2016 NFL Free Agents: Defensive Tackles



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2016 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2016.
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  1. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Jets. Age: 27.
    Franchised by Jets

    It says a lot when you break your leg and still happen to be one of the top free agents on the market. Muhammad Wilkerson sustained the injury in the season finale, and he was missed on the field. He's one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL.

  2. Malik Jackson, DE/DT, Broncos. Age: 26.
    Signed with Jaguars (6 years, $90 million)

    It's going to be very difficult for the Broncos to afford both Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson. Whereas Wolfe is elite versus the run and very good when rushing the passer, Malik Jackson is the opposite. Like Wolfe, Jackson is just 26, so he has a bright future ahead of him.



  3. Damon Harrison, NT, Jets. Age: 27.
    Signed with Giants (5 years, $46.25 million; $24 million guaranteed)

    Damon "Snacks" Harrison is one of the top run-stuffers in the NFL. He doesn't get much pressure on the quarterback, but that's not what he's asked to do. The Jets were extremely difficult to run against because of Snacks.

  4. Nick Fairley, DT, Rams. Age: 28.
    Signed with Saints (1 year)

    What I wrote about Nick Fairley last year still applies: "If Nick Fairley is trying his hardest, he can be one of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL. Unfortunately, Fairley has a history of lethargy and character issues that make him a big risk." Fairley signed a 1-year "prove it" deal with St. Louis and played extremely well. He has earned a larger contract this offseason, but teams should still be wary.

  5. Ian Williams, NT, 49ers. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with 49ers (5 years)

    Ian Williams had an extensive injury history heading into 2015, but he remained healthy for once. Williams responded with a great year. He stuffed the run extremely well and also generated a solid pass rush.



  6. Jaye Howard, DE/DT, Chiefs. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Chiefs (2 years, $12 million)

    Two years ago, Jaye Howard was claimed off waivers from the Seahawks. He has transformed into a solid 3-4 defensive end. He was particularly strong against the run but also generated a decent pass rush.

  7. B.J. Raji, NT, Packers. Age: 30.
    Announced retirement

    B.J. Raji had a strong start to his 2015 campaign before sustaining a groin injury in October. His play has declined ever since. This is nothing new for Raji, who has been hindered by injuries his entire career.

  8. Terrance Knighton, NT, Redskins. Age: 30.
    Signed with Patriots (1 year)

    Terrance Knighton signed a 1-year "prove it" deal last offseason, but he didn't exactly prove anything. He stuffed the run somewhat well, but that was it. Knighton was on the field for about a third of the snaps to close out the season.

  9. Haloti Ngata, NT, Lions. Age: 32.
    Re-signed with Lions (2 years)

    Ozzie Newsome definitely sold the Lions a lemon last offseason. Haloti Ngata wasn't bad in his first - and perhaps only - season with the Lions, but he wasn't anywhere close to the dominant force we saw play in Baltimore. Ngata, now 32, is on the decline.



  10. Brandon Mebane, DT, Seahawks. Age: 31.
    Signed with Chargers (3 years)

    Brandon Mebane dealt with a groin injury early in the season, but got healthier as the year progressed. He was strong to close out the 2015 campaign, being solid in all regards.

  11. Dominique Easley, DT, Patriots. Age: 24.
    Signed with Rams

    Wow, what just happened? It's not every day that you see a talented, 24-year-old with no known off-the-field issues get released in the NFL. Granted, Easley hasn't been able to stay healthy, but to give up on him after just two seasons is inexplicable. The only logical conclusion is that there are some major off-the-field problems concerning Easley that haven't been reported yet. Thus, I'm going to conservatively mock him as a two-star free agent.

  12. Akiem Hicks, DE/DT, Patriots. Age: 26.
    Signed with Bears (2 years)

    The Patriots obtained Akiem Hicks from the Saints for Michael Hoomanawanui. I'd say New England won that swap. Hicks was a solid rotational player who wasn't a liability in any regard.

  13. Cedric Thornton, DE/DT, Eagles. Age: 28.
    Signed with Cowboys (4 years, $18 million)

    Cedric Thornton missed three games with a broken hand, but he's a major reason why the Eagles were so effective at stopping the run at times. Thornton doesn't offer anything in terms of a pass rush, however.

  14. Jason Hatcher, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 34.
    Announced retirement

    Jason Hatcher used to be very talented; he recorded 11 sacks in 2013. However, he slowed down last season, struggling to put pressure on the quarterback. He can still play though, as he was solid in run support.

  15. Letroy Guion, NT, Packers. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Packers (3 years, $11.25 million)

    Letroy Guion's pass-rushing ability has regressed, but he can still stuff the run very well.



  16. Mike DeVito, DE/DT, Chiefs. Age: 32.
    Announced retirement

    Mike DeVito doesn't generate any pressure on the quarterback, but happens to be a stout run-defender in the 3-4. He turns 32 in June, so he could be slowing down soon.

  17. Corbin Bryant (RFA), DT, Bills. Age: 28.
    Tendered by Bills

    Corbin Bryant started when Marcell Dareus was suspended and later when Kyle Williams got hurt. He was pretty solid, especially in run support.

  18. Randy Starks, DT, Browns. Age: 32.
    Randy Starks had a terrific 2013 campaign, but didn't play as well the following year, perhaps because of a back injury he dealt with in the middle of the season. Starks also struggled in 2015, and given that he turns 33 in December, it's fair to wonder if he's done.

