NFL free agency which began in March enters a new phase today with free agent signings no longer counting toward the NFL compensatory pick formula.
Who Are the Best Available Players?
While he might not be the player he once was, Ndamukong Suh is still one of the better players at his positon and will improve any team’s defensive line. He had a very productive season with the Rams last year although there are many that believe that they overpaid for his services. As much as the Rams would like to bring him back, they can’t afford to pay him what he would be looking for. Still a very good player, Suh will have several teams looking to sign him. Even though he is getting up there in age, his durability and productivity is still up there with the best of them.
After a season plagued by injuries, it appears that there is no room for Jay Ajayi in Philadelphia. There was some thought that he might re-sign but with the acquisition of Jordan Howard from Chicago, it seems like the Eagles already have their running back. Add to that 2nd round draft pick Miles Sanders, a running back that some believe is an even better all around player then Howard, it might be better for Ajayi to look elsewhere. If all goes well with his recovery from a knee injury, he will attract interest although it probably won’t be for big money as even when healthy, he hasn’t shown enough consistency to make the kind of money that an every down back would earn.
Former top 10 pick Ezekiel Ansah is still recovering from shoulder surgery but he should be ready in time for the start of the season which means that he will attract a lot of attention in free agency. The ability to rush the passer will always get you a deal in the NFL, it’s just a matter of how much of a risk the team he signs for is willing to take. While he did register 12 sacks in 2017, many have accused him of disappearing in games when his team really needs him. Of his 12 sacks in 2017, 9 of them came in 3 games against teams with offensive lines that had struggled that year. In 2016, Ansah had 2 sack in 13 games which only highlights his inconsistency. The case for a team to take a chance on him would be his 2015 season which is the last time he played 16 games. That year he was a beast recording a sack in 11 of 16 weeks to finish with 14.5 overall. If he can come close to those type of numbers, he will be worth the gamble.
NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport explains why these three players haven’t been signed yet in free agency:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 7, 2019
Veteran Free Agents that Still Don’t Have a New Home
The main reason safety Eric Berry hasn’t signed with a new team is concern over his health. He ruptured his Achilles in early 2017 and didn’t come back until the end of the 2018 season. Recently he was diagnosed with an issue in his other Achilles tendon relating to a burn spur. What all of this means is that nobody is likely to sign him to any kind of significant deal until they can be sure he is able to play on a regular basis.
Michael Crabtree could sign for a team this offseason but that depends on the role that he is looking for or better yet willing to accept. His days as a guaranteed starter appear to be behind him with his production falling off and the fact that he will turn 32 when the season starts.