Andre Johnson

2024 Hall Of Fame Class Unveiled

As part of tonight’s NFL Honors program, the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame class has been revealed. It consists of modern-era standouts and two players chosen by the senior committee. Here is the full breakdown of this year’s honorees:

Dwight Freeney, defensive end (2002-17)

In his second year as a finalist, Freeney received enough support to be voted into the Hall. One of the quickest edge rushers in NFL history, Freeney will reach Canton with 125.5 career sacks. That total ranks 18th in NFL history. The Colts made Freeney their pass-rushing anchor during Peyton Manning‘s extended run as their franchise centerpiece. While the team eventually found a bookend in Robert Mathis, it chose Freeney 11th overall in the 2002 draft with a hope of building a pass defense around the Syracuse alum. Freeney delivered and will book a Hall of Fame nod on his second try.

Freeney finished second to fellow 2024 inductee Julius Peppers in 2002 Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, but the spin-move maven showed what was ahead by forcing nine forced fumbles as a rookie. The 11-year Colt earned four All-Pro honors, joining Mathis as one of the era’s defining pass-rushing duos. Freeney led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004 and helped the Colts vanquish their Patriots hurdle en route to a Super Bowl XLI win two years later. The Colts gave Freeney a six-year, $72MM extension in 2007.

The enduring sack artist managed to play five seasons following his Colts career, spending time with the Chargers, Falcons, Cardinals, Seahawks and Lions. Serving as a designated rusher near the end of his career, Freeney helped the Cardinals reach the 2015 NFC championship game, after an eight-sack season, and played in Super Bowl LI with the Falcons.

Randy Gradishar, linebacker (1974-83)**

Widely viewed as one of the best linebackers of his era and one of the game’s best tacklers of any period, Gradishar moves into the Hall via the senior committee route. Gradishar’s selection makes him the first member of the Broncos’ “Orange Crush” defense to be enshrined in Canton. That defensive nucleus powered Denver to its first playoff berth, a 1977 season that included postseason wins over 1970s superpowers Pittsburgh and Oakland en route to Super Bowl XII. The Broncos allowed just 10.6 points per game in 1977. Despite multiple rule changes designed to increase offensive productivity in 1978, the Broncos yielded just 12.4 points per contest that year.

A first-round pick out of Ohio State, Gradishar played his entire career in Denver and earned five All-Pro honors. The above-referenced 1978 season featured perhaps the best team in Steelers history, but Gradishar outflanked “Steel Curtain” cogs by being voted as Defensive Player of the Year after helping the 10-6 Broncos back to the playoffs. The off-ball linebacker added 20 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns in his career.

Devin Hester, return specialist (2006-16)

Almost definitely the greatest return man in NFL history, Hester becomes one of the few true specialists in the Hall of Fame. Dabbling at cornerback and wide receiver, Hester provided the Bears tremendous value as a return specialist. Elite in both the kick- and punt-return capacities, Hester set an NFL record with 20 return touchdowns. Famously adding a kick-return score in the playoffs — to begin Super Bowl XLI — Hester delivered one of the great rookie seasons in NFL history. The Bears second-round pick notched six return TDs in the regular season — one coming on a blocked field goal sprint against the Giants — and added No. 7 against the Colts in the Super Bowl.

Hester’s 2007 season dismissed any fluke notions; he posted six more return scores (four on punts) during his NFL sophomore slate. While producing 17 more TDs on offense over the course of his career, Hester never caught on as a pure wideout in Chicago. But he landed on two All-Decade teams for his return work. Eighteen of Hester’s 19 return TDs came in Chicago. Hester’s 14 punt-return TDs are four more than second place all time (Eric Metcalf); he broke the record for combined kick- and punt-return TDs in only his sixth season (2011).

The Falcons gave Hester a three-year, $9MM contract in 2014; he finished his career splitting time with the Ravens and Seahawks in 2016. Seattle signed Hester just before the 2016 playoffs, using him in both its postseason contests that year.

