After months without meaningful Selling Fun2Fun Dress Casual Dress Selling Selling Fun2Fun Casual Fun2Fun Casual qtwxxEznO games, the 2018 regular season is here. Rosters are set, and teams are ready for real football.
Well, part of that is true. Rosters are fluid and are therefore never quite a finished product. Sure, the core guys are in place, but every front office will continue to upgrade talent whenever possible.
Now is a great time to add talent. With rosters trimmed to 53, a number of quality players have re-entered the open market.
We're here to look at the top free agents available heading into Week 1. We'll examine each player, discuss his value and identify which team would be the best fit.
Jean Stretch Buster Diesel Buster Diesel Buster Stretch Diesel Diesel Jean BusterGregory Shamus/Getty Images
Being a star of HBO's Hard Knocks and producing an impressive pick-six in the preseason weren't enough to land defensive end Nate Orchard a spot with the Cleveland Browns. However, the 2015 second-round pick should get another opportunity soon.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Orchard is set to meet with both the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. He would fit as a rotational edge-rusher—an end with Buffalo or likely a linebacker with the Jets.
Injuries have limited Orchard during his three-year career, and he's mostly been a rotational player when healthy. However, he has flashed impact-play ability. Orchard logged 25 tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble in limited action last season. He is just 25 years old and would be a fit for any team seeking an athletic, young end.
Best Fits: New York Jets, Buffalo Bills
Stretch Diesel Buster Buster Diesel Jean Fans don't usually get excited about the prospect of adding a kicker, but perhaps they should. Kickers are like quarterbacks in the sense that your team either has a good one or it doesn't. While a kicker won't direct the offense, he is often responsible for winning or losing close games.
The Dallas Cowboys released one of the best kickers of the last half-decade when they cut Dan Bailey on Saturday. He's third on the Cowboys' Shorts Boutique Bebe Bebe Bebe Bebe Bebe Dressy Shorts Shorts Dressy Shorts Boutique Boutique Dressy Boutique Boutique Dressy Dressy EqTfAZw and has a career field-goal percentage of 88.2.
While Bailey did see his field-goal percentage dip to 75.0 last season, he's still the top veteran kicker on the market. His release likely had more to do with his Express Boutique Cardigan Boutique Cardigan Boutique Express Express Cardigan ttq6rwP annual salary than his talent.
Bailey would be an upgrade for a squad with a questionable kicking situation. The Los Angeles Chargers, for example, tried four different kickers last season. This year, they're going with Caleb Sturgis a season after a hip injury ended his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Best Fits: Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns
The Kansas City Chiefs signed cornerback David Amerson to a one-year, $2.25 million deal this offseason, but they then decided he wasn't a fit for their defense. The 2013 second-round pick is free to sign with any team.
While Amerson is not a top-tier defensive back, he is an experienced starter. He started 27 games for the Oakland Raiders in 2015 and 2016, and he made six starts last season before being lost for the year with a foot injury.
Amerson is 26 years old and can be at least a quality depth corner for any team in need of more secondary talent.
While head coach Jon Gruden doesn't seem fond of players who were in Oakland before he arrived this offseason, a return to the Raiders would make a lot of sense for Amerson. Oakland, which allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game last season (241.1) has plenty of questions in the secondary.
Diesel Buster Diesel Stretch Jean Buster Best Fits:Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Indianapolis Colts moved on from defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins just a season into a three-year, $27 million deal. This leaves a tremendously talented defender sitting on the open market.
Hankins started 15 games for the Colts last season and amassed 44 total tackles, 2.0 sacks and three passes defended. He is versatile enough to play either tackle or end, and Hankins is just 26 years old.
"I believe I'll be with a team pretty soon," Hankins told Brady Quinn and A.J. Hawk on SiriusXM Radio (via Max Demara of 247Sports). "I've just been really talking to teams and trying to figure out what would be the best fit."
Hankins can help any team looking to upgrade its run defense. The Chargers—who had the second-worst run defense in 2017 (131.1 yards per game allowed) and who will be without Corey Liuget for the first four games because of a performance-enhancing drug suspension—could use him.
Best Fits: Los Angeles Chargers, Washington Redskins
It's becoming increasingly clear that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is never going to return to the NFL. He isn't likely to get a starting opportunity, and it seems he carries too high a political profile to be a backup.
However, safety Eric Reid, another player recognizable for his part in protests during the anthem, should get looks from teams in need of secondary help. He's a former Pro Bowler with the versatility to play either safety spot.
Last season, the 26-year-old Reid made 12 starts and finished with 67 tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions. A team such as the Browns, who are rebuilding their secondary and still trying to figure out where Jabrill Peppers fits, would make sense.
Best Fits: Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There's a lot to be said for potential, which is why 2016 first-round pick Corey Coleman makes this list. He wasn't a fit for the new Browns regime, and he didn't have much time to acclimate himself to the Buffalo Bills offense after being traded for a seventh-round pick August 5.
"He tried hard. He really did," Bills general manager Brandon Beane Cashmere Sweater Boutique Mine Only Pullover 7Eww8Xqp, per Tim Graham of The Athletic "Where he came in to learn a new offense, he just didn't jell."
However, Coleman's athleticism, speed and after-the-catch ability are undeniable. He flashed some of this as a rookie, accumulating 413 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games. A broken hand has limited each of his two seasons, so we've never really seen what Coleman can be. A team searching for a young, dynamic wideout should be happy to try finding out.
The New York Jets, who are looking to surround rookie quarterback Sam Darnold with talent, could be an option. Coleman would be reunited with former teammates Terrelle Pryor, Isaiah Crowell and Josh McCown. That could make his acclimation easier than it was in Buffalo.
Buster Stretch Diesel Buster Diesel Jean Best Fits:New England Patriots, New York Jets
Even though the New Orleans Saints will be without Mark Ingram for the season's first four games because of a violation of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, the team cut fifth-year running back Terrance West. This leaves a young, capable back available.
The 27-year-old West isn't the flashiest runner, but he has shown he can be a reliable starter—he made 13 starts for the Baltimore Ravens in 2016. He is a hard-nosed runner between the tackles and can be a factor in the passing game (34 receptions in 2016).
No one wants to build an offense around him, but he can provide quality depth and can even be a situational starter for a running back-needy team. The Washington Redskins, for example, could use West as insurance in case the Adrian Peterson experiment doesn't work out.
Best Fits: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins
Is Dez Bryant the dominant No. 1 receiver he once was? No. However, he's still a 6'2" outside target on the right side of 30 who can outjump and outmuscle almost any defensive back. He might not break open an offense, but he can at least be a valuable possession receiver and red-zone target.
But he appears to be waiting for the right opportunity—or perhaps more accurately, the right contract—before signing. It's a problem because the longer he waits to sign, the harder it will be to integrate him into an offense.
"Get back to belonging somewhere," former NFL receiver Michael Irvin said, per TMZ. "Right now, you're like a vagabond where you don't have a team and you're wondering."
The good news for Bryant is there is no shortage of receiver-needy teams. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who recently lost Marqise Lee for the season to a knee injury, are the kind of contenders Bryant may be interested in.
Best Fits: Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots
*All contract information via Over The Cap