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PFT’s 2014 All-Unemployed Team


UPDATED Wednesday, August 6.

The following is a list of the best available veteran players at each position as of early August. Rotoworld’s free agent list and NFLPA records were used in compiling the list of candidates.

A club’s scheme, positional depth and salary cap situation are all factors that must be weighed when considering whether a team would consider any free agent listed below. Similarly, a player’s skill, age, cost, health, injury history are also data to be considered, as are off-field concerns.

The squad will be updated as warranted as the season approaches:

New additions to the team are italicized:

Quarterback: Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, Josh Freeman, Rex Grossman.

If the 31-year-old Orton still wants to play, he’s the best backup passer available, perhaps the only legitimate plug-and-play short-term starter in free agency. Quinn worked out for the Patriots in late July. Freeman’s offseason stint with the Giants lasted about a month and a half; the question now is whether he can land another job before the start of the season. He’s only 26 years old, but that’s almost said now with a shrug. Grossman (34 in August) started 13 games in 2011 but hasn’t seen regular season action since.

Running back: Felix Jones, Ronnie Brown, Michael Bush, Le’Ron McClain.

Still only 27, Jones could be a viable third or fourth option in a backfield. Brown ranked 16th in blocking among all NFL backs in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. Bush (6-1, 245) is an inside runner who takes care of the ball (five career fumbles in 913 regular season touches), but he’s gained less than four yards per carry in each of the last three seasons. McClain can also play fullback, has less than 500 regular season career touches and doesn’t turn 30 until December.

Fullback: Vonta Leach, Le’Ron McClain.

Leach could be a fit for a team looking strictly for a blocking back. He turns 33 in November.

Wide receivers: Santonio Holmes, Earl Bennett, Austin Collie, Josh Cribbs.

Holmes has shown playmaking ability throughout his career, gaining 15.7 yards per catch in an eight-season run. However, he has played only 15 combined games in the last two campaigns. The 27-year-old Bennett has been released by Chicago and Cleveland this offseason. At his best, he’s been a solid possession receiver. The 28-year-old Collie has 179 career receptions. Cribbs brings value on special teams.

Tight end: Jermichael Finley, Ben Hartsock, Dustin Keller.

Finley’s NFL future is tied to whether he gains medical clearance after an October 2013 neck injury. Given his talent and relatively young age (27), he’s one of the best free agents available if healthy. Hartsock’s value stems from his blocking; he was the NFL’s best run-blocker at tight end in 2013, per PFF. Keller missed the 2013 regular season after suffering multiple knee injuries in a preseason game. When healthy, he’s a solid pass-catching option. He turns 30 in September.

Offensive tackle: Bryant McKinnie, Jeremy Trueblood, Tony Pashos.

McKinnie (35 in September) is a short-term bridge option at left tackle. The 31-year-old Trueblood (10 starts for Atlanta in 2013) and the 33-year-old Pashos (12 starts for Oakland a season ago) are similar options at right tackle.

Offensive guard: Mike Brisiel, Leroy Harris, Harvey Dahl.

The 31-year-old Brisiel started 15 games in each of the last two seasons for Oakland. Harris, 30, can also play center. The 33-year-old Dahl has ample starting experience but had offseason hip and ankle surgery, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Center: Kyle Cook, Leroy Harris.

Cook (6-3, 310) started 66 games for the Bengals from 2009 through 2013. He was limited to four games in 2012 after ankle surgery.

Defensive end: Jason Hunter, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Brett Keisel.

Hunter and Te’o-Nesheim could appeal to 4-3 clubs, while the 35-year-old Keisel is the best of the 3-4 ends on the market.

Defensive tackle: Isaac Sopoaga, Aubrayo Franklin, Vaughn Martin.

Sopoaga and Franklin are fits at nose guard in 3-4 schemes. The 28-year-old Martin has 27 career starts and can also play end in a “30” front.

Inside linebacker: Desmond Bishop, Kion Wilson, Jonathan Vilma.

Bishop recorded more than 100 tackles playing inside in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme in 2010 and 2011. The 27-year-old Wilson started a pair of games at inside linebacker in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 front a season ago. Vilma, 32, has reportedly drawn looks from Atlanta and Miami this offseason but has yet to sign.

Outside linebacker: Larry English, Brandon Jenkins, Kevin Burnett, Stephen Nicholas, Edgar Jones.

