As NFL franchises are immersed in the task of signing rookies and beginning OTAs, the rumor mill has gotten quiet.
But that doesn't mean there aren't still some whispers to be discussed.
From now until the start of training camp, free-agent signings will be few and far between. This is significant because there are still some productive veterans sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.
These men will find themselves in an NFL roster before the 2013 season begins, however, and here are the latest rumors surrounding a few of the best of the rest left without work as of May 13, 2013.
Charles Woodson Still Can't Find a Job
After the San Francisco 49ers drafted Eric Reid, Woodson's only real potential landing spot was suddenly no longer an option.
He's so desperate for work that he went on NFL Network recently, via Pro Football Talk, to say this:
When this process first started out, that was my thing, I needed to go to a contender. I know I am towards the end of my career. At this point, I want to play football. So if it is a rebuilding stage, at this point if that is the circumstances I have to play under, then that is what I am going to do.
Basically, Woodson's saying he'll play for any team right now, but to this point he's gotten nary an offer since the draft.
The latest rumor regarding Woodson comes by way of ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi, who responded to a Cleveland Browns fan's inquiry about whether or not the Browns would sign the veteran safety:
There is no sign whatsoever that the Browns are interested in Woodson, a Fremont, OH, native who is 36. If Woodson’s age is the only hang-up, I would agree with the Browns that they probably are better off using that position to groom a long-term solution at free safety.
Woodson will likely have to wait until training camps are underway to find work. Once injuries start piling up, he'll get a chance to compete. At this point, however, teams are too busy trying to build for the future to worry about signing a player near the end of his career.
Josh Cribbs Has Narrowed His Options Down To Four Teams
Cribbs is a return man who can turn kickoffs and punts into scoring opportunities for his team.
Throughout his eight-year career, he has returned three punts and eight kickoffs for touchdowns, and though he's not as young as he used to be, he can still fly like the wind.
Therefore, it's no surprise that teams lacking explosive return men are clamoring for his services.
According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Cribbs has four teams he's interested in playing for heading into the 2013 season:
His potential next destination has been limited to four suitors, barring an unexpected development. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Cribbs, an eight-year veteran, will sign with the Raiders, Giants, Jets, or Lions.
Cribbs won't have another opportunity like he has right now to secure his financial future. As an eight-year veteran who is somewhat of a one-trick pony—albeit a good one—this is likely his best chance to sign a multi-year contract.
John Abraham Still Thinks He's a Full-Time Player
Many fans have been befuddled at the fact that Abraham is still available at this point in the proceedings. After all, he logged 10 sacks last year and has tallied 32.5 sacks in the past three seasons.
Surely there's a demand for a pass-rusher with his credentials, right?
That's likely the case, but Abraham isn't hearing what he wants to from teams interested in signing him, according to PFT's Florio:
A league source explains that Abraham is hoping to play 60 or more snaps per game, and that most teams with interest see the 35-year-old as a 25-play guy. With reduced playing time comes reduced salary, which explains why he’s had a hard time getting paid the way he’s accustomed.
Teams know Abraham is still an effective pass-rusher, but like Woodson, he's nearing the end of his career. The thinking is that he'll be even more effective as a situational player rather than as a starter, but Abraham believes he's worth starter money.
This is a situation that could drag out for a few more months. By the time the season rolls around, however, Abraham will be an integral player for one lucky team, but he may not get the kind of money he's seeking.
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