With over 400 NFL free agents available to the highest bidder as of Friday,
February 29, Scout.com has the top 200 ranked in their Free
So who are the top players in this year's free agent class?
Well, only four are unrestricted free agents, free to sign anywhere they choose.
The other six have had the franchise tag applied to them, severely restricting
their potential movement.
1. LB Lance Briggs (Chicago Bears) - Briggs put together his
third Pro Bowl season as he played the 2007 season under a one-year franchise
tag deal. Briggs will finally hit the open market after amassing 545 career
tackles, 5.5 sacks, 6 interceptions, 37 passes defensed, 8 forced fumbles and 4
fumble recoveries. Simply put, Briggs is a defensive leader and a playmaker.
2. DE Jared Allen (Kansas City Chiefs) - Allen's wearing the
Chiefs' franchise tag, and rightfully so. He posted 15.5 sacks in 2007 and
continues to be a pest to quarterbacks, swatting 21 passes incomplete from his
defensive end positon over the last two seasons. During his first four seasons
in the league, he's only missed three games and has already posted 43 sacks.
3. CB Marcus Trufant (Seattle Seahawks) - With both Trufant and
New England's Asante Samuel in the free agent pool together, it took some real
hair-splitting to decide which one should be No. 3 versus No. 4. Trufant, who
has also been slapped with a franchise tag, earned a slight edge due to his
consistency. He's a 5-year starter who's missed just two games and is productive
against the running game as well, making 85 tackles in addition to his seven
interceptions in 2007.
4. CB Asante Samuel (New England Patriots) - Samuel is just fun
to watch. He's established himself as a big-time playmaker with his 16
interceptions over the past two years. Samuel has also been durable, missing
just five games in five seasons. While his 235 tackles during his career is about 110
behind Trufant's total, Samuel is a respected defender who most quarterbacks would
prefer to avoid.
5. OG Alan Faneca (Pittsburgh Steelers) - Often, teams
will shy away from signing 10-year veterans like Faneca, thinking they have too
much wear-and-tear on them to have much time left in the league. But Faneca just
played in his seventh-straight Pro Bowl and continues to dominate opponents with
his field intelligence and his overall strength. Expect Faneca's free agency to
be one of the most lively in terms of bidders and visits.
Terrell Suggs rushing the passer.
Matt Stroshane/Getty Images
6. OLB Terrell Suggs (Baltimore Ravens) - The Ravens weren't
going to let their premier pass-rusher skip town easily, so they put the
franchise tag on Suggs. The two-time Pro Bowler hasn't missed a game in
five years, and although his 5.5 sacks this year was a career low for him, he
still has 45 over his first five seasons. Suggs also put up a career
single-season high of 78 tackles in 2007.
7. WR Randy Moss (New England Patriots) - To say that Moss'
debut season in New England was a success would be an understatement. He
posted nine 100-yard receiving games, caught 23 touchdown passes and moved the
chains 74 times for the Patriots in 2007. But will he stick with the good thing
he's got with Tom Brady tossing him perfect passes, even if the Patriots aren't
the highest bidder for his services? Or will he decide to grab the money from
the highest bidder one last time, perhaps figuring this is his last shot at a
huge long-term deal? With Moss as unpredictable as the weather, it may
simply boil down to what kind of mood he's in on the day he puts the pen in his
hand to sign a contract.
8. DT Albert Haynesworth (Tennessee Titans) - The 6-foot-6,
320-pound defensive tackle has had his ups-and-downs during his first six
seasons in the NFL. But he put together one of his best efforts in 2007 — just in
time to inflate his value. Tennessee decided not to risk creating another
depth chart problem while they try to solve talent problems elsewhere on the
roster, so they put the franchise tag on Haynesworth. His six sacks in 2007 was
a career-best, while his 44 tackles were second only to his 2005 season when he
9. S Ken Hamlin (Dallas Cowboys) - In a move that surprised a
number of people, Dallas opted to franchise tag fifth-year veteran Ken Hamlin
after he earned his first Pro Bowl invitation. Hamlin's five interceptions drew
plenty of attention, but his tackles were down significantly from 96 in 2006
with Seattle to just 62 in his first season in Dallas. That said, Hamlin's
developed into a well-balanced safety who is commanding respect from around the
10. OT Jordan Gross (Carolina Panthers) - A five-year starter
who hasn't missed a game, the versatile Gross has experience at both tackle
positions. The former first-round draft pick has been more of a technician than
a smash-mouth player, but he gets the job done whether blocking for a runner or
protecting his quarterback. His 3 sacks allowed in 2007 was his lowest
single-season total since his rookie year.
Ready to see who else if available? Then visit and bookmark Scout.com's
Free Agency Rankings. You can sort the results by position, their 2007 team,
college, name, or even by the teams these players end up signing with. Check it
out today to keep up with player signings and news.
Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features
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