If defense wins championship, then the remaining 2014 NFL free agent class is all about the Lombardi Trophy. With Jimmy Graham getting the franchise tag from the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens re-signing Dennis Pitta, the top remaining free agents are starting to have something in common. They almost all play of the defensive side of the ball, and the numbers aren’t even close.
According to Rotoworld and NFL.Com, 15 of the top 20 free agents still available are all about stopping the opposing offense from putting the ball in the zone. The 15 players on the Rotoworld list includes:
Free safety Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills
Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins
Defensive end Michael Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals
Cornerback Brent Grimes, Miami Dolphins
Cornerback Aqib Talib, New England Patriots
Cornerback Alterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans
Defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, Oakland Raiders
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks
Cornerback Vontae Davis, Indianapolis Colts
Defensive tackle Henry Melton, Chicago Bears
Outside linebacker Jason Worilds, Pittsburgh Steelers
Defensive tackle Linval Joseph, New York Giants
Strong safety T.J. Ward, Cleveland Browns
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Denver Broncos
Defensive lineman Jason Hatcher, Dallas Cowboys
Of the five remaining free agents in the top 20, four of them are on the offensive line. Not coincidentally, these are the players that are tasked with stopping or moving a hard charging defense. The lone skill position player on the offensive side of the ball to crack the top 20 is Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker.
This is why teams looking for defensive help in free agency should have the feeling of a kid in a candy store. Meanwhile, teams looking to add some offense to their squad are left out in the cold. Maybe this is why Graham, Pitta, Riley Cooper and even Jeremy Maclin have already been taken off the market before the bidding got started.
Tags: Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants New York Jets Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans Washington Redskins