Top 40 remaining NFL free agents of 2021
Most of the top NFL free agents of 2021 have already signed their new contracts. This includes some notable quarterbacks who could potentially change teams.
However, it seems like the wide receiver position is the most-stacked of the bunch. That includes the likes of Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chris Godwin. None of those players have signed new deals. They are among the top-40 remaining NFL free agents of 2021
Read More: Ranking the top-10 NFL quarterbacks who could change teams during NFL free agency
40. Carlos Dunlap, EDGE, Seattle Seahawks
This 32-year-old two-time Pro Bowler is more than likely looking at a short-term contract during free agency. Dunlap was acquired by Seattle from the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2020 season. He responded by recording five sacks in eight games. From 2013-19, he tallied 177 quarterback hits and 61.5 sacks.
39. Keanu Neal, safety, Atlanta Falcons
Injuries have plagued Neal’s career since the former first-round pick dominated with a Pro Bowl appearance back in 2017. From 2018-19, he played in a total of four games. With that said, Neal returned back to play a near-full season in 2020 and showed some flashes of his earlier-career form. An ability to play both safety spots and linebacker could be big for him on the free agent market. One team comes to mind.
38. Adoree Jackson, cornerback, Tennessee Titans
Bust. That’s the best way to describe Jackson after a less-than-stellar four-year career with the Titans prior to his release earlier this offseason. The former top-20 pick from USC recorded all of two interceptions in 41 starts in Tennessee. He proved to be an inconsistent cover guy and is coming off an injury-plagued 2020 season. Even then, Jackson is still only 25. He’ll get some play on the NFL free agent market.
37. Malcolm Butler, cornerback, Tennessee Titans
Here’s a guy who can still play at a high level despite his release from the Titans. Last season alone, Butler recorded 100 tackles, 14 passes defended and four interceptions while yielding a sub 75 passer rating when targeted. At 31 and with a somewhat regressing skillset, a move to safety could also be in the cards here.
36. Quinton Dunbar, cornerback, Seattle Seahawks
Despite an injury-plagued 2020 season with Seattle after being acquired from the Washington Football Team, Dunbar remains one of the top NFL free agents remaining in the defensive backfield. From 2018-19 in the nation’s capital, the physical 6-foot-2 corner recorded 17 passes defended and six interceptions while yielding a sub 70 passer rating when targeted. He should get some play in the second wave of free agency.
35. Kyle Rudolph, tight end, Minnesota Vikings
Limited over the past two seasons due to Minnesota going away from him in the passing game, Rudolph still has a ton of desirable assets. He’s caught a resounding 78% of his targets over the past three seasons and remains a very-willing blocker. Those qualities will lead to interest in the two-time Pro Bowler following his release from the Vikings.
Read More: 4 NFL teams Kyle Rudolph should sign with right now
34. Rashard Higgins, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns
Once Odell Beckham Jr. went down to injury a season ago, Higgins stepped it up big time. The former fifth-round pick from Colorado State ended up recording 37 receptions for 599 yards and four touchdowns for Cleveland. While he isn’t the biggest-name free agent wide receiver on the market, the 26-year-old boasts tremendous upside.
33. Aldon Smith, EDGE, Dallas Cowboys
Returning after a four-year suspension for off-field issues (you read that right), this former All-Pro dazzled for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021. In part-time action, the 31-year-old Smith recorded 14 quarterback hits and five sacks. Sure it’s going to be on a short-term, prove-it deal. But Smith will find a team during NFL free agency.
32. Malik Hooker, safety, Indianapolis Colts
What could have been. A first-round pick of the Colts back in 2017, Hooker shined big time over the course of his first seven games as a rookie. Unfortunately, a torn Achilles midway through that season has impacted him big time. He’s started 29 games in the past three years, but has recorded only one more interception than in those first seven outings. He’s also coming off another serious injury.
31. Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
While Watkins has not necessarily panned out since the Buffalo Bills made him a top-four pick back in 2014, he can still be productive. He caught 67.3% of his targets from Patrick Mahomes in part-time action with the Chiefs last season. If Watkins is able to prove he can stay healthy and be consistent, some team will be getting a steal on the cheap.
30. Riley Reiff, offensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings
A salary cap casualty of the Vikings earlier in the offseason, Reiff could be of interest to multiple teams looking for either a right tackle or a left tackle. He’s started 127 games over nine seasons with Detroit and Minnesota. The former first-round pick has also played at a near Pro Bowl level recently. He’ll get a solid look during the second wave of free agency.
29. Troy Hill, cornerback, Los Angeles Rams
The 5-foot-11 Hill is definitely underrated in the grand scheme of things. Last season alone, he led the NFL with two interception returns for a touchdown. He also recorded 10 passes defended and three picks while allowing a low 74.3 passer rating when targeted. Limited to the slot, his market will dictate how much teams view that position.
Related: If you’re a fan of the Rams, check out #RamsHouse rumors, rankings, and news here.
28. Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback, Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are set to move off this former No. 2 pick after he struggled in four seasons with the team. Despite that, there’s some upside for interested teams. Trubisky led Chicago to a surprise playoff appearance a season ago and has thrown 27 more touchdowns than interceptions in his career. Likely to be signed as a backup or to compete for a starting job, this North Carolina product could be a steal should he land in the right situation.
27. Kyle Van Noy, linebacker, Miami Dolphins
A surprise release of the Dolphins earlier in the offseason, Van Noy is now among the most-underrated NFL free agents on the market. The former BYU standout has been exceptional over the past three seasons. In stints with Miami and New England, he’s racked up a combined 217 tackles (22 for loss), 35 quarterback hits, 16 sacks and six forced fumbles. He’s going to be a steal for some team.
Related: If you’re a fan of the Dolphins, check out #FinUp rumors, rankings, and news here.
26. Justin Houston, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts
A potential future Hall of Famer, there’s going to be a strong market for Houston as a part-time pass rusher. Despite his advanced age of 32, Houston still recorded 12 quarterback hits and eight sacks a season ago. Expect him to get play from contending squads should Indianapolis not retain the four-time Pro Bowler
25. Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE, Tennessee Titans
Vastly overrated in the grand scheme of things, Clowney has recorded a combined 19 quarterback hits and thee sacks in 21 games over the past two season. Despite this, his status as a former No. 1 pick coupled with the production we saw with Houston from 2016-18 will lead to a ton of interest on the open market. Buyer beware
24. Jayon Brown, linebacker, Tennessee Titans
A four-year pro, this former UCLA standout has morphed into a solid starting linebacker during his time in Nashville. Back in 2019, Brown recorded 105 tackles (69 solo), eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and an interception. He also yielded a sub 70 passer rating when target. While the 26-year-old Brown missed six games to injury this past season, he’s still a darn good option for teams looking to upgrade inside.
23. Haason Reddick, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals
A first-round pick out of Temple back in 2017, the Cardinals did not use Reddick the right way earlier in his career. He’s more of a natural pass rusher. Instead of utilizing that talent, the 26-year-old Reddick played more inside linebacker than first envisioned. That changed in 2020. He ended up recording 16 quarterback hits, 15 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. Whether Reddick is a one-year wonder remains to be seen. After all, he recorded just 7.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons.
22. Russell Okung, offensive tackle, Carolina Panthers
A two-time Pro Bowl performer, the 32-year-old Okung continues to play at a high level when on the field. Unfortunately, he’s missed 16 of a possible 32 games over the past two seasons. Despite playing in just seven games this past season, Okung was one of the primary reasons Teddy Bridgewater was sacked just 31 times. He should land a decent, short-term contract in free agency.
21. James Conner, running back, Pittsburgh Steelers
To say it has been somewhat of a struggle for Conner over the past two seasons would be an understatement. After jumping on to the scene replacing Le’Veon Bell in 2018, the former mid-round pick has gained 1,651 total yards at a clip of 4.7 yards per touch since the start of the 2019 campaign. Even then, Conner is still only 25 years old and is averaging north of 1,000 total yards with 26 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
Related: If you’re a fan of the Steelers, check out #Steelers rumors, rankings, and news here
Top 20 remaining NFL free agents
20. Chris Carson, running back, Seattle Seahawks
After racking up a combined 2,810 total yards and 18 touchdowns over the previous two years, Carson dealt with injuries in Seattle last season. He missed four games, tallying a mere 968 total yards. However, there’s a lot to like here. The former seventh-round pick averaged 5.4 yards per touch in 2020 while scoring nine touchdowns. He’ll have a strong market.
Other top NFL free agent running backs
- Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
- Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
- Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions
- Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
19. T.Y. Hilton, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
After tallying 1,000 yards or more in five of his previous six seasons, this four-time Pro Bowler has fallen on hard times. In fact, Hilton has put up less than 1,300 receiving yards over the past two years. At 31 years old, there’s some concern about him being in full-scale regression mode. Even then, latching on with a contending team could help this veteran pass-catcher turn things around big time.
Related: NFL Top 100 Players of 2021 – Tom Brady best NFL player, Justin Herbert soars
18. Antonio Brown, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Troubled. Enigmatic. Whatever term we want to use for the 32-year-old Brown, he provides a ton on the field. That was magnified during Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl run this past season. The seven-time Pro Bowler caught 73% of his targets from Tom Brady during the regular season. He also recorded a touchdown in the Buccaneers’ 31-9 win over Kansas City in Super Bowl LV. Look for Brown to remain with the Bucs after the pending NFL free agent had a nice amount of success with the team in 2020.
17. Eric Fisher, offensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
Shockingly released by the Kansas City Chiefs, Fisher now hits the open market after suffering a torn Achilles late last season. It’s a less-than-ideal scenario for the former No. 1 overall pick. With that said, there’s going to be interest in the two-time Pro Bowler’s services. While not truly elite, his been a stabilizing force in protecting Patrick Mahomes blindside. Throughout his eight-year career, Fisher has started 113 of the 117 games in which he’s appeared.
Related: If you’re a fan of the Buccaneers, check out #GoBucs rumors, rankings, and news here.
16. Desmond King, cornerback, Tennessee Titans
An All-Pro performer with the Chargers back in 2018, it was surprising to see King traded from Los Angeles to Tennessee at the deadline this past season. He had been one of the top slot corners in the NFL since the Chargers made him a fifth-round pick in 2017. Even then, some regression on King’s part over the past two seasons will likely lead to a team getting a steal once the market opens.
15. Richard Sherman, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
At this point, it’s highly unlikely that the 32-year-old Sherman will return to the 49ers next season. They are in a less-than-stellar cap situation and have other priorities outside of re-signing a veteran who missed all but five games in 2020. Should Sherman leave the Bay, there’s going to be a market for him. The future Hall of Famer is one year removed from earning a Pro Bowl appearance in San Francisco and can act as a veteran leader on a contending team.
Read More: NFL salary cap tracker: Where each team stands in 2021
14. Melvin Ingram, defensive end, Los Angeles Chargers
After nine tremendous seasons with the Chargers, it looks more and more like the 31-year-old Ingram will be moving on to another team. He recorded exactly zero sacks in seven games this past season after tallying 43 quarterback take downs from 2015-19. Even at 31 and in decline, this three-time Pro Bowler will find a market once NFL free agency opens.
13. Curtis Samuel, wide receiver, Carolina Panthers
After some struggles earlier in his career, this former first-round pick dominated under Matt Rhule for the Panthers in 2020. The electric Samuel caught 77 passes for 851 yards. He also hauled in an absurd 79% of his targets. For a 24-year-old receiver set to hit free agency, Samuel is going to get paid big time once free agency starts.
