2016 NFL Free Agent Tracker: Follow Pete Prisco's top 50 players

The 2016 NFL free agent rankings are determined by CBSSports.com Senior NFL Writer Pete Prisco. Not all free agents will be listed.

Last TeamFree Agent:New Contract

1. Olivier Vernon , DE, 25

It's not that common to see a 25-year-old pass rusher hit the market. Vernon got off to a slow start last year, but came on in the second half. He has 29 sacks in four seasons with 11.5 in 2013.

2. Malik Jackson , DE, 26

Pop in the Super Bowl tape and you will know why I have him so high. This is a dominant player who can play in any type of defense.

3. Kelechi Osemele , G, 26

He has been a productive starter at guard, but has also started at tackle. He would be a nice upgrade for a lot of teams, but the price could be high.

4. Bruce Irvin, DE-OLB, 29

He played linebacker in Seattle's scheme, but he could also put his hand on the ground. He would also be a perfect 3-4 rush guy.

5. Eric Weddle , S, 31

He isn't a kid anymore at 31, but he can still do a good job at free safety. He can cover and is a willing tackler in the run game. A young secondary that needs stability would be wise to sign him.

6. Damon Harrison , DT, 27

He has been a power player in the middle of their defense who excels against the run. It's unlikely they can keep this 27-year-old.

7. Sean Smith , CB, 28

He did serve a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy last season, but he bounced back to play well for the Kansas City Chiefs . He is a taller corner who does a nice job in man coverage.

8. Janoris Jenkins , CB, 27

He has a ton of skills, but has gambled on the field at times and hurt his team. He cut down on that some last season, which could be a sign of maturity.

9. Danny Trevathan , ILB, 25

It's hard to find speedy linebackers who are good in coverage and also solid in the run game. That's Trevathan. He's another who excelled in the Super Bowl.

10. Jason Pierre-Paul , DE, 27

Yes, he has the issue with his hand. But even with the club on last season, he did some good things when he returned to the field. He's only 27 and should adjust to playing with the injured hand next season.

11. Ian Williams, NT, 31

He was finally healthy in 2015 and responded with a good season. Like Harrison, he won't bring much in terms of the pass rush but he can hold the point against the run.

12. Prince Amukamara , CB, 26

He's had some injury issues in his New York Giants career -- he missed five games last season -- but when he's on the field he's a solid cover player. He wasn't as good last season, which might concern some teams.

13. Doug Martin , RB, 27

For a team looking for a back, and willing to pay one rather than draft one, Martin would make sense. I am not a proponent of paying backs, but he's a good player, which is why he's this high on the list.

14. Jaye Howard , DT, 27

He had 5.5 sacks last season and really showed up on tape. He is a 5-technique whose best football is in front of him. This might seem high, but I really like his game.

15. Andre Smith , T, 29

He had some injury issues last season, but he's been an above-average starter in the past three years. For teams in need of a right tackle, he would make a lot of sense.

16. Marvin Jones , WR, 25

He is a good No 2 receiver who I don't think can be a No. 1. But there's value in having a player with his talents on your offense.

17. Alex Mack , C, 30

He will almost certainly void his contract -- which he can do -- to become a free agent. He will be the top center on any list.

18. Reggie Nelson , FS, 32

He's now 32, but he is coming off a Pro Bowl season and teams are looking for safeties with range. That will help his value.

19. Richie Incognito , G, 32

He had a nice season for the Buffalo Bills in his return to the NFL after sitting out for the bullying issues in Miami. He can be dominant at times as a run blocker.

20. Alex Boone, G, 28

He is a good guard who could also slide outside to play right tackle. There's value in versatility.

21. Mario Williams , DE, 31

He took way too many plays off last season, but when motivated he can still push the pocket.

22. Russell Okung, T, 28

He's been a Pro Bowl player in his career, but he's battled some injuries in recent years. He's still a good player.

23. George Iloka , S, 25

He's been a consistent starter the past two years playing next to Reggie Nelson. The Cincinnati Bengals would like to get one of the two back, but it might be tough to do.

24. Mitchell Schwartz , T, 26

His play slipped a little last season, but he's still a quality starting right tackle who has been a four-year starter. That means something.

