One of the best aspects of the Madden games is getting them and immediately bolstering the roster of your chosen franchise mode team with a few quick free agent additions. This year, there are a few unsigned players who will give you an instant impact.
This three-time Pro Bowl linebacker was set adrift by the Seattle Seahawks and has yet to find a permanent home. While he might be expensive to sign, Tatupu would be an upgrade in the middle for almost every team. Madden's creators clearly love him, as his ratings show. He carries an overall mark of 88, is a great tackler (95) and has fantastic awareness (90), as well as an excellent pursuit rating (96).
Tatupu has decent speed (79), excellent acceleration (92) and solid agility (85). He would certainly be the first free agent pickup I would make in the game.
Hayden is an excellent cover corner who has not yet found a home. He has spent his entire career with the Indianapolis Colts to this point, but has not been signed and was largely forgotten during the NFL's free agency free-for-all at the end of the summer. His loss will be your franchise's gain.
Hayden is another guy who Madden's creators really like. He has an overall rating of 85, with decent speed (87), acceleration (88) and awareness (86). He has great jumping ability (94) and stamina (95) and is a beast in zone coverage (93). While his man coverage rating of 80 is a little lower than you'd like, he has solid pursuit (82), agility (92) and press (85) ratings to help make up for that.
If you plan on running a lot of zone, Hayden could likely step in and start for your team, and he's probably better than most guys in man coverage too. At worst, he would be great insurance as a third corner.
Williams did not re-sign with the Minnesota Vikings after spending the previous six season with the organization and being one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Again, Madden's people love Williams despite the fact that he's 38 and would be entering his 14th year in the league.
He is listed as an 86 overall and carries an outstanding 97 strength rating. He has some other impressive numbers as well, with awareness (96), tackling (90), toughness (98), play recognition (97) and block shedding (93) marks that are off the charts. He loses some shine with his 48 speed and 67 acceleration numbers, but how often do you expect a defensive tackle to have those?
If you need a short-term fix for the interior of your defensive line, Williams would be a great pickup. In fact, he is probably a better starting options than most teams currently have.