12. Casey Hayward, cornerback, Los Angeles Chargers
It just didn’t seem to be a fit for Hayward and new Chargers head coach Brandon Staley on defense. Hence, why Los Angeles opted to release the two-time Pro Bowl performer recently. But make no mistake about it, he’s still a top-end cover guy and will have a solid market from teams looking for a slot corner. While he did struggle a bit this past season, Pro Football Focus graded the 31-year-old Hayward out as the fourth-best corner in the NFL back in 2019.
Read More: Casey Hayward released by Los Angeles Chargers, 4 ideal landing spots for Pro Bowl cornerback
11. Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE, Washington Football Team
Washington selected fellow edge pass rusher Chase Young No. 2 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. It also picked Montez Sweat in the first round of the 2019 draft. Needless to say, the Skins are preparing for a future without this four-time Pro Bowler. That showed up this past season. Kerrigan played in 40% or less of Washington’s defensive snaps in 10 of 16 regular-season games. Despite this, the stud veteran recorded 5.5 sacks. He should be in line for a decent short-term contract.
Related: NFL mock draft 2022 – Huge shakeups, five QBs come off the board
Top 10 NFL free agents of 2021
10. Will Fuller, wide receiver, Houston Texans
Even though he’s injury prone and is serving a six-game suspension for PED use, this former first-round pick is still only 26 years old and provides a ton of upside in free agency. Prior to being suspended, Fuller caught 53 passes for 879 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games. He has game-breaking ability. Some team will pay for it.
9. Patrick Peterson, cornerback, Arizona Cardinals
The subject of trade rumors in recent years, it seems that this future Hall of Fame corner will ultimately finish his career in the desert. Peterson, 30, has played all 10 NFL seasons with the Cardinals since they made him a top-five pick in 2011. He’s earned eight Pro Bowl appearances during that span, the only exception being the past two seasons. Should Peterson and the Cardinals head for a divorce, this could impact his open market.
Other top NFL free agent cornerbacks
- Logan Ryan, New York Giants
- Xavier Rhodes, Indianapolis Colts
- Quinton Dunbar, Seattle Seahawks
- Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers
8. K.J. Wright, linebacker, Seattle Seahawks
One of the more consistent linebackers in the game, an argument can be made that Wright has performed at a higher clip than better-known fellow Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner in recent years. The nine-year veteran recorded 86 tackles to go with 10 passes defended, and an interception last season. That was a downtick in production from the 31-year-old former Pro Bowler, likely leading to a smaller payday in free agency.
7. Anthony Harris, safety, Minnesota Vikings
Yet another former undrafted free agent, this Virginia product came out of nowhere in 2019. Harris, 28, recorded 60 tackles and 11 passes defended while leading the league with six interceptions. He’s seen as a single-high safety with broad coverage ability. However, Harris saw a downtick in play-making ability in 2020, failing to record a single interception or takeaway. This could potentially have an impact on one of the top defensive NFL free agents in 2021.
6. JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
Smith-Schuster followed up a 1,400-yard performance back in 2018 by struggling big time with injuries in 2019 (552 yards in 12 games). There’s no excuses in terms of what we saw from the young receiver during the 2020 regular season, especially with Ben Roethlisberger back at 100%. JuJu recorded 97 catches but averaged a disastrous 8.6 yards per reception in 16 games. How might that impact him as one of the top NFL free agents at wide receiver?
The best NFL free agents 2021
5. Kenny Golladay, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
A third-round pick of the Lions back in 2017, most figured that Golladay would be among the top-five NFL free agents this coming March. Issues with injuries might impact that moving forward. The former Northern Illinois star dealt with a hip injury that limited him to 20 receptions in five games this past regular season. This came after Golladay tallied nearly 1,200 yards while leading the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions in 2019. At 27, he’s still going to have an extremely solid market.
4. Chris Godwin, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Update: Buccaneers place franchise tag on Chris Godwin (March 9)
Elite. That’s what we’ve seen from Godwin since he entered the NFL with Golladay back in 2017. The Penn State product recorded 86 receptions for 1,333 yards with nine touchdowns while catching north of 71% of his targets last season. Godwin remains productive with Tom Brady under center for the Buccaneers this year. He’s 24 years old and has not yet reached his ceiling. The Buccaneers are already thinking of signing him to a long-term extension after Godwin helped lead the team to the Super Bowl LV title.
3. Allen Robinson, wide receiver, Chicago Bears
Update: Bears place franchise tag on Allen Robinson (March 9)
Vastly underrated. Forced to catch passes from Mitchell Trubisky, among other horrible quarterbacks in recent years, Robinson continues to produce. The still-young 27-year-old pass catcher hauled in 98 receptions for 1,147 yards in 2019. This past regular season saw him record 102 receptions for 1,250 yards while catching 68% of his targets . Robinson is going to get paid big time once free agency starts. Just don’t expect a return to the Bears.
Other top NFL free agent wide receivers
- A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
- T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
- Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2. Justin Simmons, safety, Denver Broncos
Update: Broncos place franchise tag on Justin Simmons(March 6)
Denver’s decision to place the franchise tag on this 27-year-old safety will cost the team $11.44 million in 2020. It’s a bargain considering that four other players at his position are earning $14 million annually. This won’t be the case following the 2020 season. A third-round pick out of Boston College back in 2016, Simmons has recorded 19 passes defended and seven interceptions over the past two seasons. This past season saw Simmons record 96 tackles, nine passes defended and a whopping five interceptions. He’s as elite as they come.
1. Alejandro Villanueva, left tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers
A two-time Pro Bowler, this military veteran has quickly morphed into one of the best blindside protectors in the entire NFL. He’s earned two Pro Bowl appearances in four seasons as Pittsburgh’s starting left tackle. Now 32 years old, it’s not yet known whether Villanueva will get a long-term deal in free agency next March. What I do know is that he’ll get a significant raise from the $6 million he’s earning annually on his current deal.
2021 NFL free agent signings
Alex Mack, center, San Francisco 49ers
Update: Alex Mack signs with the San Francisco 49ers (March 17)
Perhaps not the player he was earlier in his career with the Browns and Falcons, Mack still provides a wealth of experience and can play at a high level. We’re talking about a dude who has started all 179 games in which he’s appeared in 12 NFL seasons. Mack also played under Kyle Shanahan with both Cleveland and Atlanta. He’s a perfect fit in the 49ers’ scheme.
Trent Williams, left tackle, San Francisco 49ers
Update: 49ers sign Trent Williams to record-breaking contract (March 17)
Acquired by San Francisco during the 2020 NFL Draft, Williams replaced the recently-retired Joe Staley as Jimmy Garoppolo’s blindside protector. Despite sitting out all of the 2019 season with Washington due to a contract dispute, Williams remains one of the best left tackles in the game. In fact, the seven-time Pro Bowler graded out as the best overall left tackle in the NFL this past season. That led to him returning to the 49ers on the richest contract for an offensive lineman in NFL history.
Marvin Jones, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars (March 17)
Update: Marvin Jones signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars (March 16)
Among the most-underrated receivers over the past decade, Jones still has a lot left in the tank. Over the course of the past five seasons with a bad Lions team, the former CAL standout is averaging 58 receptions for 860 yards while catching an eye-opening 61% of his targets. Despite just turning 31, he has the upside to be a solid WR2 for likely Jaguars rookie Trevor Lawrence.
Emmanuel Sanders, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills
Update: Emmanuel Sanders signs with the Buffalo Bills (March 16)
Yet another surprise release earlier this offseason, New Orleans moved off Sanders after one season. In no way does this mean the 11-year pro can’t be a solid starter-caliber receiver moving forward. Sanders, 33, caught 61 passes for 726 yards while hauling in 74.4% of his targets a season ago. He’s a safety valve, and will work wonders with star Bills quarterback Josh Allen moving forward.
William Jackson, cornerback, Washington Football Team
Update: William Jackson signs with the Washington Football Team (March 16)
Inconsistent. That would be the best way to describe Jackson’s tenure with the Bengals after they made him a first-round pick back in 2016. He yielded a 50% catch rate this past season. However, opposing receivers also caught four touchdowns with Jackson intercepting a single pass. Washington hopes he can be more consistent in replacing Ronald Darby in the defensive backfield moving forward.
Andy Dalton, quarterback, Chicago Bears
Update: Andy Dalton signs with the Chicago Bears (March 16)
A full-time starter with the Bengals for nine seasons, Dalton took on the Cowboys’ backup job in 2020. Once Dak Prescott went down five games in, he performed extremely well. The veteran completed 64.9% of his passes for 2,170 yards with 14 touchdowns against eight interceptions in nine starts. With that said, the Bears struck out on adding potential franchise quarterbacks. Having Dalton and Nick Foles competing for a starting job can’t be seen as a good thing.
Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings
Update: Minnesota Vikings sign Dalvin Tomlinson (March 15)
We go from overrated to underrated in one fell swoop. Tomlinson, excelled as a run-stuffing defensive tackle with Alabama before the Giants made him a second-round pick back in 2017. He’s since morphed into a solid two-way player, putting consistent pressure on the quarterback. Last season alone, the still-young 27-year-old recorded 10 quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks. He’s going to be a huge cog for a potentially dominant Vikings defensive line in 2021.
Trey Hendrickson, EDGE, Cincinnati Bengals
Update: Cincinnati Bengals sign Trey Hendrickson (March 15)
A former mid-round pick from Florida Atlantic, Hendrickson dominated big time for the Saints this past season. He recorded 25 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks This came after Hendrickson tallied a mere 6.5 sacks in his first three NFL seasons. The question heading into NFL free agency is whether he was a one-hit wonder. Cincinnati will find out first-hand after losing Carl Lawson in free agency.
Shaquill Griffin, cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars
Update: Jaguars sign Shaquill Griffin to a three-year contract (March 16)
Previously, a candidate to have the franchise tag placed on him, Griffin earned a Pro Bowl appearance with Seattle in 2019 after recording 13 passes defended and yielding a sub 70 passer rating when targeted. Whether it was due to the nagging injuries he suffered through in 2020 or something else, he did not play at that same level. Even then, Griffin was able to tally 12 passes defended and a career-high three interceptions. He will now take over as the Jaguars’ top corner on a revamped defense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback, Washington Football Team
Update: Washington Football Team signs Ryan Fitzpatrick (March 16)
The 38-year-old Fitzpatrick just isn’t going to go away. Splitting time with rookie Tua Tagovailoa last offseason, Fitzpatrick completed 68.5% of his passes for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns against eight interceptions. A backup earlier in his career, expect Fitzpatrick win the Washington starting job during training camp.
Hunter Henry, tight end, New England Patriots
Update: New England Patriots to sign Hunter Henry as spending spree continues(March 16)
After dealing with injuries in both 2018 and 2019, Henry returned to form for the Chargers this past season. He acted as a safety valve for rookie Justin Herbert, catching 60 passes for 613 yards in 14 games. Henry, 26, also hauled in 64.5% of his targets. He’s going to be a tremendous asset with Jonnu Smith for Cam Newton in 2021.
