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Only three of the top 50 free agents remain unsigned

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

Just about all the big-ticket shopping is done.

With NFL teams turning their full attention to the draft, the first phase of free agency is all but over. Following some notable transactions last week, just three players on the PFT Hot 100 Free Agent List remain unsigned: No. 25 Ryan Fitzpatrick, No. 33 Reggie Nelson and No. 45 Nick Fairley, who’s reportedly getting close to a deal with the Saints.

Only a couple major Pro Day workouts remain on the calendar, so teams are turning their attention toward private workouts and the final round of pre-draft meetings. There still could be a signing or two pop up on the transaction wire, but sometimes players still available after the first wave of movement choose to wait, thinking they’ll have more leverage or more options following the draft.

This year’s draft is April 28-30.

Fitzpatrick and the Jets are still in a bit of a staredown, with the Broncos looming as a possible contender. Nelson will have multiple options, too, though one of them probably disappeared last week when the Titans signed former Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson. It’s not just the first wave that went fast; with the Cowboys having signed running back Alfred Morris last week, players 51-66 on the Hot 100 list all have new contracts.

As for who was busiest in the fast-moving free agent period, the Jaguars ended up with No. 4 Malik Jackson, No. 34 Kelvin Beachum, No. 46 Prince Amukamara, No. 61 Chris Ivory and No. 66 Tashaun Gipson. The Giants were busy, too, signing No. 6 Olivier Vernon, No. 12 Damon Harrison and No. 29 Janoris Jenkins in addition to re-signing No. 21 Jason Pierre-Paul.

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56 Responses to “Only three of the top 50 free agents remain unsigned”
  1. mrwillywonka says: Mar 27, 2016 5:54 PM

    How was Ronnie Hillman not in the top 50? I didn’t look at the list before I wrote this comment but I’m sure he’s better than some of the players that were at the bottom-end of the top 50. For example, Nick Fairley. Are you kidding me? Hillman 100% has more value than him, IMO. Yes, Hillman is a change of pace back, but he can provide homerun-type plays and carry the load for a few games if the starter goes down.

  2. intrafinesse says: Mar 27, 2016 5:55 PM

    Kind of sad when a back up level QB (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is a top 50 free agent.

    If you watch the Jets games last year, he got huge help from Brandon Marshall. Fitzpatrick could lob it up and Marshall hauled it in. If Fitzpatrick had just an average WR, his stats would have been much worse.

    Also, look at the Jets 2015 list of opponents. Fitzpatrick faced weak teams in general.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick may be better than Geno Smith, but he’s not a starting quality QB.

  3. thefatlazygamer says: Mar 27, 2016 5:57 PM

    “How was Ronnie Hillman not in the top 50? I didn’t look at the list before I wrote this comment but I’m sure he’s better than some of the players that were at the bottom-end of the top 50. For example, Nick Fairley. Are you kidding me? Hillman 100% has more value than him, IMO. Yes, Hillman is a change of pace back, but he can provide homerun-type plays and carry the load for a few games if the starter goes down.”

    YOU NEED A NEW AGENT BRO.

  4. stealthscorpio says: Mar 27, 2016 6:01 PM

    Reggie Nelson is free one year post-aftermath of the Aaron Hernandez trial – which brought up Nelson’s involvement in a college shooting of two men – allegedly. He is on the wrong side of 30, but has been playing well. Has his past caught up with him? Not that someone won’t sign him, but it looks like it may cost him in the end.

  5. thetroofishere says: Mar 27, 2016 6:05 PM

    Greg Hardy

  6. smokingthebowels says: Mar 27, 2016 6:06 PM

    Hope the Jets don’t pay more then 12 mil a yr tops to Fitz. He’s not even worth that. Not saying Genos a better option but please don’t hamstring the team.

  7. lambeaudungbarn says: Mar 27, 2016 6:07 PM

    Are the Jets really going to let Fitz walk for Geno?
    Ryan really isn’t a bad QB at all, he just doesn’t have the flashiness of other ball slingers.

