At this stage of the NFL offseason, the core of a team is largely set. The roster-construction phase of the offseason is essentially over, and coaches are now installing playbooks for their personnel. Instead of acquiring, teams are now focused on teaching.
However, that does not mean that teams cannot still tweak their rosters. Now that June 1 has passed, veteran free agents will no longer count against the compensatory pick formula. Teams often delay on the secondary waves of free agency to hone in on the draft and see where their needs remain afterward.
There are several potentially important contributors still unsigned, whether because of injury or age.
Recent history has provided ample evidence of important free-agent signings in the summer. Last year, the Ravens found a viable Ray Lewis replacement in Daryl Smith on June 5, and the Cardinals received 11.5 sacks from John Abraham, who signed on July 26.
In 2012, the Bengals signed Wallace Gilberry on June 5; he has since produced 14 sacks in two seasons and will likely start this season in place of departed free agent Michael Johnson.
Though the transaction wire is quiet at the moment, multiple contending teams will likely snatch up an important player at some point within the next month or two.
Though not all these players will end up making a huge impact, they represent the best available talent due to their track record and future upside. Therefore, considering the minimum-value contracts they are likely to receive, they could provide some of the best values of the offseason.
Taking a look at the best remaining free agents by this critirea, let's determine where they would fit best in 2014.