Friday, April 19, 2024
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NFL free agency 2024: Best remaining free agents by position include Mike Williams, Justin Simmons

Through the first wave of NFL free agency, plenty of the top players went off the board in a matter of hours. In one of the deeper free agent classes in recent memory, the first two days of free agency were two of the busiest in recent NFL history. 

The activity didn’t slow down once the new league year began either, thanks to a huge salary cap increase and plenty of depth at premium positions. Even good players are being released and becoming free agents, making the free agency pool that much deeper.

Through a week of free agency, here are the best players remaining at every offensive and defensive position. 

Quarterback

Tannehill is coming off a season which he was benched by the Tennessee Titans, who were looking to move on and start the process of their rebuild. The former first-round pick has started 151 games in his 11 seasons, throwing for 34,881 yards and 216 touchdowns.

Starter or backup, Tannehill can fill the role. The 35-year-old Tannehill completed 64.8% of his passes for 1,616 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions last season. 

Running back

When healthy, the 25-year old Dobbins an effective running back. He’s played just nine games since the start of the 2021 season, having 100 carries for 542 yards (5.4 yards per carry). Dobbins has a career 5.8 yards per carry average. 

Wide receiver 

After his release by the Los Angeles Chargers, Williams becomes the top wideout on the market. The two-time 1,000-yard receiver has a 15.6 yards per catch average in his seven seasons. Williams has 309 catches for 4,806 yards and 31 touchdowns. 

Tight end

The former quarterback turned tight end had 55 catches for 496 yards and four touchdowns last season (9.0 yards per catch). Thomas has 2,002 yards and 16 touchdowns in seven seasons as a tight end. Even at 32, Thomas is the top tight end in a weak market. 

Offensive tackle

One of the best tackles in the game when healthy, Bakhtiari has missed 38 games over the last three seasons. A First Team All-Pro in 2020, Bakhtiari made five straight All-Pro teams prior to injuries catching up to him. He allowed just one sack and 10 pressures in 11 games in 2022. 

Offensive guard

Peat can play left tackle, but his best position is guard. He allowed three sacks and 11 pressures with a 4.2% pressure rate in 310 pass blocking snaps in his last season as guard (2022). Peat started 12 games and allowed two sacks and 30 pressures (6.5% pressure rate) at left tackle in 2023. Peat’s versatility is valuable. 

Center

Another interior lineman that can play guard and center, Williams is arguably the best interior lineman left in free agency. The 26-year old Williams allowed just one sack and six pressures in nine games last season with a 2.9% pressure rate. 

Pass rusher

Young is coming off a season which he had 7.5 sacks and 15 quarterback hits for the Washington Commanders and San Francisco 49ers. Although Young didn’t have the impact with the 49ers when he was traded there, he still doesn’t turn 25 until April.

Defensive tackle

There isn’t much left in the defensive tackle market, but Tart can be a nice fit on a contenting team. Playing for the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans last season, Tart is a reliable nose tackle that can stop the run. 

Off-ball linebacker

Baker is coming off a seaosn which he finished with 78 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and three passes defensed in 13 games. The 78 tackles are low for Baker, who has 90+ tackles in each of the four seasons prior to 2023. Still just 27, Baker has started 82 of 94 career games.

Cornerback

Even at 30, Howard still has a reputation as one of the top cornerbacks in football. The four-time Pro Bowler and 2020 First Team All-Pro selection had 45 tackles and 12 passes defensed with one interception last season. Opposing quarterbacks targeting Howard had just a 64.2 passer rating and two passing touchdowns last season, completing only 55.7% of their passes. 

Safety

The best free agent left on the market, the 30-year old Simmons is coming off a season which he finished with 70 tackles, three interceptions, and eight passes defensed. He earned his third straight Second Team All-Pro selection as opposing quarterback targeting Simmons had just a 58.4 passer rating. 

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