NFL 1 year ago

NFL: Top five available free agents

  • NFL: Top five available free agents

    (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

While the NFL free agency period has delivered its fair share of surprises for the upcoming 2017 season, some well-known names still remain on the open market.

Here are the top five available players still waiting for a place to call home:

5. Jamaal Charles (RB):

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Although Charles' 5.5 career rushing average ranks number one all-time among running backs in the NFL, his persistent knee problems are what forced the Chiefs to let him go. Known for his unrivalled speed and agility in the open field, the four-time Pro Bowler has endured a difficult time recovering after an ACL tear abruptly ended his season back in 2015. Upon returning to the field in Week 5 last season, Charles was soon placed on I/R for the remainder of the season and in need of a second surgery. Therefore, should a franchise decide to take a chance on the 30 year-old, expect nothing more than a one-year, incentive-filled deal.

4. Michael Floyd (WR):

While a DUI arrest only added to the career-worst season Floyd was having in Arizona, not even the Patriots could save him en route to their fifth Super Bowl triumph. The 2012 first-round pick still has what it takes to compete as a primary receiver in the league, but will need to iron out his off-field antics in order to have any hopes of playing again. Despite entering his sixth season in the NFL, Floyd has only managed one 1,000-yard campaign. Nevertheless, his skill set remains an intriguing temptation for offensive coordinators in need of a deep threat/red-zone target.

3. Jay Cutler (QB):

The Chicago Bears finally cut ties with Cutler following a dismal, injury-hit 2016 season that saw the veteran passer throw four touchdowns and five interceptions in five games. While the 2006 first-round pick is admittedly better than some starting quarterbacks around the league, a backup role is the best bet. That is, unless the Texans take the plunge following the news of Tony Romo's retirement.

2. Johnathan Hankins (DT):

After a serious pectoral injury cut his 2015 season short, Hankins enjoyed a brilliant bounce-back campaign in 2016. The former first-team All-American had three sacks and 43 tackles, along with a maiden trip to the playoffs. Playing next to Damon Harrison in Steve Spagnuolo's 4-3 set-up, the Giants' defensive line made a habit of crashing the backfield and providing opposing running backs little joy. Set to enter his fifth year in the league, Hankins possesses promising upside and plenty of room to develop.

1. Adrian Peterson (RB):

Since 1984, no running back aged 32 or older has rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Adrian Peterson's future remains up in the air following his release from the Vikings. The 32 year-old will enter the 2017 season after missing much of the last campaign due to injury. While the Patriots are reportedly keen on the former league MVP's services, neither party has afforded any official announcement to the media. Although without a team, and a deep, talented running back class still to come in the upcoming draft, Peterson himself remains confident that he will be playing meaningful snaps come September.

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