Many of big-name free agents are already off the board, claimed by teams over the early months of the new league year. But there are still plenty of players left that can make an impact on a team for the 2020 season. Let’s take a look at the 10 best NFL free agents still left on the market.
For teams looking for offensive line help, Jason Peters would be a great addition. Peters is already 38 years old but he has made it clear that he would like to play until he is in his 40s. Much like other offensive linemen who get up in age, Peters has lost a step, but that shouldn’t change what he could bring to a team.
Signing him to a one-year deal on a cheap contract would make a whole lot of sense for a team like the Minnesota Vikings, who could use some offensive line help.
Devonta Freeman didn’t live up to expectations with the Atlanta Falcons, but there is no reason he can’t be a solid change of pace back for elsewhere. During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Freeman rushed for at least 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. If he isn’t signed before the season starts and a player goes down with injury, maybe Freeman could come in.
Larry Warford was released by the New Orleans Saints after the draft. Warford is only 28 years old but he did struggle last year in his pass protection. Even though there was a dip in his production, he would still be a good depth piece on most offensive lines, especially at the right price. There are plenty of teams looking for offensive line help so it’s a bit of a surprise he is still available.
Cam Newton arguably could be the best free agent available for a team looking for a quarterback, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one big concern: Teams can’t come and see him. Newton underwent shoulder surgery, and no team is going to sign him without giving that shoulder a full check. Until NFL teams are allowed to do physicals on players, he will probably stay available. If his shoulder is good to go, and he hasn’t lost any of his athleticism, he would make some team better at the quarterback position.
Everson Griffen was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has only played for the Minnesota Vikings. During the 2019 season, Griffen had eight sacks and one interception. Signs now are pointing towards Griffen signing with the Seattle Seahawks or going back to the Minnesota Vikings. Whichever team does end up with Griffen is getting a defensive end who is a problem for opposing offensive lines every play.
Delanie Walker has already played 14 years in the NFL with the last seven coming with the Tennessee Titans. Over the last few seasons, Walker has dealt with different injuries which has limited him to only eight games. In the four seasons preceding his injury issues, Walker had put up at least 800 yards each year. A team that could make sense for Walker’s service would be the New England Patriots, who could use veteran leadership at that position.
Most signs pointed towards Logan Ryan signing with the New York Jets a few days ago, but now it appears the options are open again. Ryan had a good 2019 season for the Tennessee Titans but they never made an effort to bring him back. Ryan is a versatile cornerback who is a great run defender, elite in coverage and has no issue blitzing the passer.
If the Jets are serious about competing for the AFC East this season, Ryan is a guy who should be on their roster.
Michael Bennett has bounced the league around the last few seasons, but he is still a good rotational defensive end. Last season, Bennett played nine games with the Dallas Cowboys, racking up four sacks. He also played six games for the New England Patriots, tallying 2.5 sacks.
Bennett is unique because he can line up at the defensive end spot, but also thrives when he’s inside on the line. Although his stats have dropped a bit the last few years, he still will help some team.
It’s shocking that Jadeveon Clowney is still on the open market. There was a lot of buzz about where he would go during the beginning of the NFL’s free agency period, but all talk surrounding him has all but died. Clowney dealt with injuries last season that hurt his production but the hope is he will be ready for the start of the season. Still, Clowney’s best season came in 2019 when he had 9.5 sacks, two fumbles forced and three fumbles recovered.
Will Clowney get a long term deal, or will he sign a short term deal in hopes of getting long term deal next season?
Eric Reid has proven year after year that he can be a difference-maker for a defense, but it seems it still takes too long for him to find a new team. At this point it’s unclear who has an interest, but he is going to be a game changer somewhere. If the Carolina Panthers were smart they would bring him back.