NFL free agency is always exciting as teams try to improve their rosters. Many of the players available in free agency are Pro Bowl caliber players, while others are solid starters that can upgrade a position.
Here is a list of the top 10 players available in free agency when the 2019 season begins.
10. Grady Jarrett, DT Atlanta Falcons
Jarrett has been one of the league’s more underrated defensive tackles over the past couple of seasons. He had six sacks last season from his defensive tackle spot and sacked Tom Brady three times in Super Bowl 51. Jarrett’s ability to rush the passer from the inside is quite rare and the Falcons should try to keep him at all costs.
9. Le’Veon Bell, RB Pittsburgh Steelers
If this list was done after the conclusion of the 2017 season, Bell would be near the top. His ability to catch out of the backfield combined with his elite patience and vision makes him one of the best running backs in the league. The only problem is Bell did not play at all in 2018 because of a contract dispute and has played only one full season in the NFL.
The Michigan State product is a talented player, but teams may be hesitant on spending a lot of money on him.
8. Anthony Barr, LB Minnesota Vikings
While he’s not the biggest name in this year’s free agency class, Barr might be one of the most important. The UCLA alum can do it all at the linebacker position as he excels at getting after the quarterback and is capable of dropping into coverage. Barr might be seen as just a linebacker who can only play in a 4-3 scheme, but he was a 3-4 outside linebacker during his time at UCLA. His scheme versatility makes him a player that teams should look for in free agency.
7. Landon Collins, S New York Giants
Collins is not the best safety in coverage, but he is one of the NFL’s better safeties. The Alabama product is at his best close to the line of scrimmage, where he excels at stopping the run. NFL teams could be hesitant on looking at Collins because of his lack of coverage skills, but the three-time Pro Bowler is an immediate upgrade at safety for whatever team that signs him.
6. Frank Clark, DE Seattle Seahawks
Clark is one of the best pass rushers available in free agency and would be higher up this list in any other year. He might not be a complete defensive linemen, but his 32 sacks and 66 quarterback hits over the past three years are a sign of his positional value. Clark has some off the field problems that could sway teams away, but he is one of the NFL’s best pass rushers and will find a home in 2019.
5. Dee Ford, OLB Kansas City Chiefs
Ford picked the right time to have a breakout season as he had a career-high 13 sacks last season. The Auburn product has one of the quickest first steps in football as he uses his speed to get to the quarterback. Ford’s build makes him more of a 3-4 outside linebacker than defensive end, but his ability to get after the quarterback will give him plenty of looks from NFL teams.
4. Earl Thomas, S Seattle Seahawks
While he might be recovering from a season-ending knee injury, Thomas is the best secondary player available in free agency. He has proven to be a ball hawk as he had three interceptions in 2018 despite playing in only four games. Thomas will be 30 in May, but his ability to be a playmaker on the back end of a defense should draw plenty of interest from NFL teams.
3. Nick Foles, QB Philadelphia Eagles
Foles might be the most important player available in free agency as he is the top quarterback available. The Super Bowl 52 MVP has starting experience during his time with the Eagles and has won four playoff games over the last two seasons. Teams desperate for a new quarterback should look at Foles as he gives them the best opportunity to win now.
2. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE Dallas Cowboys
Lawrence might have decreased his sack production from 2017, but he still finished with 10.5 sacks in 2018. He is one of the NFL’s best pass rushers as he uses his quickness and length to get to the quarterback. The Cowboys will look to keep Lawrence with a franchise tag as many teams across the league would like a pass rusher like him on their team.
1. Jadeveon Clowney, OLB/DE Houston Texans
Clowney’s place at the top of the list is due to his positional versatility as he is capable of playing both defensive end and outside linebacker. He is a dynamic pass rusher off the edge, but he is also an excellent run stuffer. Clowney’s all-around makes him a valuable target in free agency for teams across the league.