2018 NFL Free Agency: The top 100 unrestricted NFL free agents for 2018. Fullbacks, kickers and punters are excluded. Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2018.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Note that there are not 100 players yet, but there will be additions as cuts begin.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers. Age: 26.
Le'Veon Bell is one of the elite play-making weapons in the NFL. He's a tremendous runner who has averaged at least 4.7 yards per carry in three of his past four seasons. He's even better as a receiver; he caught 85 passes in 2017.
DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Cowboys. Age: 26.
DeMarcus Lawrence registered eight sacks in 2015, but didn't play much in 2016. He was very limited because of a suspension and then a back injury, which required surgery. This obviously did not adversely affect his play because he was one of the most dominant defenders in the entire league this past year, registering 15 sacks. He also played the run very well. Lawrence, just 26 in April, has a very bright future ahead of him, and if he continues this level of play, he'll be enshrined in Canton one day.
Andrew Norwell, G, Panthers. Age: 26.
Andrew Norwell is one of the top guards in the NFL. He has improved every single season in the league, and he's now dominant in every regard. Norwell should continue to get better, as he won't even turn 27 until October.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints. Age: 39.
Drew Brees is no longer the quarterback he once was because of his age, but even with slight regression, he's still one of the top signal-callers in the NFL. He's 39 now, but Brees should be able to have one or two more exceptional seasons at the very least. He completed 72 percent of his passes in 2017 with an 8.1 YPA.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers. Age: 26.
Jimmy Garoppolo is a very promising 26-year-old quarterback who thrived in limited action with the 49ers. He has already won over the locker room, with the players referring to him as a "Young Tom Brady." Garoppolo was well worth what San Francisco surrendered in the trade with the Patriots, so he'll receive a big contract from them to be their new franchise quarterback.
Malcolm Butler, CB, Patriots. Age: 28.
Malcolm Butler went from being an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama, to an unknown guy who made a huge play in a Super Bowl, to one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. His transformation has been amazing, and he's only 28 in March. He deserves a huge contract.
Morgan Burnett, S, Packers. Age: 29.
Green Bay's defense has been atrocious in recent seasons, but don't blame Morgan Burnett. The 29-year-old is the centerpiece of Green Bay's defense, playing numerous positions. He should be able to perform on an extremely high level for at least three more years.
Justin Pugh, G/OT, Giants. Age: 28.
Justin Pugh is one of the best guards in the NFL, but had to play out of his position at right tackle this year. He's a mediocre right tackle, but he needs to start in the interior to be most effective.
Lamarcus Joyner, S, Rams. Age: 27.
Lamarcus Joyner, a second-round pick in 2014, has improved each season in the NFL. He has evolved into one of the elite safeties in the NFL, and at just 27, he has at least five more terrific years remaining in his career.
Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT, Seahawks. Age: 27.
Sheldon Richardson is an extremely talented defensive lineman, playing very strongly in the pass rush and run defense. He can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4, so he should garner tons of interest if he gets to the open market.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins. Age: 25.
Jarvis Landry is one of the premier slot receivers in the NFL. He's eclipsed 100 receptions in two of the past three years, and given how long he's seemingly been around, it's shocking that he won't even turn 26 until Thanksgiving.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins. Age: 30.
Kirk Cousins is very difficult to grade. Sometimes he plays like a 4.5-star player; over the past three years, he has thrown for 81 touchdowns and just 36 interceptions, completing 67 percent of his passes in the process. However, Cousins occasionally performs like a street free agent, melting down at the worst times possible. Still, Cousins has consistently been around 12th in the NFL Quarterback Power Rankings, so the Redskins need to pay him, as he's their best quarterback since Joe Theismann.
Ja'Wuan James, OT, Dolphins. Age: 26.
Miami had an atrocious offensive line this past season, but don't blame Ja'Wuan James. He was one of the better right tackles in the NFL prior to landing on injured reserve with a groin injury. He was excellent in pass protection, and he's only going to be 26 in June.
Nigel Bradham, OLB, Eagles. Age: 28.
Nigel Bradham is a stellar three-down linebacker in the NFL who excels in coverage. He turns 29 in September, so he should be able to perform on a high level for the next three years or so.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions. Age: 29.
Ezekiel Ansah is a very talented edge rusher, but the knock on him is his durability. Ansah hasn't been fully healthy since 2015, which would explain why he hasn't approached his sack total from that year, 14.5.
E.J. Gaines, CB, Bills. Age: 26.
