Uncapped Year: Top 25 2010 Unrestricted Free Agents
An uncapped year in the NFL causes 212 players to become restricted free agents. It would force free agents that were drafted in the 2005 and 2006 drafts to be restricted free agents.
This is because no salary cap would mean that teams have the right to players for six years. Players such as Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, Ronnie Brown, and Logan Mankins become restricted free agents.
Along with restricting 212 NFL players, the uncapped offseason gives teams two transition tags to go along with the franchise tag they already have.
Franchise tags take the top five highest salaries at the position and average them to find the franchise player's salary.
Transition tags use the average of the top 10 highest paid players at a position. An uncapped year has a huge offseason impact; here are the top unrestricted free agents.
Peppers was franchise tagged by the Panthers in 2009-10. He just turned 30 and is a good enough athlete to play 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker.
After making $16.683 million in 2009-10, he could be looking for an Albert Haynesworth-type deal.
Whether he gets the $100 million deal or not, with an uncapped season he looks poised to get a huge contract. $100 million is very possible.
Dansby (28) was franchise tagged by the Cardinals for the second consecutive year in 2009-10.
He plays inside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. He returned the Aaron Rodgers interception for a touchdown in overtime in the first round of the 2010 playoffs and had 109 tackles in the 2009-10 season.
Expect him to stay in a 3-4 system and expect him to be looking for close to $10 million per year after making $9.7 million in 2009-10.
After being traded from the Patriots to the Raiders, expect the 30-year-old Seymour to be franchised by the Raiders.
He is capable of playing defensive tackle or defensive end and would get good interest on the free agent market.
Al Davis will not let Seymour walk after one year. Davis gave up the Raiders' 2011 first-round pick for Seymour.
Wilfork is a massive 28-year-old Pro Bowl caliber nose tackle. Listed at 325 pounds, he looks like he is pushing 350.
A perfect fit for any team that is going through a defensive transition to a 3-4 or any team looking to improve. Look for Wilfork and his agent to receive many offers on the free agent market.
Sharper is undoubtedly the best unrestricted defensive back free agent. The 34-year-old safety gave the Saints a sense of swagger during 2009-10.
Coming off a season when he had nine interceptions, three defensive touchdowns, and broke the record for most interception return yards, expect him to generate interest from teams all over the league.
The leader of the Titans' defense will turn 33 before next season, and he could be switching uniforms. If he chooses to leave Tennessee, he will leave with 1,057 tackles from the outside linebacker position for the Titans.
He is coming off a season in which he finished with 108 tackles and three interceptions. Any 4-3 defensive teams looking for veteran leadership at an outside linebacker position will be going hard after Bulluck.
People can argue that the 35-year-old Owens is not great anymore. But he is still a phenomenal player.
However, after being known as a locker room cancer, teams are bound to show Owens little to no interest.
Despite the fact that he had over 800 yards for a poor Bills offense, Owens could be forced out of football if he receives no interest.
After missing close to half of the season to injury, Kampman is going to be a free agent.
The 30-year-old defensive end somewhat struggled to transition to 3-4 outside linebacker only netting 3.5 sacks in his nine regular season games for the Pack.
However, his three years prior to 2009-10, he brought down the quarterback 37 times. Expect interest from many 4-3 defensive teams.
There is no question that if the 2010 offseason is indeed uncapped, Bryant is one of the best unrestricted offensive skill players. The 28-year-old wide receiver is one year removed from a 1,200 yard season.
He only had 600 yards in 2009-10 but he played on a terrible Tampa Bay Buccaneer offense and missed a couple of games to injury.
Bryant might be had for a bargain if teams look to trade for restricted free agents such as Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, or Malcolm Floyd.
The big 32-year-old could be looking at a change of scenery after nine years of playing nose tackle for the Steelers.
He has been a big part of the Steelers' defensive success over the years. Great at stopping the run and changing games. He could be a fit for any team looking for defensive line help.
After struggling for the Lions in 2008-09, Bodden returned to form for the Patriots 2009-10.
He tallied 55 tackles and five interceptions for New England. His play in 2009-10 makes him the best unrestricted cornerback on the market in the 2010 offseason.
Clifton, is turning 34 before next season, but still looks like he has a few good years left in him.
After protecting Bret Favre for eight years, he made his first Pro Bowl in 2007-08 and could make another. He has faced injury issues, but when he is in the game he has shown he can still play.
