NFL free agency 2018: Tracking top 25 free brokers, best players by position

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NFL free agency (SN Illustration/Getty Photographs)

NFL free agency in 2018 didn’t open for enterprise till the brand new league yr kicked off at four p.m. ET on March 14. However earlier than then, groups hoped to succeed in phrases on lengthy-time period extensions with the free brokers they want to hold for subsequent season and past.

Nonetheless, many high quality players who have been too costly for his or her groups’ wage caps or have rising/declining worth hit the market.

NFL groups between Feb. 20 and March 6 additionally wanted to determine which (if any) unrestricted free brokers on whom to make use of the franchise tag, which tenders a participant at a profitable one-yr assured wage consistent with the best-paid players at his position.

Within the 2017 offseason, the Eagles (Alshon Jeffery), Jaguars (Calais Campbell), Rams (Robert Woods, Andrew Whitworth) and Vikings (Case Keenum) have been among the many groups who correctly spent in free agency to assist them grow to be playoff groups.

Who’re probably the most coveted free brokers in 2018 general and by position?

Right here’s the entire breakdown.

NFL free brokers 2018: Top 25 unrestricted players

These players not underneath contract for subsequent season and are free so signal with anyone with out tender restrictions come March 14. Right here is our rating and analyses of the best unrestricted free brokers.

This listing will probably be up to date as players come off the open marking by way of tagging, re-signing or agreeing to contracts with new groups.

1. Drew Brees, QB, Saints (re-signed with Saints)

Age: 39

Brees isn’t leaving New Orleans, as he’s nonetheless enjoying at a excessive degree, and his group is again in Tremendous Bowl rivalry. The one query: For a way lengthy he’ll signal?

2. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers (franchise-tagged)

Age: 25

Bell has joked about huge offers with different groups, however it might be shocking to see the sport’s most versatile and nonetheless-younger function again depart Pittsburgh. He ought to get the lengthy-time period deal he needs.

three. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Cowboys (franchise-tagged)

Age: 25

The Cowboys by no means deliberate to let the breakout cross-rusher, coming off a 15-sack season, get near the market. They fell again on the franchise tag earlier than hammering out the contract each side know must get executed.

four. Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins (agreed to contract with Vikings)

Age: 29

Alex Smith is about to switch Cousins in Washington, and the rumors of the Redskins tagging and buying and selling him gained’t develop into actuality. Think about the Vikings as Cousins’ top workforce, with the Broncos and Jets tied for a distant, fading second. He can be an incredible psychological and bodily slot in Minnesota.

5. Andrew Norwell, G, Panthers (agreed to contract with Jaguars)

Age: 26

Nice run-blocking guards prepared for huge raises are arduous to maintain, because the Bengals skilled final yr once they misplaced Kevin Zeitler. Norwell, an undrafted gem, is stepping right into a market brief on worthy offensive linemen, setting him up for an enormous payday elsewhere.

6. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars (agreed to contract with Bears)

Age: 24

He’s near being absolutely recovered from the torn ACL he suffered in Jacksonville’s first recreation final season. He had a monster 2015 marketing campaign as an enormous-play and purple-zone menace earlier than cooling off in 2016. He’s the one true No. 1 outdoors wideout obtainable, however the Jaguars have the cap room to deliver him again submit-damage.

7. Malcolm Butler, CB, Patriots (agreed to contract with Titans)

Age: 27

By now, based mostly on Butler’s Tremendous Bowl fifty two benching, everyone is aware of how a lot he fell out of favor in New England because the No. 2 nook. That is the best way he must be seen as a free agent: not on the similar degree as his one-yr teammate, Stephon Gilmore, from a yr in the past.

eight. Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins (franchise-tagged; traded to Browns)

Age: 25

Landry is the sport’s final excessive-quantity possession receiver. He is extra of a dependable extension of a operating recreation and brief-space scorer than he’s a gamebreaker, however he is excellent in his area of interest position.

9. Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots (agreed to contract with Titans)

Age: 27

Lewis in 2017 was a superb return man and remained an open-subject menace as a receiver, however he additionally proved he can be an entire runner working between the tackles and dealing with an excellent workload. He was a key cog for New England, however that staff does not sometimes spend a lot to maintain backs.

10. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Seahawks (agreed to contract with Vikings)

Age: 27

The Jets traded the one-time Professional Bowl defender earlier than the 2017 season, and he promptly discovered a robust house as a four-three deal with after enjoying three-four finish for many of his profession. He was very disruptive in the midst of the sector with Seattle. With a number of different positional cash points, particularly defensively, will probably be onerous for the Seahawks to maintain him.

eleven. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions (franchise-tagged)

Age: 28

Ansah, two years faraway from a Professional Bowl choice, fought by way of accidents for a rebound 12-sack season after disappearing in 2016. Will probably be fascinating to see how a lot Lions common supervisor Bob Quinn needs to maintain the veteran round past ’18 as a defensive cornerstone for brand spanking new coach Matt Patricia.