Leonard Williams, defensive tackle, New York Giants
Update: Giants sign Leonard Williams to massive contract extension (March 16)
A lot of skeptics gave embattled Giants general manager David Gettleman crap for trading for Williams during the 2019 season, only to place the franchise tag on the former Jets No. 6 overall pick. Those skeptics are quiet right now. Williams was absolutely dominant in his first (and perhaps only season) with the Giants. He racked up a resounding 30 quarterback hits and 11.5 sacks. After initially placing the tag on Williams, the Giants were able to come to terms on a long-term deal with the stud lineman. It’s a major win for general manager David Gettleman.
Corey Davis, wide receiver, New York Jets
Update: Jets sign Corey Davis to a three-year, $37.5 million contract (March 15)
One of many top-end wide receivers that hit free agency, I bet the Titans rue the day they decided against picking up the fifth-year option on Davis’ rookie deal. The former No. 5 overall pick from Western Michigan is coming off a career-best regular-season performance that saw him catch 65 passes for 984 yards while hauling in 70.7% of his targets. If Zach Wilson is indeed under center for the Jets as a rookie next season, he’ll have an ideal target.
Bud Dupree, EDGE, Tennessee Titans
Update: Titans sign Bud Dupree (March 15)
After struggling through his first four NFL seasons, this former first-round pick has picked it up big time recently. Dupree recorded 17 quarterback hits, 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 2019. This past season, the Kentucky product had eight sacks in 11 games. In an unfortunate turn, Dupree suffered a torn ACL in Week 12 and missed the remainder of the season. That didn’t stop the pass-rush starved Titans from inking him to a five-year, $82.5 million contract.
Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Las Vegas Raiders
Update: Raiders sign Yannick Ngakoue to a two-year, $24 million contract (March 25)
Ngakoue wanted out of Duval before the 2020 season started. The former Maryland standout was promptly traded to the Minnesota Vikings. And after just a handful of games in Minnesota, the impending NFL free agent was dealt to the Baltimore Ravens. Through it all, Ngakoue has been able to keep up his production A third-round selection back in 2016, he recorded 71 quarterback hits and 29.5 sacks in the three seasons prior to 2020. During the 2020 regular season, Ngakoue had eight sacks in 15 combined games. The Raiders now get their man.
Rob Gronkowski, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Update: Buccaneers re-sign Rob Gronkowski to one-year, $10 million contract (March 15)
After scoring two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl LV victory, there was very little reason to believe Gronkowski would be leaving the team in free agency. That came to fruition on the first day of the NFL free agent tampering period with Gronk signing a one-year deal to return to Tampa.
Carl Lawson, EDGE, New York Jets
Update: Jets sign Carl Lawson to a three-year, $45 million contract (March 15)
One of the most-underrated pending NFL free agents, Lawson is coming off a 2020 campaign that saw him record an absurd 32 quarterback hits. While it translated to a mere 5.5 sacks, this is a clear indication that the 25-year-old former Auburn star is ready to take his game to the next level. Now set to play under defensive-mind head coach Robert Saleh in New York, expect Lawson to thrive.
Jameis Winston, quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Update: Jameis Winston re-signs with the Saints on a one-year, $12 million contract (March 15)
Winston is one season removed from throwing 30 interceptions. He’s also just 27 years old and still boasts elite talent. Will it lead to a starting job for what was one of the top NFL free agents at quarterback? Time will tell on that front. He will now compete with Taysom Hill in New Orleans following the Drew Brees retirement.
Leonard Floyd, EDGE, Los Angeles Rams
Update: Floyds re-signs with the Rams on a four-year, $64 million contract (March 15)
Seen by some as a first-round bust in his four years in Chicago, the 28-year-old Floyd is coming off a career-best performance with the Rams. He tallied 19 quarterback hits, 11 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. That’s the type of production Chicago figured it was going to get from the former top-10 pick. Los Angeles is now banking on that after overpaying for the veteran pass rusher.
Ronald Darby, cornerback, Denver Broncos
Update: Ronald Darby agrees to three-year, $30 million contract with Broncos (March 15)
Darby, 27, remains one of the most-underrated corners in the NFL. Last season in the nation’s capital, the 27-year-old recorded 16 passes defended. Pro Football Focus graded him as the eighth-best defensive back in the league. He also yielded a sub 80 passer rating when targeted. He’ll start for Denver in 2021 and seems to be a perfect fit in head coach Vic Fangio’s defense.
Jason Verrett, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
Update: 49ers re-sign Jason Verrett (March 15)
If it weren’t for Alex Smith, Verrett likely would have won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2020. A Pro Bowler with the Chargers all the way back in 2015, he played a total of five games over the next four seasons due to numerous injuries. That changed in 2020 with Verrett acting as the 49ers’ best cover guy. He recorded seven passes defended and two interceptions while yielding a sub 60 passer rating when targeted. The 49ers have now retained Verrett on a smallish one-year, $5.5 million contract.
Corey Linsley, center, Los Angeles Chargers
Update: Signed a five-year, $62.5 million contract with the Chargers (March 15)
Coming off his first career All-Pro performance, the 29-year-old Linsley is hitting NFL free agency at the best time. Center has taken on new importance in today’s pass-first league. After starting all 99 games in which he’s appeared since entering the league in 2014, Linsley gives the Chargers an immediate replacement for the recently-retired Mike Pouncey.
John Johnson, safety, Cleveland Browns
Update: John Johnson signs three-year, $34 million contract with the Browns (March 15)
On a defense that includes Aaron Donald, others don’t necessarily get a ton of play. That includes this former mid-round pick from Boston College. Johnson, 25, recorded 105 tackles, eight passes defended and one interception in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, he was also the fourth-highest graded safety in the NFL. If Johnson performs up to that level in 2021, he will be a boon for the Cleveland Browns.
Matt Judon, EDGE, New England Patriots
Update: Patriots sign Matt Judon to four-year, $56 million contract (March 15)
This is an absolutely huge move for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Judon, 28, hit free agency having tallied a combined 93 quarterback hits and 30.5 sacks over the past four seasons. The former Grand Valley State star has been among the most consistent pass rushers in the NFL during that span.
Joe Thuney, guard, Kansas City Chiefs
Update: Chiefs sign Joe Thuney to five-year, $80 million contract (March 15)
Thuney, 28, has been among the best guards in the NFL since his now-former New England Patriots team made him a third-round pick back in 2016. In fact, he’s started all 80 games over the course of the past five seasons. This is a huge get for Kansas City after the team moved off starters Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher earlier in the NFL offseason.
Jonnu Smith, tight end, New England Patriots
Update: Patriots sign Jonnu Smith to a four-year, $50 million deal (March 15)
Still only 25 years old, there’s a whole heck of a lot to like about Smith. The former third-round pick recorded career-highs in receptions (41), yards (448) and touchdowns (eight) this past season. He’s also improved in each of his first four NFL seasons and is catching an absurd 68% of his targets during that span. The New England Patriots find their replacement for Rob Gronkowski in signing Smith to a four-year, $50 million deal. This is perfect for both sides.
Shaq Barrett, EDGE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Update: Buccaneers re-sign Shaq Barrett on a four-year, $72 million contract (March 15)
Barrett came out of nowhere in his first season with Tampa Bay after moving on from the Denver Broncos. The former undrafted free agent recorded a league-high 19.5 sacks to go with 37 quarterback hits and a whopping six forced fumbles. This forced Tampa to place the franchise tag on the Colorado State product. Barrett, 28, was somewhat of a disappointment during the regular season, recording 16 quarterback hits and just eight sacks. However, he picked it up big time in the Buccaneers run to the Super Bowl — tallying four quarterback hits and three sacks in as many games. He now returns on a huge long-term contract.
Romeo Okwara, EDGE, Detroit Lions, EDGE, Detroit Lions
Detroit held on to its leading pass rusher from a season ago on a three-year, $36 million contract. A product of Notre Dame, Okwara recorded 18 quarterback hits and 10 sacks in 2020. While this comes with a risk given his lack of production the four years prior, the rebuilding Lions must keep as much of the young talent that they have. He’s still only 25.
Kevin Zeitler, guard, Baltimore Ravens
Zeitler’s salary made it nearly impossible for the New Giants to retain him. After all, he was set to count $14.5 million against the cap. New York saved $12 million be releasing 31-year-old guard. But make no mistake about it, he can still play at a Pro Bowl level. After just a few days on the free-agent market, Zeitler landed with the Baltimore Ravens on a three-year, $22 million contract. This is a major early free-agent coup for Baltimore.
Kyle Juszczyk, fullback, San Francisco 49ers
Update: 49ers re-sign Kyle Juszczyk to a five-year, $27 million contract (March 14)
The last in a lost breed of traditional fullbacks, the 29-year-old Juszczyk is coming off his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. He isn’t simply a lead blocker, either. The Ivy League grad tallied 1,212 total yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons with the 49ers. The game’s best fullback will now run it back in San Francisco.
Aaron Jones, running back, Green Bay Packers
Update: Packers re-sign Aaron Jones to four-year, $48 million contract (March 14)
It’s was looking more and more like the Packers had no plans to retain Jones in free agency. Shockingly, something changed behind the scenes between the two sides during the tampering period. Jones now returns on a four-year contract. Last season saw the 26-year-old Jones record 1,459 total yards and 11 touchdowns.
Matt Milano, linebacker, Buffalo Bills
One of the most-underrated NFL free agents this cycle, Milano opted against hitting the open market by signing a four-year, $44 million contract with the Bills. A core special teams player earlier in his career, the 26-year-old Milano has morphed into a legit starting linebacker in Western New York. Prior to missing six games to injury in 2020, the Boston College product played at a Pro Bowl level the previous season. He’s now going to get paid like it.
Read More: Most underrated 2021 NFL free agents available this offseason
Lavonte David, linebacker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A two-time Pro Bowl performer, David has now re-signed with the Buccaneers on a two-year, $25 million contract. He entered the 2020 campaign having recorded 100-plus tackles in seven of his first eight seasons. David, 31, then followed it up with the best single-season performance of his career. He recorded 117 tackles (16 for loss) and an interception in a brilliant all-around performance. David is one of the primary reasons Tampa earn its second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million extension with the most fully-guaranteed cash in the history of the NFL. This comes with Dallas facing a franchise tag deadline and Prescott coming off a serious ankle injury. Prior to suffering said injury, Prescott had tallied over 7,100 total yards with 45 total touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his previous 21 starts. He’s a franchise quarterback. He is now getting paid like it.
J.J. Watt, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals
Houston’s decision to release Watt early in the offseason led to the future Hall of Famer finding a new city in short order. He signed a two-year, $28 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to team up with fellow stud pass rusher Chandler Jones. The deal also reunites Watt with former Texans teammate DeAndre Hopkins.
NFL players who signed franchise tag
Cam Robinson, offensive tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars
Seen by some as a top-flight talent coming out of Alabama in 2017, Robinson fell to the second round due to some concerns about his conditioning. Boy, has he proven the skeptics wrong. Robinson, 25, has played at a Pro Bowl level the past two seasons. He can also line up at both right tackle and left tackle. That’s going to lead to a huge market for the young pass protector.
Related: If you’re a fan of the Jaguars, check out #DUUUVAL rumors, rankings, and news here.
Brandon Scherff, guard, Washington Football Team
Updated: Washington places franchise tag on Brandon Scherff (March 8)
Washington placed the franchise tag on this former top-five last March, paying Scherff north of $15 million in 2020. That’s a lot of cash to pay out to an interior offensive lineman. The team then doubled down and did the same thing this year, paying him another $18.04 million. That represents the most a guard will make over a two-year span in NFL history.
