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NFL Free Agency: Top 5 players still available

Former Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas
Former Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas
Suryaraj Jain
ANALYST
Modified 17 Nov 2020, 04:48 IST
Rumors
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Despite the NFL trade deadline having passed a few weeks ago and being a rather quite deadline, there are still plenty of players available on the free agent market for teams to pick up.

There are some big names who are surprisingly not on one of the NFL's 32 teams in the league as we head into Week 11 of the 2020 season.

Here are the top 5 NFL free agents still on the market.


5. Larry Warford (Guard)

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints
Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints

While Larry Warford is a free agent, there is a good reason for that. The 6'3" guard was released by the New Orleans Saints this past May, but on top of that, Warford decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, no team can officially sign him until the start of the 2021 offseason.

Warford is a three-time Pro Bowler, having spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions and another three with the Saints before being released.

At 29 years old, Warford has had plenty of experience at right guard and did not give up a single sack as a rookie starter for the Lions. Assuming Warford decides to come back for the 2021 NFL season, he should be signed by a team on a low-risk contract.


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4. Delanie Walker (Tight End)

We could see tight end Delanie Walker possibly being signed by the Baltimore Ravens after what happened to their tight end Nick Boyle on Sunday night against the New England Patriots. (Viewer Discretion is advised.)

Walker has had some unfortunate injuries in the past several years, but he's been considered a reliable tight end when needed.

After playing for seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans, Walker was released in March and has yet to be picked up by another NFL team. Nothing has been reported yet, but with Boyle out for the rest of the season, Baltimore starting tight end Mark Andrews certainly needs a good backup if the Ravens are making a playoff push.


3. Eli Apple (Cornerback)

Let's just say that cornerback Eli Apple has had his ups and downs since being drafted by the New York Giants in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

After spending two full seasons with the Giants, Apple was traded before the deadline in October of 2018 to the New Orleans Saints, where he played for the remainder of the 2018 season. He started in 15 games in 2019, but had his fifth-year option declined by the Saints, making him a free agent in 2020.

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Apple signed with the Carolina Panthers in May, but was recently released in late-October and has since been a free agent.

At this point, NFL teams will not look for him as a starting cornerback, and will rather sign him for depth purposes. Apple has been inconsistent in the secondary. However, several teams are certainly in need of plenty of help in terms of defense, but I would not expect him to be signed any time soon.


2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Safety)

A surprise to the free agent list, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has yet to be signed by any NFL team since being released by the Dallas Cowboys before the start of the 2020 season.

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Clinton-Dix is a Pro Bowl and Second-team All-Pro safety who has spent time with the Green Bay Packers, Washington and the Chicago Bears. He was drafted out of Alabama in the first round by the Packers, before being traded away after his rookie contract was coming to an end.

He would be a great addition to any secondary, especially for the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens.


1. Earl Thomas (Safety)

It is still a surprise to that Earl Thomas continues to be a free agent, despite being the best player available on the NFL free agency market.

As we know, Thomas was released in late-August by the Baltimore Ravens after he punched teammate Chuck Clark during practice. The altercation was so severe that it reportedly had an adverse affect on the Ravens' organization.

Since then, the only interest Thomas has had was from the Houston Texans a few months ago, but ultimately no signing occurred. It is unclear whether the severity of the altercation is worse than expected or his legal proceedings with his wife is making teams not want to sign the 31-year-old Pro Bowl safety.

Thomas should certainly be signed by an NFL team soon, especially with the playoffs creeping upon on quickly.

Published 17 Nov 2020, 04:48 IST
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