The market may be shrinking, but there are still a lot of good players left to help teams out. Here are some of the best remaining players waiting to be signed:
1. Dwight Freeney- Freeney was a surprising cut by the Colts, and is now looking for a new team. Once considered the best defensive ends in the game, Freeney has lost a step now at age 33, but can definitely still play and be an effective player. Freeney needs a 4-3 defense to be used to his fullest capabilities, as the 3-4 defense the Colts used last year hurt his production, leaving Freeney with only five sacks on the year. Teams who need a good pass rushing defensive end should give Freeney a call, as his spin move is still as deadly as ever. Don’t expect old Freeney production though, because if you do, you will be left disappointed.
2. Andre Smith- Considered the best tackle left on the market, some people are wondering why the Bengals (who have tons of money) haven’t resigned Smith. It hasn’t been a perfect career for Smith, who has dealt with inconsistent play throughout the years, but he is only 26 and just entering the prime of his career. Smith is also a beast of a man, weighing around 330 pounds. Any quarterback would like to have Smith on his line, and with the market for offensive lineman dwindling, look for Cincinnati or another team make a push to sign him.
3. Darrius Heyward-Bey- When the Oakland Raiders drafted Heyward-Bey 7th overall in the 09 draft, the team thought they would be set at receiver for years to come. Boy, were they wrong. While Heyward-Bey has blazing speed (ran 4.3, 40), he was a horrible route runner. While Bey had a nice year in 2011, 2012 was a year of disappointment and the team decided to part ways with the speedy, yet inconsistent player. At 26 years old, look for a team to take a chance on Heyward-Bey and try to work him into being a great, rounded player. If a team can do just that, then they have a Mike Wallace like player, but a lot cheaper.
4. Nnamdi Asomugha- Ahhhhh yes, Nnamdi, the man everyone wanted during the 2011 late free agency period. He was considered to be one of the best corners in the league, a player who cut the field in half and shut down other receivers with ease. Asomugha signed a nice contract with the Eagles, but his play over the last two years has been anything but good. Nnamdi looked lost, and was constantly getting beat down the field as the “Dream Team” faltered. The Eagles decided to cut him a few weeks ago, and now here we are. While there isn’t a lot of teams lined up for the 31 year old, apparently the 49ers and Saints have the best shot at signing him. Asomugha can get his game back, and I think he just desperately needed out of Philly. If Asomugha goes to the Niners, look for him to revitalize his career.
5. Ahmad Bradshaw- I’m surprised Bradshaw is still available, but my guess is teams will wait longer to see what their running back situation looks like, as well as look at how his right foot is healing from offseason surgery. Bradshaw was a shocking cut by the Giants, who loved his toughness and leadership, but not his knack for constantly getting injured. When a team decides to sign Bradshaw, they will be getting a 27 year old running back who can immediately become a teams number one back. Bradshaw broke 1000 yards last year, and can also catch the ball out of the backfield. Again, it is a shame Bradshaw gets hurt so much because he has the talent to be a really special player, but if I was a team with a hole at running back, Bradshaw would be the first person I would call.
Other good players available:
Charles Woodson (S), Michael Huff (S/CB), Fred Davis (TE), Brent Grimes (CB), Osi Umenyiora (DE), Richard Seymour (DL), Brandon Moore (G), James HArrison (LB) Beanie Wells (RB), John Abraham (DE), Brian Urlacher (LB), Eric Winston (OT), Mike Jenkins (CB), Brandon Lloyd (WR)