The best NFL free agents available
Even with the best parts of the NFL offseason behind us, the remaining NFL free agents in 2023 are nothing to scoff at. The good news is that most fans don’t need an explanation about the free NFL agency or worry about the franchise tag at this point.
It’s all about evaluating the best available NFL free agents before training camp begins and figuring out where they fit best.
Ranking of Remaining NFL Free Agents 2023
Most years it’s difficult to find too many decision makers at this late stage in free agency. However, many of the remaining NFL free agents in 2023 are players who can make a difference with any team that eventually signs them. It’s almost shocking to see that all these players are still unsigned. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 NFL free agents available for the summer.
There aren’t any big-name offensive linemen in the free agent market right now, but Dalton Risner isn’t a bad option for teams that need help in this area. He has 62 games experience and has started nearly every game for the Broncos for the past four seasons.
In fairness, Denver’s offensive line was somewhat problematic at the time. But Risner has been solid at guard and reckons he has many good years ahead. Of course, Risner is still available because he won’t sign for less than he’s worth. However, there are many teams out there that could use him.
Needless to say, Akiem Hicks is no spring chicken. He’s 33 and showing signs of aging, having played 11 games at most in three of the last four seasons. Gone are the days when he collected seven or eight sacks in a season.
But there’s a lot to be said for a defensive lineman with his experience who can still fight in the trenches and be a role model for other players. While he can’t snap as many as he’s used to, Hicks should still be a valuable figure for a team looking for help on the defensive line, so a re-signing with the Buccaneers isn’t out of the question.
Teams still looking for a wide receiver certainly won’t find the version of Jarvis Landry, who attended five straight Pro Bowls earlier in his career. But there’s a good chance they won’t even get the player who only had 25 catches for the Saints last year.
It would be unfair to judge Landry after a troubled season on the New Orleans offense. He’s certainly not a star and probably not even a starter anymore. But Landry’s experience and track record should surely make him an NFL asset for some teams next season.
The linebacker position was a bit understaffed in this year’s draft class, making it all the more puzzling that Deion Jones is still available on the open market. While he had a poor season in Cleveland last year, Jones previously had more than 100 tackles for the Falcons.
He won’t turn 29 until November, so there’s plenty of reason to think Jones still has some good years ahead and can enjoy a resurgent season in 2023.
In all honesty, it should come as no surprise that Jadeveon Clowney is still among the remaining NFL free agents in 2023. He only had two sacks in 12 games for the Browns last year. Clowney was also inactive in the last game of the season due to critical comments about his performance.
In other words, there is some risk in signing the former top overall winner. On the other hand, Clowney is just two years away from collecting nine sacks in 2021. He’s only 30, so if properly motivated, Clowney can still be a useful pass-rushing threat.
Any team will eventually sign him, and there are signs that the Texans, the team that originally drafted Clowney, are interested.
It wasn’t much of a shock when the Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliott. Dallas needed the cap space and Elliott’s role has been shrunk by Tony Pollard’s emergency. It’s also not a huge surprise that it’s still available.
He’s clocked up plenty of miles on his tires in Dallas, and as a running back who turns 28 before the start of the 2023 season, Elliott is likely past his prime.
Still, he’s undoubtedly the best free-agent running back available. Any team looking for a replacement or who didn’t engage in backfield support during the draft should still consider Elliott as an option.
It’s a little hard to see where Marcus Peters fits into the NFL going forward. He hasn’t been a Pro Bowler since 2019 and didn’t play at all in 2021 due to a cruciate ligament rupture. However, he recovered from that injury and started 13 games for the Ravens last year.
Even with his days as a Pro Bowler over, Peters should still be a viable starter. Any team looking to fill a cornerback gap will surely be interested in him. A return to Baltimore seems unlikely, but there should be some suitors for Peters.
Having won two Super Bowls with the Chiefs in the past four seasons, no one can deny that Frank Clark has a track record. Granted, the Kansas City defense was mostly there. But Clark was an important part of that defense.
The problem is that Clark’s production dropped significantly during his four years in Kansas City compared to the first four years of his career in Seattle. Clark has amassed 23.5 sacks over the past four seasons, not counting 10.5 sacks in Kansas City’s 12 playoff games. He’s the type of player who stands out in big moments and that has to be worth something.
From the start of the offseason, Yannick Ngakoue was among the best pass rushers available, so it’s a bit confusing that he stayed around for so long. It’s certain he won’t be returning to Indianapolis after amassing 9.5 sacks for the Colts last season.
Ngakoue also had 10 sacks for the Raiders in 2021, so at age 28 he looks like a good bet to amass double-digit sacks in 2023.
Still, Ngakoue is likely to join his sixth team in five years as soon as anyone can bring themselves to sign him. Unfortunately for him, most teams currently in need of a pass rusher are unlikely to be candidates, which could be the reason he remains unsigned.
Just about every team could use another pass rusher, so it’s surprising that Leonard Floyd is still around this late in the offseason. The Rams fired him in March to make room on the cap, though he’s someone who should have been picked up quickly. The fact that Floyd is now 30 is the only reason teams would hesitate to sign him, especially if he’s hoping for a multi-year deal.
However, since Floyd started every week of the regular season for five consecutive years, he has not been injury-prone in his career. He’s also amassed at least nine sacks in three straight seasons, not counting the sack he had in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. He may not be an elite pass rusher, but he’s a safe bet when it comes to grabbing 8-10 sacks, making him a valuable commodity.