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Capable pass rushers still available as second week of free agency begins

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With one week of free agency now in the books, here are the top remaining unsigned/untagged unrestricted free agents left in PFT’s rankings:

18.  Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

34.  Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton.

43.  Bears defensive end Corey Wootton.

48.  Broncos outside linebacker Shaun Phillips.

49.  Ex-Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

53.  Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

65.  Cowboys defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

72.  Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

76.  Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno.

79.  Seahawks outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield.

83.  Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers.

87.  Ex-Buccaneers offensive guard Davin Joseph.

91.  Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.

93.  Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

95.  Saints center Brian De La Puente.

99.  Panthers offensive guard Travelle Wharton.

101.  Raiders defensive tackle Pat Sims.

108.  Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman.

Now, a few thoughts entering the second week of free agency:

Pass-rush help is still to be had. Jared Allen is the biggest name still out there, but Broncos defensive end/outside linebacker Shaun Phillips (10 sacks in 2013) also remains unsigned, as does Cowboys defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

A number of the top unsigned players are coming off of injuries. Bears defensive linemen Henry Melton (knee) and Corey Wootton (hip) are two prime examples. Spencer (knee) missed almost all of 2013. Seahawks outside linebacker/defensive end O’Brien Schofield had a deal with the Giants nixed because of a knee issue. Meanwhile, a neck injury is clearly the holdup with skilled Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

What happens with Knowshon Moreno? The top unsigned running back on the market, Moreno led the Broncos in rushing a season ago. There has to be a key role for him in someone’s backfield. He’s an asset in the passing game, and he fumbled just once in 301 regular season touches in 2013.

Who rolls the dice on Josh Freeman? The last player to make PFT’s free agent list, Freeman is just 26 years old. The question is, does he land a job before the draft, which will fill some of the open QB depth chart spots around the league? Ideally for Freeman, he finds employment with a team coached by someone who works well with quarterbacks. On paper, the Bears, Ravens, Eagles and Saints would seem like decent fits for Freeman, but it doesn’t appear he’s in a position where he can be choosy if he wants to work in 2014.

The strength of the 2014 NFL Draft could very well work against some players still on the market. There are still some veteran starters out there; Allen jumps to mind. And starter-caliber players can be patient. However, there are far more veteran reserves unsigned. The sooner experienced backups can land on a roster, the better. The rookies are coming.

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30 Responses to “Capable pass rushers still available as second week of free agency begins”
  1. jlgsoccer says: Mar 18, 2014 5:42 PM

    for a second i thought you were classifying josh freeman as “capable”

  2. jimmysee says: Mar 18, 2014 5:47 PM

    Where’s Johnny Jolly on that list?

  3. mdobrasz says: Mar 18, 2014 5:51 PM

    People once wrote off guys like Vinny Testaverde, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon, and others before they went to have extremely successful careers.

  4. dtownsportslions says: Mar 18, 2014 6:03 PM

    No one has signed MJD? Running back has no value these days

  5. slaugin says: Mar 18, 2014 6:03 PM

    Josh McDaniels Drafted Ayers, BB typically gives those guys a shot. If they can get him on the cheap, I’d be for it

  6. brassknuckles47 says: Mar 18, 2014 6:06 PM

    We thought that this was an article about ‘PASS RUSHERS’. How did these players make the list?

    53. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick ~NOT!

    72. Packers tight end Jermichael Finley~ NOT!

    76. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno ~NOT!

    87. Ex-Buccaneers offensive guard Davin Joseph~NOT!

    91. Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount~NOT!

    93. Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew~NOT!

    95. Saints center Brian De La Puente ~NOT!

    99. Panthers offensive guard Travelle Wharton~NOT

    108. Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman~NOT!

  7. missingsock215 says: Mar 18, 2014 6:18 PM

    I’m surprised MJD has not latched onto a team yet.

  8. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 18, 2014 6:23 PM

    Can’t believe the Pats haven’t re-signed Blount yet. And a pass rusher for that matter. Would love to see Allen on the Pats.

  9. pantherfan40 says: Mar 18, 2014 6:31 PM

    Pats will get mjd watch

  10. agelardi says: Mar 18, 2014 6:38 PM

    Love your pick at #8 for capable pass rusher.

  11. pacificnw7722 says: Mar 18, 2014 6:46 PM

    Outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield will most likely return to the Hawks……

  12. readysethike says: Mar 18, 2014 6:48 PM

    Pats would be foolish to not resign Blount

  13. kosarsmyidol says: Mar 18, 2014 7:06 PM

    If I were the Browns, I’d snatch up Blount. Ben Tate, Blount, Dion Lewis and Edwin Baker would make for a nice group of young running backs.

  14. cjweber5187 says: Mar 18, 2014 7:15 PM

    MJD might be unable to leave Florida after he knocked his lady out.

  15. cjweber5187 says: Mar 18, 2014 7:17 PM

    Im surprised Melton and Knowshon are still available.

  16. jjackwagon says: Mar 18, 2014 7:35 PM

    Apparently these guys think they are worth more than they really are.

  17. patriotenvy says: Mar 18, 2014 7:45 PM

    What happened to Blount in the AFC championship game? You’re only as good as your last game, especially a big one like that.

  18. bronx77 says: Mar 18, 2014 8:02 PM

    I hope Denver gets Robert Ayers back. Always been a fan of him

  19. sportswright says: Mar 18, 2014 8:07 PM

    You can never have enough pass rushers.


  20. hansenbrothers says: Mar 18, 2014 8:19 PM

    Henry Melton is a stud. I hope the Packers pick him up.

  21. lscratchingthesurface says: Mar 18, 2014 8:21 PM

    I wouldn’t mind L Blount as change of pace RB spelling Charles and Knile Davis

  22. bigwalt2990 says: Mar 18, 2014 8:21 PM

    Allen wants 10m per..Melton is a biter…Wootton was replaced by Idonije and Willie Young..I don’t like anyone on that list but the RBs.

  23. jaycutlersbarber says: Mar 18, 2014 8:21 PM

    I thought Schofield signed with the Giants?

  24. bronx77 says: Mar 18, 2014 8:23 PM

    Blount disappeared when it mattered most for the pats last year. I could see the pats going after Moreno instead.

  25. dunkindan says: Mar 18, 2014 8:26 PM

    MJD and Ray Rice knocked out their women? MJD Will be a Raider, he’s from the Bay area and Oakland needs depth.

  26. ariani1985 says: Mar 18, 2014 8:40 PM

    But, but. Packers are rebuilding, we can’t lose 6 straight years can we?

  27. cjweber5187 says: Mar 18, 2014 9:10 PM

    “MJD might be unable to leave florida after he knocked his lady out” My bad. Mixed him up with Ray Rice. Idk why MJD hasn’t signed. He had one bad year behind a bad line and no qb. Im sure he has another couple thousand yards left in his career tank.

  28. 52lightsxout52 says: Mar 18, 2014 10:41 PM

    jaycutlersbarber says:
    Mar 18, 2014 8:21 PM
    I thought Schofield signed with the Giants?

    I thought so too. Apparently he didn’t pass his physical or something…

  29. beastmode5150 says: Mar 18, 2014 11:11 PM

    Giants failed schofields physical. We’ll take him back for 500k here in Seattle. Way to go Giants…

  30. jamesundeee says: Mar 19, 2014 3:18 AM

    I would love to see Brian De La Puente signed by the Ravens. Anything would be better then Gradkowski.

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