2005 Free Agents: Defensive Tackles

<P>With Dana Stubblefield a no-go from the start of the season in 2004, and the play of veteran Keith Traylor, the Patriots had mixture of success with Free Agents in 2004. All-pro Richard Seymour returns with rookie Vince Wilfork while Jarvis Green and Ty Warren fill out the rotation. </P><P>Belichick's penchant for a lot of line depth means the Patriots may try to add one of the second tier players on the list below. Only one Patriot is in this group.</P>

2005 Free-Agent Defensive Tackles

A listing of the defensive tackles scheduled for NFL free agency in 2005. UFA=Unrestricted Free Agent; RFA=Restricted Free Agent; ERFA=Exclusive Rights Free Agent. For definitions of free-agent terms, click here. The "Best of the Bunch" is sorted by rankings from Scout.com's Lane Adkins. The "Rest of the Bunch" is sorted by free-agent type, then by most recent team. Comments provided for unrestricted free agents.
BEST OF THE BUNCH
PlayerFree-Agent Type2004 Team
Pat WilliamsUFABills
Comment: With the Eagles Corey Simon getting the franchise tag last week, Williams moves up to the top defensive tackle scheduled for free agency this year. With 474 tackles and 13 sacks, he has proven to be a very productive interior player, but the Bills might not be able to afford Williams and Sam Adams. Chances are heÕll land with another team for decent money.
Jason FergusonUFAJets
Comment: The Jets would probably like to re-sign Ferguson, but their top priority on the defensive line in free agency will lie with getting John Abraham under contract before he hits the open market. That could mean an opportunity for another team to swoop in and steal Ferguson.
Seth PayneUFATexans
Comment: When healthy, he's a productive player. A risky proposition, though, considering recent surgery to repair two torn tendons in his hamstring and reconstructive knee surgery in 2003.
Tony WilliamsUFABengals
Comment: A broken and dislocated ankle ended his 2004 campaign prematurely, and the Bengals have young players looking to emerge at DT.
Chris HovanUFAVikings
Comment: Quick defensive tackle that has struggled to disengage from blocks recently. In the right system, he could get his career back on track, but the last two years have been an outright bust with the Vikings. Won't be back in Minnesota.
Leonardo CarsonUFACowboys
Comment: Character issues could be a concern for some teams after an opening-game suspension in 2003 because of an incident involving an ex-girlfriend.
Marcus BellUFALions
Comment: A solidly built run stuffer.
Josh EvansUFAJets
Comment: While talented, Evans would be a risk-reward signing. He had back surgery last September and was placed on injured reserve and will turn 33 early in the season.
Cedric KillingsUFARedskins
Comment: A consummate roster-bubble player.
Eric DowningRFAChargers
James ReedUFAJets
Comment: A decent reserve in a team's tackle rotation but likely never a starter.
Chartric DarbyUFABuccaneers
Comment: Could play either left end or tackle, but won't be a big player in the free-agent game.
Kenny SmithUFASaints
Comment: In his first go-round in unrestricted free agency, Smith's career was on the rise with a career-high 42 tackles in 2003, but he tore a rotator cuff in training camp last year and was placed on injured reserve. He can play both end and tackle.
Derrick RansomUFAJaguars
Comment: A hard-working journeyman-type who has the versatility to play end on running downs.
Kelvin PritchettUFALions
Comment: Getting a little long in the tooth
Lance LegreeUFAGiants
Comment: Showed some versatility when he moved out to defensive end late in the season and he may need to stay there if he re-signs with the Giants.
Junior IoaneUFATexans
Comment: After coming up with 29 tackles in 2003, Ioane only played in one game in 2004.
Luther EllisUFABroncos
Comment: Injuries have limited his effectiveness the last few years, so it's unlikely any team will spend much money on that gamble.
Joe Salave'aUFARedskins
Comment: Proved that he still had some gas in the tank as a solid run stuffer with Washington in 2004. Would be a decent backup for most teams.
REST OF THE BUNCH
PlayerFree-Agent Type2004 Team
Chris CooperUFA49ers
Comment: Can played both inside and outside and has had some shining moments in San Fran.
Daleroy StewartUFA49ers
Comment: Played in 15 games with the Cowboys in 2003 and spent time with the Jets and 49ers.
Monsanto PopeUFABroncos
Comment: The former seventh-round pick has blown hot and cold. He was on the roster bubble at the end of last year's training camp, but wound up climbing the depth chart before a sprained wrist limited his time.
Devone ClaybrooksUFACowboys
Comment: Decent pass rusher.
Alan HarperUFAJets
Comment: A fourth-round pick in 2002, Harper hasn't been a contributor yet. He'll be a low priority in free agency.
Cullen JenkinsUFAPackers
Comment: Could start in emergency situations, but isn't big enough to handle full-time duty on the interior line. Better pass rusher than run stuffer, but a hard all-around worker.
Kendrick ClancyUFASteelers
Comment: Spent most of his career as a backup nose tackle in Pittsburgh, but he appears to be a fit primarily for 3-4 schemes, limiting his potential suitors in free agency.
Dorsett DavisRFABroncos
Ross KolodziejRFACardinals
Dequnicy ScottRFAChargers
Dario RomeroRFADolphins
Ma'ake KemoeatuRFARavens
Matt ZielinskiRFARavens
Rocky BernardRFASeahawks
Tony BrownERFA49ers
Terrance Martin ERFABengals
Nick EasonERFABrowns
Jon BradleyERFABuccaneers
Jacques CesaireERFAChargers
Montique SharpeERFAChiefs
Jermaine BrooksERFACowboys
Kendrick AllenERFAGiants
Jordan CarstensERFAPanthers
Ethan KelleyERFAPatriots

Comment: Kelly has been under the radar for some time, and with the emergence of Vince Wilfork, and Jarvis Green in 2004, coupled with the retention of M. Hill, it's a distinct possiblity the Patriots may look for D Line help from the outside. Kelly is an Exclusive FA so expect the team to work with him for at least another season.

Howard GreenERFASaints
Grant BowmanERFASteelers

Some changes may have occured to players on the list since it was compiled w/e
2/20/2004.

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