E.J. Gaines was terrific for the Bills as a Pro Bowl-caliber cover corner this past season. He'd be rated much higher than this if it weren't for his poor durability; he's missed 26 games in the past three seasons, including five in 2017.
Josh Gordon, WR, Browns. Age: 27.
Josh Gordon is incredibly talented, but he can't stay out of trouble. He would be ranked as a 4.5- or 5-star player if he were more reliable, but he can't be trusted until he proves himself over a long period of time.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars. Age: 25.
Allen Robinson was a monster in 2015, catching 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, he hasn't done much since. He had a lazy 2016 campaign, perhaps because he partied too much with Blake Bortles. He was on the field for one game this past season before tearing his ACL. That said, Robinson will turn just 25 in August, so he could still have a very bright future ahead of him.
Rashaan Melvin, CB, Colts. Age: 28.
Rashaan Melvin came out of nowhere to become Indianapolis' top cornerback in 2017. Melvin doesn't have much of a track record of success, but he's only 28 and could continue to play well.
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Rams. Age: 28.
Trumaine Johnson suffered some sort of leg injury in Week 2 this season, and he was never really the same afterward. This past season was Johnson's worst in a while, but he's very talented and can rebound in 2018.
Jack Mewhort, G, Colts. Age: 27.
Jack Mewhort would be considered one of the top, young guards in the NFL if he could stay healthy. Unfortunately, he's been way too injury-prone. He played in only five games this past season, and he was out for six contests the year before. He's played just one full season in his career thus far.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Rams. Age: 25.
Sammy Watkins was a huge disappointment in 2017. Despite the Rams' offense setting franchise records, Watkins caught just 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns. Watkins is extremely talented, however, and he's still young (25 in June), so I expect him to dominate elsewhere in the near future, assuming he can stay healthy.
Kenny Vaccaro, S/CB, Saints. Age: 27.
Kenny Vaccaro was having a great year covering players in the slot, but suffered a groin injury in the middle of the season. He returned after a two-game absence, but struggled after that before landing on injured reserve.
Patrick Robinson, CB, Eagles. Age: 30.
Patrick Robinson has undergone an up-and-down career ever since being the 32nd-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. This past season was the ultimate up, as Robinson was absolutely prolific. He was one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, clamping down against everyone in coverage. Robinson perhaps is a late bloomer, though he'll turn 31 in September.
NaVorro Bowman, ILB, Raiders. Age: 30.
NaVorro Bowman has a very checkered injury history, and he'd be a risky, long-term signing for that reason. However, he's an impactful player when healthy. Oakland's run defense improved by leaps and bounds after Bowman signed in mid-October.
Zach Line, FB, Saints. Age: 28.
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are obviously incredibly talented, but Zach Line helped them dominate on the ground with his excellent blocking.
Prince Amukamara, CB, Bears. Age: 26.
Prince Amukamara is very talented, but also extremely difficult to trust. He has played in just one full season throughout his 7-year career. He missed two games in 2017, but played very well otherwise.
Kyle Fuller, CB, Bears. Age: 26.
Kyle Fuller has frustrated Bears fans, playing well at times, but struggling mightily in many games. Chicago understandably declined his fifth-year option, but Fuller finally put it together in 2017 with a strong season. The former first-round pick is just 26 (in February) and can still continue to improve.
Darqueze Dennard, CB, Bengals. Age: 26.
Darqueze Dennard had been seen as a failure heading into 2017, which made it odd that Cincinnati exercised his fifth-year option in April. The move paid off, as Dennard was excellent this past season. Just 26, Dennard appears to have a bright future ahead of him, though it's a bit suspicious that he finally began playing well in his contract year.
Dontari Poe, NT, Falcons. Age: 27.
Dontari Poe signed a 1-year "prove it" deal this past season after struggling his final year with the Chiefs. He responded well, playing well in both run support and the pass rush. I would be nervous to sign him to a long-term deal, but it could pay off if Poe lives up to his immense potential.
Eric Reid, S, 49ers. Age: 26.
Eric Reid has missed 12 games in the past two seasons, but he's too talented not to grade highly. Reid misses tackles, but happens to be excellent in coverage. He's only 26, so there's still lots of room for improvement.
Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots. Age: 27.
Dion Lewis has a horrible injury history, but he's a tremendous running back when healthy. He finally remained on the field the entire season in 2017, and it paid off. Lewis rushed for 895 yards on a 5.0 YPC clip and also caught 32 passes for 214 receiving yards.
Tre Boston, S, Chargers. Age: 25.
