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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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets won 29-20.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Ima
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    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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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Antrel Rolle #26 of the New York Giants intercepts a pass against the New England Patriots during the first quarter on September 2, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McI
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    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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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Thomas Jones #20 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    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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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Trent Edwards #5 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass under pressure from Karlos Dansby #58 of the Miami Dolphins during the NFL season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Miami wo
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    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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    DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Kyle Vanden Bosch #93 of the Detroit Lions tries to get around Joe Thomas #73 during a preseason game on August 28, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    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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    GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 10:  Linebacker Joey Porter #55 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 30-20.  (Ph
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    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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    BALTIMORE - SEPTEMBER 26:  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens can't hold onto a pass as he's taken down by Scott Fujita #99 of the Cleveland Browns  at M&T Bank Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Browns 24-17.
    Larry French/Getty Images

    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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    MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 26: Defensive end Jason Taylor #99 of the New York Jets sackS against Chad Henne #7 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Jets won 31-23. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    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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    CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10: Defensive end Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears stands on the field against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    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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    CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 10:  Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals pulls in a pass to complete a 43-yard touchdown play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    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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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 11:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets runs the ball in the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at New Meadowlands Stadium on October 11, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Image
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    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