Who's Left on NFL's Free-Agent Market?

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IJune 24, 2013

Who's Left on NFL's Free-Agent Market?

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    The current list of NFL free agents is essentially devoid of major talent. 

    But that doesn't mean there aren't a few players who could become serviceable contributors in 2013. 

    Here's an analytical, position-by-position breakdown of all the free agents available on the market today. 


    Player lists courtesy of Rotoworld's Nick Mensio.


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    Byron Leftwich, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, JaMarcus Russell, Charlie Batch, Tyler Thigpen, Trent Edwards, Sage Rosenfels, A.J. Feeley, Troy Smith, Chris Redman, John Beck, Jordan Palmer, J.P. Losman, Kevin O'Connell


    Looking for a franchise quarterback? If so, look elsewhere. This rather ghastly collection consists of former No. 1 overall picks like Russell to players taken over Tom Brady in the 2000 draft to former seventh-rounders and everything in between. 

    Russell's comeback has been well-documented, and although it hasn't received as much publicity, Young is also on the comeback trail. 

    Unfortunately, most of these quarterbacks won't find jobs in the NFL this year, or maybe ever again. 

    But one has to think Leftwich, who played in two games in 2012 for the Pittsburgh Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger was injured, could help a team, and a few others, like Young and Smith, could as well. 

    Russell's the ultimate wild card. 

Running Back

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    Willis McGahee, Beanie Wells, Cedric Benson, Kevin Smith, Michael Turner, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jacobs, Javon Ringer, Tim Hightower, D.J. Ware, Chris Rainey, Ryan Grant, Steve Slaton, Thomas Jones, Joseph Addai, Mewelde Moore, Cadillac Williams, Jackie Battle, Kahlil Bell, Jamie Harper, Darren Evans, Kregg Lumpkin, Stefan Logan, Tyrell Sutton


    Although running back committees have become one of the NFL's hottest and, frankly, most logical trends, running backs themselves have been deemed easily replaceable. 

    Teams are more apt to take a chance on a young and relatively cheap back they can draft in the mid-to-late rounds than pay a worn-down veteran. 

    Oh, don't forget the injury propensity at this position.

    All those factors don't bode well for this large grouping of free-agent runners. 


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    Vonta Leach, Ovie Mughelli, Corey McIntyre, Earnest Graham, Moran Norris, Lousaka Polite, Brit Miller, Owen Schmitt


    Leach headlines this group of powerful fullbacks. Nearly all of them are still viable players at their position, but like their running back brethren, they're not as integral to teams' offensive attacks as they once were. 

    Smaller, more nimble "H-backs" who double as in-line tight ends have become the de facto fullbacks for many clubs in today's pass-happy NFL. 

    But if a team wants a bulldozing lead-blocker, Leach is the guy they should be after. He played at an elite level in 2012. 

Wide Receiver

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    Brandon Lloyd, Laurent Robinson, Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, Austin Collie, Jabar Gaffney,
    Brandon Stokley, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet, Titus Young, Terrell Owens, Chaz Schilens,
    Sammie Stroughter, Chad Johnson, Deion Branch, Adrian Arrington, Jason Hill, Seyi Ajirotutu,
    Greg Camarillo, Roscoe Parrish, Mike Williams, Lee Evans, Brian Robiskie, Brandon Banks, Mike Sims-Walker, Ruvell Martin, Legedu Naanee


    Technically, because he hasn't announced his retirement, Young is a free agent, but he's in desperate need of clinical help more than anything else. Owens and Johnson don't have much of an NFL future, either, but there are a few names on that list who could be signed by teams in the summer when injuries set in. 

    In fact, plenty of remaining free-agent wideouts flourish from the slot—Breaston, Gaffney, Stokley, Doucet, Camarillo and Parrish. 

    Remember, though, these players are unemployed for a reason. 

Tight End

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    Dallas Clark, Kevin Boss, Todd Heap, Jeremy Shockey, Visanthe Shiancoe, David Thomas, Randy McMichael, Chris Cooley, Travis Beckum, Cameron Morrah, Leonard Pope, Will Heller 


    Boy, was Clark fun to watch during the Indianapolis Colts offense's heyday with Peyton Manning or what? He caught 47 passes for 435 yards and four touchdowns with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, but he's 34 years old. 

    Heap, Cooley and Shockey were game-changers in their primes too. 

    There aren't any eye-popping names on this list, but a few could sneak onto a 53-man roster in late August. 

Offensive Tackle

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    Eric Winston, Jared Gaither, Winston Justice, Sean Locklear, Chad Clifton, Jammal Brown, Frank Omiyale, Jeff Otah, Brandyn Dombrowski, Demetress Bell, Wayne Hunter, D'Anthony Batiste, Tony Hills, Pat McQuistan, Lydon Murtha 


    Winston is an absolute stud at right tackle, and it's a shame he hasn't signed with an NFL team yet, unless there are injury concerns that haven't been made public. 

