NFL Free Agency: Mike Tolbert and the 4 Value Buys Left on the Market
As the first and second waves of NFL free agency have come and gone, now is the time to scoop up the remaining diamonds in the rough and maximize value for talent.
The remaining players have to be anxious to find out where they will be playing next year and are more willing to accept a low offer as the demand for players goes down with every new signing.
Here are four players left on the market that will give any team the most bang for their buck.
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Tolbert has the skill set to be a quality back for just about any team—he runs hard, can catch the ball out of the backfield and is good in pass protection.
The only real issue with Tolbert is that he has not proven that he can handle a heavy workload on his own, limiting his market to teams that are looking for complementary backs. Unfortunately for Tolbert, most teams are not overly interested in giving a lot of money to a back that is going to share carries.
Either way, whoever gets Tolbert is going to get a good football player for not a whole lot of money.
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Plaxico had an up-and-down season in his first season back in the NFL as a New York Jet. He struggled to separate between the 20s and clearly lost his top-end speed.
However, Plaxico was a beast in the red zone, where size trumps all and negates speed. Any team looking for a big target to throw to inside the 20s should give Plax a call.
Of course, there is always a possibility that he could undergo a Michael Vick-esque resurgence with another year of football under his belt.
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As the safety market dries up, Atogwe may be the only starting-caliber free safety left.
He was released after just one year in Washington in an effort to save cap space, but the Redskins had enough of dealing with constant injuries to both of their safeties.
If Atogwe can stay healthy, he has the ability to play at a Pro Bowl level. Both the Lions and Jets are interested in Atogwe's services, so he will not last much longer on the open market.
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The Denver Broncos signed Bunkley in the middle of training camp last year to fill their desperate need at defensive tackle.
Bunkley gave the Broncos enormous value as a run-stuffer, getting himself involved in just about every play. He's not much of a pass-rusher, but any team looking for a big man to clog the middle and do the grunt work should look no further than Bunkley.
If it was not for the Peyton Manning situation, Bunkley would probably have a deal in place by now with the Broncos. Perhaps they have a handshake agreement, because it is unusual to have a player of Bunkley's caliber available on the open market that is not going on a lot of visits and drawing interest.