Taylor Moton, offensive tackle, Carolina Panthers
Update: Taylor Moton signs $13.75 million franchise tag tender (March 11)
Update: Panthers place franchise tag on Taylor Moton (March 9)
A total of 48 games and 48 starts over the past three seasons. Continuing to excel at both right tackle and left tackle. Still only 26 years old. Yeah, Moton is among the most underrated NFL free agents of this cycle. He’s played at a Pro Bowl level since becoming a full-time starter in 2018. If the Panthers are unable to re-sign the former second-round pick, expect a huge market once March comes calling.
Check Out: The 5 most valuable NFL cards from the 1990s – includes Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.
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Top 200 Free Agents in the NFL
We are less than 10 days away from the start of the new league year and a free-agency period that figures to be stranger than ever. Due to the lower league salary cap, an influx of veteran talent is available, many of whom could be available for surprisingly reasonable rates. These are, as of Tuesday morning, the top 200 unrestricted free agents available.
Note from the co-authors: Our respective initials appear at the end of each write-up we did. And we both agree that Gary had a far heavier hand on the rankings themselves, so be sure to direct all complaints to the appropriate party.
1. Trent Williams, OT (San Francisco): Re-signed by San Francisco
He turns 33 this summer and hasn’t played 16 games in a season since 2013, but upon returning to the field after sitting out all of ’19, Williams was every bit the elite left tackle he’s always been when healthy. Upon acquiring him from Washington the 49ers agreed they wouldn’t use the franchise tag on him, all but ensuring Williams will get to test free agency. With a shortage of quality offensive linemen across the league, he’s too valuable for any team to ignore on the open market. —GG
2. Kenny Golladay, WR (Detroit)
Statistically, your quarterback is better when Golladay is on the field. Physical and well-rounded, Golladay is going to knock a linebacker on his rear end while on chip duty and then, on the next play, make a balletic sideline grab to move the chains. Amid a wide receiver market that may not be as spectacular as we initially imagined, he could be the star. —CO
3. Shaq Barrett, edge (Tampa Bay): Re-signed by Tampa Bay
Chances are, Barrett is not going to want to enter the 2021 season on another franchise tag or one-year deal given how close he is to his age-30 season. After Tampa Bay muscled its way to a Super Bowl win, pass rushing will be at a premium even amid a depressed market. The Buccaneers will have to sign Barrett long-term to make it work. —CO
4. Chris Godwin, WR: Franchise-tagged by Tampa Bay
A dominant big slot who can also line up outside, Godwin brings value as a playmaker at all three levels. As an added bonus, he’s one of the most effective blocking receivers in the league, fulfilling the “Larry Fitzgerald role” in Bruce Arians’s offense better than anyone could have reasonably expected. —GG
5. Leonard Williams, interior DL: Franchise-tagged by N.Y. Giants
It made sense for the Giants to keep Williams, and not just because of the initial draft capital Dave Gettleman sacrificed to nab him during a lost season. Williams has repaid the Giants with 11.5 sacks, a career-low missed-tackle percentage and the highest pressure rate of his career. He fits nicely on a robust defensive line in progress and is rounding into a formidable multi-faceted rusher. —CO
6. Brandon Scherff, G: Franchise-tagged by Washington
The best interior offensive linemen are difference-makers in the run game, and Scherff's blocking should continue to be a focal point of Washington's run-heavy offense. Durability (he’s missed multiple games in each of the past four seasons) is the only real question. —GG
7. Allen Robinson, WR: Franchise-tagged by Chicago
Robinson is a contested-catch specialist who has thrived despite a run of rocky quarterbacks in Jacksonville and, now, Chicago. He won’t create separation, and he had a couple of passes ripped away by defensive backs last season, but he’s a true No. 1 receiver who won’t turn 28 until training camp and should age well over the next few years. —GG
8. Yannick Ngakoue, edge (Baltimore): Signed by Las Vegas
Even after a relatively down year across two franchises, there’s always a robust market for disruptive edge burners. He’ll continue to be targeted in the run game, but he’s an immediate upgrade for a defense’s secondary with the ability to make game-changing plays. Only Khalil Mack has forced more fumbles than Ngakoue (18) over the past five seasons. —GG
9. Justin Simmons, S: Franchise-tagged by Denver
It is interesting how, wherever Vic Fangio lands, he develops a star or pair of stars on a defense that were previously overlooked. This may contribute in some ways to the hesitancy Denver has to pay Simmons long term. Because of the affordable number for safeties, the Broncos tagged him for a second straight year. Only 27, coming off his first (virtual) Pro Bowl nod, there is plenty of bright football ahead for Simmons. —CO
10. William Jackson III, CB (Cincinnati)
A true No. 1 corner—albeit a low-end one—Jackson has proven capable in one-on-one matchups against opponents’ top receivers. At 28, he’s a bit old for a four-year player (he came into the league as a 23-year-old and missed his rookie year), but he’d make for a high-floor acquisition at a reactionary position that’s difficult to fill. —GG
11. Lavonte David, LB (Tampa Bay): Re-signed by Tampa Bay
Part of Todd Bowles’s bullish inside linebacker duo, David plays a position that feels like it’s going the way of the dinosaur—unless you are as good as he is. He can hold his own amid heavy targets in the passing game and doesn’t miss tackles. —CO
12. Joe Thuney, G/C (New England): Signed by Kansas City
It’s fair to give pause anytime an offensive lineman leaves Foxboro—Tom Brady made a lot of average linemen look very good in pass protection. But Thuney’s durability, versatility and solid all-around play are things many NFL offenses have lacked on the interior line. —GG
13. John Johnson, S (L.A. Rams): Signed by Cleveland
A versatile safety with the range to cover a ton of ground in centerfield, Johnson’s skill set remains valuable even in a league that is trending toward more split-safety looks. —GG
14. Marcus Williams, S: Franchise-tagged by New Orleans
A rangy center fielder who has shown improved physicality as a tackler the past few seasons, Williams brings valuable versatility to the back end of the Saints defense. —GG
15. Bud Dupree, edge (Pittsburgh): Signed by Tennessee
A torn ACL last December ended what likely would have been a second straight double digit–sack season. The recovery timeline complicates his market, as does the fact that he benefited playing across from T.J. Watt and in Keith Butler’s blitz-heavy scheme. But Dupree brings a frantic motor and level of overall physicality that makes him an ideal complementary pass-rusher who makes a lot of plays in the backfield. —GG
16. Hunter Henry, TE (L.A. Chargers): Signed by New England
The tight end was formerly the poster child for undervalued NFL assets, but now that George Kittle and Travis Kelce have helped catch us all up on reality, team-friendly deals will be more difficult to come by. Henry is a solid blocker who is just as effective in the slot as he is in-line; a good chess piece for any of the Shanahan-ites hoping to recreate that system elsewhere. —CO
17. Haason Reddick, edge (Arizona): Signed by Carolina
A late bloomer thanks to Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s finally unlocking his creativity, Reddick finished the season on a pass-rushing tear, logging five sacks in a game against the Giants (and 12.5 total). With J.J. Watt in the fold as well, Reddick represents the chance to create an amoebic, stunt-y defensive line that will be difficult to slow down. —CO
18. Anthony Harris, S (Minnesota)
Harris was a rock on the back end of Mike Zimmer’s defense the past two seasons—particularly challenging considering the Vikings’ youth movement at cornerback last year. His instincts and overall feel for the necessary improvisations in Zimmer’s split-safety looks will play well in most systems. —GG
19. Curtis Samuel, WR (Carolina)
After being used primarily as a downfield threat in 2018 and ’19, Samuel broke out last season as a catch-and-run threat operating out of the slot. His opportunities were somewhat limited while sharing targets with Robbie Anderson and DJ Moore last year, but he doesn’t turn 25 until training camp and has a chance for a big statistical jump as a high-end No. 2 receiver elsewhere. —GG
20. Carl Lawson, edge (Cincinnati)
His limitations as a run defender will likely relegate him to a rotational role—last year’s 723 snaps were the only time in four seasons he’s topped 500—but Lawson is a difference-maker in the pass rush. He had only 5.5 sacks in 2020, but was second in the NFL in quarterback knockdowns (29.5) according to Stats Inc. —GG
21. Corey Linsley, C (Green Bay): Signed by LA Chargers
His play ranged from solid to excellent over seven seasons in Green Bay, and heading into his age-30 season Linsley still shows enough mobility to be a factor in the screen game and out on the perimeter. Even if you project an upcoming decline, he figures to be a steadying presence for any team looking for an answer at the pivot. —GG
22. Jonnu Smith, TE (Tennessee): Signed by New England
Smith was used mostly as an in-line option with the Titans but could explode in an offense more willing to move him around. Just 26, he is an athletic route runner with post-up catch ability who hits the open field like a running back no one wants to tackle. —CO
23. Trey Hendrickson, edge (New Orleans)
His 2020 production was eye-popping (13.5 sacks, 25 QB hits, 12 tackles for loss) considering he was a rotational player who played only about half of the Saints’ defensive snaps. He has only one season of elite play, but he was solid over his first three NFL seasons; his floor figures to be as a quality No. 2 pass-rusher, with his ceiling being one of the league’s rising stars. —GG
24. Taylor Moton, OT: Franchise-tagged by Carolina
Moton played 100% of Carolina’s snaps last year and established himself as an absolute necessity at the right tackle spot for offensive coordinator Joe Brady. He gave up just three sacks; with cornerstone tackles at a premium, he was a must for the Panthers to retain. —CO
25. Marcus Maye, S: Franchise-tagged by N.Y. Jets
Maye had arguably his best season in 2020 amid a firestorm of bizarre occurrences, high profile departures and coaching changes. In comes Robert Saleh, whose approach to the elevated Cover-3 scheme gleaned from his time in Seattle may be a good fit for Maye. —CO
26. Aldon Smith, edge (Dallas)
Smith’s new lease on life has made him an extraordinarily complete player. His hand-to-hand combat skills in the trenches wrecked several good offensive tackles last year. He was one of the few bright spots on a desolate, punchless Cowboys defense that did him no favors. —CO
27. Matt Judon, edge (Baltimore): Signed by New England
He’s not a classic edge burner, but Judon has been effective and hugely valuable on the edge in Baltimore, where he’s tasked with a number of roles in a Wink Martindale defense heavy on fire-zone blitzes. He might ultimately be more valuable to the Ravens than he is to a different defense running a simpler scheme. —GG
28. Will Fuller, WR (Houston)
We forget how few burners like Fuller also possess the next-level tracking ability to make their presence worthwhile. Despite some injury concerns, Fuller had his best season in 2020 amid an organizational tire fire in Houston. The Texans may not let him leave, but if they do, he can be the deep-threat chess piece for an offense in need of the final piece to the puzzle. —CO
29. Rob Gronkowski, TE (Tampa Bay): Re-signed by Tampa Bay
The weight loss compared with his time in New England didn’t make a big difference in Gronkowski’s speed, but he’s a savvy and physical target in the middle of the field and still a difference-maker in the red zone and as a blocker. However, it seems unlikely anyone will be able to pry him away from Tampa for his age-32 season. —GG
30. Daryl Williams, OT (Buffalo): Re-signed by Buffalo
He had a rough finish to his Carolina career—Williams suffered a knee injury in the 2018 opener and was a shell of himself the next season, playing tackle and guard on both sides of the line. The Bills took a flier on him last season and he re-emerged as one of the better right tackles in football. He turns 29 in August and should warrant a multi-year deal even in a down market. —GG
31. Melvin Ingram, edge (L.A. Chargers)
Ingram hits the market coming off his worst season—battling a knee injury, he failed to record a sack and missed nine games. The first question is whether, at age 32, he can regain his explosiveness. If he does, there are plenty of late-career success stories among NFL edge rushers. —GG
32. Aaron Jones, RB (Green Bay): Re-signed by Green Bay
One of the league’s better outside-zone runners, Jones’s value in the passing game along with his proven ability to finish drives in the red zone—helping make Green Bay one of the league’s most efficient red-zone offenses over the past two seasons—make him a true foundational back. —GG
33. Shaquil Griffin, CB (Seattle): Signed by Jacksonville
