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Free Agent Tiers – 2016 – 3.0

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Free Agent Tiers – 2016 – 3.0
CPGM Juice

Free Agency is officially here! Many of the BIG Free Agent targets have signed on the dotted line but there are plenty of dominos that have yet to fall into place.

Free Agent Tiers – 2016 – 3.0
NOTE: Tiers 2, 3, and 4 have comparable talent but differ in terms of age, injury history, character concerns, and household name value.

 

Tier 1 – Franchise Cornerstones… maybe.

  • Malik Jackson – Broncos – Defenisve End/Tackle – has agreed to terms on a 6-year $90 million deal with Jacksonville Jaguars; the deal includes $42 million in guaranteed money making Jackson one of the highest paid defenders in league history; Jackson was a force in Denver and will lead the Jags’ defense in a pivotal season for fourth year head coach Gus Bradley.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul – Giants – Defensive End – has signed a one-year deal with the New York Giants worth up to $10.5 million; JPP’s market was volatile and he opted to re-sign with the only team he has ever played for as he attempts to prove that his hand injury (fireworks accident) will not affect his ability to wrap up and finish plays.
  • Danny Trevathan – Broncos – Linebacker – has signed a 4-year deal worth $28 million with the Chicago Bears; Trevathan graded out as the #6 ILB by PFF in 2015; prognosticators are split on Trevathan’s impact, some believe him to be a decent player that had success because he was surrounded by great players in Denver’s defense; I believe Trevathan was a play-making difference-maker in the heart of the Broncos defense competent against the rush and the pass; a true three-down linebacker.
  • Lamar Miller – Dolphins – Running Back – has signed with the Houston Texans on a 4-year $26 million deal; not yet 25-years-old Miller has averaged 4.6 yards per carry throughout his young career; durable with home run speed and receiving chops Miller will join DeAndre Hopkins as the focal points of the Texans’ offense.
  • Janoris Jenkins – Rams – Cornerback – has signed with the New York Giants on a 5-year $62.5 million deal that includes $29 million guaranteed; Jenkins is a talented cornerback but gambles a bit too much in coverage; he’s allowed 22 TD passes over four seasons but also has the most defensive touchdowns (6) by a defender during that time span.
  • Olivier Vernon – Dolphins – Miami – has signed a 5-year $85 million deal with the New York Giants; the deal includes $40 million in guaranteed money; Vernon has lived in the shadow of Cameron Wake and most recently Ndamukong Suh but is a young, consistent pass rusher entering his prime; Vernon graded out as the best 4-3 defensive end in 2015 totaling 81 combined sacks, hits, and hurries; Vernon will bookend JPP.

Tier 2 – Plug and Play starters.

  • Doug Martin – Buccaneers – Running Back – has re-signed with the Buccaneers on a 5-year $35.75 million deal; Martin stayed healthy and ran with a physicality and determination that we haven’t seen since his rookie season;the Bucs retain the NFL’s second leading rusher (2015).
  • Mario Williams – Bills – Defensive End – has agreed to a 2-year deal worth $ 17 million with the Miami Dolphins; the signing of Williams led to DE Olivier Vernon’s transition tag will be rescinded.
  • Kelechi Osemele – Ravens – Offensive Guard/Tackle – has an agreement in place with the Oakland Raiders on a 5-year $60 million deal; the versatile and talented o-lineman was easily the best offensive lineman available via free agency; this is one of the more astute free agent signings the Raiders have made in recent years.
  • Bruce Irvin – Seahawks – Linebacker – has signed with the Oakland Raiders on a 4-year $37 million deal; Irvin has demonstrated the ability to consistently hold up against the run and offers some pass rushing ability as a strong side linebacker or a down lineman in pass rushing situations; Irvin has averaged just over 5.0 sacks a year through four full seasons.
  • Eric Weddle – Chargers – Safety
  • Matt Forte – Bears – Running Back – the long time Bear has agreed to terms with the New York Jets.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick – Jets – Quarterback – Best quarterback on open market
  • Sean Smith – Chiefs – Cornerback
  • Derrick Johnson – Chiefs – Kansas City Chiefs – has re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on a 3-year $21 million deal; the ageless wonder lead the Chiefs with 116 tackles and tallied four sacks after missing most of the 2014 season with an Achilles injury.
  • Tamba Hali – Chiefs – Linebacker – has re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on a 3-year $22 million deal; no longer a dominant defender, Hali is still a capable pass rusher in one-on-one matchups.
  • Damon Harrison – Jets – Nose Tackle – has signed with the New York Giants on a 5-year $46.25 million deal that includes $24 million in guaranteed money; the 2-down run stopper ranked second against the run according to PFF among interior defensive linemen in 2015; “Snacks” will be the pivot flanked by Olivier Vernon and JPP.
  • Prince Amukamara – Giants – Cornerback
  • Reggie Nelson – Bengals – Safety
  • George Iloka – Bengals – Safety – has re-signed with the Bengals on a 5-year $30 million deal.
  • Robert Ayers – Giants – Defensive End
  • Marvin Jones – Bengals – Wide Receiver – has signed with the Detroit Lions on a 5-year $40 million deal with $17 million in guaranteed money; Jones was the class of a weak free agent receiver crop and will be expected along with incumbent Golden Tate and TE Eric Ebron to replace the production of recently retired Calvin Johnson. 
  • Haloti Ngata – Lions – Defenisve Tackle – has re-signed with the Detroit Lions on a 2-year $12 million deal and will continue to anchor the interior of the Lions’ defensive line.
  • Donald Penn – Raiders – Offensive Tackle
  • Casey Hayward – Packers – Cornerback
  • Rodney McLeod – Rams – Safety – has signed a 5-year $37 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles; McLeod graded out as the 10th best safety in 2015 by PFF.
  • Alex Boone – 49ers – Offensive Guard – has signed a 4-year $26.8 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Brandon Brooks – Texans – Offensive Guard – has signed with the Eagles on a 5-year deal worth $40 million.
  • Jahri Evans – Saints – Offensive Guard
  • Alex Mack – Browns – Center – has signed with the Atlanta Falcons on a 5-year $47.5 million deal to re-unite with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
  • Brandon Boykin – Steelers – Cornerback
  • Charles Johnson – Panthers – Defensive End – has re-signed with the Panthers on a one-year $3 million deal after an injury riddled 2015 season; at 29-years-old Johnson is still a difference-maker and reportedly turned down more money elsewhere to stay in Carolina; Johnson tallied 9 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles during the Panthers’ 2015 playoff run.
  • Louis Vasquez – Broncos – Offensive Guard

