15 Under-the-Radar NFL Free Agents Your Favorite Team Should Sign
15 Under-the-Radar NFL Free Agents
The NFL season has just ended, and while most people are looking forward to the playoffs, there is still free agency to look forward to for the 20 teams that did not make it that far.
Some of the biggest free agents signings are those who go under the radar. Whether it is the big-time defensive end that a team has needed or the receiver that can help out their quarterback in a great deal. Although most people pay attention to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, there are 21 other starters who help their teams win as many games as they do. Those players don't get paid as much and don't get the recognition, but they are the reason why those teams can continue to be consistent.
There are hundreds of free agents in the 2014 free agent crop. Some will get paid well, others will take what they can get. Some will be without a job when it is all said and done. I will focus on the players that nobody is paying much attention to, whether it is because they got hurt in 2013 or that there are bigger-named players at their position on the market. Everyone is trying to figure out where Jay Cutler and Jared Allen are going, but I won't do that here.
You will see the players who will help your favorite team win. They won't just add to a spot, but will push your team over the edge. These are 15 under-the-radar NFL free agents that should be signed by your favorite team.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NFL, NBA and MLB content. You can follow him on Twitter here.
15. Brian Orakpo
Brian Orakpo could be the biggest dark horse on the market. He was great in his first year back from a major injury and could demand big money on the open market. He broke 10 sacks in 15 games and scored his first defensive touchdown off his first interception of his career. His career year came at the perfect time. Too bad he was the only good player on the Washington Redskins defense.
14. Eric Decker
Eric Decker is one of the trio of wide receivers that helped Manning break all of the important quarterback records this season. He had his second season in a row in which he broke 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how he plays the open market and whether teams will punish him for having Manning as his QB. He could be a very big asset for whoever decides to pursue him.
13. Captain Munnerlyn
With much uncertainty surrounding the Carolina Panthers' secondary coming into the season, Captain Munnerlyn took a big step this season. He helped them with their sixth-ranked passing defense on a team that stole the second seed in a very good NFC. He is going to play a big role in their playoff push.
12. Brandon Spikes
Brandon Spikes has really shown his worth this season with defensive superstars Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo being lost. He is great against the run, helping a team that had nobody else who could do the job. With people like Joe Vellano and Chris Jones manning the line, he was leaned on more than ever.
11. Danario Alexander
Danario Alexander has been forgotten about this season after a torn ACL took away his entire season. Prior to that, he was the hot name to take the NFL by storm. This offseason, he will be a cheap option with a big reward.
10. Vontae Davis
The cornerback market is flooded with great players. Vontae Davis could be the best, but, he isn't getting the kind of recognition you would expect for some reason. He only has one interception, which is a career-low, but he hasn't seemed to have lost a step. He will be a great addition if the Indianapolis Colts don't decide to bring him back.
9. Michael Vick
Michael Vick was considered the biggest free agent quarterback just one season ago. The Philadelphia Eagles found their QB of the future in Nick Foles, so Vick will need to find new home. With all the attention on where Cutler is going, Vick could be an intriguing option for a team willing to take a chance.
8. Branden Albert
Offensive linemen are not usually paid the most attention, but Branden Albert is a game-changing type of lineman. There are plenty of QBs that would love to have this guy protecting them.
7. Julian Edelman
Danny Amendola was supposed to be the receiver to replace Wes Welker, but Julian Edelman ended up being that receiver. He was Brady's only reliable option all season. He was only signed to a one-year deal, so he is set to go back on the free agent market once again. His first 1,000-yard season will surely draw him some attention.
6. Darren McFadden
When it comes to pure talent, Darren McFadden is a once-in-a-generation type of player. Unfortunately, injuries have held him back from his true potential. He is hitting the free agent market possibly looking for a change of scenery to try to jump-start his career again. If he could find a way to get his yards per carry back to around 5.0, he will once again be one of the scariest weapons in the league.
5. B.J. Raji
B.J. Raji is a player that offenses plan to stay away from. He has already said no to a contract offer from the Green Bay Packers, so he may be looking at a defense that suits his style better. He will be an impact player for whoever lands him.
4. Ryan Clark
Ryan Clark is the lesser known of the Pittsburgh Steelers safeties. That isn't fair as he has been next to the enigmatic Troy Polamalu his entire career. Clark will go out on his own and show he is one of the best safeties in the game.
3. Devin Hester
Quite possibly the best return man in the history of the game, Devin Hester is set to hit the free agent market. With 19 return touchdowns on his career, he is tied with Deion Sanders for most all time. He says he wants to end his career as a member of the Chicago Bears, but he may have to face facts that he could be breaking that record in another uniform.
2. Aqib Talib
Aqib Talib is said to be looking for a Darrelle Revis-sized contract. It will be difficult with the amount of talent on the market this year, but I can't say he doesn't deserve it. He has single-handedly changed the way the New England Patriots play defense. Instead of playing inside out, he has made them play the opposite. Now the entire team isn't resting on Brady's shoulders. He will get paid, but maybe not at $12 million a year.
1. Arthur Jones
Arthur Jones is best known for being from a physical freak of a family, with brothers Chandler and Jon. He missed a few games this season, but he will be good to go by next year (a concussion is why he missed the final game of the year). He is getting better every year and is the kind of talent you want to jump on right now.