  8. jetsfan136 says: Mar 27, 2016 6:14 PM

    The year before on the Texans Fitz had 17 TDs and 8 picks before getting hurt. 12 games. So over 16 that would be a pretty good season. 25 TDs and 12 picks maybe. How did Brandon Marshall help him that year? Plus, Decker had 12 TDs, and those weren’t lobs either. Most were post patterns in the middle of the end zone. Tight throws necessary. You can find a lot of receivers that are considered top guys that had less than 12 TDs, and Decker was the second target for Fitz.

  9. smokingthebowels says: Mar 27, 2016 6:18 PM

    Btw- I bet the Jets are wishing they weren’t paying Revis 17 million this season

  10. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Mar 27, 2016 6:19 PM

    Fitzpatrick on his 6th nfl team wants to get paid 16 million off one decent year,the pats should sign him then flip him to the jets for a 1st and a 3rd

  11. futures44 says: Mar 27, 2016 6:26 PM

    Jets = Joke

  12. psubeerman21 says: Mar 27, 2016 6:27 PM

    Ronnie Hillman wasn’t in the top 50 because he is terrible

  13. 2016StockMarketCrash says: Mar 27, 2016 6:28 PM

    You know there is a severe quarterback shortage when teams are battling to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.

  14. jmack1979 says: Mar 27, 2016 6:29 PM

    Nelson would be a good fit in Pittsburgh on a one or two year deal . Of course the fact that they are division rivals make the extremely unlikely to happen but it would be a great fit for the player and the team

  15. stew48 says: Mar 27, 2016 6:43 PM

    Having watched Nelson a lot, as a Steeler fan in Ohio, I hope they sign him. He is better than good.

  16. stew48 says: Mar 27, 2016 6:46 PM

    BTW the Jets do not deserve Fitzpatrick; he has earned what he asks.

  17. sdchicken says: Mar 27, 2016 6:48 PM

    Fits played good last year, minus the last game. They should give him a fair one year contract for $10-$12 mil. No long term hook. Year by year rental

  18. tedmurph says: Mar 27, 2016 6:58 PM

    Fitzpatrick had a career year last year. 3900 yrds, 31 TDs, 19 INTs, 88 rating. He’s absolutely a starting level QB. Not a superstar, but a middle of the pack guy. With Bowles and their personnel on D, they have a shot to make some noise this yr. Shoulda made the playoffs last yr. If they go from Fitz to GSmith, IMO, they go from having a shot to no shot.

    On another note, the Jags did a nice job in free agency. Giants spent a lot of money. Meh. I think the Raiders did a nice job too. Watch out for the Jags and the Raiders this year, as sleeper teams.

  19. nhpats says: Mar 27, 2016 6:58 PM

    If the Bengals want any shot of willing a postseason game they should give Fitz a call. They have to know by now that they will never win a big game with the Red Robin….

  20. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Mar 27, 2016 7:05 PM

    2016StockMarketCrash says:
    Mar 27, 2016 6:28 PM
    You know there is a severe quarterback shortage when teams are battling to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
    ______________

    I know not this battle you speak of. If you know of teams beating a path to his door please enlighten us.

    It’s hard to lend the order of the Hot 100 much credence when Amukamara and Fairley are in the top 50

  21. radrntn says: Mar 27, 2016 7:17 PM

    i am still surprised raiders have not made an offer to reggie n. to replace c. wood.

    Go Raiders!

  22. egomaniac247 says: Mar 27, 2016 7:30 PM

    People don’t realize that Fitzpatrick had a better year statistically than Matt ryan, jay cutler, and Matt Stafford. All considered “franchise qbs”

  23. denverdave3 says: Mar 27, 2016 7:36 PM

    mrwillywonka says:
    Mar 27, 2016 5:54 PM
    How was Ronnie Hillman not in the top 50…
    ————-
    Simple: he sucks.

  24. bigbroncomama says: Mar 27, 2016 7:50 PM

    Hillman top 50? This is a joke, right?

    Avid Bronco Fan

  25. r502 says: Mar 27, 2016 8:01 PM

    The Fitzpatrick love in this thread is unreal. Dude is a scrub.

  26. saints12013 says: Mar 27, 2016 8:04 PM

    @thefatlazygamer

    You couldn’t be more wrong when you say Hillman is better than Fairley.

    Guys like Hillman are a dime a dozen. If he was that good he wouldn’t have allowed Anderson to take his job 2 years in a row.

