If the free agent market is going to begin sometime after July 21, then it’s going to be crazy as teams try to sign them all before training camp starts. Some teams are going to have salary cap problems. On the other hand, most teams will have the opportunity to target at least one significant free agent. And there are going to be a lot of quality players available.
This isn’t meant to be a list of the best free agents, but instead it’s a list of five free agents that any team could use. The NFL is a passing league, and flexible players who can help in the passing game on offense or defense are more valuable. These aren’t all the players available who can fill these roles, but they are a few players I would consider if I was running any team. It would be understandable if any team pursued these players even if in reality it’s unlikely to happen.
CB Nnamdi Asomugha. He’s arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. The game requires all teams to have at least three quality cornerbacks, and there isn’t a team that wouldn’t be improved by having him on its roster. Some teams would benefit by his presence more than others, of course. If he wants to stay on the west coast, a team like the 49ers would be dramatically improved with him, and he could even be the difference in winning the lowly NFC West division crown.
LT Doug Free. He’s always had the size (6-6, 320) that every team wants in a tackle, and he finally got his chance to prove it in 2010 as a quality pass protector on the blind side. No team will pay him to play at guard, but he has some experience there too. He’d make any offensive line better.
DE/LB Matt Roth. He’s played defensive end and outside linebacker, and at 6-4, 275, he can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive alignment. As a linebacker, he has enough size to play on the strong side, and enough ability as a pass rusher to play on the weak side. His pass rushing ability would also make him a good defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
DE/DT Cullen Jenkins. It remains very hard to find a big man (6-2, 305) who can provide an inside pass rush. Jenkins has done it in a 4-3 scheme as a defensive tackle (6.5 sacks in 2006) and as a defensive end in the 3-4 (7 sacks in 2010). Most teams frequently rotate their defensive lineman, and Jenkins can provide versatility to any team.
WR Braylon Edwards. Despite several big free agent names at wide receiver, many of them come with question marks due to recent injuries or suspensions. Edwards hasn’t come close to his breakout 2007 season as a Jet, but he’s still got great speed and size (6-3) that can’t be coached. He could play a role in any offensive scheme.