Free Agency 2013: Best 50 LeftMonday, March 18, 2013
continue story »
Rotoworld Football ranked the NFL's Top 100 Free Agents on March 11. Since, 53 of the Top 100 players have signed elsewhere. Just nine have re-signed with their old teams. One retired. 37 remain unsigned.
Based on talent, production, and market developments since March 11, these are the Top 50 players left in the free-agent pool:
Restricted free agents, who rarely change teams, are not included.
1. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil -- Released Friday after a contract snafu that cost agent Marty Magid his job, Dumervil is now the top unsigned player available. He recently turned 29 and has 38 sacks to go with ten forced fumbles over the past three years. Primarily a 4-3 right end in Denver, Dumervil had his best season playing in Mike Nolan's 3-4 in 2009. The scheme versatility increases Dumervil's market appeal. Pittsburgh and Baltimore have shown preliminary interest.
2. Right tackle Andre Smith -- Smith is 26 years old and coming off a dominant season, but no substantive report has linked him to any team besides the Bengals. He's generating zero buzz. Clubs appear to be wary of Smith's history of weight fluctuation, which may be an especially big concern once he gets paid. Cincinnati still can't afford to lose him, and he'll likely re-sign there.
3. Cornerback Brent Grimes -- With virtually all of the young, healthy corners taken off the market, interest is picking up in rehabbing, 30-year-old Grimes. He visited the Dolphins on Friday and Browns on Saturday, and the Falcons remain squarely in the running. Because Grimes tore his Achilles' tendon last September, teams' initial offers probably consisted mostly of incentive-laden deals. Grimes figures to sign with the club that offers him the most guaranteed money.
4. Defensive end John Abraham -- Abraham remains one of the league's premier sack and forced fumble specialists, but the market has been lukewarm for a situational player going on age 35. So far, Abraham has visited the Patriots, 49ers, and Seahawks. He was also rumored to have shown up at the Dolphins' facility last week, but never met with team officials. Abraham's destination is difficult to predict because he seems to want more money than teams are offering.
5. Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer -- Perhaps partially due to February knee surgery coupled with a history of back problems, Vollmer's market has been shockingly cold for one of the increasingly pass-happy NFL's top pass protectors. Jake Long's Sunday night signing in St. Louis could quickly get the ball rolling. Long, Vollmer, and Andre Smith are all represented by Creative Artists Agency, which had caused a conflict of interest at the top of the offensive tackle market. With Long's four-year, $34 million deal done, CAA has a contract template from which to work.
6. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora -- Like Long, Smith, and Vollmer, Umenyiora, Dumervil, and Dwight Freeney are all repped by CAA. Osi and Freeney may have to wait for Dumervil to set the market before catching on. As of late Sunday, Rotoworld had not done a Umenyiora news blurb for eight days. It suggests teams aren't even considering Osi yet because his asking price is too high. The Giants may still be in the mix. Atlanta will have to sign a pass rusher at some point.
7. Cornerback Antoine Winfield -- Winfield was so shocked by his March 12 release that he needed a week to "decompress." He spent the last nine years in Minnesota, earning three Pro Bowl trips and grading out in 2012 as Pro Football Focus' No. 1 cornerback. Winfield can still play, though he shouldn't expect much money in an incredibly watered-down cornerback market. At 36, Winfield will be looking to sign with a Super Bowl contender. He'd make a ton of sense in Seattle.
8. Free safety Ed Reed -- Reed's decision seems to have come down to Baltimore and Houston. He took a two-day visit to Texans late last week, and brought their offer back to the Ravens, giving GM Ozzie Newsome an opportunity to match. Despite signing third safety-type Craig Dahl, the 49ers are lurking and shouldn't be ruled out. Reed is entering his age-35 season.
9. Defensive end Dwight Freeney -- Eight of the top 11 remaining free agents will be over 30 when the 2013 season starts. Freeney falls into that boat, having recently turned 33. The Patriots and Broncos have both shown significant interest in Freeney, and New England hosted him for a club-facility visit Friday. He left without signing a contract. Following Friday's unintended release of Elvis Dumervil, look for Denver to heat up its efforts to sign Freeney early this week.
10. Linebacker James Harrison -- Harrison turns 35 in May and his body may be breaking down, but he can still put heat on quarterbacks. The Ravens are the only team known to have contacted Harrison since his Steelers release. He'd be a nice stopgap solution on passing downs.