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Looking for Work

Nearly a month into the free agency period and 20 days from the NFL Draft, a number of high-profile free agents have yet to ink a deal with a new team.

With teams looking to get value for money and veteran leadership as well as talent and raw ability, there are some hidden gems sat there waiting to be spotted by the right GM or front office.

According to ESPN’s Free Agent Tracker, there are still some 312 free agents out there waiting for the phone to ring. BettingSports.com has sifted through the list to pick out five of the biggest names still sitting in limbo. Whether these players will be picked up before kickoff in September or left to call it a day remains to be seen, but you can’t help but think somebody out there has to be keeping a close eye on this quintet.

Dwight Freeney (Linebacker)

Doe Dwight Freeney have one more campaign left? Is anyone willing to take the chance?

Doe Dwight Freeney have one more campaign left? Is anyone willing to take the chance?

At 33-years-old, Freeney may be thinking long and hard about hanging his boots up for good. Undeniably his numbers were down last year – he recorded five sacks and 12 tackles in his 11th year in Indianapolis – but they might just be good enough to keep the seven-time Pro Bowler in the league. The veteran leadership he offers – not to mention his three First-Team All-Pro selections – could be very valuable to one of the league’s young teams.

Brian Urlacher (Linebacker)

Urlacher’s circumstances mirror those of Freeney. The 13-year veteran is now 34 and saw his production slump last season. The Bears have made it clear they no longer have a spot open, and many are clamoring for the eight-time Pro-Bowler to call it a day. But, Urlacher’s numbers were far from terrible last season. His 68 tackles could be valuable to a wide variety of NFL teams and his leadership qualities, like Freeney’s, would be beneficial to a younger team. The question then lies in whether or not the four-time First-Team All-Pro is willing to take a pay cut.

Quentin Jammer (Defensive Back)

Could Quentin Jammer be a valuable asset to a contender?

Could Quentin Jammer be a valuable asset to a contender?

Another veteran defensive player in the same boat as Freeney and Urlacher is Quentin Jammer. Like the aforementioned pair, Jammer has played his whole career with one club (San Diego) and now at 33-years-old finds himself at a crossroad. Unlike Freeney and Urlacher, Jammer has yet to win a Super Bowl, a fact that could provide motivation to stay on another season. You have to think that if a contender was going to sign Jammer, it would have done so by now. But then again, if a team like New England doesn’t score the player its wants in the draft, maybe they’ll be dialing Jammer’s number.

Ahmad Bradshaw (Running Back)

The shelf life for a running back in the NFL is becoming ever shorter so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to learn that Bradshaw has yet to find a suitor. After six seasons with the Giants, the 27-year-old could still be a useful addition to any number of teams though. Tallying 1,015 rushing yards and six touchdowns last season, the two-time Super Bowl winner still has some gas in the tank, and while he might not thrive as a feature back, a backup role could prove lucrative for player and team.

Michael Turner (Running Back)

Michael Turner still has touchdown ability; will it secure him a job?

Michael Turner still has touchdown ability; will it secure him a job?

Make no mistake about it; Turner is not the most attractive prospect out there. A 31-year-old running back isn’t exactly at the top of any GM’s shopping list. But like Bradshaw, Turner could still have something to offer in a backup role. The nine-year veteran tallied 800 yards last season but more importantly broke the goal line 10 times. That sort of performance under pressure is not to be shrugged off lightly.

For each of these players – and the 15 others listed below – it’s unlikely that a deal will get done before the draft later this month. However, a little patience now could see any, or all, of these players pick up one more payday, particularly if the draft proves a bust for even a few of the 32 NFL teams.


Other Free Agents Currently Available:

Nick Barnett (LB) BUF

Victor Cruz* (WR) NYG

Karlos Dansby (LB) MIA

Jared Gaither (OT) SD

Chris Gamble (CB) CAR

Casey Hampton (NT) PIT

James Harrison (LB) PIT

Peyton Hillis (RB) KC

Felix Jones (RB) DAL

Brandon Lloyd (WR) NE

Quintin Mikell (S) STL

Brandon Moore (G) NYJ

Dennis Pitta* (TE) BAL

Daryl Smith (LB) JAX

Charles Woodson (S) GB

*Denotes restricted free agent.

The 2013 NFL Draft takes place at Radio City Music Hall in New York from April 25-27.

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