Tre Boston was inconsistent in Carolina, so he signed a 1-year "prove it" deal with the Chargers last offseason. That definitely worked, as Boston had a strong 2017 campaign, earning himself some money. Boston missed some tackles, but was tremendous in coverage.
Marcus Gilchrist, S, Texans. Age: 29.
Marcus Gilchrist is coming off the best season of his career, which is a surprise because he tore his patellar tendon the prior December. Gilchrist could have a couple more solid years remaining in the tank if his knee issue doesn't resurface.
Justin Ellis, NT, Raiders. Age: 27.
Justin Ellis provides nothing as a pass-rusher - he has yet to register a full sack in his career - but he's a monstrous run-stuffer. He won't be 28 until after Christmas.
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Falcons. Age: 30.
Adrian Clayborn is a rock solid defensive end with no weaknesses. He logged a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2017, though six of them came in one game where Dallas' inept coaching staff didn't adjust for Tyron Smith being injured.
DaQuan Jones, DT, Titans. Age: 26.
DaQuan Jones is a dominant run-stuffer who can also contribute as an interior pass-rushing presence. He had 3.5 sacks in 12 games this past season, which is solid for a 320-pound force. Unfortunately for Jones, he missed the end of the season with torn biceps.
Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers. Age: 27.
Carlos Hyde has averaged better than four yards per carry throughout his career despite never running behind a strong offensive line. He has also been paired with mostly terrible quarterbacks throughout his time in San Francisco. Hyde has the potential to explode in the right situation.
Case Keenum, QB, Vikings. Age: 30.
Case Keenum is difficult to rate. Is he just a 1-year wonder? Keenum was a journeyman prior to arriving to Minnesota, but he put together a dream season. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes with a 7.4 YPA, throwing 22 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He also did some nice work with his legs, picking up 160 rushing yards and another score. The Vikings have seen nothing from Keenum to make them believe that he can't be their quarterback going forward, but no one should be surprised if he regresses either.
Trey Burton, TE, Eagles. Age: 26.
Trey Burton is an extremely athletic tight end who could be a very potent weapon on another offense. He's been stuck behind Zach Ertz in Philadelphia, but he proved how good he is when Ertz was concussed, catching five passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams.
Nate Solder, OT, Patriots. Age: 30.
Nate Solder isn't coming off his best year, as he dealt with early leg injuries and never recovered. However, he gutted it out and didn't miss a game. Solder has struggled with health in recent years, and he'll turn 30 in April, so he isn't going to be rated nearly as highly as he once was.
Mason Foster, ILB, Redskins. Age: 29.
Mason Foster was excellent in 2016, but saw a decline in play this past season because he was playing through a torn labrum. The Redskins finally sat him down at the end of October. Foster should be able to bounce back next season.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks. Age: 31.
Perhaps suffering the lingering effects from his torn patellar tendon, Jimmy Graham regressed in 2017. He caught 10 touchdowns, but saw his yards per reception total drop from 14.2 to 9.1. He's 31 now, so his best years are likely over.
Donald Penn, OT, Raiders. Age: 35.
Donald Penn is going to be a 35-year-old left tackle coming off foot surgery, which doesn't sound very appealing. However, Penn has been an iron man, failing to miss a game in his career until this past season. No one should be surprised if Penn bounces back and has a couple more strong years.
John Sullivan, C, Rams. Age: 33.
John Sullivan was once a very skilled center for the Vikings. He was a backup for a while after that for some reason, but the Rams gave him a chance to start, and it paid off. Sullivan had a strong 2017 campaign, but he's 33 and bound to regress at some point in the next 2-3 years.
T.J. Carrie, CB, Raiders. Age: 28.
T.J. Carrie has made great strides from when he was a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He was Oakland's best cornerback this past season when Gareon Conley wasn't in the lineup. That's not saying much, but Carrie played well. He's improved his game each year, and he should continue to get better.
Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 27.
The Redskins really missed Trent Murphy this past season. He recorded nine sacks in 2016, but missed all of 2017 because of a torn ACL and MCL. He suffered the injury in August, so he should be ready for 2018 training camp.
Dominique Easley, DT, Rams. Age: 26.
With all the Rams' success in 2017, it's easy to forget that they missed Dominique Easley for the entire season with a torn ACL. Easley is extremely talented, but has a long injury history; he's missed 26 games in four NFL seasons.
Johnathan Joseph, CB, Texans. Age: 34.
Johnathan Joseph has enjoyed seven terrific years with the Texans, but he turns 34 right before the 2018 NFL Draft, so the end of his career is coming in the near future.