    It'll be a total shocker if he isn't on a team by the start of the preseason. The rest of the free-agent offensive tackle crowd is rather unspectacular and filled with veterans who've dealt with a plethora of injuries during their careers. 

Interior Offensive Lineman

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    Brandon Moore, Tyronne Green, Deuce Lutui, Antoine Caldwell, Rex Hadnot, Vince Manuwai, Leonard Davis, Bobbie Williams, Jeremy Bridges, Jeff Faine, Eugene Amano, Andre Gurode, Jason Brown, Jamaal Jackson 


    Though Moore is 33 years old, he's a solid guard who could certainly be plugged in as a stopgap guy on an assortment of NFL teams.

    The rest of the free-agent interior offensive linemen group is vastly underwhelming, but clubs are always looking for cheap, experienced trenchmen as the regular season approaches.

    Some of these interior offensive linemen could be signed soon.

Defensive End

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    John Abraham, Juqua Parker, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Ray Edwards, Jonathan Fanene, Antwan Applewhite, Trevor Scott, George Selvie, Dave Tollefson, Matt Roth, Antwan Odom, Derrick Harvey


    Abraham isn't the player he once was, but he did accumulate 10 sacks and forced six fumbles in 2012, and there are many teams who could use a situational edge-rusher with veteran savvy. 

    With Idonije being signed by the Detroit Lions, there aren't many impactful defensive ends left on the market outside of Abraham.

    Does Vanden Bosch have anything left? If so, he could be grabbed in August. 

Defensive Tackle

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    Richard Seymour, Corey Williams, Sione Pouha, Spencer Johnson, Casey Hampton, Rocky Bernard, Shaun Cody, Maake Kemoeatu, Ron Edwards, Leger Douzable, Justin Bannan, Trevor Laws, Amobi Okoye, Matt Toeaina, Vonnie Holliday, Marcus Thomas, Ty Warren, Albert Haynesworth, Nick Eason


    Believe it or not, Haynesworth is still considered a free agent. Lucky for him, he should be able to live comfortably with all the guaranteed money he got from the Washington Redskins in 2009. 

    As is the case with most players who are still free agents in June, Seymour is a shell of his former self, but he isn't totally washed up. The same goes for Pouha. 

    Many of these defenders will have an extremely difficult time latching on somewhere. 

Outside Linebacker

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    Bryan Thomas, Travis LaBoy, Chris Wilson, Jamaal Westerman, Nick Barnett, Thomas Howard, Leroy Hill, Michael Boley, Gerald McRath, Chris Gocong, Will Witherspoon, Clint Session, Quincy Black, Rocky McIntosh, Brandon Johnson, Scott Shanle, Mario Haggan, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Gary Guyton, Kirk Morrison, Demorrio Williams, Justin Cole


    It's plain to see the pool of free-agent, pass-rushing outside linebackers is essentially dried up. Don't be surprised when one of the 4-3 outside linebackers is inked to a modest contract as the preseason nears, though. 

    Barnett, Howard and Boley should play in 2013. 

Inside Linebacker

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    Bart Scott, Bradie James , Larry Grant, Takeo Spikes, Keith Brooking, E.J. Henderson, Paris Lenon, Rob Francois, Mike Peterson, Channing Crowder, Brandon Siler, Barrett Ruud, Tavares Gooden


    Desmond Bishop was signed by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, according to Pro Football Talk. If healthy, he and Chad Greenway should be quite the impactful linebacker duo.

    Scott is a well-known name, but he isn't the player he was even a few years ago. As a whole, this group isn't bad for this time of year. 

    Spikes, Lenon and Henderson, among others, will likely be on a roster come September. 


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    Sheldon Brown, Rashean Mathis, Terrence McGee, Stanford Routt, Leigh Bodden, Shawntae Spencer, William Middleton, Pat Lee, Cedric Griffin, Jason Allen, Ryan Mouton, Michael Coe, Drew Coleman, Alphonso Smith


    Remember when Brown used to wear this mask? Nightmare-inducing stuff. He was decent for the Cleveland Browns in 2012, and there's a good chance he's added to a roster late in training camp. 

    The rest of the cornerback collection has an assortment of injury issues, but in today's NFL, you can't have too many cornerbacks.


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    Kerry Rhodes, Quintin Mikell, Nate Clements, Abram Elam, Sherrod Martin, Corey Lynch, Jordan Babineaux, Eric Smith, Atari Bigby, Eric Hagg, Madieu Williams, Chris Crocker, O.J. Atogwe, Brodney Pool, Gibril Wilson, Deon Grant, Melvin Bullitt, Erik Coleman


    Rhodes and Mikell are the two obvious headliners among the free-agent safeties, and in time, they should find NFL work. 

    Clements and Smith were liabilities a season ago, but their starting experience could be beneficial in their respective job searches. 

    Rhodes could start from day one for a handful of teams.