Best Available Free Agents: Defense

Scout.com's Senior NFL Reporter Adam Caplan provides you with the latest update of the best available NFL free agents from the defensive side of the ball.

Defensive End
Grant Wistrom - He's likely to retire but it's not out of the question that a team could talk him into playing again.
Lance Johnstone - He was released by the Raiders earlier this year, but could fill a situational pass rushing role.
Kenard Lang - Could be a fourth end for a team and plays the run well.
Michael Haynes (DT) - The former first-round pick of the Chicago Bears had a tryout with the Houston Texans this season.
Kenny Peterson (DT) - He could fill a No. 4 end role for a team and had a tryout with the Oakland Raiders.
Courtney Brown - The oft-injured end and former first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns may be done playing.
Bobby Hamilton - He's seen as an end in a 3-4 and could provide a 10-15 snaps or so for a team that uses that scheme. He had a tryout with the New England Patriots this season.
Tyoka Jackson (DT) - Can play inside or outside as a fourth end or tackle.
Tony Bryant - He hasn't played since last season but could fill a fourth end role for a team.
Carl Powell (DT) - Hasn't played in the league since 2005 but could be a decent backup for a team.
Kemp Rasmussen - Fourth or fifth end for a team.


Defensive Tackle
Jimmy Kennedy - The former St. Louis Rams first-round pick had tryouts with the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins.
John Browning - He was with the Denver Broncos in August, but was there only for a few weeks.
Seth Payne - Oft-injured, overachieving type who could play in 3-4 or 4-3 schemes.
Dan Wilkinson - Whether he wants to still play is an issue.
Joe Salave'a - Solid backup who could start for a short period of time if needed.
Lional Dalton - Could be a solid fourth tackle for a team.
Kenderick Allen - He could be a solid fourth tackle for a team. He had a tryout with the Houston Texans and a visit with the Tennessee Titans this season.
Willie Whitehead (DE) - Played end to start his career, but after putting on weight moved inside. Had a tryout with the New England Patriots this season.
Matthias Askew - The former fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals had tryouts with the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans.
Chad Lavalais - Serviceable fourth tackle.
Monsanto Pope - Serviceable fourth tackle.
Jerry Deloach - Hasn't played since 2005 but can give a team 15-20 snaps and can play in a 3-4 or 4-3.
Johnathan Sullivan - Former first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints who was a major underachiever.
Junior Siavii - Underachieving former second-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jason Fisk - Can play in 3-4 or 4-3 and could give a team 15 snaps or so.

Inside/Middle Linebacker

Al Wilson - He still hasn't gotten cleared to play but could come in and start if he was allowed to play.
Peter Sirmon - He's said to be leaning toward retirement.
Sam Cowart - He hasn't played since 2005, but could play in a backup role.
Rocky Calmus - He hasn't played since 2005 and had some bad luck with injuries, but is just 28 years old.
Ronald McKinnon - Veteran linebacker who could give a team 15-20 snaps in a backup role.
Rod Davis - Backup player who could give a team some snaps.
Barry Gardner - Can play in a variety of schemes in a backup role.

Outside Linebacker
Ed Hartwell (WLB/MLB) - He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this year to start at WLB, but he didn't make the final roster. He's had tryouts with the Bengals
Tommy Polley (WLB) - He last played in the 2005 season, but could fill a backup role for a team.
LaVar Arrington (WLB/SLB) - He was injured in a car accident earlier this year and is coming back from a torn Achilles suffered last season.
Chris Claiborne (WLB) - Can play inside or outside in a backup role.
Orlando Huff (WLB) - He has starting experience and could play special teams. He's had tryouts with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans this season.
Eddie Moore (WLB) - Former second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins.
Keith Adams (WLB) - He's a very solid special teams player who could be a solid backup for a team. Had tryouts with the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions this season.
Brandon Short (SLB/WLB) - Solid veteran backup who can play inside or outside.
Colby Bockwoldt (WLB) - He's had tryouts with the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams. He's a decent special teams player who can also get some snaps in as a backup linebacker.
Al Singleton (SLB) - The physical and intelligent linebacker had tryouts for the Detroit Lions
Chad Brown (SLB/ILB) - He can play various linebacking positions but may be at the end of the line.
Barrett Green (WLB) - Athletic linebacker, but hasn't played since 2005.
Wesly Mallard (WLB/SLB) - Mostly a special teams player who can give a team a few snaps in a backup role.
James Darling (WLB/MLB) - He can play inside or outside in a backup role and could play on special teams.
Saleem Rasheed (WLB) - He can play inside in a 3-4 and WLB in a 4-3.
Ben Taylor (SLB/WLB) - Undersized linebacker who could play special teams and give some snaps in a backup role.
Dexter Coakley (WLB) - Veteran linebacker who could fill a backup role.
T.J. Slaughter (SLB/WLB) - The versatile, physical linebacker had a tryout with the Buffalo Bills this season.
Jeff Posey (SLB) - He could be a fourth linebacker and can rush the passer.

Safety
Donovin Darius - Was released by the Miami Dolphins earlier this season.
Bahwoh Jue - He was recently released by the St. Louis Rams and has plenty of starting experience.
Lamont Thompson - He's had tryouts with the Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, and St. Louis Rams. He was released by the Miami Dolphins earlier this season.
Shaun Williams - It's believed he still wants to play and he had tryouts with the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders,
Terrence Kiel - He was released back in March and hasn't had much interest in his services, possibly because of a previous off-the-field situation.
Robert Griffith - He said earlier this year that he still wanted to play.
Troy Vincent - He said before the regular season started that a few teams showed interest in him and that he still wanted to play.
Tony Parrish - He a had a tryout with the Cleveland Browns this season.
Derrick Gibson - The former first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders hasn't played since last season.
Derrick Strait (CB) - He's had tryouts with the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, and St. Louis Rams.
Chad Williams - Good special teams player and could play in dime.
John Howell - He would be a fourth safety for a team.
Marcus Coleman - Talented, but off-the-field issues have been a problem in the past.
Keion Carpenter - Basically a fourth safety.
Mike Logan - Veteran safety who is a good team player. Could fit in as a fourth safety.
Jack Brewer - Solid special teams player only.


Cornerback
Keiwan Ratliff - The former Cincinnati Bengals second-round pick had tryouts with the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No free agent defensive player has had more tryouts than him.
Tory James - He certainly could fill a nickel role for a team. He had a tryout with the New York Jets.
Pete Hunter - He played well late last season for the Seattle Seahawks and could fill a nickel or dime role for a team plus he has good size. He's had a tryout with the Detroit Lions.
Tyrone Poole - The journeyman could fill a dime role.
Dexter McCleon - He's another journeyman who would fit in a dime role.
Dejuan Groce - He could fill a dime role for a team and had tryouts with the Detroit Lions twice and New England Patriots,
Andre Woolkolk - The former first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans had tryouts with the Houston Texans,
Mike Rumph (S) - The former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick had a tryout with the Houston Texans this season and can also play safety.
Will Poole - The former fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins was once known as an upside player.
Daylon McCutcheon - The journeyman cover man had a tryout with the New England Patriots this season.
Ahmad Carroll - The former first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this season.
Ray Mickens - The diminutive back could fill a dime role for a team.
Willie Middlebrooks (S) - The former first-round pick for the Denver Broncos can also play safety and he has good size.
Robert Tate - He returns kicks and play in a dime role.

Adam Caplan is the Senior NFL Reporter for Scout.com.  His breaking news and analysis, reports from Senior Bowl week, NFL Combine, and free agency have been featured for the past three years.

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