Ryan Clady

This Date In Transactions History: Broncos Extend LT Ryan Clady

Mid-July annually features extension talks ramping up, particularly for a small group of players. With the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions looming July 15 in most years (or around that date if July 15 falls on a weekend, as it does this year), dozens of extensions in the tag era (1993-present) have been completed around this point.

One of them came 10 years ago today. On July 14, 2013, the Broncos and cornerstone left tackle Ryan Clady agreed to terms on a five-year deal worth $52.5MM. The Broncos had tagged Clady earlier that year, keeping Peyton Manning‘s blindside protector off the market for $9.83MM. Illustrating where the salary cap has taken tag values, it would have cost a team $18.24MM to tag an offensive lineman this year.

Clady’s peak reached as high as just about any offensive lineman in Broncos history. Only he and stalwart center Tom Nalen earned two first-team All-Pro nods as Broncos. Denver used its 2008 first-round pick on Clady, who excelled at Boise State, and immediately plugged him in as Jay Cutler‘s blindside protector. (Clady earned second-team All-Pro honors as a rookie and finished third in that year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.)

The franchise abruptly changed course at quarterback upon hiring Josh McDaniels as head coach a year later, leading to the team trading Cutler to the Bears. But Clady earned first-team All-Pro acclaim for his work as Kyle Orton‘s left tackle. Clady suffered a patellar tendon tear suffered while playing basketball during the 2010 offseason, moving him off the Pro Bowl level in 2010, but he rebounded to help the Broncos make a surprise playoff run after changing their offense to suit Tim Tebow‘s skillset the following year.

After returning to the Pro Bowl level in 2011, Clady notched his second All-Pro honor during Manning’s first season in Colorado. With Manning signed to a five-year, $96MM deal, the Broncos made sure to keep his top O-lineman off the market via the tag. Negotiations ramped up just before the tag deadline, and the sides reached an agreement on a deal that made Clady the third-highest-paid tackle — behind Jason Peters and Joe Thomas — at the time.

Denver’s deal came with $33MM guaranteed, and two more All-Pro selections would have bumped the value to $57.5MM. While the contract gave the talented blocker security, injuries soon caught up with Clady. After Clady suffered a shoulder malady late in the 2012 season, he sustained a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 2 of the 2013 season. Although Clady came back in 2014 and collected his fourth Pro Bowl honor, he suffered an ACL tear in May 2015. Clady collected a Super Bowl ring as a member of that Broncos team, but he did not play a down that season.

The Broncos, who had plugged in Chris Clark as their LT replacement during their Super Bowl XLVIII-qualifying season, primarily used Ryan Harris as their left tackle during their Super Bowl-winning year two seasons later. The team traded Clady to the Jets in April 2016. After Clady — the Jets’ D’Brickashaw Ferguson successor — wound up on IR in November 2016, he opted to retire during the 2017 offseason. The Broncos used Russell Okung as a one-year stopgap in 2016 before drafting Garett Bolles in the 2017 first round. Bolles is currently tied to a four-year, $68MM extension.

Ryan Clady Retires From NFL

Ryan Clady is walking away from football. The offensive tackle took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to announce his retirement. Ryan Clady (vertical)

Despite having several teams who are currently interested in signing me, I have made a very difficult decision to retire from my NFL playing career. I have deliberated on this decision thoroughly until now because I wanted to see if the beginning of NFL training camps would inspire the passion that I need to perform at the standards that I established for myself during my nine-year NFL career,” Clady wrote. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, my friends, and my representation for all of their support through the years. I would also like to thank all of my coaches, teammates, and fans for their support throughout my football career at all levels. I would especially like to thank Mr. Pat Bowlen and the Denver Broncos organization for bringing me into the NFL. I was blessed to experience eight great years, four Pro Bowls, and a World Championship with that organization. I am excited about what life holds for me going forward.”

Clady first entered the league as a first round draft pick of the Broncos in 2008. He went on to earn four Pro Bowl nods and two First-Team All-Pro selections. Unfortunately, a torn ACL suffered prior to the 2015 season sidetracked his career. Clady wound up missing the entire campaign and he was traded to the Jets in the spring of 2016. After a so-so season, Clady has opted to begin the next chapter of his professional life.

