Predicting where the Top 5 available NFL Free Agents will sign
With the bulk of NFL rosters set as Training Camp kicks off, there are still some big names on the free agent market left unsigned. Most of these names will be scooped up by teams who suffer injuries over the course of the next few weeks. Here are the top five NFL free agents left on the open market…
1. Dez Bryant-WR
Dez has been debated all offseason after the Dallas Cowboys released him, but he still remains unsigned. Some say he was foolish to turn down the Ravens reported three-year $21 million contract, but he intends to play on a one-year deal to prove himself to the league before signing one more long-term contract. He will need to go somewhere with a viable quarterback option, but make no mistake, Dez can be one of the best WR2’s on any team in the league.
Prediction: Dez signs a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers (after they lose one of their top options to injury).
2. Eric Reid-S
Eric Reid is only 26 years-old and deserves to be on an NFL roster. His collusion grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals is not helping his case with any teams in the NFL, but the safety market has been stagnant all season. Safety Tre Boston, recently signed a one-year $1.5 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals–a bargain for a solid starting-caliber safety. Reid is just as talented if not more so–he should find a team during camp.
Prediction: Reid signs a one-year pact with the Los Angeles Chargers
3. Kenny Vaccaro-S
Vaccaro fits the mold of hybrid safety/linebackers like Deone Bucannon and Mark Barron, but he can only fit into so many defensive schemes in the NFL. With his fit in more of a question than most of the other players on this list–he will need specific teams to look his way. If and when a team loses a starting safety to injury, the former first-round pick will likely be under consideration as a replacement.
Prediction: Vaccaro signs a deal close to Week 1 with the Philadelphia Eagles
4. NaVorro Bowman-LB
Bowman showed he could still play during a 10-game stint with the Raiders to close out the season. But an aging linebacker with severe injury history, who views himself as a starter is not in demand in the NFL. With injuries inevitably about to ratchet up, I expect a team to reach a deal with Bowman at some point this summer.
Prediction: Bowman signs an incentive-laden contract with the Dallas Cowboys
5. Antonio Gates-TE
When Hunter Henry went down in the offseason with a torn ACL I figured it would only be a matter of time until Gates re-signed with the Chargers–well, here we are with August approaching and no deal has been made. There have been reports of consistent contact between the two sides, so I do imagine a contract will be worked out. The Chargers will not go into the season with Virgil Green as their starter.
Prediction: Gates signs a one-year deal with the LA Chargers