Tier 3 – Good players you’ve never heard of.

  • Jaye Howard – Chiefs – Defensive End/Tackle – has re-signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on a 2-year $12 million deal after grading out positively against the run and logging a career high 5.5 sacks in 2015.
  • Derrick Shelby – Dolphins – Defensive End – has signed a 4-year $18 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons; Shelby ranked 10th among 4-3 defensive ends in 2015 by PFF.
  • Jerrell Freeman – Colts – Linebacker – Second ranked ILB by PFF trailed only Luke Kuechly
  • Ian Williams – 49ers – Defensive Tackle – has re-signed with he 49ers on a 5-year deal.
  • Kelvin Beachum – Steelers – Offensive Tackle
  • Mitchell Schwartz – Browns – Offensive Tackle
  • Ramon Foster – Steelers – Offensive Guard – has re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a 3-year pact.
  • Rashad Johnson – Cardinals – Safety – 12 INTs over last three seasons
  • Mike Neal – Packers – Linebacker – Swiss Army Knife
  • William Hayes – Rams – Defensive End – has re-signed with the Rams on a 3-year $17.5 million deal and is expected to replace Chris Long in the starting lineup.
  • Akiem Hicks – Patriots – Defensive Tackle – Only Chandler Jones was better on New England’s D-line
  • Tahir Whitehead – Lions – Linebacker – Overshadowed by Tulloch and Levy
  • Zach Brown – Titans – Linebacker
  • Vincent Rey – Bengals – Linebacker
  • Jeremy Lane – Seahawks – Cornerback – has re-signed with the Seahawks on a 4-year deal; the 26-year-old slot corner is one of the unsung heroes on Seattle’s defense and help stabilized their pass defense in 2015 once he returned from injury.
  • Isa Abdul-Quddus – Lions – Safety – has signed a 3-year $12.75 million deal with the Miami Dolphins; Abdul-Quddus graded out as the top safety in the league from Week 10 thru Week 17 according to PFF.

Tier 4 – Starters w/???

