While the primary phase of the 2014 NFL free-agency period has largely subsided, teams are still in the early phases of their 2014 roster construction. Big-money signings elicit excitement and the promise of huge production, but it's the secondary phases of free agency where a team builds invaluable depth for the inevitable attrition it will suffer during the regular season.
Year after year, we witness how superior depth often trumps the pure star power of a few individuals. Organizations like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots have earned acclaim not for their big free-agent splashes, but rather for their emphasis on the middle class that allows them to remain competitive on an annual basis.
Indeed, this phase of the roster-building season may not generate as many headlines, but it is just as vital as the opening frenzy of free agency. Consider last year's Super Bowl teams, on which vital contributors like Michael Bennett, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Shaun Phillips were all bargain-bin acquisitions in the latter stages of the free-agent period last offseason.
So which remaining free agents could provide similarly underrated boosts to their respective clubs this season? Judging by a combination of ability and potential cost, here are the best bargains still available on the free-agent market.
Unless otherwise noted, all stats and plus/minus grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required).