News Column

NFL's Top 40 Unrestricted Free Agents

March 8, 2013

Omar Kelly, Sun Sentinel

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Top 40 Unrestricted NFL free agents:

1. WR Mike Wallace (Steelers): His eye-opening speed has allowed him to score 32 touchdowns in five seasons.

2. DE Michael Bennett (Bucs): Last year the 27-year-old contributed 41 tackles, nine sacks and forced three fumbles.

3. FS Ed Reed (Ravens): He's put together a first ballot Hall of Fame career in his 10 seasons, and has three more left in him.

4. OT Sebastian Vollmer (Patriots): He's versatile enough to play both left and right tackle, and is athletic.

5. FS Dashon Goldson (49ers): He's a pure cover safety who has contributed 14 interceptions in his six seasons with the 49ers.

6. OT Andre Smith (Bengals): He might have a bad body, but he's mauled defensive linemen for three of four years.

7. WR Greg Jennings (Packers): Precise route runner who thrived in a west coast offense, scoring 56 touchdowns in seven seasons.

8. WR Wes Welker (Patriots): He's been a Pro Bowl slot receiver since Miami traded him to New England in 2007.

9. TE Martellus Bennett (Giants): There are maturity questions, but he contributing 55 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns last season.

10. OG Andy Levitre (Bills): One of the NFL's most effective pullers. He allowed just one sack last season.

11. FS William Moore (Falcons): Last year this 27-year-old contributed 75 tackles, four interceptions, forced two fumbles and recorded one sack

12. TE Tony Gonzalez (Falcons): The Falcons are trying to talk this future Hall of Fame tight end into playing one more season.

13. CB Chris Houston (Lions): His unit struggled, but his performance (56 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles): was respectable.

14. TE Dustin Keller (Jets): He's averaged 48 catches and scored 17 touchdowns in his five seasons. But he's a marginal blocker

15. DE Osi Umenyiora (Giants): At 31 he's still young enough to have a respectable second act in the NFL if he finds the right situation.

16. DE Cliff Avril (Lions): He's a pass rushing specialist who struggles defending the run. But he's forced 16 fumbles in five seasons.

17. OT Phil Loadholt (Vikings): This 27-year-old is a mauling right tackle, who opens holes for the NFL's best rushing attack.

18. OT Sam Baker (Falcons): He's been a steady and reliable left tackle for the past five seasons, but might be wearing down physically.

19. CB Derek Cox (Jaguars): He's started 45 games for the Jaguars, pulling down 12 interceptions, but has battled numerous injuries.

20. OT Eric Winston (Chiefs): He's been a durable and reliable starting right tackle for the past six seasons. Not elite, but very good.

21. WR Danny Amendola (Rams): He's spent the past four years establishing himself as one of the NFL's best slot receivers.

22. FS Quin Glover (Texans): He's started 60 games the past four seasons, but has only recorded five career interceptions.

23. RB Ahmad Bradshaw: He rushed for 1,015 yards and scored six touchdowns sharing a backfield last season before getting cut.

24. TE Jared Cook (Titans): This glorified receiver caught 44 passes for 523 yards and scoring four touchdowns in fewer than 500 snaps.

25. DE John Abraham (Falcons): This 35-year-old contributed 35 tackles, 10 sacks and forced six fumbles in his 12th season.

26. RB Steven Jackson (Rams): He's been a productive (10,135 rushing yards): downhill runner, but he turns 30 this year.

27. CB Dominique Rodgers Cromartie (Eagles): Contributed 51 tackles, 17 deflections and three interceptions, but was fairly inconsistent.

28. OT Jermon Bushrod (Saints): He's been the starting left tackle on New Orleans' elite offensive line for the past four seasons.

29. CB Aqib Talib (Patriots): If you can get past his troublesome background and tendency to freelance he should be a solid starter.

30. OG Louis Vasquez (Chargers): This starting right guard is an effective puller who allowed two sack and 19 quarterback hurries last season.

31. LB Dannell Ellerbe (Ravens): Filled in admirably for Ray Lewis, contributing 92 tackles, 4. 5 sacks and forcing one fumble in 2012.

32. TE Fred Davis (Washington): He's started 40 games, catching 155 passes for 1,973 yards and scored 12 touchdowns in his five seasons.

33. CB Keenan Lewis (Steelers): His physical style and consistent coverage helped him contribute 71 tackles and force one fumble last season.

34. DT Richard Seymour (Oakland): He's spent the past few seasons in the back hole, but his productivity hasn't dropped off drastically.

35. DE Dwight Freeney (Colts): This 33-year-old can contribute more than 12 tackles and five sacks if used in the right scheme, a 4-3.

36. OLB Paul Kruger (Ravens): He contributed 42 tackles and nine sacks as the fifth or sixth best player on a talented defense.

37. CB E.J. Biggers (Bucs): In his first year as a full-time starter he contributed 51 tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles

38. CB Cary Williams (Ravens): The former Chaminade-Madonna product contributing 75 tackles, one sack and four interceptions as a starter.

39. OG Brandon Moore (Jets): He's one of the NFL's better run blockers, and the 32-year-old has started 142 of 144 games.

40. FS Charles Woodson (Packers): He's been a dynamic cornerback for the past 15 seasons, but how much does he have left at 36.



Source: (c)2013 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services