2015 NFL Free Agent Preview

With Super Bowl XLIX in the books, the 2015 season is officially over. But the excitement in the NFL has only just begun. With the NFL Combine, and Draft coming up, teams can potentially find their next star in the coming months or add a huge bust. But the draft is not the only way to inject talent into a roster. NFL free agency is another option teams have to instantly get better. Here are the top picks I have at each position and other big name free agents. 

QUARTERBACK

The most intriguing unrestricted free agent has to be Brian Hoyer out of Cleveland. He has been some what inconsistent and eventually lost his starting spot to Johnny Manziel, but he has shown flashes of brilliance over the past two seasons. Is a team willing to roll the dice on Hoyer or will the Browns bring him back?

Others:
Jason CampbellCincinnati Bengals 
Jimmy ClausenChicago Bears 

Matt FlynnGreen Bay Packers 
Blaine GabbertSan Francisco 49ers 
Matt HasselbeckIndianapolis Colts 
Shaun HillSt. Louis Rams 
Brian HoyerCleveland Browns 
Tarvar
is JacksonSeattle Seahawks 
Josh JohnsonSan Francisco 49ers 
Ryan LindleyArizona Cardinals 
Jake LockerTennessee Titans 
Ryan MallettHouston Texans 
Luke McCownNew Orleans Saints 
Colt McCoyWashington Redskins 
Matt MooreMiami Dolphins 
Dan OrlovskyDetroit Lions 
Christian PonderMinnesota Vikings 
Mark SanchezPhiladelphia Eagles 
Tyrod TaylorBaltimore Ravens 
Scott TolzienGreen Bay Packers 
Joe WebbCarolina Panthers 
Michael VickNew York Jets 
T.J. YatesAtlanta Falcons


RUNNING BACKS

In a category with a lot of contributors, three names jump out at me: Demarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys, Justin Forsett of the Balitmore Ravens, and Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints. Murray led the NFL in rushing yards last season and was a Pro Bowler, which spells out huge payday. However, the Cowboys also need to bring back wide receiver threat Dez Bryant, which may mean Murray may be cashing checks somewhere other than the Dallas area. Forsett had a breakout year after 7 seasons of insignificant stats. Will the Ravens reward Forsett with a huge contract or will they be hesitant to pay out when the body of work that was successful is much less than the unsuccessful body of work. Ingram was named to the Pro Bowl after a very good year in New Orleans. Does the former Heisman winner deserve a big deal, or will he, like Reggie Bush before him, find his way to another team.

Others:
Ahmad BradshawIndianapolis Colts 
Ronnie BrownSan Diego Chargers 
Jonathan DwyerArizona Cardinals 
Justin ForsettBaltimore Ravens 
Frank GoreSan Francisco 49ers 
DuJuan HarrisGreen Bay Packers 
Roy HeluWashington Redskins 
Mark IngramNew Orleans Saints 
Ryan MathewsSan Diego Chargers 
Darren McFaddenOakland Raiders 
Joe McKnightKansas City Chiefs 
Knowshon MorenoMiami Dolphins 
DeMarco MurrayDallas Cowboys 
Cedric PeermanCincinnati Bengals 
Bilal PowellNew York Jets 
Ray Rice, no team 
Stevan RidleyNew England Patriots 
Jacquizz RodgersAtlanta Falcons 
Antone SmithAtlanta Falcons 
C.J. SpillerBuffalo Bills (must void contract) 
Ben TatePittsburgh Steelers 
Daniel ThomasMiami Dolphins 
Shane VereenNew England Patriots 
Leon WashingtonTennessee Titans


FULLBACKS

Tyler CluttsDallas Cowboys 
Jed CollinsDetroit Lions 
John ConnerNew York Jets 
Jerome FeltonMinnesota Vikings 
Henry HynoskiNew York Giants 
Will JohnsonPittsburgh Steelers 
John KuhnGreen Bay Packers 
Will TukuafuSeattle Seahawks


WIDE RECEIVERS

This has to be the deepest pool for free agents. Talented first time unrestricted free agents such as Randall Cobb and Torrey Smith are just some of the big name receivers teams can bid for. But probably the most intriguing free agent is Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys. He can get open in a hurry and use his size and strength to go up and make plays not many receivers can. And since Dallas also wants to resign star running back Demarco Murray, a team has the potential to come in and snatch Dez away from the Cowboys. 