The Chargers’ first-round pick in 2009, the 28-year-old English has recorded 11 total sacks in five seasons. He visited the Cowboys in July, but his health is a near-term concern, as he’s coming off knee surgery, according to the team’s website. When healthy, English could appeal to clubs looking for a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 end. So could the 24-year-old Jenkins, a fifth-round pick of Washington in 2013. Nicholas (ex-Atlanta) and Burnett (ex-Oakland) are fits in 4-3 schemes. Both are 31 years old. Burnett comes off wrist surgery. Jones brings special teams value.

Cornerback: Asante Samuel, Dunta Robinson, Corey Webster, D.J. Moore.

Samuel, 33, has 51 career picks, but he’s entering his 12th NFL season. The 32-year-old Robinson would add experience and physicality to a secondary. Webster (20 career interceptions) is a 10th-year pro. Moore, 27, could help in “sub” packages.

Safety: Michael Huff, Ed Reed, Reed Doughty.

The safety market was thinned late in July with the departures of Steve Gregory (Kansas City) and Jim Leonhard (Cleveland). The 31-year-old Huff had stints with Denver and Baltimore a season ago. He was benched after his first (and only) start with the Ravens, a game in which Peyton Manning threw seven TDs. Reed, 35, is a future Hall of Famer nearing the end of his career. Doughty, 31, has made 54 career starts.

Returner: Josh Cribbs.

A long-time special teams ace who can return kickoffs and punts and cover kicks, Cribbs can also be utilized at receiver and in “Wildcat” packages.

Kicker: Rob Bironas.

Has connected on 85.7 percent of his field goals (239-of-279) in his NFL career. May not have the same punch on kickoffs he had earlier in his career — forced just 32 touchbacks out of 80 attempts last season.

Punter: Mat McBriar.

Posted a 41.3-yard gross average (35.0-yard net) a season ago in nine games with Pittsburgh.

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83 Responses to “PFT’s 2014 All-Unemployed Team”
  1. deepseabreeze says: May 14, 2014 7:37 PM

    this team would go winless.

  2. joemontanawasthegreatest says: May 14, 2014 7:58 PM


  3. shadylamp says: May 14, 2014 8:04 PM

    This team is better than the Jaguars.

  4. bgloalcdk says: May 14, 2014 8:04 PM

    How about the fact that Adam Podlesh is employed? He’s on the Steelers roster………… I think this team needs a new punter?

  5. baldandbadass says: May 14, 2014 8:09 PM

    A lot of good back up role players out there

  6. bennyb82 says: May 14, 2014 8:21 PM

    Michael Bush hasn’t played well on the Bears but I’d take him on my team.

  7. obsessedvikingfan says: May 14, 2014 8:31 PM

    Didn’t realize McKinney was that old.

  8. Mike Wilkening says: May 14, 2014 8:36 PM

    I’ve added a new punter. Thanks for pointing it out. — MW

  9. Mike Wilkening says: May 14, 2014 8:38 PM

    There was a suggestion of Michael Bush at RB. He received consideration and could have made it. Certainly one of the better big backs out there. — MW

  10. blackngold4life says: May 14, 2014 8:40 PM

    Didn’t the Steelers pick up Podlesh?

  11. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 14, 2014 8:42 PM

    Julius Peppers should be on this list, but the Packers think a 35 year old man that has significantly got worse since he left Carolina is a “solid pick up.” The past four years packers fans have been calling him washed up and now he is the best player in the NFL….cheese brain logic!

  12. hawkforlife says: May 14, 2014 8:49 PM

    Just shows you how fragile an NFL life is. Some of these guys were college studs and a few highly regarded pros at one time. Sad.

  13. harrisonhits2 says: May 14, 2014 8:58 PM

    Sopoaga couldn’t cut it with the Pats after Wilfork went down and they traded for him. He played well for a few plays in a couple of games and disappeared other than that.

  14. chinahand11 says: May 14, 2014 9:15 PM

    If someone needs a guy to slam into the line and make a few yards, Bush would be a decent pickup. Ronnie Brown is another crafty older guy.

  15. homerhanky82 says: May 14, 2014 9:16 PM

    Vikings will sign Asante. Josh robinson cannot be our #2 corner. Cap will play the slot and i hope Josh only sees the field in dime situations

  16. packsoldier says: May 14, 2014 9:48 PM

    Nobody thinks Peppers is the best player in the league – they are just laughing at the ridiculous amount of money the Bears threw at him. But he was still the sorry Bears’ only pass-rushing threat last year. And even now he counts more against the Bears salary cap than the Packers. Think about that when he’s tearing Cutandrunler a new one this year.

