THERE isn’t a lot to talk about in NFL circles during the summer months. The dead period of the football calendar doesn’t create a lot of noteworthy news with the colour of players shoes about as interesting as it gets. While we wait for teams to retake to the field a few noteworthy free agents are still left twiddling their thumbs hoping that one of the 32 franchises comes calling. It’s surprising to see some of the 10 players below still unsigned and there is still some talented guys who could be solid contributors in the right scenario.
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Jay Cutler, QB
IT’S highly unlikely that Jay Cutler will be doning cleats again in the NFL. After retiring at the end of the 2016 season to become a sportscaster he backflipped on his decision signing with the Miami Dolphins. An uninspiring 14 games in which Cutler went 6-8 and threw for just over 2,500 yards won’t see teams begging the 35-year old to stay in the league.
Dez Bryant, WR
DEZ Bryant is the biggest name on the list of free agents still searching for a new home. A combination of his declining athleticism and demand for a big payday has seen him go untouched so far this offseason and his best days are probably behind him. No longer a go-to receiver Bryant could play second or third fiddle in a talented group, but he would have to adjust his game. With nearly 7,500 career receiving yards surely he won’t remain unsigned for much longer…right?
Eric Reid, SS
MISSING big chunks of games in recent seasons leaves Eric Reid off the mind of NFL executives. The young safety could turn things around and string some appearances together and revive his career. To do so, he needs someone to take a chance on him and at the moment it doesn’t look like there are many believers.
Tre Boston, CB
BOSTON took a gamble on himself signing a one-year ‘prove it’ deal with the Chargers after failing to live up to expectations in Carolina. Betting on himself paid off, with many expecting Boston to be snapped up by a franchise in need of an awesome corner. If you ask me it’s only a matter of time until he lands on his feet, but the clock is ticking…
NaVorro Bowman, LB
INJURY history will play a factor in a lot of NFL players going unnoticed in free agency. One such player is NaVorro Bowman, who still finds himself on the scrap heap after the Raiders failed to offer him a new deal. A long-term contract is probably out of the question, but he still deserves to be signed by someone.
Antonio Gates, TE
THE Chargers were rocked a few weeks ago by the injury to their promising young tight end Hunter Henry. He was expected to take the full-time starter role from Antonio Gates who spent all of his career as a member of the Chargers. Do the right thing LA, bring Gates back for one last ride.
Johnathan Hankins, DE
SCHEMATICALLY Hankins isn’t a part of the Colts plans anymore. That doesn’t mean the 325-pound monster is uselss though, with his talents stuffing the run still a draw card for some teams. He will find himself a new home before long and at 26 his best days may still be ahead of him.
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DeMarco Murray, RB
GONE are the days of peak DeMarco Murray. Hamstring issues were part of the blame last season as the 30-year old totalled a career low in rushing yards and yards per carry. It’s not all doom and gloom for Murray who has proved that he can be a threat in the receiving game too, enought o warrant adding him to your squad. This isn’t the first time that an injury has derailed Murray’s performance and he is quickly running out of chances.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB
YES, he’s old and yes we have seen the best from Rodger-Cromartie. That doesn’t mean he is washed though and DRC can still be a contributor for an NFL team. Clashing with a handful of coaches and having a down season by his standards means he is still waiting for his phone to ring. He’s good wnough to give a one-year deal to though and I’ll be stunned if he stays unsigned when the season gets underway.
Kenny Vaccaro, S/CB
AFTER an indifferent 2017 season Vaccaro finds himself unsigned entering the second week of June. The former Saint showed plenty of flashes over his five seasons in the bayou. Injuries plagued his previous campaign and if he can stay on the field there’s a chance the versatile defender can live up to his potential.
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