    Nick Fairley is a player who is capable of controlling the line of scrimmage. And that capability wins football games.

  27. mr1drful says: Mar 27, 2016 8:06 PM

    Fitzpatrick should curb the ego and be thankful to be in the NFL. He’s a journeyman veteran qb that happened to have a big year. Whoopedy doo. Jets should give him a one year deal to prove he can do it again.

  28. iamapatsfan says: Mar 27, 2016 8:11 PM

    intrafinesse says:
    Mar 27, 2016 5:55 PM
    Kind of sad when a back up level QB (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is a top 50 free agent.

    If you watch the Jets games last year, he got huge help from Brandon Marshall. Fitzpatrick could lob it up and Marshall hauled it in. If Fitzpatrick had just an average WR, his stats would have been much worse.

    Also, look at the Jets 2015 list of opponents. Fitzpatrick faced weak teams in general.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick may be better than Geno Smith, but he’s not a starting quality QB.

    —-

    Unfortunately, in today’s NFL, Fitz is actually a starting QB. Can you honestly name 32 QBs better than him? And that just goes to show you why QBs like Osweiler are getting paid. Because there just aren’t enough even average QBs out there to field one for each NFL team. And today’s NFL is a QB driven NFL, so even backup quality QBs are in the top 25. Because Fitz may not be that good, but he’s a better option than anyone else left.

  29. smokingthebowels says: Mar 27, 2016 8:19 PM

    So who do the Jets release to keep them under the cap giving Fitz 16 mi?

    Brick? Really… anyone have any suggestions

  30. sackdance says: Mar 27, 2016 8:28 PM

    That Hillman comment got down voted to oblivion, and that’s understandable. He was not a top 50 FA. But the fact that people are upvoting that he sucks, just shows that not many of you watched the Broncos this year. Hillman is definitely not a true #1, but he is a decent change of pace back.

  31. stoneydog1000 says: Mar 27, 2016 8:35 PM

    Why is ” nhpats” so infatuated with the Bengals and Andy Dalton? Do the Patriots bore you?

  32. sackdance says: Mar 27, 2016 8:41 PM

    cont… On Hillman. Chris Ivory wasn’t much better than Hillman, and he was the AFC’s leading rusher. Give Hillman the same amount of carries and his numbers would’ve been almost identical to Ivory, except Hillman would’ve had more touchdowns. Look it up, dude definitely didn’t suck

  33. shaggytoodle says: Mar 27, 2016 8:52 PM

    Its not as hard as you think to be a top 50 FA. First of all, you need to be a FA…. most players that easily would be near the top of that list, teams refuse to let them see FA. Just look at the difference in talent between 10 and 50 and its pretty good size gap.

    Then when you play premium spot like QB it drives up your value, just like playing Kicker or Punter, hurts it. Fitz is holding the cards, he knows he could be the starter in NY or Denver, so why not put the pressure on him, he knows this is probably his last contract so he is trying to maximize it, especially when he is looking around at players like Cousins and Oswieler getting big money yes those players have upside, but a starter in the NFL now after the rookie contract gets 15 mil.

  34. justcommonsensesite says: Mar 27, 2016 9:03 PM

    Fitzpatrick….ugh….. If the Jets hadn’t gotten Petty for Discount Store prices, they would put more stock in him and he would be much further along. He needs to be somewhere he can develop behind one of the Stud QB’s.

  35. vottorific says: Mar 27, 2016 9:11 PM

    Nelson not signed yet is a headscracther. Dude can play.

  36. vikesr4reel says: Mar 27, 2016 9:34 PM

    And in other news the Pats still cheat!

  37. azjohnny says: Mar 27, 2016 9:52 PM

    I am surprised Denver hasn’t made a run @ Fitz, they don’t have much more time with their present team

  38. boltergeist19 says: Mar 27, 2016 10:14 PM

    It will be one of two ways after the draft. Fits will sign with an incentive laden contract for 1 maybe 2 years or just in case there is trade talk with Wilkerson and movement with some other teams backups like Glennon, or McClown, or Hoyer or if they draft another project behind Geno and Bryce and convince everyone the team is going into camp with a QB battle and the best one will be there QB. Which means they will have screwed up team chemistry and Brandon Marshall will flip out and use the retire card and it will be a mess with 3 guys who don’t know where any stand during the QB round robin season of qbs. It will turn out like Houston’s problems with qbs last year. They all will start games and be up and down 1 good game 1 bad then they go to the next guy 1 good 1 bad then they
    finally give up at 3-6 and explain they are going with the rookie (insert here) for the rest of the year which means a lost season and for what- a few million $ cause of pig headed mgmt when they can push the Patriots for the division. Never get teams that do this .