Others:
Seyi AjirotutuSan Diego Chargers 
Miles AustinCleveland Browns 
Jason AvantKansas City Chiefs 
Kenny BrittSt. Louis Rams 
Vincent BrownOakland Raiders 
Dez BryantDallas Cowboys 
Randall CobbGreen Bay Packers 
Michael CrabtreeSan Francisco 49ers 
Josh CribbsIndianapolis Colts 
Marcus EasleyBuffalo Bills 
Derek HaganTennessee Titans 
Leonard HankersonWashington Redskins 
Dwayne HarrisDallas Cowboys 
Darrius Heyward-BeyPittsburgh Steelers 
Jerrel JerniganNew York Giants 
Brandon LloydSan Francisco 49ers 
Jeremy MaclinPhiladelphia Eagles 
Robert MeachemNew Orleans Saints 
Denarius MooreOakland Raiders 
Josh MorganChicago Bears 
Santana MossWashington Redskins 
Hakeem NicksIndianapolis Colts 
Kevin OgletreeNew York Giants 
Kassim OsgoodSan Francisco 49ers 
Eddie RoyalSan Diego Chargers 
Dane SanzenbacherCincinnati Bengals 
Cecil ShortsJacksonville Jaguars 
Brad SmithPhiladelphia Eagles 
Torrey SmithBaltimore Ravens 
Brandon TateCincinnati Bengals 
Demaryius ThomasDenver Broncos 
Deonte ThompsonBuffalo Bills 
Nate WashingtonTennessee Titans 
Reggie WayneIndianapolis Colts 
Wes WelkerDenver Broncos


TIGHT ENDS

The key to a successful offense is a good safety blanket tight end. Look no further than the Super Bowl champion Patriots who had Rob Gronkowski to make plays down the stretch. Another tight end that may be on the move is Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas. Similarly to the Cowboys, the Broncos may have to choose between speedy receiver Demaryius Thomas or big athletic tight end Julius. Julius has the size, strength, speed and athleticism to draw comparisons to Jimmy Graham and Gronk. His only issue has been staying healthy.

Others:

David Ausberry, Oakland Raiders
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins
Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens
Ed Dickson, Carolina Panthers
Virgil Green, Denver Broncos
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals
Lance Kendricks, St. Louis Rams
Anthony McCoy, Seattle Seahawks
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
Niles Paul, Washington Redskins
Dante Rosario, Chicago Bears
Alex Smith, Cincinnati Bengals
Lee Smith, Buffalo Bills
Matt Spaeth, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos

OFFENSIVE LINE

 

Offensive tackles

Byron Bell, Carolina Panthers 

Eben Britton, Chicago Bears
Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay Packers
Gabe Carimi, Atlanta Falcons
King Dunlap, San Diego Chargers
Jason Fox, Miami Dolphins
Doug Free, Dallas Cowboys
Ryan Harris, Kansas City Chiefs
Jeffrey Linkenbach, Kansas City Chiefs
Marshall Newhouse, Cincinnati Bengals
Derek Newton, Houston Texans
Jermey Parnell, Dallas Cowboys
Tyler Polumbus, Washington Redskins
Garrett Reynolds, Detroit Lions
Michael Roos, Tennessee Titans
Jonathan Scott, Atlanta Falcons
Garry Williams, Carolina Panthers
Eric Winston, Cincinnati Bengals

 

Guards

Clint Boling, Cincinnati Bengals
James Brewer, New York Giants
James Carpenter, Seattle Seahawks
Daryn Colledge, Miami Dolphins
Willie Colon, New York Jets
Dan Connolly, New England Patriots
Vladimir Ducasse, Minnesota Vikings
Orlando Franklin, Denver Broncos
Mike Iupati, San Francisco 49ers
John Jerry, New York Giants
Mike Johnson, Atlanta Falcons
Davin Joseph, St. Louis Rams
Mike McGlynn, Kansas City Chiefs
Erik Pears, Buffalo Bills
Will Rackley, Baltimore Ravens
Jah Reid, Baltimore Ravens
Rob Sims, Detroit Lions