12. Rashaan Melvin, CB, Colts (agreed to contract with Raiders)

Age: 28

Melvin was an entire (and typically shutdown) nook for the Colts earlier than he injured his hand, making huge performs on the ball and towards the run. Indy want to maintain him, however he ought to need to see his demand given the availability is so low on massive defensive backs of his ilk.

thirteen. Lamarcus Joyner, S, Rams (franchise-tagged)

Age: 27

He is likely one of the recreation’s most properly-rounded defensive backs together with his capability to cowl the slot and in addition cowl a variety of floor just like the pure free security he’s. He gained’t be underrated and underneath-compensated for much longer.

14. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks (agreed to contract with Packers)

Age: 31

Sure, he’s getting up there in age, however sure, he lastly discovered a groove in Seattle’s offense throughout his contract yr, going from a sluggish begin to 10 TDs, dominating within the purple zone within the second half of the season. The issue is he’s not the identical subject-stretcher he as soon as was.

15. Kyle Fuller, CB, Bears (transition-tagged and re-signed)

Age: 25

He is nonetheless a younger nook with an upward trajectory, as he proved he can deal with being outdoors increasingly more all through his all-round breakout season. The Bears ought to need to hold him for Vic Fangio.

sixteen. Patrick Robinson, CB, Eagles (agreed to contract with Saints)

Age: 30

He wasn’t anticipated to do a lot, however he had an excellent season, each filling in properly outdoors for Ronald Darby and thriving when overlaying the slot. The age is a priority, however Robinson can nonetheless have a robust brief-time period influence.

17. Nate Solder, OT, Patriots (agreed to contract with Giants)

Age: 29

Solder confirmed indicators of slowing down as Tom Brady’s athletic blindside cross protector this previous season, and there have been some ideas that he may retire. If he performs, he can nonetheless be a strong starter at a troublesome position to discover a worthy veteran.

18. Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings (agreed to contract with Cardinals)

Age: 30

With Brees and Garoppolo going nowhere, Bradford ought to be proper behind Cousins and forward of his alternative beginning teammate, Case Keenum, as a desired veteran QB answer. Well being is all the time the priority; in any other case, Bradford has proved he may be productive in several techniques.

19. Tahir Whitehead, OLB, Lions (agreed to contract with Raiders)

Age: 27

Whitehead is a tackling machine who makes a ton of performs towards the cross, too. Though he might assist Patricia on the weak aspect, it’s extra probably he finds a brand new house. Be careful for the Giants.

20. Nickell Robey-Coleman, Rams (re-signed by Rams)

Age: 26

Robey-Coleman has been good overlaying the slot throughout his time in Buffalo and Los Angeles. He is a strong task defender who additionally performs the run nicely. He is one of many best relative bargains in free agency.

21. Case Keenum, QB, Vikings (agreed to contract with Broncos)

Age: 30

Keenum nonetheless has some intriguing worth, however the Garoppolo commerce, the Smith commerce, Cousins’ and Bradford’s free agency and the depth of first-spherical QBs take away his shine, particularly after his shaky NFC title recreation. Keenum must be seen as extra of a stopgap in entrance of a younger franchise passer. He additionally will probably be on the older aspect and comes with main inconsistency points.

22. Ryan Jensen, C, Ravens (agreed to contract with Buccaneers)

Age: 26

Jensen had a stellar first yr as starter, anchoring Baltimore’s offensive line as a strong run-blocker. The position has been paid nicely in free agency of late, and Jenson is by far its best choice this yr.

23. Justin Pugh, G, Giants (agreed to contract with Cardinals)

Age: 27

The 2017 season was robust for Pugh, because the 2013 first-rounder needed to bounce round from left guard to proper deal with once more in New York’s typically makeshift line. He additionally performed solely half of the season due to a again damage. His versatility to play a number of positions provides him good rebound attraction away from the Giants.

24. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings (agreed with contract with 49ers)

Age: 25

McKinnon took benefit of the early-season damage to Dalvin Prepare dinner, remaining extra lively than ever as an explosive receiving again. He is not a man a workforce can pound between the tackles or give 25 touches, however he could be a helpful cog to spice up a passing recreation.

