With the 2018-19 NFL season over, teams are in full offseason grind mode preparing for the draft and looking for hot players to add. This year’s free agency is extremely heavy with young defensive talent and many players coming off career seasons. On the March 13that 4:00 PM ET the free agency officially opens. This is a list of the Top 10 NFL Free Agents of 2019.
- Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell being the No. 1 option should be a no brainer. Hit with the franchise tag in 2017, he still rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns combined with 85 receptions for 655 yards. In the five years, he’s been with the Steelers, Le’Veon Bell ran all over teams for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns. This isn’t even mentioning the 312 caught passes, 2,660 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. Did I mention he’s a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro?
- Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys
For the Cowboys to let Lawrence into the free agency is a foolish mistake. With a defense as solid as any, losing him would take away one of the focal points of the squad. Demarcus deserves a hefty chunk of change but with the Cowboys salary cap situation that becomes a sticky situation. With that, if they try to hit him with the franchise tag he would be tempted to holdout. This season he racked up 64 combined tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, an interception, an interception and solidified himself as a top five pass-rusher. All of this with a torn labrum.
- Jadeveon Clowney, OLB, Houston Texans
At only 25 years old, Clowney just contributed to his third straight Pro Bowl season. Although he had a slow start to his career, he’s turned out to be a standout player in the run defense. Recording 205 combined tackles, 29 sacks, 11 passes defended, and five forced fumbles in the last five years, Jadeveon has grown into a monster on defense. I don’t think there’s any way that the Texans let him slide but if he was to make it to market, teams would be clawing over him.
- Trey Flowers, DE, New England Patriots
Coming off his third Super Bowl appearance with the Patriots, I’m not sure his free agency could have come at a better time. Tallying 7.5 sacks, 57 tackles, 20 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles in the regular season, Flowers performance was almost better as he tore up the Rams offensive line in the Super Bowl this year. If another team was to allow him more freedom I can only imagine where his numbers would be.
- Landon Collins, S, New York Giants
With his season cut short in week 15 due to shoulder surgery, Landon Collins still managed to get 96 tackles, four pass deflections, and a forced fumble. This season was a slight drop off from last year, however, that doesn’t bother me. I prefer to look at the 437 tackles, 4 sacks, 32 passes defended, 8 interceptions (1 being a TD), and 3 forced fumbles from the past four years. Fact is, Collins is a stud and whoever gets him will be very happy with what they get.
- Grady Jarrett, DT, Atlanta Falcons
Grady Jarrett is 25-years old and has grown every season in the league. After Atlanta’s Super Bowl appearance Jarrett is now tied for a sack record after sacking Brady three times. With that, in 2017 he led in tackles for loss at his position and in 2018 had six sacks (a career best) and 16 quarterback hits. There is little chance he reaches the market however as the Falcons have already released three players trying to free up cap space to sign both Jarrett and Julio Jones.
- Dee Ford, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs
Having a monster season in 2018, Ford has created a lot of buzz around his name. Putting up 55 tackles, 13 sacks, and seven forced fumbles Ford finally showed teams just what he could really do. That being said, the Chiefs have stated that are interested in keeping his talents around and may choose to exercise the franchise tag on him. If he was to make it to market, however, teams would be in a frenzy to pick him up.
- Frank Clark, DE, Seattle Seahawks
With his fourth season now in the books, Clark is an enticing player. He posted 13 sacks and 3 forced fumbles this season, both are career highs. With that, he added his first career interception and returning it in the game for an additional 26 yards. Although he’s not as solid as the players above, career totals of 136 combined tackles, 35 sacks, eight forced fumbles, and a pick are nice on the eyes.
- Earl Thomas, S, Seattle Seahawks
It feels disrespectful to put a future Hall of Famer so low on this list. However, with his last two seasons being covered with injuries, it had to be done. That being said Thomas is still under 30 (barely at 29) but has somehow managed to maintain solid play even with injuries. Posting 22 tackles, five passes defended, and three interceptions in four games in 2018. While his numbers have never been in question, Thomas’s health will be teams main focus.
- Anthony Barr, LB, Minnesota Vikings
Anthony Barr is a question to most as he has been inconsistent when it comes to production. Barr has made it to four Pro Bowls since being drafted in 2014 and is all over the place for the Vikings defense. That being said, it’s kind of sad for a player that has never made it over 75 tackles in a season and only has 13.5 sacks in five seasons. Plus, he has had the luxury of an amazing defensive coach like Zimmer. It kind of makes you wonder, if Zimmer can’t get him to do more, how will other teams fair?