2017 NFL Free Agents: Defensive Tackles

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2017 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2017.
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  1. Kawann Short, DT, Panthers. Age: 28.
    Franchised by Panthers

    Kawann Short is an explosive defensive tackle who generates a great pass rush and also happens to be a force against the run. Short registered 11 sacks in 2015, a very high number for a defensive tackle, and while he didn’t get to double digits last year, he was still an extremely potent player.

  2. Calais Campbell, DE/DT, Cardinals. Age: 31.
    Signed with Jaguars

    Calais Campbell is one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL. He’s outstanding in every regard, placing tons of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and clamping down against the run. He would be a five-star free agent if he were a couple of years younger, but he turns 31 on the first day of September.

  3. Brandon Williams, NT, Ravens. Age: 28.
    Re-signed with Ravens (5 years)

    Ozzie Newsome recently said that Brandon Williams is one of the best nose tackles in the NFL. Williams has played like it at times, though he had a bit of a down year in 2016. Still, he’s a terrific, run-stuffing nose tackle.

  4. Chris Baker, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 29.
    Signed with Buccaneers (3 years, $15.75 million)

    Chris Baker was the lone bright spot on the Redskins’ dismal defensive line this past year. He was a force against the run and also generated a good amount of pressure on the quarterback, collecting 4.5 sacks, which is a solid number for a player at his position. The downside is that Baker turns 30 in October, but he should be able to play on a high level for at least two more years.

  5. Johnathan Hankins, NT, Giants. Age: 25.
    Signed with Colts (3 years, $30 million)

    Johnathan Hankins is coming off a down year, perhaps because he never recovered from a torn pectoral. Hankins is a very talented defensive tackle who generates pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stuffs the run effectively when healthy.

  6. Dontari Poe, NT, Chiefs. Age: 27.
    Signed with Falcons

    Dontari Poe had one of the worst seasons in his career in 2016, thanks to a back injury. Poe is still a monstrous presence in the interior of the defensive line, and he’ll only be 27 in August.

  7. Dominique Easley (RFA), DT, Rams. Age: 25.
    Tendered by Rams

    Dominique Easley was inexplicably cut by the Patriots last offseason. The Rams scooped him up, and he has played well for them, particularly as an interior pass-rusher. Easley is just 25 in February and has immense upside. He’d be rated much higher than this if he didn’t come with character concerns.

  8. Bennie Logan, DT, Eagles. Age: 27.
    Signed with Chiefs

    Bennie Logan doesn’t put much pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but he’s a tremendous run defender. Logan has been excellent in past years, but struggled in 2016 because he’s been bothered by a groin injury since early October. Logan is likely to bounce back next year.

  9. Nick Fairley, DT, Saints. Age: 29.
    Re-signed with Saints (4 years)

    Nick Fairley has signed back-to-back 1-year contracts because teams don’t trust him to stay motivated. Fairley has played well for the Rams and Saints over the past couple of years, especially when rushing the passer. He should continue to sign 1-year “prove it” deals.

  10. Alan Branch, DT, Patriots. Age: 30.
    Re-signed with Patriots (2 years)

    Alan Branch just turned 32, but he’s a terrific run-stuffer. He was set to be suspended for violating the substance-abuse policy late in the year, but he won the appeal.

  11. Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Jaguars. Age: 30.
    Signed with 49ers

    Sen’Derrick Marks used to be a very effective defensive tackle. He recorded nine sacks in 2014. However, he tore his ACL and has struggled ever since. Marks will be a couple of years removed from that injury though, so he could potentially offer some value as a potential Comeback Player of the Year.

  12. Dan Williams, NT, Raiders. Age: 30.
    Dan Williams has been a solid nose tackle over the years, and he even played well in 2015, but he dropped off last year. Williams is coming off the worst season of his career, and there are lethargy concerns with him. Perhaps he’ll rebound with a new team.