25. Brock Osweiler , QB, 25

He did some nice things last season when he started, but he's probably going back to Denver. Then again, if some team made him a big offer you never know.

26. Lamar Miller , RB, 24

He turns 25 in April and has just 638 carries in four seasons. So he has a lot of good football left.

27. Matt Forte, RB, 30

He's got eight years of wear on his body, but he can still help a team for the next few years. A contender might want to give him a two-year deal.

28. Derrick Johnson , ILB, 33

He's 33, which is a concern, but he showed he can still play at a high level last season. Some team in need of help in the middle of the defense would be wise to give him a two- or three-year deal.

29. Kelvin Beachum , T, 26

He is coming off a torn ACL, otherwise he would be higher on this list. He's a shorter tackle, but he has developed into a quality player.

30. Brandon Brooks , G, 26

He played better in 2014 than he did a year ago, but he's still a young, emerging player at 26.

31. Donald Penn, LT, 32

His play slipped a bit last season, and he's getting older, but in a league where left tackles struggle on a lot of teams he will get some action.

32. Adam Jones , CB, 32

This aging corner had one of his best seasons in 2015. He can still lock up and play man coverage. The attitude, though, comes with him. That can be good and bad.

33. Casey Hayward , CB, 26

He's been both a nickel corner and a starter outside in his career. He has value, but the Green Bay Packers drafted two young corners last year, which is why he won't be back.

34. Tamba Hali , OLB, 32

He still has some pass-rush ability left, but at 33 the team that signs him will have to be careful with the contract. How many more years can he go?

35. Patrick Robinson , CB, 28

In his only season with the San Diego Chargers , this former first-round pick by the New Orleans Saints had a nice season. He showed he could hold up in coverage when asked to do so.

36. Tyrunn Walker, DT, 25

He broke his ankle early last season, but was playing good football before he did so. He's only 25, so he should be able to bounce back.

37. Ben Jones , C, 26

He moved from guard to center last year and had a decent first season there as the starter. He isn't overpowering, but he is smart and athletic.

38. Jeff Allen , G, 26

He missed time early last season, and the Chiefs line wasn't as good. When he was in the lineup, the line was much better. He's a tough player in the run game.

39. Robert Ayers , DE, 30

At 30, he is coming off a 9.5-sack season, which will up his value. He can slide inside and rush from a tackle spot in passing downs, which is also important.

40. Tashaun Gipson , S, 25

After a Pro Bowl season in 2014, his play tailed off last season. He still has range in the middle, which a lot of teams crave.

41. Courtney Upshaw , OLB, 26

He doesn't put up big sack numbers, but he's a good run player who does a nice job setting the edge. A new team might be just what he needs to become a better pass rusher.

42. Tahir Whitehead , LB, 25

He stepped in as a starter the past two seasons and has done some good things, but inconsistency showed up at times. He has the speed to play in coverage, and at 25 he's the right age for a team looking to get faster at linebacker.

43. William Hayes , DE, 30

For a team looking for a veteran pass rusher, a player who can be a part of the rotation, Hayes would make a lot of sense. He was a good player as a reserve for the Los Angeles Rams .

44. Travis Benjamin , WR, 26

He has big-play speed and can also help in the return game. There's value in that.

45. Charles Johnson , DE, 29

He just fought through an injury-plagued season, and at 29, he's getting up there.

46. Coby Fleener , TE, 27

He's a pass-catching tight end who hasn't lived up to the hype. Even so, he has the ability to catch 60 or so passes a season.

47. Terrance Knighton , DT, 29

He's another run-stuffing defensive tackle. He had some injury issues last year, but when he played he did some good things.

48. Evan Mathis , G, 34

After a slow start in Denver, he played well late in the season. Age is an issue since he's 33.

49. Greg Hardy , DE, 27

Is he worth the aggravation? He wasn't great last season on the field, and the Dallas Cowboys grew tired of his act. But there is still pass-rush ability in that body.

50. Nick Fairley , DT, 28

He played well on a one-year deal with the Rams last season after trimming down. This is still a talented player.

Pot Roast is heading to New England. (USATSI)

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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