Top NFL Free Agents: DE
1. Mario Williams, Houston Texans – (SIGNED with Buffalo)
Besides Brees, Williams will be the most high profile player on the market. It’s not often a player of Williams caliber hits the market. Williams was moved to OLB this year and was on pace to have a great season before tearing his Pectoral muscle. He is a best fit in a 4-3 and will likely be paid somewhere north of 15 million per year. Houston could still franchise him, but that will cost over 20 million dollars this year.
2. Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals – (FRANCHISED by Arizona)
Campbell is a rising star in the league. He is the rare 3-4 end who managed to still get 9 sacks last season. Add to that he is only 24 years old and Campbell will be one of the most hotly pursued free agents out there.
3. Cliff Avril, Detroit Lions – (FRANCHISED by Detroit)
The Lions have spent a lot of money on their defensive line already, so it’s likely Avril will have to move on. Avril can fit in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes.
4. John Abraham, Atlanta Falcons – (RESIGNED with Atlanta)
Abraham can provide solid pass rush, but he’s 34 and likely looking at 1 year deals.
5. Mark Anderson, New England Patriots – (SIGNED with Buffalo)
Anderson exceeded all expectations in New England. Anderson has flamed out in other places so other teams may be weary of signing him. I expect New England to try their best to keep him.
6. Luis Castillo, San Diego Chargers
Castillo missed all of last year with a broken leg, but when healthy he is one of the best 3-4 DE in the league. Versatile and physical, will draw a lot of interest.
7. Andre Carter, New England Patriots
Carter proved his career was far from finished this season. Carter torn his quad in week 15 but will be fine for the start of next season. I expect him back with the Patriots if they want him back.
8. Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts – (RESIGNED with Indianapolis)
Mathis can still rush the passer and will be attractive to 4-3 teams that can look past his size.
9. Jeremy Mincey, Jacksonville Jaguars – (RESIGNED with Jacksonville)
Mincey broke out in a big way this season and will look to cash in on it. I would be skeptical of giving him a multi-year deal based on one season of big production
10. Israel Idonije, Chicago Bears – (RESIGNED with Chicago)
Idonije is a very solid run support DE. He could fit well in multiple schemes, so he will attract a lot of interest.
11. Anthony Spencer, Dallas Cowboys – (FRANCHISED by Dallas)
Spencer is a DE/OLB hybrid who has underwhelmed so far in his career, but should get interest from 3-4 teams.
12. Kroy Biermann, Atlanta Falcons – (RESIGNED by Atlanta)
Biermann is a solid situational pass rusher. He is still young and developing. Atlanta might chose to let Abraham go and give Biermann the chance to fill the role
13. Matt Roth, Jacksonville Jaguars
Matt Roth to New England? .. Don’t even start..
14. Jonathan Fanene, Cincinnati Bengals – (SIGNED with New England)
Fanene is an under rated and versatile DL. He had 6.5 sacks last year and provides a solid interior pass rush. Can play both DE and DT. Should attract interest from 3-4 teams as an end.
15. Dave Tollefson, New York Giants – (SIGNED with Oakland)
Tollefson has been overshadow by all the other DEs in NY. However, he is a solid pass rusher himself and will get a chance at more playing time some place else.
16. Phillip Merling, Miami Dolphins - (SIGNED with Green Bay)
17. Wallace Gilberry, Kansas City Chiefs – (SIGNED with Tampa Bay)
18. Antwan Applewhite, Carolina Panthers – (RESIGNED with Carolina)
19. Dave Ball, Tennessee Titans – (RESIGNED with Tennessee)
20. Jarvis Moss, Oakland Raiders
21. Quentin Groves, Oakland Raiders – (SIGNED with Arizona)
22. Juqua Parker, Philadelphia Eagles – (SIGNED with Cleveland)
23. William Hayes, Tennessee Titans – (SIGNED with St. Louis)
24. Turk McBride, New Orleans Saints – (RESIGNED with New Orleans)
25. Trevor Scott, Oakland Raiders – (SIGNED with New England)
26. Raheem Brock, Seattle Seahawks
27. Aaron Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers – RETIRED
28. Jamaal Anderson, Indianapolis Colts - (SIGNED with Cincinnati)
29. Shaun Ellis, New England Patriots
30. CJ Ah You, St. Louis Rams
31. Frostee Rucker, Cincinnati Bengals (SIGNED with Cleveland)
32. Tim Bulman, Houston Texans - (SIGNED with New England)
33. Igor Olshansky, Miami Dolphins
34. Victor Abiamiri, Philadelphia Eagles
35. Derrick Harvey, Denver Broncos – (SIGNED with Cincinnati)
36. Eric Moore, New England Patriots
37. Jayme Mitchell, Clevland Browns – (SIGNED with Tampa Bay)
38. Everette Brown, San Diego Chargers – (SIGNED with Detroit)
39. Jimmy Wilkerson, Seattle Seahawks
40. Tyler Brayton, Indianapolis Colts – (RESIGNED with Indianapolis)