The NFL free agent period got underway at 4 p.m. on Wednesday with signings aplenty around the league, including Denver QB Brock Osweiler spurning the Super Bowl champs to sign with the Houston Texans. But plenty of good players remain on the street…
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets 6-2, 223 • 33
Fitzpatrick is coming off a career year with New York (31 touchdowns, 15 interceptions), and the Jets want him back. However, they don’t have a ton of cap room, so if a QB-hungry team swoops in and offers him a lucrative contract, he can be had. Yes, he has a tendency to throw costly interceptions, but so did Brett Favre (336 career INTs). Aside from the picks, Fitz has done pretty well for himself.
Chase Daniel, Chiefs 6-0, 225 • 29
Daniel is the sleeper of this free agent class. He’s a little undersized, but after four years of tutelage from Drew Brees and Sean Payton in New Orleans, and four more from Alex Smith and Andy Reid in Kansas City, he’s ready to lead a team. Daniel creates time in the pocket and reads defenses well, plus has a lot of moxie. Think of him as a poor man’s Brees.
Matt Moore, Dolphins 6-3, 220 • 31
Moore has 25 career starts between Carolina and Miami, and game experience is huge at this toughest of all NFL positions. A team can win games with this guy — he’s got decent arm strength and mobility and is good at going through progressions. At the very least, he’s a terrific insurance policy.
Bilal Powell, Jets 5-10, 204 • 27
Powell is the quintessential change-of-pace back with very quick feet and top-shelf receiving skills. He is also a good special teams player, however, he battled ankle problems on and off last year.
LeGarrette Blount, Patriots 6-0, 250 • 29
Though he has been in the league seven years, he has always been a platoon back, so he probably has some gas left in the tank. His 2015 season ended Dec. 15, due to a hip injury that will need to be checked out. He is a bruiser with quick feet.
Alfred Morris, Redskins 5-10, 224 • 27
Morris rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons, including 1,613 in 2012. He platooned in 2015, and ran for just 715. The Florida Atlantic product doesn’t have great speed, but is nifty running between the tackles.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals 6-2, 210 • 26
Though he only had 33 catches last year, don’t sleep on him — Sanu is a very good player who could emerge if given a starting role. He was the Bengals’ third WR and they also threw to TE Tyler Eifert a ton. When starting wideout Marvin Jones was injured in 2014, Sanu had 56 catches. He doesn’t have great speed, but is a terrific route-runner with good hands who is good on contested balls.
Jermaine Kearse, Seahawks 6-1, 209 • 26
Kearse is a clutch receiver, who has repeatedly come up big in the playoffs. Though his career high is 49 catches (2015), Seattle is a run-heavy team. He doesn’t have blazing speed (4.56), but he knows how to get open and is fearless over the middle. He excels running after the catch.
Brian Quick, Rams 6-3, 218 • 26
Quick tallied just 64 catches in four years, and only 10 in 2015, but he was rarely a primary option, and the QB situation in St. Louis was awful. He was emerging in 2014 with 25 catches in seven games when a torn rotator cuff ended his season. In the right situation, with a legit QB, this guy could be a steal. He has good size paired with 4.5 speed.
Vernon Davis, Broncos 6-3, 250 • 32
Over his 10-year career, he has 461 catches and 55 touchdowns. Imagine his numbers if he played with a great quarterback. He has been held back by years of mediocre QB play. Coming out of college, he ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, so even if he has lost a step, and still runs 4.5-4.6, he’s still a speedy TE. He was traded midseason in 2015, from San Francisco to Denver, but never got acclimated to the system. Lesson: He must sign early in free agency to give him ample time to get comfortable.
Ladarius Green, Chargers 6-6, 240 • 25
Green has a nice size-speed ratio, running 4.53. He has never put up big numbers because he has been the second TE on a team with Antonio Gates. He suffered two concussions last season, so that could scare some clubs.
Darren Fells, Cardinals 6-7, 281 • 29
Fells is a former basketball player at Cal-Irvine and in Europe, but he made the transition to the gridiron and had 21 catches for Arizona last year. The arrow is pointing up.
Russell Okung, Seahawks 6-5, 310 pounds • 28 years old
It will be hard for Seattle to keep him with all their other financial commitments, so some team will be able to land a franchise left tackle. Whichever team wants him will have to deal with him directly. He’s representing himself, disagreeing with the maxim, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Andre Smith, Bengals 6-4, 325 • 29
The talented right tackle is coming off an average season. The Bengals have so many free agents to sign, he likely will land elsewhere. Cincinnati drafted his two possible replacements last year in Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. He is a very good run blocker, but was penalty prone last year (11 flags). He’ll still get paid.
Kelvin Beachum, Steelers 6-3, 303 • 26
When he took over as Steelers left tackle, it raised some eyebrows due to his size, but he did a heck of job for a couple of years before blowing his knee out in Week 6 last year. He makes up for his lack of ideal height with good technique, quick feet and athletic ability. If his knee checks out, he should get decent money as a proven starting left tackle.
Jeff Allen, Chiefs 6-4, 306 • 26
The versatile lineman can play guard or tackle, but he was banged up a lot in KC, so durability questions could cost him some money. When healthy, he displays a lot of ability. He is a tough hombre, who battles to the whistle.
Jahri Evans, Saints 6-4, 318 • 32
Evans will be 33 in August, so he probably won’t get big bucks, but the durable guard has only missed 10 starts in 10 years. The four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler is not only a good player, but a terrific leader and mentor to young linemen.
J.R. Sweezy, Seahawks 6-5, 298 • 26
A starting right guard the last three seasons, Sweezy was a defensive end at N.C. State. It’s possible he still hasn’t reached his ceiling as an offensive lineman. He has started on two Super Bowl teams, but is a little undersized yet very mobile.