NFL free agent pass rushers: Age and experience still available on the open market

USA TODAY Sports

There is plenty of talent available for teams looking for a free agent pass rusher, as several players with 10-sack pedigrees remain jobless.

The market has settled after a flurry of activity in the early days of free agency. With the need for elite pass rushers at a premium, it's surprising some of the top names are still available for the right price. They represent a mix of age, experience, and cost — as teams balance staying under the cap, while still filling their needs.

Cliff Avril was the prize this season, and the Seattle Seahawks took advantage. They added the defensive end with double-digit sack potential, and plenty of room for improvement. Unlike the 26-year-old Avril, the remaining top pass rushers have a few more grey hairs, but are equally effective — as long as they're not seen as long-term options.

Elvis Dumervil

By virtue of a fax machine snafu, Dumervil finds himself unexpectedly on the open market. The Broncos extended a contract offer to try and retain one of their most effective pass rushers. However, there's an opportunity for another team to swoop in, provided they're willing to get their fax in on time.

At 5'11, 260 pounds, he seems small, but has a knack for playing bigger. Athletic enough to work in either a 4-3 or 3-4 system, Dumervil has the ability to attack offensive lines from a variety of angles. Over the last three years he's totaled over 30 sacks, and has proved to be effective at sealing the edge in the run game. While he's a little older than Avril (29 years old), he's every bit as talented.

Season Team Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
G GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF
2012 Denver Broncos 16 16 54 32 22 11.0 1 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 6
2011 Denver Broncos 14 14 42 31 11 9.5 -- 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 0
2009 Denver Broncos 16 14 49 42 7 17.0 -- 3 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 4
2008 Denver Broncos 16 15 24 17 7 5.0 -- 0 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 1
2007 Denver Broncos 16 16 39 34 5 12.5 -- 4 1 27 27.0 27 0 4


Osi Umenyiora

It wasn't long ago that Umenyiora was one of the NFL's premier pass rushers. A glut of talent in New York pushed him down the Giants' depth chart, and since Jason Pierre-Paul emerged it's been hard to see what his role is. The subject of annual trade rumors, Umenyiora now has the chance to find a new team and prove that he still has the double-digit sack potential he last showed in 2010.

Primarily used as a third-down speed rusher, he best fits a traditional 4-3 front, paired with a power rusher. Initially, this seems like it would limit his usefulness around the league, but he's still very effective, getting six sacks last year in a limited role. A team interested will need to weigh his production with age. There's no question that Umenyiora is slowing down, but a veteran team poised to make a playoff push wont care if he's a one- or two-year option.

Season Team Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
G GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF
2012 New York Giants 16 4 43 28 15 6.0 -- 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 2
2011 New York Giants 9 7 25 16 9 9.0 -- 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 2
2010 New York Giants 16 16 48 33 15 11.5 -- 2 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 10
2009 New York Giants 16 11 29 19 10 7.0 0 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 4
2007 New York Giants 16 16 52 40 12 13.0 0 0 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 5


John Abraham

The elder statesman of the free agent pass-rushing class, Abraham remains one of the league's best 4-3 ends, even at 34 years old. Entering his 15th season, there's little doubt he'll find a home somewhere in the NFL — because he hasn't shown many signs of slowing down.

Unlike Umenyiora, there's little guesswork involved in evaluating Abraham. What you see is what you get, and that's a player with a wealth of experience who's seen everything the NFL has to offer. He's never been a stout, run-defending end, but he can still bring a lot to a team, especially a young one in need of a presence to organize their defensive front.

Season Team Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
G GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF
2012 Atlanta Falcons 16 15 35 32 3 10.0 -- 7 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 6
2011 Atlanta Falcons 15 15 35 25 10 9.5 -- 2 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 4
2010 Atlanta Falcons 15 13 40 35 5 13.0 -- 4 1 6 6.0 6 0 2
2009 Atlanta Falcons 16 15 35 30 5 5.5 -- 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 1
2008 Atlanta Falcons 16 16 38 36 2 16.5 -- 1 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 4
2007 Atlanta Falcons 16 16 32 31 1 10.0 -- 4 -- -- 0.0 -- -- 4


More from SB Nation:

NFL Draft stock report: Under the radar players on the rise

NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation bloggers are on the clock

What Brian Urlacher meant to Chicago

Modeling success: Analyzing the top 5 NFL defenses

Printable bracket for March Madness

NFL Mock Draft: Geno Smith's rapid rise

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.