Even though we are only 48 hours removed from the Super Bowl, I am here to give you a look at some of the top free agents in the NFL this year.
Greg Hardy (DE)
I would be surprised if the Panthers let Hardy go to another team. He was one of, if not the main reason their defense was so good this season, and the Panthers have plenty of cap space this offseason to get him signed. Although they have a ton of free agents, Hardy is by far priority number one for the Panthers.
Jimmy Graham (TE)
Another guy on the end of a line will demand big money this offseason, however the Saints have been rumored to want to franchise him. That brings in the debate on whether he is franchised as a WR or a TE, which is a big difference in money. The WR tag is several million higher, and I doubt it will make Graham happy either way.
Brian Orakpo (OLB)
When healthy, Orakpo is by far the best linebacker on the market this offseason, however injured have limited him over the past two seasons. If he is truly healthy, some team will dump big money on this fierce pass rusher.
Jarius Byrd (S)
Byrd is the biggest free agent that is almost certain to land somewhere else this season. He had many a dispute with the Bills dating back to last offseason, and someone looking for a dynamic safety will pay big bucks for him.
TJ Ward (S)
Ward is another safety on the market this offseason, and while the Browns will likely try and resign him, would you want to stay in Cleveland if you were Ward?
After Graham, the next best offensive free agent is certainly Eric Decker. Decker will be looking to get paid as a top 10 receiver this offseason, and I don’t think the Broncos will want to pay the money considering how deep they are at the position. I could see Decker going elsewhere.
Alterraun Verner (CB)
Verner may not be better than Aqib Talib, another corner on the market, however he is about three years younger, and had an outstanding season in Tennessee. I can imagine new head coach, Ken Whisenhunt will want to keep him, and I’m pretty sure Verner will test the market.
Michael Johnson (DE)
After Hardy, the next best defensive end is certainly Michael Johnson, however the Bengals are also in a nice position to keep him. They can offer him about as much money as anyone else could, and with how well that defense came together this past season, I don’t think even Mike Zimmer leaving will affect his decision too much.
Brandon Albert (OT)
The best offensive lineman on the market is Brandon Albert from Kansas City, and once again, there are a ton of teams that would love this guy to anchor left tackle. When healthy he is one of the better left tackles in the NFL, and even though he is 29 years old, I’m sure he still has a few more years of productivity in him.
Aqib Talib (CB)
Talib is another guy that I think his current team will do everything and anything to keep him. The Patriots and Bill Belichick love Talib’s game, and he has fit very well on that team ever since he was traded there from the Bucs. I’d be surprised if he went elsewhere.