2013 NFL Free Agents: 16 Sleeper Names You Need to Know

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2013 NFL Free Agents: 16 Sleeper Names You Need to Know
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Free agent LB Dannell Ellerbe only has 14 starts in his NFL career.

With so many different media entities that cover the NFL year-round and devote a number of articles to the upcoming 2013 free agents, is it really possible for a sleeper free agent to still exist?

That is a reasonable question to ask. For this presentation we will seek out 16 free agents that don't get as much publicity or recognition as they deserve, which makes them worthy of a "sleeper candidate" label.

To be fair, all of these 16 free agents will be well known to the fans of that players' team, but on the national scope, they just don't get very much attention. 

Sleepers come in various forms. Examples of a sleeper could be a player that dropped out of the game due to injury or some other type of commitment and wants to come back to play. It could be an undrafted free agent that has been languishing on NFL practice squads. A sleeper could also be a player that had to debut in the CFL to get noticed, and is now ready to play in the NFL.

You could also make a case for a player as a sleeper that is regarded or ranked as a top-5 player at his position, but never makes the Pro Bowl or All-Pro team because he plays for a team that is an annual loser.

Players that have been relegated to second-string on their own team but have flashed skills worthy of being a starter for other NFL teams also qualify as a sleeper. Finally, a sleeper could be a very good player on a team that rarely appears on nationally televised games, and as a result very few people know about him.

So, here are 16 sleeper free agents that will land somewhere during 2013 free agency. As is the case with the better-known free agents in 2013, there is no guarantee of how these sleepers will perform with their new teams.

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