Contrary to popular myth, Bill Polian does indeed sign free agents. He just doesn't do so in March, when supposedly "marquee" players are looking for big paydays, like Albert Haynesworth did recently. No, the time when Bill Polian typically signs free agents is early September. This is when Big Bill looks over the waiver wire, finds someone a team probably should not have cut, and snatches the players up faster than a rabid hawk can snare a blind field mouse.
We've seen Bill Polian pluck up players like Dan Klecko, Rocky Boiman, Daniel Muir, Justin Forsett, and Ryan Lilja in year's past. These guys might not be household names, but they are the kinds of players that can help a team win football games. In the case of Klecko, Boiman, and Lilja, these guys helped the Colts win a Super Bowl. Muir currently is a primary reserve on the defensive line, and Forsett was claimed last season only to be cut again because of injuries to other players. Forsett is back with the Seahawks, and is a significant part of their running back rotation and special teams.
With the economy in the crapper and the prospect of an uncapped year looming, clubs are less and less likely to retain high priced veteran players unless they are marquee players. This means there is the potential for somewhat well-known players, like Seattle's Deion Branch, to find themselves cut from their clubs. In Branch's case, check out this article from The News Tribune:
So far, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch and Deon Butler are likely in, with Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Jordan Kent fighting for the last couple of spots.
Or perhaps Branch could be on his way out.
The veteran will make $5 million this season to be Seattle’s third receiver and the Seahawks have a lot of depth at the position. So they may live with five receivers and let Branch go to keep a player at a different position.
You all might recall that Branch was the MVP of Super Bowl 39 back when he played for the Patriots. He left New England via free agency in 2006, and has struggled to stay healthy while he has played for the Seahawks.
It's somewhat shocking that Branch has lost his starting job to the "immortal" Nate Burleson, and $5 million is an awful lot to spend on a third WR. While I doubt the Colts would make a play for Branch (even though he bought a home recently in Indiana), it gives you a bit of an idea as to the caliber of players who might get cut in the comes days and weeks.