Tyvon Branch, S, Cardinals. Age: 31.
Tyvon Branch was exceptional for the Cardinals in the first half of the season. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in early November. There's a chance he could be ready for training camp, but he may not be completely healthy to start the season.
Avery Williamson, ILB, Titans. Age: 26.
Avery Williamson was a fifth-round pick in 2014, but he has evolved into a capable inside linebacker. He can stand to improve in coverage, but he's a dominant run-stuffer.
Demario Davis, ILB, Jets. Age: 29.
Demario Davis had struggled for most of his career heading into 2017, so it was considered laughable when the Jets opted to start him at one of the linebacker spots. Davis had the last laugh, however, playing extremely well last year. Was this a fluke, or a sign of things to come? Perhaps Davis will have to sign a 1-year "prove it" deal so his next team can find out.
Anthony Sherman, FB, Chiefs. Age: 29.
Anthony Sherman used to catch more passes earlier in his career, but he's still a terrific lead blocker.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings. Age: 25.
It was nice to see Teddy Bridgewater take the field late in the year. Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury two years ago, but it seems like he'll be ready to start in 2018. It's unclear if he'll ever be the same quarterback he once was, a signal-caller with a career completion percentage of 65 and a total touchdown-to-interception ratio of 32:21. He'd be rated much higher if it weren't for his injury history.
Bennie Logan, NT, Chiefs. Age: 28.
Bennie Logan doesn't put much pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but he's a tremendous run defender. He did well after signing a 1-year "prove it" deal with the Chiefs last offseason.
Morris Claiborne, CB, Jets. Age: 28.
Morris Claiborne signed a 1-year "prove it" deal with the Jets last spring. He played well until he hurt his foot, and he struggled as a result toward the end of the season. Claiborne has a lengthy injury history, so he's a major risk.
Ross Cockrell, CB, Giants. Age: 27.
Ross Cockrell had been a solid starting cornerback for the Steelers, so it's odd that they only got a conditional seventh-round pick for him after acquiring Joe Haden. Cockrell is a decent player who won't turn 27 until August.
Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Rams. Age: 26.
Nickell Robey-Coleman was stellar as the Rams' slot receiver in 2017. However, he's not rated as high as his level of play this past season because he's been terribly inconsistent throughout his career. Still, Robey-Coleman is just 26, so perhaps his struggling days are over.
Aaron Colvin, CB, Jaguars. Age: 26.
Aaron Colvin fell in the 2014 NFL Draft because of a torn ACL. It paid off for the Jaguars, as Colvin has served as a very effective slot corner. Just 26, Colvin should continue to improve.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jets. Age: 25.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a second-round pick in 2014, had been a disappointment prior to this season, but he finally came alive and was dominant in some games. He'll only be 26 in late September, so he has plenty of upside. However, he comes with some character and effort concerns.
Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings. Age: 30.
Sam Bradford would be rated much higher than this if he weren't such an injury liability. Bradford played just one full game in 2017 because of a knee injury that just wouldn't go away. He's made out of glass and can't be relied upon to stay healthy.
Kyle Williams, DT, Bills. Age: 35.
Because of his age, Kyle Williams is no longer the interior pass-rushing presence he once was - he logged 10.5 sacks in 2013 - however, he's still tremendous in run support. He can also still get to the quarterback on occasion. He turns 35 in June, so there could be more regression on the way for the long-time Bill.
Alex Okafor, DE, Saints. Age: 27.
Alex Okafor was a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and he has worked hard to improve each year. He was playing on a high level in 2017 - 4.5 sacks in 10 games - but tore his Achilles in November. He's only 27, but may not be ready for training camp.
Tavon Wilson, S, Lions. Age: 28.
Tavon Wilson is coming off the worst season of his career, as he played through a horrible shoulder injury that definitely affected his play. Wilson is a talented safety, but has legitimate health concerns, as he's missed 14 games in the past three years.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns. Age: 25.
Isaiah Crowell has a lot of natural talent, and he flashed it early in 2016 before the Browns had offensive line issues. However, he was a big disappointment this past season, failing to do anything behind an excellent front.
Kony Ealy, DE/OLB, Jets. Age: 26.
The Patriots thoughtlessly discarded Kony Ealy last offseason, but one man's trash proved to be another man's treasure, as Ealy performed very well for the Jets, at least in the first half of the season. He slowed down toward the end, but it was a reminder that Ealy once dominated in the Super Bowl.
