Top 10 Remaining NFL Free Agents in 2020
The 2020 NFL Draft was executed successfully despite having to convert to an entirely online format right at the last minute, and the thirty-two franchises used their various picks to snag the best young talent available.
But many roster holes remain, and to fill them, teams continue to look at the players still available on the free agency market, and though many top-notch athletes have already been picked up and signed, plenty of free-agent talent is still left on the board.
Here, we take a quick look at the top-10 remaining NFL free agents who could still offer some value to a team (given the right price), with some surprisingly talented players still without a pro football home in 2020.
There’s no telling exactly why any of these next ten NFL free agents are still without a 2020 home, but for many of them it comes down to either being too old to merit a long term contract or they are asking for too much given either the talent level or the current market value of that position.
It’s important to always remember that an NFL contract is not a reward for what a player has already done, but an investment in what an athlete can still potentially do, along with a lot of other factors like how prone the man is to injury or how solid an addition his attitude and reputation are (or are not) to the locker room.
Chances are all ten of these players will be on a team before the regular season starts, but the longer they wait, the more difficult it becomes to work them into the team game plan, so time is certainly of the essence in all of these ongoing situations.
#10) Tight End Delanie Walker
The 36-year old Walker was placed on injured reserve in November of the 2019 season due to an ongoing ankle injury, and then the Tennessee Titans released him in March of 2020.
The 3x Pro Bowler has been playing in the league since 2006 for just two teams (49ers and Titans) and when healthy, Walker has proven to be an effective blocker with the ability to catch the ball, having had five 60+ reception seasons that include 26 touchdown receptions during that time.
#9) Quarterback Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco is just entering his prime everybody https://t.co/XXv7ANesbM
— jules (@jsxtorture) April 21, 2020
Tough to figure out exactly where the 31-year old Flacco fits in the league at this point in his career, the former Super Bowl champion and MVP having been forced into a backup role since the middle of the 2018 season when Lamar Jackson took over the reins in Baltimore.
Flacco’s throwing arm still works fine – it’s his ability to lead that’s been put into question, especially under fourth-quarter duress or the bright lights of the playoffs, when Flacco has not been able to get his team the big win for quite some time now.
#8) Left Tackle Jason Peters
How a man fast approaching 38-years of age still plays football at such a high level is a mystery that Jason Peters continues to live, and despite a history of injuries haunting him, he can still be effective, last year allowing just 25 pressures on the season.
Chances are, given his ‘advanced’ age, Peters won’t be looking at a long-term deal anywhere, but for a team that needs a quick bolt of power on the defensive side of the ball, the 9x Pro Bowler and 2x First-team All-Pro still has plenty of football fuel left in his tank for 2020.
#7) Edge Rusher Everson Griffen
Griffen can still get after a quarterback, even at 32-years old, last year having posted 8.0 sacks and 24 quarterback hits (along with an interception, two passes defended and 41 total tackles) for the Minnesota Vikings in his tenth NFL season.
A late addition to the Pro Bowl in early 2020, Griffen replaced the 49ers’ Nick Bosa, who was busy getting ready for the Super Bowl, and after opting out of his contract became a free agent starting in March 18, hoping to make about $11+ million per season somewhere for multiple years.
#6) Cornerback Prince Amukamara
After a three-interception season for the Chicago Bears in 2018, Amukamara came up empty last year (in addition to missing a game due to a pulled hamstring) and was eventually released by the team in the offseason to create more cap space.
The 30-year old cornerback allowed 36 receptions from 58 targets for 515 yards and two touchdowns last year, so Amukamara may have to be content with a one-year prove it deal somewhere to prove he is still worth investing in the long term.
#5) Defensive Tackle Mike Daniels
After seven effective seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Daniels was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury in December of 2019, and then shortly thereafter he was released by the team.
It is unfortunate for the 31-year old Daniels that he is facing free agency after two seasons of limited play (19 games with 11 starts in that time) and therefore limited production, but if the former Pro Bowler can stay healthy he would give a team nice veteran depth on the defensive line for way less than $10 million per season.
#4) Quarterback Jameis Winston
Update: Jameis Winston is now in contract talks with the New Orleans Saints.
Report: Saints, Jameis Winston negotiating one-year deal https://t.co/8XEV4Lkuvh
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 26, 2020
The 26-year old has talent (that nobody can deny) but unfortunately, Winston also has a severe tendency to throw the ball to the other team. Early and often, with a league-high 30 picks during the 2019 season.
Whichever team ends up taking on Winston will have to figure out how to coach him out of those impetuous throwing moments, something that not even famed quarterback whisperer Bruce Arians could do for him in Tampa.
#3) Cornerback Logan Ryan
Ryan is a 7-year NFL veteran with 17 career interceptions along with 11 sacks and almost 500 total tackles, a 29-year old slot cornerback who has shown consistency throughout his career playing for just two teams, the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans.
Generally effective at taking down opponents, Ryan missed 20 tackles in 2019 (out of 49 career misses), though despite that he still posted a career-high 113 total tackles during the regular season, plus a team-high 13 tackles during the Divisional Round of the Titans’ playoff run.
#2) Edge Rusher Jadeveon Clowney
The Seattle Seahawks attempted to keep the talented Clowney on their roster (they offered him $18.5 million per year to stay), but the 27-year old edge rusher turned it down and the team decided to go in another direction, leaving Clowney to pursue his true worth in free agency.
Except no team has met Clowney’s price of $21 million per year, so the 3x Pro Bowler who last season alone posted 3 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, an interception, 3 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries (one for a TD) and 31 total tackles will be forced to either take a pay cut or remain on the market until some team finally decides to pay.
#1) Quarterback Cam Newton
Cam Newton taking it to the house with Steve Smith doing the lunch pail, hard hat dirty work is a GOAT moment.
— John Ellis (@OnePantherPlace) April 22, 2020
At 31 years old, Newton is at that perfect veteran quarterback age, which is old enough to have a highly developed football IQ, yet young enough to still physically get the job done, but that’s given the ability to stay somewhat healthy during the season.
Speaking of which, Newton’s string of serious injuries (shoulder, rib, back, ankle, etc) have caused him to miss a lot of playing time (and plenty of throws), so despite being a proven starter and a dual-threat quarterback, he isn’t attracting attention from teams looking for a long term solution under center, though his biggest fans would, of course, still love to see him try.