  13. Jared Odrick, DE/DT, Jaguars. Age: 29.
    Jared Odrick proved that he valued money over his football career when he took a $42.5 million contract with the Jaguars two years ago. Odrick was horrible in Jacksonville, playing poorly in 2015 and then missing 10 games this past season. Odrick isn’t 30 until December, so there’s still time for him to rebound and once again become the player who earned that big contract in the first place.

  14. Desmond Bryant, DE/DT, Browns. Age: 31.
    Desmond Bryant once signed a $34 million contract, but injuries have derailed his career. He missed all of 2016 with a torn pectoral, and he’s now 31. However, Bryant was solid in 2015, playing well versus the run and accumulating six sacks. Bryant can still be an effective rotational player, but the Browns had to cut him because he was making too much money. Some teams that make sense for Bryant include the Cowboys, Vikings, Saints, Patriots, Colts and Broncos.

  15. Lawrence Guy, DE/DT, Ravens. Age: 27.
    Signed with Patriots (4 years, $20 million)

    Lawrence Guy has been a solid, two-down run defender for the Ravens the past couple of years. He’s only 27 in March and should continue to serve the same sort of role. Guy will appeal to most teams because he can play both the 4-3 and the 3-4.

  16. Abry Jones, DT, Jaguars. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Jaguars (4 years, $16 million)

    Abry Jones is a solid rotational defensive lineman who happens to be only 25. The 6-foot-3, 313-pound Jones is a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

  17. Jaye Howard, DE/DT, Chiefs. Age: 28.
    Signed with Bears

    Jaye Howard was a solid rotational player prior to 2016 – he recorded 5.5 sacks the year before – but struggled this past season with a hip injury. Just 28, Howard should be able to rebound.

  18. Will Sutton, DT, Bears. Age: 25.
    Signed with Vikings

    Will Sutton has been disappointing as a pro thus far, but to be fair, he was miscast in Chicago’s 3-4 defense. Perhaps Sutton will be able to notch his first sack ever in a 4-3. He’s still just 25, so there’s still time for him to prove himself.

  19. Vance Walker, DE/DT, Broncos. Age: 30.
    The Broncos lost Malik Jackson to the Jaguars this offseason, but they planned to replace him with Vance Walker. Those plans were derailed when Walker tore his ACL in August. Walker, who turns 30 one day before the 2017 NFL Draft, is a sub-par starter who would probably be better off in a 4-3.

  20. Sylvester Williams, NT, Broncos. Age: 28.
    Signed with Titans (3 years)

    Sylvester Williams’ fifth-year option wasn’t exercised, so he’ll be a free agent in March. The Broncos will not miss his pedestrian play. Williams probably should be a 1.5-star free agent, but he was a first-round pick back in 2013, so the potential is there.

  21. Arthur Jones, DE/DT, Colts. Age: 31.
    Signed with Redskins

    It’s hard to believe that Arthur Jones was once a good player, but that’s actually true. Jones signed a $33 million deal with the Colts, but gave up on his football career after that. He’s played just 17 games in the past three years, thanks to numerous injuries. When he was actually on the field, it didn’t appear as though he was putting forth much of an effort. Perhaps he still has something left in the tank, but it’s doubtful.

  22. Letroy Guion, DT, Packers. Age: 30.
    Letroy Guion is a decent rotational player who should have a couple of quality seasons remaining in the tank. The problem, however, happens to be his off-the-field issues. Guion was suspended for four games for steroids in between being arrested twice, once for drug and weapons charges, and another for drunk driving. Teams that will be interested in him have to be willing to ignore his personal issues. Teams that come to mind are the Cowboys, Bengals, Ravens, Rams (can replace Dominique Easley) and Chiefs.

  23. Glenn Dorsey, DT, 49ers. Age: 32.
    Glenn Dorsey used to offer a strong presence, but injuries have weighed him down, as he’s missed about half of all possible games the past four years. Turning 32 in August, Dorsey could very well be finished.

