WITH news breaking today that LeGarrette Blount has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles it got me to thinking. There are still plenty of big names on the free agents list that can still benefit teams. Yes, I know it’s not 2012 and some of these dudes aren’t the same kind of dominant. The question remains though, why are they still without a home? Surely some bottom feeder could use one of the talented proven vets, at least to help mould and lead their young guys on the roster. I’m sure these 11 players will have their fingers and toes crossed that they can sign the dotted line as training camp looms on the horizon.
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EVEN though he didn’t produce at the same level as 2015 Barnidge still has plenty to offer a team. The Cleveland Browns tight end had 55 catches for 612 yards in 2016, a season removed from a 1,000 yard output the previous year. My guess is he will be signed in the near future.
STARKS had the opportunity to assert himself in the Packers backfield when Eddie Lacy went down last year. Instead he found himself replaced by Christine Michael and Ty Montgomery in the latter half of the season. With seven years under his belt and over 2,500 career rushing yards Starks can still be deployed in certain situations to help a team.
FLASHBACK to just three or four years ago and Colin Kaepernick was one of the most dynamic, playmaking quarterbacks in the entire NFL. Currently the former 2nd round pick is out of a job. Last year in San Fran he earned more headlines for his off field protests than he did for his work under center, which may have turned some teams off. Kaepernick is no longer same dominant QB now as he was during the 49ers SuperBowl run. He is however, someone who could be a perfect #2 on the depth chart and some injury insurance in case the #1 guy goes down.
OFFENSIVE line is a position that most teams need help in, and most of the squads with immediate needs addressed them either in early free agency or the NFL Draft. There are still some diamonds in the rough left on the free agency scrap heap and King Dunlap could be one of them. Even though he only has one full season in his eight pro years, Dunlap could still add some valuable to depth to a team with O-line shortcomings.
VICTOR Cruz has had a yo-yo type career so far. After starring early in his career and battling injuries in more recent times Cruz finds himself without a team after seven years as a Giant. He still has plenty to offer, but his injury issues may scare some teams off from signing him. The Panthers showed mild interest previously this off-season and I’m sure Cam Newton would happily add more playmakers to his arsenal.
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IT’S unlikely that a starting role is coming to Dumervil at this stage of his career. He can provide some pass rush help though, in small effective bursts. Coming off a season where he recorded nine tackles and three sacks that type of production could be very beneficial to certain squads.
A pair of interceptions, three passes defended and 56 solo tackles aren’t the greatest single season stats of all-time. For the Saints though those stats last year from Jairus Byrd were desperately needed as the defense struggled to contain teams. He may not be the pro bowl talent he once was in Buffalo, but Bird can still contribute, make no mistake.
REVIS Island isn’t quite what it once was. As a result the seven time Pro-Bowler still remains a free agent after the Jets opted to cut him. After a tumultuous off-season Revis may struggle to find a new team, and at the age of 31 his best years are certainly behind him.
ENTERING his 14th season it would be unfair to expect Anquan Boldin to put up serious numbers like he has in the past this season. The NFL journeyman has hauled in TD’s for the Cardinals, Ravens, 49ers and last season with the Lions over his 14 years in the league, and showcased last year how much of a red-zone threat he can still be. If Boldin has anything left in the tank a team that needs a consistent target to catch touchdowns should call him. Now.
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WITH the Steelers drafting James Conner the writing is on the wall for DeAngelo Williams. He was stellar in the first few games last year without Le’Veon Bell, but upon his return Williams struggled for snaps. He can still definitely produce for a team and even at 34 he deserves another contract.
THE veteran tackle Ryan Claddy rounds out the list, with the former 12th overall pick axed in favour of youth at the New York Jets. Injuries have plagued his success in recent years (Claddy’s last 16 game season was 2014) and he may not be available to produce on a week-to-week basis. He still has the talent to be a solid tackle though and as we get closer to training camp Claddy will be snapped up by someone.
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