2011 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2011.
Tamba Hali, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 27. Re-signed with Chiefs (5 years, $60 million; $35 million guaranteed)
I'll never understand how Tamba Hali didn't make the Pro Bowl this year. A monstrous pass-rusher, he registered 14.5 sacks. Capable of playing in any defense, Hali is going to make a ton of money this offseason.
Ray Edwards, DE, Vikings. Age: 26. Signed with Falcons (5 years, $30 million)
Ray Edwards had a tremendous year, registering eight sacks and shutting down the run on his side. The question remains: How will he fare without the opposition keying in on Jared Allen and Kevin Williams?
Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Giants. Age: 28. Re-signed with Giants (multi-year)
Mathias Kiwanuka looked like he was going to have a monstrous season, racking up four sacks in the first three weeks. Unfortunately, he landed on injured reserve with a season-ending neck injury.
Shaun Ellis, DE/DT, Jets. Age: 34. Signed with Patriots
Shaun Ellis terrorized Tom Brady in the divisional round of the playoffs. He had a great year, but the concern is his age (34 in June).
Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers. Age: 25. Re-signed with Panthers (6 years, $76 million; $30 million guaranteed)
One of the top young defensive free agents on the market, Charles Johnson became the fifth Panther ever to record double-digit sacks (12) in 2010. He was dominant from the left end position all year. Carolina cannot afford to let him go.
Cliff Avril (RFA), DE, Lions. Age: 25. Re-signed with Lions (1 year, $2.6 million)
Cliff Avril is a tremendous pass-rusher - 8.5 sacks in 13 games - but he's a liability against the run.
Jason Babin, DE, Titans. Age: 31. Signed with Eagles (5 years, $28 million; $5-6 million guaranteed)
Jason Babin recorded 12.5 sacks in 2010. However, his previous high was five sacks back in 2006. Is he just a one-hit wonder?
Jamaal Anderson, DE/DT, Falcons. Age: 25. Signed with Colts (1 year)
Jamaal Anderson can't get to the quarterback, but is an excellent run defender. I'm ranking him relatively high because I think he could be a really good 5-technique in the 3-4.
Andre Carter, DE, Redskins. Age: 32. Signed with Patriots
One of the many reasons the Redskins sucked this season was because they couldn't get any pressure on the quarterback. Why couldn't they do so? Andre Carter's conversion from 4-3 end to 3-4 rush linebacker failed. Carter, who had 11 sacks in 2009, will thrive elsewhere.
Raheem Brock, DE, Seahawks. Age: 33. Re-signed with Seahawks
Raheem Brock was arrested for a DUI in early November. After that, he went on a tirade, recording eight sacks in the team's final seven games. Where did that come from? I'm not sure, but Brock turns 33 in June, so it's unlikely that he'll be able to continue this level of play for long.
Antwan Odom, DE, Bengals. Age: 29.
Antwan Odom is a great pass-rusher, but he can't stay healthy. If a team can bring him in for a cheap contract, that could be a great move.
Vernon Gholston, DE, Jets. Age: 25. Signed with Bears
Vernon Gholston was a huge bust for the Jets as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. I'm listing him at 2.5 stars, however, for three reasons. First, Gholston is only 25, and has a ton of upside and athleticism. Second, I'd like to see what Gholston can do in a traditional 4-3. And third, defensive ends usually take a while to transition to the NFL. Granted, Gholston has shown nothing, but there's a slim chance he could be a very late bloomer. He's worth the risk.
Phillip Hunt, DE/OLB, CFL. Age: 23. Signed with Eagles
Phillip Hunt led the CFL in sacks with 16 last year. The last CFL pass-rusher to come into the NFL was Cameron Wake, but as far as this signing goes, the Eagles should be happy with half of Wake's production from Hunt.
Wallace Gilberry (RFA), DE, Chiefs. Age: 26. Re-signed with Chiefs (1 year, $1.9 million)
Wallace Gilberry was great as a third-down pass-rusher, recording seven sacks in 2010. He's a poor fit for the 3-4, however, and could see much more action if he moves to a team running the 4-3.
Derrick Harvey, DE, Jaguars. Age: 24. Signed with Broncos
Derrick Harvey was the eighth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He's been a huge bust, but he's still really young, so perhaps he can develop into a solid pass-rusher with a better coaching staff.
Dave Ball, DE, Titans. Age: 30. Signed with Titans
A situational pass-rusher, Dave Ball had seven sacks this season.
Travis LaBoy, DE/OLB, 49ers. Age: 30. Signed with Chargers (2 years)
A situational pass-rusher, Travis LaBoy recorded five sacks in 13 full games this season.
Jayme Mitchell, DE, Browns. Age: 27. Re-signed with Browns (2 years)
The Browns traded a late-round pick for Jayme Mitchell, but never used him. Nice going, Holmgren. Mitchell is a talented player who could produce in a 4-3.
Ray McDonald, DE, 49ers. Age: 26. Re-signed with 49ers (5 years, $20 million)
Ray McDonald does a good job as San Francisco's third-down specialist on the defensive line. However, the 49ers will ideally find an every-down player to supplant the platoon of McDonald and Isaac Sopoaga.
Marcus Benard (ERFA), DE/OLB, Browns. Age: 26.
Marcus Benard is a pass-rushing specialist who had 7.5 sacks in 2010. He'll be tendered.
Turk McBride, DE, Lions. Age: 26. Signed with Saints
A decent rotational lineman for the Lions, Turk McBride recorded five sacks in 2010.
Jacob Ford (RFA), DE, Titans. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Titans (1 year)
Brian Robison, DE, Vikings. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Vikings (3 years, $14.1 million)
Jason Taylor, DE/OLB, Jets. Age: 37. -- Signed with Dolphins
Ugo Chinasa, DE/OLB, Oklahoma State. Age: 23. -- Signed with Panthers
Pierre Allen, DE, Nebraska. Age: 23. -- Signed with Seahawks
Steven Friday, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech. Age: N/A.
Mark Anderson, DE, Texans. Age: 28. -- Signed with Patriots
Stylez G. White, DE, Buccaneers. Age: 32.
Tyler Brayton, DE, Panthers. Age: 31. -- Signed with Colts
Dave Tollefson, DE, Giants. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Giants
Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State. Age: 24. -- Signed with Falcons
C.J. Ah You (RFA), DE, Rams. Age: 29. -- Tendered by Rams
Walter your inability to bet the Patriots all year with Brady on the team is inexplicable. Yes, since Brady came back from suspension, you bet the Patriots 0 times, even though they covered as decent and often huge favorites. Why? Why are you more afraid than Goodell is to show up at Foxborough to bet on a great team to beat inferior oponents by a large margin? You lost out on a lot of money. As for the Patriots defense who will be "overwhelmed" by Pittsburgh hahaha, the Patriots defense has stepped up when it needed to. Logan Ryan who is not even the best DB let alone CB on the team just had a dominant game covering one of the best wide receivers in the league. And you're going to say that Brady can't go stride for stride against Big Ben who, with his 0 TD performance last Sunday, once again proved that he has turned into an awful road playoff QB? You know what 0 TDs will win you in the AFC Championship game? I don't believe that betting on Pitt getting 6 points is a bad decision - seeing as I may do the same. But to predict the Patriots to straight up lose is laughable. The advantage they have on defense and coaching is pretty big and they may even be even offensively solely because Brady has been using Edelman more and more and Dion Lewis's return has shown to be very important.