Andre Johnson, wide receiver (2003-16)

Not collecting a Super Bowl ring like the other two pure wide receiver finalists in this year’s class (Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne), Johnson became well known for putting up monster numbers despite not being gifted a top-tier quarterback. But Johnson operated as one of the most physically imposing receivers in NFL history. The ex-Miami Hurricanes star’s numbers, largely compiled with David Carr and Matt Schaub targeting him, reflect that. Of Johnson’s seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons, four included 1,400-plus. Only Jerry Rice (six) and Julio Jones (five) produced more such seasons. Johnson’s 14,185 career yards rank 11th all time.

The Texans chose Johnson third overall in 2003, the second draft in their history. The 229-pound pass catcher led the NFL in receptions twice and receiving yards in back-to-back years (2008, 2009). Neither of those seasons lifted the Texans to a playoff berth, but Johnson remained in place as the team’s No. 1 wideout when the team finally booked its first two postseason cameos in 2011 and 2012. Johnson amassed 201 yards in two playoff games in 2011, doing so despite Schaub’s injury leaving rookie T.J. Yates at the controls.

Johnson is the Texans’ first Hall of Famer. This is fitting, as he retired with the most games played in Texans history. The longtime WR1 spent 12 years with the team. Johnson signed two Houston extensions spanning at least seven years in length, earning more than $108MM throughout his NFL run. He finished a 14-year career with one season apiece in Indianapolis and Tennessee.

Steve McMichael, defensive tackle (1980-94)**

Part of the storied 1985 Bears’ defense, McMichael played 13 of his 15 NFL seasons in Chicago. A Patriots third-round draftee, McMichael found himself in the Windy City ahead of his second season. The Patriots waived the future D-line mainstay during the 1981 offseason. Teaming with fellow Hall of Famers Dan Hampton and Richard Dent (along with William “The Refrigerator” Perry) on Chicago’s D-line, McMichael earned four All-Pro honors while helping a Bears team — one that saw Jim McMahon injuries impede paths to Super Bowls — become a perennial contender.

The Bears did, of course, break through as champions in 1985. That 18-1 team is on a short list of those in the running for the best ever, allowing only 12.4 points per game and outscoring its playoff opposition 91-10. McMichael started 16 games for the ’85 team and suited up every week for an ’86 Bears defense that statistically outflanked its famed predecessor. Better known by some as part of WCW’s Four Horsemen faction during his wrestling career, “Mongo” finished his gridiron run with 95 sacks (three of them safeties). McMichael closed out his NFL stay with the Packers in 1994. His 92.5 sacks with the Bears are second in franchise history.

Julius Peppers, defensive end (2002-18)*

Five years after retiring, Peppers remains fourth on the NFL’s all-time sack list (159.5). The former Panthers, Bears and Packers pass rusher finished a half-sack shy of Kevin Greene for third. While Greene needed to wait a bit before enshrinement, voters will send Peppers to Canton on his first try. The former North Carolina two-sport standout came into the league with high expectations, going off the 2002 draft board second overall. He justified those, remaining a productive pass rusher into his late 30s. No active sack artist is within 35 of Peppers’ career total. He is among the rare players to land on two All-Decade teams.

Peppers collected six All-Pro honors, three as a first-teamer, and did quite well on the contract front. Peppers’ rookie contract spanned seven years (and $46MM, before the 2011 CBA introduced the slot system), and the Panthers kept him off the market with a franchise tag ahead of Year 8. During the uncapped 2010, Peppers landed a then-record-setting DE pact from the Bears (six years, $84MM). He played four seasons on that deal, and after the Bears made the 6-foot-6 rusher a cap casualty in 2014, Peppers made an impact for three playoff-bound Packers teams in the mid-2010s.

While this can be considered a big night for the Bears — due to the enshrinements of three former players — Peppers played 10 years with the Panthers, returning home to close out his 17-season run. Fifteen years after he won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in Charlotte, the North Carolina native re-signed with his hometown team. Peppers’ penultimate season brought a 10th double-digit sack showing; he totaled 11 at age 37 to help the Panthers to their most recent playoff berth.

Patrick Willis, linebacker (2007-14)

Willis did not overstay his welcome in the NFL, retiring after his age-29 season. The dominant inside linebacker did not lack for accolades in his eight-year career, racking up six All-Pro honors — including five first-team distinctions. The 49ers nabbed Willis in the 2007 first round and turned him loose. Although San Francisco did not form the Jim HarbaughVic Fangio pairing until Willis’ fifth season, he flashed frequently as a young player and was regarded by many as the NFL’s best off-ball linebacker for an extended period.

