2012 NFL Free Agents: Under-the-Radar Players Who Will Impress Next Season

Justin KeithCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: Justin Peelle #81 of the San Francisco 49ers is stopped by Tracy Porter #22 of the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

While much of the focus since the start of NFL free agency has been on the high-price names, there are still numerous players who can contribute to teams, but who won't force them to break the bank. 

Although superstar players are wonderful to have on your team, it is the lower-value guys that will make the difference when a team is competing for a championship. 

Here are some players that will be key to their new teams in 2012.


Tracy Porter, Cornerback

Although Porter had a down year for the Saints in 2011, he will gain a lot of interest on the open market. Teams are always looking for quality cornerbacks. 

Porter isn't a big-play type of corner. He has only intercepted seven passes over his four-year career. However, Porter has proven he is capable of being a starting-caliber corner in the NFL and will improve any team's secondary. 

He is still young and will be in the prime of his career, making his services intriguing and enticing for many NFL teams now that Cortland Finnegan is off the market.


Mark Anderson, Defensive End

Anderson was a bright spot on a weak New England defense last season, when he recorded 10.0 sacks for the Patriots. 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Mark Anderson #95 of the New England Patriots reacts after he recorded a sack against Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Gia
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After a promising beginning to his career in Chicago, Anderson fell off a bit and was picked up by New England on a one-year deal last offseason.

However, Anderson's big year has rejuvenated his career. He should be in demand after Mario Williams and John Abraham come off the board.


Jackie Battle, Running Back

After a season-ending injury to Jamal Charles last year, Jackie Battle had a chance to showcase his talents in Kansas City. 

Battle made the best of the opportunity and will now test free agency. 

Battle will probably be a backup wherever he goes, but will certainly get the carries he deserves. 

In 2011, he averaged 4.0 yards per carry to go along with nearly 600 yards rushing. He would be a great complement to a team looking for a quality backup running back.