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5 Top Remaining NFL Free Agents 2023(WR/RB)
PLUS: Derek Carr was “Mad” With How Things Ended With Raiders
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It’s June 27 which means we are only 1 month away from the start of training camp. There are still prominent NFL players who have yet to sign with new teams. Odds are they wait till training camp gets closer before inking new deals. Here are the 5 most well known players who are still free agents.
5. Ezekiel Elliot
This off-season the Cowboys released Ezekiel Elliot which saved them $10.9 mil against the cap. For years Zeke was one of the best backs in the NFL. Now he’s 28 years old and nowhere near explosive as he once was. All you have to do is look at his career worst yards per carry last season of 3.8 to see just how far he’s fallen.
Fellow Cowboys RB Tony Pollard ran for 1,007 yards at 5.2 yds/carry last season which gives the Cowboys security at the running back position with Zeke’s departure. They signed Pollard to the franchise tag which costs around $10.9 million.
Zeke is never going to make the kind of money he made with the Cowboys ever again. If he wants to play in 2023 he’ll have to take a pay cut. If I were an NFL GM I’d only bring in Zeke for a near league minimum deal. He’s lost the burst and quickness he once had. He’s carried the ball 1,881 times since he was drafted in 2016. That many carries takes a toll and wears you down.
4. Julio Jones
Julio Jones will go down as one of the best wide receivers in NFL history. For years he was the best receiver in the NFL– 7 pro bowls and 2 years with the most receiving yards in the NFL. Just like Elliot, he’s no longer the player he once was. He’s now 34 years old.
Jones has struggled to stay healthy and hasn’t played in more than 10 games in each season over the past 3 years. With the Buccaneers last year he had the least productive season of his career: 24 rec, 244yds, and 2 TD.
Teams have to be weary of signing Julio Jones. Odds are you won’t get more than 10 games out of him. My guess is that if Julio is still not set on retiring, one team will sign him to a cheap deal. It’s tough to see guys who once tore up the NFL slowly fade away. It’s just the reality of the game. Guys get older and lose the athleticism and ability they once had.
3. Jarvis Landry
Landry was the best slot receiver in the NFL from 2015-2020. Of all slot receivers he had the most yards (3,398) and yards after catch (2,748). Now he’s 30 years old and just coming off an injury riddled season with the New Orleans Saints.
Last off-season he signed a 1 year $3mil deal with New Orleans. He finished the year with 25 rec, 272yds, and 1TD. Just like Julio Jones, signing Jarvis Landry carries risk. Both guys are having trouble staying healthy and are now in their 30s.
One team that makes sense for Landry is the Green Bay Packers. Even though he’s not in peak form, he still has the knowledge to share with young players. The Packers have one of the youngest receiving rooms in the NFL. When healthy Landry could be a reliable weapon for Jordan Love in the slot. And if he did go down with injury, he could still help teach and mold the young receivers in the locker room. Landry will sign for less than $3 million because of his age and risk of injury.
2. Dalvin Cook
Cook has yet to sign after being released by the Vikings earlier this month. Cook entered the league one year after Ezekiel Elliot in 2017 but has around 600 less career carries than Zeke.
I’d much rather sign Cook than Elliot. He hasn’t lost nearly as much burst and explosiveness.
On Sunday Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported that there are multiple teams interested in Cook. He’s likely weighing his options and waiting to make his decision till we get closer to training camp. Right now the top 3 teams to land Cook per betting odds are the Dophins, Broncos, and Jets.
1. DeAndre Hopkins
There’s no question that Hopkins is the best available player on the free agent market. While Hopkins is 31 years old, he hasn’t yet shown signs of decline. He missed 6 games due to a PED suspension last year, but finished the season with 717 yards and 3 TD’s in the 9 games that he played.
So far it looks like the Titans and Patriots are favorites to sign Hopkins due to the fact that they are the only teams that he’s met with officially.
Both the Titans and Patriots are in desperate need of a top tier receiver weapon. The Titans made the ill-advised move to trade away AJ Brown to the Eagles last year. (Still don’t get their reasoning). The Patriots top weapon is Juju Smith Shuster. He’s better as a #2 option. Mac Jones has never had a receiver of Hopkins quality. While Jakobi Jones is a solid receiver, he’s no DeAndre Hopkins.
News Around the NFL
Derek Carr was “Mad” With How Things Ended With Raiders
Carr spoke with Anthony Galaviz with Fresno Bee and shared his feelings about the way things ended in Las Vegas last season.
"I was, for lack of a better term, I was very upset; I was mad. You spend nine years in a place, you have all the records and you can play at a high level and for something to get in the way, whether it was whatever reason, money related or whatever, injury related, I would have said I don't even want the money, just to play two more times in front of our fans. I didn't get that opportunity. So, it definitely lit a fire inside me to keep going."
Carr has a new home in New Orleans. The Raiders plan is to replace Carr with an injury prone mediocre QB in Jimmy G. Not the smartest plan unless they are hoping to get a top 10 draft pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
I was watching NFL Total Access last week and Derek Carr’s brother David was speaking and said something very interesting. Apparently last year Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels wouldn’t let Carr change plays at the line of scrimmage.
David Carr mentioned his brother's ability to dissect defenses at the line, but apparently he wasn’t given the authority to audible out of McDaniels calls. Carr didn’t feel that McDaniels respected his ability. Now, according to David Carr, New Orleans coach Dennis Allen is giving Carr that authority.
Even More News
Jets Tyler Conklin Says There’s Room For Dalvin Cook In New York
Packers Elgton Jenkins Says They Will Show They’re the best in the NFC
Brock Purdy Travels To Florida To Throw With his QB coach as rehab continues
Random Stat Of The Day
Homer Jones averaged the most yards per reception of any receiver in NFL history (22.3). He played from 1964-1970.
Random Question Of The Day
“Do you have a special project you're currently working on?”
This past week I made the decision that I’ll be posting a minimum of 3 NFL videos on my 2nd youtube channel. I also decided I’ll be posting 10 short form pieces of content on youtube, instagram, and tiktok.
From time to time I post on my NFL youtube channel but have never been consistent. So I’ve made the decision to be consistent and I’m excited to see where it goes. Here’s the NFL channel if you’d like to subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYDaJGQZJh987JIh_OBj2vA
That’s all for today!
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