OK firstly, I'm not sure how much any of these guys would want to play for us this year, however, they're all still out there in a free agent market that hasn't really dished out any huge contracts, so what they want is probably irrelevant compared to what they might get by this point. We don't have much cap space, nor the ability to generate an awful lot more either without cutting valuable contributors, so we're obviously not going to be able to sign all fo these guys, probably not even more than a couple of them. But here's a look at some guys who I think might fit roles on our team in 2013.
Quarterbacks: I'd like Batch back as the #3, but here's another couple of options
Kellen Clemens - Hasn't thrown too many passes of late in the NFL but he's got some starting experience and did a decent job in the 2012 preseason.
Vince Young - Biiiig risk as far as maturity goes, but he's surprisingly still under 30 and he definitely has some talent in there.
Tyler Thigpen - If they're looking for someone who could bring some read option looks during a game and perhaps more importantly, on the scout team, Thigpen is a guy who's won some games in his past.
Runningbacks: I'm all for the Ahmad Bradshaw signing but also out there are these guys
LaRod Stephens-Howling - His visit is what's kicked me off to finish this Fanpost, I see LRSH as a return man with the ability to come in and do some of the things we had Chris Rainey doing last year. A few carries, some passing routes. I don't think he'd take much away from Bradshaw but I think he could fill a valuable role
Steve Slaton - has experience (and some success early in his career) running in a zone blocking scheme. Fumbled a lot and hasn't done much since his early days but he's pretty quick and if Bradshaw doesn't come off, he might have some gas left in his tank. Good receiver out of the backfield, he's that one cut and go type of RB. Only just turned 27
Wide Receivers: Steve Breaston is a possibility I'd be in favour of if he can prove his health
Laurent Robinson - Has had concussion issues but is a talented playmaker when healthy. If he's good to go he could even push Sanders for starting time.
Devery Henderson - probably a situational deep threat for us, think Nate Washington. Still, could fill a role there.
Ramses Barden - never did much with the Giants but at 6'6" and 224lbs he could have some uses amongst our smurflike WRs. Probably not going to be anything more than a challenge to Plax, but could be a good training camp addition
Tight Ends: I think we're probably done signing at TE but if nothing comes up in the draft maybe there's a couple of guys we might consider inviting to training camp on vet minimum deals
Todd Heap - Old for sure... but for a season, or whilst we wait for Heath to get back? If his knee is healthy he could definitely fill a role for us
Kellen Winslow - Again might bring something in camp, assuming his knees still work, but like Heap, I wouldn't look to him until post draft
Offensive Tackle: Pickings are slim, which is a shame because we could use more depth and possibly a starting LT. Max Starks is still out there. Not sure how well he fits in our new scheme, but he will be an option as long as no-one else signs him. Has played decently for us the last 2 years. Most likely we find someone in the draft. But there's a couple of players who intrigue me for different reasons.
Ryan Harris - Has zone blocking experience in Denver and Houston. Could be a possible backup
Jamaal Brown - Spent last season out injured, something that will become a recurring theme here. But is a more nimble type of OT than Starks. Has a fair bit of starting experience but he's 32 already.
Jason Smith - You don't get drafted #2 overall by having zero talent. Once upon a time Smith was viewed as a Left Tackle prospect. He's a longshot to even make our roster but at 26 years old, perhaps a camp invite...
Jeff Otah - Like Starks I'm not sure how well he'd fit and he has spent a year out of the game with injury problems. If he's over them, which I'm not sure about, he's only 26 and like LRSH was at Pitt which may count for something.
Lydon Murtah - Like Otah has spent 12 months out of the game but he's a quick, agile tackle when healthy. Hasn't much starting experience but was widely tipped to be starting for the Fins in 2011 prior to injury. Like I said, slim pickings...
Offensive Guard: We're probably looking for an upgrade at starter here. We have some very good depth if we can find someone else, we have an average starter otherwise.And if you thought the pickings were slim at Tackle... well Guard is possibly worse.
Jake Scott - Has a lot of starting experience, lots of it with zone blocking teams...
