With the owners opting out of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, it severely limited the number of unrestricted free agents this year.
Only those players who have been in the league six years are now unrestricted, and the top players have already been signed.
Almost everyone on this list is either considered “old” by NFL standards, coming off surgery after a productive 2009 season, or trying to return from an injury that hurt his 2009 season.
Read on for the top seven:
Keith Bulluck (LB)
Suffering an ACL tear in Week 15, Bullock recorded his sixth 100+ tackle season as the anchor of the Tennessee Titans’ defense. I understand 33-year old’s coming off ACL surgery aren’t teams’ first priority, but he is a beast in the middle.
A team like the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, or San Francisco 49ers might be able to sign him cheap and get a player with something to prove. Signings like this are what build championship teams.
Darren Sharper (FS)
Merely his presence in the New Orleans Saints defensive backfield transformed a mediocre unit into a Super Bowl champion caliber one. Much like Bulluck, he is recovering from surgery.
He is a proven winner and has big play potential anytime he has an interception (3 INTs for TDs in 2009). If I’m the New York Jets or Dallas Cowboys I’d be meeting with his agent and not letting him leave unsigned. Another team that would benefit would be the Philadelphia Eagles who still haven’t recovered since letting Brian Dawkins leave last year.
Grady Jackson (DT)
His stats are never big, but he is a big body and forces teams to double team him. As the nose tackle for Atlanta in 2008, he helped that defensive unit improve enough to help them make the playoffs. The San Diego Chargers would be wise to sign Jackson while they groom whomever they draft in the 2010.
For the rest of this NFL Free Agency article, head over to NFLsoup.com .