    Nelson will get a call when someone and it always happens where a knee gets hacked or someone tweaks an achilles’ tendon. But it won’t be more then league minimum with incentives. I am thinking most GMs think his year last year was due to a good supporting cast and won’t repeat his performance coupled with age to be cautious here.

    And Hardy will get picked up by a team on another 1 year deal, by Seattle, Buffalo if they can find $, or back with Dallas. If it’s Dallas , Garret will tell the media he is impressed with how he has come in humbled and a great teammate and is working very hard to put the past behind him and of course “prove all the doubters wrong.” With his play. Another words “total spin,” from the comment he made a few weeks back, ” Greg Hardy is a free agent.”

  39. philtration says: Mar 27, 2016 10:18 PM

    egomaniac247 says:
    Mar 27, 2016 7:30 PM
    People don’t realize that Fitzpatrick had a better year statistically than Matt ryan, jay cutler, and Matt Stafford. All considered “franchise qbs”
    ———————————————————————–

    But people do realize that it took a 33 year old QB 11 seasons and 6 different teams to have his best season.

    Ryan, Cutler and Stafford all had a better QB rating and completion %.
    2 of the 3 threw for more yards… all 3 are younger and already signed. None of the 3 are a career journeyman.
    Ask Tampa how they fell about throwing money at Josh McCown.

    You can debate if Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford are ” franchise” QBs but there is no debate about Ryan Fitzpatrick.

  40. goraidersgospurs says: Mar 27, 2016 10:21 PM

    smokingthebowels says:Mar 27, 2016 8:19 PM

    So who do the Jets release to keep them under the cap giving Fitz 16 mi?

    Brick? Really… anyone have any suggestions

     Yes, JETS trade MO to Oakland for a 4th rounder!!!

  41. shaggytoodle says: Mar 27, 2016 10:41 PM

    I am not too surprised Nelson isn’t signed, he is going to be 33 yrs old by the 3 or 4th game of the season, while he did have a great season, the 07 class is winding down.. you have players like Megatron, Lynch, Patrick Willis retired.

    AP, Joe Thomas, and Greg Olsen are all getting up there in age, he may be like a James Jones where if someone gets hurt you may bring him in, but other than that why not find a player with upside.

  42. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 27, 2016 11:26 PM

    I think we should all take a moment to thank the Houston Texans and the Philadelphia Eagles for the fact that we now live in a world where Ryan Fitzpatrick thinks he’s worth $18m a year.

    If a completely unproven backup who got benched for a 40 year old who couldn’t throw the ball 15 yards down the field and a rag armed china doll who can’t stay on the field and has never won anything can get that much, why shouldn’t he?

    Can’t really blame him. He has, in fact, shown better results over a larger sample size than both of those guys put together.

  43. iceracer2015 says: Mar 28, 2016 12:02 AM

    Nick Fairley sucks, guys. Don’t believe the hype.

  44. danm1978 says: Mar 28, 2016 1:46 AM

    Some real rubbish posted on here.

    “Pats should sign Fitz and trade him to the jets for a 1st+3rd”
    That’s the going rate for a 3rd string QB? And how could the Pats afford him anyway???

    “Wilkerson to Oakland for a 4th rounder”
    My my, if teams thought they could remotely get him for a 4th
    He’d have had at least 10 teams willing to trade for him.
    “Why isn’t Hillman in the top 50”
    He hasn’t justified the 3rd that Denver spent on him.
    He has speed, breaking tackles is a huge problem.
    His lazy attempt at catching in the AFCCG is still fresh in the minds.
    And finally, something along the lines of
    “Nelson to the Steelers, but they are a divisional rival so there isn’t much chance of it happening”
    He is a free agent. He doesn’t have a team. It’s what the article us about!!!!!!!!!

