It’s hard to believe the NFL season kicks off in about 100 days. The hype of free agency has been dead for quite a while now, but a number of potentially highly productive free agents are still out there waiting to be scooped up. Players with histories of being in the defensive player of the year conversation, best wide receiver conversation, and much more. With that said, below are the five best remaining free agents, with their best potential landing spots.
Center isn’t the sexy position, but it is one of the most important. Mangold isn’t a player that will excite your fan base, but don’t let that fool you, he’s the best remaining free agent out there.
The ten year veteran has appeared on three All-Pro teams, played in seven pro bowls, and was considered one of the best centers in the league for a number of years. Throughout his tenure with the Jets, he established himself as both a prolific pass and run blocker. Although his skills have diminished in the last few years due to both injuries and age, Mangold is still a suitable NFL center. He would fit on a number of teams as either an inexpensive starter or as a wily veteran to back up a younger center.
Potential Landing Spots: Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants
Unlike Mangold, Maclin plays the sexy position of wide receiver, a position in which a signing could excite an entire fan base. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, Maclin was talked about as one of the best receivers in the game after posting two amazing seasons with the Eagles and signing a lucrative contract with the Chiefs. But, after two disappointing seasons, Maclin finds himself looking for a job after being a late off-season cut.
Maclin’s two down years weren’t because of a regression of talent, but rather the circumstances surrounding him. Over the last two seasons, the Chiefs were synonymous with being a boring offense, one in which the wide receiver position was almost non-existent. Maclin is still a good receiver, with the ability to split a defense with blazing speed, catch the ball in traffic, and provide a team with a dynamic play making ability.
Potential Landing Spots: Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings
It seems like yesterday we were still calling Revis one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, but after a down year last season, one in which he was out of shape and was routinely burned by mid-tier receivers, Revis finds himself searching for a job.
Revis showed an abundance of negative regression last season. He was slower, allowed the most receptions and receiving touchdowns since his rookie season, and he was out of shape all season long. But, if we are to believe the stories coming from his camp, Revis is “in the best shape he has been in, in years”.
If Revis can show some positive regression, than he could potentially be the steal of the off-season. There isn’t a doubt in my mind he will be on a team at the start of training camp
Potential Landing Spots: Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills
Another former Jet, Ryan Clady is among the best free agents remaining. He plays at both the left and right tackle position, both of which are crucial to winning a championship. The former All-Pro member and Super Bowl champion wasn’t terrible last season, but he also did not perform at his best, but can you really blame him. He was surrounded by lackluster teammates.
A big reason why he is still available is his age and the fact that he ended last season on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff. Even so, Clady can still be an effective NFL player. In the right system, one in which the offensive line play is much more of a play by committee rather than one that relies on one stud player would do wonders for his production.
Potential Landing Spots: Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers
The linebacker position has become extremely important in recent years and last season, Riley produced at an efficient level for the Raiders. Despite playing in just 11 games, Riley was ranked 15th in terms of efficiency at the linebacker position.
He doesn’t exceed at any one particular play style, but he is a balanced linebacker.
Potential Landing Spots: Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers