Free Agency 2016 was a whirlwind featuring captivating storylines all across the league. The Giants turned into the 2000’s Yankees and spared no expense when it came to paying unproven commodities, while the Redskins may have landed the biggest splash by stealing much-coveted corner Josh Norman from the Panthers. Out west the Broncos managed to lock up their Super Bowl MVP long term at the final hour, while the Raiders crafted a shrewd strategy to fill their holes with proven veteran leadership. While things on the market have certainly quieted down headed into training camp, there is still some unfinished business for a few big names and their eventual landing spots. Here’s a recap of what has happened so far, and a look at some of the players still available on the open market.


Robert Griffin III (QB) – Signed (CLE)

It’s been a few years now since RGIII took the league by storm, and it appears that his stock couldn’t be valued much lower considering the immense talent that he still possesses. However, now with a coaching staff that is in full support of him, this may be the year that Griffin finally bounces back. Word out of camp is that his new teammates have really taken to him, and that Griffin appears to have full command of the budding Browns offense. Expect him to be the focal point of what they try to do this season – for better or for worse.

Chase Daniel (QB) – Signed (PHI)

Typically in the NFL, new coaches mean new quarterbacks, and while the situation isn’t much different in Philadelphia, this signing does raise some eyebrows on the surface. To begin, the Eagles not only traded up to the second overall pick to select potential star quarterback Carson Wentz, but this new coaching staff has also gone on the record claiming that incumbent quarterback Sam Bradford is their guy going into the season. Trying to figure out where Daniel fits in takes a bit of thinking, but I’m confident I have it figured out.

No one in their right mind really believes that the enigmatic Bradford will make it through six games without getting hurt or benched, so his presence shouldn’t be that intimidating to any other QB’s on the roster. Typical NFL logic would tell you that once Bradford falters, the job would be the rookie Wentz’s to lose. With the signing of Daniel – a noted master of new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson’s offense – this should tell us that the Eagles don’t plan on playing Wentz at all this season and will most likely “redshirt” him as an inactive while he learns the NFL game from the sideline. Ultimately, while Daniel is the guy who many are forgetting about on this newfangled Eagles roster, he may very well end up being the most impactful fantasy quarterback that they dress all season long.

Brock Osweiler (QB) – Signed (HOU)

The fourth year quarterback out of Arizona State is certainly a player shrouded in mystery. However, with Denver last season, he won five of his seven starts and showed flashes of special ability. He’s built into a massive 6-foot-8, 240-pound frame, and did a solid job standing strong in a pocket that was largely non-exsistent from the Broncos' abysmal offensive line last season. After inking a four-year, $72 million contract this past March, Osweiler comes into Houston with still plenty to prove. $37 million in guaranteed money tends to put a lot of pressure on a quarterback. Luckily for him and potential fantasy owners, the Texans committed to building around the unproven quarterback. With a fresh start, a stud receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, and largely young and talented surrounding cast around him, Osweiler has no excuse to fail in Houston.

Mark Sanchez (QB) – Traded (to DEN via PHI)

Many would argue that Sanchez peaked in his first two seasons when he took the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games, however on tape he actually appears to have made strides as a passer over the last few years. His most recent opportunities came on teams that frankly weren’t very good, making his often backup play look much worse than it actually was. In Denver this season he will be back in a situation similar to his early years with the Jets, as he will be supported by a smash mouth defense and will have a competent veteran offensive group to bring him along. While he won’t be the second coming of Johnny Unitas, Sanchez may surprise some people in 2016 with a potentially full season as a starter and some above-average fantasy numbers. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) – UFA

The saga that just won’t seem to quit, the Jets and Fitzy have been locked in the longest staring contest since the Cold War. Who will blink first? That remains to be seen.

While this is something that still feels unpredictable, word is that the ball is in Fitzpatrick’s court. The Jets have made more than a generous offer, but Fitzpatrick’s pride appears to be the only thing in the way.

By all accounts, the Jets are prepared to go into the season with Geno Smith as their starting quarterback and if that ends up being the case, I predict that he will end up playing better than everyone expects. Smith is a young quarterback that never really got the full treatment and was yanked too soon as the starting QB. If he never got punched in the jaw last training camp, Fitzpatrick may never have stepped on the field last year and we might be talking about the career year that Smith had rather than Fitzpatrick.

Blessed with excellent skill weapons, any professional quarterback is set up to take over the Jets' offense with confidence. And hey, if the Jets and I are wrong about Smith and he actually is a dud, they have two QB’s (Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg) that they invested a lot into over the last two years on the bench behind him. As of now, the Jets appeared to have moved on from Fitzpatrick and without a clear roster spot available, there doesn’t appear a sense of urgency to make one for him. The ball is in his court. He needs to reach out to the Jets now if he wants to get things done.

Running Backs

Matt Forte (RB) – Signed (NYJ)

Although his production is clearly on the decline, Forte will provide the Jets with excellent veteran presence, elite third down production, and tried and true between the tackles running on earlier downs. He was one of the most consistent available options on the market and he should prove to be an effective signing for the Jets – provided they don’t burn him out in the beginning of the year like they did with Chris Ivory last season. If handled properly, expect Forte to have at least two good years left in him, while his potential during that short span should be higher than most running backs entering their 30’s.

DeMarco Murray (RB) – Traded (to TEN via PHI)

It was only two seasons ago that Murray was the toast of the NFL as he had just set the Cowboys' single season rushing record, tallied nearly 450 touches, and scored 13 touchdowns. As many projected, his numbers dropped in the following season. However, not many expected the precipitous cliff that his production actually managed to fall from in 2015.

His move to Philadelphia was a disaster; there is no way around it. He looked physically drained from his historic 2014, while his running style couldn’t have been less conducive to what the Eagles and Chip Kelly were trying to do. If you ask me, the Titans may have gotten themselves a steal here, as Murray should be coming into this season fresh after a light workload last season, while they plan on running a scheme more suited to Murray’s skillset. A bounce-back season should be in store for Murray, regardless of the presence of rookie Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. However, a return to his 2014 form is a fool’s expectation. Still, though, consider Murray a player worthy of drafting in all formats headed into August.

Chris Ivory (RB) – Signed (JAX)

While Ivory’s running style limits his longevity in this league, his production last season was undeniable and is something that plenty of teams in this league could use. The fact that he wore out badly down the stretch last season might have scared some teams away, but the Jaguars weren’t afraid to take the bait. Likely serving as the starter, Ivory will be backed up by another competent back in T.J. Yeldon, who should do a fine job spelling him in ways that Bilal Powell couldn’t do for him last season. With a properly controlled workload, Ivory should emerge as one of the league’s best goal line backs and as an excellent closer at the end of games.

Lamar Miller (RB) – Signed (HOU)

A capable three-down back who can run it between the tackles on first and second down, Miller is also a dangerous receiver and an effective pass blocker out of the backfield on third downs. He’s rushed for 16 touchdowns over the last two seasons, proving that he can be on the field in the red zone, and above the shoulders, he understands offensive concepts very well. His running style is a coveted one in today’s game. As you can see in this clip against the Giants in 2015, he is a magician when it comes to avoiding contact. He masterfully lowers his hips in and out of his cuts, while also possessing home run ability when daylight is available.

Featuring one of the lowest workloads out of all of the running backs on the open market this offseason, his signing for a reasonable price made more than enough sense for the Texans and their revamped offense. With a new team who finally seems committed to giving him the rock often, Miller has the potential to finish as the top fantasy back this upcoming season.

Alfred Morris (RB) – Signed (DAL)

Morris and the Redskins have shared some great moments over the years, capturing two division titles during his four-season stint with the team. During that same span, Morris compiled 4,713 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, proving to be one of the better fantasy backs in the game since 2012. He’s had a pretty heavy workload so far as a pro, but with Matt Jones also in the fold last season, Morris saw the least amount of touches in his career for a single season.

He seems to fit strictly in a zone scheme considering his running style, while a ketchup popsicle is more useful to a woman wearing white gloves than he is to an offense on third downs. Luckily for him, his skillset is exactly what the Cowboys were looking for this offseason, as they needed a consistent zone scheme back for early downs, and are not interested in his services on third downs because of the presence of Darren McFadden, Ezekiel Elliott, and Lance Dunbar, who all are excellent third down players in their own right’s.

His projection in 2016 is a bit of a crapshoot because his production is incredibly circumstantial. If Elliott proves to pick up the offense quickly and is every bit as good as advertised, Morris likely will have little value. However, if there is a significant injury to either McFadden or Elliott, the door should be wide open for Morris to shine behind this All-World Cowboys offensive line. Proceed with caution when drafting Morris, as the choice can either pay off in spades or fall flat on it’s face.