  • Brock Osweiler – Broncos – Quarterback – has signed with the Houston Texans with a 4-year $72 million deal; Osweiler is 5-2 in 7 career starts but had uneven performances throughout the 7-game stretch; it’s GREAT being an NFL Quarterback.
  • Russell Okung – Seahawks – Offensive Tackle
  • Chris Long – Rams – Defensive End
  • Tashaun Gipson – Browns – Safety – has agreed on a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars for 5-years $35.5 million; Gipson had a down 2015 campaign after an impressive 2014 breakout; expected to have a clean bill of health heading into 2016 the ball-hawking safety could form an impressive duo with “box” safety Jonathan Cyprien.
  • Chris Ivory – Jets – Running Back – has signed with the Jaguars on a 5-year $32.5 million deal; with incumbent T.J. Yeldon and Ivory in the fold the Jaguars have the makings of a talented backfield duo.
  • Andre Smith – Bengals – Offensive Tackle
  • Walter Thurmond – Eagles – Safety
  • LaDarius Green – Chargers – Tight End
  • Aldon Smith – Raiders – Linebacker
  • Antonio Gates – Chargers – Tight End – has re-signed with the Chargers on a 2-year $12 million deal.
  • Travis Benjamin – Browns – Wide Receiver – has signed a 4-year $24 million deal with the San Diego Chargers; Benjamin will serve as a legitimate deep threat for Phillip Rivers opposite Keenan Allen.
  • Dwayne Allen – Colts – Tight End – has agreed to a 4-year $29.4 million deal to re-sign with the Colts; Allen has a long injury history but is a complete player in a tight end starved league; the Colts did an awful job of utilizing Allen in the offense in 2015 but this contract suggests a significant increase in his role moving forward.
  • Adam Jones – Bengals – Cornerback – has re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals on a 3-year deal; the 33-year-old is still playing at a high level and has enjoyed some of his best years on and of the field in Cincy.
  • Greg Hardy – Cowboys – Defensive End
  • Richie Incognito – Bills – Offensive Guard – has agreed to a 3-year deal worth $15.75 million to remain in Buffalo; the controversial left guard made the Pro Bowl last season.
  • Mark Barron – Rams – Linebacker – has re-signed with the Rams on a 5-year $45 million deal; Barron successfully transitioned from safety to linebacker after he flamed out in Tampa Bay; he’s proven to be a solid linebacker with some playmaking ability but a $9 million annual salary is a stretch to say the least; Barron fits the profile of today’s 4-3 outside linebacker.
  • Rishard Matthews – Miami – Wide Receiver
  • Evan Mathis – Broncos – Offensive Guard – Mid 30s, under-went surgery, zone scheme… sign him
  • Nigel Bradham – Bills – Linebacker – one of three former Bills (Jim Schwartz) defenders that has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles; Bradham graded out last among 4-3 LBs according to PFF and was a poor systemic fit in Rex Ryan’s defense; the dollar amount is unknown but the deal is for two years.
  • Junior Galette – Redskins – Linebacker
  • Stephen Tulloch – Lions – Linebacker
  • Patrick Robinson – Chargers – Cornerback
  • William Gay – Steelers – Cornerback – has re-signed with the Steelers on a 3-year deal; Gay was by far the most consistent defensive back in Pittsburgh in 2015 ranking 34 out of 118 among cornerbacks according to PFF.
  • Joe Barksdale – Chargers – Offensive Tackle – has re-signed with the San Diego Chargers on a 4-year deal worth $22.2 million and $10.5 million guaranteed; Barksdale is an average to above average right tackle and was the Chargers’ most consistent offensive lineman among a poor group in 2015. 
  • Stefen Wisniewski – Jaguars – Center
  • Rueben Randle – Giants – Wide Receiver
  • Zach Miller – Bears – Tight End
  • Jarvis Jenkins – Bears – Defensive End
  • Benjamin Watson – Saints – Tight End – has signed a 2-year deal worth $8 million with the Baltimore Ravens; Watson at 35-years-old set career highs in receptions (74), receiving yards (825), and tied his career high in TD receptions (6).
  • Rolando McClain – Cowboys – Linebacker – has re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal worth $5 million.
  • William Moore – Falcons – Safety
  • Jeff Allen – Chiefs – Offensive Guard/Tackle – has signed a 4-year $28 million deal with the Houston Texans.
  • Tyvon Branch – Chiefs – Safety – has signed a 2-year $10 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Jerraud Powers – Cardinals – Cornerback
  • Will Beatty – Giants – Offensive Tackle
  • James Laurinaitis – Rams – Linebacker
  • Jermon Bushrod – Bears – Offensive Tackle
  • Donald Stephenson – Chiefs – Offensive Tackle – is expected to sign with the Denver Broncos adding much needed depth to a shaky offensive line.
  • Ben Jones – Texans – Center – has agreed to terms on a 4-year deal with the Tennessee Titans; graded No. 22 of 40 centers by PFF; the Titans are making a concerted effort to improve their offensive line; they are expected to move incumbent LT Taylor Lewan to right tackle and select LT Laremy Tunsil with the first overall selection in the 2016 Draft; the Titans are expected to finalize a trade for RB Demarco Murray as well.
  • Chad Greenway – Vikings – Linebacker
  • Sean Weatherspoon – Cardinals – Linebacker – Another favorite of mine, can’t stay healthy
  • Antonio Cromartie – Jets – Cornerback
  • Greg Toler – Colts – Cornerback
  • Mike Wallace – Vikings – Wide Receiver
  • Robert Griffin III – Redskins – Quarterback – Worth a roll of the dice as a back-up/developmental option at QB in 2016.
  • J.R. Sweezy – Seahawks – Offensive Guard – has signed a 5-year $32.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Sweezy is expected to replace recently retired Logan Mankins.
  • Bobbie Massie – Cardinals – Offensive Tackle – the Chicago Bears have signed Massie to a 3-year $18 million deal.

