Top Remaining NFL Free Agents: Possible Fits for Zeke, Julio and Others

May 23, 2023

Plenty of big NFL names have already moved around via free agency or trade, but there are still some potential difference-makers available. Here are the top remaining NFL free agents, along with some good potential team fits.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott

Accomplished veteran RBs are always available in the modern NFL. Elliott ran for 12 touchdowns last season but averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per carry (YPC). He turns 28 in July and has exceeded 230 rushing attempts in each of his seven NFL seasons, all with the Cowboys.

While it’s fair to question how much Elliott has left in the tank, he still has more than enough talent to earn a spot on an NFL roster. He’ll likely wait to see whether a preseason injury opens up a starting spot somewhere, but if that doesn’t happen, perhaps Elliott will settle for a smaller role with the only NFL team he’s ever known.

Leonard Fournette

Like Elliott, Fournette’s a big-name running back with a lot of tread on his tires. He averaged just 3.5 YPC with the Buccaneers last season, but Fournette had over 500 receiving yards in 2022 and has caught at least 69 passes in three of the past four seasons.

He’d be a sensible fit for a contending team looking for a third-down back, such as the Bengals or Browns.

Kareem Hunt

Speaking of Cleveland, that’s where Hunt spent the past four seasons. He averaged a career-low 3.8 YPC in 2022, but Hunt’s career mark is 4.5, and he’s a capable pass-catcher. That well-rounded skill set could make Hunt a potential target for the Vikings if they move forward with trading Dalvin Cook.

Hunt could complement Alexander Mattison in Minnesota, much like how he provided a 1-2 punch with Nick Chubb on the Browns.

Edge Rusher

Yannick Ngakoue

Ngakoue has recorded at least eight sacks in each of his seven NFL seasons, so he’d be a worthy addition for any team looking to bolster its pass rush.

The Panthers have reportedly shown interest after ranking in the bottom 10 with 35 sacks last season, and the Jaguars – who drafted Ngakoue 69th overall in 2016 – would also be a sensible fit.

Leonard Floyd

A likely reason teams looking for edge help haven’t made moves yet is that a plethora of big names are still available. Floyd would help fill similar needs to Ngakoue, though he fits best as a 3-4 OLB rather than a 4-3 DE.

The Panthers are switching to a 3-4 defense, so Floyd could be an even better fit there. Other teams sniffing around these top pass rushers include the Bills, Giants, Browns and Bears.

Jadeveon Clowney

It’s safe to say Clowney won’t be going back to Cleveland after trash-talking the Browns organization on his way out last year, but some team will surely take a chance on the 2014 first-overall pick’s talent, even coming off a forgettable two-sack campaign. The 30-year-old edge rusher has three seasons with nine or more sacks under his belt.

Frank Clark

Clark spent the previous four seasons in Kansas City and made three Pro Bowls. He’ll likely want to go to a contender since he’s just 2.5 sacks away from Willie McGinest’s all-time postseason record of 16, so Clark’s most sensible landing spots appear to be Jacksonville, Buffalo or Cleveland.

Justin Houston

Houston signed one-year deals with the Ravens prior to each of the previous two seasons, and he could be headed for another such scenario in 2023 unless one of the other teams in search of edge help blows him away with an offer.

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Teddy Bridgewater

If the Packers are really trying to retool rather than all-out rebuild, they need a backup plan under center in case Jordan Love just doesn’t cut it, as their next man up would be rookie fifth-round pick Sean Clifford.

Bridgewater’s 33-32 career record as an NFL starter would make him a high-floor Plan B for Green Bay or another team in search of an established backup QB, such as the Lions, who plan to let rookie third-round pick Hendon Hooker continue to recover from a torn ACL this year.

If Bridgewater doesn’t settle for the opening in Detroit, Carson Wentz might, as it will likely take a preseason injury for either to land a starting job.


Marcus Peters

After missing the entire 2021 campaign due to a torn ACL, Peters bounced back in 2022 with six passes defensed and an interception for the Ravens. Baltimore has expressed interest in bringing back the five-time Pro Bowler, but the Ravens don’t have a dire enough need for a cornerback to meet Peters’ likely contract demands.

Vegas would be a natural fit for the 30-year-old veteran given the Raiders’ lack of experience in the secondary, and the lack of state income tax in Nevada doesn’t hurt when it comes to contract negotiations.

Wide Receiver

Jarvis Landry

Plenty of young talent has entered the league at wide receiver in recent drafts, but there are also some accomplished veterans available in free agency — though each comes with his own set of question marks.

Landry had five consecutive Pro Bowl seasons from 2015 to 2019, but he didn’t make much of an impact for the Saints in 2022 while trying to play through an ankle injury that eventually ended his season. If he can show he’s healthy, Landry will likely be an option for teams looking to bolster their receiving depth, such as the Titans or Patriots.

The Panthers, Packers and Texans all have inexperienced quarterbacks who could benefit from Landry’s proficient route running. A return to Miami, where Landry spent his first four seasons, also makes sense if he’s willing to work as a distant No. 3 option behind Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Kenny Golladay

Golladay had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in Detroit but played atrociously for the past two years after signing a big-money deal with the Giants and was subsequently cut.

If you’re Golladay, why not reunite with the only quarterback that’s brought you success at the NFL level and join Matt Stafford in LA? The sunny weather’s a nice perk, and the Rams’ wide receiver depth chart is underwhelming after Cooper Kupp.

Julio Jones

Jones is well past his elite prime at age 34, and he’s seen his receiving yardage total drop in each of the past four seasons, but the seven-time Pro Bowler could still be a difference-maker in a part-time role; he had 74 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s playoff loss last season.

Jones could go back to the Falcons team with which he spent his first 10 seasons and share his wealth of knowledge with 2022 first-round pick Drake London — Atlanta has little depth at wide receiver behind him.

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