  45. tcoates6708 says: Mar 28, 2016 5:02 AM

    I love the Ronnie Hillman love especially that guy saying he would have had more touchdowns than Irovy. That’s a huge what if but I will tell you what he would have had a ton of with a big work load. Fumbles and that’s a big reason Ronnie Hillman aka Brucie from the longest yard isn’t in the top 100.

  46. officialgame says: Mar 28, 2016 7:13 AM

    How can the Jets blame anybody for being “the Jets”.

  47. billh1947 says: Mar 28, 2016 8:32 AM

    The Packers signed four free agents,all their own.now thats how to keep a winning franchise together.

  48. destructicus says: Mar 28, 2016 8:34 AM

    2016StockMarketCrash says:
    Mar 27, 2016 6:28 PM

    You know there is a severe quarterback shortage when teams are battling to sign Ryan Fitzpatrick.
    __________________________

    So you are saying there ISN’T a shortage of quarterbacks?

    Because teams aren’t battling for him… they are waiting him out.

  49. marktpitman says: Mar 28, 2016 9:20 AM

    The biggest problem that Fitz faces is his turnover rate. If he could reduce the amount of INT’s he throws, he’d be worth every penny that he’s asking for.

    On the other side of it is this weak year for QB’s in free agency. Fitz and his agent know that he’s in a really good position to get paid because of the lack of talent.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up getting exactly what he’s asking for. I don’t think he’s worth what he’s (mostly because of the amount of INT’s he throws), but the market seems to suggest he is.

  50. realtruthteller100 says: Mar 28, 2016 10:42 AM

    i dont undestand why any team would sign any of these guys, all a buncha overpaid sissies if u ask me. when has a big money free agent ever helped a team win a super bowl? never. i know guys i work with down at the plant who would make 10x better players then any of these bums. and their not greedy either, theyd play just for the love of the game, not for the love of the money. i think its about time we put a stop to this free agenty nonsense and bring back the reserve clause.

  51. kahnsbushymustache says: Mar 28, 2016 10:44 AM

    I guess that I missed more last week than I thought. Did ALL the franchised players sign their tenders? Or are there more unsigned top 50 players than this article indicates?

  52. 3wordanswers says: Mar 28, 2016 11:44 AM

    Reggie Nelson …… is on the wrong side of 30, but has been playing well.
    ——————————————————–
    I have no idea why Reggie Nelson is on anyone’s list of top-50 FA’s.

    NFL clubs look at the film people.

    Nelson missed too many tackles badly last year going for the big hit to be considered a top FA. Most of his 8 INT’s were fly-balls my granny could have caught.

    Reggie Nelson is probably lookin’ for $5M+ per year, but will probably have to settle for vet minimum if he want to continue his NFL career, The Bengals know it and it seems like all 31 other teams know it too…….

  53. concretejimmy52 says: Mar 28, 2016 12:16 PM

    Don’t know why they didn’t mention the Raiders? They might have done better in FA than the Jags. Don’t be surprised to see the Raiders and Jags or Texans win their division and maybe all three in the playoffs. Did I just say two teams from the AFCS in the playoffs. Maybe not. Ravens just improved at Safety, TE, and WR and they and the Jags haven’t even drafted yet. Both pick in the top six and will land a defensive play maker most likely with their pick. Or shore up their OL. See you guys in the playoffs.

  54. concretejimmy52 says: Mar 28, 2016 12:19 PM

    I haven’t looked at all teams rosters thinking of a mock draft but I did see the Jaguars. I didn’t see any glaring holes after FA but they will add a few talented pieces from the draft.

  55. sackdance says: Mar 28, 2016 2:38 PM

    “I love the Ronnie Hillman love especially that guy saying he would have had more touchdowns than Irovy. That’s a huge what if”

    —-

    He has the exact same amount of TD with 60 less carries. How the hell is that a huge if. Everyone on here is lost. I am found.

  56. viking1961 says: Mar 29, 2016 7:07 AM

    won’t being going to the packers …….. players DON’T want to play in that SMALL market town ……. you have to feel sorry for them ……. NO, second thought THEY need to move their team….!!!

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