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Eric Berry, Mike Daniels

Finding homes for the 10 best NFL free agents available

With training camp underway for most of the NFL, teams continue to look for ways to bolster their rosters. Whether it be through trades or signings, don’t expect most to stay put with their current depth charts. That should ramp up when cuts roll around at the end of the preseason. However, there are still some enticing options readily available on the open market. Here are ten of the best NFL free agents still available, and a potential landing spot for each.

Eric Berry – S

Eric Berry, Chiefs

Landing spot: Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have been linked to big-name safeties for awhile now, and it makes sense. Their defense is well-built, but it’s hard to ignore their weak spots on the backend.

Though Eric Berry hasn’t played a near full-season since 2016, there may be enough left in the tank for the five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro. If he can stay healthy, he’d be a massive upgrade over Jeff Heath on the strong-side. At minimum, Berry can contribute as a nickel linebacker.

Mike Daniels – DT

Mike Daniels

Landing spot: Cleveland Browns

Under John Dorsey, the Cleveland Browns haven’t been shy in upgrading their roster in a big way. Their defensive line has gotten massive boosts by way of Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon, but they continue to search for pieces after missing out on Gerald McCoy.

Mike Daniels isn’t just an excellent consolation prize; he’d help shore up their run-defense and create a terrifying four-man front with Larry Ogunjobi used in a rotational role. It helps that the first team Daniels will visit is the Browns, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jay Ajayi – RB

Landing spot: Houston Texans

Once considered as one of the better running backs on the open market, Jay Ajayi’s free agency stock didn’t entirely develop as he comes off a torn ACL. However, he is now fully healthy and looking for a team.

On paper, the Houston Texans make sense for Ajayi; though Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman make a solid pairing, neither are world-beaters and both struggled with injuries in recent memory (more-so Foreman [Achilles]). The Pro Bowler would be a massive upgrade as their third back in a committee.

Donald Penn – OT

Donald Penn, Raiders

Landing spot: Arizona Cardinals

In the wake of the departure of Desmond Harrison, the Arizona Cardinals may be looking to re-solidify their offensive tackle depth chart after a second season allowing 50+ sacks. Donald Penn isn’t the star tackle he once was at 36 years old, but the Redbirds don’t need that.

With Marcus Gilbert and D.J. Humphries on the roster, their starting offensive tackle group is set, but each is injury prone. Penn would provide swing-tackle backup proficiency, as he’s played both sides throughout his career. However, he’s most comfortable as a blind-side protector.

Nick Perry – OLB/EDGE

Nick Perry, Dolphins

ClutchPoints

Landing spot: Miami Dolphins

Nick Perry’s 11-sack 2016 season may look like an anomaly at this point, but with so few pass-rushers available — following Derrick Morgan’s retirement — Perry is the best option for teams looking to get to the quarterback.

The Miami Dolphins may be a perfect home for Perry; after trading Robert Quinn, there is a considerable lack of vetted pass-rushers on the team. Though the former Packer isn’t a natural fit in their 4-3, he could slide in nicely on obvious passing downs.

Tre Boston – S

Tre Boston

Landing spot: San Francisco 49ers

Incredibly, Tre Boston hasn’t signed at this point. Though a yell0w-flag magnet in 2018, he’s 27 and played admirably for a poor Arizona Cardinals defense. The safety can play close to the line of scrimmage or roam the middle of the field.

The San Francisco 49ers are a logical fit for him, as they need help alongside Jaquiski Tartt on a revamped defense, and they have been linked to the safety. Boston projects as an upgrade over incumbent starting free safety Adrian Colbert.

Allen Hurns – WR

Allen Hurns

Landing spot: Miami Dolphins

Following his release, Allen Hurns is the best wide receiver on the open market. The Miami Dolphins are the first team to host the 6-foot-3 27-year-old, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and it makes sense as to why. Hurns was born and raised in Miami, then thrived while playing his college ball for the Hurricanes.

The Dolphins aren’t hurting for receivers, but Hurns could compete immediately in Miami with Brice Butler as a big-slot adjacent DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Albert Wilson. Or, he’d be a valuable backup as he gets back up to speed following a gruesome playoff leg break.

Morris Claiborne – CB

Morris Claiborne

Landing spot: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t been shy in rebuilding their cornerback group. Over the past two drafts, three corner selections took place in the second round, one in the third, and Vernon Hargreaves in the first in 2016.

However, none of the youngsters are proven commodities, but Morris Claiborne is. The 29-year-old put up back-to-back starting years with the New York Jets and performed admirably doing so in both the slot and outside. He can play the same role in Tampa Bay.

Michael Crabtree – WR

Michael Crabtree

Landing spot: Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Crabtree’s drop issues are known and noted, and at 31 years old, it’s fair to presume he’s lost a step. He shouldn’t be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver, but he still brings value as a jump ball ace in the red zone.

Considering the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t afraid to bring in veteran mercenaries, Crabtree may be a good fit when the going gets tough in the red zone, and he won’t have to be relied upon heavily. Similar to Kelvin Benjamin (briefly) last season. Just don’t expect him to take snaps from Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, or Mecole Hardman.

Ryan Schraeder – OT

Landing spot: Minnesota Vikings

Despite a down year in 2018, Ryan Schraeder is the best right tackle currently available. He started at the position in Atlanta for five seasons and boasted excellent campaigns doing so. Naturally, the Minnesota Vikings — an offensive line needy team with little cap space — have been linked to him all offseason.

Though Brian O’Neill is slated to play right tackle, he’s able to play on the left side (as he did in college), where Riley Reiff hasn’t done too well. It helps that Schraeder is somewhat comfortable playing in a zone running scheme, which Gary Kubiak will run. At minimum, he’d be a valuable swing tackle off the bench.