25. Alex Okafor, DE, Saints (re-signed with Saints)

Age: 27

Okafor was having his best, most disruptive season with four 1/2 sacks in 10 video games earlier than taking place with Achilles damage. He is a strong all-round finish with double-digit sack potential in the appropriate system.

MOCK DRAFT 2018:
Steelers, Payments commerce up for QBs

NFL free brokers 2018: Top unrestricted players by position

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees, Saints (re-signed with Saints for 2 years and $50 million)
Kirk Cousins, Redskins (agreed to signal with Vikings for 3 years and $eighty four million)
Sam Bradford, Vikings (agreed to signal with Cardinals for one yr and $20 million)
Case Keenum, Vikings (agreed to signal with Broncos for 2 years and $36 million)
AJ McCarron, Bengals (agreed to sigh with Payments for 2 years)
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings (agreed to signal with Jets for one yr)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buccaneers (re-signed with Buccaneers)
Josh McCown, Jets (re-signed with Jets for one yr and $10 million)
Jay Cutler, Dolphins
Blaine Gabbert, Cardinals
Mike Glennon, Bears (agreed to signal with Cardinals)
Matt Cassel, Titans
Tom Savage, Texans (agreed to signal with Saints)
Geno Smith, Giants

Running Backs

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers (franchise-tagged)
Dion Lewis, Patriots (agreed to signal with Titans for 4 years and $20 million)
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings (agreed to sigh with 49ers for 4 years and $30 million)
Frank Gore, Colts
Carlos Hyde, 49ers (agreed to signal for 3 years and $15 million)
Isaiah Crowell, Browns (agreed to signal with Jets for 3 years)
Doug Martin, Buccaneers (signed with Raiders for one yr)
Rex Burkhead, Patriots (re-signed for 3 years)
Damien Williams, Dolphins
LeGarrette Blount, Eagles (signed with Lions for one yr)
Orleans Darkwa, Giants
Alfred Morris, Cowboys
DeMarco Murray, Titans
Adrian Peterson, Cardinals
Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (signed with Giants for 2 years and $6.9 million)
Shane Vereen, Giants
Jeremy Hill, Bengals (signed with Patriots)
Chris Ivory, Jaguars (signed with Payments for 2 years and $5.5 million)

Fullbacks

Zach Line, Saints
Anthony Sherman, Chiefs (re-signed with Chiefs)
Derrick Coleman, Falcons

Broad Receivers

Allen Robinson, Jaguars (agreed to signal with Bears for 3 years and $forty two million)
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins (franchise-tagged, traded to Browns)
Sammy Watkins, Rams (agreed to signal with Chiefs for 3 years and $forty eight million)
Marqise Lee, Jaguars (re-signed by Jaguars for 4 years and $38 million)
Paul Richardson, Seahawks (agreed to signal with Redskins for 5 years and $forty million)
Mike Wallace, Ravens
Donte Moncrief, Colts (agreed to signal with Jaguars for one yr and $7 million)
Jordy Nelson, Packers (signing with Raiders)
Danny Amendola, Patriots (agreed to signal with Dolphins for 2 years and $12 million)
Tavarres King, Giants
Eric Decker, Titans
Michael Crabtree, Raiders (signed with Ravens for 3 years and $21 million)
John Brown, Cardinals (agreed to signal with Ravens for one yr and $5 million)
Albert Wilson, Chiefs (agreed to signal with Dolphins for 3 years and $24 million)
Taylor Gabriel, Falcons (agreed to signal with Bears)
Kendall Wright, Bears
Dontrelle Inman, Bears
Terrelle Pryor Sr., Redskins
Jeremy Maclin, Ravnes
Cody Latimer, Broncos
Jordan Matthews, Payments

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham, Seahawks (agreed to signal with Packers for 3 years and $30 million)
Tyler Eifert, Bengals (re-signed with Bengals for one yr)
Antonio Gates, Chargers
Trey Burton, Eagles (agreed to signal with Bears for 4 years and $32 million)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets (agreed to signal with Jaguars for 2 years)
Eric Ebron, Lions
Benjamin Watson, Ravens
Martellus Bennett, Patriots
Julius Thomas, Dolphins
Virgil Inexperienced, Broncos (agreed to signal with Chargers)
Darren Fells, Lions (agreed to signal with Browns for 3 years and $12 million)
Ed Dickson, Panthers (agreed to sing with Seahawks)
Luke Willson, Seahawks
Gary Barnidge
Zach Miller, Bears

Offensive tackles

Nate Solder, Patriots (agreed to signal with Giants for 4 years and $sixty two million)
Cameron Fleming, Patriots
Chris Hubbard, Steelers (agreed to signal with Browns for 5 years and $37.5 million)
LaAdrian Waddle, Patriots
Sam Younger, Dolphins
Chris Clark, Texans
Greg Robinson, Lions