Clady’s only known offseason visit was a meeting with the Seahawks in March.

Checking In On Top FAs Still Available

Last week, we checked in on the top cornerbacks still available and discussed the latest news as to each of those players. Today, we’ll check in on three more big-name free agents who are still without a 2017 employer (Darrelle Revis would be included in this post, but in addition to last week’s cornerback article, we also discussed Revis’ market in two separate posts this past week).

Perry Riley (vertical)

We start with Perry Riley, who quietly put together a very nice season with the Raiders in 2016, ranking as the 15th-best linebacker in the league according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. In 11 games for Oakland — he did not sign with the club until October — he posted 48 total tackles, two forced fumbles, and one pass deflection. Riley spent the first six years of his career with the Redskins, and he was a solid starter for much of that time. Now 29, it is a bit surprising that we have not heard more reports on Riley, as only the Raiders have expressed any public interest in his services. We heard prior to free agency that the Raiders were trying to get a new deal done with Riley, and just last week we learned that negotiations between the two sides progressed reasonably well. However, Riley and the Raiders could not come to terms, and while the team is still in the market for a middle linebacker, it sounds as if it is prepared to move on. The guess here, though, is that Riley will ultimately return to the Raiders, as the club’s middle linebacker position is arguably its weakest. The Raiders signed Jelani Jenkins this offseason, and they also drafted Wake Forest’s Marquel Lee in the fifth round of this year’s draft, but they can hardly expect either of them to be difference-makers (Jenkins, in fact, graded out as the worst full-time linebacker in the league last season per PFF and will likely only appear in sub-packages). As such, a reunion with Riley just makes too much sense.

Outside of Riley, Ryan Clady is the only member of our 2017 list of top 50 free agents to remain unsigned, and like Riley, Clady has not generated a great deal of interest on the open market. The Seahawks are the only team to have publicly reached out to Clady, and while the 30-year-old tackle (31 in September) visited Seattle in March, he left town without a contract. At his peak, Clady was one of the premier left tackles in the game, but injuries have derailed the career of the four-time Pro Bowler, as he has appeared in just 27 of a possible 64 regular-season games since 2013. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Broncos before signing with the Jets last season, but he played in only nine games (eight starts) for Gang Green before suffering a season-ending rotator cuff injury, and the club ultimately decided not to exercise his 2017 option. While no one can rely on him to serve as a starting-caliber left tackle for a full season at this point, it’s hard to imagine his not getting a chance to crack another tackle rotation this summer. Outside of the Seahawks, the Ravens may be a potential landing spot, as Baltimore lost starting right tackle Ricky Wagner this offseason and may prefer to keep guards Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda on the interior of the line.

Nick Mangold (Vertical)

Speaking of the Ravens, Baltimore has been connected to another former Jet, Nick Mangold, this offseason. In addition to a potential right tackle vacancy, the Ravens also have a hole at center, and Mangold could represent a quality stopgap solution in that regard. The two sides met early last month, and the Ravens — unlike some other teams, who believe Mangold’s health makes him better-suited to a guard spot at this stage of his career — are comfortable with Mangold’s medicals, but compensation appears to be the obstacle at this point. Assuming Mangold is healthy, he would be a perfect fit in Baltimore. The team is apparently comfortable playing Lewis at right tackle, but signing Mangold would allow John Urschel, Ryan Jensen, and rookie Nico Siragusa to compete for the starting left guard spot and create solid depth throughout the rest of the rotation. Should the Ravens fail to sign a right tackle and/or a center, three of their starting offensive linemen would be mid-round draft choices with little to no track record at the professional level. Mangold has also drawn interest from the Giants, but with Weston Richburg entrenched at center, and with Justin Pugh and John Jerry on either side of him, it’s unclear how Mangold would fit in with Big Blue.

Extra Points: McCourty, Broncos, Thomas

The Patriots appear to be a natural fit for recently-released cornerback Jason McCourty. Predictably, you can count brother (and current Patriots defensive back) Devin McCourty among those who’d like to see him land in New England.

“I’m excited for him,” McCourty told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “I was hoping he would be out of Tennessee a couple years ago just to experience something different. I think obviously now everyone is saying ‘he’s going to come here, he should come here.’ But you never know. I hope we’re interested in him.”