  24. Cedric Thornton, DT, Cowboys. Age: 29. — Signed with Bills
  25. Tony McDaniel, DT, Saints. Age: 32. — Signed with 49ers
  26. Earl Mitchell, DT, Dolphins. Age: 29. — Signed with 49ers
  27. Ricky Jean-Francois, DE/DT, Packers. Age: 30.
  28. Denico Autry (RFA), DT, Raiders. Age: 27. — Tendered by Raiders
  29. Terrell McClain, DT, Cowboys. Age: 29. — Signed with Redskins (4 years, $21 million)
  30. Kedric Golston, NT, Redskins. Age: 34.
  31. Damion Square, DT, Chargers. Age: 28. — Re-signed with Chargers
  32. Stacy McGee, DT, Raiders. Age: 27. — Signed with Redskins (5 years, $25 million)
  33. Quinton Dial, DT, 49ers. Age: 28. — Signed with Packers
  34. Stephen Paea, DT, Browns. Age: 29. — Signed with Cowboys
  35. Paul Soliai, NT, Panthers. Age: 33.
  36. Tyson Jackson, DT, Falcons. Age: 31.
  37. Kendall Langford, DE/DT, Colts. Age: 31. — Signed with Texans
  38. Stefan Charles, DT, Chargers. Age: 29.
  39. Cornelius Washington, DE/DT, Bears. Age: 27. — Signed with Lions
  40. Mike Pennell, DT, Packers. Age: 26. — Signed with Jets
  41. Tyson Alualu, DE/DT, Jaguars. Age: 30. — Signed with Steelers
  42. Zach Kerr (RFA), NT, Colts. Age: 27. — Signed with Broncos
  43. John Jenkins, NT, Seahawks. Age: 28. — Signed with Bears
  44. Leger Douzable, DT, Bills. Age: 31.
  45. Sean Lissemore, NT, Chargers. Age: 29.
  46. Mike Catapano, DE/DT, Jets. Age: 27.
  47. Brandon Thompson, DT, Bengals. Age: 27.
  48. Ricardo Matthews, DE/DT, Steelers. Age: 30.
  49. Ziggy Hood, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 30. — Re-signed with Redskins
  50. Domata Peko, DT, Bengals. Age: 32. — Signed with Bronos (2 years, $7.5 million)
  51. Kyle Love, DT, Panthers. Age: 30. — Re-signed with Panthers
  52. Tenny Palepoi (RFA), DT, Chargers. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Chargers
  53. Corbin Bryant, DT, Bills. Age: 28.
  54. Tyrunn Walker, DT, Lions. Age: 27. — Signed with Rams
  55. Akeem Spence, DT, Buccaneers. Age: 25. — Signed with Lions
  56. Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Chiefs. Age: 27.
  57. Roy Miller, DT. Jaguars. Age: 30. — Signed with Chiefs
  58. Al Woods, NT, Titans. Age: 30. — Signed with Colts
  59. Vince Wilfork, NT, Texans. Age: 35. — Announced retirement
  60. Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Falcons. Age: 35.
  61. Antonio Smith, DE/DT, Texans. Age: 35.
  62. Cullen Jenkins, DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 36.
  63. Jordan Hill, DT, Jaguars. Age: 26. — Signed with Lions
  64. Cam Thomas, DT, Rams. Age: 30. — Signed with Chiefs
  65. Caraun Reid, DT, Chargers. Age: 25.
  66. Chris Jones, DT, 49ers. Age: 27. — Re-signed with 49ers
  67. Deandre Coleman (RFA), NT, Bills. Age: 26.
  68. Alex Carrington, DE/DT, Texans. Age: 30.
  69. Randy Starks, DT, Browns. Age: 33.
  70. Chris Canty, DT, Ravens. Age: 34.
  71. Greg Scruggs, DT, Patriots. Age: 27.
  72. A.J. Francis (RFA), NT, Redskins. Age: 27.
  73. Rufus Johnson (RFA), DE/DT, Redskins. Age: 27.

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