Posted August 07, 2013

NFL’s best remaining free agents: Kerry Rhodes, Brandon Lloyd still available

NFL Free Agency
Brandon Lloyd had 911 yards on 74 catches last season with the Patriots.

Brandon Lloyd had 911 yards on 74 catches last season with the Patriots. (Simon Bruty/SI)

The NFL’s free-agent frenzy for 2013 is a distant memory, with teams now sorting their rosters in training camp and the preseason. Despite that, a boatload of recognizable names remain on the market, hoping to land an opportunity in August or September.

Who are the best remaining free agents at each position? Here’s a look: (Note: These lists will be updated as players are signed/released.)

QB

1. Tyler Thigpen
2.
JaMarcus Russell
3.
Trent Edwards

Others of note: Matt Leinart, Byron Leftwich

Not much left to see here, other than if Russell winds up getting a chance to revive his career somewhere. Every other QB listed has No. 1 QB experience, but only Leftwich started a game last year. He lost that one, a 13-10 game at Baltimore, dropping him to 0-6 as a starter since the 2007 season.

RB

1. Willis McGahee
2. Michael Turner
3.
Beanie Wells

Others of note: Cedric Benson, Kevin Smith, Brandon Jacobs, Javon Ringer, Tim Hightower

Injuries, age, ineffectiveness … take your pick. There are ample reasons why these running backs remain unsigned. McGahee’s atop the list because he was en route to a second straight 1,000-yard season before a devastating leg injury. If he can get all the way back, there’s still some juice left in the tank.

WRs

1. Brandon Lloyd
2. Laurent Robinson
3. Deion Branch

Others of note: Donald Jones, Brandon Stokley, Randy Moss

Lloyd reportedly caused some headaches in the New England locker room, but he also caught 74 balls last year and 70 the season prior. Concussion issues sidetracked Robinson following a breakout 2011 with the Cowboys. Teams in need might prefer the 25-year-old Jones over a 34-year-old Branch.

TE

1. Dallas Clark
2. Randy McMichael
3. Todd Heap

Others of note: Evan Moore, Daniel Graham, David Thomas, Will Heller

This once constituted a really productive group. Not so much anymore. Clark did have 47 catches for Tampa Bay last season, so he should be able to help if he lands in the right situation. Heap’s time in Arizona was an unmitigated disaster. There is not a lot of upside with any of the tight ends still available.

OT

1. Jammal Brown
2.
Winston Justice
3.
Sean Lockler

Others of note: Jared Gaither, Wayne Hunter, Frank Omiyale

A six of one, half-dozen of the other for the remaining tackles — they can start in a pinch but asking anything beyond that would be a mistake. Players like Justice or Omiyale could slide inside and pick up some snaps at guard, too. Talent-wise, Gaither is the best tackle still on the market. He left the Chargers hanging out to dry last season, though, so it’s hard to say if he even wants to sign anywhere.

G/C

1. Cooper Carlisle
2.
Travelle Wharton
3. Deuce Lutui

Others of note: Bobbie Williams

Teams in need of impact guards at this point probably are out of luck. Brandon Moore really was the last guy who possibly fell in that category, and he opted to retire hours after agreeing to a deal with the Cowboys. There’s minimal distinction between the remaining guards on the list.

DEs

1. Mark Anderson
2. Trevor Scott
3.
Juqua Parker

Others of note: Kyle Vanden Bosch, Dave Tollefson

Anderson was a surprise cut in July, following a truly disappointing and injury-plagued 2012 with the Bills. If a team wants a straight pass-rusher, Anderson would fit the bill — he had 10 sacks for New England in 2011. Scott’s an under-the-radar talent, at 28 years of age and with 16.5 career sacks.

Richard Seymour, 33, had three sacks and seven QB hurries in eight games in Oakland last year.

Richard Seymour, 33, had three sacks and seven QB hurries in eight games with Oakland last year. (Reed Hoffmann/AP)

DTs

1. Richard Seymour
2.
Justin Bannan
3. Sione Po’uha

Others of note: Rocky Bernard, Corey Williams

Is the 33-year-old Seymour ready to call it a career? If not, he’s more than capable of filling at least a rotational role somewhere. Bannan started 45 games over the past three seasons, with stops in Denver and St. Louis. Po’uha did yeoman’s work as a nose tackle in the Jets’ 3-4, but he continues to struggle with the back injury that sidelined him for six games in 2012.

