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NFL Draft

Top 5 NFL Free Agents Still Available

  • The Draft Network
  • May 21, 2021
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Rosters around the league have begun taking shape as offseason workouts get underway following the wave of free agency signings in mid-March and the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft just a few weeks ago. 

For some teams, the 90-man roster limit has been capped and it’s full steam ahead towards training camp. For others, holes still need to be filled; whether it’s a flier on an undrafted player, trading for an impact starter, or scouring the veteran free-agent market, there is plenty of talent still available currently unsigned for teams looking to round out their roster.

Here are five current unsigned players on the open market who could make an impact for a team looking to acquire experienced talent without breaking the bank. 

Russell Okung

Although he’s played in just 13 games over the last two seasons, the now healthy Russell Okung could serve as an immediate impact starter for a team in need of help at tackle. At 32 years old, Okung is past his prime, but it isn’t to say he’s over the hill or a shell of his former self. Okung, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, has started every game he’s appeared in over his 11-year career spanning over four different franchises. 

It goes without saying the importance of bookend tackles in the NFL with pass rushers now at a premium for teams looking to get after the quarterback. A battle-tested tackle like Okung could become a premier addition for a team looking to fill a gap for a season to cope with positional loss, or to serve a mentor role for a drafted player. 

Geno Atkins

Geno Atkins is one of the premier interior defensive linemen of the last decade, and his departure from the Bengals was a byproduct of the inherent rebuild now underway in Cincinnati. With 75.5 career sacks and 161 games of NFL experience under his belt, Atkins’ addition into both a young, up and coming defensive front or an experienced, wily group of veterans could prove worthwhile for a defense looking for both a base down interior presence or a rotational pass rusher from the inside. He has a lot of juice left in the tank after appearing in just eight games last season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he works back to Pro Bowl form if given the right opportunity.

Melvin Ingram

With Los Angeles opting to get quicker and younger within their front seven, Melvin Ingram was left without a job despite him being named to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years after recording 24.5 sacks in 2018-20 combined. Ingram, now 32, looks to be in the prime of his career with much to prove following a surprising departure from the Chargers. His role remains up in the air—as it was with Los Angeles—because he’s too light to play down in a 3-4 odd front and is below average when required to cover and work in space as an outside linebacker. Ingram looks to be best suited in an even front with the opportunity to pin his ears back and do what he does best: rush the passer. 

Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman’s got plenty of snaps left in his career. Similar to the Minnesota Vikings’ addition of Patrick Peterson, Sherman could and would provide a veteran voice into a locker room in need of such, along with a presence on the outside unmatched by many in all of football. At a premier position in a pass-happy league, Sherman shouldn’t be on the market too much longer. 

Adrian Peterson

If Frank Gore can do it, you can place your bets on Adrian Peterson to record above-average totals if given the opportunity to garner a bulk of the carries within an offense. He proved exactly that in Washington, rushing for nearly 2,000 yards in two seasons before a down season in Detroit last year; but let’s be real, everything was bad in Detroit last year. By no means should Peterson be expected to return to his All-World Minnesota form, but he could be a steal in a market weak in proven, veteran running back talent. Whether a team needs an impact starter to work on base downs or a secondary rusher to complement its lead back, Peterson has the ability to seamlessly fit both roles.

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