We’re getting to that time in the NFL calendar where reality is setting in for players still unsigned. In most cases, if a player has not been signed by the end of training camp, their careers are pretty much wrapped up in the NFL. However, there are still some players that have too much left to give to fall into this category.
Here are five NFL free agents still floating that deserve a port in the storm.
#1 – Le’Veon Bell, RB
Five years ago, if someone had said that Le’Veon Bell would be on the edge of falling out of the NFL, they would be laughed out of the room. Now, however, Bell really is on the edge. It is surprising considering he is still in his 20s and only two years removed from a season in which he earned about 1200 all-purpose yards with the New York Jets.
Even as a high upside backup, Bell should have a job in the NFL.
Todd Gurley played in a Super Bowl only a few years ago. He’s on the outside looking in today. Gurley should be able to land with a team and beat out several players on the depth chart to land as at least the second-best running back on the roster. In 2019, Gurley had almost 900 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
#3 – KJ Wright, LB
In a league facing a drought at linebacker, it is quite surprising that one of the cornerstones of the Legion of Boom finds himself without a job this late in the year. Last season, Wright earned a 75.3 PFF grade. From Dallas to Cleveland and everywhere in between, most teams have linebackers playing worse than Wright did last season.
At 32 years old, Wright’s age is his biggest red flag for teams. However, at this stage, Wright’s play has shown that his age is just a number.
#4 – Mitchell Schwartz, T
From Super Bowl to jobless, Mitchell Schwartz has swan-dived from Mount Everest into the Mariana Trench. However, it should not be this way. While the Chiefs may have been ready to move on, Schwartz still played well enough throughout the season to find a home with one of the other 31 NFL teams.
Last season, Schwartz earned a 74.7 PFF grade. Even as a swing tackle, Schwartz could provide value to teams suspicious of his ability to stay healthy (he only played 357 snaps in 2020).
Russell Okung is still jobless. Pushing 34 years old, Okung’s age is likely what is keeping him at home. However, last season Okung earned a 73.0 PFF grade. Granted, he only played 406 snaps last season. Even if he might not be the best fit as a full-time starter, he could be an upgrade for half the NFL as a swing tackle.