Best NFL free agents still unsigned entering the 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Even though the 2022 NFL season is about to begin, there are still plenty of talented players still looking for roster spots.
The list of free agents entering the 2022 season is especially impressive, with several former Pro Bowlers and All-Pros still available.
Some of the best players will remain unsigned all season, while others will quickly get snatched up whenever an injury occurs.
So, who are the best unsigned options? Here are the top eight NFL free agents as the 2022 season kicks off this week:
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Fresh off a Super Bowl win with the Rams, OBJ’s free agency is complicated. He suffered a torn ACL in February’s Super Bowl, so he won’t be ready to return to the field until at least mid-season. A team could sign him now and place him on IR, with the intent to bring him back whenever he’s fully healthy.
WR Will Fuller
Speaking of injured receivers, look no further than Fuller. The former Texans and Dolphins wideout has played just 55 of a possible 97 games in his career, due to various injuries and a PED suspension. When Fuller is on the field, though, he can be a difference-maker. It feels like a contender will take a chance on the 28-year-old at some point this fall.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
After 12 seasons, JPP will enter 2022 looking for work. The 33-year-old defensive end has had a stellar career, with two Super Bowls and 91.5 career sacks. But he regressed in 2021 with the Buccaneers, totaling just 2.5 sacks and 31 combined tackles in 12 games.
DT Ndamukong Suh
Another former Buccaneer on the market, Suh seems to be waiting for the right fit. He was still productive in 2021, with six sacks in 17 games. Even at 35, the five-time Pro Bowler could contribute to a contender this season if he finds the right role.
DT Sheldon Richardson
Richardson, 31, switches teams almost every year, and 2022 will likely be no different. Since 2016, he’s played for the Jets (2016), Seahawks (2017), Vikings (2018, 2021) and Browns (2019-20). Last season, Richardson had 2.5 sacks and 39 combined tackles in 17 games.
LB Dont’a Hightower
It’s not often that a three-time Super Bowl champion is on the market in September, but that’s the case with Hightower. He was clearly a step slower in 2022. Even so, Hightower remains one of the NFL’s smartest players. It’s unknown if he’ll play outside of New England, or if he would be content to retire after nine seasons with the Patriots.
CB Joe Haden
Like most players on this list, Haden is a savvy veteran whose best days are behind him. But that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute in 2022. Haden, 33, was a Pro Bowler in 2013, 2014 and 2019. He allowed 32 catches on 49 targets in 12 games last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
OT Eric Fisher
Fisher, a former No. 1 overall pick by the Chiefs in 2013, is the best available O-line option. He started 15 games for the Colts last year after making the Pro Bowl for Kansas City in 2018 and 2020. Fisher, 31, was fresh off an Achilles tear last season, so he could be even stronger in 2022 whenever he gets a chance.