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.
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Note that there are not 100 players yet, but there will be additions as cuts begin.
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers. Age: 26. Franchised by Steelers
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. Franchised by Cowboys
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. Signed with Jaguars
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. Re-signed with Saints (2 years, $50 million)
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. Re-signed with 49ers
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. Signed with Titans
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. Signed with Steelers
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. Signed with Cardinals (5 years)
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. Franchised by Rams
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.
Tyrann Mathieu, S/CB, Cardinals. Age: 26. Signed with Texans (1 year)
Wow, this is a stunner. The Cardinals wanted Tyrann Mathieu to take a pay cut, but when he wouldn't budge, they just cut him. Mathieu was one of the top defensive players in the NFL in 2015, but tore his ACL. He struggled the following year because he returned way too early. He was better this past season, but not quite himself yet. There's a very good chance, however, that Mathieu will finally be 100 percent in 2018, and if so, he'll arguably be a top-five defensive back. Mathieu can play anywhere you ask him in the secondary, and he'll turn only 26 in May, so he still has a very bright future ahead of him.
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Dolphins. Age: 31. Signed with Rams (1 year, $14 million)
The Dolphins signed Ndamukong Suh to a 6-year, $114 million contract with $60 million in guarantees three offseasons ago. It was argued that it was too much money for a single defensive player, and that turned out to be the case because Miami was just 22-26 with Suh. That pedestrian record isn't Suh's fault, as he played great in most of his games, but it just goes to show that a contract like that should only be reserved for quarterbacks. Suh is still a dominant force, but it's unclear how long that will last. He just turned 31, so he could play on a high level for one or two more years before falling off.
Sheldon Richardson, DE/DT, Seahawks. Age: 27. Signed with Vikings (1 year)
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. Franchised by Dolphins
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. Signed with Vikings (3 years)
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.
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.
Johnathan Hankins, NT, Colts. Age: 26. Signed with Raiders
The Colts made a great trade with the Jets, but Frank Reich isn't off to a good start as head coach of the Colts. He has decided to switch to a 4-3 Tampa-2 defense, which means his best defender, Johnathan Hankins, no longer fit the system. Hankins was cut as a result. Just 26, Hankins is a very talented defensive tackle who generates pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stuffs the run effectively when healthy. He's currently one of the top free agents available, due to Indianapolis' incompetence.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Lions. Age: 29. Franchised by Lions
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. Signed with Browns
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.
Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Jets. Age: 28. Signed with Packers
From 2012 to 2015, Muhammad Wilkerson was considered a top-five 3-4 defensive end. It could've even been argued that he was the second-best player at his position in the entire league, behind only J.J. Watt. Wilkerson was rewarded with a 5-year, $87 million deal in the summer of 2016. Ever since, however, Wilkerson has mailed it in. He disappointed on the field and had a habit of skipping team meetings. That said, Wilkerson is still just 28, and if he signs with a team that has a strong locker room, he could revert back to his pre-2016 playing days. He carries lots of risk though.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars. Age: 25. Signed with Bears
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.
Mychal Kendricks, OLB, Eagles. Age: 27. Signed with Browns
Talent is certainly not the reason why Mychal Kendricks was released, as he had a terrific 2017 campaign. Kendricks was owed close to $6 million in 2018, so the Eagles needed to trade him to create cap space. They couldn't find a partner, so Kendricks was cut. Kendricks can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4, though he's better in the former, and as a skilled linebacker in all facets, he should find a home quickly.
Rashaan Melvin, CB, Colts. Age: 28. Signed with Raiders
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. Signed with Jets
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. Re-signed with Colts (1 year)
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. Signed with Chiefs
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.
Josh Sitton, G, Bears. Age: 32. Signed with Dolphins
Josh Sitton missed three games with an ankle injury this past season, but was otherwise terrific. Sitton has been one of the best guards in the NFL over the past decade. He's 32 now, but interior linemen can play at a high level into their mid-30s, so Sitton should still have a few great years remaining in the tank. The Bears, unwilling to pay his $8 million option, will certainly miss him.
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. Signed with Saints (4 years)
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. Re-signed with Bears
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. Re-signed with Bears
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.
Dontari Poe, NT, Falcons. Age: 27. Signed with Panthers
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. Signed with Panthers
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. Signed with Titans
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. Signed with Cardinals
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. Signed with Raiders
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. Re-signed with Raiders (3 years, $15 million)
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. Signed with Patriots
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. Re-signed with Titans
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. Signed with Browns (3 years)
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. Signed with Broncos (2 years, $36 million)
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. Signed with Bears (4 years, $32 million)
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.