Griffin hits the market after posting career lows in yards per completion allowed and opposing passer rating. Often forced to perform on a figurative island as Seattle’s once proud defensive backfield crumbled around him, Griffin will be a strong addition to a team hoping to find value at cornerback should Seattle let him go. —CO
34. Corey Davis, WR (Tennessee): Signed by NY Jets
As we saw with the emergence of A.J. Brown, Davis is at his best when he can find advantageous single-coverage matchups. The Titans loved to run him over the middle, allowing his size and athleticism to hammer slower linebackers and safeties tasked with covering him. While Davis may never live up to his draft slot, he has gotten better and improved his catch rate every season since being in the league. His next team, likely needing a solid No. 2, will find great value here. —CO
35. Richard Sherman, CB (San Francisco)
A calf injury limited him to five games in 2020, and there’s only so much a cornerback with a recent injury entering his age-33 season can get on the open market. However, Sherman’s instincts should allow him to keep aging well, and he brings unquantifiable but very real value to a locker room. —GG
36. Shelby Harris, interior DL (Denver): Re-signed by Denver
Denver hadn’t seen anything like him since Dikembe Mutombo—Harris is the best in the NFL when it comes to batting down passes, due to a combination of long arms and excellent instincts when reading the backfield. Combined with his solid play against the run, he’s a quality three-down lineman even if the pressure numbers don’t stand out. —GG
37. Leonard Floyd, edge (L.A. Rams)
Floyd broke out in Year 5, the kind of performance the Bears once envisioned when they made him a top-10 pick in 2016. However, potential suitors must ask themselves how much of it was a product of lining up alongside Aaron Donald, and playing under Brandon Staley. (Though teams should also take notice that the big-ticket free agent who replaced Floyd for the Bears, Robert Quinn, recorded just two sacks last season—perhaps something in Chicago was the issue.) —GG
38. Quinton Dunbar, CB (Seattle)
His lone year in Seattle was disappointing, as Dunbar struggled through a knee injury and eventually landed on injured reserve. After a run as one of the league’s most underappreciated cover corners in Washington, he’ll be an interesting buy-low candidate entering his age-29 season. —GG
39. Troy Hill, CB (L.A. Rams)
He’s at his best in the slot, though Hill has experience playing outside as well. He’s more effective against smaller, quicker receivers rather than big No. 1s (they were Jalen Ramsey’s assignments for the Rams), but Hill can be a valuable and versatile second cornerback. —GG
40. Matt Milano, LB (Buffalo) (Update: Buffalo re-signed Milano)
Milano, not the ultra-athletic Tremaine Edmunds, emerged as the Bills’ best coverage linebacker over the past three seasons, and Buffalo’s defense as a whole was noticeably better when Milano was in the lineup. He’s a rare quality three-down linebacker available this offseason. —GG
41. Jason Verrett, CB (San Francisco): Re-signed by San Francisco
He was outstanding last season, performing like a true No. 1 corner. Entering his age-30 season there’s a very real chance Verrett has something left in the tank. The injury history can’t be ignored though—he’s missed 10 or more games in five of his seven NFL seasons. —GG
42. Jadeveon Clowney, edge/interior DL (Tennessee)
His reunion with Mike Vrabel didn’t work out, as Clowney struggled through an injury-plagued season that ended with meniscus surgery in November. He’s only 28 and was solid in Seattle two seasons ago, but his body is showing signs of breaking down. —GG
43. Desmond King, CB (Tennessee)
King was among the best defensive backs in football during his first two seasons but leveled off a bit since. Last year, he was dealt from the Chargers to the Titans amid their playoff push for a late-round pick. Playing mostly in the slot, King is still wildly capable in a difficult position, and has free/box safety versatility. If you’re a team unable to bolster your pass rush, King is a good fallback option, in that he’ll undoubtedly make your secondary better. —CO
44. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR (Pittsburgh)
Smith-Schuster was dominant as a big slot early in his career, with Antonio Brown drawing a lot of coverage away from him in Pittsburgh’s 3 x 1 looks. But he didn’t emerge as a true No. 1 receiver the past two seasons, and while he won’t turn 25 until November he might ultimately top out as a quality No. 2 possession receiver who brings some value as a blocker as well. —GG
45. Cam Newton, QB (New England) (Update: New England re-signed Newton)
Used more in 2020 like an ancient Naval academy quarterback than the dynamic MVP candidate he was in years past, Newton is still clearly recovering from a career’s worth of brutal usage and serious injuries. However, if he’s healthy—a major if—he is still one of the most dangerous players in football. —CO
46. Jayon Brown, LB (Tennessee)
With a three-down skillset in an otherwise thin market for stack linebackers (both free agency and the draft), Brown would fit in nicely on a team that asks its second-level defenders to play zone and keep eyes on the backfield in pass coverage. —GG
47. Nelson Agholor, WR (Las Vegas): Signed by New England
Unfairly branded as a punchline after a few untimely drops in Philadelphia, Agholor went to Vegas and the Raiders unlocked his potential as a downfield threat. Entering his age-28 season, he could have a multi-year run as a quality No. 2 receiver before he hits any sort of decline. —GG
48. Gerald Everett, TE (L.A. Rams)
Everett saw his role grow a year ago when the Rams started playing two tight ends more often, but he was unable to catch Tyler Higbee on the depth chart in L.A. He’s entering his age-27 season and brings a good blend of athleticism as a receiver and effort as a blocker; there are surely coaches across the league who believe they can untap his potential. —GG
49. Chris Carson, RB (Seattle)
He’s been outstanding when healthy, capable of creating his own yardage as a runner, and Carson’s receiving skills have improved to the point of making him a respectable part of the passing game. Durability is the issue; he’s missed 19 games over his first four NFL seasons, and his violent running style suggests he’ll be a regular on the injury report. —GG
50. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT (N.Y. Giants): Signed by Minnesota
Something of a next generation Snacks Harrison for the Giants, Tomlinson won’t bring much in the pass rush but has become one of the league’s best run defenders. He’s also started all 64 games since entering the league. —GG
51. Cam Robinson, OT: Franchise-tagged by Jacksonville
Robinson allowed a handful of sacks last year on a bad team with instability at the quarterback position. Otherwise, he’s been the definition of solid—good enough for Urban Meyer to retain him with Trevor Lawrence coming aboard. —CO
52. A.J. Bouye, CB (Denver)
His lone season in Denver was a lost one, as Bouye battled a shoulder injury early and missed the final month of the season due to a PED suspension. He has a long track record as a quality corner who can play inside or out, the question is whether he can recapture that form as he enters his age-30 season. —GG
53. T.Y. Hilton, WR (Indianapolis)
Hilton has had two injury-filled and relatively pedestrian seasons since the retirement of Andrew Luck. He still flashes his trademark speed, but he’s 31, and teams will have to figure out whether he’s on the verge of losing a step. —GG
54. Mike Hilton, CB (Pittsburgh): Signed by Cleveland
A unique corner who thrived in Keith Butler’s scheme, Hilton is a weapon on slot blitzes and can hold his own as an instinctive zone defender. He’s strictly an inside corner, and holding up in man coverage could become more of a challenge without the league’s best pass rush in front of him. —GG
55. Jacoby Brissett, QB (Indianapolis): Signed by Miami
Two seasons ago, he had the Colts at 5–2 before a knee injury sidelined him, and by the time he returned to the lineup the receiving corps had been decimated by injury. Brissett has to continue to make strides when it comes to processing speed, but the physical traits are there and he’s still only 28. It would be interesting to see how he’d progress if he entered training camp with the starting job somewhere for the first time in his career. —GG
56. Malik Hooker, S (Indianapolis)
Some eyebrows were raised when the Colts declined Hooker’s fifth-year option a year ago, but Matt Eberflus inherited him from the previous regime, and Hooker’s rangy, center field skillset is not a necessity in a Colts defense that goes heavier on split-safety looks. Hooker’s injury history (a torn ACL and MCL as a rookie in 2017, a ruptured Achilles last September) will likely relegate him to a one-year deal, but a defensive coordinator looking to incorporate more single-high looks into his life could end up with a real find. —GG
57. Carlos Dunlap, edge (Seattle)
He delivered a desperately needed edge-rushing presence for the Seahawks after the trade deadline last year (five sacks, 13 QB hits in eight games with Seattle), but Dunlap’s cap number was too high for 2021. He’s 32, but many edge rushers have aged well in recent years. —GG
58. Marvin Jones, WR (Detroit)
A complementary receiver who has turned in his fair share of big plays, Jones is an impact player as a No. 2 receiver. But teams might be hesitant to invest in a 31-year-old downfield acrobat. —GG
59. Kelvin Beachum, OT (Arizona)
A steal for the Cardinals last offseason, Beachum has turned in five quality seasons (with Jacksonville, the Jets and Arizona) since a knee injury ended his run in Pittsburgh after the 2015 season. He’ll be 32 this summer, but he’s missed a total of four games in five years and has proven to be more than “good enough” as a pass-protecting left tackle. —GG
60. Larry Ogunjobi, DT (Cleveland)
He seemed to regress after a strong rookie year, not unusual considering the Browns’ lack of stability with their coaching staff. The talent still showed up in flashes though, especially when lined up as a 3-technique. The right position coach might be able to fulfill Ogunjobi’s potential as a quality starter in an even front. —GG
61. Keelan Cole, WR (Jacksonville)
Jacksonville has been anything but receiver-friendly of late, but Cole is a cerebral, savvy route-runner with the ability to line up in the slot or the boundary. He could wind up a nice value as a complementary weapon. —GG
62. K.J. Wright, LB (Seattle)
He made the move to strongside linebacker after Bruce Irvin went down last season, and entering his age-32 season that spot probably makes more sense going forward. Since knee surgery cost him most of the 2018 season he’s been remarkably durable, starting all 35 regular and postseason games the past two seasons. —GG
63. Chidobe Awuzie, CB (Dallas)
At one time a critical part of Dallas’ defense, Awuzie, like Aldon Smith, was caught up in a bad system that likely suppressed his value on the open market (that, plus a hamstring injury and time spent on the COVID list dwindled his total games played in 2020 to eight). That said, Awuzie is what he has always been: a talented and athletic cornerback who is not going to let more than 60% of the passes thrown his way be completed. And that is a good thing. —CO
64. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB (Miami): Signed by Washington
If he doesn’t opt for retirement, Fitzpatrick has established himself as the commensurate Bridge Guy with a high four- or five-game ceiling. While Miami may have been his last stint as a full-time starter, this recent surge of NFL quarterback movement and a rising draft class of promising young talent will make his skill set extremely useful. He is destined to travel to New England, completing his tour of the AFC East. —CO
65. Patrick Peterson, CB (Arizona)
While some advanced stats signal a bit of a slow decline, Peterson is a tough person to bet against. This much institutional knowledge and experience in a cornerback will not go to waste, even if he assumes more of an over-arching, Richard Sherman-esque role in Arizona or elsewhere. —CO
66. Sheldon Rankins, DT (New Orleans)
Rankins may get caught up in New Orleans’s cap crunch, which will be a bonus for a team hoping to snag an extremely talented and athletic interior defensive line threat on the open market. Sometimes there is just not enough shine to go around, and Rankins was surrounded by great talent in New Orleans through the life of his rookie deal. —CO
67. Sammy Watkins, WR (Kansas City)
His production was disappointing over three seasons with the Chiefs, and durability concerns remain as he enters his age-28 season. Still, Watkins was a capable X-receiver in K.C., if overshadowed by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. He could prove to have another 1,000-yard season in him if he has more of a featured role with his next team. —GG
68. Jurrell Casey, interior DL (Denver)
His Denver stint lasted just three games due to a bicep tear, and that injury complicates things for the 31-year-old star. He was very good in 2019, his final year with the Titans, and makes for an intriguing boom-or-bust signing on a short-term deal. —GG
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NFL free agency 2021: Ranking the top 50 free agents, best players by position, tracking signings
Who are the top unrestricted players in NFL free agency? 2021 brings another strong veteran open market across positions.
