2014 NFL Free Agency: Top 20 UFAs Available
Top 20 Unrestricted NFL Free Agents Available in 2014
Technically, Jimmy Graham is the best available free agent this year in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints tight end is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 11th, but we all know that he's not going anywhere. If he doesn't receive a new deal from the Saints, they're going to franchise tag him. One way or another, Graham will be back in New Orleans next year.
So with Graham off the board, who are the other remaining top free agents? In this slideshow we'll take a look at the top 20.
It's interesting to see how the view of the free agent market has changed in recent years. Big name players don't quite carry the weight that they used to. Many clubs are finding out that you can build a successful team, a lot cheaper, via the draft. Of course they are going to be huge names like Peyton Manning occasionally on the market, and those type of guys are more valuable than draft picks. But for the most part, signing a bunch of 'names' is overrated anymore.
All you have to do is take one look at the Seahawks roster to see how it's done. Sure, they might have issues here in a year or two re-signing all of the great young players they've drafted, but at the same time, they've set themselves up with a chance to win multiple Super Bowls before all of their rookie contracts expire.
There's nothing wrong with signing a big name player, but teams really need to think about 'what is this player going to contribute', rather than 'what have they contributed'. So with all that in mind, let's take a look at the top 20 available unrestricted NFL free agents:
Boldin has proven himself as a huge commodity during the playoffs. For that reason alone, he's worth picking up for contending teams.
DRC says he thinking about retiring. If he doesn't, some team is going to pay him a bunch of money.
Decker isn't ever going to be a No. 1 receiver, but he'll sure make a solid No. 2 for a new team in 2014.
Mack is the best available center this year. For that reason alone, he'll sign a lucrative deal.
Coming off a SB season where he totaled 8.5 sacks, Bennett's stock is pretty high right now. All indications are that he wants to stay in Seattle, but he's also repeated that the NFL is a business.
Even though he's coming off a torn ACL, Maclin is still the top WR free agent this year. The odds are that he'll end up back in Philly, though.
Davis is going to be due a huge raise wherever he signs in 2014. His expiring contract was worth about $2.2 million per season.
A fully healthy Pitta is going to be a huge asset to some team in 2014. More than likely that team will be the Ravens, but you never know.
Depending on who you ask, Joseph is the top DT available this year. However, he's going to be due a substantial raise from his former average salary of just over $1 million. The odds are that his time in New York is up.
Grimes fought back from injury and had a great 2013 season with the Dolphins. Now, he's set himself up for a big payday in 2014. Will he return to South Beach?
Houston is no doubt a star on the rise after a very solid 2013 campaign of 69 tackles and six sacks.
The Patriots definitely want Talib back, but you never know how free agency is going to turn out in New England. He's proven himself to be one of the best DBs in football over the last couple of years (when healthy).
Monroe is a proven left tackle. Therefore, he's going to get paid this offseason. Will it be the Ravens stepping up to re-sign him, or will he take his talents elsewhere?
Ward is a key piece of the Browns solid defense. But with the franchise seemingly in a state of constant flux, will he want out of Cleveland? Most teams would love to have him if so.
After being moved to RT in Kansas City, it's very possible that Albert's days as a Chief are over. He's the top tackle available this year and someone is going to show him the money.
Verner sounds like a guy who's going to re-sign with Tennessee, but there's no guarantee of that. When you're the top cornerback available, anything is possible.
Johnson has declared that he'll hit the free agent market this spring and most don't think there's much of a chance that he'll return to Cincinnati. At only 27-years of age, there's plenty of prime left for Johnson and whoever signs him.
Coming off his third Pro Bowl season, Orakpo is one of the top free agents in 2014. The Redskins rightfully want him back, but they're going to have to really open up their check book. The franchise tag is also a real possibility for Orakpo.
The Bills couldn't come to an agreement with Byrd last year, so it's very possible that the same could happen this year. He's worth the money he'll get, but is his heart in Buffalo?
Hardy has already made headlines by saying that the Panthers need to pay him a 'crapload' of money. He said it jokingly, but if they don't, he could easily go to a team willing to pony up the necessary funds.