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Free Agent Tiers – 2016 – 2.0

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Free Agent Tiers – 2016 – 2.0
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The “legal” tampering period is drawing to a close and a lot has already happened. The Free Agent market is beginning to take a definitive shape. Here’s the latest on 2016 NFL Free Agency.

Free Agent Tiers – 2016 – 2.0
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
  • Lamar Miller – Dolphins – Running Back – Miami kept their horse in the stables
  • Janoris Jenkins – Rams – Cornerback

Tier 2 – Plug and Play starters.

  • Doug Martin – Buccaneers – Running Back – Great 2015; Miller > Martin
  • Mario Williams – Bills – Defensive End – has agreed to a 2-year deal worth $ 17 million with the Miami Dolphins; the signing of Williams suggests that DE Cameron Wake will either be released or DE Olivier Vernon’s transition tag will be rescinded.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 talent 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 agreed to terms with the Oakland Raiders; 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 – Fine wine
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick – Jets – Quarterback – Best quarterback on open market
  • Sean Smith – Chiefs – Cornerback
  • Derrick Johnson – Chiefs – Kansas City Chiefs
  • 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
  • Prince Amukamara – Giants – Cornerback
  • Reggie Nelson – Bengals – Safety
  • George Iloka – Bengals – Safety
  • Robert Ayers – Giants – Defensive End
  • Marvin Jones – Bengals – Wide Receiver – Best receiver on open market…sheesh
  • Haloti Ngata – Lions – Defenisve Tackle
  • Donald Penn – Raiders – Offensive Tackle
  • Casey Hayward – Packers – Cornerback
  • Rodney McLeod – Rams – Safety
  • Alex Boone – 49ers – Offensive Guard
  • Brandon Brooks – Texans – Offensive Guard
  • Jahri Evans – Saints – Offensive Guard
  • Alex Mack – Browns – Center –
  • 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
  • Derrick Shelby – Dolphins – Defensive End –
  • Jerrell Freeman – Colts – Linebacker – Second ranked ILB by PFF trailed only Luke Kuechly
  • Ian Williams – 49ers – Defensive Tackle – Best 49er defender in 2015 (better than Bowman?)
  • Kelvin Beachum – Steelers – Offensive Tackle
  • Mitchell Schwartz – Browns – Offensive Tackle
  • Ramon Foster – Steelers – Offensive Guard
  • Rashad Johnson – Cardinals – Safety – 12 INTs over last three seasons
  • Mike Neal – Packers – Linebacker – Swiss Army Knife
  • William Hayes – Rams – Defensive End
  • 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

Tier 4 – Starters w/???

  • Brock Osweiler – Broncos – Quarterback
  • Russell Okung – Seahawks – Offensive Tackle
  • Chris Long – Rams – Defensive End
  • Tashaun Gipson – Browns – Safety
  • Chris Ivory – Jets – Running Back – has agreed to terms with the Jaguars; 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
  • Travis Benjamin – Browns – Wide Receiver
  • 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
  • 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
  • Rishard Matthews – Miami – Wide Receiver
  • Evan Mathis – Broncos – Offensive Guard – Mid 30s, under-went surgery, zone scheme… sign him
  • Nigel Bradham – Bills – Linebacker
  • 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
  • William Moore – Falcons – Safety
  • Jeff Allen – Chiefs – Offensive Guard/Tackle
  • Tyvon Branch – Chiefs – Safety
  • Jerraud Powers – Cardinals – Cornerback
  • Jeremy Lane – Seahawks – 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.

Tier 5 – Role players deserving a home.

  • Nick Fairley – Rams – Defensive Tackle
  • B.J. Raji – Packers – Nose Guard
  • Coby Fleener – Colts – Tight End
  • Anquan Boldin – 49ers – Wide Receiver
  • Alfred Morris – Redskins – Running Back
  • Mohamed Sanu – Bengals – Wide Receiver
  • Chase Daniel – Chiefs – 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
  • Bilal Powell – Jets – Running Back
  • Brian Quick – Rams – Wide Receiver
  • David Bruton – Broncos – Safety
  • Brandon Mebane – Seahawks – Defensive Tackle
  • 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
  • Jason Jones – Lions – Defenisve End
  • Colt McCoy – Redskins – Quarterback
  • Ronnie Hillman – Broncos – Running Back
  • Jermaine Gresham – Cardinals – Tight End
  • Henry Melton – Buccaneers – Defensive Tackle
  • Mike DeVito – Chiefs – Defensive End
  • Tracy Porter – Bears – Cornerback
  • 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
  • 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.

 

 

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