The free agency frenzy is about to restart in the NFL, with the book on the 2023 draft closed and teams getting back on the field for OTAs and minicamps in the weeks ahead.
Now that the NFL draft has reached its conclusion, any free agents that teams sign do not count towards the league’s compensatory draft pick formula for the 2024 draft, which could lead to several proven veterans changing zip codes.
Whether it’s a playoff contender looking to add a missing piece, or a team in the throes of rebuilding looking for a savvy veteran to help an incoming rookie develop, there are still some top and productive veteran players available.
Here’s a look at the top five remaining NFL free agents and the three best team fits for each:
1) Frank Clark, DE
Best Fits: Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions
Frank Clark, after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs as a bit of a cap casualty earlier this offseason, offers the rare opportunity for a team to add a dynamic talent at a key position, who also brings a championship pedigree with him.
Clark has two Super Bowl rings on his fingers, has appeared in three Pro Bowls, and at age 29 still has plenty of tread left on the tires. Last season, Clark produced 6.0 sacks and 45 total pressures, as a key contributor along Kansas City’s front-seven. Clark seems to still be the type of player who can elevate a contending defense to new heights, perhaps as a missing piece of a rotation.
2) Jadeveon Clowney, EDGE
Best Fits: Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs
Injuries have certainly taken a toll on Jadeveon Clowney, and he hasn’t played a full season since the 2017 campaign, but the 30-year-old veteran remains a disruptive and potentially dominant rotational pass-rusher off the edge.
Even in limited playing time with the Cleveland Browns in 2022, Clowney produced 2.0 sacks with 29 quarterback pressures in just 305 pass-rush snaps across 12 games. Teams looking for a third-down edge rusher, or a veteran to keep younger players fresh late in games could benefit from dropping Clowney into its rotation.
3) Leonard Floyd, EDGE
Best Fits: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles
Unlike some names still available, Leonard Floyd has been able to stay healthy and on the field, appearing in every game since 2017, while producing at a high level. In 2022, Floyd racked up 9.0 sacks and 59 total tackles, before becoming a Los Angeles Rams cap casualty in GM Les Sneed’s mad dash to get cap compliant.
Ideally, competitive teams looking for pass-rush help would be lining up to drop Floyd into their defense, at or near the top of the depth chart.
4) Marcus Peters, CB
Best Fits: New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Las Vegas Raiders
The Baltimore Ravens‘ decision to sign free agent CB Rock Ya-Sin likely means Marcus Peters will be playing elsewhere next season, which will be a major addition to a contending secondary. A former first-round draft pick, Peters still provides stability on the outside.
In 2022, opposing receivers averaged 11.8 yards per reception against Peters, who intercepted 1 pass and broke up 6 more. Coming off a 2021 torn ACL, Peters has the chance to add significant value at a premium position for a defense looking to make a playoff push.
5) Adrian Amos, S
Best Fits: Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks
Adrian Amos remains as steady as they come at the safety position, and is coming off a career-high 102 tackles in 2022, along with 1.0 sack and an interception. Despite his production, Amos faces an uncertain future in Green Bay, because the Packers have invested significantly in the position over the past two offseasons.
A consistent defender who can contribute in coverage — holding opposing receivers to just 9.3 yards per reception when targeted, and up near the line of scrimmage, where he logged a sack and 22 run-stops — Amos’ versatility should make him attractive to contending teams during this phase of free agency.