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Brian Billick's top 50 free agents
Below is my list of the Top-10 “value” free agents followed by a Top-50 free-agent ranking (signed, franchised and unsigned).
Typically, we focus on free agents who sign with new teams, but a signing of an existing player with his former team is just as significant when building a roster.
The first Top 10 is a ranking of value, with overall rank listed in parenthesis. Value can be defined as total cost, schematic fit, on-field performance, personality fit and off-field concerns.
1. (1) Peyton Manning, QB
Outside the obvious injury concerns, if I have to explain why he is No. 1 on the list, you probably got to this site by accident. --- UPDATE: Sources confirm he has told agent to negotiate contract with Denver.
2. (3) Mario Williams, DE/OLB
Coming off of an injury that caused him to miss 11 games last season has to be a concern, but this is a weak draft class for elite edge rushers, and that makes obtaining Williams even more valuable. He is a game changer, if healthy. --- UPDATE: Agreed to deal with Bills.
3. (4) Carl Nicks, OG
An elite interior offensive lineman whose only limitation in free agency is the overall value placed on guards. But the interior line is usually the final missing piece to solidifying a strong offensive line. Nicks will be a huge loss to the Saints if he goes elsewhere, especially in the running game. --- UPDATE: Agreed to deal with Bucs.
4. (11) Vincent Jackson, WR
Wide receiver has been a classic miss position in free agency, but Jackson has proven he is a legit No. 1. Jackson could be the proverbial “one player away from being a Super Bowl team.” --- UPDATE: Agreed to deal with Bucs.
5. (13) Mike Wallace, WR
Impact player, but could fall into the aforementioned overpaying-for-a-player category, especially with his tender.
6. (14) Cortland Finnegan, CB
Proven ability at a position with limited options. Needs to go to a team that can control his mental breakdowns. --- UPDATE: Agreed to deal with Rams.
7. (15) Ben Grubbs, OG
See Carl Nicks above. --- UPDATE: Agreed to deal with Saints.
8. (16) Matt Flynn, QB
Huge risk to pay what the market will demand for a player with just two starts on his resume. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is intimately familiar with Flynn, and if he doesn’t make a run for him, there will be major questions as to why. --- UPDATE: Agreed to deal with Seahawks.
9. (17) Marques Colston, WR
Solid wide receiver, but hard to project outside of the Saints' passing system. He has No. 1 credentials, but something always seems to happen (injuries, drops, disappears in games) when on the verge of being named amongst the league’s elite. --- UPDATE: Re-signed with Saints.
10. (19) Lardarius Webb, CB
Hard to imagine the Ravens letting him get away. Corner is a need position and he brings return skills as well.
Top 50 Free Agents
|1.||Peyton Manning||QB||36||Indianapolis||Selected DEN|
|2.||Drew Brees||QB||33||New Orleans||Franchised|
|3.||Mario Williams||DE||27||Houston||Joining BUF|
|4.||Carl Nicks||OG||27||New Orleans||Joining TB|
|9.||Jermichael Finley||TE||25||Green Bay||Re-signed|
|11.||Vincent Jackson||WR||29||San Diego||Joining TB|
|12.||Dwayne Bowe||WR||27||Kansas City||Franchised|
|14.||Cortland Finnegan||DB||28||Tennessee||Joining STL|
|15.||Ben Grubbs||OG||28||Baltimore||Joining NO|
|16.||Matt Flynn||QB||27||Green Bay||Joining SEA|
|17.||Marques Colston||WR||29||New Orleans||Re-signed|
|20.||Wes Welker||WR||31||New England||Franchised|
|21.||Carlos Rogers||DB||31||San Francisco||Re-signed|
|23.||Alex Smith||QB||28||San Francisco||FA|
|31.||Brandon Carr||DB||26||Kansas City||Joining DAL|
|33.||Jared Gaither||OT||26||San Diego||Re-signed|
|34.||Peyton Hillis||RB||26||Cleveland||Joining KC|
|39.||Cory Redding||DT||31||Baltimore||Joining IND|
|43.||Stanford Routt||DB||29||Oakland||Signed by KC|
|44.||Brandon Lloyd||WR||31||St. Louis||Joining NE|
|45.||Kyle Orton||QB||29||Kansas City||Joining DAL|
|46.||Pierre Garcon||WR||26||Indianapolis||Joining WAS|
|47.||Ahmad Brooks||OLB||28||San Francisco||Re-signed|
|50.||Mario Manningham||WR||26||New York Giants||Joining SF|
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