Devin believes his brother should be seeking a gig that would allow him to start, which might not be possible in New England. If the Patriots end up keeping Malcolm Butler, McCourty would presumably slot in behind him and free agent-addition Stephon Gilmore on the depth chart.

“He’s not at the point in his career where he just wants to sit on the bench,” Devin McCourty said. “He wants to get a chance to get out there and compete. I’m excited for him. It’s a little bit of the unknown, but he’s my brother, he should do all right. He should just tell people he’s related to me.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFL…

  • Veteran offensive lineman Ryan Clady is arguably the best available free agent, but Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com writes that the 30-year-old hasn’t garnered much interest this offseason. Clady has only appeared in nine total games over the past two seasons, but the four-time Pro Bowler still looked competent when he was on the field. The lineman visited the Seahawks last month, and Smith wonders if teams will start showing interest in Clady following the draft.
  • Mike Klis of 9News.com believes Broncos general manager John Elway can make the “biggest draft splash of his career” by selecting Stanford running back (and Colorado native) Christian McCaffrey with the 20th-overall pick. If the team is really looking to stir excitement, the reporter suggests the team also trades their second-rounder and third-round compensatory pick to the Browns for veteran offensive lineman Joe Thomas.
  • Speaking of Thomas, Troy Renck Denver7 can’t envision the Browns trading the offensive lineman (Twitter link). The reporter notes that the organization has rebuilt their offense around their lineman, so it’d be counter-intuitive to deal the best player on that unit. Reports from last season indicated that Thomas was available, although head coach Hue Jackson recently said that the veteran was staying put.

Extra Points: Hightower, Steelers, Fins, Clady

The Jetsdecision to withdraw their mammoth Dont’a Hightower offer after the linebacker’s physical may not represent an isolated view of where the linebacker is at in his career. Entering his sixth season, Hightower is viewed as a risk physically, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com notes his Patriots contract illustrates this (video link via CSNNE.com). Breer notes the four-year, $35.5MM (base value) contract contains more per-game roster bonuses than any other Patriot performer’s while also including sizable incentives based on playing time and potential Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors. He adds the Steelers shared the Jets’ concern about Hightower’s health, with Gang Green worrying Hightower wouldn’t last three or four more seasons. Hightower has missed 11 regular-season games the past three years.

Here’s the latest from around the league.

  • Defensive tackle will be on the Dolphins‘ agenda this week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The team hosted Dontari Poe on a visit and eventually saw the nose tackle agree to terms with the Falcons, but the Dolphins may have halted their pursuit because of budgetary concerns. Miami is looking for an interior defender at a cheaper rate, with Jackson noting the Dolphins would like to sign a player for around $2-$3MM per year. Miami has both Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips slated to start in 2017 but wants to further bolster this position. The Dolphins could pursue mid-tier players like Jonathan Babineaux, Tyrunn Walker, Vance Walker or Sen’Derrick Marks, Jackson writes. Miami has just more than $16MM in cap space but may be prepared to use a substantial portion of that on a Jarvis Landry extension.
  • Despite agreeing to terms with Ted Larsen, the Dolphins still intend to look for a guard in the draft, Jackson notes, adding the team is content to start Jermon Bushrod and Larsen at what have been its trouble spots up front. But the Fins want to seek additional guard enhancements.
  • The Seahawks saw one player shuttle out of their facility without a contract on Sunday. Ryan Clady left Seahawks headquarters without a contract, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, keeping the 10th-year left tackle unattached as he continues to search for a third NFL employer. The Seahawks have been the only team connected to Clady thus far since the Jets opted not to exercise his 2017 option. Although the Broncos are in need of a left tackle after declining Russell Okung‘s option, they have not expressed interest in a Clady reunion.
  • The Bengals reached an agreement to sign Kevin Minter, bolstering their defensive second level.

Ryan Clady Visited Seahawks

Free agent offensive tackle Ryan Clady visited the Seahawks on Friday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link).

Ryan Clady (Vertical)[RELATED: Is Clady the best tackle left in free agency?]

