NFL Free Agent Rumors: Wes Welker, Michael Vick, James Jones, Steven Jackson Options For Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills?

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Jun 03, 2015 01:45 PM EDT
Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos
Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos warms up before a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 2, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts."

The NFL free agent market still has some notable names, as players like Wes Welker, Michael Vick, James Jones, Steven Jackson, Felix Jones and Ben Tate are available and teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots could be options as landing spots as training camp gets closer.

Once the main run of free agents ends for teams after the draft, veteran players often have to wait until just before or during training camp to get in with teams. Many teams like taking chances on younger, cheaper players first and once injuries start to pile up or those players don't work out, the vets get stronger looks. According to Pro Football Talk, Wes Welker is still looking for a team and the report says that Welker spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich and said he would be "open" to a return to New England with the Patriots.

Michael Vick reportedly has been working out this offseason and is looking for a spot on a roster, while Steven Jackson and James Jones were released by their teams earlier in the year. Jackson is one of the notable running backs along with Felix Jones, Ben Tate, Daniel Thomas and Chris Johnson left on the market and teams like the Bears, Dolphins, Patriots, Vikings and Browns could be interested. The Cowboys reportedly worked out Jones, Thomas and Tate this offseason and one of those players could be an option to come in for support behind Darren McFadden and Joe Randle in training camp.

Welker said that the return to the Pats "wouldn't be the worst situation in the world" and it comes after the two sides had a bit of a messy divorce when Welker did not return and signed with the Broncos. Either way, Welker would love to be back with a team and while he is 34 years old, the Pats are likely his best fit, as that is where he had the most success in his career. According to, Welker said that he is fully healthy and that he has not had any lingering issues from his concussions from last season. The Pats could look into Welker if he is on the cheap, as Danny Amendola is as fragile as anyone and he could come in behind Julian Edelman as an outlet in the slot for Tom Brady.

Welker had his best seasons in New England, putting up at least 100 catches for 1000 yards in all but one of his years there. Welker had 118 catches in his last season with New England and last year he dealt with injuries and played in 14 games, making 49 catches for 464 yards and two touchdowns for the Broncos. Welker also could be an option for the Browns, as Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Dwayne Bowe left OTA practice with a knee injury.

While the injury may not be serious, the team could look for depth moving forward at wide receiver. Vick could be a potential option for the Bills, as the team has Rex Ryan and he coached Vick last year. The Bills are using three QBs to compete in OTAs with Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor and they could potentially look at adding Vick in camp if someone gets injured. 

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