Improving rosters before the start of the NFL season is the best way franchises can increase playoff odds. The free agency market provides an opportunity to add depth at a reasonable price. Signing a difference-maker could turn a pretender into a contender.
Before fans prepare to watch their team compete, which free agents are worth acquiring?
NFL Free Agent #5: Teddy Bridgewater, QB
Investing in an experienced quarterback could take a franchise from worst to first within their division. We’ve seen injuries disrupt a team’s season – forcing backups to take the field. Last season, the 49ers relied on their third-string quarterback to lead them to the NFC Championship game. Brock Purdy wasn’t the starter in Week 1 but proved he could lead his team despite his rank on the depth chart. Teddy Bridgewater is a reliable second-string option franchises can trust in an emergency. His experience makes him one of the best free agents available for franchises concerned with quarterback depth.
NFL Free Agent #4: Ezekiel Elliott, RB
Acquiring a back with a chip on his shoulder will add an extra element to an offense. Ezekiel Elliott is the perfect rusher for the job. The divorce between the former first-round pick and the Cowboys will motivate Elliott in 2023. Dallas placed a franchise tag on Tony Pollard early in the off-season, releasing their former first-rounder shortly after. Ezekiel Elliott is determined to have a productive season and could be a great addition to a developing offense. His physical running style takes a toll on opposing tacklers. He runs behind his pads, looking to deliver blows to defenders. In 2022, Elliot recorded 929 rushing yards while sharing the backfield with Pollard. He found the end zone 12 times and will make a great complimentary back.
NFL Free Agent #3: Marcus Peters, CB
Protecting the endzone is the key to winning football games. Offenses continue to innovate – creating problems for defensive coordinators. Rostering a skilled defensive back through free agency could help keep points off the scoreboard. Marcus Peters is an experienced corner that will make a difference on any roster. He creates turnovers and excels in man-to-man coverage. Peters will provide value on and off the field, making him an essential free-agent pick-up.
NFL Free Agent #2: Frank Clark, DE
Disruption in the backfield results in productivity for defenses. Creating an elite pass rush has become a goal for most defensive coordinators. If the quarterback has limited time in the pocket, he completes fewer passes, right? Frank Clark is an edge rusher that makes achieving these desires easier. His relentless pursuit of the quarterback is a game-changer. He earned nine sacks in 2023, recording multi-sack performances throughout the season. Clark is a primetime player who is capable of leading the defensive unit. He played a vital role on Kansas City’s defense, resulting in two Super Bowl victories.
NFL Free Agent #1: DeAndre Hopkins, WR
You can never have too many skill players, right? Especially when DeAndre Hopkins is available as a free agent. Arizona’s front office announced their decision to release the 5-time Pro-Bowler at the end of May. He missed eight games last year, but still managed to produce on the gridiron. Hopkins finished the season with more yards receiving (717) and receptions (64) last season than the previous year. He can still perform at a high level and will be a great addition to any offense,
The free agency market s the best way for franchises to make roster improvements before the season begins. As we wait for the upcoming season to kick off, we can expect teams to evaluate the available talent with hopes of improving this season.