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2014 NFL Mock Draft

2013 NFL Offseason Primer: Free Agency

Posted by Brad On January - 20 - 2013
"Jairus Byrd"

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

In the last edition of the 2013 NFL offseason primer we looked at all the implications of the salary cap. Essentially creating a framework for your teams options in the free agency market.

Winning teams have proven that you don’t win championships by winning the offseason. Spending big on guys that teams didn’t want to overpay for is not a recipe for success in the NFL. That said, finding a piece or two to complete a roster or adding depth at a position is never a bad idea.

At 4:00 PM EST on March 12 we will usher in the free agency period. Many of the top players will have already be dealt with, either via a new contract or the franchise tag. The top of our current list will have the top taken off by teams placing the franchise tag on them. Guys like Ryan Clady, Joe Flacco, and Jairus Byrd will never see the light of day on the open market.

Our rankings are based off several factors. 1). Positional value, 2). Age, 3). Overall performance. This is the reason you will see guys like Dwight Freeney so far down the list. While he plays a premium position, his age is catching up with him and his performance declined this season.

So without further ado, here’s our top 50 2013 NFL free agents.

RANKPLAYERTEAMPOSITIONAGE
1RYAN CLADYDENVEROT26
2JOE FLACCOBALTIMOREQB28
3JAIRUS BYRDBUFFALOS26
4HENRY MELTONCHICAGODT26
5BRANDON ALBERTKANSAS CITYOT28
6DWAYNE BOWEKANSAS CITYWR28
7SEBASTIAN VOLLMERNEW ENGLANDOT28
8WES WELKERNEW ENGLANDWR32
9ANDRE SMITHCINCINNATIOT26
10ANDY LEVITREBUFFALOOG27
11MIKE WALLACEPITTSBURGHWR27
12JAKE LONGMIAMIOT28
13MICHAEL BENNETTTAMPA BAYDE27
14GREG JENNINGSGREEN BAYWR29
15CONNOR BARWINHOUSTONOLB26
16ED REEDBALTIMORES34
17AQIB TALIBNEW ENGLANDCB27
18DASHON GOLDSONSAN FRANCISCOS28
19WILL BEATTYNEW YORK GIANTSOT28
20ANTHONY SPENCERDALLASOLB29
21BRENT GRIMESATLANTACB30
22GOSDER CHERILUSDETROITOT29
23WILLIAM MOOREATLANTAS28
24PAUL KRUGERBALTIMOREOLB27
25CLIFF AVRILDETROITDE26
26MICHAEL JOHNSONCINCINNATIDE26
27TONY GONZALEZATLANTATE37
28PHIL LOADHOLTMINNESOTAOT27
29RANDY STARKSMIAMIDT29
30JERMON BUSHRODNEW ORLEANSOT29
31HEATH MILLERPITTSBURGHTE30
32CHRIS HOUSTONDETROITCB28
33SHAUN PHILLIPSSAN DIEGOOLB32
34LOUIS DELMASDETROITS26
35DANNELL ELLERBEBALTIMOREILB27
36SEAN SMITHMIAMICB26
37PHILLIP WHEELEROAKLANDOLB28
38STEVEN JACKSONST. LOUISRB30
39DESMOND BRYANTOAKLANDDT27
40DARYL SMITHJACKSONVILLEOLB31
41DANNY AMENDOLAST. LOUISWR27
42DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIEPHILADELPHIACB27
43OSI UMENYIORANEW YORK GIANTSDE31
44DWIGHT FREENEYINDIANAPOLISDE33
45CARY WILLIAMSBALTIMORECB28
46SAM BAKERATLANTAOT28
47JASON JONESSEATTLEDT27
48DEREK COXJACKSONVILLECB26
49BRIAN HARTLINEMIAMIWR26
50REY MAUALUGACINCINNATIILB26

Restricted free agents, those with expiring contracts that have played three seasons, can receive offers from other teams. That player’s team has the right to match the highest bidder. Should they elect not to match the offer, they would receive draft pick compensation for that player corresponding to the level of tender placed on the player.

Teams are less likely than ever to tender offers for restricted free agents for two real reasons. First, most teams have gotten hip to the fact that you build the core of your team through the draft. Secondly, the new CBA has relieved the heavy financial burden of high draft picks. Making teams less likely to want to part with picks.

So, it would appear that we won’t see many of these guys change teams but it’s worth a look.

RANKNAMETEAMPOSITION
1VICTOR CRUZNEW YORK GIANTSWR
2EMMANUEL SANDERSPITTSBURGHWR
3SAM SHIELDSGREEN BAYCB
4STEVIE BROWNNEW YORK GIANTSS
5DENNIS PITTABALTIMORETE
6STEVE MCLENDONPITTSBURGHDT
11JONATHAN DWYERPITTSBURGHRB
7ANDRE BROWNNEW YORK GIANTSRB
8ED DICKSONBALTIMORETE
9EVAN DIETRICH-SMITHGREEN BAYOC/OG
10ROBERT MCCLAINATLANTACB
12CASSIUS VAUGHNINDIANAPOLISCB
13DAVID NELSONBUFFALOWR
14LEGARRETTE BLOUNTTAMPA BAYRB
15AMARI SPIEVEYDETROITS
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