Seattle is the first reported team to show interest in the 30-year-old Clady since the Jets elected against exercising his 2017 option in mid-February. That came after Clady’s lone year in New York, where he played in only nine games (eight starts) before suffering a season-ending rotator cuff injury. Injuries have derailed the career of the four-time Pro Bowler, unfortunately, as the ex-Broncos standout has appeared in just 27 of a possible 64 regular-season games since 2013.

Last season was Clady’s first action since 2014, and he ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 62nd-best tackle among 78 qualifiers. Meanwhile, the Seahawks’ left tackle, George Fant, placed dead last, so an upgrade is clearly in order. After a season in which Seattle’s O-line finished 25th in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate metric and 27th in sacks allowed, the club has already added one new offensive tackle in Luke Joeckel. He hasn’t fared all that well since the Jaguars took him second overall in the 2013 draft, though, and is coming off an injury-plagued season of his own.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:


  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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Broncos Interested In Menelik Watson

The Broncos are clearly looking for some help on the offensive line. Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets that the team has interest in free agent tackle Menelik Watson. In a subsequent tweet, Renck says the Broncos haven’t expressed interest in free agent tackle Ryan Clady.

The team does have plenty of depth at offensive tackle, but the team could be looking for slight upgrades. Michael Schofield and Donald Stephenson are slotted in as starters, while Billy Turner and Ty Sambrailo also figure to compete for snaps. The team is also rostering lineman Max GarciaMatt ParadisRonald LearyJames Ferentz, and Connor McGovern.

Watson, a former second-round pick, has yet to play a full season in the NFL. The lineman was limited to only five games in 2013, and he sat out the entire 2015 campaign. 2016 was a relatively “healthy” year for the lineman, as he appeared in 10 games (five starts). Clady, a four-time Pro Bowler, appeared in nine games (eight starts) for the Jets last year.

PFR ranked Clady as the sixth-best free agent offensive tackle, while Watson ranked 11th.

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents

It’s free agency week! This year, thanks to the salary cap increase, the dollars will be flying and players will make more than you ever could have expected. Our lists for offense and defense rank free agents based on overall ability, but our Top 50 ranks players based on earning power. Here, you’ll get a good sense of what the market will be like this week and who the big fish are.

The league’s “legal tampering” window will open on Tuesday at 11:00am CT. Technically, teams and players aren’t permitted to finalize agreements on contracts during that legal tampering window, but that’s often treated as a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. We will almost certainly see handshake agreements go down on Tuesday and Wednesday before they become official on Thursday, the technical beginning of free agency.

Our list of 2017’s top 50 free agents doesn’t include restricted free agents, or franchise tagged players, since they’re effectively restricted free agents as well.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive right in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2017, along with a few predictions on how much they might earn and what teams could be in the mix to sign them:

1. A.J. Bouye, CB (Texans): Bouye is an overnight sensation, going from unknown to elite talent in the blink of an eye. No one knows exactly what to make of Bouye, but his upside is too much for teams to pass up. The Texans declined to use the franchise tag on the 25-year-old (26 in August), but they’re still hoping to get a deal done this week. The Jets are said to have interest, but it’s not clear if they’ll have the room to get something done. Cornerback-needy teams like the Panthers, Saints, Jaguars, Titans, Bears, and Eagles can be expected to at least kick the tires on this year’s top player in the secondary. Could something like Janoris Jenkins‘ five year, $62.5MM contract ($28.8MM fully guaranteed) from last year be within reach? Jenkins had a longer history of success than Bouye, but consider these facts: Bouye nearly two years younger than Jenkins was at time of signing and the salary cap has risen by about $12MM.
Signed with Jaguars for five years, $67.5MM.A.J. Bouye (vertical)

2. Alshon Jeffery, WR (Bears): He was hurt for most of 2015 and he slumped along with the entire Bears offense in 2016, but his natural ability is still evident and he is a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver. At one point, it seemed like Jeffery could wind up as the league’s highest-paid wide receiver. That won’t be the case, but he will likely get more cash than any other wide receiver in this year’s class. The Eagles and Titans have been hot on his tail for some time now. The 49ers could also get involved and a return to the Bears cannot be ruled out either. Ultimately, Jeffery should wind up fetching at least $10MM per year and perhaps as much as $12MM per year on his next deal.
Signed with Eagles for one year, $9.5MM.

