The franchise tag window has closed, and with it, the dream of landing some of the top free agents in the class has evaporated. Who are the top free agents remaining in the NFL before the legal tampering period begins on Monday, March 14? Luckily, some random here at the Pro Football Network made a list of top free agents to go off.
Top 25 NFL free agents remaining | 1-10
Many of the top free agents avoided the dreaded tag designation this week. Their blurbs can be seen in the linked list above, and many have their own dedicated profiles written by the hardworking NFL team at PFN.
1) CB J.C. Jackson
This one shouldn’t be surprising, simply because of the organization he hails from. J.C. Jackson may be one of the best pure man coverage cornerbacks in the league, but New England didn’t seem pressed to keep him around on the franchise tag.
2) S Tyrann Mathieu
The Chiefs are crazy for not already locking the Honey Badger down for a few more seasons. Tyrann Mathieu should have a bountiful market, with any team running a majority of two-high loosk interested in the three-time All-Pro safety.
3) EDGE Chandler Jones
Chandler Jones is still one of the league’s premier pass rushers. The 32-year-old lives off his technical ability as a rusher and still possesses some outrageous bend, even though he’s no longer the most explosive athlete.
4) S Marcus Williams
Marcus Williams is an old-school single-high free safety. He’ll fit any team still running a high percentage of Cover 1 or Cover 3, either from two-high or single-high pre-snap alignments.
5) EDGE Von Miller
We’ve all seen Von Miller‘s social media posts about Denver’s elevation and wanting his old locker back. He’s also discussed running it back with the Rams. Miller proved he still has the best ghost move in the NFL and remains as explosive as ever.
6) OT Terron Armstead
Terron Armstead remains one of the top five left tackles in football, but health has cost him many games throughout his career. A team looking to compete with a developmental piece or another veteran left tackle on the roster should consider the three-time Pro Bowler.
7) CB Carlton Davis
Carlton Davis is one of the most underrated — or under-discussed — players among the remaining free agents in the NFL. His route recognition in both man and zone coverage makes up for a slight stiffness in his hips, and his athleticism allows him to carry any threat vertically.
8) C Ryan Jensen
Ryan Jensen is always looking for more work, and he will do the same as a free agent. Ali Marpet’s retirement might make it more realistic for the Buccaneers to retain Jensen, but he should be a commodity on the open market. He’s been a consistent blocker for years now.
9) EDGE Jadeveon Clowney
Although he’s never lived up to the expectations, Jadeveon Clowney somewhat quietly had his most productive season yet rushing opposite of Myles Garrett in Cleveland. Clowney remains a great run defender. His effort is outstanding as a backside defender, and he’s improved technically as a pass rusher. But can Clowney produce when he doesn’t have an alien aligned opposite him?
10) EDGE Randy Gregory
In a league where explosiveness and bend are becoming even more critical in a pass rusher, Randy Gregory brings both. But he’s also bulked up over the years while keeping his bend, which has improved his ability against the run. Although he’s almost 30, Gregory doesn’t have near the wear and tear on his body as most professional pass rushers his age due to his unique career path.
Top 25 NFL free agents remaining | 11-25
The media and fans seem down on this free agency class, but there are still plenty of solid contributors on the remaining NFL free agents list.
11) LB De’Vondre Campbell
De’Vondre Campbell only has one season of elite play to back his contractual demands, but that season just occurred, and this is a “what have you done for me lately” league. Campbell is an athletic linebacker who has improved in zone coverage and plays very well downhill.
12) G Brandon Scherff
Brandon Scherff can still play at an All-Pro level at right guard when healthy. The problem is he has struggled to remain healthy since 2017. Nevertheless, Scherff is still a freak athlete who can dominate in zone- or gap-blocking schemes. He’s also an outstanding pass protector. Scherff is the highest-ranking offensive guard among the remaining NFL free agents.
13) Bobby Wagner
Wagner should be a hot commodity as a free agent for the first time in his career. Although he’s no longer the All-Pro player he was for most of his 10 seasons in Seattle, he still is one of the better linebackers in the game. It’s become increasingly difficult to play the position, and Wagner does it at the highest level of intelligence.
