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2016 NFL Free Agency:
The top 100 unrestricted NFL free agents for 2016. Fullbacks, kickers and punters are excluded. Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2016.
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NFL Free Agent Tracker:
Von Miller, DE/OLB, Broncos. Age: 27.
Franchised by Broncos
Probably the No. 1 overall free agent this spring, Von Miller made a predictable, easy transition into Wade Phillips' 3-4, collecting 11 sacks. Miller is unquestionably one of the top linebackers in the NFL, and he'll be just 27 in March.
Eric Berry, S, Chiefs. Age: 27.
Franchised by Chiefs
Arguably the No. 1 overall free agent this spring, Eric Berry returned from cancer to serve as one of the top safeties in the NFL. He could be even better next year after having an entire offseason of practice time.
Josh Norman, CB, Panthers. Age: 28.
Signed with Redskins (5 years, $75 million)
Josh Norman gets a ton of hype as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. There's no denying that he's great, as he's excellent in coverage, but he has some tackling issues. Having said that, Deion Sanders also struggled to tackle, so it's not the worst weakness for a corner to have. Update: The Panthers have rescinded Norman's contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Rams. Age: 27.
Signed with Giants (5 years, $62.5 million)
Janoris Jenkins is one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. He didn't play all that well in 2014 because of a lingering knee injury, but he bounced back with a very strong 2015 campaign. Just 27, Jenkins has a very bright future ahead of him.
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.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears. Age: 26.
Franchised by Bears
Alshon Jeffery is one of the top free agents on the market. He's a dynamic receiver who is just entering his prime. He logged 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014 despite working with a lethargic Jay Cutler. He posted a 54-807-4 line in 2015, but played only nine games because of various injuries.
Kelechi Osemele, G/OT, Ravens. Age: 27.
Signed with Raiders (5 years, $58.5 million)
Already a very talented guard, Kelechi Osemele helped his earning potential this offseason by playing and thriving at left tackle in the wake of Eugene Monroe being injured. Teams value versatility up front, and Osemele has proven that he has plenty of it.
Cordy Glenn, OT, Bills. Age: 26.
Franchised by Bills
Cordy Glenn has evolved from a second-round pick into one of the elite left tackles in the NFL. Glenn isn't great in terms of run blocking, but no pass-rushers get by him. He's going to command a huge contract.
Alex Mack, C, Browns. Age: 30.
Signed with Falcons (5 years)
You'd have to be living in a pretty secret world to not be aware that Alex Mack would be opting out of his contract. Mack, who is just 30, is one of the top centers in the NFL and has plenty left in the tank. He signed a 5-year, $42 million offer sheet two offseasons ago, so he should receive a similar sort of contract this spring.
Eric Weddle, S, Chargers. Age: 31.
Signed with Ravens (4 years, $26 million)
Eric Weddle isn't coming off his best season, as he was hindered with some injuries throughout the 2015 campaign. However, he's still one of the top safeties in the NFL. Weddle, who turned 31 on Jan. 4, should still be able to play on a high level for three or four more seasons, as safeties tend to perform well into their mid-30s.
Derek Wolfe, DE/DT, Broncos. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Broncos (4 years, $36 million)
Derek Wolfe missed the first four weeks of the season because of a suspension. He bolstered the defense in his return; he's an elite run-defender who generates solid pressure on the quarterback. At just 26, Wolfe has plenty of room for growth.
Brandon Marshall (RFA), ILB, Broncos. Age: 26.
Tendered by Broncos (2nd)
Brandon Marshall thrived playing inside linebacker in Wade Phillips' scheme, though he was great before that as well. Marshall could be better in coverage, but he's terrific otherwise. He's just 27 in early September, so he's going to be great for a while.
Olivier Vernon, DE, Dolphins. Age: 25.
Signed with Giants (5 years, $85 million; $52 million guaranteed)
Olivier Vernon's stats didn't show it, as he didn't even notch double-digit sacks, but he had a fantastic 2015 campaign, both in terms of rushing the passer and helping out against the run. Just 26 in October, Vernon has a bright future ahead of him.
