Here are the best available NFL free agents ahead of 2023 season
Here are the best available NFL free agents originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Last offseason, the Eagles signed James Bradberry as a free agent in May.
The veteran cornerback, who had recently been cut by the Giants, went on to have an All-Pro season with the NFC champions and earned himself a three-year, $38 million deal from Philadelphia.
The Eagles' initial signing of Bradberry is just one example of a team making an important free-agent addition late in the offseason.
With the opening of free agency and the NFL draft in the rearview, could there be a James Bradberry out there on the open market? Here's a look at the best available free agents:
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Miami Dolphins
If any team wants to add a veteran to their quarterback room, the 30-year-old Bridgewater will likely be their first call. Teddy Two Gloves now has 65 NFL starts under his belt after making two for the Dolphins in 2022, though he exited both early due to injury. He posted 683 yards passing, four touchdowns, four interceptions and a 62% completion rate over 79 attempts last season.
CB Bryce Callahan, Los Angeles Chargers
Callahan, 31, is the first of two notable cornerbacks still on the market. In his first season with the Chargers, the slot corner recorded a career-high three interceptions, along with six passes defended and 47 tackles, while logging a career-best 15 appearances.
EDGE Frank Clark, Kansas City Chiefs
A starter from the Super Bowl champions is still available. After three consecutive Pro Bowl seasons, Clark recorded five sacks, 39 tackles, 13 QB hits and 24 pressures in 15 games last season. The pass rusher, who turns 30 in June, played 69 percent of the snaps on Kansas City's defense.
EDGE Jadeveon Clowney, Cleveland Browns
Clowney's two-year tenure in Cleveland came to an ugly end. The Browns sent Clowney home and benched him for their season finale after he made comments to the media that criticized the organization and coaching staff.
The three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher enjoyed a strong first season with the Browns, racking up nine sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 19 QB hits in 14 games. But his numbers dipped (two sacks, four tackles for loss) across 12 games last season. The former No. 1 overall pick, who turned 30 earlier this year, played 63 percent of the snaps in 2022.
RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys cut Elliott after applying the franchise tag on fellow running back Tony Pollard. While Elliott's days as an elite lead back are over, he could still provide value to a backfield.
The former No. 4 overall pick, who turns 28 in July, rushed 231 times for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games last season. His 3.8 yards per carry average and 17 receptions were both career lows.
EDGE Leonard Floyd, Los Angeles Rams
Floyd continued to get after the quarterback in 2022, recording nine sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 22 QB hits and 31 pressures. The 2016 first-round pick racked up 29 sacks over his three seasons with the Rams while missing just one game. Floyd turns 30 years old in September.
RB Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Just like Ezekiel Elliott, Hunt's yards per carry average dropped below 4.0 for the first time in 2022. He rushed 123 times for 468 yards (3.8 average) and three touchdowns while adding 35 catches for 210 yards and one score.
Hunt is just a couple of seasons removed from a stellar 2020 campaign where he posted 841 rushing yards, 304 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns. The one-time Pro Bowler turns 28 in August.
DE Yannick Ngakoue, Indianapolis Colts
Barring a return to Indy, Ngakoue is searching for his sixth team in five seasons. The Colts acquired Ngakoue in a trade with the Raiders last offseason, and the one-time Pro Bowler enjoyed yet another productive pass-rushing season.
Ngakoue, who turned 28 earlier this year, tallied 9.5 sacks, 16 QB hits and 27 pressures. He's recorded at least eight sacks in each of his first five seasons.
CB Marcus Peters, Baltimore Ravens
Peters returned in 2022 from a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2021 campaign. He recorded one interception and six passes defended over 13 games while allowing seven touchdowns and a 113.7 QB rating when targeted.
The 30-year-old Peters is a two-time First Team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler. Another year removed from the ACL injury, he certainly has some bounce-back potential.
G Dalton Risner, Denver Broncos
Risner, who turns 28 in July, was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2019. He logged at least 15 starts in each of his first four NFL seasons.