 

Centers

Joe Berger, Minnesota Vikings
Brian De La Puente, Chicago Bears
Jonathan Goodwin, New Orleans Saints
Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers
Rodney Hudson, Kansas City Chiefs
Doug Legursky, San Diego Chargers
Dominic Raiola, Detroit Lions
Samson Satele, Miami Dolphins
Stefen Wisniewski, Oakland Raiders
 
DEFENSIVE TACKLES

The Lions have a big choice to make this offseason. Bring back Ndomukong Suh  or let him walk. There is no doubt the second overall pick back in 2010 has talent. The question is whether the Lions want to deal with the on and off the field issues he has caused in the last few seasons. Suh may be moving on to a place where he can have a clean start.

Others:
Terrence Cody, Baltimore Ravens
Colin Cole, Carolina Panthers
Dwan Edwards, Carolina Panthers
Kenrick Ellis, New York Jets
Nick Fairley, Detroit Lions
Andre Fluellen, Detroit Lions
Letroy Guion, Green Bay Packers
Nick Hayden, Dallas Cowboys
Tommy Kelly, Arizona Cardinals
Karl Klug, Tennessee Titans
Terrance Knighton, Denver Broncos
C.J. Mosley, Detroit Lions
Jared Odrick, Miami Dolphins
Stephen Paea, Chicago Bears
Corey Peters, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan Pickett, Houston Texans
Ahtyba Rubin, Cleveland Browns
Pat Sims, Oakland Raiders
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
Kevin Vickerson, Kansas City Chiefs
Dan Williams, Arizona Cardinals
Kevin Williams, Seattle Seahawks
Corey Wootton, Minnesota Vikings

DEFENSIVE ENDS

There are a few can’t miss talented options on this list, but Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants stands out the most. He has shown he can use his freakish athleticism and long arms to dominate the battle up front. But numerous injuries have kept him far from 100% in the last two seasons. Will the Giants aims to bring back their former first round pick, or will another team offer him more money based off of his potential. 

Others:
Tyson Alualu, Jacksonville Jaguars
Da’Quan Bowers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Alan Branch, New England Patriots
Alex Carrington, St. Louis Rams
Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brandon Deaderick, New Orleans Saints
Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers (on Commissioner’s Exempt List)
Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills
Jarvis Jenkins, Washington Redskins
George Johnson, Detroit Lions
Fili Moala, Indianapolis Colts
Ryan Pickett, Houston Texans
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers
Cory Redding, Indianapolis Colts
George Selvie, Dallas Cowboys
Jabaal Sheard, Cleveland Browns
Anthony Spencer, Dallas Cowboys
Darryl Tapp, Detroit Lions
Osi Umenyiora, Atlanta Falcons
C.J. Wilson, Oakland Raiders
Jarius Wynn, Buffalo Bills

LINEBACKERS

Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs is young, talented and looking to cash in. And he will earn every penny Kansas City shells out for him. At 25, he has been the anchor to a very solid Chiefs defense the past couple of seasons. And with Houston being one of the few Chiefs unrestricted free agents, it should an utmost priority that Houston is playing in Arrowhead Stadium next year in red, white and yellow.

Others:

Outside linebackers
John Abraham, Arizona Cardinals
Sam Acho, Arizona Cardinals
Marcus Benard, Arizona Cardinals
Kroy Biermann, Atlanta Falcons
Chase Blackburn, Carolina Panthers
Lance Briggs, Chicago Bears
Bruce Carter, Dallas Cowboys
Jonathan Casillas, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Durant, Dallas Cowboys
Dwight Freeney, San Diego Chargers
Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
Geno Hayes, Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
Colin McCarthy, Tennessee Titans
Pernell McPhee, Baltimore Ravens
Derrick Morgan, Tennessee Titans
Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins
Ashlee Palmer, Detroit Lions
Spencer Paysinger, New York Giants
Brooks Reed, Houston Texans
O’Brien Schofield, Seattle Seahawks
Lawrence Sidbury, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dan Skuta, San Francisco 49ers
Malcolm Smith, Seattle Seahawks
J.T. Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sean Weatherspoon, Atlanta Falcons
Jacquian Williams, New York Giants
Jason Worilds, Pittsburgh Steelers


