Who are the best NFL free agents left in the market? There’s still a lot of starting-caliber players waiting to be signed. Here’s a look at the topmost talented players still available.
NFL fans have been adjusting to a lot of big trades, signings and cuts this entire offseason. There’s a large number of possible starters still waiting to be signed, so there might be a few more changes over the course of this season.
1. Earl Thomas – Safety
Earl Thomas has had a pretty turbulent offseason. Being with the Seahawks, he was selected for seven Pro Bowls and was selected first-team All-Pro three times in his 10 seasons. In 2019 he finished the season with two picks, two sacks and 49 tackles in 15 starts.
When Thomas was in coverage, he allowed just 0.17 yards per coverage snap, which was the fifth-best mark of any safety in the 2019 regular season. He also ranked fourth among safeties in targets against per coverage snap in the slot (25.5), displaying some versatility as well.
Thomas was graded at a 76.7 by Pro Football Focus and had an 84.7 grade in pass coverage. According to PFF he only was targeted 13 times and allowed just five receptions. However, with Thomas’ past history and his recent fight with a former Ravens teammate, it is possible the veteran could go unsigned the entire year.
2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Safety
Another game-changing safety waiting to be signed. Last season, Clinton-Dix held opposing quarterbacks to a 59.1 percent completion percentage. Thus proving to be effective playing in blitzing situations when put in man-to-man coverages with tightends.
He can even be used as a slot corner at points being highly versatile. He also allowed a 67.0 passer rating showing he’s a solid starter. However, he did miss more than 10% of his open-field tackles being one of the worst in the league.
Pro Football Focus gave Clinton-Dix an overall grade of 74.2 for 2019, the second-highest grade of his six-year career. Being just 27 years old, if he has another opportunity with a team, he could be entering his peak year. Earl Thomas has the edge over him being more experienced and has put up some big stats in the past few seasons.
3. Damon Harrison – Defensive Tackle
Damon Harrison, a free agent who formally played for the New York Jets, New York Giants and the Detroit Lions. “Snacks” Harrison, the 6’3, 353-pound nose tackle is the perfect fit for a run-stopping scheme as he is a big man who can take up much space on the interior defensive line.
Harrison gained an average of around two solo tackles per game last season. He recorded 35 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, two sacks, and even had a Pro Football Focus grade of 63.2. This isn’t his best as in 2018 he had 58 solo tackles,18 assisted tackles, four sacks and totaled two forced fumbles. That season his PFF grade was 92.0, so Harrison has proven he can be dominant.
“I’ve turned down a few offers,” Harrison said. “I’m not in a rush to make a decision because I control where I go and want to be as informed as possible.”
He’s patiently waiting to sign with the right team, and is definitely eager to prove himself. He’s also racked up numerous pressures on quarterbacks and many tackles for loss. His specialty being of course stuffing runningbacks in the backfield.
Surprisingly he still hasn’t signed with a team, but the first week of the 2020 NFL season is underway and anything can happen.
4. Larry Warford – Guard
Larry Warford’s past 3 seasons with the Saints have been terrific and in all 3 seasons he was selected for the Pro Bowl. He is definitely the best guard available on the market and just 29 so he could possibly be at his peak for the 2020 season.
He was an excellent run blocker for Alvin Kamara in 2019. Warford had a solid 76.6 run block grade last season which was 7th out of 87 qualified guards. He was also charged with only 4 penalties out of his 970 snaps in 2019 proving to be a polished run blocker.
However, he struggled with pass blocking last season. Warford allowed 4 sacks and 32 pressures. He also repeatedly lost 1 on 1 battles against defensive tackles and other more athletic defensive linemen.
The Saints had to release him for his poor pass blocking game as well for his $12.875 million cap hit. But the veteran should be ready for a new season and is still one of the best in the league, but the question is if he’s willing to sign a cheap contract or not?
5. Devonta Freeman – Running Back
In 2015 and 2016, he rushed for 2,135 total yards and scored 27 total touchdowns while being selected for the pro-bowl. However, 2019 wasn’t his year as he suffered from knee and groin injuries. Due to these injuries, he averaged only 3.6 yards per carry and 46.9 yards per game.
He rushed for just 656 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did prove to be an effective pass catcher though, having 410 receiving yards in 2019. If healthy, Freeman can be a dual-threat, both on the ground and in catching passes.
However, Freeman has declined offers from the Seahawks clearly demanding more money. He’s apparently ready to sit out for the 2020 NFL season as well.
6. Eric Reid
7. Mohamed Sanu
Position: Wide receiver
8. Clay Matthews III
9. Prince Amukamara
10. Cameron Wake
Position: Defensive End