The Ole Miss alum picked up Defensive Rookie of the Year acclaim and became the rare player to win that award while earning first-team All-Pro honors. Willis tallied a career-high 174 tackles — including a staggering 136 solo — as a rookie to provide an indication of his capabilities. Willis remained in his prime when Harbaugh and Fangio arrived in 2011. While Harbaugh’s arrival elevated Alex Smith and then Colin Kaepernick, Willis’ presence represented a key part of a defense-geared 49ers blueprint that produced three straight NFC championship games and a berth in Super Bowl XLVII.

Willis teamed with NaVorro Bowman to form one of the great linebacking pairs in modern NFL history. Seeing each soar to the first-team All-Pro perch, the 49ers went second-second-third in scoring defense from 2011-13. After suffering a foot injury midway through the 2014 season, Willis opted to call it quits.

* = denotes first year of eligibility
** = denotes senior candidate

AFC Notes: Bailey, Steelers, Collins, Weeks

Going into the last year of his contract, Patriots punter Jake Bailey was set to earn a base salary of $925,000 for the 2022 NFL season. Due to a proven performance bonus that was triggered when Bailey was selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl, Bailey is on track to be the NFL’s highest-paid punter with a 2022 salary of $3.98MM, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

A knee injury limited Bailey in the 2021 season which saw him struggle to live up to his expected salary. It’s now assumed that the Patriots will begin working towards a contract extension to lessen the cap hit Bailey is posed to hold. In a normal situation, the Patriots might want to see another season of success out of Bailey after a down 2021, but Bailey’s raise puts a little pressure on New England to work out a deal sooner rather than later.

Here are a few more notes from around the AFC, starting with a note from the Steel City:

  • In an article for The Athletic, Ed Bouchette poses the question: What does Pittsburgh do about their pass-catchers this offseason? The Steelers have long subscribed to the notion that they don’t need to sign a receiver to a multi-year extension (with the exception of Antonio Brown). They can (and do) always just draft another. Now, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Ray-Ray McCloud are headed towards free agency. They still have Diontae Johnson (heading into a contract year, himself) and Chase Claypool, but both have had their own issues: Johnson with drops and Claypool failing to improve on an impressive rookie-season. Pittsburgh can (and likely will) turn to the second and third round of the draft to address the thin roster, as usual, but do they break protocol to ensure they have at least three receivers they can trust?
  • After a one-year deal brought him to Houston, defensive tackle Maliek Collins has the Texans hooked. The 3-tech tackle played a pivotal role in now-head coach Lovie Smith‘s defense and the Texans are determined to pluck him off the open market and keep him in Houston. Luckily for Lovie, the feeling is reportedly mutual, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. Collins is a strong fit in Houston and embraced his new team and his role on the team. Smith gushed about Collins and his impact, identifying him as the linchpin of their defensive system.
  • We mentioned a couple weeks ago that the Texans were able to re-sign long-time long snapper Jon Weeks on a one-year deal. Details on the contract were provided this week by Aaron Wilson on Twitter. Weeks will stay around the veteran minimum, slightly increasing his base salary from $1.08MM to $1.12MM and slightly increasing his signing bonus from $137,500 to $152,500. Consider it a cost-of-living raise for Weeks who will become the franchise’s longest-tenured player of all time when he reaches his 13th season this fall, passing star wide receiver Andre Johnson for the most seasons in Houston of all time.

Extra Points: Brown, Draft, Johnson, Texans

The Antonio Brown saga was the defining story of the NFL season. It dominated news coverage in the aftermath of the Super Bowl, all the way up until he was finally traded to the Raiders. But the drama apparently didn’t end there. Brown’s trade has implications for every team in the league, and for every player who may want to force his way out in the future. The league has taken note, and teams are apparently quite concerned. “Multiple high-ranking sources” told Jeremy Fowler of that they’re fearful “Brown forcing his way out of a contract with three years left” will set a “dangerous” precedent.

