2014 NFL Free Agency: Power Ranking the Top 15 Offensive Skill Players
The Top 15 Free Agent Offensive Skill Players in 2014
The 2014 NFL Free Agency period is set to begin officially on March 11th, and there are still plenty of decisions to be made prior to that date. Already, teams are re-signing the players they feel most important to a run in 2014-2015 and attempting to figure out which guys they want to let go into the free agent pool.
This offseason, we will see quite a few notable free agents hit the market. Defensively, you will see names such as Greg Hardy, Jared Allen, Henry Melton, Brian Orakpo, Aqib Talib, Donte Whitner and many more.
Offensively, though, there are just as many intriguing players that will be searching for new deals. The quarterback market is quite thin, with the biggest names being Michael Vick, Josh McCown and Matt Cassel. However, when looking at the skill positions, the talent jumps out a lot more.
For teams needing a running back or wide receiver, there will be plenty to choose from come March. There is even a nice group of tight ends that could be playing elsewhere next season. Whatever your team’s need may be on offense, in terms of skill players, there will be no shortage of options.
Some of the more recognizable names in this group are: Andre Brown, Riley Cooper, Denario Alexander, Emmanuel Sanders, Donald Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ted Ginn, Rashard Mendenhall and Dexter McCluster. As good of a fit some of them may be on your team, none of those guys crack the top 15 available – that’s just how deep the free agency pool is.
Speaking of top 15, here they are -- check out the top 15 available free agents at the offensive skill positions.
15. Dennis Pitta
Dennis Pitta was injured for the majority of the 2013 season and finished with 20 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown. The 28-year old tight end was missed dearly by the Baltimore Ravens offense that struggled often last year.
14. Golden Tate
One of the fan favorites on the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver Golden Tate could end up being swooped up by another team if he can’t get paid enough by the world champions.
13. Jermichael Finley
Having been inconsistent for the larger part of his career, tight end Jermichael Finley still presents plenty of matchup problems and is one of the more athletic guys in the game at his position.
12. Maurice Jones-Drew
Maurice Jones-Drew will likely want to start wherever he goes, but at this point in his career he might end up being the best complementary back in the league if he is all right with that.
11. Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden just cannot stay healthy. That’s the biggest problem for the would-be superstar running back. Like Jones-Drew, he could wind up being a very solid complementary running back in 2014.
10. Anquan Boldin
Age is just a number, and Anquan Boldin has proved that time and time again. I am sure the San Francisco 49ers would like to keep him, but if he doesn’t get a deal before March, you can guarantee he is as good as gone.
9. James Jones
Could the Green Bay Packers’ wide receiving core become even thinner? After watching Greg Jennings leave a year ago, James Jones could end up in another uniform as well.
8. Julian Edelman
One of Tom Brady’s most reliable targets last season, Julian Edelman will be in high demand. He’s a guy that just plain catches the football, and there are teams that would kill for someone who does that as consistently as Edelman.
7. Jeremy Maclin
After missing last season with a torn ACL, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin would like to return to the Philadelphia Eagles. But, the money could still be waiting for him elsewhere.
6. Knowshon Moreno
The value of Knowshon Moreno absolutely skyrocketed last year when he became the every-down back the Denver Broncos were looking for. Being able to run and catch the ball makes him an attractive free agent-to-be.
5. Rashad Jennings
After taking over for the injured McFadden last year, Rashad Jennings exploded onto the scene and looked like a completely different player from a year ago. He might get a shot to compete for a starting job depending on where he lands.
4. Ben Tate
Arguably the top free agent running back, Ben Tate should be thinking way outside of Houston. There is no way he wants to start next year as a backup, nor should he.
3. Hakeem Nicks
The New York Giants probably won’t bring Hakeem Nicks back, which would be a good decision. With a fresh start, though, Nicks could be a prime receiver in the right situation. He has all the tools; he just needs to put them together.
2. Eric Decker
The best free agent wide receiver will be one of Peyton Manning’s lethal weapons over the last two seasons. Eric Decker would be welcomed back in Denver, but will they be able to pay him enough?
1. Jimmy Graham
This is a no-brainer. Obviously, the New Orleans Saints would love to get Jimmy Graham a contract extension, or at least the franchise tag. But, if they somehow cannot manage to bring him back, he’ll have plenty of suitors as the number one skill player on the market.