Inside linebackers

Akeem Ayers, New England Patriots
Jasper Brinkley, Minnesota Vikings
Larry Foote, Arizona Cardinals
Mason Foster, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Andrew Gachkar, San Diego Chargers
David Harris, New York Jets
Mark Herzlich, New York Giants
Nate Irving, Denver Broncos
Jamari Lattimore, Green Bay Packers
Casey Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati Bengals
Josh Mauga, Kansas City Chiefs
Rolando McClain, Dallas Cowboys
Kelvin Sheppard, Miami Dolphins
Brandon Spikes, Buffalo Bills
Jason Trusnik, Miami Dolphins
D.J. Williams, Chicago Bears

CORNERBACKS

There are two names that catches the eye on this list. Darrelle Revis of the New England Patriots and Byron Maxwell of the Seattle Seahawks. Revis was a big part of the Patriot’s defensive success, but he may be leaving his team option behind in search of a larger payday. Among those interested is his former team, the New York Jets, and his former head coach, Rex Ryan, now of the Buffalo Bills. Maxwell was a member to the Legion of Boom during Seattle’s Super Bowl run last season. Could the Legion of Boom be crumbling before our eyes with a potential departure of Maxwell, or can the Seahawks keep their dominating defense in tact. 

Others:
Javier Arenas, Atlanta Falcons
Alan Ball, Jacksonville Jaguars
E.J. Biggers, Washington Redskins
Zack Bowman, New York Giants
Tarell Brown, Oakland Raiders
Jarrett Bush, Green Bay Packers
Darius Butler, Indianapolis Colts
Antoine Cason, Baltimore Ravens
Chris Cook, San Francisco 49ers
Perrish Cox, San Francisco 49ers
Antonio Cromartie, Arizona Cardinals
Chris Culliver, San Francisco 49ers
Bradley Fletcher, Philadelphia Eagles
Brandon Flowers, San Diego Chargers
Josh Gordy, Indianapolis Colts
Danny Gorrer, Baltimore Ravens
Chris Greenwood, Baltimore Ravens
Brandon Harris, Tennessee Titans
Davon House, Green Bay Packers
Kareem Jackson, Houston Texans
Mike Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rashean Mathis, Detroit Lions
Byron Maxwell, Seattle Seahawks
Robert McClain, Atlanta Falcons
Brice McCain, Pittsburgh Steelers
Sterling Moore, Dallas Cowboys
Terence Newman, Cincinnati Bengals
Chris Owens, Kansas City Chiefs
Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots (2015 team option)
Patrick Robinson, New Orleans Saints
Carlos Rogers, Oakland Raiders
Aaron Ross, Baltimore Ravens
Ike Taylor, Pittsburgh Steelers
Walter Thurmond, New York Giants
Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
Cassius Vaughn, Detroit Lions
Tramon Williams, Green Bay Packers
Kyle Wilson, New York Jets
Shareece Wright, San Diego Chargers

SAFETIES

Mike Adams, Indianapolis Colts
Nate Allen, Philadelphia Eagles
Sergio Brown, Indianapolis Colts
Stevie Browne, New York Giants
Quinton Carter, Denver Broncos
Ryan Clark, Washington Redskins
Chris Clemons, Arizona Cardinals
Kurt Coleman, Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Conte, Chicago Bears
Louis Delmas, Miami Dolphins
Quintin Demps, New York Giants
Charles Godfrey, Atlanta Falcons
Jeron Johnson, Seattle Seahawks
Dawan Landry, New York Jets
Jim Leonhard, Cleveland Browns
Kendrick Lewis, Houston Texans
Dwight Lowery, Atlanta Falcons
Taylor Mays, Cincinnati Bengals
Devin McCourty, New England Patriots
Brandon Meriweather, Washington Redskins
Jeromy Miles, Baltimore Ravens
Rahim Moore, Denver Broncos
Ron Parker, Kansas City Chiefs
Antrel Rolle, New York Giants
Da’Norris Searcy, Buffalo Bills
Darian Stewart, Baltimore Ravens
Jimmy Wilson, Miami Dolphins
Major Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


KICKERS

Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
Jay Feely, Chicago Bears
Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
Shayne Graham, New Orleans Saints
Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans
Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
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