NFL Free Agency: 5 That Need to Be Signed
No one is really thinking about the NFL right now. They’re thinking even less about the best free agents still hanging around on the open market. In fact, the free agency market everyone cares about is probably the NBA’s, as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony dominate television and radio.
With that being said, that’s going to change fairly quickly. Not only will the focus shift to the NFL soon after those high profile players announce where they’ll be playing, but the league’s activity will be picking up by the end of the month, as well.
Naturally, as things start to get back in that regular season flow, the big name free agents still sitting without a team are going to heat up a bit.
There’s at least five quality players out there that can absolutely help out an NFL squad. Let’s see who they are and figure out where their best fit might be for the 2014 NFL season:
1. Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers
Finley is without a doubt the most talented free agent left in free agency. The only issue is a neck injury he suffered last year that ended his 2013 season and created doubt about him playing football anymore. He says he’s ready to go and wants to return to the Packers, but their medical team is more cautious than most with neck injuries.
A return to Green Bay is one option, but it’s far from a lock at this point. Other teams that could really use help at tight end are the Giants and Falcons.
2. Travelle Wharton, OG, Carolina Panthers
One of the best offensive guards on the market when free agency opened months ago, Wharton has held off on finalizing a deal due to a flirtation with retirement. It’s still a very real possibility he decides to call it quits at 33 years old. With that said, he’d provide a guard-needy team with a sure fire starter. It’s also possible he’s just waiting until camps open so he doesn’t have to go through all the rigorous summer practices.
It’s not impossible he could return to Carolina (the only team he’s known), but teams like the Dolphins and Vikings have also been rumored to be interested. Miami had one of the worst o-lines in football a year ago.
3. Josh Freeman, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Freeman regressed in his final season with the Buccaneers last year and then had one forgettable game with the Vikings. His career is suddenly at a crossroads, as he lasted just six weeks as a backup with the Giants – during the offseason. He’s still young and has proven in the past he can win games and put up numbers, so getting back to the fundamentals could go a long way in helping him turn his career back around.
The Houston Texans could be the perfect spot for a rebound, while the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders are two other realistic options.
4. Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets
Holmes didn’t pan out as Gang Green had hoped, but that’s mostly due to poor quarterback play and injuries. He’s past his prime now, but if healthy he can still help someone out with reliable hands and solid route-running.
The Cleveland Browns make the most sense for the moment, as they should be losing Josh Gordon for the year. The Carolina Panthers also have little to write home about at wide receiver and could reach out as camp gets closer.
5. Dustin Keller, TE, Miami Dolphins
The second best tight end on the open market, Keller has successfully recovered from shredded knee ligaments and a dislocated knee. It took him a year to do so, but he seems to be ready to prove he can still play ball. He’s had the better part of the last two season destroyed by injury, but he can still be an effective starting tight end. In a smaller role, he could be elite as far as depth goes.
The main team he’s been tied to so far is the New England Patriots.
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