Arian Foster (RB) – Signed (MIA)

Up until just a few days ago, this was a much talked about storyline, as people still hold out hope that Foster can return to his former All-Pro form. That is unlikely to be the case, but if he can finally remain healthy for 12-plus games, there is no doubt still some talent left in his legs.

Ultimately, the Dolphins came away on top here, as they added a talented and proven veteran to their running back corps on the cheap. He is unlikely to become the outright starter and bell cow back because his body can no longer handle that workload, but he still may hold value as a handcuff early on if either Jay Ajayi or Kenyan Drake go down with an injury.

Wide Receivers

Travis Benjamin (WR) – Signed (SD)

The signing of Benjamin has gone under the radar as one of the most underrated acquisitions of the offseason. He’s a multi-threat player who can catch the ball well with incredible explosion after the catch, can run the ball on reverses or out of the backfield, and is a terror in the return game both on punts and kickoffs. Without a good quarterback with the Browns in 2015, Benjamin set career highs in catches (68), yards (966), and in touchdowns (5). He also brought back a punt for a touchdown (78 yards) early on in the season against the Titans. Ultimately, he should emerge as one of Philip Rivers’ favorite targets in 2016, while at worst Benjamin projects to be as impactful as Dwayne Harris was for the Giants in his first season with the team just last year.

Jeremy Kerley (WR) – Signed (DET)

A five-year veteran and a talented slot receiver, Kerley claims that he was being held back by the Jets coaching staff during his years in New York. The claims aren’t really unfounded, either, as he has shown nothing but reliable hands, effective route running, and a can-do attitude on the field in his first five years as a pro. He peaked statistically in his second season in the league, as he caught 56 balls for 827 yards and two touchdowns. With the Jets now featuring so many targets that there aren’t enough footballs to go around, Kerley knew he had to get out of town. Detroit seems like a quality landing spot for him, as he could emerge as an excellent secondary option for Matthew Stafford after the departure of Calvin Johnson. Expect Kerley to continue to almost exclusively operate out of the slot going forward, while he should be more featured in the Lions' offense than he ever was with the Jets.

Rueben Randle (WR) – Signed (PHI)

Randle is a nice player, always regarded with heaps of potential by pundits, but he has never emerged as the No. 1 target that many thought he would develop in to. Over the last two seasons with the Giants, Randle has done an excellent job as the second receiver to Odell Beckham Jr., producing 128 catches, 1,735 yards, and 11 touchdowns. With eight TD’s in last season alone, it looks like the Giants may have lost a budding star. We shall see how he fits into Doug Pederson’s scheme out in Philly this season, but reports are that he looks good in three WR sets early on in camp. Consider him a draftable player towards the later rounds, while he will have to prove to fantasy owners early on in the season that he can be relied upon consistently going forward.

Mohamed Sanu (WR) – Signed (ATL)

A very talented young player out of Rutgers, Sanu was just bogged down by the bevy of offensive talent on the Bengals roster in 2015. They tried to use creative ways to get him the ball, including 10 rushing attempts – two of which went for touchdowns this past season, and two career passing touchdowns as well, but in the end his production wasn’t fantasy worthy. While many aren’t expecting it, Sanu should prove to be a major upgrade for the Falcons as their No. 2 target in the passing game. Roddy White has stunk over the last two seasons, and at 26 years old, Sanu appears to just be hitting his peak. He should end up near 65 catches with 800 yards at least next season for the Falcons and their talented offense.

Mike Wallace (WR) – Signed (BAL)

Wallace certainly didn’t take much time to trash talk his former team and quarterback in the Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater, as he was bashing on the two during his first voluntary practice with his new team in the Ravens. Typical of Wallace’s career, his words prove more impactful than his actual production, as he never really seems to realize his full potential on the field. Now make no mistake, the Ravens are a better fit for him going forward, as Wallace’s one true trump card is his speed and quarterback Joe Flacco’s one trump card is his strong arm. Surely, a match made in heaven, but fantasy owners also need to understand that they aren’t necessarily getting a complete product, as Wallace seemingly will always lack the finer points and polish needed to be a complete receiver. He will remain a true deep threat going forward, so maybe leaving the weaker armed Teddy Bridgewater will be the best for his career. However, being anything more than a DeSean Jackson type of player laden with inconsistent stat lines throughout the season would be high hopes for Wallace.

