With less than two weeks to go before the draft, any free agents still on the market should get comfortable.
At this point of the offseason, filling needs through the draft is a much more attractive option for teams than sorting through the remains of free agency.
Some clubs will look to see if they can add a veteran on a cheaper deal after all the draft picks are made, but from a player’s point of view, sometimes its better to wait it out for something better to become available.
Here are seven free agents still on the market who will be better off waiting until camps get underway to find their next destination.
The former star running back for the Chiefs spent the 2016 season pushing himself to recover from a devastating ACL tear suffered the year before.
At 30 years old and coming off his second career ACL tear, Charles should spend as much time as possible getting healthy before joining a new team. If he can’t pass his physical or re-aggravates his knee issue soon after hitting the field, there’s a good chance no team will risk offering him another contract.
Potential destinations: Eagles, Panthers, Redskins
Cruz has also had major injury problems in the past, but he seemed to get over them last season, appearing in 15 games. However, the injuries took their toll on the former All-Pro, leaving him without some of his athletic abilities from before.
Now, the 30-year-old’s biggest asset is his leadership ability. Cruz was credited by former teammate Odell Beckham Jr. for teaching the young pass-catcher the ropes at the pro level.
Cruz’s best option now is hope a team with a young receiving corps realizes it needs a veteran presence and has room for him to contribute from the slot.
Potential destinations: Saints, Lions, Vikings
Cutler is reportedly still considering retirement, and the reasoning should be pretty simple – there’s only one team that make sense for him to join right now.
The longtime gunslinger has no reason to join a team that doesn’t appear to be competitive next season, as he surely doesn’t want to limp to the finish line with the likes of the Browns or Jets.
If the Texans reach out to Cutler, he should have an easy decision to make – assuming he does want to keep playing. If not, his best option is to wait until some unlucky team suffers an injury to their top pass-thrower.
Potential destinations: Texans, whoever’s quarterback gets injured
What does this man have to do to earn some respect? Blount led the league in rushing touchdowns last season and posted a career-high 1,161 yards on the ground, yet he’s only received interest from his most recent club, the Patriots.
Last offseason, Blount waited a month into free agency before signing a one-year, $1-million deal with New England. The team reportedly has an offer on the table for him, but he’s not happy with the money – and he should stand his ground.
Blount has proven he can be a game-changer due to his rare ability to move at such a large size. If he waits long enough, someone will realize their running game isn’t tough enough and offer the 250-pounder a better deal.
Potential destinations: Packers, Buccaneers, Giants
Flowers, 31, is coming off his first injury-plagued season, as multiple health issues allowed him to play in just six games in 2016.
He had been very productive in his previous two seasons with the Chargers after putting in six solid seasons with the Chiefs, where he established himself as an intelligent, consistent leader in Kansas City’s secondary.
There’s no need for Flowers to put himself through the grueling stress of a full offseason program, but he can still provide leadership to a young secondary, much like Cruz’s situation.
Potential destinations: Rams, Dolphins, Lions
Levy recently admitted he made a mistake forcing himself back into the lineup in 2016 before his knee had properly healed, and had to undergo surgery after being released this offseason.
He sounds as if he already knows better than to rush back from injury again, so it may be even later than the beginning of training camp before he signs.
Levy, 30, has been praised for his high character and leadership, as well as his All-Pro-caliber talent.
Potential destinations: Buccaneers, Steelers, Patriots
At this time last year, there was likely a long list of teams planning to target Floyd as a free agent when his contract ran out.
Due to his declining production, DUI arrest, and being a healthy scratch as a Patriot, his stock has dropped significantly. But there was legitimate reasoning behind his initial hype.
Floyd, who consistently averaged over 16 yards per catch prior to 2016, plays big for his size and can be a capable receiver and blocker on the outside for a team that already has a bona fide No. 1 target.
Potential destinations: Bengals, Steelers, Chargers
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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