NFL: The Top 15 Defensive Free Agent Values

Featured, Sports and Bets — February 20, 2014 at 6:41 am by

by Babes

The NFL second season gets a ton of attention these days.  Free agency, the draft, and following which teams cut whom, has become just as much the talk of office break rooms and bar rooms as game decisions and fourth down plays are during the playing season. Fans have figured out that the strategy of the season is extremely important, and following how and what decisions teams make is just as important to some fans as following the play on the gridiron.  Of course, I resemble these remarks.  I’ve done a little digging for all 31 of my readers here on Charm City Wire. On the defensive side of the ball I found fifteen players that I deem to be great buys in free agency.  This is not to say they will come cheap in every case, but they will be worth the money.  Remember, it’s like we talked about when we discussed the players who I thought would be overpaid this year;  it’s all about value.
DE: Greg Hardy- Somebody is gonna back a Brink’s truck up to his front porch, and he will be worth every penny.  Hardy is the prototypical defensive end, he is long, athletic, stout against the run, and a game changer as a pass rusher. Plus he’s only 26.

drew brees sacked
DE: Lamarr Houston- Houston is another very good pass rusher just entering the prime of his career.  You haven’t heard much of him because he’s buried on a terrible team out in Oakland, but Houston has great natural pass rush ability and is capable of multiple double digit sack seasons.

DT: Everson Griffen- If you need a guy who can rush on third down, and a guy who will come relatively cheap, Griffen is your guy.  He has never developed into an every down player, but he has ability to pressure on third down.

DT: Arthur Jones- This is a situation typical of the Ravens organization.  The Ravens are really good at developing their draft picks.  Jones, a former fifth round pick, is the top 3-4 five-technique player on the market.  Will probably end up joining his brother in New England.

DT:  Linval Joseph- Joseph is a dominant 4-3 defensive tackle who can not only plug up the middle against the run, but he also gets a decent pass rush up the middle.

DT:  Henry Melton- Melton was having a career year when he tore his ACL, so he will be available for much less then he would have been healthy.  But in my mind he is worth the risk, because a knee injury isn’t as hard on a defensive tackle as it is on a skill position player.

DT:  Cedric Thornton- A huge reason for Philly’s turnaround last season was the run stopping ability of Ced Thornton.  Thornton won’t come cheap, but to a team like the Bears, who couldn’t have stopped an SEC running game last year, it would be well worth the investment.

OLB: Dekoda Watson- The linebacker market is extremely bare, before salary cap casualties at least, but Watson can start on the weak side for a 4-3 defense and be serviceable at a minimum price.  Watson is also an accomplished special teams player.

ILB: Donald Butler- By far the best buy on the linebacker market.  Butler is young and accomplished as an impact defender and a leader.


ILB: Daryl Sharpton- If you’re looking to get away cheap at middle linebacker, Sharpton has starting experience and can do a decent job on first and second down.  He is probably best suited to play inside in a 3-4 defense.

CB: Sam Shields- The homegrown Packer will command a king’s ransom on the open market, but he is a top ten cover man in the NFL.  Shields is a game changer.

CB: Alterraun Verner- The first time pro bowler is just as good as Sam Shields, and he is only getting better.

FS: Jairus Byrd- Bar none the best free safety in the business.  The guy is a ballhawk reminiscent of Ed Reed in his hayday.

SS: TJ Ward- It’s hard to justify paying a big salary to a strong safety, but Ward has proven he is in the top four in the league at his position.  I would be flabbergasted if Cleveland lets him slip out the door with as much cap room as they have.

Special Teamer: Nic Bellore- The former Jet is a demon on all special teams, especially on coverage units.  He would be an asset to whomever picks him up.



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