Calling the large number of unsigned NFL free agents “leftovers” isn’t meant to be demeaning. It was done so I could draw simple comparisons between each player and actual leftover food. Originally the idea was to draw comparisons between them and characters from the TV show The Leftovers, but I forgot one crucial detail: I’ve never seen the show.
So let’s stick with a food theme. Obviously certain items, like pizza, keep real well, and can actually taste better upon second enjoyment. Others, like poutine, might as well be tossed out right away, because there’s no way to successfully reheat gravy fries, and eating them cold isn’t an option. The remaining players on the NFL market might be closer to poutine than pizza, but there’s a lot of okay stuff in between, like chow mein and fried chicken.
Will any teams be reaching into the fridge to grab these delicacies, or will they just give it a cursory whiff, tuck it back behind the milk and forget about it for months? After looking at some big-name quarterbacks already, let’s examine the rest of the market.
2017’s Remaining Free Agents
Odds where RB Adrian Peterson will sign
- New England Patriots: 7/2
- Oakland Raiders: 4/1
- Dallas Cowboys: 5/1
- New York Giants: 5/1
- Minnesota Vikings: 15/1
- Field: 9/2
Peterson is like the shawarma you remembered being so good when you ordered it last night, but now that it’s the morning, it’s all soggy. The same flavors are there, but overall it’s just not the same.
The market is going to be slow for all the aging running backs, but AP’s reputation as one of the greatest backs of all time will land him an opportunity eventually. Whether he can still bring it is up in the air.
It would be nice if Peterson didn’t pull an L.T. or Emmitt Smith and have an awkward end to his career in another uniform, but with Latavius Murray on his way to the Vikings, it sounds like staying in Minny isn’t an option. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as his dad may have made things weird anyways.
Odds where RB Jamaal Charles will sign
- Green Bay Packers: 5/2
- Philadelphia Eagles: 13/4
- Denver Broncos: 5/1
- Seattle Seahawks: 11/1
- Nowhere: 10/1
- Field: 6/1
At this point in his career, with all his injury concerns, Charles is a full on poutine. No team is going to bring him in for lead back duties, and if you’re looking for a change-of-pace or receiving option, those players can be found in the draft. Charles will be on a roster come training camp, but there’s certainly not a race to get his services.
Odds where TE Jared Cook will sign [UPDATE: signed with Oakland]
- Oakland Raiders: SIGNED
9/4 Minnesota Vikings: 3/1 Seattle Seahawks: 15/4 Detroit Lions: 11/2 Field: 10/1
Cook is like a slice of cake. You don’t have to worry about cake. Cake doesn’t go bad! (Don’t correct me on this.)
Whatever team brings him in[Oakland] can expect average production for a number one tight end (or above average for a number two). He’s currently being courted by a few teams and should have a new deal soon.
Odds where DT Johnathan Hankins will sign
- Miami Dolphins: 8/5
- Philadelphia Eagles: 2/1
- New York Giants: 9/1
- Field: 4/1
With Dontari Poe and Bennie Logan now off the market, Hankins is the best defensive tackle available, much like chop suey becomes the best food when all the beef and broccoli and BBQ spareribs are gone. However, this chop suey thinks it deserves a multi-year deal despite those other tackles taking one-year contracts.
Odds where LB Zach Brown will sign
- Oakland Raiders: 7/5
- Indianapolis Colts: 7/4
- Buffalo Bills: 11/1
- Field: 6/1
This guy is pizza. Why Buffalo didn’t try harder to keep him, I don’t know. I guess they’re chicken wing people up there. But Oakland and Indy would be a great fit. The Raiders have a hole at linebacker with Malcolm Smith gone, while the Colts have holes everywhere on defense, because they’re terrible.
Photo Credit: MN National Guard [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0], via Wikimedia Commons