Almost all of this year's top NFL free agents have found new homes or re-signed to familiar ones, but most teams peruse the market all the way through summer and up to the start of the season. Once the draft comes and goes, plenty of squads turn back to the pool of lingering veterans to fill remaining holes and gather competition for training camp.
With that in mind, here's a look at the top remaining free agents at each position (players' previous teams in parentheses):
- Todd Gurley (Falcons)
- Duke Johnson (Texans)
- Adrian Peterson (Lions)
- Le'Veon Bell (Chiefs)
- Jerick McKinnon (49ers)
You could probably sign three of these guys and make them capable Day One starters. The problem is, you can probably find equal talents in the middle rounds of the draft. Gurley (26) is young but carries medical baggage. The best bets might be the lesser names, like Johnson and Burkhead, as short-term complementary backs.
Still a few notable names left from a deep free agent WR class. Both Brown and Fitzgerald could be high-floor No. 2s and are best suited for contenders. Tate probably has a little more in the tank than most realize. Otherwise, it's a crapshoot for reserve depth.
Don't come here looking for a starter. This is a bunch of old or oft-injured vets who, frankly, might stay unsigned into August. Burton is underrated when healthy, and Rodgers finished well in Philly, but there's a reason this crop is still unsigned.
- Mitchell Schwartz (Chiefs)
- Eric Fisher (Chiefs)
- Alejandro Villanueva (Steelers)
- Rick Wagner (Packers)
- Austin Reiter (Chiefs)
The elite blockers are all gone, but if you're desperate for short-term starting experience, you can do a whole lot worse. Schwartz, Fisher and Villanueva would make for decent Day One tackles. Plenty of mid-tier emergency options in this group.
- Jurrell Casey (Broncos)
- Geno Atkins (Bengals)
- Corey Peters (Cardinals)
- Tyrone Crawford (Cowboys)
- Others available: Christian Covington (Bengals), Steve McLendon (Buccaneers), Danny Shelton (Lions)
Much like the other spots, we've got a lot of older or oft-injured vets here, albeit with plenty of starting experience. Teams won't want to dip in here until exhausting draft options, but guys like Casey and Peters can still be quality 4-3 DTs or 3-4 DEs.
This might be the strongest remaining group of any free-agent position. Each could easily be added as a starter in 2021. Vernon, in particular, probably isn't getting enough love for his return to form.
- K.J. Wright (Seahawks)
- Vince Williams (Steelers)
- B.J. Goodson (Browns)
- De'Vondre Campbell (Cardinals)
- Kwon Alexander (Saints),
Others available: L.J. Fort (Ravens), Sean Lee (Cowboys)
The edge rushers offer more upside, but this group isn't bad, either. Wright and Williams are both short-term solutions at 31, but they can start pretty reliably. Younger options Campbell, meanwhile, should certainly be in starting lineups come fall.
- Richard Sherman (49ers)
- Bashaud Breeland (Chiefs)
- Casey Hayward Jr. (Chargers)
- Steven Nelson (Steelers)
- Brian Poole (Jets)
If you need a quick fix on the outside, there are plenty of options here. Sherman is a risky bet because of his age and health, but the floor is high if he's healthy. Breeland and Nelson could easily be one-year flyers and give you 14-16 adequate starts.
Not a whole lot of certainty here. The best gamble would be Hooker, who has struggled mightily with injuries but flashed play-making ability earlier in his career. If you need an experienced No. 3 or something, this wouldn't be a bad group to pick from.