NFL Free Agency Frenzy: Top Players Still Available After Legal Tampering Period

NFL free agency begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern time. And if you’ve been off the NFL grid for two days, that official start will be more exciting than it really is.

The NFL’s so-called legal tampering period started Monday and there was a frenzy to lock up the top free agents. By the time Wednesday rolled around, 17 of the 25 free agents from Yahoo Sports’ top 25 on Monday had agreed to deals.

That doesn’t mean free agency is over. Teams will still be searching for veteran help and there are some viable options. Here are the top 10 free agents who have not agreed to a deal and are still available:

Fuller finished seventh among cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus’ grades this past season. At 29 years old there’s concern he’ll slip, but he should get one more big contract this offseason.

Kendall Fuller is the top remaining free agent on the market. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Brown has just one 1,000-yard season in his five-year NFL career and injuries have been an issue. He has the talent. He was once a first-round draft pick. Some team will gamble on him staying healthy and productive as he goes into his age-27 season.

Ridley’s value is hard to gauge. At one point he looked like an elite receiver. That was before a strange 2021 with the Atlanta Falcons in which he played just five games, a yearlong gambling suspension in 2022 and an up-and-down 2023 with the Jaguars. He’s still good and just 29, but the shine is mostly off.

Top 5 NFL free agents by position

Running backs
Wide receivers
Tight ends
Offensive line
Defensive line
Defensive backs

When Smith is on the field, he’s an excellent performer. The problem is he hasn’t played a full season since 2015 and he’s 33 years old. He played in 13 games last season and his team would probably take that. Availability is a major concern.

Consider Simmons one of the casualties of the Russell Wilson trade. The Broncos, saddled with huge dead cap hits for releasing Wilson, are cutting Simmons to save $14.5 million on the salary cap. Simmons made a Pro Bowl and was second-team All-Pro last season. He led the NFL in interceptions for the 2022 season. He’s 30 years old but still capable of being a very good safety.

The massive Brown has been a good left tackle for many years, and he still has plenty left in the tank. He could move on to a team that has offensive line issues.

Baker should get interest. He’s a solid off-ball linebacker who is 27 years old. He can play all three downs. He’s not an impact player but a good defender.

In 2022, Howard signed a deal that was the richest for any cornerback in NFL history. He’s 30 now, didn’t have a great 2023 season and was just cut by the Dolphins. But he was a Pro Bowl performer in 2022, and good cornerbacks are hard to find.

9. Washington Commanders S Kamren Curl

Curl was a seventh-round draft pick but quickly got into the Commanders’ starting lineup as a rookie. In his four seasons with the team he showed good all-around ability. At age 25, he should get a nice long-term deal.

10. Baltimore Ravens G Kevin Zeitler

In 2017, Zeitler signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Cleveland Browns that at the time made him the highest paid guard in NFL history. He won’t be getting a record-breaking deal this time around but he’s still a reliable player who just made his first Pro Bowl. Zeitler will be 34 years old next season but can still help a team looking to fill a hole at guard.

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2024-03-13 14:33:56
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