There are several splashy targets at wide receiver and plenty of depth for defense, especially at edge rusher and safety. Quarterbacks have one big headliner for now and not much else.
For teams looking to spend their available money under the upcoming salary cap, there are plenty of worthy signings to upgrade rosters, from high-priced commodities to bargain talents.
Here's an overall ranking of the best overall options and the best by position. Check back for updates as this also will serve as a tracker when players are re-signed, get the franchise tag or land on a new team:
MORE: SN's latest mock draft | Big board of top 50 prospects
NFL free agency 2021: Ranking the top 50 players
1. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys (age: 27)
Despite the early season-ending ankle injury as a franchise-tagged QB in 2020, Prescott is a rising top-10 option at the game's most important position. The Cowboys should be locking him up with a lucrative long-term deal to keep operating their dynamic, loaded passing game. Re-signed for 4 years, $160 million
2. Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers (age: 24) (franchise-tagged)
Godwin has turned into a premier slot receiver at 6-1, 209 pounds. He runs great routes with outside versatility and despite some notable drops, he has the hands to be reliable all over the field. He isn't close to his prime and the Bucs should do everything they can to keep him for Tom Brady.
3. Allen Robinson, WR, Bears (age: 27) (franchise-tagged)
Robinson had a massive third season with Chicago while in his prime as a complete target with 102 catches for 1,250 yards and 6 TDs. He'll be looking to leave Chicago and finally get paired with a top QB. Re-signed for $18 million
4. Shaquil Barrett, EDGE, Buccaneers (age: 28)
Barrett cooled from leading the league with 19.5 sacks in his first season in Tampa Bay in 2019, but his massive impact in getting after the quarterback manifested again in the playoffs. The Bucs will do their best to keep him to make another run with their defense in 2021. Re-signed for 4 years, $72 million
5. Justin Simmons, S, Broncos (age: 27) (franchise-tagged)
Simmons (6-2, 202 pounds) had another big season making plays for Denver with five interceptions and 96 total tackles. He will be a great cleanup man anywhere. Re-signed for 4 years, $61 million
6. Trent Williams, OT, 49ers (age: 32)
Williams was outstanding replacing Joe Staley as.he stayed totally healthy and dominated back in Kyle Shanahan's offense. He still has a few solid years left. Re-signed for 6 years, $138 miliion
7. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers (age: 26)
Jones had a second straight big year from scrimmage (1,459 yards, 11 TDs) and remained explosive, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. The Packers will do their best to keep him with Jamaal Williams heading to free agency with A.J. Dillon set to become the new power complement. Re-signed for 4 years, $48 million
8. Anthony Harris, S, Vikings (age: 29)
Harris didn't have any interceptions in 2020 after posting 6 in 2019 but he was still very active in coverage to help a struggling overall pass defense and also racked up 104 total tackles. Signed with Eagles for 1 year, $5 million
9. Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions (age: 27)
"Babytron" is a big, speedy field-stretcher (6-4, 215 pounds) and red-zone finisher when healthy but he played in only five games in 2020 after suffering a lingering hip injury. The Lions will try to keep him around as Jared Goff's go-to guy with Marvin Jones Jr. also being a free agent. Signed with Giants for 4 years, $72 million
10. Leonard Williams, DE, Giants (age: 26) (franchise-tagged)
Williams, the Jets' No. 6 overall pick in 2015, had his delayed big breakout as an interior pass rusher for the other New York team with 11.5 sacks. He is still built to wreak havoc on the middle edge of a 3-4 front. Re-signed for 3 years, $63 mllion
11. Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers (age: 26)
Henry stayed mostly healthy in 2020 which was big for him, and caught 60 passes for 613 yards and 4 TDs in 14 games. He was underused a little as the Chargers unleashed an aggressive downfield passing game with rookie Justin Herbert. But Henry settled into to be a key target late and would be vital to new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's scheme if re-signed. Signed with Patriots for 3 years, $37.5 million
12. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers (age: 24)
Smith-Schuster may have worked his way out of Pittsburgh with his TikTok ticking off Mike Tomlin, but he's a young slot receiver with high production and massive upside. JuJu sneakily got up to 97 catches for 831 yards and 9 TDs in the Steelers' dink and dunk passing game. Re-signed for 1 year, $8 million
13. Will Fuller, WR, Texans (age: 26)
Between injuries and suspension, Fuller can't seem to stay on the field to produce big time. The 6-0, 184-pounder has blinding vertical speed as he averaged 16.6 yards per catch on his 53 catches for 879 yards and eight TDs in 11 games with Deshaun Watson. Signed with Dolphins for 1 year, $10.625 million
14. Lavonte David, LB, Buccaneers (age: 31)
David remains a solid, consistent rock of a tackler and rangy playmaker even with a transition in scheme the past two years. He can help out a defense in many ways and also is a seasoned, respected leader. Re-signed for 2 years, $25 million
15. Richard Sherman, CB, 49ers (age: 32)
Sherman played in only five games in 2020 but is coming off a strong 2019 where he showed his old-school physical shutdown stylings and also had 61 tackles. He has been a welcome leader of San Francisco's secondary and can have the same influence on another team.
16. J.J. Watt, EDGE,Texans (age: 31)
Watt has slowed down a little from his superstar status but still had five sacks and an interception to make plays for an otherwise weak Houston defense in his final season there. He should find work as an effecitve immediate impact starter in another 3-4 scheme. Signed with Cardinals for 2 years, $28 million.
17. Marcus Williams, S, Saints (age: 24) (franchise-tagged)
Williams has been consistent with his coverage help from free safety with a good nose for the ball and he is pretty solid in run support, too. Re-signed for 1 year, $10.6 million
18. Brandon Scherff, G, Washington (age: 29) (franchise-tagged)
Scherff keeps on plugging away as one of the game's best all-around interior blockers. He still has several seasons to contribute at a high level. Re-signed for 1 year, $18 million
19. Corey Davis, WR, Titans (age: 26)
Davis finally broke out as a first-rounder with his size (6-3, 209 pounds) and speed in the Titans' run-first offense as a great complementary receiver to A.J. Brown for Ryan Tannehill, catching 65 of 92 targets for 984 yards and 5 TDs while averaging 15.1 yards per catch. Signed with Jets for 3 years, $37.5 million
20. Melvin Ingram, EDGE, Chargers (age: 31)
Ingram is getting up there and his pass-rush production has gone down with some injury issues. But when healthy, he remains a well-rounded disruptor for either a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment.
21. Corey Linsley, C, Packers (age: 29)
Aaron Rodgers' main snapping man has been a venerable line leader and also continues to be a big part of their run-blocking success. Signed with Chargers for 5 years, $62.5 million
22. Bud Dupree, EDGE, Steelers (age: 27)
Dupree is a sturdy pass rusher at 6-4, 269 pounds and was having a big season before his knee injury shortened it to 11 games, in which he still produced eight sacks. Signed with Titans for 5 years, $82.5 million
23. Taylor Moton, OT, Panthers (age: 26)
The 2017 second-rounder delivered a strong third full season as a starter. Moton (6-5, 325 pounds) is best suited to help another team as a run-blocking force on the right side. Re-signed for 1 year, $13.75 million
24. Joe Thuney, G, Patriots (age: 28)
Thuney had to play some tackle with the Patriots' line injuries and reshuffling in 2020 but his usual job is crushing it as a run blocker from left guard with good athleticism for his size (6-5, 308 pounds). Signed with Chiefs for 5 years, $80 million
25. Troy Hill, CB, Rams (age: 29)
Hill (5-11, 183 pounds) came into his own opposite Jalen Ramsey, a good combination of dynamic ballhawk and aggressive cover man. Signed with Browns for 4 years, $24 million
26. Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Lions (age: 30)
Jones used his size (6-2, 199 pounds) well as a fill-in No. 1 after Golladay went down, ending up with 76 catches for 978 yards and 9 TDs. He will be a valuable possession man and reliable red zone target for this likely third team. Signed with Jaguars for 2 years, $14.5 million
27. William Jackson III, CB, Bengals (age: 28)
Jackson is another nice-sized veteran corner (6-0, 196 pounds). His play outside was key for an underrated and often tricky Bengals pass defense. Signed with Washington for 3 years, $42 million
28. Matt Milano, LB, Bills (age: 26)
Milano battled injury issues in 2020 but he was a playmaking force with 3.5 sacks, an interception and 45 total tackles in his 10 games. Re-signed for 4 years, $44 million
29. Matthew Judon, EDGE, Ravens (age: 28)
Judon produced 6 sacks in 14 games, a little dropoff from 2019, but he remained an active tackler. He should help another 3-4 team as he's likely too pricey to keep in Baltimore. Signed with Patriots for 4 years, $56 million
30. Desmond King II, Titans (age: 26)
The Chargers traded King, one of the game's smoothest slot corners, to the Titans in the middle of the season. He also can help a team nicely in the return game. Signed with Texans for 1 year, $3.5 million
31. Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Ravens (age: 25)
The former Jaguars standout continued good production for both Minnesota and Baltimore in a split 2020 season but he best fits as a pure pass-rushing 4-3 end. Signed with Raiders for 2 years, $26 million
32. Marcus Maye, S, Jets (age: 27) (franchise-tagged)
Maye did more than his part to step up as.an all-around playmaker without Jamal Adams with two sacks, two interceptions, 11 passes defensed and 88 total tackles. Re-signed for 1 year, $10.6 million
33. Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE, Titans (age: 27)
Clowney had more health issues playing only a half-season (eight games) and didn't record a sack in his next team after the Seahawks. But he can revive his well-rounded presence back in a traditional 3-4 scheme. Signed with Browns for 1 year, $10 million
34. Carl Lawson, EDGE, Bengals (age: 26)
Lawson has some untapped pass-rushing upside after posting a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2020 and he's also pretty sound against the run from 4-3 end. Signed with Jets for 3 years, $45 million
35. Leonard Floyd, EDGE, Rams (age: 28)
Floyd found his groove as a pass rusher complementing Aaron Donald from 3-4 outside linebacker with a career-high 10.5 sacks, shattering his disappointment from the Bears. Re-signed for 4 years, $64 million
36. John Johnson II, S, Rams (age: 25)
Johnson uses his size (6-0, 209 pounds) well and adds to the punch of this positional class. He excels at cleaning up against the run (105 total tackles in 2020) and also is solid in coverage for either free or strong safety. Signed with Browns for 3 years, $33 million
37. Shelby Harris, DT, Broncos (age: 29)
Harris is a reliable interior rusher when healthy (six sacks in 11 games in 2020) with a powerful, compact frame (6-2, 290 pounds) for the position. Re-signed for 3 years, $27 million
38. Mike Hilton, CB, Steelers (age: 26)
Hilton tends to be overshadowed in this secondary because of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Joe Haden, but he had his best nickel season yet with three interceptions, three sacks and 51 total tackles. Signed with Bengals for 4 years, $24 million
39. Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers (age: 24)
Samuel was a highly productive and versatile third receiver in Carolina with 77 catches, 851 yards and three TDs playing off Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore and also filling some of the pass-catching void of Christian McCaffrey. He should have plenty of appeal elsewhere as a super-young playmaker. Signed with Washington for 3 years, $34.5 million
40. Alejandro Villanueva, OT, Steelers (age: 32)
The two-time Pro Bowler is getting up there but at 6-9, 320 pounds, he can provide a few more years of solid left tackle play.
41. Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans (age: 25)
Smith plays bigger than his size (6-3, 248 pounds) as a short-area receiver and blocker. He stayed healthy for 15 games, catching 41 passes for 448 yards and eight TDs in 2020. Signed with Patriots for 4 years, $50 million
42. Shaquill Griffin, CB, Seahawks (age: 25)
Griffin is another corner with good size (6-0, 198 pounds) available on the open market. In only 12 games, he had three interceptions, 12 passes defensed and 63 total tackles in 2020. Signed with Jaguars for 3 years, $44.5 million
43. Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Giants (age: 26)
Tomlinson is a pretty mighty 3-4 nose at 6-3, 318 pounds with consistent juice to get into the backfield. He posted 3.5 sacks and 49 total tackles in each of the past two durable seasons. Signed with Vikings for 2 years, $22 million
44. Russell Okung, OT, Panthers (age: 32)
Okung remains sturdy for his size (6-5, 310 pounds) when healthy, which hasn't been the case the past two seasons with the Chargers and Panthers. He is a short-term left-side solution for someone.
45. Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals (age: 27)
Drake played 2020 under the transition tag but was short of consistently being featured by Kliff Kingsbury in the Cardinals' prolific rushing attack. He still racked up 1,092 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs on 264 touches over 15 games. Signed with Raiders for 2 years, $11 million
46. Jayon Brown, LB, Titans (age: 25)
Brown does a little bit of everything well inside with a baseline of prolific tackling when healthy plus the capacity to deliver as a cover man and blitzer when needed. He's best suited to stay in a 3-4 sharing the second-level duties. Re-signed for 1 year, $5.25 million
47. Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals (age: 30)
Peterson has slowed down from his shutdown level but he remains a savvy, reliable cover man and durable playmaker on the outside. He posted 3 interceptions and 61 total tackles in 2020. Signed with Vikings for 1 year, $10 million
48. Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks (age: 26)
Carson does have some durability issues and missed another 4 games in 2020, but he also came through again as a big back (5-11, 222 pounds) in a run-heavy attack with 178 touches for 968 scrimmage yards and nine TDs in 12 games. Re-signed for 2 years, $14.6 million
49. Jameis Winston, QB, Saints (age: 27)
Winston, after a worthy year in Sean Payton's offense backing up Drew Brees, shouldn't be totally ignored in free agency again given so many teams having QB concerns and the fact he still has some big upside with that big arm. Should Brees retire, however, he won't be promoted over Taysom Hill, so a second shot at a starting gig has to be elsewhere. Re-signed for 1 year, $12 million
50. Daryl Williams, OT, Bills (age: 28)
Williams returned to durable full-time starting status for Buffalo after last having that kind of role with Carolina in 2017. He was a rock with his size (6-6, 330 pounds) and power for the right side. Re-signed for 3 years, $28.2 million
2021 NFL free agents: Tracking top players by position
- Dak Prescott, Cowboys (re-signed for 4 years, $160 million)
- Jameis Winston, Saints (re-signed for 1 year, $12 million)
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins (signed with Washington for 1 year, $10 million)
- Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (signed with Bills for 1 year, $2.5 million)
- Andy Dalton, Cowboys (signed with Bears for 1 year, $10 million)
- Cam Newton, Patriots (re-signed for 1 year, $14 million)
- Alex Smith, Washington
- Tyrod Taylor, Chargers (signed with Texans for 1 year, $12.5 million)
- Jacoby Brissett, Colts (signed with Dolphins for 1 year)
- Joe Flacco, Jets (signed with Eagles for 1 year, $3.5 million)
- C.J. Beathard, 49ers (signed with Jaguars)
- Chase Daniel, Lions (signed with Chargers)
- Colt McCoy, Giants (signed with Cardinals)
- Nate Sudfeld, Eagles (signed with 49ers)
- Aaron Jones, Packers (re-signed for 4 years, $48 million)
- Kenyan Drake, Cardinals (signed with Raiders for 2 years, $11 million)
- Chris Carson, Seahawks (re-signed for 2 years, $14.6 million)
- Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers (re-signed for 1 year, $4 million)
- James Conner, Steelers (signed with Cardinals for 1 year, $1.75 million)
- Mike Davis, Panthers (signed with Falcons for 2 years, $5.5 million)
- James White, Patriots (re-signed for 1 year, $2.5 million)
- Jamaal Williams, Packers (signed with Lions for 2 years, $7.5 million)
- Kyle Juszczyk, 49ers (re-signed for 5 years, $27 million)
- Phillip Lindsay, Broncos (signed with Texans for 1 year, $3.25 million)
- Le’Veon Bell, Chiefs
- Todd Gurley, Falcons
- Tevin Coleman, 49ers (signed with Jets)
- Duke Johnson, Texans
- Damien Williams, Chiefs (signed with Bears)
- Marlon Mack, Colts (re-signed for 1 year, $2 million)
- Mark Ingram, Ravens (signed with Texans for 1 year)
- Carlos Hyde, Seahawks (signed with Jaguars for 2 years, $6 million)
- Giovani Bernard, Bengals (signed with Buccaneers)
- Lamar Miller, Washington (re-signed)
- Devontae Booker, Raiders (signed with Giants for 2 years, $6 million)
- Mike Boone, Vikings (signed with Broncos for 2 years)
- Malcolm Brown, Rams (signed with Dolphins)
- Ameer Abdullah, Vikings (re-signed)
- Kalen Ballage, Chargers (signed with Steelers)
- Chris Godwin, Buccaneers (franchise-tagged)
- Allen Robinson, Bears (re-signed for $18 million)
- Kenny Golladay, Lions (signed with Giants for 4 years, $72 million)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers (re-signed for $8 million)
- Will Fuller, Texans (signed with Dolphins for 1 year, $10.625 million)
- Corey Davis, Titans (signed with Jets for 3 years, $37.5 million)
- Marvin Jones Jr., Lions (signed with Jaguars for 2 years, $14.5 million)
- Curtis Samuel, Panthers (signed with Washington for 3 years, $34.5 million)
- Nelson Agholor, Raiders (signed with Patriots)
- Antonio Brown, Buccaneers
- Emmanuel Sanders, Saints (signed with Bills for 1 year, $6 million)
- John Brown, Bills (signed with Raiders)
- T.Y. Hilton, Colts (re-signed for 1 year, $10 million)
- A.J. Green, Bengals (signed with Cardinals for 1 year, $8 million)
- Sammy Watkins, Chiefs (signed with Ravens for 1 year, $5 million)
- Keelan Cole, Jaguars (signed with Jets for 1 year, $5.5 million)
- Adam Humphries, Titans (signed with Washington for 1 year)
- Danny Amendola, Lions
- Breshad Perriman, Jets (signed with Lions for 1 year, $3 million)
- Kendrick Bourne, 49ers (signed with Patriots for 3 years, $22.5 million)
- Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
- Golden Tate, Giants
- DeSean Jackson, Eagles (signed with Rams for 1 year)
- Josh Reynolds, Rams (signed with Titans)
- Chris Conley, Jaguars (signed with Texans for 2 years)
- Willie Snead, Ravens (signed with Raiders for 1. yar)
- Phillip Dorsett, Seahawks (signed with Jaguars)
- John Ross, Bengals (signed with Giants for 1 year, $2.5 million)
- Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
- Marquise Goodwin, 49ers
- Mohamed Sanu, Lions (signed with 49ers for 1 year)
- Hunter Henry, Chargers (signed with Patriots for 3 years, $37.5 million)
- Jonnu Smith, Titans (signed with Patriots for 4 years, $50 million)
- Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers (re-signed for 1 year, $10 million)
- Gerald Everett, Rams (signed with Seahawks for 1 year, $6 million)
- Jared Cook, Saints (signed with Chargers for 1 year, $6 million)
- Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (signed with Giants for 2 years, $16 million)
- Tyler Eifert, Jaguars
- Josh Hill, Saints (signed with Lions)
- Dan Arnold, Cardinals (signed with Panthers)
- Jacob Hollister, Seahawks (signed with Bills)
- Tyler Kroft, Bills (signed with Jets)
- Marcedes Lewis, Packers (re-signed for 2 years, $8 million)
- Trent Williams, 49ers (re-signed for 6 years, $138 million)
- Taylor Moton, Panthers (re-signed for 1 year, $13.75 million)
- Mitchell Schwartz Chiefs
- Eric Fisher, Chiefs
- Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers
- Russell Okung, Panthers
- Daryl Williams, Bills (re-signed for 3 years, $28.2 millon)
- Cam Robinson, Jaguars (re-signed for 1 year, $13.75 million)
- Cameron Fleming, Giants
- Riley Reiff, Vikings (signed with Bengals for 1 year, $7.5 million)
- Bobby Massie, Bears
- Kelvin Beachum, Cardinals (re-signed for 2 years)
- Matt Feiler, Steelers (signed with Chargers for 3 years, $21 million)
- Cameron Erving, Cowboys (signed with Panthers for 2 years, $10 million)
- Dennis Kelly, Titans
- Mike Remmers, Chiefs (re-signed)
- Rashod Hill, Vikings (re-signed)
- Sam Tevi, Chargers (signed with Colts)
- Joe Haeg, Buccaneers (signed with Steelers)
- Julie'n Davenport, Dolphins (signed with Colts)
- Bobby Hart, Bengals (signed with Bills)
- Brandon Scherff, Washington (re-signed for 1 year, $18 million)
- Joe Thuney, Patriots (signed with Chiefs for 5 years, $80 million)
- Lane Taylor, Packers
- Kevin Zeitler, Giants (signed with Ravens for 3 years, $22 million)
- Gabe Jackson, Raiders (signed with Seahawks)
- Kyle Long, Bears (signed with Chiefs)
- James Carpenter, Falcons
- Jon Feliciano, Bills (re-signed for 3 years, $17 million)
- Pat Elflein, Jets (signed with Panthers for 3 years, $13.5 million)
- Richie Incognito, Raiders (re-signed)
- Trai Turner, Chargers
- Quinton Spain, Bengals (re-signed)
- John Miller, Panthers (re-signed)
- Oday Aboushi, Lions (signed with Chargers for 1 year, $1.75 million)
- Dan Feeney, Chargers (signed with Jets)
- Corey Linsley, Packers (signed with Chargers for 5 years, $62.5 million)
- David Andrews, Patriots (re-signed for 4 years)
- Austin Reiter, Chiefs
