Best Available Free Agents - The Offense
Kerry Collins is one of the best available QBs.
Kerry Collins is one of the best available QBs.

Posted May 19, 2006


While free agency has slowed down, there's some quality talent still left at various positions on both sides of the ball. Scout.com begins a two-part analysis of the best players left on the open market by looking at each offensive position.

Quarterback

1) Kerry Collins - The former Giant, Panther and Raider is clearly the top choice left at the position. If the Ravens strike out with Steve McNair, then Collins becomes a viable candidate to challenge QB Kyle Boller for the starting job. Collins could also choose to wait to sign with another team later on if a squad loses a starter during training camp.

2) Jay Fiedler - He's probably one of the most experienced backups out there on the market. The Giants have been in contact with his agent for several weeks. The Patriots are another possibility as we get closer to the start of training camps if he's still available. Fiedler is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

3) Tommy Maddox - The veteran ex-Steeler signal-caller hasn't received a lot of attention in free agency (Cincinnati and Miami showed some). Maddox clearly lost something from his game over the last few seasons but probably has a season or two left as a backup. He could find a job as a backup after training camps start or as a No.3 before that.


Running Back

1) Jonathan Wells - The Texans opted to sign veteran RB Antowain Smith instead of re-signing Wells who is a similar back to Smith in size. Wells is a good special teams player and short-yardage back but is more of a straight-line runner. If a team needs a second back with power, Wells should get a call.

2) Stephen Davis - His agent told Scout.com before April's draft that Davis is fully recovered from his knee problems from last season. However, Davis hasn't decided yet if he still wants to play. Davis could handle a short-yardage role for a team, but that's about all his knees can handle at this point of his career.


Fullback

1) Daimon Shelton - If a team needs a good blocking fullback, Shelton, who spent the last two seasons in Buffalo, will be the first one they call. He should find a job during training camp.

2) Moran Norris - Norris is a decent blocker and if a team is looking for depth at the position, the ex-Texan will find a job.


Wide Receiver

1) Kevin Johnson - He clearly is one of the best offensive players left in free agency and could easily fill a role with a team that's looking for a No.3 or No.4 receiver. He's bounced around from team to team the last few years.

2) Az-Zahir Hakim - He had worked out the parameters of a deal before the draft with the Cardinals but the team backed off. The Lions are interested in signing him to handle the slot role which is very important in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's scheme.

3) Johnnie Morton - The former Lion, Chief, and 49er hasn't had much interest shown in him since he was released back in Feburary. The 35-year old Morton should find a role as a fourth receiver during training camp.

4) David Boston - At one point in his career, he was seen as one of the rising stars at the position but off the field issues, injuries, and weight problems curtailed his progress. He doesn't turn 28 until training camps start so he still could have something left in the tank. The Buccaneers worked him out earlier this week.

5) Ricky Proehl - Surprisingly, he still wants to play at least another season and his agent talked to the Giants a few months ago but that's been about it for interest in him. Proehl would be a solid option for a team looking for a fourth receiver.


Tight End

1) Boo Williams - At one point in his career, Williams looked like he was on the rise but his playing started to wane two years ago. He then suffered a serious knee injury last season. He could still find a job once training camps are underway, but he has a long road back. Williams had spent his entire career with the New Orleans Saints.

2) Lamont Hall - Another former Saint TE, Hall is an above-average blocker who could find his way on to a team as a third tight end.

3) Cam Cleeland - He's bounced around over the past few years but he could find a team that's looking for a receiving threat at the position as a third tight end.


Guard

1) Ron Stone - If a team needs a veteran guard as a starter or backup, he likely will be the first one they call. Stone is a 14-year veteran who should have a few decent years left in him.

2) Kendyl Jacox - He has plenty of starting experience, so he could start of backup if a team is in need of either role. Still, Jacox is probably better off as a backup.

3) Victor Riley (OT) - He can play inside or outside, but he's a marginal starting type of lineman.

4) Tom Nutten - The former Ram is said to be close to retiring.


Offensive Tackle

1) Brad Hopkins (LT) - The perennial All-Pro is likely to retire as there hasn't been much interest in him in free agency. There is an outside shot that the Titans bring him back as a backup but that possibility remains remote.

2) Orlando Brown (RT) - The veteran tackle could latch on as a backup for a team but clearly is near the end of his career.


Center

1) Jeff Mitchell - The former Raven and Panther could still start for a team if needed but he hasn't received a lot of interest. In fact, he could opt to retire.

2) Cory Raymer - He's a pretty solid backup center but he hasn't received any real interest in free agency because there are a lof of backup types at his position still out there.


Kicker

1) Todd Peterson - The journeyman kicker hasn't received much interest in free agency but the Falcons have told him they could bring him back if their potential young replacements don't work out. Peterson was a Seahawk from 1995 through 1999.

2) Paul Edinger - His problem is that he's poor on kickoffs and teams don't like having two kickers on their roster. Still, he should get in to a camp at some point before the regular season starts.



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