With the free agent signing period set to start Tuesday at 4 p.m., we can expect the news of players agreeing to deals ahead of that time to continue poor out. While none of the top edge pass-rushers have come to terms with new teams at the time of this post, the courting of several of them appears to be well underway.
We already know that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds reportedly has interest in him from the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans and he’s not the only one that figures to sign a new deal quickly as both Brandon Graham and Brian Orakpo already have reports circulating about them as well on Sunday.
According to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com, Graham, who has played his entire career with the Eagles, has the New York Giants interested in him. A report has circulated for several weeks stating that Graham is seeking a four-year contract worth $30 million with $20 million of that being guaranteed. In addition to that, there was one report that suggested that he sees himself as possible being a pass rushing defensive end in a 4-3 defense. Because Graham did play the 3-4 outside linebacker position with the Eagles, it’s easy to see why he might have more than just the Giants interested in his services. While the Steelers could be one of those several teams, they’re not likely going to want to get into a bidding war for him.
Even though Orakpo has only played in a total of 24 regular season games with the Washington Redskins over the course of the last three seasons, he, too, appears to already have teams lining up to discuss his future with them. Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com reports that the Indianapolis Colts will try to talk to Orakpo and Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 reports Sunday that the Arizona Cardinals have interest in the 28 year-old former first-round draft pick.
Jurecki also reported Sunday that Baltimore Ravens soon-to-be unrestricted edge-rusher Pernell McPhee has the Cardinals attention as well. McPhee is still only 26 and like Graham, he could be another player the Steelers have interest in over the course of the next few days.
By the sound of things, I think Worilds, Graham, Orakpo and McPhee will all have signed new contracts by Friday at the latest and while unlikely, we’ll have to wait to see if any of the four land in Pittsburgh with the Steelers.