  19. Kevin Williams, DT, Saints. Age: 36.
    Announced retirement

    Kevin Williams was the Saints' top interior defensive lineman in 2015. Granted, that's not saying much, but he was decent in every facet. However, he'll turn 36 in August, so he won't be playing well for much longer.

  20. Chris Canty, DE/DT, Ravens. Age: 33.
    Chris Canty played well when he was on the field last year, but he missed the final seven games. Canty has shown durability issues recently, missing 12 contests over the past two seasons. He can be signed as a cheap backup, but no team should rely on him staying healthy from now on.

  21. Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 26.
    Kendall Reyes was a second-round pick back in 2012. The Chargers have been waiting for him to have a break-out campaign, but it has never happened. Perhaps he'll do it elsewhere. He's only 26, so he still has time.

  22. Henry Melton, DT, Buccaneers. Age: 29.
    Signed with Broncos

    Henry Melton is good at what he's asked to do, which is rush the passer. However, he cannot be an every-down player, under any circumstances, because he's a major liability against the run.

  23. Steve McLendon, NT, Steelers. Age: 30.
    Signed with Jets

    Steve McLendon is just a mediocre nose tackle who is just fine in terms of stuffing the run. The Steelers can do better than him, but he's not terrible.

  24. Al Woods, DE/DT, Titans. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Titans (3 years, $10.5 million)

    Al Woods missed some time with an ankle sprain this season. He's not a horrible starter, but he can fit into both the 4-3 and 3-4. He's a jack of all trades; master of none.

  25. Paul Soliai, NT, Falcons. Age: 32.
    Signed with Panthers (2 years, $7 million)

    Paul Soliai is no longer the force he once was, but he's still a very solid rotational run-plugger. He'll turn 33 in December, but he might be able to put together another quality season or two.

  26. Sammie Lee Hill, NT, Titans. Age: 29.
    Sammie Lee Hill was just a part-time run-plugger for the Titans in 2015. He got off to a slow start in 2015 because of a knee injury. He'll turn 30 in November, so he doesn't have much of a future ahead of him.


  27. Pat Sims, DT, Bengals. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Bengals
  28. Sealver Siliga (RFA), NT, Patriots. Age: 26. -- Signed with Seahawks
  29. Red Bryant, DT, Cardinals. Age: 32. -- Re-signed with Cardinals
  30. Jared Crick, DE/DT, Texans. Age: 27. -- Signed with Broncos
  31. Stephen Bowen, DE/DT, Jets. Age: 32.
  32. Alex Carrington, DE/DT, Texans. Age: 29.
  33. Leger Douzable, DE/DT, Jets. Age: 30. -- Signed with Bills
  34. Mike Martin, DT, Titans. Age: 26. -- Signed with Eagles
  35. Ahtyba Rubin, NT, Seahawks. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Seahawks (3 years)
  36. Cam Thomas, DE/DT, Steelers. Age: 29.
  37. Cullen Jenkins, DT, Giants. Age: 35.
  38. Ricardo Mathews, DE/DT, Chargers. Age: 29. -- Signed with Steelers
  39. Nick Hayden, DT, Cowboys. Age: 30. -- Signed with Browns
  40. Jarvis Jenkins, DE/DT, Bears. Age: 28. -- Signed with Jets (3 years, $6 million)
  41. Billy Winn, DE/DT, Colts. Age: 27.
  42. Markus Kuhn, DT, Giants. Age: 30. -- Signed with Patriots
  43. Tyrunn Walker, DT, Lions. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Lions
  44. Arby Jones (RFA), NT, Jaguars. Age: 24. -- Tendered by Jaguars
  45. Tony McDaniel, DT, Buccaneers. Age: 31. -- Signed with Seahawks
  46. Brandon Thompson, DT, Bengals. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Bengals
  47. Kedric Golston, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 33. -- Re-signed with Redskins
  48. Stefan Charles (RFA), NT, Bills. Age: 28. -- Signed with Lions
  49. Demarcus Dobbs, DT, Seahawks. Age: 28.
  50. Tony Jerod-Eddie (RFA), DE/DT, 49ers. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with 49ers
  51. Damion Square, DE/DT, Chargers. Age: 27.
  52. Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, NT, Patriots. Age: 28.
  53. C.J. Wilson, DT, Lions. Age: 29. -- Signed with Bears
  54. Kyle Love, DT, Panthers. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Panthers
  55. Jack Crawford, DE/DT, Cowboys. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Cowboys
  56. Cory Redding, DT, Cardinals. Age: 35. -- Announced retirement
  57. Antonio Smith, DE/DT, Broncos. Age: 34. -- Signed with Texans
  58. Dwan Edwards, DT, Panthers. Age: 35.
  59. Devon Still, DT, Texans. Age: 27.
  60. Clifton Geathers, DE/DT, Steelers. Age: 28.
  61. Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Chiefs. Age: 26.
  62. Jerrell Powe, NT, Redskins. Age: 29.
  63. Brandon Bair, DE/DT, Eagles. Age: 31.
  64. Austin Brown (RFA), DT, Saints. Age: 24.
  65. Greg Scruggs, DT, Bears. Age: 26.
  66. Tommy Kelly, DT, Cardinals. Age: 35.




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