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.
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.
Leon Hall, CB, Bengals. Age: 31.
Signed with Giants
Pacman Jones was better than Leon Hall in 2015, but Hall is rated higher here because he's a year younger and has been dominant for so much longer. Regardless, losing both would be crushing for Cincinnati.
Evan Mathis, G, Broncos. Age: 34.
Signed with Cardinals (1 year, $6 million)
Evan Mathis got off to a slow start in 2015 because of an injury, but his play picked up as the year progressed, and he eventually reestablished himself as one of the top guards in the NFL, leaving Philadelphia fans wondering why Chip Kelly got rid of his Pro Bowl guard. Mathis' age is a concern - he turns 35 in November - but he should still have a couple of strong seasons remaining.
George Iloka, S, Bengals. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Bengals (5 years, $30 million)
George Iloka had been better in run support than coverage heading into 2015, but he has show major improvement in the latter this season. He'll be only 26 in March, so he still has plenty of room for growth.
Tashaun Gipson, S, Browns. Age: 26.
Signed with Jaguars
Normally one of the NFL's better safeties, Tashaun Gipson was hindered by an ankle injury all year. He struggled as a consequence, but should be able to rebound in 2016. He'll turn just 26 in August.
Reggie Nelson, S, Bengals. Age: 32.
Signed with Raiders
Reggie Nelson has been a terrific coverage safety for a long time. He'll turn 33 in September, but safeties can play longer than most positions, so he should be fine for a few more seasons.
Alex Boone, G, 49ers. Age: 29.
Signed with Vikings
Alex Boone is coming off a down year, but which Niner isn't? Boone is one of the better interior linemen in the NFL, and he'll be only 29 in May, so he still has at least four years of high productivity remaining.
Russell Okung, OT, Seahawks. Age: 27.
Signed with Broncos
Russell Okung is certainly one of the most physically gifted left tackles in the NFL, but he definitely has an extensive injury history that is weighing his ranking down.
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Rams. Age: 26.
Franchised by Rams
After a solid 2014 campaign, Trumaine Johnson improved markedly and performed exceptionally well this past season. He completely erased some of the stud receivers he covered.
Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, Seahawks. Age: 28.
Signed with Raiders
Bruce Irvin never became the dominant player the Seahawks thought they were getting in the first round. He has been inconsistent and doesn't really excel at anything. However, Irvin is a solid player with no weaknesses in his game.
Derrick Johnson, ILB, Chiefs. Age: 33.
Re-signed with Chiefs (3 years, $21 million)
Derrick Johnson made a terrific, unexpected return from a torn Achilles. No one would have been surprised had he been just solid, but Johnson was exceptional. Unfortunately, he'll be 34 around this upcoming Thanksgiving, so he doesn't have too many great years left in the tank.
Danny Trevathan, ILB, Broncos. Age: 26.
Signed with Bears (4 years)
Danny Trevathan didn't play all three downs most of the time this season, but only because Brandon Marshall is so great. Trevathan could have easily done this, as he had a great season in Wade Phillips' system.
Robert Ayers, DE, Giants. Age: 30.
Signed with Buccaneers (3 years, $21 million)
Robert Ayers is coming off his best season yet, notching nine sacks in just 12 games and being very forceful in run support. He would be a four-star player if it weren't for his age - 31 on Sept. 6 - but he should still have two strong years remaining in the tank.
Casey Hayward, CB, Packers. Age: 26.
Signed with Chargers (3 years, $15.3 million)
Casey Hayward is a terrific cover corner, but struggles mightily when it comes to tackling. He's only 26 though, so he has plenty of time to improve that aspect of his game.
Pacman Jones, CB, Bengals. Age: 32.
Re-signed with Bengals (3 years)
In my season preview heading into 2015, I listed Pacman Jones as just a solid depth player at cornerback. As it turns out, Jones blossomed into a shutdown cornerback. He won't have many more years like that, given that he'll turn 33 in late September, but he's still going to command a ton of money this offseason.
Mitchell Schwartz, OT, Browns. Age: 27.
