Monday and Tuesday have been absolute whirlwinds of activity during the legal tampering period, and a lot of the top available free agent talent across the NFL has been spoken for with free agency not even set to begin yet until late Wednesday. So, with free agency set to officially start on Wednesday afternoon and the Seattle Seahawks having remained quiet through the first couple of days of activity, let’s take a look at the top players who are still available.
Obviously, there are any number of rankings available regarding the best free agents available, but I’ll simply be looking at the players ranked towards the top of the NFL.com top 101 free agents that have yet to commit to a team. So, without beating around the bush, let’s get right to the list of players still available.
2. Safety Earl Thomas
This is a name that is obviously well known to fans of the Seattle Seahawks, many of whom are still clamoring for the team to retain his services. That seems like a pipe dream following the drama and lack of communication between the two sides, according to John Schneider at his Combine press conference. In addition, rumors have emerged that Thomas could be working out a deal with the Cleveland Browns, to join a team that is suddenly loaded with playmakers and looking to potentially compete in a depleted AFC North.
8. Edge Justin Houston
The Kansas City Chiefs had an absolutely atrocious defense during the 2018 season, so to address that the team cut Houston and late Tuesday agreed to trade Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2020 second round pick. Houston turned 30 in January and has yet to hit double digits in sacks in a season since leading the NFL with 22 in 2014. From that perspective, it may be understandable why the Chiefs decided to move on, so it will certainly be interesting to watch what kind of market develops for his services.
9. Linebacker K.J. Wright
Wright, like both Thomas and Houston, will be playing in his age 30 season in 2019. Add in the knee injury that bothered him for the majority of the 2018 campaign, and it’s no real surprise that he has yet to find a home. That said, as noted Tuesday, the market for run stopping linebackers has taken off this free agent period, so it’s entirely possible that a team that missed out on Kwon Alexander or C.J. Mosley could be ready to put big money in front of Wright.
12. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh
Suh, who made it to the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, after years of not even making the playoffs with the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins, is again looking for a home. After being cut by Miami last offseason, Suh played on a one-year deal for the Rams, and now could potentially cash in on one last contract. The defensive tackle market has seen a small amount of movement over the first couple of days, with Sheldon Richardson (number 10 available free agent per NFL.com) and Malik Jackson (number 33) signing contracts, but the run stuffing DT market has yet to see much activity. Between his age and contract demands, Suh may remain available for some time.
15. Edge Ziggy Ansah
Ansah, like Houston, is another edge rusher available who will be 30 during the 2019 campaign. Ansah started just two games in 2018, and played in just seven, while battling a shoulder injury which he reportedly had surgically repaired. Reports indicate that Ansah has free agent visits lined up with the Buffalo Bills and the New Orleans Saints, presumably for team medical staffs to evaluate his surgically repaired shoulder, so it is not a surprise that his market has yet to fully develop. That is something to keep in mind for both Thomas and Wright as well, as players are not allowed to visit team medical facilities until the official opening of free agency at 4 pm Wednesday. Once that deadline has passed, there should start to be more movement of older players coming off a 2018 campaign that involved an injury limiting their playing time.
17. Running back Tevin Coleman
Coleman will be just 26 years old this next season, and has amassed over 2,000 yards rushing during his four seasons in the NFL. In addition, he has over 1,000 yards receiving in his career, while averaging 30 receptions per season over the past three years. The running back market has been cool across the NFL, but a reunion with Kyle Shanahan might not be out of the question depending on how things work out.
18. Cornerback Ron Darby
Yet another defensive player coming off injury. Darby suffered a torn ACL in Week 10. There are rumors that teams are interested in him, but just as noted with Ansah, Thomas and Wright, don’t expect a whole lot of activity until teams have a chance to inspect his surgically repaired knee firsthand.
19. Tackle Daryl Williams
If you’re noticing a trend among the top available free agents, you should. It’s Coleman, Suh and a bunch of players who missed significant time in 2018 due to injury. Williams originally injured his knee during training camp, but then recovered enough to start Week 1. That recovery proved to be short lived, however, when Williams went down for the season during the opening weekend. Thus, Williams is yet another player in the top 20 available free agents who will be coming off of injury, and who teams will want a chance to evaluate medically before making a final decision, lest they end up with Luke Joeckel.
21. Tight end Jared Cook
Cook had a career year in 2018, and players who post career bests season at 31 aren’t typically great bets to continue to produce. That said, Cook was among the extremely limited number of options that Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders had offensively this past season. Teams seem unlikely to break the bank for Cook, but his speed and ability should find him employment for this upcoming season, especially considering the otherwise complete lack of any playmakers at the position available.
And those are all the players that remain available from the NFL.com top 101 free agents, even though free agency does not officially start until 4 pm New York time Wednesday.