Fri, 05 Jun 2020

Lunchbreak: ESPN Ranks Top 15 Free Agents Still Available

Minnesota Vikings
25 Mar 2020, 20:37 GMT+10

It's hard to believe the NFL's free-agency negotiating window opened just a week ago, but the league's first wave of free agency is behind us.

There were some major moves across the league as big names signed with new teams. General managers also swung trades here and there, including the Vikings deal with the Bills to acquire four draft picks for wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

But with the second wave of free agency on the horizon for this week, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com broke down the best players who are still available on the market.

Seifert led off his list with edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney, who has 32.0 career sacks, eight forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and four defensive scores in six seasons.

Seifert wrote:

Rented (cheaply) for the season by the Seahawks, Clowney reaffirmed most existing impressions of him: He is a difference-maker when healthy. But the market hasn't formed as some thought it might, possibly because of his injury history.

Clowney was one of three defensive linemen mentioned, along with Ndamukong Suh (ranked ninth) and Everson Griffen (10th). Seifert also mentioned wide receivers Robby Anderson (3rd) and Breshad Perriman (4th), along with quarterback Jameis Winston (2nd).

Seifert also had five defensive backs on his list in safety Vonn Bell (No. 7), cornerback Jimmy Smith (No. 10), safeties Eric Reid (No. 12) and Damarious Randall (No. 13) and cornerback Logan Ryan (No. 14).

Seifert analyzed the cornerbacks, starting with Smith:

Smith remains immensely talented, but every interested team will have to take into account his long injury history. He managed to play only nine games in 2019 and has appeared in all 16 games of a season only twice in a career that began in 2011.

Smith was a 2011 first-round pick by the Ravens who has played 107 games and recorded 14 interceptions with Baltimore.

Seifert said of Ryan:

Ryan had never been more productive than he was in 2019, intercepting four passes and knocking down a career-high total of 18. He also forced four fumbles and recorded 113 tackles, both career highs.

Ryan was a third-round pick by New England in 2013, and he played the first four seasons (including two Super Bowl titles) of his career with the Patriots. He spent the past three seasons in Tennessee and had four picks and four forced fumbles in 2019.

Rudolph, Parise among pro athletes to call military kids

Kyle Rudolph is among a handful of professional athletes who are giving back to military children during a chaotic time across the globe.

The Vikings tight end will join up with the United Heroes League (UHL) to have a video chat with children of men and women who have served - or are currently serving - our country.

UHL helps kids who have parents in the military get involved with sports through equipment donation, tickets to games, camps and grants.

Those interested can fill out a form on the UHL website, which posted the following information:

With our newest initiative, your military child could be paired with a pro athlete to have a video chat with his or her favorite UHL ambassador.

We are incredibly thankful to our pro athlete ambassadors who have come forward to find new ways to thank military families and impact those who serve our country.

More information can be found here.

Rudolph will be joined by Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise and former Wild players Brent Burns and Charlie Coyle. Current NHL players such as Nate Schmidt and Thomas Greiss will also participate.

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