Anquan Boldin (WR) – UFA

The overriding feeling appears to be that Boldin is finished, but the numbers speak differently. In 14 games last season Boldin finished the season with 69 catches for 789 yards and four touchdowns. Sure, that doesn’t indicate elite production and tons of fuel left in the tank, but considering he was operating out of the 49ers' laughable offense, his production should be graded on a bit of a curve.

If he were to join an offense that actually knew how to play football in this century like say the New Orleans Saints (who are rumored to be in the mix for his services), maybe Boldin would reach those familiar 80-plus catch, 1,000-plus yard, 7-plus touchdown plateaus that we had become so accustomed to prior to 2015.

Other teams looking for the services of the big-bodied veteran: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals.

Andre Johnson (WR) – UFA

If we are going to discuss Boldin, it would be irresponsible to ignore the status of his near carbon copy Andre Johnson. Drafted in the same year – only one round apart – the two feature an incredibly similar skillset and nearly identical career numbers. Johnson, while he has fewer suitors than Boldin, is in almost the same spot physically. His catch radius has decreased drastically in his older age. However, he is still dangerous after the catch. He can certainly still hold his own, but needs to join an offense that will allow him to operate more in space.

Tight Ends

Martellus Bennett (TE) – Signed (NE)

Many would argue that some of Tom Brady and the Patriots best years were the ones where they featured tight end heavy sets with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Sure, Bennett offers a much different skillset than what Hernandez did, but the effect should be the same. Both Gronk and Bennett are matchup nightmares due to their colossal size and incredible athletic ability, and with arguably the best quarterback of all time throwing them the ball, monstrous seasons should be in store for the dual tight end offense again. In Hernandez’s prime (2011), he peaked at 79 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns. While Bennett is certainly capable of that type of production, he is more likely to come in with slightly lower numbers. But 50-plus catches, around 700 yards, and five or so touchdowns would be terrific production from a backup tight end any year. Fantasy owners should consider these numbers realistic.

Jared Cook (TE) – Signed (GB)

There are very few tight ends in the league more physically gifted than Cook, but he just never seemed to realize his incredible potential during his first seven seasons with the Rams and Titans. If there is a quarterback who should be able to get the best out of Cook, it is Aaron Rodgers, as he is well known for spreading the ball around and he can fit it into pretty much any window. Considering his history of inconsistencies, fantasy owners should remain weary of drafting Cook, especially because word is that he is going to enter camp as the No. 2 TE behind Richard Rodgers anyway. Outside of deeper formats, Cook doesn’t appear to be a draftable player right now.

Coby Fleener (TE) – Signed (NO)

Fleener will be entering 2016 in a situation that he never has before in his professional career. Joining a pass-happy offense without any competition at his position, Fleener will finally have a chance to play primary snaps as a team’s undisputed starting tight end. Another thing going unnoticed is that Brees has taken such a liking to Fleener so far this summer that he may end up being his primary target in the passing game overall. I project a breakout year for the fifth year man out of Stanford, which should make him eligible to finish as a top-five tight end when 2016 is all said and done.

Ladarius Green (TE) – Signed (PIT)

No one has ever doubted the gobs of potential dripping off of Green, but he seemingly always plays second fiddle to the never-aging Antonio Gates, and he never really got his shot in San Diego. Now, finally broken free of the chains, Green will join an offense with a future Hall of Fame quarterback – Ben Roethlisberger – and a vacancy at the tight end position. After a few mock drafts, Green for some reason is going much later than one would expect, so consider him the hot “sleeper” pick entering August. By the end of the summer, Green will no longer be a secret. People will soon realize his potential as a down the seam red zone threat and a matchup nightmare for safeties and linebackers. Pick him sooner rather than later in your drafts.