Executives were outraged by the move according to Fowler, and one source derided the fact that Brown essentially acted like a free agent in picking his new team. “Other star players see this and might want to do the same,” another source said. Another source was surprised that Pittsburgh decided to cave and meet Brown’s demands instead of playing hardball, saying it was “un-Steeler-like” of the organization. It remains to be seen whether Brown’s actions will actually inspire other players to follow suit, but the league is clearly getting ready to fight back in case they do.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Draft talk is starting to heat up, and the latest rumblings we’re hearing are from a report out of Ole Miss’ pro day from Tony Pauline of Pauline reports that the Jaguars and Broncos are both “very interested” in tight end Dawson Knox. Pauline also writes that the Cowboys have been “throwing a lot of love” Knox’s way. All three teams have unsettled futures at tight end, so the interest makes a lot of sense. Knox is in the second tier of tight ends behind the top group, and could be a nice pickup sometime in the middle rounds.
  • Legendary receiver Andre Johnson has joined the Texans’ front office as an adviser, and he doesn’t plan on stopping there. Johnson wants to work his way up through the organization and eventually be a front office head one day, he told John McClain of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). “I’m learning the business of the game. I thought I might want to be a GM or run a team. I want to do everything I can to help the Texans win their first Super Bowl,” the future Hall of Fame member said. Johnson was one of the best receivers in the game for a long time, and holds nearly every Texans receiving record that there is. Johnson was hired last month to work with the team’s coaching and scouting staffs, according to a separate post from McClain.

Extra Points: Johnson, Dolphins, Mays, Chiefs

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up this Tuesday evening:

  • As expected, the Titans have placed veteran Andre Johnson on the reserve-retired list, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The wide receiver announced his retirement earlier this week.
  • Dolphins safety Reshad Jones, who was recently ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff, told Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald that he played with the injury for the past two seasons (Twitter link). The reporter notes that the team discussed surgery with Jones about a year ago, but the player opted against it. The 28-year-old estimated that it would take four months to recover from the surgery.
  • Wilson reports (via Twitter) that safety Taylor Mays has had his suspension lifted. The 28-year-old signed with the Bengals this offseason, but he was released after he was disciplined for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Mays made five starts for the Raiders last season, compiling 26 tackles and five passes defended.
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News wouldn’t be surprised if Knile Davis landed back with the Chiefs (Twitter link). The organization placed running back Jamaal Charles on the injured reserve earlier this evening, and they signed Bishop Sankey to compete with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West. Davis, meanwhile, was cut by the Jets after having been claimed only hours before.

Andre Johnson To Retire

Andre Johnson told his Titans teammates this morning that he plans to retire, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Johnson, 35, won’t finish out his 14th season in the NFL and will instead hang up his cleats, and the Titans have confirmed his decision.Andre Johnson (Vertical)

Johnson, of course, spent the entirety of his career in the AFC South, and will be most remembered for his 12 years with the Texans, during which he was consistently overlooked as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. With more than 13,000 yards receiving for Houston, he’s the club’s leader in yards by nearly 9,000, and his 64 touchdowns are more than double that of any other Texans receiver. But because Houston was on the fringes of playoff contention for most of Johnson’s career, he isn’t typically mentioned on the short list of the era’s best pass-catchers.

Johnson, however, will have a strong case for Hall of Fame enshrinement as soon as he’s eligible. His 1,062 career receptions places him eighth all-time (just behind Reggie Wayne), while he currently ranks ninth in receiving yards with 14,185. And Johnson was just as exceptional on a rate basis, as his 73.5 yards per game places him ninth in league history.

While Johnson put up tremendous seasons with the Texans, and twice lead the league in yardage, the last two seasons were not kind to him, as he sputtered with two other AFC South clubs. After signing a three-year deal with the Colts prior to 2015, Johnson had the worst year of his career, and was released after only a single campaign in Indianapolis. Johnson then accepted the veteran’s minimum to latch on with Tennessee for 2016, but had received only 22 targets on the year.

Johnson is the second Texans legend to announce his retirement in as many weeks, as running back Arian Foster also called it a career last Monday.

