NFL News 2 months ago
While almost three quarters of the league's top free agents have already been scooped up or tagged by teams across the league in a buying frenzy, there's still an abundance of talent left on the open market as we enter the next phase of the NFL's 2020 free agency period.
Here are the 10 players rated by the SportsTips.com staff as the best available remaining in the free agency pool. As usual, the order of this list is dependent on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) age; past performance; potential future performance and the priority afforded to the player's specific position.
Let's get in to it.
While the injury concerns surrounding the 2015 league MVP are innumerable and undoubtedly concerning, in terms of pure football talent there's no other player on this list who can touch Cam Newton.
The former Panther - officially released by the franchise today after nine years in Carolina - has already proven his ability to put a franchise on his back and carry them to a Super Bowl. After being drafted with the first overall pick in 2011, Newton - before coming unstuck with injuries in recent years - redefined the quarterback position thanks to a stunning combination of arm strength, agility, speed and size. He remains the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for 18+ touchdowns and run for four+ scores in eight straight season.
Newton will only be 31 years old when this season rolls around, and if (it's a pretty big "if) he can get his body in order there's sure to be no shortage of suitors looking for a short-term talent boost.
After spending last season as essentially a cheap rental for the Seahawks, Clowney really did nothing to dispel what we all already knew about him; the former No. 1 pick can impact games defensively like few players in football, but only when healthy.
The basic stats - three sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered (one touchdown), 31 tackles (seven for loss) - really don't tell the full story of how dominant Clowney can be in the backfield when pressuring the quarterback. With all that in mind it's a surprise to see him still on the market, which is perhaps a reflection that teams aren't willing to part with the $20 million per season his management are reportedly demanding.
Still, there remains a chance that two or more teams are willing to engage in a bidding war for his services, in which case all salary bets are off the table. Clowney will find a home, the question is where? By all accounts Seattle remain in prime position.
While the market for Winston is drying up by the hour, especially with his former team in Tampa Bay landing Tom Brady, it's hard to see there not being at least a couple of teams clamouring for the services of a guy who threw 30+ touchdowns last season.
In 2019-20 Winston completed 60.7% of his passes for a league-leading 5,109 yards with 33 touchdowns. The concern however, was a league-high 30 interceptions, while his seven pick-sixes were the most in NFL history.
Unfortunately, those stats seem to be anathema to most teams, with sources around the NFL predicting Winston will struggle to find a starting role anywhere. Perhaps a team like the Jaguars - who recently dealt Nick Foles to Chicago - with a young quarterback at the helm might be looking for backup help.
Perriman had a career-year in 2019 thanks to Tampa Bay's high-octane offense, and he certainly needed it after an injury-plagued beginning to his career.
The 26-year-old put up career highs in receptions (36), yards (645) and touchdowns (six), however given the remarkable depth at receiver in this year's draft it's tough to be a free agent wide out at the moment.
That being said, Perriman is an intriguing prospect, and matched up with a quarterback who can sling it downfield he'd be a fantastic under-the-radar option.
Age is the only reason the two-time All-Pro, nine-time Pro Bowler Peters isn't higher on this list.
To be fair, at 38 he is starting to get a little long in the tooth. However, it doesn't seem like the former Eagle is slowing down any time soon. He's played in 29 of a possible 32 games over the last two years and shown exactly nothing to suggest that at least one more quality year isn't in his wheelhouse.
Starting left tackles are always going to be an attractive proposition for teams on the bubble, which makes us think Peters won't be long for the free agent pool.
The 25-year-old Bell emerged as a full-time starter in New Orleans last season, and had the kind of breakout performance that would suggest he's on a path to become one of the NFL's elite safeties.
In 61 career games Bell already has 348 combined tackles and eight sacks, proving beyond any doubt that he's a capable box safety who can compete at the line of scrimmage. The Saints have already signed two safeties - Malcolm Jenkins and DJ Swearinger - this offseason, which would suggest that Bell is somewhat superfluous to needs.
No matter - he'll find a loving home somewhere without any difficulty.
The 2019 Giants didn't have many positive attributes, however Golden was one of the few bright spots to come out of a horrible campaign.
The 29-year-old racked up 10 sacks, 72 tackles and one fumble recovery, as well as starting in all 16 games. He was easily New York's most reliable pass rusher, and when healthy is a legitimate double-digit sacks candidate in any given season.
Unfortunately for potential suitors, last year's performance will ensure the bargain basement $1 million deal he had in New York won't be repeated. However, the cost shouldn't be too prohibitive.
Suh has been one of the league's most dominant defensive players for an eternity, but has now officially reached the "journeyman" stage of his career.
Last season's run with Tampa Bay was his third different team in as many seasons, however his productivity was still as high as ever - four fumble recoveries, two defensive touchdowns - and his remarkable consecutive-starts streak extended to 131 games (since 2011).
Incredibly, Suh has missed just two games overall in his career. Last year's salary of $5.25 million is about smack bang on his value, and is an attractive price for a contender searching for a playmaker on defense.
Seattle declined their fifth-year option on the 26-year-old Ifedi, allowing the former first-round pick to test the open market.
Ifedi started all 16 games last season on the right side of the line, but has still failed to establish himself as one of the league's premier right tackles.
Given his age and big-game experience there's no doubt teams will be knocking the door down to talk to a raw talent like Ifedi who hasn't quite reached up to his potential.
The former Packer found a happy home in Cleveland last season, racking up 61 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 11 games despite being hampered by a hamstring injury.
Randall is as tough as they come at the cornerback position, routinely laying the boom down on opposing receivers (including, infamously, Diontae Johnson last season). Unfortunately, Randall's penchant for drama is a fallback, as are his frequent coverage lapses.
That being said, he's undoubtedly a starter in the NFL and will be offered as such by a lot of teams.
Written and produced by SportsTips.com
If you want ALL of our expert picks and news items sent straight to your Facebook Messenger inbox, click the "Get Picks" button at the top of the page.
NFL News 3 hours ago
NFL News 22 hours ago
NFL News 3 days ago