Benjamin Watson (TE) – Signed (BAL)

Certainly a talented player in his own right and coming off his best statistical season, Watson couldn’t have landed in a worse situation after free agency. He joins a stacked rotation of tight ends, many of which are younger and potentially more talented than him as well. He will not be neglected in Baltimore by any means, but there is a chance that all four talented Ravens tight ends get lost in the literal shuffle that is projected to be going on all season long. Watson is definitely some stock to sell going forward.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Malik Jackson (3-4 DE) – Signed (JAX)

While Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware got all of the attention during the Broncos' Super Bowl run in 2015-16, one could argue that Malik Jackson was their most consistent disruptive force down the stretch. He compiled seven sacks combined throughout the regular and postseason, seven batted passes at the line of scrimmage, and countless quarterback hurries. Beyond the stats, his ability to disrupt the interior line of scrimmage went a long way, as he managed to occupy offensive lines just enough to get the aforementioned Miller and Ware running free off the edge (1v1). The Jags' hope is that he will prove to be the same disruptive force for their emerging defense that he was for Denver during their improbable Super Bowl run last season. If he is, Jackson will still remain a mediocre at best IDP option, as his skillset is largely reliant on getting other players free to pin their ears back and rush. His arrival in Jacksonville should, however, improve the fantasy potential of Dante Fowler, whom the Jaguars hope can end up being half as good as Von Miller.

Olivier Vernon (4-3 DE) – Signed (NYG)

At 25 years of age, the Giants may have gotten themselves a steal in Vernon, despite what his massive contract may otherwise indicate. He’s a twitched up pass rusher, who seems to be improving every year. Over the last eight games of 2015, Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 1 edge player, even above Khalil Mack, who went All-Pro at two positions. Most importantly for the Giants is that Vernon proved last year to be the only player in the league who could give Cowboys LT Tyron Smith fits. In late November as a member of the Dolphins last season, Vernon consistently beat Smith – universally recognized as the game’s best blindside protector – off the edge. He sacked Tony Romo once, collected five total tackles, and recorded countless other pressures off of Smith’s edge. Adding this type of weapon will give the Giants a huge advantage in the division.

Bruce Irvin (Edge) – Signed (OAK)

In Seattle, with the bevy of pass rushing talent they have featured over the years, Irvin was sort of lost in the shuffle and was often played out of position. If you don’t believe me, just ask him, as the moment he inked a new contract with a different team, Irvin began to spew, "I honestly felt if I stayed in [Seattle’s] system, I don’t think I would ever be the player I think I can be in this league... Seattle kind of limited me in that defense.” (According to

Mostly positioned as the SAM linebacker in the Seahawks' defense, Irvin was asked to play the run and drop into coverage much more often than he is comfortable with. In signing with the Raiders, Irvin is hopeful he will be given the opportunity to play exclusively as a pass rusher. If everything goes according to plan here with this signing, defenses will have to deal with All-Pro Khalil Mack on one side, while Irvin should have plenty of chances to rack up some serious stats coming hot off the other side.

Again, at four-years, $37 million, Oakland may have paid a projected price point here rather than a proven production agreement, but in a league so scarce of true pass rushing talent, sometimes you have to overpay. In terms of fantasy projections, Irvin should have his best season yet playing opposite of Khalil Mack – arguably the league’s most feared defender. In leagues that value sacks highly, Irvin may prove to be an excellent value pick.

Mario Williams (4-3 DE) – Signed (MIA)

You won’t find many that will argue against the Texans picking Williams with the first overall pick in 2006 anymore. However, now at 31 years old, expectations of him certainly have to be altered going forward. After serving as a double-digit sack guy for most of his career, Williams crashed and burned last season barely registering double-digit tackles, let along double-digit sacks. He will be energized joining a new locker room, but if last year is any indication, his numbers may be on the decline now that he’s over the hill of 30. In any event, he will now be slotting back into his more natural 4-3 edge rushing role rather than playing a 3-4 DE like he did in 2015, but he has a lot to prove to prospective fantasy owners early on in the season before he can be largely owned in IDP formats. 

Eric Weddle (FS) – Signed (BAL)

Aside from his ball hawking ability, when healthy for 16 games, Weddle always appears good for 100-plus tackles. That alone is usually good enough for ownership in IDP formats, but people are weary of his supposed declining skill. No one is arguing that he will return to his form of 2011 when he led the NFL in interceptions with seven. However, at 31 years old, he’s not a corpse yet either. He should prove to be an effective weapon and veteran presence in this retooling Baltimore defense; a player I would go out on a limb and draft in the later rounds of IDP formats.

Janoris Jenkins (CB) – Signed (NYG)

By far the Giants' riskiest signing of the offseason is Janoris Jenkins, as he is every bit as much Antonio Cromartie as his new teammate and cousin of Cromartie’s – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. What I mean by this is that now with the Jenkins and DRC starting tandem, the Giants will have the biggest gambling defensive backfield in the league. This may pay off, as both can create ample turnovers, but they are also susceptible to allowing big plays. We shall see.