14) CB Stephon Gilmore
There is little doubt that Stephon Gilmore can still be a CB1 at the NFL level. Even though he only played sparingly in Carolina, he showed that his skill set extends beyond being a ridiculous man coverage cornerback. However, he’s over 30 years old and hasn’t been healthy for two seasons.
15) WR Odell Beckham Jr.
After he tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, the market for Odell Beckham Jr. won’t be strong, and for a good reason. But Beckham is still just 29, so if a team can get a multi-year deal done with the receiver, it would be worth their time. OBJ didn’t consistently produce big numbers in Los Angeles, but his tape showed he can still separate and be a high-end second option in the passing game.
16) CB Darious Williams
Darious Williams is one of the better stories in the league, and now he’s about to get the bag. After playing on a restricted free agent tender in 2021, he should be able to cash in on a long-term contract as a Super Bowl champion. The undersized cornerback makes up for his lack of size with great explosiveness to elevate and contest at the catch point.
17) S Quandre Diggs
Safeties are often undervalued in free agency, but Quandre Diggs is good enough that he should be an exception. The 29-year-old went through a bit of a metamorphosis as the Seattle defense entered the 21st century in their coverage plan. He played more split-field safety in 2021 and projects as a difference-maker as either a single-high or split-field safety. His scheme versatility should bring him an extensive market.
18) CB Casey Hayward Jr.
Casey Hayward Jr. had a strong season as one of the outside Cover 3 cornerbacks in Las Vegas. His fit from now on is a bit tricky because of his advanced age, but he still looked nimble enough to mirror and match receivers in his infrequent press reps. His route recognition keeps him in phase with receivers and allows him to click downhill when playing in off coverage.
19) G Laken Tomlinson
Laken Tomlinson shouldn’t have much difficulty finding a new home in a league short of quality linemen. We should proceed with a hint of caution because he played beside Trent Williams and Alex Mack. However, he’s been consistently good for the 49ers since arriving from Detroit in 2017. He just happened to put together his best work with the best players surrounding him.
20) WR Michael Gallup
The reviews on Michael Gallup vary greatly between outside media and those inside of Cowboys nation. The league seems to covet Gallup’s downfield playmaking ability and toe-drag swag. However, he fought a calf injury in 2021 and then tore his ACL late in the season. He’s best suited as a WR2 on the outside.
21) EDGE Haason Reddick
Haason Reddick might be the most unique defensive piece in the NFL. He’s a hilariously undersized pass rusher but still one of the most effective in the league. Reddick’s lateral agility is jaw-dropping, and his ability to reduce his surface area and explode toward the QB at a tight angle is practically unmatched. The only reason he’s not higher on the list is that his frame doesn’t allow him to be a consistent defender, even if he splashes in that area.
22) EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah
Emmanuel Ogbah is also a unique defensive talent. However, he’s almost the direct inverse of Reddick. His frame is large enough to handle the punishment of interior work while also giving enough juice to be a threat on the edge. His wingspan allows him to keep blockers at bay when setting the edge, and he offers just enough as a pass rusher to value him as a three-down player. Ogbah also batted down 12 passes in 2021, which is a testament to his length.
23) WR Allen Robinson
Most probably expected to see Allen Robinson higher on this list. However, in 2021 he was firmly replaced as the Bears’ top target by Darnell Mooney. Robinson is a big, physical receiver who can still play as a team’s traditional X. However, his best fit is in an offense that likes to attack to the intermediate areas of the field, which limits his options a bit.
24) WR Christian Kirk
Christian Kirk has the route-running ability and post-catch prowess to put up big numbers as a primary slot receiver. However, he plays a bit smaller than his listed size. He won’t go outside of his frame to haul in many passes, and his hands are just adequate. Still, he brings excellent effort as a run blocker and is a legitimate weapon on deep over routes.
25) OT Duane Brown
Duane Brown struggled a bit early on in 2021, but as he got healthier, his technique improved, and with that came a higher level of performance. Brown is an excellent short-term option for left tackle-hungry teams looking to compete in 2022.
26) TE Rob Gronkowski
When healthy, Rob Gronkowski is still one of the most well-rounded tight ends in the NFL. He’s easily one of the most talented remaining free agents in the NFL, but health has always held him back from being the undisputed greatest TE of all time. He had streaky receiving production in 2021 but is still an asset as a blocker, and any team looking to compete in 2022 that could use an upgrade at TE should give him a call.