Signed with Chiefs (5 years, $33 million)
Mitchell Schwartz didn't play very well in 2014, and there was even some speculation that he would be moved to guard. Schwartz silenced those criticis this past season, performing on a Pro Bowl level. Removed from Kyle Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme, Schwartz thrived, and should continue to do so in the right system.
Jeff Allen, G, Chiefs. Age: 26.
Signed with Texans (4 years, $28 million)
It was absolutely ridiculous that Andy Reid didn't use Jeff Allen in the first half of the season. It was completely unprofessional on his part. Allen is one of the better guards in the NFL.
Richie Incognito, G, Bills. Age: 33.
Re-signed with Bills (3 years)
If it weren't for Richie Incognito's age (33 in July) and possible character issues, he'd easily be a 4.5-star player. He was fantastic for the Bills this past season. It was great to see him get another chance after that stupid Bullygate scandal was blown out of proportion by idiots on Twitter and in the media.
Walter Thurmond, S, Eagles. Age: 29.
Walter Thurmond told the media that he doesn't believe he'll be back in Philadelphia next season because the team has "only $17 million in cap space." It's great that Thurmond thinks so highly of himself, and he did play extremely well in 2015, but he has a poor injury history that can't be ignored. He'd have a higher rating if it wasn't for that.
Donald Penn, OT, Raiders. Age: 33.
Re-signed with Raiders (2 years, $14 million)
Donald Penn has been one of the better blind-side protectors over the past couple of years, making him an absolute steal for the $9.6 million contract he signed two seasons ago. Penn will command more money this offseason, but there's a downside now, which is that Penn turns 33 in April.
Rolando McClain, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Cowboys
Rolando McClain isn't coming off his best year, but he was outstanding in coverage. He has been a huge surprise for the Cowboys, who took a chance on him after he was out of the league for a while. McClain appears to have turned his life around.
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.
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.
Sean Smith, CB, Chiefs. Age: 29.
Signed with Raiders (4 years, $40 million)
A big reason why Kansas City's defense improved in the second half of the year was Sean Smith's play down the stretch. Smith was suspended for three games to kick off the year and struggled in his return, but he was prolific during the team's winning streak.
Rodney McLeod, S, Rams. Age: 26.
Signed with Eagles (5 years, $37 million)
Rodney McLeod was solid but unspectacular in 2014, but made big improvements to his game last season. McLeod was excellent, showing no weaknesses.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Doug Martin (5 years, $35 million; $15 million guaranteed)
Why is the NFL's second-leading rusher getting only 3.5 stars? Well, Doug Martin has a history of being lethargic. He had two wasted years because of lacking effort. He had a great 2015 campaign, but only because he was playing for a contract. Still, there's a chance Martin has completely matured and will continue to thrive, much like Mark Ingram did this year.
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins. Age: 25.
Re-signed with Dolphins (4 years, $26 million; $14 million guaranteed)
Lamar Miller is a very talented running back who can catch passes effectively out of the backfield; he logged close to 50 receptions in 2015. I don't know why, but Miami's coaching staff never figured out that constantly feeding the ball to Miller is a good idea. That's part of what makes him so appealing, as Miller, just 25 in April, doesn't have much wear and tear on his body.
Ramon Foster, G, Steelers. Age: 30.
Re-signed with Steelers (3 years)
Ramon Foster has done a great job of improving his game, as he has gone from a passable starter to a strong blocker over the past few years. Foster turned 30 in early January, so he should be able to perform on a high level for about three more years.
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.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Giants (1 year)
Jason Pierre-Paul managed just one sack in the eight games he played in 2015. Those who didn't watch him will believe that he was ineffective, but that's not true at all. Pierre-Paul put lots of pressure on opposing passers. His hand issue played a part in his deficiency in run support, but Pierre-Paul will continue to serve as a dynamic pass-rusher.
Charles Johnson, DE, Panthers. Age: 30.
Re-signed with Panthers (1 year, $3 million)
Charles Johnson being cut would've been shocking news a year ago. However, he's coming off a lost season in which he collected just one sack. That wasn't the real Johnson though, as he missed half the year with a hamstring injury and was never the same once he returned. Johnson, who turns 30 in July, could have a couple more dominant seasons left in the tank. He's a tremendous player when healthy.