Sean Smith (CB) – Signed (OAK)

While Pro Football Focus graded Smith as the 12th-best cover corner in the league last season, his value in fantasy formats is limited because he is not a high tackle or interception player. Much of his value to the Raiders will be in his ability to blanket receivers, which is not something that shows up properly in the fantasy box scores. Keep an eye on him on the waiver wires during the season, but unless he becomes a ball hawk, he holds little value in IDP formats.

Damon Harrison (NT) – Signed (NYG)

One of the more unsung signings of the Giants' action-packed offseason, make no mistake, the 350 pounder “Snacks” – as he is so affectionately called by fans and teammates – will be worth every penny he is paid over the next five years. Graded by Pro Football Focus as the greatest run stuffer in the history of their existence, Harrison will without a doubt provide the Giants with a presence in meat of their defense. He is built in the mold of a 3-4 nose tackle, but the belief is that he can play a similar style as the starting 1-technique in this Giants 4-3 scheme. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, what Snacks does best doesn’t translate into IDP formats, making him more or less useless in fantasy leagues.

Josh Norman (CB) – Signed (WAS)

Norman was the most talked about defensive player in football last season and for good reason as he posted some historic numbers in consecutive weeks against elite receivers. Through the first 14 weeks of the season, Norman held DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton, Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, and Julio Jones to a combined nine receptions for 89 yards. A Pro Bowl trip, All-Pro honors, and a Super Bowl appearance later, Norman was on top of the football world, just in time for his first foray into free agency. Playing on a defense in Carolina loaded with talent, they knew there was no way they were going to be able to pay the suddenly lockdown corner what he wanted. Enter the hungry Washington Redskins, who with a new attitude towards playoff football, understood what adding a player like Norman could do to their still middle of the road defensive unit. Sure, you may be thinking that shelling out the richest contract for a corner in NFL history may be a bit steep for a one-year wonder, but in a division loaded with receiving talent such as Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr., the Redskins are well aware of the kind of weapon Norman can be for them going forward. A feisty tackler and a legitimate ball hawk, Norman may be a risky play each week as an IDP defensive back. However, you could bet on worse players to help you win a fantasy championship.

Reggie Nelson (FS) – Signed (OAK)

This signing may have been the biggest no-brainer of the entire free agency period, as the Raiders needed an impact safety and the NFL’s league leader in interceptions for 2015 just happened to be sitting out there on the open market. Nelson comes at a very affordable price and while he may be 32 years old, his veteran presence will be a welcomed addition to a young and improving defense. While he is unlikely to repeat his eight-interception mark of a year ago, Nelson has proven to be one of the better ball hawks in the league over his career. With another season of 80 tackles or so, his plus interception numbers will solidify him as a reasonable fantasy option.

Nick Fairley (DT) – Signed (NO)

This was one of the better value signings of the offseason in my opinion, as Fairley was at one point one of the most disruptive interior defensive linemen on the planet. He parlayed a destructive junior season at Auburn where he was named the nation's best front seven player, a consensus All-American and the defensive player of the National Championship game, into the 13thoverall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He then went on to shine with the Lions as the complimentary DT to Ndamukong Suh, where he compiled 13.5 sacks in four seasons. After walking in free agency, he again played second fiddle on a loaded defensive line with the Rams, but still found a way to make an impact with 29 tackles in 15 games while serving in a rotational role.

Never seeming to get a chance to be the guy in the middle, my belief is that we have yet to see the best of Fairley. This season, again in a system that he is familiar with, Fairley appears to be in the best shape of his life and also appears to be the best defensive tackle on the roster. Still young, and still loaded with talent, Fairley should break out on this ever-developing Saints defensive line.

Greg Hardy (4-3 DE) – UFA

Talking about Hardy is about as satisfying as throwing up in your mouth and having to swallow it. However, unfortunately it’s part of the job. He reportedly just worked out for the Jags over the last few days, and while no deal is imminent, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull the trigger considering their recent obsession with acquiring pass-rushing talent. Awful character concerns aside, Hardy is incredibly talented. At only 27 old, he should have plenty of prime years still ahead of him as well, provided he can ditch the villainous thoughts and enigma persona.