Extra Points: Cowboys, McCown, Titans, Pats

The latest from a few NFL cities as Hall of Fame weekend begins…

  • As was reported Thursday, the backup quarterback-needy Cowboys are reluctant to meet the Browns’ relatively lofty asking price for Josh McCown. It’s possible the two will eventually agree to a deal, though, and with that in mind, the Browns have talked to McCown about a possible trade, per Ed Werder of Cleveland would prefer to keep McCown, but it hasn’t made the 37-year-old any promises (Twitter link).
  • The Cowboys’ lack of cap space might preclude them from acquiring McCown, notes David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. Giving up a draft pick for McCown, who has a $5MM-plus cap hit each of the next two seasons, would knock the Cowboys’ spending space down to $500K. To soften the financial blow, Dallas could include a member of its roster in a McCown trade, release one or two players it would like to keep, or restructure the quarterback’s deal. None of those are ideal options, as Moore points out, which is why the team is biding its time as it scans for depth under center in the wake of Kellen Moore‘s broken ankle.
  • Wide receiver Andre Johnson‘s two-year deal with the Titans is easy for the team to escape after 2016, reports Terry McCormick of The contract includes base salaries of $985K and $2MM, and it features a $500K roster bonus due on the third day of the 2017 league year. Johnson will also have a chance to earn $250K in per-game active bonuses (Twitter links), though his pact with Tennessee doesn’t contain any guaranteed money, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • The league has suspended Titans safety Marqueston Huff for Week 1 because of a substance abuse violation, Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk writes. Huff has appeared in 30 of 32 regular-season games and made one start since the Titans selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Most of Huff’s impact has come on special teams, where he participated in 80.8 percent of the Titans’ snaps in 2015.
  • The Patriots worked out receiver Cobi Hamilton on Thursday, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald tweets. Hamilton ended up signing with Pittsburgh on Friday.
  • In case you missed it, the Cardinals awarded extensions to franchise linchpins Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald on Friday. The Saints agreed to a deal with four-time Pro Bowl fullback John Kuhn.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Titans To Sign Andre Johnson

1:36pm: It’s a two-year deal for Johnson, a source tells Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). The Colts owed the veteran $2.5MM for this season, but that number will be reduced thanks to the offset language in his previous deal.

11:46am: Andre Johnson is continuing his tour of the AFC South. The veteran wide receiver has agreed to sign with the Titans, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Andre Johnson (vertical)

After spending 12 seasons in Houston, Johnson signed a three-year, $21MM contract with the Colts a year ago, and looked poised to enjoy the benefits of catching balls from Andrew Luck after playing with a cavalcade of mediocre quarterbacks over the years with the Texans. However, Luck missed more than half the season, and Johnson struggled, averaging a career-low 31.4 receiving yards per game. For the season, he had 41 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns, easily the worst full-season marks of his career. For a player who averaged more than 1,100 receiving yards per season during the first 12 years of his career, earning seven Pro Bowl nods during that time, last year’s drop-off was precipitous.

As shown on Roster Resource, Johnson will join wide receivers Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, Kendall Wright, Dorial Green-Beckham, Harry Douglas, Justin Hunter, Tre McBride, and Andrew Turzilli (suspended for the first four games of the season) on the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Host Andre Johnson On Visit

The Titans are hosting Andre Johnson on a visit today, according to John McClain of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Johnson, of course, was released by the rival Colts early on in the offseason. Andre Johnson

After spending 12 seasons in Houston, Johnson signed a three-year, $21MM contract with the Colts a year ago, and looked poised to enjoy the benefits of catching balls from Andrew Luck after playing with a cavalcade of mediocre quarterbacks over the years with the Texans. However, Luck missed more than half the season, and Johnson struggled, averaging a career-low 31.4 receiving yards per game. For the season, he had 41 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns, easily the worst full-season marks of his career. For a player who averaged more than 1,100 receiving yards per season during the first 12 years of his career, earning seven Pro Bowl nods during that time, last year’s drop-off was precipitous.

As shown on Roster Resource, the Titans currently have wide receivers Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe, Kendall Wright, Dorial Green-Beckham, Harry Douglas, Justin Hunter, Tre McBride, and Andrew Turzilli (suspended for the first four games of the season) on the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Megatron, NFLPA, Patriots, Raiders

Had the Lions resided in better position within the NFC hierarchy, Calvin Johnson would have been more likely to consider returning. In an admission not unlike the circumstances surrounding Barry Sanders‘ 1999 retirement, Megatron told ESPN’s Michael Smith the Lions’ poor 2015 season and current status didn’t make leaving the game as difficult as it would have if they built on their 2014 playoff season.

