With NFL Free Agency and some big names off the board, plenty of talented difference-makers are still available to help improve a team’s roster.
With that, let’s dive into the top ten remaining available players in NFL Free Agency.
1. Lamar Jackson (QB)
There will be some questions about his name being on this list because of semantics, but Lamar Jackson can talk to other teams and sign a contract. Even though the Baltimore Ravens will still be able to match any deal Jackson signs, he can still go about the free-agent process.
We’re slowly reaching the point where it’s fair to wonder if any team will bite on Jackson or if the Ravens have made it clear they’ll match the price regardless of the offer. For whatever reason, teams aren’t lining up to pay the former MVP at the moment. The fact that there haven’t even been rumblings yet about Jackson taking meetings with teams is interesting.
Did Deshaun Watson’s big guaranteed money contract with the Cleveland Browns leave a sour taste in the owners’ mouths? With a quarterback as talented as Jackson, there’s no reason for the market to be this quiet surrounding him, even if the Ravens have made it clear they’ll match any contract.
2. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (S)
There’s undoubtedly chatter that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson won’t get a major payday because of his size, but there’s no doubt that he has the versatility needed to be a top safety in the league. As arguably the top defensive player remaining on the board, Gardner-Johnson can still call the shots and cash in on a big payday. Reports have told us that Gardner-Johnson apparently isn’t thrilled with his market, meaning the suitors and dollar value might not be there for him when all is said and done. With Gardner-Johnson’s talent, teams may miss out on a game-changing presence in their secondary. Will he settle for a shorter team deal and look to provide a more extensive resume to cash in on later?
3. Bobby Wagner (LB)
Things didn’t work out for Bobby Wagner and the Los Angeles Rams in 2022, but he still was a difference-maker and should continue being that for whatever team lands him. His age might be a concern at 33, but he’s still been impactful. Wagner can afford to be patient, especially with the frequency that we saw linebackers head off the board as free agency opened. Knowing that he still wants to win, his experience can pay dividends for a contending team. The market appears relatively quiet surrounding him, but he can be a mentor and has won before, which should make him more valuable than just the output he can bring on the field.
4. Jadeveon Clowney (Edge)
There’s no doubt that the talent is there with Jadeveon Clowney, but things didn’t exactly end smoothly in his time with the Cleveland Browns. He has the natural ability to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks and is a player that can still be a difference-maker in the right spot. Headlines haven’t exactly been flowing for him to this point, making you wonder how big his market is. Expect his next deal to be of the short-term variety, but where that will be hasn’t been made clear.
5. Adam Thielen (WR)
The former Minnesota Vikings wideout was a cap causality in the offseason. He dealt with injuries in 2022, but was still productive, just not at the level Minnesota needed him to be to justify his contract. He’s no longer an alpha wide receiver but can fit nicely as a number two or three on a quality team. Thielen recently visited the Carolina Panthers but has yet to strike a deal in free agency.
6. Odell Beckham Jr. (WR)
The 30-year-old free agent wideout is looking for a new home after missing the entirety of the 2022 season with an injury. It will be interesting to see which teams believe that Odell Beckham Jr. is a player that can still make a difference on the offensive side of the football rather than just as a distraction off the field.
7. Ezekiel Elliott (RB)
Teams are no longer lining up to pay aging running backs, which is likely why Ezekiel Elliott isn’t having an easy time finding a new home in the NFL. The 27-year-old former Ohio State Buckeye and Dallas Cowboy has a lot of wear and tear on his body, but in the right fit, he still should provide a team with value.
8. Kareem Hunt (RB)
Sticking with the theme of aging running backs, former Cleveland Browns backfield standout Kareem Hunt still finds himself looking for a new deal. It’s evident that Hunt has been hoping for a role as a team’s top option in the backfield, but how many of those jobs realistically remain at this time?
9. Dalton Schultz (TE)
Dalton Schultz, one of the best skill position players available, has proven to be a productive tight end for the Dallas Cowboys over the past three seasons. Will a change of scenery hurt the player, or can he continue being one of the league’s best receiving tight ends? Schultz has averaged ten yards per catch in his past two seasons and has the potential to provide value wherever he signs.
10. Yannick Ngakoue (DE)
There’s still a strong need for pass rushers like Yannick Ngakoue, who can make a difference as an edge rusher for whichever franchise he ends up with. The former Indianapolis Colt has combined for 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Consistency is what Ngakoue brings to the table, something that teams shouldn’t be undervaluing. The veteran will likely provide security to a team’s pass rush wherever he ends up.