Back in April, we covered the top 10 free agents still on the market. Chris Johnson has since inked a deal with the Jets, while Miles Austin was the beneficiary of Josh Gordon's enduring love for the kelly green, receiving a contract from the increasingly desperate Cleveland Browns. Davin Joseph was given a one year "prove it" deal from St. Louis.
Meanwhile, the #2 free agent on that list, Travelle Wharton is said to be leaning towards retirement. If he does come back for one more season, it will likely be in Carolina. Josh Freeman managed to get signed and cut again in the time it took to read the original article. Santonio Holmes still has the talent, and at age 30, isn't physically diminished. But it would appear that his reputation is keeping teams from taking the plunge.
Le'Ron McClain and Vonta Leach have been squeezed out due to teams no longer employing full time fullbacks. Jonathan Vilma may be forced to retire, as Dallas' Sean Lee calamity inspired them to look at tape and decide they'd rather fill the hole internally. Asante Samuel may have to wait for the inevitable rash of training camp injuries before he gets a look. So let's take a gander at June's list of potentially useful players still waiting in the bargain bin.
1. Jermichael Finley, TE
The most intriguing case on this list, a player who is a Pro Bowl talent when healthy. The Seahawks have kicked the tires this off-season, as has New England, but despite Finley being cleared by his doctors to play, neither has bit. Considering he is head and shoulders above anyone else left on the market, it will be shocking if he doesn't at least get a training camp invite.
2. Eric Winston, OT
Winston is not far removed from his days as one of the cogs in Houston's formidable offensive line. At age 30, he should still have plenty left in the tank. The Baltimore Ravens have been circling Winston, in an effort to patch the leaky right side of their offensive line, and don't be surprised if a deal gets done as we get closer and closer to training camp.
3. Richie Incognito, OG
No one questions Incognito's talent, as a former Pro Bowler, his talent and love for the game have never been under impeachment. Anyone with Internet access is aware of Incognito's past, so there's no need to go into that here. It is easy to picture him going to a team with a strong veteran structure in place, on a non guaranteed contract. Once the bullets start flying in July and August, a team desperate for guard help will pick up the phone.
4. Kevin Williams, DT
A former member of Minnesota's vaunted "Williams Wall", it seems that it is a less of question of ability with Williams, and more about asking price. Seattle has already brought him in for a visit, as well as the Giants. While his days of dominant play are likely behind him, it's likely that a member of the 2000s NFL All-Decade Team can still provide rotational help to a contender's front four once he lowers his asking price.
5. James Anderson, LB
With Chicago's defense falling to unforeseen lows last season, Anderson got skunk sprayed by their reputation and teams have avoided him thus far. This is a mistake. He recorded over 100 tackles last season and while he's not going to be a savior for any team's LB corps, he will provide solid depth. Only 30 years old, Anderson will likely be among those waiting for a training camp phone call. The Patriots have already had him in for a visit, suggesting they may be the team to make that call.
6. Aubrayo Franklin, DT
Franklin may not be a star, but he is a consistent performer who stays on the field. He started 15 games for the Indianapolis Colts last year, recording 29 tackles in the process. He's racked up 194 starts over his NFL career and could provide a nice rotational piece for a team with quality DTs already in place.
7. James Harrison, LB
Harrison's primary value to a team may be as a locker room mentor to a team with a stable of young LBs. The first team that comes to mind is the Arizona Cardinals, who could also use Harrison, having just lost rising talent Daryl Washington for the season due to a drug suspension. Harrison, while 36, is known as a workout fanatic who goes to incredible lengths to stay in shape. Look for him to get a call from a contending team to be a situational pass rusher.
8. Felix Jones, RB
Jones will never be any team's bell cow back, but he's only 27 and has never carried the ball more than 185 times in a season, limiting the wear and tear on his body. He's produced 14 TDs in his career on just 753 touches and would make a quality complement to a more physical back. My humble prediction: the Broncos bring him in during training camp to try and provide a thunder and lightning combination with Montee Ball.
9. Ed Reed, S
Reed defied expectations last season, joining the New York Jets down the stretch and proving he still has what it takes to make plays on the back end of a defense. He came up with 3 interceptions in the season's final 4 games and provided stability to a secondary that sorely needed it. A bit surprising to see Rex Ryan move on from a player he has history with dating back to his days as the Ravens' defensive coordinator. Rumors persist that Bill Belichick would take a chance on Reed, but they are unfounded to this point. To Reed's credit, he seems to realize his body can't withstand the rigors of a full season plus training camp, and he has spoken about joining a squad in the middle of the season.
10. Dustin Keller, TE
Keller has had an injury plagued past few seasons, making teams forget all about his dazzling 2011 campaign, when he produced 815 yards and 5 TDs. Teams are likely scared off by the fact that he missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL, MCL and PCL. He is a lock to get a training camp look from someone to see if he still has a semblance of the speed and agility he displayed as a key cog in the Jets' offense.