We’re nearly a full week into NFL free agency, and after a flurry of action during the trading window, the pace has slowed. But many talented players remain unsigned.
Recognizable names remain in search of the right fit and financial arrangement that will allow them to continue the next stage of their football journey. Some might find these situations overnight. Others may have to wait longer as the market stabilizes.
Here’s a look at 10 of the best players still out there.
Best remaining available: AthleticismThe top 150 free agents in
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Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 1.
The Baltimore franchise tagged the Ravens star, so he’s not technically a free agent who can sign with any team he chooses. But Baltimore is thought to be accepting offers for the 2019 NFL unanimous MVP. So far, things have been quiet on that front. But if a team really wants to change its fortunes and land a game-changing face in the franchise, it should pick up the phone and really take Jackson out of the market.
Teams that may need: Falcons, commanders.
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LB Bobby Wagner
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 5.
Father Time has nothing on the longtime Seattle Seahawks linebacker, who last year as a member of the LA Rams had his 11th straight season of 100+ tackles at the ripe old age of 32. Wagner (140 tackles and 10 for a loss) also added a career-high six sacks, plus two interceptions and five pass breakups.
Teams that may need: Bills, Lions.
DB CJ Gardner-Johnson
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 11.
Any team looking for a turnover machine should seriously consider adding the fast-growing Gardner-Johnson to their secondary. After making the transition to safety, Gardner-Johnson finished tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions while totaling 67 tackles for the Eagles.
Teams that may need: Eagles, Bengals.
BY Frank Clark
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 23.
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive end has seen his sack production plummet, but he remains an active, hard-hitting pass thrower. He had five sacks and 13 quarterback hits last season for the Chiefs and this year turns 30. But in the right situation, he could make his presence felt.
Teams that may need: Chiefs, Browns.
WR Adam Thielen
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 28.
The nine-year Vikings veteran turns 33 this year, and his 2018 season of 113 catches is in the rearview mirror. He remains a reliable and consistent contributor, however, with 70 receptions for 716 yards and six touchdowns in 2022.
Teams that may need: Cowboys, bills.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 29.
His recovery from a torn ACL took longer than he would have liked, but he would be healthy and eager to help another team chase after a Super Bowl. Although he continues to regain footballing form, Beckham looked pretty good during training he held for the teams last week, according to several talent evaluators, who spoke on condition of anonymity. so as not to telegraph the plans of their teams. Beckham’s dominant days are behind him. But it could still serve as a reliable #2 option.
Teams that may need: Cowboys, chiefs.
TE Dalton Schultz
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 30.
Talented tight ends aren’t always easy to come by, so teams shouldn’t wait too long if they want to sign Schultz, who has averaged 10 yards per catch in each of the past two seasons for the Cowboys. Coming off a 2021 season in which he recorded 78 catches for 808 yards and eight touchdowns, Schultz last year had 57 receptions for 577 yards and five touchdowns on 89 targets. A change of scenery would probably do Schultz good.
Teams that may need: Packers, Commanders.
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 35.
He’s not considered an elite passer, but Ngakoue is very good and very consistent, averaging 9.3 sacks a year in his seven seasons in the league. Last season, the 27-year-old recorded 9 1/2 sacks and eight tackles for a loss in 15 games for Indianapolis.
Teams that may need: 49ers, Dolphins.
RB Kareem Hunt
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: No. 136.
After splitting his time with Nick Chubb for the past four seasons in Cleveland, Hunt is eager for the opportunity to be a feature comeback, and he’s fresher than some of the other veterans on the market. It’s a deep draft class, but if a team decides they’d rather sign a veteran, Hunt might be their best bet.
Teams that may need: Invoices, chargers.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
Rank, AthleticismThe top 150 free agents from: NR.
The Cowboys released Elliott this week, designating him as a cut after June 1. He no longer boasts of the juice he once had, but there is a place for him in the NFL, especially on a team that features a rushing two-headed offense. Elliott is still very effective in short range situations where he can leverage his strength. Despite averaging 3.8 yards per carry last season, Elliott was one of eight NFL backs with 10+ rushing touchdowns (12).
Teams that may need: Bills, bear.
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(Top photo by Odell Beckham Jr.: Harry How/Getty Images)