There aren't plenty of quality free agents left at this point in the NFL offseason. Edge rusher isn't in that category.
Any team seeking a veteran edge rusher over the next month is in luck, especially with teams always seeking pass-rushing depth. Some of these veterans may sign right before training camp or find a new home due to an injury in the preseason. Even in a saturated market, there's space to add talent.
Who are the best pass-rushers who don't have a contract? Where would be the best fit for the ones available?
Yannick Ngakoue to the Chicago Bears
The Bears could use significant help at pass-rusher, only having Trevis Gipson, DeMarcus Walker, and Rasheem Green as their top three. Why not bring in Ngakoue to help with the sack and pressure totals in Chicago?
While Ngakoue doesn't appear to be a fit in Matt Eberflus' defense, the Bears could use someone in the rotation to go after the quarterback. Ngakoue finished with 44 pressures and 9.5 sacks last season (10.8% pressure rate), so he would do what he does best in Chicago.
The playing time will certainly be there.
Where is the best fit for Clowney at this point? Is Clowney even worth being on a roster after a subpar season?
The Saints are a perfect opportunity to sign Clowney and take advantage of his talent, especially since they could use a veteran edge rusher to compliment Cameron Jordan. He had just 29 pressures and two sacks last season in 12 games with the Browns, resulting in an ugly exit from Cleveland.
Clowney would fit into the rotation with Jordan and Carl Granderson. If any coach can get something out of Clowney in his 30s, it's Dennis Allen.
Pick Six Newsletter
Crafted By The Best NFL Experts
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Justin Houston to the Baltimore Ravens
Houston had a good season in Baltimore, having 39 pressures and 9.5 sacks with a 14.6% pressure rate as a situational edge rusher. He had 101 fewer pass-rushing snaps than the year before and five more sacks, proving he can still get to the quarterback.
With a 12.4% pressure rate in Baltimore (two seasons), it would make sense for the Ravens to bring Houston back. The Ravens could certainly use a veteran edge rusher who's had success under Mike Macdonald.
Pierre-Paul was one of those veteran edge rushers the Ravens employed last season, finishing with 21 pressures and three sacks. No longer the dominant edge rusher he once was, Pierre-Paul would better be suited as a No. 3 or No. 4 pass-rusher on a contending team.
Enter Kansas City, which has George Karlaftis and Charles Omenihu as starters and first-round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah as a developmental player set to take more snaps later in the year. Pierre-Paul would fit in as an edge rusher who can just focus on going after the quarterback in Steve Spagnuolo's defense.
The Chiefs always seem to have a veteran pass-rusher on the roster, so don't be surprised if they add one.
Ingram had a good season with the Dolphins at age 33, finishing with 35 pressures and six sacks (12.1% pressure rate). He was a strong fit in Josh Boyer's defense, but Boyer was fired by Miami after the season -- basically sealing Ingram's fate with the franchise.
Why would the Patriots be a fit? Boyer's system is derived from Brian Flores, as both came from New England. The Patriots don't need an edge rusher, but it would be beneficial to add Ingram to the rotation.
Ingram can still play in the right system. New England could get him at excellent value.