Centers: We have no other Center on roster other than Pouncey. Legs may return, but there's a couple of other guys out there who might even be options for Left Guard, or perhaps enable us to use Pouncey at LG
Dan Koppen - One thing we don't have on our OL is experience. Koppen brings a wealth of it, but he is 33... he's a short term option, but I think could bring something in 2013
Jason Brown - spent a year out of football I believe, once upon a time he was considered the best young Center in football (when he was a Raven). Things did not go so well in St Louis...
Andre Gurode - pretty much was out of football last year too, Used to be a very good player. I'm not so sure now but he plays C/G and maybe he's got a year left in him as depth?
Defensive Line: Could use a more known quantity at NT and perhaps another depth guy at DE. There's virtually nothing at NT that would be better than bringing Casey back though. So Defensive Ends...
Leger Douzable - has bounced around a few teams, stopped the run pretty well but never caught on anywhere. At 6'4" 285lbs and 26 years old, I think he has the makings of a rotational 3-4DE. But might be tough to make the team with no practice squad eligibility left
Outside Linebackers: Not much left here. There were a couple of guys I liked out of college as 3-4OLBs but they've been recently picked up, Lawrence Sidbury and George Selvie So I'm down to 2 or 3 older guys who can still get to the passer. I'll ignore Freeney and Abraham as they're pretty well known about. And personally, Freeney would be a liability against the run for me.
Andre Carter - Played last year for the Raiders, so of course it was a forgettable year. But got 10 sacks for the Pats the year before that. Still has some pass rush, might be good for one last season. Has plenty of 3-4OLB experience.
Shaun Phillips - at 31 Phillips would probably be the smart selection. I've not watched much of San Diego recently but I remember him being good against the run and able to get to the passer. almost 10 sacks last year says he still has something.
Matt Roth - Just a depth guy at this point but brings experience. We'd probably be better off seeing what we have in Carter and Robinson.
Inside Linebackers: We could be looking for someone to make Foote dispensable. Perhaps just someone who would be better on passing downs?
Gerald McRath - smaller linebacker I'd see as perhaps being able to contribute inside in passing situations. Still relatively young at 26
Aaron Curry - Has had a pretty disastrous NFL career so far. But he's still young and if you're after a reclamation project, he might fit the bill. Could be a possibility on the outside in a 3-4 as well.
Karlos Dansby - the wrong side of 30, and I do like Foote, but for me Dansby is still a better player. We probably can't afford him.
Cornerbacks: There's a lot of quality still out there. Most of it would be unrealistic signings given our salary cap headaches though
Antoine Winfield - He's old, but he's still a very good defender. Also has bags of experience with Tomlin. Still I'd expect the Vikes to get him back. I should probably file this one under wishful thinking. Winfield's always been one one of my favourite non Steelers.
Leigh Bodden - spent 2012 out of football, still at 31 if his back is healthy he could definitely bring some quality depth for a year or two. Duquesne grad.
Stanford Routt - someone we would have had in for a workout in December if he hadn't signed for the Texans. He's available again. Could be better depth than what we have under our starters perhaps?
Safeties: We're lacking some depth here, I really like the idea of James Sanders filling that role. There's some good starting quality guys out there, mostly older players, I've included a couple even though it's unrealistic because as time goes on, starting opportunities are drying up and we have 2 injury prone starters. We might appeal.
Nate Clements - Up there in years but I feel could definitely contribute as a Safety should one of our stars go down again
Dawan Landry - might come cheap as he looks to re-establish his career. Experienced in Baltimore, could potentially be good cover for Ryan Clark, and he's just 30
Abram Elam - over 30 (31) but has experience in several 3-4 defenses around the league.
Gerald Sensabaugh - Always liked this guy, been playing in Dallas lately so may be familiar with more of our Defense than some others out there. Under 30 too.
Kerry Rhodes - Really surprised he's still out there. Only 30 (thought he was way older!) Doubtful he'd be a backup and maybe he's still out there because of money demands.
Eric Smith - Backup type at this point I think. 30 years old, lot of experience with the Jets.
Usama Young - Probably the most direct Will Allen replacement. Special Teams type of guy with some starting experience. Also by far the youngest guy here at 27.