Tamba Hali, DE/OLB, Chiefs. Age: 32.
Re-signed with Chiefs (3 years)
Tamba Hali is still one of the top edge rushers in the NFL, but he just turned 32. He should still have a strong season or two remaining, but he's going to be slowing down soon.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Redskins (1 year)
I never imagined I'd be ranking Kirk Cousins as a 3.5-star free agent, but he was on an absolute tear down the stretch. He ultimately finished the regular season with a 69.8 completion percentage on a 7.7 YPA. Granted, he beat up on a soft schedule, but he still looks very promising.
Prince Amukamara, CB, Giants. Age: 27.
Signed with Jaguars (1 year)
Prince Amukamara is talented; there's no question about that. However, he would have a much higher rating than this if he could just stay healthy. Amukamara has missed 25 games in his 5-year career, including 13 contests in the past two seasons.
Isa Abdul-Quddus, S, Lions. Age: 27.
Signed with Dolphins (3 years, $12.75 million)
One of the reasons Detroit improved late in the year was Isa Abdul-Quddus replacing James Ihedigbo in the lineup. Abdul-Quddus was solid in coverage and thrived in run support.
Kelvin Beachum, OT, Steelers. Age: 27.
Signed with Jaguars
Kelvin Beachum is a talented left tackle who would be rated a bit higher than this if he wasn't coming off a torn ACL that he sustained in mid-October. There's a chance he could be available for the 2016 opener, however.
Husain Abdullah, S, Chiefs. Age: 31.
Husain Abdullah is on the wrong side of 30, but he had a strong year in 2015 - at least until Week 12, when he went out for the remainder of the regular season with a concussion.
Matt Forte, RB, Bears. Age: 30.
Signed with Jets
Matt Forte will be regarded as a top-level free agent by the public, but the fact of the matter is that he'll turn 31 during the 2016 season. Forte has averaged 3.9 and 4.1 YPC the past two seasons as well. Forte is still fantastic as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, but he's a bit overrated heading into free agency.
Tahir Whitehead, OLB, Lions. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Lions (2 years, $8 million)
The Lions inserted Tahir Whitehead into the starting lineup during the second half of the season, and that was one of the reasons they performed so well down the stretch. Whitehead was solid in coverage, but was even better when stopping the run.
Jerrell Freeman, ILB, Colts. Age: 30.
Signed with Bears (3 years, $12 million)
I don't know what Jerrell Freeman did last offseason, but he should repeat whatever his workout regimen was because he improved dramatically in 2015. Freeman was constantly abused in the run game the year before, but he was an absolute force in that regard this past season. He was also solid in coverage.
Stefen Wisniewski, C, Jaguars. Age: 27.
Signed with Eagles (1 year)
Finally healthy after an injury-ridden 2014 campaign, Stefen Wisniewski played well in his first year with the Jaguars. He's especially strong in pass protection.
Mike Harris, G, Vikings. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Vikings (1 year)
Mike Harris had never been a full-time starter before 2015. He took advantage of the opportunity and ran (blocked?) with it. The Vikings slid him inside to guard after he was stationed at tackle for the first three years of his career, and he was exceptional in all regards.
Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers. Age: 26.
Signed with Steelers (4 years, $20 million)
Ladarius Green was never able to officially pass Antonio Gates on the depth chart, but perhaps he was one season away from doing so. Green, who is highly athletic, performed well when starting for the suspended Gates at the beginning of 2015.
Matt Slauson, G, Bears. Age: 30.
Signed with Chargers (2 years)
It's a bit puzzling as to why the Bears cut Matt Slauson. He was owed less than $3 million, and he was still playing well this past season. Slauson just turned 30, so it's not like he's going to completely regress in the next couple of years.
Justin Tuck, DE, Raiders. Age: 33.
Oakland's defense went off a cliff when Justin Tuck sustained a torn pectoral in October. He was solid in all regards, but happens to be a 33-year-old coming off an injury, so he could decline in 2016.
