Best Remaining Defensive Players after Free Agency Day 1
It’s been one day since NFL free agency opened up, and what a wild day it’s been. Many defensive stars have found new homes for the 2021 season. The Tennessee Titans landed former Steelers standout linebacker Bud Dupree. Dupree was brought in on a five-year, $85 million contract. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who spent time in Minnesota and Baltimore last season, is headed to Sin City to join the Raiders. His contract is two years long and worth $26 million. Patrick Peterson is back in purple after signing a one-year, $10 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Even with all these big signings, there are still a lot of worthwhile players available on the defensive side of the ball for teams to sign. Here are the best players still available at each defensive position.
Edge Rusher – Jadeveon Clowney (Formerly of the Tennessee Titans)
Just a few years ago, Jadeveon Clowney was one of the most feared edge rushers in the league. Over the past could of years, however, he has taken a step back in his pass rushing abilities. He’s secured just 3.0 sacks in his last 19 starts, but he has 41 pressures in that same time frame, which isn’t bad. Given the right situation, we could see Clowney return to his Houston form.
Defensive Tackle – Ndamukong Suh (Formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Yes, he’s getting up there in age, but that’s irrelevant when you look at his production and ability to stay healthy. Suh has missed just two games in his 11-year career. TWO! And he’s still very productive as an interior pass rusher and run stuffer. With Tampa Bay last season, Suh secured 6.0 sacks and 29 pressures. He would be a valuable asset on many defensive lines in the league.
Linebacker – K.J. Wright (Formerly of the Seattle Seahawks)
After ten years in Seattle, K.J. Wright could be on his way to a new team for the first time ever. He’s a very solid pass defender and good against the run and even as a pass rusher. It won’t be shocking to see the Seahawks to push to retain him, but Wright should garner a good amount of attention.
Cornerback – Richard Sherman (Formerly of the San Francisco 49ers)
Sherman will be 33 at the end of the month, but it’s pretty evident that he still has plenty left in the tank. He could confidently be brought in on a one or two-year contract. A team looking for a veteran presence in the cornerback room along with good cornerback play should look Sherman’s way.
Safety – Keanu Neal (Formerly of the Atlanta Falcons)
Health has been a huge detriment to Neal’s career, as he suffered two season-ending injuries in 2018 and 2019. With that being said, when he’s healthy, he’s a very good player. He stood out on a lackluster Atlanta Falcons defensive unit last year and should fetch a nice deal with a team in need of safety help.