I suppose the title of this article calls for a bit of clarification. When referring to "free agents," I will be using the term as it relates to the current system of free agency that was instituted in 1993.
As such, you will not be seeing names such as Russ Francis, Matt Millen, or Roy Foster.
Technically, though, I suppose they were free agents. Francis had retired from football and the Raiders had summarily cut Millen.
Francis’ story, at any rate, deserves a mention
As you may recall, Francis had retired from football after playing for the New England Patriots for five years. He was working as a commentator for ABC at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and ran into none other than Bill Walsh.
Walsh convinced Francis that there was only one time in your life that you could play football and that time was now.
Francis signed with Walsh and the 49ers and played for them from 1982 to 1987, winning a Super Bowl with the ’84 team.
In the interest of brevity, though (sort of), I had to draw the line somewhere.
Which brings me to my next point of clarification. This list does not include undrafted free agents. That is another list for another time (apologies to Derrick Deese).
Lastly, the list will include no players on the current roster. They still have a chance to improve their stock or drop it.
Some guys that didn’t quite make the cut deserve an honorable mention, so, without further ado, here they are: Tim Harris, Kevin Green, Kevin Gogan, Scott Gragg, and Marques Douglas.
I will try and keep the commentary to a minimum with the first five or so, but, after that—no promises!