2013 NFL Free Agents: Unsigned Players Who Will Make Biggest Impact Next Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 16:  John Abraham #55 of the Atlanta Falcons against the Cincinnati Bengals at Georgia Dome on August 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the NFL draft now behind us, it is time for teams to once again look toward free agency for impact players.

Although many players were already taken off the board at the beginning of free agency, a few talented ones seemingly slipped through the cracks. These guys still have the ability to make a big impact next season for whichever team signs them.

Front offices now have a better idea of what their team needs heading into training camp, which makes it a perfect time to sign one of these players. 


Charles Woodson, Safety

Teams often do not go out of their way to sign 36-year-old defensive backs, but Charles Woodson has been an exception throughout his career.

The former Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers star had a rough year in 2012 when injuries allowed him to only play seven games. However, he only missed three games in six years prior with the Packers.

Additionally, he is only a year removed from being one of the most impactful cornerbacks in football. He totaled 74 tackles in 2011 as well as seven interceptions, which tied him for the league lead.

Woodson has lost a step, but his instincts at the position will allow him to stay with receivers in coverage and cover plenty of space as a safety.

Finally, his veteran leadership also makes him a fantastic addition to any locker room and he would be a solid contributor on any contending team. 


Eric Winston, Offensive Tackle

The Kansas City Chiefs released Eric Winston presumably with the intention to free the spot up for Eric Fisher, who was eventually taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

While the Chiefs probably do not regret making this switch, Winston is still a premier right tackle in the NFL.

With the Houston Texans, he cleared space for Arian Foster to help make him one of the best running backs in the league. Last season, Jamaal Charles rushed for 1,509 yards thanks in part to the contributions of Winston.

Offensive line was in high demand during the NFL draft with six guards and tackles taken among the first 11 picks. Any team that missed out on grabbing one of these young players would do well to grab Winston on the free-agent market.


John Abraham, Defense End

In the new age of the pass-heavy NFL, every defense needs someone who can get to the opposing quarterback. Despite being 34 years old, John Abraham is still one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.

Only 14 defensive linemen totaled at least 10 sacks last season, and Abraham was one of them. In fact, he has averaged 10.75 sacks per year since 2007.

Although he is not as strong against the run as he used to be, he can still penetrate into the backfield with consistency and ruin any opponents offensive game plan.

There are a number of teams that want to contend this season but have no strong defensive line presence. Abraham will solve that issue in a hurry and could make a big impact with his new team.