PFT’s All-Unemployed Team
With almost a month of free agency in the books, here is our rundown on the best players still available at each position — a list that includes some of PFT’s top 100 free agents as of earlier in the offseason.
Quarterback: Byron Leftwich.
The Seahawks’ move for Brady Quinn made a lot of sense — he was probably the best backup option left. Leftwich has a strong arm and plenty of experience but has struggled to stay healthy.
Down the road, Tim Tebow seems a solid bet to join the jobless QB ranks, and the moment he does, he becomes the X-factor of the group. Will another team give him a chance?
Running back: Ahmad Bradshaw.
Durability looms as the major concern with Bradshaw, who has had foot issues.
Fullback: Mike Cox.
Cox started 12 games in the last two seasons for Atlanta.
Wide receiver: Brandon Lloyd, Julian Edelman.
Lloyd would be a fine short-term solution for a team looking for an outside receiver. Edelman’s youth and versatility give him a slight nod over other candidates for this spot, but can he stay healthy in a regular role?
Tight end: Dallas Clark.
The best receiving option at his position still left on the market. However, he turns 34 in June.
Offensive tackle: Andre Smith, Bryant McKinnie.
Smith has a strong 2012 season but comes with injury and consistency risk. Nevertheless, the young right tackle is the best free agent available. McKinnie gets the nod over Tyson Clabo and Eric Winston on account of his long track record at left tackle. That said, McKinnie will be 34 in September, and his conditioning can be an issue.
Offensive guard: Brandon Moore, Stephen Peterman.
Moore started 137 connective games for the Jets, while Peterman played every game the last three seasons before being released by the Lions. Both can be serviceable for 2013.
Center: Dan Koppen.
Started 12 games for the AFC West-winning Broncos in 2012. Turns 34 in September.
Defensive end: Dwight Freeney, John Abraham.
They are both pass-rushing aces, but they’re on the wrong side of 30.
Defensive tackle: Sedrick Ellis, Richard Seymour.
Ellis never lived up to his first-round status in New Orleans, but he will only be 28 at the start of the season. Seymour could still help a team, but Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported in March that it might take a lucrative deal to get the longtime standout lineman back onto the field in 2013.
Outside linebacker: Shaun Phillips, Daryl Smith.
Phillips will be 32 in May, but he notched 9.5 sacks in 2012, so it’s not as if he couldn’t be of assistance to a defense that uses 3-4 looks. Smith was limited to two games a season ago with a groin injury, but he’s the best 4-3 outside linebacker available. Age could also be a concern with Smith, who turned 31 in March. Let’s also mention James Harrison, like Phillips an interesting short-term option for a club employing a “30” front.
Inside linebacker: Karlos Dansby, Brian Urlacher.
Dansby lost his job when the Dolphins added Dannell Ellerbe, but he comes off a 134-tackle season and has a long track record of success. There’s probably still a place for him in the league, and the Bengals are meeting with him on Wednesday. Urlacher fit best in Chicago, but the door seems to have closed on his return. Besides, he’ll be 35 in May. Honorable mention goes to Nick Barnett, who has notched more than 100 tackles in every season in which he’s played even close to 16 games.
Cornerback: Antoine Winfield, Quentin Jammer.
Winfield is reportedly getting a good deal of attention in free agency; the ex-Viking is tough and skilled. Reliability and availability are Jammer’s strengths at this stage of the game. He’s made 161 career starts and missed just four games in 11 NFL seasons, all with San Diego.
Safety: Kerry Rhodes, Charles Woodson.
This position was thinned further Tuesday when Dawan Landry agreed with the Jets. Rhodes, who intercepted four passes a season ago, has shown a playmaking flair throughout his career, but he will be 31 this season. Woodson can play multiple secondary spots but has said his phone isn’t exactly ringing off the hook just yet.
Placekicker: Steven Hauschka.
Only 27 years old, Hauschka connected on 24-of-27 field goals in 2012 for Seattle.
Punter: Brian Moorman.
Bounced back in 2012 stint with Cowboys, posting a 38.9-yard net average in 12 games.
Return specialist: Josh Cribbs.
Cribbs, who had knee surgery earlier in the offseason, can be a difference-making returner and coverage player.
PFT’s All-Unemployed Team | ProFootballTalk
Re: PFT’s All-Unemployed Team
Ellis never lived up to his first-round status in New Orleans, but he will only be 28 at the start of the season.
Dam Shame too.
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