It has been 24 days since the 2015 free agent period officially got underway, and most of this year’s big names have come off the board within the last few weeks, if not before free agency formally opened. The remaining players available likely won’t command significant salaries or inspire massive bidding wars, but there are still players on the market capable of helping teams in 2015, including a number of noteworthy veterans.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the most notable names remaining at the offensive positions, featuring the latest updates on those players:
Quarterback: Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson, Michael Vick
The Packers made it a priority to re-sign one of Aaron Rodgers‘ backups (Scott Tolzien), but don’t appear to have interest in bringing back Flynn as well. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, on the other hand, very much wants to lock up his veteran backup, indicating multiple times – including yesterday – that he hopes Seattle can re-sign Jackson. As for Vick, he hasn’t found his way onto the pages of PFR at all in the last few weeks, suggesting there’s little interest in his services.
Running back: Ahmad Bradshaw, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Stevan Ridley, Pierre Thomas
Of this group, Ridley appears to be the most likely to land a new deal quickly. The former Pats back is making the AFC East tour, having visited the Dolphins and Jets this week, and will probably make a decision soon, assuming he has offers on the table. Thomas has reportedly received interest from more than one team, most recently drawing some attention from Washington. However, veterans Bradshaw, Jackson, and Johnson have barely been mentioned at all since we heard that Johnson was shot last month.
Wide receiver: Michael Crabtree, Greg Jennings, Denarius Moore, Hakeem Nicks, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker
Crabtree is perhaps the most intriguing name still on the board. He appears to have misjudged his market, and is now waiting for the right opportunity to arise, with a visit to Oakland on his schedule. Jennings tweeted last week that he was nearing the end of the free agent process, but perhaps that was just a setup for his April Fool’s gag, in which he pretended to announce his new team — there hasn’t been any word on him since, though he has been linked to the Panthers, Jaguars, and Dolphins. Welker doesn’t seem to be generating any interest from teams, and looks like a candidate for retirement, but that’s not the case for Wayne, who says he has received inquiries from multiple teams. Nicks recently visited the 49ers, while Moore paid a visit to the Bengals.
Tight end: James Casey, Jermaine Gresham, Rob Housler
Casey hit the open market early after being cut by the Eagles, and seemed to be a hot commodity at that point, but that early buzz hasn’t resulted in a deal — we haven’t heard anything on him since February. Gresham would likely be under contract with a team by now if not for an offseason surgery on his back. He figures to find a deal at some point, perhaps from the Raiders, who expressed early interest. Meanwhile, Housler has been linked to the Bengals, Ravens, Browns, and Falcons, but remains unsigned.
Tackle: Joe Barksdale, Byron Bell, Anthony Collins, Ryan Harris, Jake Long
Since they were released, Bell, Collins, and Long haven’t been the subject of many rumors, though we know the Panthers won’t re-sign Bell and the Rams haven’t ruled out bringing back Long. Things have also been quiet on the Harris front, with the last update coming on the first day of free agency, when we learned that the Chiefs were open to a reunion. Barksdale is the top option among this group, and I’d expect him to sign relatively soon. As our Dallas Robinson noted in his look at Barksdale’s free agent stock, the tackle’s asking price has come down since free agency began. The Titans and Rams are in the mix.
Interior offensive line: Justin Blalock, Dan Connolly, Brian De La Puente, Roberto Garza, Stefen Wisniewski
Blalock has drawn interest from the Lions, Rams, and Titans since being released by Atlanta, and took a visit to Detroit, but no deal appears to be imminent. De La Puente and Garza are a pair of veteran centers who can still be productive, but it’s not clear yet what teams might be interested — to be fair, Garza was only released yesterday, so it’s no surprise that a market hasn’t developed yet. Connolly paid a visit to the Bucs yesterday, and has reportedly received interest from the Seahawks, Bears, and Dolphins in addition to his longtime team, the Patriots. Wisniewski, who was on our top 50 free agents list, has seen his market develop slowly after he underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, but he did visit the Patriots and Jaguars this week after meeting with the Seahawks and Bucs earlier in free agency.