Updated Best Available Free Agents-Defense

Bernard Pollard (Getty Images)

With teams now at the 53-player limit, here's an expanded look at the best available NFL free agents from the defensive side of the ball.

Defensive Tackle
Dewayne Robertson (DE in 3-4) - Former first-round pick of the New York Jets who has underachieved, but has experience in 3-4 and 4-3 schemes.
Chartric "Chuck" Darby - Solid backup option at this point in his career.
Shaun Smith - When motivated, at least a decent low-end starter.
John Thornton- Probably could still start if needed.
Alfonso Boone - Solid backup option.
Terdell Sands - May be league's biggest player. Huge guy, and when motivated, solid backup option.
Dan Klecko (FB) - Solid fourth tackle.
Brian Young - Coming off of knee problems, but offers a solid role as a top backup if healthy.
Darwin Walker - Fits in as a backup at this point in his career.
Ellis Wyms (DE) - Versatile, solid backup or could start for a while if needed.
James Reed - Fits in as a fourth tackle.
William Joseph - Former first-round pick of the Giants who has underachieved.
Kindal Moorehead - Fits in as a fourth tackle.
Antwan Lake - Fits in as a fourth tackle.
Kenderick Allen - Fits in as a fourth tackle.
Ryan Boschetti - Fourth of fifth tackle.
Tim Anderson - Journeyman who fits in as a fourth or fifth tackle.
Langston Moore - Fourth of fifth tackle.

Defensive End

Kevin Carter (DE in 3-4) - Source said he's not interested in playing as of now.
Paul Spicer - Solid third end.
Travis LaBoy (OLB in 3-4) - Lots of injuries in his career, but still has talent.
Anthony Weaver (DE in 3-4) - Versatility should help him find work.
Kalimba Edwards - Should find work as a third end.
John Engelberger - Can play inside if needed. Decent backup.
Rosevelt Colvin (OLB in 3-4) - He's had his share of injuries in his career and fits in as a backup.
Ebenezer Ekuban - Fits in as a third or fourth end.
Josh Thomas - Decent fourth end.
Earl Cochran - Texans took their restricted tender off the table, but have some interest in re-signing him at some point.
Jerome McDougle - Underachieving former first-round pick of the Eagles who has battled a lot of bad luck and injuries over his career.
Gary Stills - He was recently selected in the UFL draft.
Orpheus Roye - 3-4 DE who fits in as a fifth end.
Simon Fraser - Can play in either 3-4 or 4-3, but is a deep backup.

Inside Linebacker
Zach Thomas - Still could start, but wouldn't be able to probably play as much as he used to.
Matt Wilhelm - Probably only chance to start is in a 3-4 scheme.
Paris Lenon - Solid backup option.
Ryan Fowler - Probably a backup at this point in his career.
Nate Webster (SLB) - Probably could still start if needed.
Derek Smith - He worked out for the New Orleans Saints recently.
Napoleon Harris - Decent option as a backup.
Pat Thomas - Decent backup option.
Teddy Lehman - Talented, but oft-injured LB.
Junior Seau - He hasn't said if he still wants to play.
Ryan Nece (SLB) - He's a solid, versatile backup.

Outside Linebacker

Derrick Brooks (WLB) - Will need to find a team that plays a cover-2. He said that still wants to play and had a workout for the Saints recently.
Marcus Washington (SLB) - Decent pass rusher in a 4-3 scheme from OLB.
Morlon Greenwood (WLB) - Solid backup option at WLB.
Boss Bailey (SLB) - Oft-injured, but talented linebacker.
Victor Hobson (SLB) - Solid backup option at SLB.
Jamie Winborn (SLB) - Solid backup option at SLB.
D.D. Lewis (SLB/WLB) - Versatile backup.
Rocky Boiman (SLB) - Can play all three LB positions. Solid special teamer.
Darryl Blackstock (SLB) - Decent backup option at SLB.
Robert Thomas (SLB) - Can play all three LB positions.
Khary Campbell (SLB) - Decent backup option.
Matt Stewart (SLB) - Average backup option.
Donnie Edwards (ILB/WLB) - 36-year old LB who may retire.
Louis Green (SLB) - Good special teams player and could fill in as a spot starter.
Dontarrious Thomas (WLB/MLB) - Versatility may help him find work as a backup.
Alex Lewis (SLB) - The Lions recently released him. He worked out for the Houston Texans recently.
Willie McGinest (OLB in 3-4/DE in 4-3) - Best suited in a 3-4 as a backup. He reportedly still wants to play.
Shantee Orr (SLB/OLB in 3-4) - Decent pass-rushing OLB. Would be a solid backup.
Alfred Fincher (SLB) - Started off his career at MLB, but more of a backup SLB at this point.
Carlos Polk (OLB in 3-4) - Veteran who fits in a 3-4 scheme as a fifth or sixth LB.
Gary Stills (SLB/OLB in 3-4) - Good special teams player, but was selected in the UFL draft.
Gilbert Gardner (SLB/WLB) - Former third-round pick of the Colts who fits in as a fifth or sixth linebacker.
Kris Griffin (ILB/MLB) - Solid special teamer and deep backup LB.

