Best Available Free Agents: Offense

The free agent crop has thinned, but there is still some talent available - even at this late date. examines the available veterans on the offensive side of the ball, a group which includes veterans such as Kerry Collins and Jay Fiedler (pictured) who could contribute right away. Part One of a two-part look at the best players available. There are some players the Patriots could use to bolster their offense, possibly even a veteran QB.

While free agency has slowed down, there's some quality talent still left at various positions on both sides of the ball.



1) Kerry Collins - He's clearly the top choice left at the position. If the Ravens strike out with Steve McNair then Collins becomes a viable candidate to challenge QB Kyle Boller for the starting job. Collins could also choose to wait to sign with another team later on if a team loses a starter during training camp.

2) Jay Fiedler - He's probably one of the most experienced backups out there on the market. The Giants have been in contact with his agent for several weeks. The Patriots are another possibility as we get closer to the start of training camps if he's still available. Fiedler is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

3) Tommy Maddox - The veteran signal caller hasn't received a lot of attention in free agency (Cincinnati and Miami showed some). Maddox clearly lost something from his game over the last few seasons but probably has a season or two left as a backup. He could find a job as a backup after training camps start or as a No.3 before that.


1) Jonathan Wells - The team opted to sign veteran RB Antowain Smith instead of re-signing Wells who is a similar back to Smith in size. Wells is a good special teams player and short-yardage back but is more of a straight-line runner. If a team needs a second back with power, Wells should get a call.

2) Stephen Davis - His agent told before April's draft that Davis is fully recovered from his knee problems from last season but Davis hasn't decided yet if he still wants to play. Davis could handle a short-yardage role for a team but that's about all his knees can handle at this point of his career.


1) Daimon Shelton - If a team needs a good blocking fullback, Shelton will be the first one they call. He should find a job during training camp.

2) Moran Norris - Norris is a decent blocker and if a team is looking for depth at the position, he'll find a job.


1) Kevin Johnson - He clearly is one of the best offensive players left in free agency and could easily fill a role with a team that's looking for a No.3 or No.4 receiver.

2) Az-Zahir Hakim - He had worked out the parameters of a deal before the draft with the Cardinals but the team backed off. The Lions are interested in signing him to handle the slot role which is very important in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's scheme.

3) Johnnie Morton - The former Lion, Chief, and 49er hasn't had much interested shown in him since he was released back in Feburary. The 35-year old Morton should find a role as a fourth receiver during training camp.

4) David Boston - At one point in his career, he was seen as one of the rising stars at the position but off the field issues, injuries, and weight problems curtailed his progress. He doesn't turn 28 until training camps start so he still could have something left in the tank. The Buccaneers worked him out earlier this week.

5) Ricky Proehl - Surprisingly, he still wants to play at least another season and his agent talked to the Giants a few months ago but that's been about it for interest in him. Proehl would be a solid option for a team looking for a fourth receiver.


1) Boo Williams - At one point in his career, Williams looked like he was on the rise but his played started to wane two years ago then he suffered a serious knee injury last season. He could still find a job once training camps are underway but he has a long road back.

2) Lamont Hall - He's an above average blocker so he could find his way on to a team as a third tight end.

3) Cam Cleeland - He's bounced around over the past few years but he could find a team that's looking for a receiving threat at the position as a third tight end.


1) Ron Stone - If a team needs a veteran guard as a starter or backup, he likely will be the first one they call. Stone should have a few decent years left in him.

2) Kendyl Jacox - He has plenty of starting experience so he could start of backup if a team is in need of either role. Still, Jacox is probably better off as a backup.

3) Victor Riley (OT) - He can play inside or outside but he's a marginal starting type of lineman.

4) Tom Nutten - He's said to be close to retiring.


1) Brad Hopkins (LT) - The perennial All-Pro is likely to retire as there hasn't been much interest in him in free agency. There is an outside shot that the team brings him back as a backup but that possibility remains remote.

2) Orlando Brown (RT) - The veteran tackle could latch on as a backup for a team but clearly is near the end of this career.


1) Jeff Mitchell - The former Raven and Panther could still start for a team if needed but he hasn't received a lot of interest. In fact, he could opt to retire.

2) Cory Raymer - He's a pretty solid backup center but he hasn't received any real interest in free agency because there are a lof of backup types at his position still out there.


1) Todd Peterson - The journeyman kicker hasn't received much interest in free agency but the team has told him they could bring him back if their potential young replacements don't work out.

2) Paul Edinger - His problem is that he's poor on kickoffs and teams don't like having two kickers on their roster. Still, he should get in to a camp at some point before the regular season starts.


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