Every year, NFL veterans who have a history of producing at a high level find themselves without a job heading into training camp.
Which free agent will have the biggest impact in 2013?
The dog days of summer are fast approaching and NFL teams are preparing for another long season in 2013, but there are still some impact players on the market—free agents who have yet to find a home.
These veterans still have a lot left in the tank, and there's no doubt they'll be highly productive players this upcoming season. That said, the market for their services has apparently dried up as teams focus on developing young talent.
Once injuries start piling up during training camp (or before), however, these men will certainly find jobs.
John Abraham, Defensive End
Looking at Abraham's production the past few years, it's hard to fathom the fact that he's still unemployed.
How many sacks will Abraham rack up in 2013?
Since a down year in 2009 that saw him tally just 5.5 sacks, all Abraham has done the past three years is rack up 32.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and one interception.
Yes, Abraham is 35-years old, but it's obvious he still has plenty of gas left in his tank.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, playing time and money (really, they go hand in hand) appear to be the two main reasons why Abraham is without a job:
A league source explains that Abraham is hoping to play 60 or more snaps per game, and that most teams with interest see the 35-year-old as a 25-play guy. With reduced playing time comes reduced salary, which explains why he’s had a hard time getting paid the way he’s accustomed.
It seems highly unlikely that Abraham will end up playing "60 or more snaps per game," as Florio reports he desires. That said, there is no doubt the veteran sack specialist will find work before the 2013 NFL season begins.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back
Judging by the seemingly non-existent market for Bradshaw's services right now, you'd think the guy was well into his 30s and had a couple of gimpy knees, to boot.
Bradshaw, who is just 27 years old, has been dealing with a foot issue the past couple of seasons. That said, he's been medically cleared for all football activities for the past month, according to PFT's Florio:
Ahmad Bradshaw gets full medical clearance wp.me/p14QSB-8xvd— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 26, 2013
In his six-year career with the New York Giants, Bradshaw emerged as a vocal leader, a productive player who has a nose for the end zone and a fierce competitor. He rushed for 1,015 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and six touchdowns in 12 starts in 2012.
A healthy Bradshaw will be a huge boon for an offense in need of help at the running back position. Furthermore, you can be sure he will play with a huge chip on his shoulder once he finally does land with a team in 2013.
Kerry Rhodes, Safety
How in the world does Rhodes not have a job right now?
All he did last year was rack up 58 solo tackles, one sack, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and 11 defended passes.
Bleacher Report lead AFC West blogger Chris Hansen recently made an astute observation about Rhodes' value, to which SI.com's Chris Burke wholeheartedly agreed:
No doubt. RT @chrishansennfl: I'm pretty sure Kerry Rhodes would be a better option than Charles Woodson for a team needing safety help.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) May 16, 2013
Yet Rhodes remains unsigned while guys like Charles Woodson (No. 37 in PFF's rankings) have found a home.
This won't be a permanent arrangement, however. Rhodes will not only find a home this summer, but he'll end up playing a critical role for the NFL team that finally picks him up.
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