  17. lovemyqueens says: May 14, 2014 9:54 PM

    No love for Dallas Clark?

  18. texansfalcons says: May 14, 2014 10:26 PM

    Would take Bironas over that chump Bullock in a heartbeat.

  19. davidrome13 says: May 14, 2014 10:44 PM

    Richie Incognito would make the list complete. Lol

  20. sguire says: May 14, 2014 10:44 PM


  21. bdbufford77 says: May 14, 2014 11:55 PM

    The Salvation Army could beat this team.

  22. realitycheckbaby says: May 15, 2014 12:07 AM

    Many would start for Minnesota.

  23. staffordsyear says: May 15, 2014 12:30 AM

    IF hes healthy and ready to go on the cheap i wouldn’t mind kickin the tires on Holmes in Detroit.

  24. ahostiletakeover says: May 15, 2014 12:35 AM

    Ravens should bring back Jim Leonhard on a one year deal to compete with rookie Terrence Brooks for the starting free safety job.

  25. ivanpavlov0000 says: May 15, 2014 4:05 AM

    Asante Samuel might be nice for Detroit if the price was right. They could use a solid veteran as a player/coach for all of the young guys.

  26. lic112014 says: May 15, 2014 4:13 AM

    There’s a reason these guys are still out there.Injuries,age and lack of production are all factors.If teams need extra bodies for training camp some of them will get a chance.

  27. patpatriot7 says: May 15, 2014 7:28 AM

    What about Keller as a third TE?

  28. titletownphipsi says: May 15, 2014 8:13 AM

    There are a few teams in the NFL this team could actually beat sadly.

  29. jgedgar70 says: May 15, 2014 8:15 AM

    James Anderson was good for us in Carolina and he had a decent year last year. Surprised he’s still on the market.

    I don’t care if McKinnie is 135 and has only 1 functioning leg, he’s still better than Byron Bell. Sign him DG!!!!!!

  30. madnova says: May 15, 2014 8:45 AM

    Dustin Keller weeps, knowing that Mike Wilkening has Ben Hartsock rated as a better player than he.

  31. mackie66 says: May 15, 2014 9:43 AM

    The “all over the hill gang”.

  32. minnesoulja says: May 15, 2014 10:19 AM

    I would take Asante Samuel OR Dunta Robinson on our MN Vikings secondary.

  33. eroschmidt says: May 15, 2014 10:46 AM

    this is not a very good team. A lot of has been’s and never was

  34. dowhatifeellike says: May 15, 2014 11:18 AM

    This makes me feel better about my team. I was expecting to find someone on this list who could help them, but that’s just not the case.

  35. axespray says: May 15, 2014 11:35 AM

    Steve Gregory and that’s about it.

  36. dolfan13 says: May 15, 2014 11:41 AM

    Wasn’t it about this time last year that many teams were wooing the services of one Vonta Leach including my beloved ‘Phins? It’s amazing what a difference a year makes.

  37. raidernation37 says: May 15, 2014 12:08 PM

    I would like to see Bush back in Oakland because McFadden is awful.

  38. ratbirdking says: May 15, 2014 12:26 PM

    I disagree with the comment about Vonta Leach. The ravens never used him strictly as a blocking back. He’s got hands, and made a bunch of catches that he converted to TDs over the few seasons we had him.

  39. rc33 says: May 15, 2014 2:11 PM

    The Brady Quinn or Vince Young decision must’ve been painstaking.

  40. cavington says: May 15, 2014 2:14 PM

    Davin Joseph and Dustin Keller or Jermichael Finley(if healthy) are the only ones I’d consider.

  41. lscratchingthesurface says: May 15, 2014 2:16 PM

    No Love for Cribbs?? Still decent. Maybe he will find a new home closer to training camp and roster cuts.

  42. natelan69 says: May 15, 2014 2:30 PM

    ANY team is better than the Raiders!

  43. somethinghappeninghere says: May 15, 2014 3:25 PM

    Why are two crappy tackles, part of the worst OL in NFL history, let alone Dolphins history–McKinney and especially Clabo, WHO WAS BENCHED FOR PITY SAKES!–on this list…I know, I know…nobody wants Bully Boy Incognito, even though he’s much better than these two…The Dolphins will start Albert, Billy Turner (rookie), Pouncey, Shelly Smith or Dallas Thomas (2nd year), and Jawan James…two rookies, a former backup, and two pro bowlers–gelling as the year goes on, and will be light years better than what they had last year (and Benton is a much better coach than BullyGate Jim Turner).

