NFL Free Agent Rumors: Montee Ball, Ray Rice, Trent Richardson, Wes Welker Options For Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears?

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Sep 09, 2015 12:36 PM EDT
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Montee Ball (28) of the Denver Broncos
Montee Ball (28) of the Denver Broncos runs after making a catch on a ball thrown by Brock Osweiler (17) against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the Broncos' 19-12 win at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. The Denver Broncos hosted the San Francisco 49ers in an NFL preseason game on Saturday, August 29, 2015."

The NFL free agent market has some notable names after roster cuts, as players like Montee Ball, Ray Rice, Trent Richardson, Robert Turbin, Antone Smith and Hakeem Nicks have joined Wes Welker, Steven Jackson, Felix Jones and Ben Tate as available players and teams like the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, NY Giants, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers could be potential landing spots.

Montee Ball is one of the most recent players to get released, as the Broncos placed him on waivers heading into cut downs. Ball has fallen hard since being a second round pick and he comes in after playing in just five games last season. The Denver Post reports that Ball could have interest from the Falcons, as they just cut Smith and have Devonta Freeman a little banged up. Ball could be a solid depth option despite putting up just 3.1 yards per carry last season.

UPDATE: The Browns claimed Robert Turbin off waivers. 

Ball also could be an option for the Browns, as the Browns need a running back eventually with Terrance West traded and Duke Johnson injured. Ray Rice has floated around and has had his name come up in connection with the Browns, while Ball may get some interest if he stays on the market.  

Trent Richardson was let go by the Oakland Raiders after the preseason and he was mostly a disappointment in his short stint with the team. And just as a qualifier, Richardson is obviously not an option for the Browns or the Raiders, as he was previously with those teams and things did not work out. The headline has the team options for all the players and that is why it is listed that way, just wanted to put that out there, because we understand that Richardson is NOT going to be an option for the Browns or the Raiders at this point.

Having said all that, Richardson likely has to wait a little while anyway to get another job (if he even can get one), as he has flamed out with his last two teams following his run with the Browns. Teams may wait until injuries come up and also with some players being vested veterans, teams may wait until after Week 1 to sign players so their money is not guaranteed for the season. Welker could be in that mix, as teams like the Panthers, Bears and Dolphins all have dealt with some injuries at wideout. Hakeem Nicks is also an option for those teams, as he was cut by the Titans.

Nicks has connections to North Carolina after playing college there and he could help fill the void after the Panthers lost Kelvin Benjamin. The Bears have Alshon Jeffery banged up and they could look at adding some insurance. Jeffery missed practice on Monday and while the team is hoping that he will be ready, there is a chance that he could miss the game. While Welker or another player like Hakeem Nicks wouldn't be a factor in Week 1 anyway if they signed, it's an option that the Bears can look at if Jeffery needs more time. The Bears are a little thin at the position even with Eddie Royal coming in, as Marquess Wilson does not have too much experience.

Check here for more on recently cut players and NFL free agents and potential landing spots.

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