By now, we know the top NFL free agents in the 2019 class. They will all get big deals early in the process.
Some will bust, and some may actually end up being worth the money – although free agency can be fool’s gold in a lot of cases.
I like looking for players who are a little under the radar when it comes to most rankings of the top free agents, guys down lower on the list. Usually age is a factor as I look for rising players – or some who have been impacted by injury yet are still capable of being quality starters.
Here are 10 players I think should be attractive to teams looking for help down lower on their free-agent lists:
At 6-5, 305 pounds, the 27-year-old Gunter has developed into a good interior player. He had career highs in starts with 10 and sacks (4.5) last season. He’s also a good run player inside. He could be a sneaky early signing.
Phillips played the most snaps of his career, logging time at safety and down at times as a buck linebacker. His power enabled the Chargers to use him a lot up near the line of scrimmage. At 27, he’s a safety who will be worth a look in a deep safety class.
After averaging 64 catches and four touchdowns in his first three seasons, Crowder had just 29 catches in seven starts last season when he played just nine games because of injury. His yards-per-catch average in 2018 was a career-high 13.4, which is a good sign. He will get a lot of play on the market as a slot receiver.
The 27-year-old Cann has 59 starts the past four seasons since coming into the league as a third-round pick in 2015. He’s had some moments where he’s been an impressive player, but inconsistency has plagued him for much of his time with the Jaguars. The team would like him back at the right price, but I think he gets a better deal on the market.
This 25-year-old started 13 games last season for the Chargers and had by far the best season in his four-year career. Injuries up front helped him get more time and he took advantage of it. His strength is playing the run, but he has 8.5 sacks the past two seasons.
Much of his career with the Ravens has been plagued by injuries. But he made it through the 2018 season without missing a game, starting all 16, and played the most snaps of his career. He only had a half-sack, so he is definitely a player who would be signed for his run-stopping ability.
He hasn’t been healthy since 2015, missing the entire season in 2018. But he was a Pro Bowl player in 2015 and is an outstanding cover player when on the field. He tore his Achilles early last season, so he should be ready to go for any team’s OTA work.
It’s tough to get targets in a Chiefs offense loaded with playmakers, which is why Harris had just 12 catches last season as the backup to Travis Kelce. But at 27, he might be worth a look for teams in need of an athletic tight end. He had three touchdowns on his 12 catches.
This 25-year-old has started nine games the past three seasons, including two in 2018. He has been plagued some by injuries – missing four games last season – but he is a good, solid run player who can help a team in need of that. He did have 3.5 sacks last season in 12 games, so there is some push-the-pocket ability.
He’s been bothered by a wrist injury the past two seasons, but he was a healthy scratch late last season for the Broncos. But this is a 25-year-old pass rusher who had eight sacks in 2016, his second in the league. He is worth a look on a one-year deal to see if he can get back to that level after playing behind Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and Shaq Barrett last season.