NFL TOP FREE AGENTS
According to cbssports.com, the five teams with the highest odds to win Super Bowl LIII are the Patriots (5-1), Steelers (8-1), Eagles (8-1), Rams (10-1), and Packers (12-Free agency is well underway and there are still some players that can add a significant boost to each of these teams, so let’s take a look of the top 10 players that have still yet to be signed.
1. Bashaud Breeland – CB
A focal point for majority of these potential championship teams this offseason is to address their issues on defense, most often in their secondary. Breeland could be the answer to exactly what said teams are seeking.
Due to being ineligible to sign his contract extension with Carolina, Breeland has hit free agency in the prime of his career which makes him the best remaining corner back by a wide margin. If Breeland is willing to settle for a price lower than what he had hoped and one of these fringe teams is willing to overlook his failed physical, this could potentially be the steal of this free agency.
2. Kenny Vaccaro – SS
Vaccaro is another UFA that can provide some help on the defensive end. There’s a toss up on who’s the better unsigned safety between Vaccaro and Eric Reid which falls in the favor of Vaccaro due to his ability to seamlessly switch to the corner position and still pose problems for route runners. Vaccaro has earned the reputation of a hybrid safety-corner-linebacker which if utilized properly could be very impactful for teams lacking on the defensive end.
3. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – CB
Rodgers-Cromartie is the second best pure corner that still has yet to sign. He isn’t as young as Breeland which naturally takes away some of that first step explosiveness. However what DRC is missing in athleticism can be made up with his veteran skill set and knowledge of the game.
Also since he is now a veteran in free agency he isn’t expecting any type of gaudy long term deal. At this point Rodgers-Cromartie is simply playing the waiting game as he is sure he’ll be picked up this offseason, and don’t be surprised if it’s by a contending team looking to just add a last minute addition to their defense.
4. Dez Bryant – WR
Of the five teams listed as favorites to win it all this year, the reigning champion Eagles are the only ones that have pressing concerns on the offensive end, namely at the receiver position. His infatuation to remain in the NFC East aside, Bryant is the perfect candidate for this role. The Eagles need to seek out someone that can rotate on a constant basis with Nelson Agholor at the slot receiver spot.
Bryant is a veteran receiver who is going into this upcoming season with something to prove, it would be fun to see how much he has left in the tank while playing on a contending team.
5. Eric Reid – SS
Reid has experienced a tumultuous NFL career so far, headlined by a history of injuries. However teams should remember that Reid is only 26 years old and if he can return to his former self, then he still has a lot to offer to any team willing to pick him up.
Reid would set a precedent on defense and could potentially bring out the best in the players surrounding him.
6. Adrian Peterson – RB
Peterson showed flashes of his former self last season when he was forced to deal with a depleted O-line. There were certain points of the season where Peterson showed the speed and explosiveness that earned him the nickname All Day. If he can make it to a team with a competent O-line, Peterson may be able to retain his status as one of the top five backs in the league.
On the other hand, the NFL today seems to be drifting toward a pass first philosophy. This would take away the impact of a guy like Peterson, significantly lowering his expectations of a lucrative contract.
7. Jonathan Hankins – DE
Hankins is the best remaining defensive end which should make him tantalizing to teams with holes on that end. The thing is no team is exactly going out of their way for a nose tackle. The switch in defensive schemes over time has nearly made the position obsolete.
If Hankins is willing to potentially settle for a price lower than market value, he’ll definitely move up on this list.
8. Tyvon Branch – SS
Another above average safety that is available this offseason. Branch made a name for himself with his stellar defense on tight ends and would be a great addition to any defense. Branch hasn’t faced any significant injury history, but thanks to his age he shouldn’t cost a team an arm and a leg.
9. Jamaal Charles – RB
Aside from Peterson, Charles should be the most prolific back of the remaining free agents. He helped carry an offense in Kansas City as one of the most explosive backs in the game and showed his playmaking skills last year in Denver functioning as both a running and receiving threat.
10. DeMarco Murray – RB
Murray struggled mightily last year as the Titans’ offense often looked for him to get them out of situations that you would expect from a veteran back. Murray has lost a some of his speed due to hamstring injuries which means he can only excel on a team with an above average O-line.
Murray is now 30 years old and teams should really consider how much he has left to offer before signing him.