If we would’ve been a contender, it would have been harder to let go,” the former three-time All-Pro wide receiver told Smith during an E:60 profile that also delves into the injury issues that led to Johnson stepping away at age 30.

Johnson still amassed 1,214 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns last year but had to deal with ankle injuries the past two seasons. The potential Hall of Fame wideout also told Smith he’s had “a few” concussions.

The Lions made two playoff berths during Johnson’s nine years, losing in the first round of the 2011 and ’14 NFC brackets. Detroit went 7-9 in ’15, but its 1-7 start effectively dashed any playoff hopes. Johnson retired in March but said in June that while he has no plans to return, such a re-emergence would be with the Lions.

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • In light of the NBA’s dramatic cap rise generating critiques of the NFLPA’s job during the 2011 lockout, NFL Players Association assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah attempted to clarify some points to Robert Klemko of The union floated the idea of negotiating the removal of the franchise tag but the owners’ concession demands would have been too high for their liking, Klemko writes. “Our system is designed to protect players as much as we can against a short career,” Atallah said. “So things like a higher minimum salary, injury protection, 89% minimum cap spending, post-career benefits that extend into forever. Our system is designed specifically towards the type of employee we have who is at risk of injury. That’s the best argument against comparing us and any sport; we just have a unique employee base.” While it’s difficult to reconcile Mike Conley making more than any NFL player at five years and $153MM fully guaranteed, Atallah pointed out the 53-to-15 roster imbalance between the leagues while emphasizing that the latest CBA stood to reward second- and third-tier players — i.e. Malik Jackson or Olivier Vernon — amid the franchise tag’s continued constraints.
  • It’s been six weeks since the Tom Brady and the NFLPA appealed the federal court ruling that reinstated the Patriots quarterback’s four-game suspension, and despite the second circuit failing to rule in the three- to six-week span expected, Michael McCann of anticipates Brady’s ban remaining in place. “The most likely verdict is the second circuit will not grant a re-hearing,” McCann said, via “The second circuit grants re-hearings at less than 1% of the time. The odds are certainly not good for Brady.”
  • Andre Johnson remains interested in continuing his career, posting a video of a recent workout (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). The Colts released Johnson after one season in March, and we’ve heard nothing connecting the soon-to-be 35-year-old receiver to any teams at this point. PFR’s Dallas Robinson rated Johnson among his top-10 offensive free agents still available.
  • Although the Raiders ended up with both Khalil Mack and Derek Carr in the 2014 draft, Mark Davis pushed the front office to select Carr with the No. 5 overall pick that became Mack, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recalls. Carr ended up going at No. 36, with Reggie McKenzie and Co.’s decision allowing them to land one of the game’s best players in Mack.

Best Available NFL Free Agents: Offense

The most high-profile free agent signings occurred more than two months ago, but as we near June there are still talented NFL free agents available on the open market. Most of these players (with a few exceptions) won’t command much guaranteed money, and given that we’ve passed the May 12 deadline, none will factor into the compensatory draft pick formula. Let’s take a look at the players who will try to find a home as training camp approaches:"<strong

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB: The most obvious destination for Fitzpatrick remains the Jets, who don’t intend to play second-round pick Christian Hackenberg immediately but, as of the draft, hadn’t had meaningful talks with Fitz’s camp in awhile. The 33-year-old Fitzpatrick has apparently told people he’d “rather not play football” in 2016 than accept New York’s current offer, though that seems like a negotiating ploy to get the Jets to put more than $7-8MM on the table. Gang Green holds all the leverage in this scenario, as the only other club that might have still been searching for a quarterback — the Broncos — is thought to have ended their hunt for another signal-caller after drafting Paxton Lynch last month.

2. Anquan Boldin, WR: Even as he ages, Boldin continues to post solid production — he’s managed at least 65 receptions in each of the past four years, averaging nearly 1,000 yards and five touchdowns during that time. And while the 49ers have not asked him to return in 2016, Boldin could be an option for a number of wide receiver-needy teams, as the Bengals, Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, and Giants could all make varying levels of sense for the veteran pass-catcher, especially given that he’s indicated he’d prefer to play for a contender. Boldin has taken just one free agent visit this offseason, but that team — Washington — is unlikely to still have interest given that it selected TCU wideout Josh Doctson in the first round of the draft.

