Most of the NFL’s top free agents agreed to contracts on Wednesday when the new league year officially began, but there are still several good players available. A day after the start of free agency, teams are going after players that made the Pro Bowl as recently as last season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and Robert Griffin are the top free-agent quarterbacks available, but the best players on the market come from the defensive side of the ball. A few top defensive backs are looking for new homes, in addition to some big-name defensive linemen.
Eric Weddle has played nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers, but it looks like he’s headed elsewhere. The safety played a career-low 13 games in 2015, but he was named to the Pro Bowl in three of the previous four seasons. The 2011 NFL interceptions leader has reportedly drawn interest from the Oakland Raiders, and last week he acknowledged that he’d be interested in playing for the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers or Pittsburgh Steelers, as well.
“I’ve got three to five years left in me,” Weddle said Saturday, via Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “I want to go somewhere I have a chance to win a Super Bowl. Until last year I’ve never been injured. I’ve never had surgery. I don’t drink, I don’t go out. My shoulders, back, legs, hip, they’re all fine. I think I bring a lot to a team.”
The interceptions leader from last year is also looking for a new contract as the Cincinnati Bengals have not re-signed Reggie Nelson. The safety is coming off a Pro Bowl season that saw him intercept eight passes and recover two fumbles. But the Bengals have reportedly moved on from the 32-year-old, and he’s being pursued by a few teams.
The Minnesota Vikings had talks with Nelson, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, but they instead chose to sign former Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin. Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported that The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have interest in Nelson, and The Washington Post’s Mike Jones reported that the Washington Redskins have some interest in the safety.
Also available to improve someone’s secondary is Prince Amukamara. The New York Giants have moved on from their former starter by signing Janoris Jenkins, and with Sean Smith going to Oakland, Amukamara is the best cornerback on the market.
According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, the Jets have “checked in” on Amukamara. The Miami Dolphins are in the market for a cornerback after releasing Brent Grimes, and they are a potential landing spot for the former Giant. Amukamara was productive for the Giants when healthy, but he played a full season in just one of five years with New York.
On the defensive line, Chris Long and Nick Fairley are still available. Long is reportedly being pursued by the Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons. After playing with Long and the Rams in 2015, Fairley is being looked at by the Jets, according to Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News.
The best offensive free agents available are linemen. Offensive tackle Russell Okung has not re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks, though the team has made him an offer. Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith is visiting with the Vikings, and the Buccaneers are reportedly interested in him, as well.
Running back Arian Foster is still available after being released by the Houston Texans.