Tier 5 – Role players deserving a home.

  • Nick Fairley – Rams – Defensive Tackle
  • B.J. Raji – Packers – Nose Guard
  • Coby Fleener – Colts – Tight End – has signed with the New Orleans Saints on a whopping 5-year $36 million deal; Fleener is a capable move tight end but he is an average run blocker at best and lacks top end athleticism; his counting stats will look good in a Sean Payton offense led by Drew Brees but his price tag raises an eyebrow.
  • Anquan Boldin – 49ers – Wide Receiver
  • Alfred Morris – Redskins – Running Back
  • Mohamed Sanu – Bengals – Wide Receiver
  • Chase Daniel – Chiefs – Quarterback – has joined former offensive coordinator Doug Pederson in Philadelphia on a 3-year deal worth up to $36 million with incentives; it’s good to be an NFL Quarterback.
  • Cedric Thornton – Eagles – Defensive End – Classic 5-technique offers no pass rush
  • Terrance Knighton – Redskins – Nose Guard
  • Jermaine Kearse – Seahawks – Wide Receiver
  • Percy Harvin – Bills – Wide Receiver
  • Dwight Freeney – Cardinals – Defenisve End/Linebacker
  • Courtney Upshaw – Ravens – Linebacker
  • LeGarrette Blount – Patriots – Running Back
  • Leon Hall – Bengals – Cornerback
  • Nick Perry – Packers – Linebacker
  • Nolan Carroll – Eagles – Cornerback
  • Michael Griffin – Titans – Safety – has signed a one-year $3 million deal to join the Minnesota Vikings; the veteran safety’s play has deteriorated in recent seasons but head coach Mike Zimmer has demonstrated the ability to extend careers and get the most out of a defensive back regardless of his age.
  • Bilal Powell – Jets – Running Back
  • Mike Tolbert – Panthers – Fullback – has re-signed with the Panthers on a 2-year deal worth up to $4 million.
  • Brian Quick – Rams – Wide Receiver – has re-signed with the L.A. Rams on a one-year deal worth up to $3.75 million.
  • David Bruton – Broncos – Safety
  • Brandon Mebane – Seahawks – Defensive Tackle – has signed a 3-year deal worth $13.5 million to help bolster a poor San Diego Chargers’ run defense.
  • James Starks – Packers – Running Back
  • Chris Johnson – Cardinals – Running Back – I’d like to see him back in Arizona
  • Adrian Clayborn – Falcons – Defensive Tackle/End
  • Steve McLendon – Steelers – Nose Guard
  • Tyrunn Walker – Lions – Defensive Tackle – has re-signed with the Lions.
  • Jason Jones – Lions – Defenisve End
  • Ronnie Hillman – Broncos – Running Back
  • Emmanuel Lamur – Bengals – Linebacker – has signed a 2-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
  • Jermaine Gresham – Cardinals – Tight End
  • Henry Melton – Buccaneers – Defensive Tackle
  • Mike DeVito – Chiefs – Defensive End
  • Tracy Porter – Bears – Cornerback – has re-signed with the Chicago Bears on a 3-year $16.5 million deal.
  • Terrence Newman – Vikings – Cornerback
  • Husain Abdullah – Chiefs – Safety – It’s almost as if every defender on the Chiefs’ roster is on this list
  • Chris Clark – Texans – Offensive Tackle – has re-signed with the Houston Texans and is expected to serve as a swing tackle and insurance for LT Duane Brown.
  • Drew Stanton – Cardinals – Quarterback – has re-signed with the Cardinals on a 2-year $6.5 million deal; Stanton is a competent backup, a rarity in today’s NFL.
  • Bruce Carter – Buccaneers – Linebacker
  • Jonathan Grimes – Texans – Running Back
  • Matt Cassel – Cowboys – Quarterback – has signed a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans.
  • Matt Schaub – Ravens – Falcons – has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Leodis McKelvin – Bills – Cornerback – has agreed to a 2-year $6.2 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Owen Daniels – Broncos – Tight End
  • Dashon Goldson – Redskins – Safety
  • Andre Johnson – Colts – Wide Receiver – H.O.F. type career but a shadow of his former self.
  • Ron Brooks – Bills – Cornerback – has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a 3-year $6 million deal.
  • Marcedes Lewis – Jaguars – Tight End – has re-signed with Jacksonville on a 3-year $12 million deal; Lewis has made a healthy living as a blocking tight end in Duval.
  • Dwight Lowery – Colts – Safety – has signed a 3-year deal with the San Diego Chargers and will serve as a stop gap for Eric Weddle.

 

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