Top 10 Defensive Free Agents
Updated: Apr 11
Top 10 Defensive Free Agents:
Where did they end up?
1. Justin Simmons, S: Re-signed with the Broncos on a 4 year, $61 million extension. This was a smart move for Denver, as Simmons has proven himself to be one of the best safeties in the NFL. Denver also added/resigned some other defensive pieces like Kyle Fuller, Kareem Jackson, Shelby Harris, Shamar Stephen, and Ronald Darby. Von Miller is also back, so expect this group to be better this year.
2. Shaquil Barrett, LB: Re-signed with the Bucs on a 4 yr, $68 million contract. Barrett is one of the best edge rushers in the league and got paid like one. Brady got the boys back together, although they haven’t resigned Antonio Brown. Barrett played great last season with 57 tackles, 8 sacks and 11 TFL. I expect Barret to improve on his sack numbers this year.
3. Yannick Ngakoue, DL: Signed with the Raiders on a 2 year, $26 million deal. After being on 3 teams during 2020, Ngakoue has found a home in Las Vegas. Totaling at least 8 sacks every year since he entered the league in 2016, Ngakoue knows how to get to the QB and is a great addition to the Raiders defense. Not to mention, he just turned 26 in March.
4. Lavonte David, LB: Re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a 2 yr, $25 million contract. The reigning super-bowl champs re-signed one the very best LB’s in the league in David. David is 31 and has shown sign of slowing down. He’ll play alongside rising star Devin White as they’ll try to lead the Bucs to back-to-back Super Bowl’s.
5. Leonard Williams, DL: Re-signed with the New York Giants on a 3 yr, $63 million contract. Williams has played well in New York, and the Giants made a good decision in resigning him. He totaled 57 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 14 TFL for the Giants last year.
6. Anthony Harris, S: Signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a 1 yr, $4 million contract. The Eagles got great value for a safety of Anthony Harris’s talent. He took a step back in 2020 in the interception department but increased his tackle total to 104 from 60. He had 6 INT’s in 2019, and I expect him to bounce back this year which will earn him a big contract.
7. Matt Milano, LB: Re-signed with the Buffalo Bills on a 4 yr, $41.5 million contract. After initial reports that the Bills and Milano were parting ways this offseason, they went out and secured their ILB for the foreseeable future. Hopefully he can stay healthy, as the Bills will look to keep the momentum going and overcome the Chiefs for a chance at a Super Bowl.
8. Marcus Maye, S: Franchised tagged by the New York Jets for $10.6 million. Maye wants a long-term deal, one similar to Justin Simmons, but it seems the Jets don’t want to lock him up just yet. Maye is one of the few bright spots on this Jets team, and he proved his worth this past season with 88 tackles, 2 INT’s and 2 sacks. Expect them to reach a long term deal this season.
9. Bud Depree, LB: Signed with the Carolina Panthers on a 5 yr, $82.5 million contract. Depree is coming off of an ACL injury, so this could be quite an overpay on the Panthers part. However, Dupree had 8 sacks through 11 games last year and 11.5 sacks in 16 games the year before. He definitely knows how to get to the QB, which the Panthers need as they finished 23rd in sacks/game.
10. Keanu Neal, S: Signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a 1 yr, $5 million contract. Injuries derailed his 2018 and 2019 season, but came back last year to finish with 100 tackles, 1 INT, and 1 sack. The former 1st round pick and pro-bowl safety will be re-united with Dan Quinn in Dallas. As long as he stays healthy, he’ll be a great addition to a Cowboys defense who struggled greatly last season.