3. Kenny Stills, WR (Dolphins): Jeffery isn’t the only wide receiver who could fetch $12MM per year. Stills isn’t necessarily the best wide receiver on his own team, but he is just on the cusp of his 25th birthday and his ability to stretch the field is tantalizing. It doesn’t sound like the Dolphins are ready to be the highest bidder for his services and it’s not hard to imagine a team like the Eagles landing him. Naturally, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the potential suitors for Jeffery and Stills: the Eagles, Titans, Bears, and 49ers will probably come calling. The Rams may not have enough room to squeeze in Stills, but they could certainly use a playmaker like him if they do not re-sign Kenny Britt. Stills reportedly likes the West Coast (who doesn’t?) so the Niners and Rams could have a leg up on the others if the bidding is close.
Re-signed with Dolphins for four years, $32MM.

4. Dont’a Hightower, LB (Patriots): The market is capped for non-rush linebackers, but Hightower is pretty much the best at what he does and is also lauded for his intangibles. The Patriots have always embraced the “next man up” philosophy, so it is possible they will allow him to go elsewhere. The Dolphins have been frequently connected to Hightower, but that might be too ambitious for a team that has multiple major needs to address. The Colts might also make sense, but the price might be too rich for their blood. A Patriots return appears to be the most likely outcome, but anything is possible.
Re-signed with Patriots for four years, $35.5MM. 

5. Kevin Zeitler, G (Bengals): Zeitler has age on his side and he’s one of the safest free agents in the top ten after three consecutive years of dominance. Interior offensive linemen don’t get as much love as their counterparts on the outside, but they are still incredibly vital and Zeitler’s next contract will reflect that. If he doesn’t circle back to the Bengals, the Jaguars, Cardinals, Packers, and Seahawks all make varying degrees of sense for Zeitler. From a football standpoint, you can add the Jets to that group too, but I’m not sure they can meet a ~$12MM/year asking price.
Signed with Browns for five years, $60MM.

6. Logan Ryan, CB (Patriots): There are bigger names available at the cornerback position, but Ryan slots ahead of many of them after a career year. It also doesn’t hurt that this fresh-faced Super Bowl champ only just turned 26 in February. If the Patriots don’t tie him down, Ryan’s earning power could conceivably vault him past Trumaine Johnson in terms of guaranteed cash. The Jaguars and Titans would be wise to zero in on Ryan if they can’t land Bouye and it’s possible that some of their evaluators might even prefer Ryan over the Houston standout. Ryan’s next deal will probably pay him eight figures per year and it should be a lengthy pact.
Signed with Titans for three years, $30MM.

7. Terrelle Pryor, WR (Browns): There is strong mutual interest in a new deal between Pryor and the Browns. Still, the Browns passed on the opportunity to franchise tag the Ohio State product and he now appears poised to test the open market. With pretty much just one year to show, how will Pryor fare in free agency? His next deal should pay him at least $10MM/year and he could get up to $12MM/year. In addition to the Browns, the usual suspects for this year’s high-end WRs will explore signing Pryor (say it with me): Eagles, Titans, and 49ers. There’s conflicting word about whether the Steelers will get involved. The Giants are known to have interest, but I don’t think they’ll be splurging on free agents like they did one year ago.
Signed with Redskins for one year, $6MM.

8 .Ricky Wagner, OT (Ravens): There’s already talk of Wagner fetching around $10MM/year and it’s not like this year’s free agent market is flush with young, quality tackles. When you also consider the lack of quality tackles in the draft, it’s apparent that Wagner is about to get PAID, in all caps.Believe it or not, $10MM/year might be his floor. When all is said and done, he’ll be the league’s biggest earner at right tackle. The Bears are particularly interested in Wagner, so he could go from the AFC North to the NFC North this week.
Signed with Lions for five years, $47.5MM.