3. Arian Foster, RB: There’s no question that Foster offers the highest upside of any free agent on this list, as he’s topped 1,200 yards rushing in every season that he’s remained even remotely healthy. But health, of course, has remained a hindrance throughout Foster’s career — in 2015 alone, Foster was slowed by a groin injury during camp before suffering a torn Achilles in in Week 7. The Dolphins met with Foster earlier this offseason and could still be a landing spot, while the Raiders, Eagles, and Chargers (especially if Melvin Gordon‘s recovery from microfracture surgery doesn’t go well) could be options.

4. Jahri Evans, G: Knee and ankle injuries limited Evans to 11 games in 2015, but like Foster, Evans is a solid contributor when he’s on the field, as he graded as the league’s No. 27 guard among 81 qualifiers last year, per Pro Football Focus. Entering his age-33 season, Evans might have to be willing to engage in a camp battle for a starting role, or even wait until a club suffers an injury along its offensive interior. But a team like the Broncos, who are currently projected to start sixth-round rookie Connor McGovern at right guard, could express interest.

5. Louis Vasquez, G: Vasquez isn’t quite the guard that Evans is, but he offers a vast amount of experience, as he played over 1,000 snaps in 2015 with Denver, and has started 101 games since entering the league in 2009. Not yet 30 years old, Vasquez could help a number of clubs at either guard position — he met with the Titans earlier this offseason, and depending on its assessment of Jeremiah Poutasi, Tennessee may still be interested. The Chiefs, having failed to replace Jeff Allen, could also make sense as a destination."<strong

6. Andre Johnson, WR: After posting the worst full-season results of his career, Johnson was released by the Colts just one season into a three-year pact. Whether interested clubs will determine that Johnson was victimized by a lackluster 2015 Indianapolis (and largely Andrew Luck-less) offense — or instead conclude that Johnson is just about finished at age-34 — is an open question, but the 13-year veteran has indicated that he’d like to continue playing in 2016.

7. Will Beatty, T: Beatty is expected to be fully healthy this summer after missing the entire 2015 season with a torn pectoral muscle, but he reportedly won’t be returning to the Giants. It’s a little surprising that Beatty hasn’t yet found a home for 2016, but he shouldn’t have to wait much longer, as he’s clearly the best tackle available on the open market (his top competition is the likes of Jake Long and Mike Adams). I could see the Bears bringing in Beatty to compete with Charles Leno on the blindside, while the Cardinals could also be a feasible landing spot if they aren’t happy with D.J. Humphries — who didn’t play a single snap as a rookie — at right tackle.

8. James Jones, WR: Another season catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, another successful year for Jones, who returned to Green Bay after a year in Oakland to post 50 receptions for nearly 900 yards an eight touchdowns. Jones, now 32, has indicated that he’d like to play for awhile longer, though the Packers have reportedly moved on. After waiting until July of last year to sign with the Giants (and September to reunite with the Pack), Jones could again have to wait awhile to find a new team, but whoever signs him will be acquiring a big-play threat — in 2015, Jones ranked fourth in the league with 17.8 yards per reception.

9. Ryan Wendell, C/G: Perhaps the least recognizable name on this list, Wendell spent the last seven seasons as a utility interior lineman with the Patriots, and ended up starting 44 contests from 2012-2014. A knee injury prematurely ended Wendell’s 2015 season in November, and a March report stated that Wendell would wait until he returned to full health before signing with a new team. A return to New England can’t be ruled out, but a club like the Cardinals — who are currently projecting A.Q. Shipley to start at center — could also be on Wendell’s radar.

10. Owen Daniels, TE: Daniels has spent all ten of his NFL seasons under the tutelage of Gary Kubiak, following the coach from Houston to Baltimore and, finally, to Denver. That streak of loyalty is now in danger after the Broncos released Daniels earlier this year, though Kubiak did not rule out re-signing the veteran tight end (Denver has since signed fellow TE Garrett Graham, however). Even at age-33, Daniels performed in line with his career averages, posting 48 receptions for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns.

Honorable mention: Tarvaris Jackson, QB; Joique Bell, RB; Bryce Brown, RB; Marques Colston, WR; Brian Hartline, WR; Roddy White, WR; Khaled Holmes, C; Amini Silatolu, G.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.