Free-Agent Cupboard Predictably Picked Over

Here's a look at who's left, plus a trend the Packers bucked by re-signing Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY)

Need a difference-making free agent?

Good luck.

As usually happens, the first waves of free agency left the cupboard practically bare. With teams flush with salary-cap space, the top talents signed (or re-signed) quickly. Of the 27 unrestricted free agents deemed five-star players, five received the franchise tag (Dallas receiver Dez Bryant, Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas, Kansas City outside linebacker Justin Houston, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski) and 20 of the remaining 22 are off the market. One of the exceptions is Carolina’s Greg Hardy, who remains on the commissioner’s exempt list because of domestic violence charges. (Those charges were dropped on Feb. 9 when his accuser accepted a financial settlement with Hardy and refused to cooperate with the investigation.) The other is Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski, who is being courted by Seattle, among other teams.

Interestingly, the Packers bucked the trend by re-signing receiver Randall Cobb and right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Of the aforementioned 20 five-star unrestricted free agents who have re-signed plus Bulaga, the top four-star player, there were only seven re-signings: Cobb, Bulaga, Buffalo defensive end Jerry Hughes, Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson, New England safety Devin McCourty, San Diego cornerback Brandon Flowers and Baltimore running back Justin Forsett.

Here are the Top 30 unrestricted free agents available, according to Scout.com’s rankings. Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams ranks 10th and fullback John Kuhn ranks 24th on the best-available list.

Note: This includes only unrestricted free agents who did not receive the franchise or transition tag.

No. 20 — Greg Hardy, DE, Carolina

No. 24 — Stefen Wisniewski, C, Oakland

No. 32 — Rolando McClain, MLB, Dallas

No. 34 — Brandon Spikes, MLB, Buffalo

No. 36 — Will Hill, S, Baltimore

No. 40 — Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati,

No. 42 — Anthony Spencer, DE, Dallas,

No. 45 — Brian De La Puente, C, Chicago

No. 47 — Justin Blalock, G, Atlanta

No. 49 — Tramon Williams, CB, Green Bay

No. 54 — Nick Hardwick, C, San Diego

No. 56 — Samson Satele, C, Miami

No. 73 — Joe Barksdale, OT, St. Louis

No. 74 — Byron Bell, OT, Carolina

No. 75 — Kroy Biermann, DE, Atlanta

No. 76 — Stevan Ridley, RB, New England

No. 77 — Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco

No. 80 — Cecil Shorts III, WR, Jacksonville

No. 81 — Tarell Brown, CB, Oakland

No. 87 — Patrick Robinson, CB, New Orleans

No. 88 — Sam Acho, OLB, Arizona

No. 89 — Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis

No. 99 — John Kuhn, FB, Green Bay

No. 101 — Mason Foster, MLB, Tampa Bay

No. 103 — Randy Starks, DT, Miami

No. 104 — Nate Irving, MLB, Denver

No. 105 — D.J. Williams, MLB, Chicago

No. 107 — Rob Sims, G, Detroit

No. 111 — Dawan Landry, S, N.Y. Jets

No. 112 — Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami

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FREE AGENCY POSITIONAL PREVIEWS


OFFENSE: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end |
Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center
DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker
Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback

SCOUT.COM FREE AGENT RANKINGS

Prospects by: OVERALL RANK | Position | 2014 Team | Signed Team  | Name
Position: QB RB FB WR TE OT OG C DT DE OLB MLB S CB K P LS




Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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