What players remain unsigned and who are the top free agents left in the NFL? As we progress further into the 2023 offseason, there are some notable players that remain unsigned. This article will cover a few of those players, their strengths, and what teams might look to sign them.
The Top Four Non-DeAndre Hopkins Free Agents Still Available
1. Frank Clark, EDGE
Clark, now 30, has been an essential piece of the Kansas City Chiefs defensive line. During the 2022 season, Clark racked up 39 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection. He has been in Kansas City since 2019 when after having a career-high 13 sacks with Seattle, he was traded to the Chiefs for first and third-round picks of that draft. After the Chiefs drafted an EDGE in the first round of last year’s draft, he became expendable.
Ideal Fit: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks need an explosive edge rusher that can still produce despite getting older. It is also a chance for Clark to reunite with the team that drafted him back in 2015.
2. Marcus Peters, Cornerback
Peters, a first-round draft pick in 2015, is a pure ball hawk. Standing at 6’0″, 197 pounds, he flies after the ball and is lethal from all angles. In his four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, he caught eight interceptions and had 138 tackles. Peters missed the 2021 season due to injury, and his production dipped slightly in 2022 (only having one interception with 47 tackles), leading the Ravens to release Peters. Cornerback is always a position of need for NFL teams that want to compete in the postseason.
Ideal Fit: New York Jets
The Jets need someone to line up opposite second-year player Sauce Gardner, Peters can bring leadership and elite ball-hawking, especially if he can return to his production pre-injury, where he had seven interceptions in 24 games. Peters is also 30.
3. Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE
Ngakoue has bounced around the league since getting drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although, his last two seasons in the NFL have been quite productive. As a member of the Las Vegas Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts, he racked up 19.5 sacks, 57 total tackles, and three pass deflections in 32 games. Much like my review of Frank Clark, the EDGE rusher is a premier position with many teams loading up on these rushers.
Unfortunately, Ngakoue has been on IR since late December after having throat surgery, leading to some pessimism about whether he can return to his 2021/2022 production.
Ideal Fit: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers could use extra firepower on the defensive line and if they can unlock his full potential, which new Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero is known for doing. They can slot him in right next to Derrick Brown and Brian Burns for maximum production. Keep in mind that Ngakoue is only 28.
4. Kareem Hunt, Running Back
Hunt started his career with the Kansas City Chiefs when they drafted him in the third round in 2017. That year, he led the NFL in rushing yards and was named to his only Pro Bowl as of right now. He was released in 2018 after some concern over a video showing him physically assaulting a woman, although he was never charged.
He joined the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal to pair up with starter Nick Chubb and later signed a two-year extension with the team. While being the primary backup in Cleveland, he rushed for 854 yards with eight touchdowns and caught 57 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown.
Hunt is a quick, shifty back with some receiving capabilities. If given the starting role on a struggling team, he might be able to produce at a level he hasn’t been able to since being released by the Chiefs.
Ideal Fit: Arizona Cardinals
While this organization has a solid starter under contract, Hunt would be able to compete for the starting spot or at least more playing time in Arizona. He also is familiar with new Cardinals Offensive Coordinator Drew Petzing. The Cleveland Browns have also stated they have not entirely “shut the door” on Hunt returning, although he requested a trade at the beginning of the 2022 season. Hunt is the youngest on this list at 27.
These four players can contribute to any team looking to make a deep postseason run or to teams looking to make the jump into the playoffs. While this list has mostly defensive players on it with a lone offensive player, they all can be productive if put in the correct scheme.
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