The majority of NFL teams are set to open training camp over the final week of July, and it’s inevitable that coaches and general managers will quickly realize their squads aren’t as strong as they once thought.
If they decide to search for help, there are five veterans still on the free-agent market they ought to consider bringing aboard:
NaVorro Bowman, LB
Injuries have taken a toll on Bowman, but the 30-year-old still possesses value as a run-stopping linebacker. He was productive over 10 games with the Oakland Raiders last season, collecting 89 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one interception.
Tre Boston, S
Boston enjoyed a breakout campaign with the Los Angeles Chargers, ranking among the top five in tackles and interceptions for safeties in 2017. If he replicates those stats in 2018, the 26-year-old will be a steal for whichever team adds him.
Johnathan Hankins, DT
Hankins helped the Indianapolis Colts, but he was still cut one season into a three-year, $30-million deal amid schematic changes ushered in by the new coaching staff. Between his time with the Colts and New York Giants, Hankins has five years of experience stuffing the run on his resume.
Kenny Vaccaro, S
In a system where he can play closer to the line of scrimmage and avoid coverage duties, Vaccaro can be a real factor. The hard-hitting safety had an up-and-down career with the New Orleans Saints, but was thought to be in line for a lucrative contract at the beginning of free agency on the heels of a solid 2017.
Dez Bryant, WR
Bryant struggled to gain separation against defensive backs last year and has never been regarded as the most precise round-runner, but he can still win jump balls and serve as an asset in the red zone. His 838 yards and six touchdowns from 2017 would look good in somebody’s lineup, so long as he’s not leaned on to be a No. 1 wideout like he was with the Dallas Cowboys.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)