreno: An ACL injury derailed his career after an amazing year in Denver. Moreno is still probably worthy of a featured back role, but no coach would trust him with that after his injury woes. If a team’s first back goes down, Moreno would be a sleeper pick to take over.
Potential Destinations: Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots
Pierre Thomas: Another thumper, the veteran Pierre Thomas could be very useful to a title contender looking for some energy and veteran presence. Thomas may not be the runner he used to be, but he can still be a good third down back for a team in need.
Potential Destinations: Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers
Hakeem Nicks: The veteran Nicks has bounced around quite a lot since his days as a number one option for Eli Manning and the New York Football Giants. The UNC product was electrifying in his time in the big apple, but failed to ever recreate his effectiveness elsewhere.
Potential Destinations: Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints
Wes Welker: Welker is unliked in the NFL community, not because people don’t like him, but because people are scared for him. Welker has had too many concussions for even the average NFL player, and that scares organizations. But if Welker can swear by his health, so be it. He would be a valuable slot receiver on some teams.
Potential Destinations: Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers
The veteran is a big presence, and would be a good option for a run heavy team that could use his blocking skills.
Potential Destinations: Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, New York Jets
Dreesen is a great red zone target, and would be a nice fill in for injured tight ends in Green Bay and Jacksonville.
Potential Destinations: Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins
Randy Bullock: Bullock is a career 61 for 69 on field goals in his short NFL career, and would provide a good replacement were another team’s kicker to come down with a case of the shanks.