William Hayes, DE, Rams. Age: 31.
Re-signed with Rams (3 years, $17.5 million)
Everyone knows about Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald and Chris Long, but William Hayes has been a solid player on St. Louis' defensive front as well. Hayes gets solid pressure on opposing quarterbacks and even happens to be better in run support. Unfortunately, he turns 31 in May, so he doesn't have many strong seasons remaining.
Sam Bradford, QB, Eagles. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Eagles (2 years, $36 million)
Sam Bradford played well down the stretch. In a quarterback-starved league, he's going to command a big contract. The danger is that giving Bradford a huge deal could really backfire, given his dubious injury history.
Brock Osweiler, QB, Broncos. Age: 26.
Signed with Texans (4 years, $72 million)
Brock Osweiler finally got his shot when Peyton Manning went down with an injury this year. Osweiler flashed some serious potential, but it remains to be seen if he can be developed into a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback.
Brandon Boykin, CB, Panthers. Age: 26.
Signed with Bears
The Steelers had one of the top nickel corners in the NFL at their disposal, yet they inexplicably didn't use him for most of the year. Overwhelmed defensive coordinator Keith Butler finally began utilize him in December, and it paid off big time, as Brandon Boykin performed extremely well.
Andre Smith, OT, Bengals. Age: 29.
Signed with Vikings (1 year)
It's hard to tell what happened to Andre Smith. He used to be a stout right tackle, but his play has dropped off the past couple of years. He's been mediocre, at best, since 2014. Perhaps he'll be able to rebound.
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers. Age: 36.
Re-signed with Chargers
Antonio Gates had a pair of brilliant seasons in 2013 and 2014, but this most recent one has been ravaged by injuries. He couldn't even get open against the Raiders in Week 16, and Oakland struggled versus tight ends all year. Gates will turn 36 in June.
Joseph Barksdale, OT, Chargers. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Chargers
Joseph Barksdale was the one constant in San Diego's battered offensive line. He's not great, but he's a pretty steady right tackle with no weaknesses in his game.
Vinny Curry, DE/DT, Eagles. Age: 28.
Re-signed with Eagles (5 years, $47.25 million; $23 million guaranteed)
Vinny Curry notched nine sacks in 2014. He didn't quite get there this past season - he logged 3.5 sacks - but he still put great pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He struggled in run support, which is why he was just a rotational player, but Curry could be better in a 4-3 as a left end.
Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals. Age: 26.
Signed with Lions (5 years, $40 million; $17 million guaranteed)
Save for the one season he missed, Marvin Jones has increased his numbers each year. He caught 65 passes for 816 yards in 2015. He's an adequate No. 2 receiver with plenty of potential.
Mario Williams, DE, Bills. Age: 31.
Signed with Dolphins (2 years)
Mario Williams was terrible in 2015, but to be fair, he was a terrible fit in Rex Ryan's scheme. Williams, however, stopped trying after a while and was horrible for the locker room. He's only 31, so he might have a couple of solid years left in the tank.
Eugene Monroe, OT, Ravens. Age: 29.
Eugene Monroe is a very talented left tackle who would be ranked as a four-star free agent if he didn't have any health issues. Unfortunately, that's why the Ravens have gotten rid of him. Monroe has constantly been banged up in Baltimore, missing 15 games the past two seasons. He's still 29 though, so with plenty of time to rebound, some team should take a chance on him with a small contract.
Ben Jones, C, Texans. Age: 27.
Signed with Titans (4 years)
The Texans moved Ben Jones to center from guard, and the decision panned out, as Jones blocked pretty well.
Jason Jones, DE, Lions. Age: 30.
Signed with Dolphins
Jason Jones has never been the same since tearing his patellar tendon a couple of years ago, but he was decent in 2015. He didn't really show any weaknesses in his game, though he wasn't overly forceful.
Jeremy Lane, CB, Seahawks. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Seahawks (4 years)
Jeremy Lane struggled a bit off a knee injury to start the 2015 season, but he performed well in his final couple of games. Lane is a solid nickel.
