News & Analysis

The NFL's top 25 remaining unrestricted free agents

Dec 31, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) reacts on the bench during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

4:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, March 14 has hit, and the NFL's new league year is officially upon us. Teams were free to make all of their reported signings official and as the ink still dries on some contracts, we at Pro Football Focus are here to update you with a top remaining list of free agents, who have yet to sign on the dotted line with a new team this offseason.

For more in depth insight on each of these free agents and many more, check out the 2018 PFF Free Agent Guide, a part of your PFF Edge or Elite subscription.

[Editor's note: Check back often as we'll update this list with signings as they happen, removing players and adding subsequent new ones to round out our top 25. This list was originally published at 4:00 p.m. March 14, and will be updated with news of signings of players on this list. As of March 21, this list has been discontinued with signings becoming too infrequent. We will however, update readers with signings as they come in on our free agent tracker still.]

 

 

1. Ndamukong Suh, DI

Suh is dominant on the field and a strong personality in the locker room. Not every team is going to want to spend the money for him but his production on the interior could help any defense.

2. Morgan Burnett, S

Throughout his eight-year career in Green Bay, Burnett has recorded 34 pass breakups, 11 interceptions and a whopping 214 defensive stops from the backend of that Packers defense.

3. Tyvon Branch, S

Before injury shut him down for the season, Branch had himself a quietly strong season, recording 24 defensive stops on just 578 total snaps and finished fourth on the team in total tackles, despite missing seven and half games.

4. NaVorro Bowman, LB

Bowman racked up an impressive eight QB pressures on just 40 pass-rushing snaps a season ago and didn't allow a single reception of longer than 26 yards on his 357 snaps in coverage.

5. Jack Mewhort, G

On the heels of his breakout season in 2016, Mewhort was limited to just five games in 2017. He allowed just 18 total pressures in 2016 across 10 games.

6. Johnathan Hankins, DI

Contributing to the second-highest grade of his career, Hankins missed all but one tackle of his 43 total attempts in 2017 while adding 20 QB pressures from the inside.

7. Tramon Williams, CB

The longtime pro proved he still had some left in the tank with a strong season in 2017. Williams racked up 10 total plays on the ball, allowed just one catch and the second-lowest amount of targeted passes to be caught at just 49.2. All told, at 34 years old, Williams allowed a passer rating of just 58.4 on throws into his coverage.

8. Junior Galette, edge

On 258 pass-rushing snaps, Galette recorded a total of 37 QB pressures, the third-most on the team. Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith rushed the passer on 180 and 110 more snaps than Galette did, showcasing just how well Galette rushed the passer on a per-snap basis.

9. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB

A down year in 2017 shouldn't negate the fact that DRC has recording an amazing 131 career plays on the ball since 2008. His 33 interceptions and 98 pass breakups have all totaled up to a career passer rating when targeted of just 79.9.

10. E.J. Gaines, CB

Gaines tied for 25th in terms of lowest passer rating when targeted, fielding a 75.2 passer rating on the 61 targets into his coverage. Of the 65 cornerbacks with at least 60 targets, Gaines allowed the fewest yards after the catch in 2017 (91).

11. Robert Ayers, edge

Ayers comes available after the Buccaneers made two signings on the defensive line and after a career-high overall grade of 89.3. Ayers finished second on the team with 45 QB pressures a season ago including a whopping 17 QB hits.

12. Tom Johnson, DI

Johnson was a key cog in the Vikings defense shutting down opposing offenses in 2017, registering a total of 31 QB pressures and 22 total defensive stops.

13. Jeremy Maclin, WR

Maclin finished last year with a career-low 113 yards after the catch, but still managed to haul in 59.7 percent of his targets, which was right on par with his career average.

14. Terrelle Pryor, WR

After a breakout year in 2016, Pryor hauled in 57.1 percent of the passes thrown his way in 2017 before being shut down after Week 9. He hauled in 20 receptions on 35 targets for 240 yards and a touchdown.

15. Eric Reid, S

Reid finished last season third on the 49ers with 26 defensive stops and also recorded five QB pressures on just 23 pass-rushing snaps.

16. Eric Ebron, TE

2017 was Ebron's highest-graded season of his career and that included a solid season catching the ball. He hauled in 65.4 percent of his passes and racked up an average of 5.0 yards after the catch per reception while forcing a career-high seven missed tackles.

17. Tre Boston, S

Boston was more than just a safety valve on the back end of the Chargers defense, allowing just three receptions on 12 targeted passes. He brought in an interception of a pass breakup on more than half of his targeted passes in 2017.

18. Kony Ealy, edge

Ealy finished second on the Jets with his 25 QB pressures in 2017.

19. Jordan Matthews, WR

Matthews is coming off his worst season as a pro after being dealt to Buffalo last season. He saw just 34 targets, hauling in 25 of them but still did a great job of extending receptions as he averaged 5.3 yards after the catch, per reception, the second-highest of his career.

20. Kendall Wright, WR

Wright may be several years removed from his breakout 2013 season but he still managed to haul in a career high 72.0 percent of his passes a season ago. In total, he forced eight missed tackles after the catch and racked up an average of 3.3 yards after the catch per reception in 2017.

21. Frank Gore, RB

Father Time may be calling for Gore sooner than later, but the 13-year veteran finished the 2017 season on a tear, grading out with three of his best individual game grades over the last four weeks of the season. His 35 missed tackles forced on carries and 659 yards after contact more than prove that he has enough left in the tank for at least another season.

22. Pernell McPhee, LB

After a down year in 2016, McPhee bounced back with a solid season in 2017. He recorded a total of 17 QB pressures on his 197 pass-rushing snaps and also produced plus-grades in run-defense and pass coverage rounding out a solid, if unspectacular, season in Chicago.

23. Matt Slauson, G

Slauson had a down year in 2017, but still only allowed 12 pressures across his 275 snaps in pass protection. Prior to this past season, Slauson had only graded out below a 74.1 overall once in his career, his rookie season.

24. Korey Toomer, LB

Toomer spent 100 snaps in pass coverage a season ago, was targeted 15 times but only allowed eight receptions for 61 yards and limited receivers to just 27 yards after the catch. All told, he added an interception and a pass breakup while fielding a passer rating of just 35.7 on throws into his coverage.

25. Sylvester Williams, DI

Williams had a career-high 76.5 overall grade in 2017 and while he didn't contribute much to the pass-rushing game in Tennessee (just five hurries), he recorded 12 stops in run defense and finished with a respectable 78.2 run defense grade.

2018 Free Agency


Free Agent Tracker | Top Offensive UFAs | Top Defensive UFAs

2017 free agent hits | Immediate Impact FAs

Free agents who could use a change of scenery | One-year deals

2018 Free Agency Rankings


Top Offensive Line Options | Top 50 heading into free agency

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