Richard Sherman, CB, Seahawks. Age: 30. Signed with 49ers
Richard Sherman is a 30-year-old coming off a torn Achilles. He was once considered the best cornerback in the NFL, but because of age and injuries, that's not the case anymore. There's not even a guarantee that Sherman will be anywhere close to 100 percent in 2018, so the next time he's fully healthy could be his age-31 season.
Nate Solder, OT, Patriots. Age: 30. Signed with Giants (4 years)
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. Re-signed with Redskins (2 years, $7 million)
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. Signed with Packers (3 years)
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.
John Sullivan, C, Rams. Age: 33. Re-signed with Rams (2 years)
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. Signed with Browns
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. Signed with Bills
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. Re-signed with Rams
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.
Vinny Curry, DE, Eagles. Age: 30. Signed with Buccaneers (3 years)
The stats don't show it, but Vinny Curry is a very talented player. He hasn't recorded more than 3.5 sacks since 2013, but he has provided a consistent pass rush. He's also very effective in run support. The one downside with him is that he turns 30 in June, but he should still be able to perform on a high level for at least two more seasons. He'll generate plenty of interest on the open market.
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. Signed with Jets
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. Signed with Saints (3 years, $24 million)
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.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos. Age: 27. Signed with Panthers
It's unclear why the Broncos felt the need to trade or cut their best running back by a mile, but they did the latter with C.J. Anderson. The 27-year-old is coming off a 1,000-yard season in which he averaged 4.1 yards per carry, a solid number considering the state of his sub-par offensive line. Anderson should have plenty of suitors on the open market.
Jerrell Freeman, ILB, Bears. Age: 32. Announced retirement
Jerrell Freeman has been popped for 14 combined games for PEDs over the past couple of seasons. In fact, he'll have to serve the final two games of his sentence in 2018. Still, Freeman is a talented linebacker, and he could provide a team with some short-term help at the position.
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.
A.J. McCarron, QB, Bengals. Age: 27. Signed with Bills (2 years)
A.J. McCarron was nearly traded to the Browns before the front office screwed up the paperwork. Perhaps Cleveland will make another attempt to acquire him this offseason. If so, the Browns are getting a quarterback who can probably be an average starter in the NFL. In extensive action in 2015, McCarron threw six touchdowns to two interceptions, with a 66.4 completion percentage and a 7.2 YPA.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings. Age: 25. Signed with Jets
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. Signed with Titans
Bennie Logan doesn't put much pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but he's a tremendous run defender. He did fine after signing a 1-year "prove it" deal with the Chiefs last offseason, but more was expected from him.
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.
Kayvon Webster, CB, Rams. Age: 27.
Kayvon Webster is a talented cornerback, but is coming off a torn Achilles that could put him on the PUP list to begin the 2018 campaign. Still, Webster is just 27, so he still has some good years ahead of him.
Ross Cockrell, CB, Giants. Age: 27. Signed with Panthers
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.
Orlando Scandrick, CB, Cowboys. Age: 31. Signed with Redskins (2 years)
Orlando Scandrick was once one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, but injuries have derailed his career. He hasn't played a full season since 2013. He's now 31, so there's a good chance he may never be the same again, which is a shame. That said, Scandrick could bounce back with one or two more strong years if he manages to stay healthy for a change, so he should be given a 1-year "prove it" deal.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Giants. Age: 32.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was once known as one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, but that's not the case anymore, given his age (32 in April). Rodgers-Cromartie struggled last year. He wasn't horrible, but definitely had a down season. He also clashed with coaches, prompting his release. Rodgers-Cromartie can still contribute, and perhaps he'll have a rebound season, but his best days are certainly behind him.
Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB, Rams. Age: 26. Re-signed with Rams (3 years, $15.75 million)
Nickell Robey-Coleman was stellar as the Rams' slot corner 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. Signed with Texans (4 years)
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. Signed with Jaguars (2 years)
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.
Nick Fairey, DT, Saints. Age: 30.
Nick Fairley is a very disruptive interior force - 6.5 sacks in 2016 - and he'd be rated a lot higher than this if it wasn't for his serious heart condition. There's a chance Fairley may never play again.
Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings. Age: 30. Signed with Cardinals (1 year, $20 million)
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.
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. Re-signed with Saints (2 years)
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. Re-signed with Lions
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.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans. Age: 30.
DeMarco Murray is coming off the worst season of his career. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. He also just turned 30 in February, so his best days are obviously behind him. Still, Murray carried the ball only 184 times in 2017, so his legs are fresh. He's also still a dynamic receiving back - 39 catches this past season - so he can still contribute despite his poor 2017 campaign.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns. Age: 25. Signed with Jets (3 years)
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 (when Joe Thomas was healthy.)