Guards

Andrew Norwell, Panthers (agreed to signal witih Jaguars for 5 years and $sixty six.5 million)
Justin Pugh, Giants (agreed to signal with Cardinals for 5 years and $forty five million)
Josh Kline, Titans (re-signed with Titans for 4 years and $26 million)
Patrick Omameh, Jaguars (re-signed with Jaguars for 3 years and $15 million).
Zach Fulton, Chiefs (agreed to signal with Texans)
Josh Sitton, Bears (agreed to signal with Dolphins for 2 years)
Brandon Fusco, 49ers (agreed to signal with Falcons for 3 years and $12.seventy five million)
Joe Berger, Vikings
Jahri Evans, Packers
Evan Smith, Buccaneers
Senio Kelemete, Saints (agreed to signal with Texans for 3 years and $12 million)
Jack Mewhort, Colts
Jermon Bushrod, Dolphins (agreed to signal with Saints)
Brian Schwenke, Titans
Alex Boone, Cardinals
Allen Barbre, Broncos
Luke Joeckel, Seahawks
Matt Slauson, Chargers
D.J. Fluker, Giants
Shawn Lauvao, Redskins
Xavier Su’a-Filo, Texans

Facilities

Ryan Jensen, Ravens (agreed to signal with Buccaneers for 4 years and $forty two million)
Weston Richburg, Giants (agreed to 5-yr contract with 49ers)
John Sullivan, Rams (re-signed for 2 years and $15 million)
Spencer Lengthy, Redskins (agreed to signal with Jets)
Mike Pouncey, Dolphins
Russell Bodine, Bengals

Defensive ends

DeMarcus Lawrence, Cowboys (franchise-tagged)
Ezekiel Ansah, Lions (franchise-tagged)
Alex Okafor, Saints (re-signed for 2 years)
Adrian Clayborn, Falcons (signed with Patriots for 2 years)
Vinny Curry, Eagles (signed with Buccaneers for 3 years and $27 million) William Hayes, Dolphins (re-signed with Dolphins)
Julius Peppers, Panthers (re-signed with Panthers for one yr, $5 million
Charles Johnson, Panthers
Willie Younger, Bears
Kony Ealy, Jets

Defensive tackles

Sheldon Richardson, Seahawks (signed with Vikings)
Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins
Dontari Poe, Falcons (agreed to signal with Panthers for 3 years)
Mitch Unrein, Bears (agreed to signal with Buccaneers for 3 years and $10.5 million)
Kyle Williams, Payments (re-signed with Payments)
Johnathan Hankins, Colts
Tom Johnson, Vikings
Bennie Logan, Chiefs
Justin Ellis, Raiders (re-signed with Raiders for 3 years and $15 million)
DaQuan Jones, Titans (re-signed with Titans)
Muhammad Wilkerson, Jets (signed with Packers)
Clinton McDonald, Buccaneers
Jarvis Jenkins, Chiefs (re-signed with Chiefs)
Star Lotulelei, Panthers (agreed to signal with Payments for 5 years)
Haloti Ngata, Lions (agreed to signal with Eagles for one yr)

Linebackers 

Tahir Whitehead, OLB, Lions (agreed to signal with Raiders)
Avery Williamson, ILB, Titans (agreed to signal with Jets for 3 years and $22.5 million)
Nigel Bradham, OLB, Eagles (re-signed with Eagles for 5 years and $forty million)
Paul Posluszny, ILB, Jaguars (retired)
Zach Brown, ILB, Redskins (re-signed with Redskins three years, $24 million)
NaVorro Bowman, ILB, Raiders
Derrick Johnson, ILB, Chiefs
Todd Davis, ILB, Broncos (re-signed with Broncos for 3 years and $15 million)
Anthony Hitchens, ILB, Cowboys (agreed to signal with Chiefs)
Demario Davis, ILB, Jets (agreed to signal with Saints for 3 years and $24 million)
Trent Murphy, OLB, Redskins (agreed to signal with Payments for 3 years and $21 million) Jerrell Freeman, ILB, Bears
Junior Galette, OLB, Redskins
Marquise Flowers, OLB, Patriots
Jon Bostic, ILB, Colts (signed with Steelers for 2 years)
Devon Kennard, Giants (agreed to signal with Lions for 3 years and $18.seventy five million)
David Bass, OLB, Jets
Pernell McPhee, OLB, Bears
Preston Brown, ILB, Payments (signed with Bengals for one yr)
Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Colts (agreed to signal with Seahawks for 2 years and $6.eight million)
Connor Barwin, OLB, Rams
Lamarr Houston, OLB, Bears
Brian Cushing, ILB, Texans
Erik Walden, OLB, Titans
Ahmad Brooks, OLB, Packers

