Although the most significant flurry of activity happened in March, NFL free agency technically is not over. There are a bunch of notable NFL free agents still available.
NFL free agents 2021 still available
Keep in mind that New England Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton did not sign with the team until late June of last year. Undoubtedly, there will still be impact signings made heading into OTA’s and into the summer.
We’ll take a closer look at the best remaining unsigned NFL players, and make free agency predictions about where they might end up.
As a rookie, Richardson posted 12 tackles for a loss, and a career high 78 combined tackles. While he didn’t quite end up being the wrecking ball that many thought he could be, Richardson has still had an impressive NFL career. He would still be a welcome addition as an asset to many defenses in the league.
#Browns HC Kevin Stefanski on @BullandFox on Sheldon Richardson "I'd definitely say he's on our radar and I'm hopeful. I know Andrew and his agent have kept an open dialogue. Sheldon knows how I feel about him. Really good player. From our end, we'd be thrilled to bring him back"
— 92.3 The Fan (@923TheFan) May 4, 2021
Last year for the Browns, Richardson put together another one of his patented seasons. He contributed 4.5 sacks, 64 combined tackles, and hit the quarterback 10 times.
He’s also durable, as a hasn’t missed a game in the last three years. Look for the Cincinnati Bengals to make a run at Richardson soon. The Browns have been rumored to be interested in re-signing the veteran lineman, but Cincinnati is looking to improve by leaps and bounds next season and compete in the AFC North. The Bengals also have more salary cap room to offer Richardson a better contract.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs and left tackle Eric Fisher, the reliable protector went down with one of the worst injuries at the worst times. During the AFC Championship game this past January, Fisher tore his Achilles, and the Chiefs were forced to patch up their offensive line for the Super Bowl.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 4, 2021
As it turned out, Fisher was released earlier this offseason as the Chiefs tried to improve their cap flexibility. Fisher was the first overall pick of Kansas City in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Most of Fisher’s perception around the league will be determined by his recovery to the devastating injury he suffered. He’ll definitely get another chance to show he can re-gain his form, but this likely won’t be with the Chiefs. Kansas City traded with Baltimore to acquire young tackle Orlando Brown Jr., and seem to be reshuffling the deck on their offensive line.
The Denver Broncos suddenly look like they need a jolt on their offensive line, as tackle Ja’Wuan James went down last week with an Achilles injury of his own. As Fisher figures to be back before James, the Broncos might decide to take a flier on the former number one overall pick.
Effective at 4 PM ET, unrestricted free agents that sign with a new team no longer count towards the NFL’s compensatory pick formula.
Amongst those available: Richard Sherman, Justin Houston, Alejandro Villanueva, Russell Okung, Melvin Ingram, K.J. Wright & Jason McCourty.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 3, 2021
The defensive end/linebacker spent the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, and showed he still has plenty of juice left at age 32. Houston recorded a total of 19 sacks in his two years with the Colts, and registered double digit hits on the quarterback in each campaign. At this stage of his career, he would likely only want to be a part of a team that had a chance to make it deep into the postseason.
Since it appears like the Los Angeles Chargers have moved on from Melvin Ingram, they could take a long look at Houston. Pairing the veteran pass rusher with Joey Bosa could give the Chargers one of the most formidable pass rushes in the AFC. The Chargers haven’t won anything recently, but they certainly appear to be a team on the rise, and could make the playoffs in 2021.
As one of the premier cornerbacks in the NFL in the last decade, free agent Richard Sherman is one of the most recognizable defensive players in the game.
In his heyday with the Seattle Seahawks, he locked down some of the best wide receivers in the league. While Sherman is not quite at that level anymore, he’s still really good. Like Fisher, teams will need to ensure the veteran cornerback is feeling good from a health perspective. He only appeared in 5 games for San Francisco last season due to a calf ailment.
Highest-graded CBs since 2019:
🔸Richard Sherman – 89.5
🔸Jaire Alexander – 88.4
🔸Darious Williams – 84.4 pic.twitter.com/Li33PGtm5h
— PFF (@PFF) May 7, 2021
Although they don’t have much cap space, the Cleveland Browns could take a long look at Sherman. They have a decent secondary already, but as a team looking to take the next step, might be very interested in adding a veteran to the mix. Cleveland made the divisional playoff round last season, and would be well served bringing in a locker room presence who’s excelled in big games before. Sherman could also spell Troy Hill or Greedy Williams as necessary.
He hasn’t played on a lot of great teams in his career, but linebacker Avery Williamson is one of the better options at his position in the league.
In his 6 seasons in the NFL, the former Kentucky Wildcats standout has recorded at least 100 combined tackles in 4 of those years.
He won’t really make an impact in the pass rushing department or as a coverage linebacker, but Williamson is excellent at bringing down ballcarriers and short-circuiting the run game.
As new head Urban Meyer looks to usher in a new era in Jacksonville, the team has been quite aggressive in trying to improve the talent on both sides of the ball. The Jaguars still have the most cap room of any team in the NFL, and could use some of it to improve their run defense. Adding Williamson into the fold will help fortify a Jacksonville front seven that allowed the third most rushing yards in the league in 2020.