Safety
Bernard Pollard - High-end backup, low-end starting SS at this point in his career.
Brian Russell - Probably not a starter any more at FS.
Marlon McCree - Solid backup option.
Dexter Jackson - Lots of injury issues in recent years.
Lawyer Milloy - Smart player, but may not find a starting job out there if he still wants to play.
Corey Chavous - It's questionable if he'll find a starting job.
Dwight Smith - Probably not a starter at this point in his career.
Sammy Knight - May decide to retire.
Keith Davis - Recently released by the Raiders. Davis is a solid special teams player and fits in as a fourth safety.
Will Demps - Solid backup.
Matt Giordano - Good special teams player and decent backup.
Todd Johnson - Decent backup option.
Keith Lewis - Solid special teamer.
Kevin Kaesviharn - Decent backup option.
Aaron Francisco - Good special teams player and decent backup.
Herana-Daze Jones - Good special teams player and decent backup.
Stuart Schweigert - Average backup.
Vernon Fox - Average backup.
Mike Green - Smart player who fits in as a fourth safety.
Terrence Holt - Probably will not get starting consideration.
Tank Williams - Basically a fourth safety.
Mike Doss - He was recently selected in the UFL draft.
Cameron Worrell - Fourth safety.
Michael Boulware - The conversion from linebacker in college never worked out.
Jerome Carter - Limited starting experience. Fits in as a fourth safety.
J.R. Reed (KR) - Fourth safety.

Cornerback
Jason David - Released by the New Orleans Saints recently. Must play in a zone coverage scheme to be effective.
Mike McKenzie - It's questionable whether he'll be able to find a starting role. He had a workout for the Houston Texans recently.
Rod Hood - Spent a few days with the Bears recently. Basically a slot cornerback.
Chris McAlister - May be asked to play safety.
Patrick Surtain - Probably a nickel back these days.
Von Hutchins (S) - Versatile backup at this point in his career.
Ty Law - Best used in a nickel situation. Law is a smart player who could help a young secondary.
Fakhir Brown - Probably not a starter these days.
Corey Ivy - Nickel or dime CB.
Eric Green - Nickel or dime CB.
Demarcus Faggins - Nickel or dime CB.
Deltha O'Neal - Fits in probably as a dime CB.
Adam Jones (KR/PR) - Troubled, but talented DB who probably needs to play in a nickel role. His return ability should get him some attention.
Brian Kelly - Veteran cornerback who fits in a nickel role.
Justin Miller (KR) - Decent backup and KR.
David Barrett - Fits in well as a nickel back.
Michael Lehan - Good-sized nickel cornerback.
Keith Smith - Nickel or dime CB.
Jason Webster - He told us recently that he still wants to play and he had a workout for the Houston Texans recently.
Jason Craft - Can handle a nickel role.
Daven Holly - Young cornerback who needs to prove he's all the way back from his ACL injury.
R.W. McQuarters (PR) - Can probably handle a nickel role. 
Jamar Fletcher - Can handle a dime position at this point in his career.
Anthony Madison - Dime CB, solid special teams player.
David Macklin - Serviceable dime cornerback.
Sam Madison - Like many veterans on this list, best used in a dime defense.
Lewis Sanders - Big defensive back who may have to play safety at some point in order to get a job.
Reynaldo Hill - Basically a dime cornerback.
Stanley Wilson - Dime cornerback.
David Irons - The Falcons released waived the former sixth-round pick.
Aaron Glenn - Was once one of the top cornerbacks some years ago, but is now just a dime cornerback.

Best Available NFL Free Agents-Offense


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