Thanks For Coming: The Top 10 NFL Free Agent Signings of 2010

Adam FergusonContributor IIIOctober 16, 2010

Thanks For Coming: The Top 10 NFL Free Agent Signings of 2010

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    Just like every season, there were plenty of big name free agents that signed with new teams in the NFL in the 2010 offseason.

    Some teams went out and spent insane amounts of money on proven players. Others got bargain-basement deals on players that were deemed no longer part of the future of their former franchises.

    Now that they've had the time to establish themselves on their respective teams, it's time to take a look at the contributions each player has made through the first five weeks of the season.

    Note: This list does not include players acquired via trades. For a list of the biggest trades of the 2010 NFL season check out this article:

Honorable Mention: Antrel Rolle

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    After spending his first five years in Arizona, former first-round pick Antrel Rolle signed with the New York Giants after being released by the Cardinals. Although he is yet to record any interceptions so far this year, Rolle is a big reason that the Giants pass defense leads the NFL through the first five games of the season.

    2010 stats: 31 tackles

10. Dunta Robinson

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    When Dunta Robinson became an unrestricted free agent after spending the first six years of his career in Houston, the Atlanta Falcons were quick to bring him back to his home state of Georgia by signing him to a six-year deal.

    Not only has Robinson made significant contributions in pass coverage as their No. 1 cornerback, he has also played a big role in run support.

    2010 stats: 22 tackles, 3 pass deflections

9. Thomas Jones

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    After leading the New York Jets in rushing in 2009 with over 1,400 yards and 14 TDs, Rex Ryan and the Jets front office decided that the soon to be 32-year-old running back wouldn't be part of their plan in 2010 and released him.

    The Kansas City Chiefs didn't waste time in adding Thomas Jones to compliment the explosive Jamaal Charles as their power back. Jones is currently listed first on the depth chart and has 60 carries to Charles' 50.

    2010 stats: 60 rushes, 236 yards, 1 TD

8. Karlos Dansby

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    Former Arizona Cardinal Karlos Dansby became a household name when he recovered an Aaron Rodgers' fumble in overtime and returned it for the winning touchdown in last season's opening round of the playoffs against Green Bay.

    Dansby became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2009 seasons after six years in Arizona and quickly found a new home in Miami when he signed a five-year deal reported to be worth $43 million. Through the first four games of the season, Dansby has not disappointed.

    2010 stats: 30 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass deflected

7. Kyle Vanden Bosch

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    When Kyle Vanden Bosch became a free agent in early March, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz paid him a personal visit in an effort to get him to fill the Lions' desperate need for a pass-rushing defensive end. Schwartz was quite familiar with the impact that a player of his stature could have on the Lions' porous defense after coaching him when they were both with the Tennessee Titans.

    Luckily for the Lions, the visit paid off, and Vanden Bosch has quickly established himself as one of Detroit's best defenders through five games.

    2010 stats: 22 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection

6. Joey Porter

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    After the Cardinals failed to re-sign Karlos Dansby, they were able to fill the void at linebacker after the Miami Dolphins released Joey Porter, who agreed to a three-year deal worth a reported $17.5 million in late March.

    Porter provides the Cardinals with a formidable pass-rushing threat and also has the ability to apply hard hits on opposing ball-carriers. If the Cardinals are going to defend their NFC West division title, Joey Porter and the Arizona defense are going to have to play a huge part.

    2010 stats: 19 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles

5. Scott Fujita

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    After spending the past four seasons in New Orleans, Scott Fujita became an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2009 NFL season. The Cleveland Browns signed him in early March in an effort to strengthen a defense that finished 31st in the NFL in total defense after allowing an average of 389 yards per game.

    After five weeks, the addition of Fujita has paid off. Cleveland's defense has improved by a considerable margin and is allowing 343 yards per game in 2010. Fujita is also on pace to set career highs in sacks and forced fumbles.

    2010 stats: 27 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

4. Jason Taylor

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    After a one-year return to Miami, Jason Taylor became an unrestricted free agent in April of 2010. Although the 36-year-old Taylor has been in the league for 14 seasons, Rex Ryan gambled that he had enough left in the tank to contribute to the Jets' already stellar defense.

    Luckily for the Jets, that gamble paid off. Taylor is currently second on the team with three sacks. Jason Taylor will continue to have a major impact as the Jets make a run toward the postseason.

    2010 stats: 16 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass deflection

3. Julius Peppers

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    One of the most highly touted free agents in recent memory, Julius Peppers signed a huge contract with the Chicago Bears after spending eight seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

    The presence of Peppers along with the return of a healthy Brian Urlacher gives the Chicago Bears the chance to regain their form as one of the NFL's elite defenses. The 14.8 points per game allowed currently ranks fifth in the league.

    If the Bears are going to continue their run toward a division crown in the NFC North, Peppers is sure to be instrumental.

    2010 stats: 11 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 4 passes deflected

2. Terrell Owens

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    After a season of exile in Buffalo, many thought that the 36-year-old Terrell Owens was all but finished. After initially receiving little interest around the league, the Cincinnati Bengals finally gave him a contract.

    Although he was considered to be a second option to Chad Ochocinco, after five games TO has been Carson Palmer's favorite target. He is currently fifth in the NFL in receiving yardage, including a breakout performance in Week 4 when he caught 10 balls for 222 yards and a touchdown.

    If the Bengals can get more consistent play from Palmer, Owens and the offense have the potential to do some great things.

    2010 stats: 31 receptions, 476 yards, 2 TDs

1. LaDainian Tomlinson

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    The man who the San Diego Chargers deemed past his prime at the age of 31 and too old to be a feature back in the NFL humbled himself when he signed with the New York Jets in what was supposed to be a backup role. Much to the delight of Jets' fans, however, LT has re-established himself as one of the league's premier running backs.

    It didn't take long for Tomlinson to gain the starting role in New York. Through his first five games in Jets' green, LT is actually having the best season of his career in terms of yards per carry and is on pace to have his highest rushing total in three years.

    With both LT and Shonn Greene sharing the load in the Jets' backfield, New York once again has the league's most prolific rushing offense.

    2010 stats: 76 carries, 435 yards, 3 TDs; 17 receptions, 96 yards