Brandon Brooks, G, Texans. Age: 27.
Signed with Eagles (5 years, $40 million)
Brandon Brooks is a solid pass protector. He isn't as good in terms of run blocking, but he's a quality guard nonetheless.
Donte Whitner, S, Browns. Age: 31.
Donte Whitner played well this past season, particularly in terms of coverage. However, the Browns are starting over, so they felt as though saving $4 million against the cap would be important. The Browns will miss his play, though it's possible that as a 31-year-old, Whitner would be set to decline soon.
Arian Foster, RB, Texans. Age: 30.
We reported last offseason that the Texans wanted to draft Todd Gurley to replace Arian Foster because the front office deemed Foster too injury-prone. Thus, it's no surprise Houston cut ties with its starting running back. Foster ruined his career by changing his eating habits, which is a shame because he's great when healthy. Unfortunately, he has missed 23 games in the past three years. He'll need to sign a 1-year "prove it" contract this offseason. That, and take a trip to Arby's.
Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Raiders. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Raiders
Aldon Smith is tough to rank. He's very talented - based on his skill alone, he'd be a 4.5-star player - but he obviously has some glaring off-the-field issues that make him a huge risk. Smith has been suspended and can't be reinstated until November.
Will Hill, S, Ravens. Age: 26.
Baltimore releasing Will Hill is quite confusing. He was the team's top defensive back in 2015, playing safety extremely effectively. He's also just 26, so he has a bright future ahead of him if he stays clean. Hill's off-the-field antics are the only reason he's not a four-star free agent, but he's well worth the risk if signed somewhat cheaply. Update: Hill has been suspended for 10 games, which would explain why Baltimore cut ties with him.
Rashad Johnson, S, Cardinals. Age: 30.
Signed with Titans (1 year)
Rashad Johnson can be a liability in run support, but his solid coverage skills make up for it. He just turned 30, but should be able to play well for the next few seasons.
Tyvon Branch, S, Chiefs. Age: 29.
Signed with Cardinals (2 years, $10 million)
Tyvon Branch was the third safety on Kansas City's roster, but he could've started on a full-time basis for most other teams. Branch saw extensive action in the wake of Husain Abdullah's concussion.
Jahri Evans, G, Saints. Age: 33.
Jahri Evans used to be a perennial Pro Bowler, but that's not the case anymore, as injuries have sapped his talent. Evans is still a decent starter though, so he could play well for another year or two despite the fact that he'll turn 33 in August.
Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins. Age: 27.
Signed with Cowboys (2 years, $3.5 million)
Alfred Morris is an overrated player, thanks to fantasy football and Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme. Morris averaged just 3.7 YPC in 2015. That figure would've been better had the Redskins not dealt with injuries up front, but Morris is not the great running back most think he is.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Jets. Age: 33.
Ryan Fitzpatrick can beat all the crappy opponents you ask him to, but he'll struggle in big games because of his physical limitations.
Zach Miller, TE, Bears. Age: 31.
Re-signed with Bears (2 years, $6 million)
Zach Miller came out of nowhere to serve as a reliable target for Jay Cutler in 2015. The problem is that Miller turns 32 in October, so his success figures to be short-lived.
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Falcons. Age: 28.
Signed with Falcons (2 years, $9 million)
Adrian Clayborn signed a 1-year "prove it" contract after playing just one game in 2014 after tearing his biceps. He showed well, putting a decent amount of pressure on the quarterback, though his stats don't show it.
Mark Barron, OLB/S, Rams. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Rams (5 years, $45 million)
Mark Barron was a big disappointment after being chosen with the seventh pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He improved this past season, however, as the trick was to use him at linebacker, where he performed admirably.
Travis Benjamin, WR, Browns. Age: 26.
Signed with Chargers
Travis Benjamin entered the season as a mere situational deep threat. He blossomed, however, emerging as a viable No. 2 receiving option.
Karlos Dansby, ILB, Browns. Age: 34.
Signed with Bengals
Karlos Dansby was once one of the top inside linebackers in the NFL. That's not the case anymore, as he'll celebrate his 35th birthday in November. However, Dansby still performed well last year, particularly in coverage. He should still have two or so quality seasons remaining.