OLBs

1. Thomas Howard
2.
Rocky McIntosh
3. Mike Peterson

Others of note: Michael Boley, Leroy Hill, Chris Gocong, Scott Shanle

The two best outside linebackers listed probably are Boley and Hill. Both are facing potential NFL suspensions — Boley for an arrest on child abuse charges, Hill on account of a January domestic violence incident. Howard, McIntosh and Peterson all could chip in on a 4-3 defense; Gocong may be the top 3-4 OLB option available.

ILB

1. Bart Scott
2.
Bradie James
3. Paris Lenon

Others of note: Takeo Spikes, Barrett Ruud, Tavares Gooden

Scott needed toe surgery in January, though he should be 100 percent for the start of the regular season. It would be surprising if he does not land a job sometime between now and then. James started 14 games for Houston last season, while Lenon started every Cardinals game from 2010-12. Likewise, Spikes has not missed a contest since 2009.

CB

1. Eric Wright
2. Sheldon Brown
3. Cedric Griffin

Others of note: Rashean Mathis, Jason Allen, Stanford Routt

Wright was arrested and then failed a physical after an attempted trade to San Francisco. Suffice it to say, his stock is not sky high. If he can get in shape, he’s still a veteran corner capable of helping out a secondary. Brown, 34, had a really solid 2012 for Cleveland. Griffin reportedly was arrested in early August on a DWI charge, possibly the nail in the coffin on his career.

S

1. Kerry Rhodes
2. Quintin Mikell
3. Madieu Williams

Others of note: Atari Bigby, Jordan Babineaux

How is Rhodes still a free agent? Sure, he’s turning 32 in August and Rex Ryan previously ripped the former Jets’ attitude. But Rhodes still played his tail off in 2012, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-best safety in the NFL. Mikell has started at least 15 games each of the past five seasons.

13 comments
USACeltic
USACeltic

The Giants Really need to sign Rhodes, they need a ton of help in their backfield and rolle is basically doing everything himself just to keep them in games

jcextra
jcextra

Kerry just gonna have to go ahead and retire and then come out so that all of his future endeavors wont be affected by his sexuality. Aint nobody gonna sign him this season. At least not in the NFL. Maybe he can become a coach or a sports analyst

OwenRoswald
OwenRoswald

I thought Barrett Ruud was going to be legit. Thomas Howard had some great seasons too

BrandonPurdy
BrandonPurdy

Kerry just needs to come out the closet. If I was a GM I wouldn't want him either. Some guys in the locker room is just not ready.

Whatever
Whatever

I still can't believe Lloyd is unsigned (or that the Patriots cut him). He played well last year.

Axel
Axel

"How is Rhodes still a free agent?" 

-After his ex-boyfriend outed him back in April everyone knows he's gay now. NFL locker rooms just aren't ready for that. It's f'd up that things are that way, but they are. Some guys in the league are mature adults but most of them are just dumb football players.


randomdeletion
randomdeletion

The most surprising name on the list is Richard Seymour, has he really fallen off that far?

Jim21
Jim21

Doesn't it seem like Randy McMichael has been in the NFL for 30 years? 

Muzik
Muzik

@BrandonPurdy You think every man in the NFL is straight besides Kerry?  Because Kerry is gay that means he automatically wants every other man, has no taste and would ogle and hit on teammates? 

kyyled5
kyyled5

@Axel I hope you're wrong but I have a bad feeling you're right

kyyled5
kyyled5

@Jim21 Traded for that dude in like Madden 2004. They rated him crazy high

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

@Muzik

Not ogle or hit on teammates ... Why do i hear that argument from gays and defenders of gay rights... That stance is silly.. it's for the same reasons we have separate locker rooms for men and women and women ONLY gym's.. WHY? ... comfort level. Women do not want to be watched while working out by someone who would be sexually attracted to them. Guys are people too their feelings should be considered especially being in the intimacy of a locker room, this is would not be an issue in an office job... .... OK problem solved separate showers and changing areas for gay players who wishes to come out. Any negative treatment towards the gay players going forward will be a reflection on the other players not the gay ones.