Cornerbacks

Malcolm Butler, Patriots (agreed to signal with Titans for 5 years and $sixty one million)
Rashaan Melvin, Colts (agreed to signal with Raiders for one yr and $6.5 million)
Kyle Fuller, Bears (transition-tagged and re-signed)
Richard Sherman, Seahawks (signed with 49ers for 3 years and $39 million)
Patrick Robinson, Eagles (agreed to signal with Saints for 4 years and $20 million)
Nickell Robey-Coleman, Rams (re-signed with Rams for 3 years and $15.seventy six million)
Trumaine Johnson, Rams (agreed to signal with Jets)
Bashaud Breeland, Redskins (agreed to signal with Panthers for 3 years and $24 million)
T.J. Carrie, Raiders (agreed to signal with Browns for 4 years and $31 million)
Aaron Colvin, Jaguars (agreed to signal with Texans for 4 years and $34 million)
E.J. Gaines, Payments
Prince Amukamara, Bears (re-signed with Bears)
Morris Claiborne, Jets (re-signed with Jets for one yr and $7 million)
Tramon Williams, Cardinals
Brent Grimes, Buccaneers (re-signed by Buccaneers for 1 yr and $10 million)
DeShawn Shead, Seahawks (agreed to signal with Lions)
Ross Cockrell, Giants
Jeremy Lane, Seahawks
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Giants
Johnathan Joseph, Texans (re-signed with Texans for 2 years)
Byron Maxwell, Seahawks
Davon Home, Packers

Safeties

Lamarcus Joyner, Rams (franchise-tagged)
Eric Reid, 49ers
Tyvon Department, Cardinals
Morgan Burnett, Packers
Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals (signed with Texans for one yr and $7 million)
Bradley McDougald, Seahawks (re-signed by Seahawks for 3 years and $thirteen.ninety five million)
Tre Boston, Chargers
Corey Graham, Eagles
Darius Butler, Colts
Marcus Gilchrist, Texans (agreed to signal with Raiders for one yr)
Reggie Nelson, Raiders
Mike Mitchell, Steelers
T.J. Ward, Buccaneers
Kenny Vaccaro, Saints
Eddie Nice, Texans
Kurt Coleman, Panthers (signed with Saints for 3 years and $eight million)
Quintin Demps, Bears
Ron Parker, Chiefs

Kickers

Caleb Sturgis, Eagles
Cody Parkey, Dolphins (agreed to signal with Bears for 4 years, $15 million
Kai Forbath, Vikings
Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders
Blair Walsh, Seahawks
Nick Novak, Chargers
Dustin Hopkins, Redskins (re-signed with Redskins for 3 years and $6.875 million)
Nick People, Buccaneers

Punters

Kevin Huber, Bengals (re-signed by Bengals)
Pat O’Donnell, Bears
Dustin Colquitt, Chiefs (re-signed by Chiefs for 3 years and $7.5 million)
Brad Wing, Giants

Returners

Brandon Tate, Payments
Marcus Sherels, Vikings

Lengthy snappers

Jake McQuaide, Rams (re-signed with Rams for 3 years)
L.P. Ladouceur, Cowboys (re-signed by Cowboys)

NFL free brokers 2018: Notable restricted players

These players with three accrued NFL seasons are unlikely to maneuver, as a result of their present groups can shield them with tenders of draft picks that may make it harder for different groups to offer the required compensation.

Listed here are 19 restricted players of word throughout all positions:

Chris Boswell, Okay, Steelers (tendered)
Mike Davis, RB, Seahawks (not tendered)
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks (not tendered)
Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets (tendered, re-signed)
Cameron Meredith, WR, Bears (tendered, re-signed)
Adam Humphries, WR, Buccaneers (tendered)
Willie Snead, WR, Saints (tendered, re-signed)
Brandon Coleman, WR, Saints (not tendered)
Tyrell Williams, WR, Chargers (tendered, re-signed)
Eli Rogers, WR, Steelers (not tendered)
Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers (tendered, re-signed)
Matt Paradis, C, Broncos (tendered)
David Irving, DT, Cowboys (tendered)
Dion Jordan, DE, Seahawks (tendered)
Joe Thomas, LB, Packers (not tendered)
Shaquil Barrett, LB, Broncos (tendered)
Brian Peters, LB, Texans (not tendered)
Delvin Breaux, CB, Saints (not tendered)
Ricardo Allen, S, Falcons (tendered)