Kony Ealy, DE/OLB, Jets. Age: 26. Signed with Cowboys
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. Signed with 49ers (5 years)
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.
Mike Pouncey, C, Dolphins. Age: 29. Signed with Chargers
Some might be surprised by this release, but Mike Pouncey hasn't played well for a while. He was horrible this past season, thanks to failing hips. Pouncey is unquestionably talented, but all of the injuries he has suffered over the years have caused him to regress. There's a chance he bounces back in 2018, but no team should spend a lot on him because he carries high risk.
Travis Swanson, C, Lions. Age: 27. Signed with Jets
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. Re-signed with Patriots (3 years)
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 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.
Vontae Davis, CB, Colts. Age: 30. Signed with Bills (1 year)
Vontae Davis has performed like a 1.5-star player the past couple of years, but only because he hasn't been able to stay healthy; Davis played in just five games in 2017. However, Davis used to be a terrific cornerback, and he could bounce back if he's over his injuries.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers. Age: 29. Signed with Raiders
It's a shame what Tampa Bay's partying lifestyle did to Doug Martin's career. Martin, a first-round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft, had 1,400-yard rushing seasons in 2012 and 2015, but has been in the 400s in every other year. Martin has suffered through injuries and lethargy, and he was highly ineffective this past season, averaging a career-worst 2.9 yards per carry. Martin may have checked out forever, but I'd give him a chance with a 1-year "prove it" deal to see if he can bounce back.
Sam Shields, CB, Packers. Age: 30. Signed with Rams
Sam Shields is difficult to rate. He was considered the Packers' top cornerback heading into 2016, and while that wasn't saying much, he's worth a four-star rating at least under normal circumstances. Shields, however, missed all but one game in 2016 with a concussion, and then was out for all of 2017. Shields has finally been cleared, but another concussion could knock him out for good. He should retire, but he can still probably play well.
Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots. Age: 31. Announced retirement
Martellus Bennett caught 55 passes for 701 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016, helping the Patriots win the Super Bowl. However, Bennett barely did anything in 2017 because of injuries. He's now 31 and should continue to regress, but he could have another decent season or two remaining in the tank as long as he stays healthy.
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. Signed with Colts
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.
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. Signed with Cowboys
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. Signed with Chiefs
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.
Pernell McPhee, DE/OLB, Bears. Age: 29. Signed with Redskins
Pernell McPhee is productive when he gets to play - 14 sacks for the Bears over the past three seasons - but he's had trouble staying healthy. McPhee has missed 12 games in that span, and given that he turns 30 in December, his durability likely won't get any better.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders. Age: 30. Signed with Ravens (3 years)
Michael Crabtree is better than Jordy Nelson at this stage of their careers, so it's unclear why Oakland cut him to make room for Nelson. Crabtree is younger and still create separation. He's also a potent target in the end zone, scoring 25 touchdowns in the past three seasons.
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys. Age: 29. Signed with Saints
Dez Bryant has been released because his absence will save the cap-strapped Cowboys $12 million in cap space if he's designated as a June 1 cut. Bryant is a declining player approaching 30 (in November) who struggles to separate. He has not adjusted his game to compensate for this, and he'll need to if he wants to keep playing beyond two more seasons. He's no longer a No. 1 receiver, but perhaps Dallas cutting him will serve as motivation.
Robert Ayers, DE, Buccaneers. Age: 32.
Robert Ayers registered just two sacks last year, but played better than that. He's strong versus the run and decent enough as a pass-rusher, but the downside is that he turns 33 on Sept. 6.
Chris Baker, DT, Buccaneers. Age: 30. Signed with Bengals
Chris Baker had a terrific season in 2016, and he signed a 3-year, $15.75 million contract last spring. He seemed like a great addition, but he slacked off in his new home and was ineffective. Baker is very talented, however, and he could bounce back if motivated.
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. Signed with Raiders
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. Signed with Eagles (1 year)
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.
Tramon Williams, CB, Cardinals. Age: 35. Signed with Packers
Tramon Williams surprisingly played extremely well for the Cardinals this past season. Unfortunately for Williams, he may not be able to repeat that in 2018, as he'll be 35.
Paul Posluszny, OLB, Jaguars. Age: 33. Announced retirement
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. Signed with Jets
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.
Eric Ebron, TE, Lions. Age: 25. Signed with Colts (2 years)
Eric Ebron is a minor bust from the 2014 NFL Draft. The 10th-overall pick, Ebron has posted decent numbers - 61 catches, 711 yards in 2016; 53 receptions, 574 yards in 2017 - but he's been very inconsistent, as he's hurt the Lions with untimely drops. That said, Ebron is still young (25 in April) and athletic enough to draw interest from numerous teams.