The latest on a few NFL veterans who are currently without contracts and a look ahead to the 2017 class of free agents:
- Eugene Monroe’s retirement is a significant blow to teams that need offensive tackles, tweets NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, who regards Will Beatty as the best one remaining on the market. Beatty, 31, has 63 starts on his resume, but he missed 2015 with a torn pectoral muscle and the Giants then released him in February.
- In an interview with SiriusXM (Twitter link) on Friday, receiver Wes Welker reiterated that he has not retired. After catching 13 passes for 102 yards in eight games with the Rams in 2015, the 35-year-old has gone back and forth on the state of his career several times this offseason.
- Fullback John Kuhn told SiriusXM on Friday that he continues to work out and wait for someone to call him with an offer, and he hopes the Packers are that team (Twitter link). Kuhn spent 2007-15 in Green Bay, made four Pro Bowls – including earning a Hawaii trip the past two years – and totaled 30 touchdowns between the regular season and playoffs. The 33-year-old appeared in 26.6 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps and 34.7 percent of their special teams plays in 2015.
- In a class that could also feature the likes of Drew Brees, Tyrann Mathieu, Jamie Collins, Le’Veon Bell, Eric Berry and Alshon Jeffery, among other household names, the best prospective 2017 free agent is Panthers defensive lineman Kawann Short, opines John Clayton of ESPN.com (Insider required). Short has expressed dissatisfaction this offseason with his current deal, one that will pay him just over $1MM in base salary in 2016, but Clayton expects the 315-pounder to land a $100MM-plus payday next year – if the Panthers don’t franchise tag him, that is. The three-year veteran led the Panthers in sacks (11), forced three fumbles and ranked a stellar eighth among 123 qualifying interior defenders at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) last season.
Zach Links contributed to this post.