  44. gallogj says: May 15, 2014 5:22 PM

    BRING CRIBBS BACK TO CLEVELAND! If only to make up for all of the jersey’s I’ve had to throw away in the past 10 years. At least I’d be able recycle one!

  45. mikebethune1 says: May 16, 2014 12:28 AM

    Where’s Favre

  46. livedalittle says: May 16, 2014 2:42 AM

    The 49er’s should take a look at the cornerbacks

  47. kingbrees9 says: May 16, 2014 9:16 AM

    Greer should have made this list since Finley did . When healthy he would be a better and experienced option at corner for alot of teams

  48. thebirdsareback says: May 16, 2014 12:42 PM

    Ravens should consider one of these vet corner backs. They’ve always had a lot of success with the vet defensive players.

  49. cursedvikings1998 says: May 17, 2014 10:15 AM

    Ahem. Jabari Greer is better than that hot mess Asante Samuel as of now.

  50. Frank Gibbons says: May 17, 2014 11:26 AM

    Ed Reed fell of the face of the earth eh?

  51. tiggerblood says: May 18, 2014 2:40 AM

    Kevin Williams is 34 is better than most DT’s in the league he would be a great asset as a 3rd DT or first off the bench player. James Anderson not being on a team after recording 102 tackles is puzzling. Both players bring leadership and expierence to the table. I’m surprised Dunta Robinson hasn’t made the move to safety with his physical play the transition should be seamless.

  52. drs12522 says: May 18, 2014 4:41 AM

    Seneca Wallace has a plus .500 career start record and a career 86 QB rating. Quinn is something like 2-12 as a starter! Willie McGahee, Tashard Choice, Greg Jones. Devonne Bess, Kevin Walter, Travelle Wharton, Jeremy Trueblood, David Stewart, David Diehl. Jason Spitz, Uche Nwaneri, Sean Locklear.Kellen Winslow, Tony Scheffler, Jimmy Grahm, Fred Davis. Le’Ron McClain, Micheal Robinson, Rob Bironis. Brett Keisel, Andre Carter, Adam Carriker, Johnny Jolly, Isaac Sopoaga, Ryan Pickett, Colin Cole. Jonathan Vilma, Paris Lenon, Will Herring, Erin Henderson, Omar Gaither, Will Witherspoon, Ernie Sims. Aaron Ross, Jabbari Greer, Corey Webster

  53. blueballzny says: May 18, 2014 2:46 PM


    David Diehl retired. He actually just accepted a job as a broadcaster with Fox. Was more of a turnstile than a blocker the last 2+ years anyway.

  54. tncheese says: May 18, 2014 4:35 PM

    Don’t forget Brett Favre…Kidding!

  55. ravens21087 says: May 19, 2014 10:08 PM

    Vonte is still a good player, but the league is changing and no one spends money on a fullback anymore. Can’t blame them better off throwing and hoping for a penalty. It’s the new soft nfl.

  56. dchetz says: May 20, 2014 12:35 PM

    what about Chris Kluwe???

  57. snarkchariot says: May 21, 2014 3:51 PM

    Chris Kluwe is currently writing a profanity-ridden 5,000-word essay on a) why he belongs on this list, and b) how it’s all Mike Priefer’s fault.

  58. billh1947 says: May 27, 2014 6:28 PM

    Julius Peppers should be on this list, but the Packers think a 35 year old man that has significantly got worse since he left Carolina is a “solid pick up.” The past four years packers fans have been calling him washed up and now he is the best player in the NFL….cheese brain logic!
    As a Packers fan I cannot remember any fan calling Peppers washed up,he was and is well respected.the Packers wont have to use him in the same way the Bears did,he wont have to play every down,he will be able to rest,Peppers has most often had to fight through double teams with the Bears,having Matthews on the other side who are they going to double up on? he isnt washed up by any means and with the Packers he just may play like a youngster again which wont be good for the opposition.

  59. shutmdownd says: May 28, 2014 11:07 AM

    It still makes me wanna throw up that the Bills took Mike Williams with the 4th overall instead of Mckinnie… smh

  60. gotdressedinabooth says: May 29, 2014 3:06 PM

    the right system.. holla at asante

  61. motsuret06 says: May 31, 2014 5:12 PM

    Eric Winston could help the Carolina Panthers offensive line woes but they have no money to sign anyone and want to go at LT with Byron “Turnstile” Bell. Gettleman has a plan.