Cody Davis, S, Rams. Age: 29.
Cody Davis missed nine games this past season with a thigh injury. He's solid in coverage, but misses too many tackles.
Weston Richburg, C, Giants. Age: 27.
Weston Richburg is a talented center, but it's scary that he missed most of 2017 with a concussion. He played in just four games with the head injury, which doesn't bode well for his future.
Travis Swanson, C, Lions. Age: 27.
Travis Swanson is a skilled center, and if it weren't for major health concerns, he'd be rated higher. However, he has missed a lot of time with concussions, and it's fair to wonder how much longer he'll be able to play.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots. Age: 28.
Rex Burkhead is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none running back. He's decent at catching passes (30 receptions in 2017) and can plunge into the end zone effectively from the goal line. He also averaged 4.1 yards per carry behind an offensive line with some injury issues.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals. Age: 27.
Tyler Eifert is an extremely talented tight end, and he would be rated as a four-star player if there weren't major health concerns. Unfortunately, Eifert has played in just 10 games the past two seasons, and he's been very limited in many of those. With back issues, it's fair to wonder if Eifert will ever be fully healthy again.
Josh McCown, QB, Jets. Age: 39.
Despite playing behind a putrid offensive line and with only one viable receiver, Josh McCown was brilliant in 2017, completing 67.3 percent of his passes on an acceptable 7.4 YPA. His touchdown-to-interception ratio was 18:9, and he also rushed in five more scores. Imagine what he would've done with better talent around him! McCown deserves to compete for a starting job in 2018.
Matt Slauson, G/C, Chargers. Age: 32.
Matt Slauson can play all three positions in the interior of the offensive line. He had a down year in 2017 that ended early because of torn biceps, but because inside blockers can play well into their mid-30s.
Josh Kline, G, Titans. Age: 28.
The Titans claimed Josh Kline off waivers from the Patriots two years ago, and the move paid off. Kline has been a solid starter for the Titans. He's a quality pass protector, though could stand to add more power for the running game.
Cameron Fleming, OT, Patriots. Age: 25.
The Patriots lost Marcus Cannon for the season, yet didn't skip a beat because Cameron Fleming did a good job as a replacement. Just 26 in September, Fleming has a bright future ahead of him.
Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 27.
Dee Ford recorded 10 sacks in 2016, and he looked like he was going to take a big step forward this past season. Instead, he wasn't effective at all, thanks in part to a back injury he suffered in Week 3. Perhaps Ford will rebound in 2018.
Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Cowboys. Age: 26.
Anthony Hitchens has done a great job of improving his game over the years. He was solid this past season, particularly in run support. He's still young - 26 in June - so he could continue to upgrade his play.
Brent Grimes, CB, Buccaneers. Age: 35.
Brent Grimes has been a terrific cornerback over the years, but he's now in his mid-30s, and he has shown signs of regression. He played on an average level in 2017, but he turns 35 in July, so he'll likely continue to get worse.
Joe Berger, G/C, Vikings. Age: 36.
The Vikings fixed up their offensive line last offseason, but Joe Berger has been the one mainstay. Proficient at both guard and center, Berger has played very well over the years, but turns 36 in May.
Junior Galette, DE/OLB, Redskins. Age: 30.
Junior Galette missed two consecutive seasons with Achilles injuries, but had a solid return in 2017 with a few sacks. Perhaps he'll be better in his second year back from injury, but he'll be turning 30 in March. He also comes with some off-the-field issues.
Tahir Whitehead, OLB, Lions. Age: 28.
Tahir Whitehead was Detroit's best linebacker in 2017, though that's not saying much. Whitehead was great in run support, but struggled a bit in coverage.
Haloti Ngata, DT, Lions. Age: 34.
Haloti Ngata's pass-rushing talent has eroded, but he's still a dominant run-stuffer. Detroit's ground defense worsened greatly when Ngata suffered a season-ending biceps tear.
Paul Posluszny, OLB, Jaguars. Age: 33.
Paul Posluszny has been reduced to a two-down linebacker, which is understandable at his age. However, he performed extremely well in that role as a fierce defender in run support. Posluszny, 34 in October, is not nearly the same in coverage now.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Redskins. Age: 29.
What happened to Terrelle Pryor? He eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier in Cleveland despite playing with poor quarterbacks. Charles Woodson predicted Pryor would reach 1,800 yards, but Pryor couldn't even get to 300 in Washington, failing to establish any sort of chemistry with Terrelle Pryor. Perhaps he can rebound elsewhere next year.