William Gay, CB, Steelers. Age: 31.
Re-signed with Steelers (3 years)
Not that there's anything wrong with William Gay, but he struggled at the beginning of the 2015 campaign. He improved as the year progressed and was playing well to close out the season. Unfortunately, he turned 31 in early January.
B.J. Raji, NT, Packers. Age: 30.
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.
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.
Robert Griffin, QB, Redskins. Age: 26.
Signed with Browns (2 years)
It would've been impossible to believe three years ago that Robert Griffin would turn out to be a bust, but here we are. Griffin had an amazing rookie year, but numerous injuries, a prima donna attitude and lethargy overcame him. Griffin is still worth taking a shot on because of his high talent level, but he always gets hurt, and he'd rather be a star than a football player, as evidenced by his unwillingness to master the mental part of the position.
Greg Hardy, DE, Cowboys. Age: 28.
This was a difficult one to rate. Greg Hardy is one of the most talented pass-rushers in the NFL. Based on skill alone, he'd be a 4.5-star player. However, he's an absolute scumbag and a horrible teammate. He's bad for any locker room, so any team that signs him needs to be sure that the other 52 players can handle his crap.
Derrick Shelby, DE, Dolphins. Age: 27.
Signed with Falcons (4 years, $18 million)
Derrick Shelby took over as the full-time starter once Cameron Wake went down with an injury. He handled himself well and showed no weaknesses in his game. He was at his best when stopping the run.
Bruce Carter, ILB, Buccaneers. Age: 28.
Signed with Jets (1 year)
Bruce Carter had an awful 2015 campaign in which he got benched for a mid-round rookie, but I explained why in the Top 10 Worst NFL Free Agent Signings of 2015 page. Carter sucks in the 4-3, but has played well in the 3-4 earlier in his career. He needs to stop chasing big contracts and settle with an organization that can actually utilize him properly.
DeMeco Ryans, ILB, Eagles. Age: 32.
DeMeco Ryans struggled mightily this past season, but blame clueless Chip Kelly for making the horrible mistake of installing a defense he wanted rather than one that fit the skills of his players. Ryans had never performed well in the 3-4, so perhaps he'll rebound on a new team that utilizes the 4-3. Unfortunately for Ryans, he turns 32 in July.
Chris Conte, S, Buccaneers. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Buccaneers (1 year)
Chicago fans grew tired of Chris Conte's incompetence, but Conte actually played somewhat well in his first season with the Buccaneers. He was probably their top defensive back, but I don't trust him very much going forward.
Patrick Robinson, CB, Chargers. Age: 28.
Signed with Colts (3 years, $12 million)
Patrick Robinson has gone through a roller-coaster career thus far. He was a first-round pick in 2010 and played well at times, but he also struggled enough to get benched in New Orleans. Robinson performed well for the Chargers in 2015.
Sterling Moore, CB, Buccaneers. Age: 26.
Signed with Bills
Not that it's saying much, or really anything, but Sterling Moore was Tampa's best cornerback in 2015. Just 26 in February, Moore has plenty of room for growth.
Bilal Powell, RB, Jets. Age: 27.
Re-signed with Jets
Bilal Powell was New York's best running back down the stretch. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield was huge for the team. His absence in the season finale killed the team.
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.
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.
Antonio Cromartie, CB, Jets. Age: 32.
Antonio Cromartie was atrocious in 2015, prompting the Jets to release him after one season into his 4-year, $32 million deal. However, I'm not ready to give up on Cromartie. He was solid in 2014, and his poor play this past season could be attributed to knee and thigh injuries he dealt with. There's a chance Cromartie is done, given that he turns 32 in April, but no one should be surprised if he bounces back elsewhere.
Chris Chester, G, Falcons. Age: 33.
Re-signed with Falcons
Chris Chester isn't strong in pass protection, but he happened to be a primary reason for Devonta Freeman's outburst. Chester, however, has turned 33, so he doesn't have too many quality seasons remaining in the tank.
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