- Alex Mack, Falcons (signed with 49ers)
- Rodney Hudson, Raiders (signed with Cardinals)
- Matt Skura, Ravens (signed with Dolphins)
- Ted Karras, Dolphins (signed with Patriots for 1 year, $4 million)
- Ethan Pocic, Seahawks (re-signed for 1 year, $3 million)
- Austin Blythe, Rams (signed with Chiefs)
- Nick Martin, Texans (signed with Raiders)
- Brett Jones, Vikings
- Ben Garland, 49ers
- Joe Looney, Cowboys
- Leonard Williams, Giants (re-signed for 3 years, $63 million)
- Shelby Harris, Broncos (re-signed for 3 years, $27 million)
- Dalvin Tomlinson, Giants (signed with Vikings for 2 years, $22.5 million)
- Sheldon Rankins, Saints (signed with Jets for 2 years, $17 million)
- Ndamukong Suh, Buccaneers (re-signed for 1 year, $10 million)
- Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys
- Jurrell Casey, Broncos
- Denico Autry, Colts (signed with Titans for 3 years, $21.5 million)
- Roy Robertson-Harris, Bears (signed with Jaguars for 3 years, $24.4 million)
- Derek Wolfe, Ravens (re-signed for 3 years, $12 million)
- Lawrence Guy, Patriots (re-signed for 4 years)
- Geno Atkins, Bengals
- Jarran Reed, Seahawks (signed with Chiefs for 1 year, $7 million)
- Henry Anderson, Jets (signed with Patriots for 2 years)
- Maliek Collins, Raiders (signed with Texans for 1 year, $6 million)
- Tyson Alualu, Steelers (re-signed for 2 years)
- Adam Butler, Patriots (signed with Dolphins for 2 years, $9.5 million)
- Malik Jackson, Eagles (signed with Browns)
- Zach Kerr, Panthers (signed with 49ers)
- Danny Shelton, Lions
- Steve McLendon, Buccaneers (re-signed)
- Mike Daniels, Bengals (re-signed)
- Tyler Lancaster, Packers (re-signed)
- Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers (re-signed for 4 years, $72 million)
- J.J. Watt, Texans (signed with Cardinals for 2 years, $28 million)
- Melvin Ingram, Chargers
- Bud Dupree, Steelers (signed with Titans)
- Matthew Judon, Ravens (signed with Patriots for 4 years, $56 million)
- Yannick Ngakoue, Ravens (signed with Raiders)
- Jadeveon Clowney, Titans (signed with Browns for 1 year, $10 million)
- Carl Lawson, Bengals (signed with Jets for 3 years, $45 million)
- Leonard Floyd, Rams (re-signed for 4 years, $64 million)
- Trey Hendrickson, Saints (signed with Bengals for 4 years, $60 million)
- Haason Reddick, Cardinals (signed with Panthers for 2 years, $6 million)
- Justin Houston, Colts
- Aldon Smith, Cowboys
- Romeo Okwara, Lions (re-signed for 3 years, $39 million)
- Carlos Dunlap, Seahawks (re-signed for 2 years, $16.6 million)
- Takk McKinley, Raiders (signed with Browns)
- Adrian Clayborn, Browns
- Ryan Kerrigan, Washington
- Ryan Anderson, Washington (signed with Giants for 1 year)
- Benson Mayowa, Seahawks (re-signed for 2 years, $8.8 million)
- Mario Edwards, Bears (re-signed for 3 years, $11.55 million)
- Markus Golden, Cardinals (re-signed for 2 years, $9 million)
- Dawaune Smoot, Jaguars (re-signed for 2 years, $14 million)
- Barkevious Mingo, Bears (signed with Falcons)
- Lavonte David, Buccaneers (re-signed for 2 years, $25 million)
- Matt Milano, Bills (re-signed for 4 years, $44 million)
- Jayon Brown, Titans (re-signed for 1 year, $5.25 milion)
- Denzel Perryman, Chargers (signed with Panthers for 2 years)
- K.J. Wright, Seahawks
- Anthony Walker, Colts (signed with Browns for 1 year, $3.5 million)
- Samson Ebukam, Rams (signed with 49ers for 2 years, $12 million)
- Kamu Grugier-Hill, Patriots (signed with Texans for 1 year, $3.25 million)
- Jarrad Davis, Lions (signed with Jets for 1 year, $7 million)
- Kevin Pierre-Louis, Washington (signed with Texans for 2 years)
- Vince Williams, Steelers (re-signed)
- Duke Riley, Eagles (signed with Dolphins)
- Elandon Roberts, Dolphins (re-signed for 1 year)
- Jordan Jenkins, Jets (signed with Texans for 2 years, $6 million)
- Alex Anzalone, Saints (signed with Lions for 1 year)
- Damien Wilson, Chiifs (signed with Jaguars)
- Eric Wilson, Vikings (signed with Eagles)
- Richard Sherman, 49ers
- Troy Hill, Rams (signed with Browns for 4 years, $24 million)
- William Jackson III, Bengals (signed with Washington for 3 years, $42 million)
- Desmond King II, Titans (signed with Texans for 1 year, $3.5 million)
- Mike Hilton, Steelers (signed with Bengals for 4 years, $24 million)
- Patrick Peterson, Cardinals (signed with Vikings for 1 year, $10 million)
- Shaquill Griffin, Seahawks (signed with Jaguars for 3 years, $44.5 million)
- Quinton Dunbar, Seahawks
- Xavier Rhodes, Colts (re-signed for 1 year, $6.5 million)
- Ronald Darby, Washington (signed with Broncos for 3 years, $30 million)
- Jason Verrett, 49ers (re-signed for 1 year, $5.5 million)
- Janoris Jenkins, Saints (signed with Titans)
- Kyle Fuller, Bears (signed with Broncos for 1 year, $9.5 million)
- Mackensie Alexander, Bengals (signed with Vikings)
- Brian Poole, Jets
- Adoree' Jackson, Titans (signed with Giants for 3 years, $39 million)
- Chidobe Awuzie, Cowboys (signed with Bengals for 3 years)
- Nickell Robey-Coleman, Eagles
- Breshaud Breeland, Chiefs
- Steven Nelson, Steelers
- Casey Hayward, Chargers
- Cameron Sutton, Steelers (re-signed for 2 years, $9 million)
- K’Waun Williams, 49ers (re-signed for 1 year)
- Gareon Conley, Texans
- A.J. Bouye, Broncos (signed with Panthers for 2 years, $7.5 million)
- Kevin King, Packers (re-signed for 1 year, $6 million)
- Buster Skrine, Bears
- Michael Davis, Chargers (re-signed for 3 years)
- Justin Coleman, Lions (signed with Dolphins for 1 year, $2.75 million)
- Rashaan Melvin, Jaguars (signed with Panthers)
- Desmond Trufant, Lions (signed with Bears for 1 year)
- Ahkello Witherspoon, 49ers (signed with Seahawks)
- Eli Apple, Saints (signed with Bengals)
- Terrance Mitchell, Browns (signed with Texans)
- Tavon Wilson, Colts (signed with 49ers)
- Daryl Roberts, Lions (signed with Washington
- Justin Simmons, Broncos (re-signed for 4 years, $61 million)
- Anthony Harris, Vikings (signed with Eagles for 1 year, $5 million)
- Marcus Williams, Saints (re-signed for 1 year, $10.6 million)
- Marcus Maye, Jets (re-signed for 1 year, $10.6 million)
- John Johnson III, Rams (signed with Browns for 3 years, $33 million)
- Malik Hooker, Colts
- Keanu Neal, Falcons (signed with Cowboys for 1 year, $5 million)
- Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers (re-signed for 1 year)
- Xavier Woods, Cowboys (signed with Vikings for 1 year, $2.25 million)
- Jalen Mills, Eagles (signed with Patriots for 4 years, $24 million)
- Rayshawn Jenkins, Chargers (signed with Jaguars for 4 years)
- Daniel Sorenson, Chiefs (re-signed)
- Tre Boston, Panthers
- Ricardo Allen, Falcons (signed with Bengals)
- Lamarcus Joyner, Raiders (signed with Jets for 1 year, $4.5 million)
- Kareem Jackson, Broncos (re-signed for 1 year)
- Josh Jones, Jaguars (re-signed)
- Sean Davis, Steelers (signed with Colts)
- Karl Joseph, Browns (signed with Raiders)
- Younghoe Koo, Falcons (re-signed for 1 year)
- Zane Gonzalez, Cardinals
- Cairo Santos, Bears (re-signed for 5 years, $16 million)
- Ryan Succop, Buccaneers (re-signed for 3 years, $12 million)
- Matt Prater, Lions (signed with Cardinals for 2 years, $7 million)
- Dustin Hopkins, Washington (re-signed for 1 year)
- Stephen Gostkowski, Titans
- Cody Parkey, Browns (re-signed for 1 year)
- Randy Bullock, Bengals (signed with Lions)
- Nick Folk, Patriots (re-signed for 1 year, $1.225 million)
- Dan Bailey, Vikings
- Kevin Huber, Bengals (re-signed for 1 year)
- Pat O'Donnell, Bears (re-signed for 1 year)
- Jordan Berry, Steelers
- Andy Lee, Cardinals (re-signed for 1 year)
- Matt Haack, Dolphins (signed with Bills)
- Thomas Morstead, Saints
- Cameron Johnston, Eagles (signed with Texans for 3 years, $8 million)
- Chris Jones, Cowboys
- Bryan Anger, Texans (signed with Cowboys)
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Ranking the Top 25 Players on the 2021 NFL Free-Agent Market
20. WR Curtis Samuel
Carolina Panthers hybrid runner-receiver Curtis Samuel finally showed his true potential in 2020. Under the guidance of first-year offensive coordinator Joe Brady, the 24-year-old amassed 1,051 scrimmage yards and five total touchdowns in his fourth season in the league.
19. QB Cam Newton
It's fair to criticize Cam Newton for being an underwhelming passer in 2020. It's also fair to recognize that he rushed for 12 touchdowns and guided the offensively deficient New England Patriots to seven wins. At 31, Newton still has time to revitalize his career.
18. Edge Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney was one of the biggest names in free agency last offseason, and his potential as a pass-rusher is well-known. However, he missed eight games in 2020 and had just three sacks over the past two seasons. He's firmly a boom-or-bust gamble at this point.
17. WR Will Fuller
Will Fuller finished his 2020 campaign on a suspension and has missed 27 games in five seasons. However, the Houston Texans speed merchant has game-changing quickness and should be one of the top complementary receivers on the open market.
16. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
Pittsburgh Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster had a tremendous 1,426-yard campaign back in 2018 opposite Antonio Brown. However, he's failed to establish himself as a true No. 1 target in the two years since. Still, there's a ton of value in landing a high-end No. 2.
Nfl top agents 25 free
Here’s a look at the Top 2021 NFL Free Agents that are available at this point in the NFL season. We will be making changes to the list as players are either signed or released, so be sure to check back for the latest updates on the Top NFL Free Agents.
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Nate BoudaSours: https://nfltraderumors.co/top-50-2021-nfl-free-agents/
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