NFL Free Agency 2011: The Best Offensive Players in the Upcoming Class

Eli ChesnerCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 26:  Peyton leaves the field against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December  26, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

As the 2010 regular season comes to an end, all the bad teams (Panthers, Cardinals, Bengals) look to rebuild in the draft and also free agency. Here is a list of the top free agents at each position for the upcoming free agency class.


Peyton Manning (Current team IND): Manning is by far the greatest QB of the class. And the Colts will most likely resign him.

Brett Favre (MIN): Looking at the past couple of weeks might say that Favre is officially done. He has gotten beat up all season, and for a 41-year-old QB, his historic career will be over before free agency starts.

Donovan McNabb (WAS): McNabb has gotten into the wrong situation in Washington. He has officially said he wants a release when the season is over, so teams should be interested.

Michael Vick (PHI): Quite possibly the MVP of the season, Vick has been the best story in the NFL this season. After coming back from prison for dogfighting, Vick has proved that even after two years away from the game can't stop him from doing what he used to do in Atlanta.

Kyle Orton (DEN): With Tim Tebow getting the starts now, this is the biggest sign that Orton is gone after this season.

Other top quarterbacks: Matt Hasselbeck (SEA), Alex Smith (SF), Trent Edwards (JAG), Shaun Hill (DET), Kerry Collins (TEN).

Running Backs

DeAngelo Williams (CAR): With Jonathan Stewart still locked up, will DeAngelo Williams become expendable? I doubt the Panthers allow Williams to leave via free agency, but he could very well become an acquirable commodity this offseason through a tag and trade.

Jamaal Charles (KC): Charles has been splitting time with Thomas Jones this year, and soon Jones can be the all time starter. But with the Chiefs likely to rely on Thomas Jones for next season, Charles could be a top free agent.

Michael Bush (OAK): In a limited role, Bush has posted some eye-popping numbers behind a pedestrian offensive line and a nonexistent passing game. Bush was a potential first-round selection prior to his leg injury which sidelined him for his senior season. 

Darren Sproles (SD): Sproles has proved that he can’t be a starting back, but is exactly what most teams look for from their backup. He’s a dangerous weapon on special teams and a threat to take any touch to the end zone.

Ricky Williams (MIA): The years out of the league have spared Williams the damage that would have thrown a brick wall at most backs by this age. Williams is still a productive back, but anything more than a short term contract, or one that depreciates in value, would be a mistake. If the two parties can reach a deal, Miami will likely retain services until his body wears out.

Other top running backs: Joseph Addai (IND), Ronnie Brown (MIA), Brandon Jackson (GB), Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG), Leon Washington (SEA).

Wide Receivers

Randy Moss (TEN): Ahh the story of Randy Moss. Where should we start? He isn't a reliable receiver anymore, as he is past his prime.

Santonio Holmes (NYJ): After a shocking trade that sent Santonio Holmes to the Jets for a mid-round pick, the recently-troubled wide receiver will need to make an impact before earning his next contract, which seemed to be in line with the top 10 receivers prior to the trade.

Donald Driver (GB): Many have been downplaying Driver’s ability season after season and his productivity has come to be the most reliable factor each year. Driver has had six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, including five after the age of 30. He’s become attached to the community and will most likely receive a contract that decreases yearly, until he’s ready to retire.

Mike Sims-Walker (JAX): The Jaguars this year have been fantastic, and a huge reason for that is Mike Sims-Walker. Having said that, The Jags will resign him, no matter the price.

Other top receivers: Braylon Edwards (NYJ), Steve Smith (NYG), Santana Moss (WAS).