Free agency in the NFL can be a little bit like Christmas, with a number of top players seemingly available for purchase for the new year ahead.
Of course it's nowhere near that simple—you can't just drop in and "pick up" a superstar—but the reality is that a good offer to the right player can prove to be a shrewd and decisive move the new season, and one that can drastically change the potential outlook.
As with every year, several players across every team are currently free agents (per NFL.com), though obviously not all of them will end up leaving their current teams. Read on to see which under-the-radar stars would be great for teams to pursue this offseason, and that they could well entice in to moving.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals
LaRod Stephens-Howling has been around the NFL for a couple of seasons now with the Arizona Cardinals without producing any real results.
Last year, the running back totaled 356 yards at 3.2 yards per carry for four touchdowns—not exactly numbers likely to inspire a great deal of confidence.
However, keep in mind the situations that Stephens-Howling was being used in (often trailing) and the fact that he was running behind one of the worst, if not the clear worst, offensive lines ever in the history of the National Football League.
It is little surprise, therefore, that his numbers were so low, and he could just be a nice pickup for teams looking to add a little bit of depth in the backfield. He's strong and a solid carrier (hasn't fumbled in three years) and would provide good rest for a starting running back when needed.
His solid hands also make him a viable checkdown option at times.
Kenny Phillips, DB, New York Giants
Were it not for his injury-riddled past, there's no way that Kenny Philips would even be touted as a potential mover at all in the 2013 offeseason.
Yet with his six-game season last year and a troublesome knee, the safety may well be let go from the Giants this season—giving teams a very viable pickup.
The key with the 26-year-old is they are getting damaged goods, and it may take time for him to emerge as a top talent. But for a side that has a solid secondary already on hand and is looking to add some talent in for the future, Philips could well be a stellar selection this year.
This is a Pro Bowl player potentially being up for grabs.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
New England are bound to have a number of star wide receivers on hand for 2013, and they're likely to bring some more talent in—something they seemingly always do—and so it's likely that guys like Edelman find themselves available in free agency for a little while.
And for many teams, that could be a huge bonus.
Not only does Edelman bring a solid pair of hands and a genuine agility running across the field, he adds in a special teams element when needed also. He hasn't had the raw opportunities outside of Boston thanks to the plethora of receiving options that Tom Brady has had, and as a result, hasn't been able to truly show what he can do as a wide receiver.
If he walks, Edelman could become a great slot receiver or even a running back heading out of the backfield—however teams wish to utilize him.
Which, when coupled with his special teams skills, makes for a great buy.
Which under-the-radar players do you think you be stellar buys in 2013?
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