  62. arcuesta730 says: May 31, 2014 5:30 PM

    How is G Travelle Wharton, a TOP 5 rated guard per PFF in 2013, NOT on this list. That’s a heck of an oversight. And TE Dustin Keller’s omission isn’t far behind.

  63. jayfish6402 says: Jun 2, 2014 4:40 PM

    This team would lose every game…that’s why they don’t have a team

  64. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 5, 2014 8:06 PM

    They will be joined by many others once teams start making cuts in the near future. I look for a team to pick up Orton as at least a backup.

  65. sportsfan18 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:08 PM

    Orton isn’t really unemployed.

    If he WANTED to be on a team, he’d be on the Cowboys.

    It isn’t like the league is pushing him away becaue they don’t think he can cut it anymore.

    So, yeah he’s not playing but it’s his choice.

  66. purplengold says: Aug 5, 2014 8:19 PM

    This team has no coach, how about a PFT all-unemployed coach list?

  67. theravenlives2 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:46 PM

    No love for Dallas Clark?


    I spent last year watching passes from Flacco clank off his hands like they were hitting a fire hydrant. He couldn’t block an elderly Sunday school teacher! I can answer that…nope, no love!

  68. theravenlives2 says: Aug 5, 2014 8:48 PM

    Chris Kluwe is currently writing a profanity-ridden 5,000-word essay on a) why he belongs on this list, and b) how it’s all Mike Priefer’s fault.

    …and he’s suing for unfair labor practices because no one has picked him up…

  69. racerx1225 says: Aug 5, 2014 9:51 PM

    Pashos, Samuel and Robinson are still very good.

  70. racerx1225 says: Aug 5, 2014 9:52 PM

    Kyle Orton could be the best 2nd string QB in the league… I dont know, who else? Vick sucked the last 2 years.

  71. racerx1225 says: Aug 5, 2014 9:52 PM

    Jason Campbell?

  72. racerx1225 says: Aug 5, 2014 9:53 PM

    Tony Romo is no better than Campbell, lol..

  73. bigd7387 says: Aug 5, 2014 10:16 PM

    Most of the names from the top are from the Cowboys and the ones that weren’t will probably be added to the Cowboys. Jones is a master at running or ruining a team. LOL

  74. barneyrumble says: Aug 5, 2014 10:27 PM

    Dallas Clark signed a one day contract with the Colts and officially retired a Colt. Could be why he isn’t on the list.
    Ed Reed should have retired with Lewis after the Super Bowl it seems. Sad to see him be forced out instead of on his terms.
    Surprised Cribbs is not on a roster.

  75. barneyrumble says: Aug 5, 2014 10:30 PM

    Linebacker James Harrison? He is not on this list? SMH

  76. bbrophy1 says: Aug 5, 2014 10:48 PM

    It’s a UFL all star team

  77. nickster31 says: Aug 5, 2014 10:51 PM

    I know James Harrison didnt have a great year in Cincy last year, but if a team needs a rush 3-4 OLB, I would look at him first.

  78. eustus says: Aug 6, 2014 10:27 AM

    Jason Whitlock says until you include Jeff George, this list is a joke.

  79. superjroch says: Aug 6, 2014 10:40 AM

    Ed Reed a “future hall of famer”? That’s a stretch.

  80. longtimefanhtr says: Aug 6, 2014 10:57 AM

    This team is better than the Vikings.

  81. deweyaxewound says: Aug 6, 2014 11:07 AM

    With the Bears losing their likely would-be 3rd WR (Wilson, due to the broken clavicle), I think they should seriously check out Josh Cribbs – not only could he be a viable stopgap #3 WR, but he could also help fill the hole left in the return game by the departure of Devin Hester.

    From what I’ve read, none of the returners currently in camp are wowing anybody, and the Bears special teams have ALWAYS been a big impact group. If they don’t want to experience such a massive drop-off from Hester, Cribbs would be great option.

  82. frostymugobeer says: Aug 6, 2014 2:12 PM

    Janarcus Russell & Tim Tebow?

  83. Ordinary Rob's Blog says: Aug 6, 2014 9:22 PM

    Austin Collie ‘ s 179 career receptions are greater than the amount of neurons he’s got left in his brain after all the concussions. Unemployed for his own health. This team is terrible.

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