Football

Still On The Market: Best Remaining NFL Free Agents

The dust has pretty much settled on a busy NFL offseason, complete with a frenetic free-agency period, and a much-anticipated draft. Big names like Kirk Cousins, Saquon Barkley, Christian Wilkins, and L’Jarius Sneed have all found new homes, while prized rookies such as Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison, and Malik Nabers are expected to put up big numbers during their first season.  

Whether it is late in the offseason or early in their schedule, teams that add a key contributor can force sports betting sites to adjust their odds and win totals for each team as well as futures and prop bets.  The sports betting market has exploded in the United States over the years and the NFL is one of the most popular options for fans to wager on, bringing in bettors from around the world.  

As teams make their way through OTA’s and prepare for training camp in July, there are still a number of key free agents who remain unsigned and could turn a bubble team into a playoff team and a playoff team into a contender.  

Quarterbacks 

Of the notable free agent quarterbacks that remain unsigned, former Tennessee Titans starter Ryan Tannehill likely tops most lists. At the age of 35 with a dozen years in the league and coming off an injury-filled 2023 season, Tannehill’s days as a full-time starter are a thing of the past, but he could certainly fill in as a high-level second-string option.  

Other notable quarterbacks: A.J. McCarron, Trevor Siemian, Blaine Gabbert 

Wide Receivers 

One of the most crowded groups when free agency started, pickings are now slim when it comes to adding a notable name. Unfortunately of the names left of the list, most come with injury concerns. If Russell Gage is able to return from a torn patellar tendon suffered during last year’s training camp, he could be an asset to a team looking for a second or third option. Five years removed from being named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, Michael Thomas could still give a contending team some valuable reps and locker room leadership.  

Other notable wide receivers: Hunter Renfrow, Sterling Shepard 

Running Backs 

Although he has never been a full-time starter (18 starts in 116 career games) Jerick McKinnon, a two-time Super Bowl champion, has shown value as a pass protector and as a late option target for quarterbacks. Although he is far removed from his Pro Bowl season (2017), Kareem Hunt has the best statistics of the remaining batch of running back options.  

Other notable running backs – Damien Harris, Latavius Murray, Cam Akers 

Tight Ends 

It’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to grabbing a tight end at this point in the offseason. Of the bunch, former Washington Commander Logan Thomas and forty-year-old Marcedes Lewis who played for the Chicago Bears last year are the best options.  

Other notable tight ends – Blake Bell, Jimmy Graham, Brycen Hopkins 

Offensive Tackle 

There are a number of veteran offensive tackle free agents remaining who could help a team both on and off the field. Unfortunately, age and injuries have taken their toll on the best of the remaining talent. Donovan Smith is coming off helping the Kansas City Chiefs to their second straight Super Bowl (and his second).  

Other notable offensive tackles – D.J. Humphries, Charles Leno 

Offensive Guards 

If former Detroit Lions guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai can come back healthy from a knee injury that limited him to six games in 2023, he is the best option on the market. A Super Bowl champion with the Philadelphia Eagles, Vaitai played four seasons in Philadelphia before relocating to Detroit.  

Other notable offensive guards – Trai Turner, Phil Haynes 

Centers 

There is Connor Williams and then there is the rest. Unfortunately, Williams tore his ACL late in the 2023 season, which would likely make him a late-season addition to a contending team looking for depth.  

Other notable centers – Mason Cole, Scott Quessenberry  

Linebackers 

The pickings are slim when it comes to adding a linebacker at this point in the season. The best bang for your buck would likely be 25-year-old former Philadelphia Eagle Zach Cunningham. In 2020, Cunningham led the league in solo tackles and combined tackles.  

Other notable linebackers – Shaq Leonard, Anthony Barr 

Defensive Tackles 

Lawrence Guy can either bring a young team some leadership and experience or provide a veteran team some more depth. A Super Bowl LIII champion with the New England Patriots, Guy was the team’s longest tenured defender.  

Other notable defensive tackles – Linval Joseph, Al Woods  

Safety  

There are a few diamonds in the rough here, a team just has to be willing to dig one out. Justin Simmons earned his fourth All-Pro team selection and his second Pro Bowl honors last year with the Denver Broncos. He may not have been worth the contract that the Broncos gave him, but Simmons is an extremely versatile defender.  

Other notable safeties – Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams 

Cornerbacks 

If a team is looking for championship veteran experience, Stephon Gilmore is the best choice here. However, if they are looking for someone who they can hold on to for a couple of seasons, former New York Giants cornerback Adoree Jackson is a good choice for a player who provides a lot of speed and takes a lot of snaps.   

Other notable cornerbacks – Xavien Howard, Steven Nelson  

Edges 

After capturing a Super Bowl ring with the Chiefs, Emmanuel Ogbah signed a pair of contracts with the Miami Dolphins. While he has never finished a season with double-digit sacks, Ogbah is a versatile defender who works well in a complimentary role.  

Other notable edges – Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell  

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