Calais Campbell (vertical)9. Calais Campbell, DL (Cardinals): Campbell was supposed to be an afterthought in Arizona after the addition of Chandler Jones. Perhaps motivated by a perceived slight, Campbell turned in a stellar year. Now, the Cardinals would very much like to keep him, but they can only go so far as they back up the Brinks truck for Jones and look into retaining other key free agents. If Jones does not agree to a cap-smoothing long-term deal between now and March 9th, the odds of Campbell leaving increase. The Jaguars are said to be a leading contender for Campbell while the Titans, Broncos, Colts, and Bears could also use a force like him. His age (31 in September) gives him a bit of a ceiling in terms of overall compensation, but he should still do nicely this month.
Signed with Jaguars for four years, $60MM.

10. Stephon Gilmore, CB (Bills): In terms of pure talent, Gilmore might be the best cornerback available. Trouble is, no one knows what to make of him after a down 2016. Some have openly theorized that Gilmore was playing it safe to avoid injury in his pivotal contract year. It’s also possible that Buffalo’s injuries in the front seven put undue stress on the secondary. The Bears are reportedly high on Gilmore and he may represent a cheaper option than Bouye or Ryan. A Bills return would also make sense here.
Signed with Patriots for five years, $65MM.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Offense

NFL free agency is right around the corner! The legal tampering period starts on Tuesday and free agency officially starts on Thursday. The list of available free agents will change between now and then as players re-sign with teams or get cut loose, but we have a pretty good idea of who will be available right now. After looking at the top defensive players, we now shift our attention to the other side of the ball.

Here are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each position. The rankings aren’t determined by earning power, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with a combination of short- and long-term value taken into account. You won’t find restricted free agents or franchise tagged guys here since they are unlikely to go leave their current clubs.

Player evaluation is always subjective, so we encourage you to make your voices heard in the comments section in cases where you disagree with us.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Updated 3-7-2017, 2:55pm CT


  1. Mike Glennon
  2. Nick Foles
  3. Brian Hoyer (story)
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Josh McCown
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Christian Ponder
  12. Blaine Gabbert
  13. Geno Smith
  14. Matt Schaub (story)
  15. EJ Manuel

Honorable mention: Ryan Nassib, Landry JonesShaun Hill Mike Glennon (vertical)

Colin Kaepernick’s agents have (wisely) let everyone know that their client will stand for the National Anthem in 2017. That may seem like a minor point, but teams say they would have automatically removed him from consideration if he continued his attention-grabbing protest. He grabbed headlines for his actions on the sidelines last year, but he actually turned in an OK season. From a football standpoint, Kaepernick would make sense for a lot of teams as a QB2 with upside.

Interestingly, this list includes three quarterbacks who couldn’t cut it as the Jets’ starter and three rejects from the 49ers. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all six of those players (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert) come with varying degrees of potential and proven effectiveness. Smith, somehow, could reportedly be retained by the Jets and installed as the starter in 2017.

Ryan Nassib is just outside of the top 15 here with EJ Manuel getting the final spot. Despite positive word about his play in practice, Nassib is unproven and the Giants’ apparent lack of interest in re-signing him says a lot. It’s also possible that he might not be 100% after ending the 2016 season on IR with an elbow injury. Manuel, for all his warts, has shown potential in small bursts.

Running back:

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Rex Burkhead
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Tim Hightower
  12. DeAngelo Williams
  13. Andre Ellington
  14. Chris Johnson
  15. Christine Michael

Honorable mention: Robert Turbin, Travaris Cadet, Benny Cunningham, Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey, Brandon BoldenDenard Robinson, James Starks

Adrian Peterson (vertical)As expected, the Vikings have cut Adrian Peterson loose and he is expected to garner interest from contending clubs this week. Some might peg Peterson as the most talented running back in this year’s free agent class, but it all comes down to how you weigh his age and injury history. Peterson has shocked the football world in the past with an incredible comeback, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to do it again in his age-32 season. Eddie Lacy, who has injury question marks of his own, takes the top spot at the position.

The Patriots believe they won’t be able to match the offers that come in LeGarrette Blount‘s direction. Latavius Murray could circle back to the Raiders, but he won’t be agreeing to a deal with them before free agency opens on Thursday.

Jamaal Charles has the most impressive resume of anyone on this list, with the exception of Peterson. However, no one knows exactly what he can do after playing eight games in the last two years. He’ll turn 31 in December and that’s usually not an indicator of success for running backs.

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