The time is officially upon us. Documents are being signed. Players will begin to move. The NFL offseason as we knew it in years past will look much different than this year, but many if not all fans will simply be glad to talk about it at all. And that’s what makes a list like John Clayton’s recent Top 10 Available Unrestricted Free Agents so appealing. It’s an oasis after some time in the desert of NFL news.
As for his list, it’s a solid compilation of names that most sportswriters will be posting about and that most fans will be obsessed with. Nnamdi Asomugha heads the list and Peter King has continued to insists via columns and Twitter that Asomugha will most certainly not be back in Oakland next year. This means one of the NFL’s top defensive players is going to significantly impact the pass defense of some lucky team. That in itself is big news.
Alongside such an imposing quarterback are the high-profile receivers that a player like Asomugha will be asked to shut down. Santonio Holmes is now a free agent, as is Braylon Edwards and Sidney Rice and all three are on Clayton’s top 10 list. Clayton has the players’ current team as the favorite to sign, making any level of drama rather boring if all three simply re-up with their current franchise. But other teams like the Redskins are looking for receivers, as are the Rams and Chiefs so they should not be forgotten.
DeAngelo Williams will be doggedly pursued by his current team, the Panthers, but you’d better believe that the lack of a running game in Denver and the longtime presence of John Fox, the new Broncos head coach, will make a difference in Williams’ decision. In fact, I’d be surprised if Williams wasn’t the next strong running back in the AFC West.
Other names rounding out the list include Charles Johnson, Ray Edwards, Cullen Jenkins, Brandon Mebane and Johnathan Joseph.