As we get closer to the NFL season, we take another look at the top 5 remaining free agents and what it would take to sign them.
5. DE Melvin Ingram
Ingram was sidelined last year with a season ending knee injury. Before being sidelined, he recorded 10 tackles and 1 interception in 7 games. His production with the Chargers dipped a little in the last 2 seasons, but a team that is a contender can use the services of the 31 year old veteran. Signing a 1 to 2 year contract with the likes of Kansas City, Baltimore, or Buffalo would be best for Ingram right now. It gives him a contract to show he still has gas in the tank before hanging up the cleats for good and a playoff caliber team gets another pass rusher on their roster.
4. LB K.J. Wright
K.J. played in 16 games last year with the Seahawks bringing in 86 total tackles(60 solo, 26 assisted). similar to Melvin Ingram, at age 31, K.J. will be a great addition to a team that has young linebackers on their roster that could use a vet to take them under their wing. A second tier playoff team looking to make a serious run to get to an AFC or NFC championship like the Tennessee Titans or the New Orleans Saints could really use the talents.
3. RB Todd Gurley
Playing in 15 games for the Falcons last year, Gurley ran for 678 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also managed to pull in 164 receiving yards on 25 receptions. Unfortunately for Gurley, the RB position is evolving more each year where catching out of the backfield is the new trend that coaches are looking for. At age 26 with a history of injuries, Gurley has fewer chances of being a solo feature back somewhere. Bringing him in in a running back by committee type of role would be best for him at this point. Solid landing spots for him would be with the Arizona Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Steelers. These 2 teams will allow him the time to show he can play, but doesn’t need to be the dominant back.
2. DE Justin Houston
Justin Houston had a little bit of a down season last year with the Colts, for him. He accounted for 25 tackles and 8 sacks in 16 games. He was on the field for 77 fewer snaps compared to the previous year (685 snaps in 2019 compared to 608 snaps in 2020). I believe Justin has at least 3 more productive years under his belt. He can fit in on a team that are 1 piece away from having a 1-2 punch similar to what we see in Washington with Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Pairing him with the likes of a Cam Jordan with the Saints or Calais Campbell in Baltimore is the best route to get the best bang for your buck here.
1. CB Richard Sherman
With only being able to play in 5 games this past season due to a calf injury, Sherman recorded 18 tackles and 1 interception for the 49ers. I put him number 1 on this list because I believe he is one of the smartest players to play his position. Adding him to your roster will boost the DB room tremendously. He played a huge role in the Seahawks getting to 2 Super Bowls and winning one and also helped the 49ers get to the Super Bowl as well. The teams that should be talking to him are the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and the Seattle Seahawks.
I believe all of the players on this list will be on a team by week 5 at the latest. All it will take is for a team to be met with injuries to their existing rosters or having a player not live up to early expectations and these guys will be fielding calls left and right. If they are not on a roster by then I would be shocked.