The only reason that Mawae is so low on this list is because he is 38 years old and could retire.
With his talent and knowledge, Mawae is the best offensive lineman on the free agent market. From the center position, Mawae commands respect and could give leadership to any team in need.
Williams has been an above-average offensive lineman for years in Cincinnati. He is 33 but hardly showing his age.
Given the right opportunity, he could make a couple Pro Bowls from his right guard position.
Neal (33) wrestled in college and did not play football. He has been protecting Tom Brady since he was put into the starting lineup in 2004-05 and has been borderline pro bowler ever since.
He has won three Super Bowl rings and could be a solid addition to a line looking for veteran leadership.
The 27-year-old Washington is the best running back entering unrestricted free agency. Much like Darren Sproles, Washington can do a little bit of everything.
He can return kicks, catch balls out of the backfield, and carry a work load. Look for Washington to be part of a two-running back system next season.
Kyle Vanden Bosch
The 31-year-old Vanden Bosch only totaled three sacks in 2009-10 and was definitely affected by the Albert Haynesworth departure.
Given the right situation, Vanden Bosch has shown he can be a superb pass rusher. Look for him to get a good amount of interest; he might get a bigger deal than he deserves.
Expect the soon-to-be 30-year-old Gary Coleman look-alike to stay with Colts. The Colts will more than likely franchise tag Brackett before they let him walk.
He is the leader of their defense and has had 99 or more tackles in each of the last five seasons.
Brackett has been a great middle linebacker for Indianapolis, and he'll probably want to stay with the AFC champs.
Before Adrian Peterson took over in Minnesota, Taylor was a great all-around back. Taylor (30) rushed for 1,216 yards in 2006-07 while also pulling in 42 receptions.
He seems poised to take another gig as a third-down back, but could start in a few places. He has become known as the best third-down back in the league.
Robinson will be 28 before next season and is coming off a down season. The Texans franchise tagged the corner back for the 2009-10 season and paid him $9.957 million. He did not live up to the contract; Robinson had 64 tackles and zero interceptions.
He still has great upside and is a very capable cover corner, just hope that your team does not give him a huge long-term deal.
The undrafted 29-year-old running back was benched in favor of Rashard Mendenhall in 2009-10. Parker still has blazing speed and might be able to find a starting job somewhere in the league.
If he does not find a starting position, expect him to be used as a change-of-pace back. He'd be a great addition for any team looking to add a back that can keep defenses on their toes.
Pennington will be 34 and coming off surgery next season. He missed all but three games in 2009-10 due to injury.
He led a Miami Dolphins team that had the first overall pick in 2008 to the playoffs in 2008-09 and is the best free agent quarterback available.
At this point in his career, Pennington is a perfect fit for a team looking for a stop-gap quarterback. He will probably be picked up as a mentor to a young quarterback such as Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen.
The soon to be 28-year-old natural center could be the best bargain of this free agent class. After spending the last few season's at guard he has shown versatility and athleticism.
Given the fact that he is only 28, he could be the best guard or center signing, and he is the youngest top-tier offensive lineman. Amano could be the biggest steal of this free agent class.
Ogunleye has proved to the league over the years that he is a legitimate threat. He is 32 and is coming off a season where he had 6.5 sacks. Offensive lineman realize that they had to respect him.
He is a threat to get double-digit sacks every season and will be a perfect fit for any 4-3 defensive team looking for a better pass rush.
Walter (28) is one of the more underrated receivers in the league. Last season he had 611 receiving yards and missed two games. His previous two seasons he had over 800 yards each season.
He is a legitimate No. 2 receiving option, and he should draw interest.
Ryan Pickett (age 30): Green Bay nose tackle could be resigned.
Ryan Clark (30): great veteran leader. Has played safety for the Steelers in the past few seasons. Overall solid player.
Chris Chambers (32): stepped up his game for the Chiefs receiving corps this season. Great option for depth at receiver.
Benjamin Watson (29): the Patriots tight end could be looking for a place where he would be more of a receiving threat; he is behind Moss and Welker in New England.
Neil Rackers (34): has been a solid kicker over the years for the Cardinals.
Stephen Gostkowski (26): has become known as one of the better kickers in the league during his time in New England.
Kevin Faulk (34): the three-time Super Bowl-winning running back is a great option as a third down back.
Charlie Batch (35): Steelers quarterback could be looking for a new backup role.