2013 NFL Free Agents: Underrated Stars Who Can Turn a Team Around

Daniel MorrisContributor IIIFebruary 1, 2013

Wes Welker could be catching passes somewhere else in 2013
Wes Welker could be catching passes somewhere else in 2013Elsa/Getty Images

A Super Bowl Champion is yet to be crowned, but many teams are nevertheless already looking forward to next season. 

Offseason moves for some organizations may be what turns a team around and distinguishes pretenders from contenders.  Here are some free agents who could make a difference on a new team in 2013.


Wes Welker

Wes Welker has caught over 111 passes in five of his last six seasons with the New England Patriots.  While Tom Brady and Gronk have stolen much of the spotlight, Welker has done his job and established himself as one of the best slot receivers of this generation.

Welker is a free agent this season and may end up leaving Brady and the Patriots for another team.  I don't think there are many squads out there, if any at all, that would look forward to covering Welker on defense. 

His appeal will likely be high, and he could very well maintain his superb receiving statistics even on another team.  If Welker does land somewhere else in 2013, look for him to continue to rack up over 100 receptions and easily boost an entire offense.


Osi Umenyiora

Osi Umenyiora has won two Super Bowl Championships with the New York Giants.  But a lackluster season in 2012 where he recorded just six sacks has many people thinking he will be playing for a different team in 2013.

If Umenyiora finds a new location, he could relocate the energy he had just a few years back.  Umenyiora averaged over 10 sacks from 2007-2010 (excluding 2008 when he missed the season due to injury) and had nine sacks in nine games in 2011.  Umenyiora's pass rush has been known to rattle opposing quarterbacks and help a defense force turnovers. 

A perennial Pro-Bowler, Osi could strengthen a team's passing attack and turn an entire defense around.


Tavaris Jackson

Jackson may not be any team's first choice for their starting quarterback position.  The New York Jets and newly hired GM John Idzik, however, have expressed interest in Jackson.

If Jackson were to land on the Jets, his ability to both run and pass might be enough to help the Jets get back to their winning ways.  Jackson did rush for over 250 yards in 2007 and throw for over 3,000 yards in 2011, so he is capable of producing solid offensive numbers. 

While he is not a traditional pocket passer, the influx of read-option schemes into the NFL this season could surely help Jackson thrive.  He could take over the reigns from a struggling Mark Sanchez and help lead the Jets back to the playoffs.

Free agent pickups can change the outlook of a team.  With a new season and new free agents come new possibilities for losers to become winners.