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Top 10 Best Available NFL Free Agents

Junior Gallette

Junior Gallette

With NFLtraining camps getting started, we at figured we would put together a list of the top 10 players who are still looking for a team. 

It's worth mentioning that all of these players come with some kind of issues, which explains why they're available. Even so, each player included on this list could help a team fill a roster need, as preparation for the 2015 season goes into full gear.

1. Junior Gallette, DE/OLB, 27

The Saints made a surprising move last week when they decided to part ways with DE/OLB Junior Galette just over a year after signing him to a six-year, $45.3 million contract that included $23 million guaranteed.

Galette has done himself no favors with his off-the-field behavior and calling out members of the franchise since his release, but there's no question that he has been a very productive player on the field in recent years.

If a team ends up feeling comfortable with the type of personality it’s bringing into its facility, then it could be getting a solid pass rusher for the 2015 season.

In 2014, Galette appeared in all 16 games for the Saints and recorded 45 tackles, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, two safeties and two passes defended. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 4 4-3 defensive end out of 59 qualifying players.

2. Evan Mathis, G, 34

Mathis is by far the best available free agent offensive lineman and our No. 2 player overall based on how well he's performed for the Eagles over the past few years.

While many expected Mathis to have a decent market for his services, there really has been a surprisingly limited amount of buzz since he was cut loose by the Eagles.

The Bills, Dolphins, Giants, Jets, Seahawks, Chiefs, Patriots and Vikings have all come up as potential options in recent months.

Last year, Mathis appeared in nine games for the Eagles after he dealt with an MCL injury. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 guard out of 78 qualifying players.

3. Jake Long, OT, 30

Any serviceable offensive tackle shouldn't have a hard time finding an opportunity to, at the very least, compete for a roster spot in training camp at this point in the year.

Long was cut loose by the Rams and has visited with the Giants, but it appears as though his rehab from a second torn ACL could be holding things up.

Assuming that things check out with his knee, Long should have a respectable market for his services.

In 2014, Long was limited to appearing in seven games and playing a total of 449 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Long ultimately graded out as the No. 36 offensive tackle out of 84 qualifying players in 2014.

4. Red Bryant, DT, 31

Given where we are in the NFL calendar, there isn't any marquee talent available, so teams are likely to be looking at players who can fit certain roles.

Bryant fits this description about as well as any available free agent, as he offers very little in terms of pass rush, but he has been a stout run-defender.

Since being cut by the Jaguars, there hasn't been any reported interest in Bryant. However, I wouldn't be shocked to see him take a visit, especially if someone loses an interior defensive lineman.

In 2014, Bryant appeared in all 16 games for Jacksonville and recorded 22 tackles, a half sack, and a forced fumble. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 31 defensive end in a 4-3 defense out of 59 qualifying players.


Pierre Thomas

, RB, 30

Every year there are a number of notable free agents still available as training camp nears, but Thomas stands out among the group of veteran backs for his balanced production and effectiveness out of the backfield.

The Redskins and Ravens have both come up as speculative landing spots for Thomas since the Saints cut him loose, but it looks like it will likely take an injury for him to get a serious look.

In 2014, Thomas ran for 222 yards on 45 carries (4.9 ypc) to go along with 45 receptions for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 9 running back in the league out of 57 qualifying players.

6. Brandon Spikes, ILB, 27

Spkies' inclusion on this list should be prefaced by pointing out that he comes with obvious off-the-field concerns, as he pled guilty to leaving the scene of a car collision that resulted in a personal injury a few months ago.

After signing with the Patriots in May, New England subsequently released the linebacker, who is facing one year of probation stemming from the incident, less than a month later.

In the event a team is comfortable giving him another opportunity and happen to be in the market for inside linebacker help, Spikes has been a solid run-stopper in recent years.

In 2014, he appeared in all 16 games for the Bills, recording 54 tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and three passes defended. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 13 inside linebacker out of 60 qualifying players due in large part to a very solid rating as a run-defender.

7. Lance Briggs, OLB, 34

Briggs' advanced age and overall mileage has likely played a role in him being skipped over for opportunities this offseason.

The 49ers actually brought him in for a visit after they lost Patrick Willis and Chris Borland to retirement. However, San Francisco wound up going in a different direction.

Despite playing for an underwhelming Bears defense last year, Briggs was still a productive player. It goes without saying that he's likely a stop-gap option at best right now.

In 2014, Briggs appeared in eight games and recorded 35 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and three pass defensded for Chicago. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 10 outside linebacker in a 4-3 system.

8. Chris Myers, C, 33

It's actually fairly surprising that Myers doesn't have a team right now. Since being released by the Texans, Myers has visited with the Broncos and Seahawks, but there really hasn't been any indications that he will land with a team in the near future.

Myers has been a consistent contributor for a number of years and would be a very solid addition for any team in need of help at center.

Myers was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 16 center in the league last season out of 41 qualifying players. It's worth mentioning that he hasn't missed a single game in the last nine years.

9. Zach Miller, TE, 29

As previously mentioned, there are a number of teams who could use some depth at tight end, but even though Miller has been available for several months, there has been little to no reported interest in him.

The Seahawks released him in a move that cleared $2,390,625 in cap space. His 2014 season was cut short after he sustained an ankle injury that resulted in him being placed on season-ending injured reserve.

In 2014, Miller was limited to appearing in three games due to injury and caught just six passes for 76 yards.

10. Anthony Collins, OT, 29

Collins' inclusion in the list has more to do with the position he plays and the one good season he had a few years ago than his recent performance.

It's just extremely hard to find offensive tackle at this point in the year, and while you could argue that Collins' doesn't offer very much at this pivotal position, he was a solid option for the Bengals in 2013. On top of that, he's still just 29 years old and wouldn't require much in terms of salary.

The Buccaneers signed him to a five-year, $30 million contract that included $15 million guaranteed, only to cut him loose just a year into the agreement.

Pro Football Focus has Collins rated as the No. 63 offensive tackle out of 84 qualifying players. Although, he was rated as a decent run-blocker.

— Written by NFL Trade Rumors, a member of Athlon Sports' Contributor network. For more on NFL Trade Rumors visit or check them out on Twitter at @nfltrade_rumors.