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2012 NFL Free Agents: Best Remaining Players Include Peyton Manning, Mario Williams

Peyton Manning and Mario Williams lead the list of remaining free agents. A lot of talent is still available on the open market after two days of free agency.

For many, NFL free agency is a happy time. Fans celebrate as billionaires they have never met pump hundreds of millions of dollars into an American economy needing consumer spending (the spring free agency cash dump is particularly fortuitous for luxury cars, gated communities and start up record labels).

But what about those poor saps whose favorite NFL team is still looking for help?

Alas, there is no need for despair. Plenty of players are still available this year and waiting to carry unreasonable loads of fans' hopes into next season.

The best remaining free agency after two days of free agency:


Peyton Manning - Yes, the biggest fish of all is still available, but Manning has no need to rush his decision. Arizona, Denver, Miami and Tennessee all could hit the jackpot by the end of the week.

Matt Flynn - Aaron Rogers' clipboard assistant is probably not going to sign a deal until Manning does. Look for a jilted suitor in the Manning chase to throw even more money his way.

Alex Smith - He is not leaving San Francisco, but until the two sides get a deal done, Smith is a free agent.

Shaun Hill - This should tell you everything about the quarterback market. Hill can be a solid backup.

Related: Manning visits Titans On Wednesday

Running back

Michael Bush - The market for running backs has been slow to develop. Bush is a powerful runner who adds something in the passing game.

Mike Tolbert - How much will teams pay for a third-down specialist?

Cedric Benson - Sure, he had a 1,000-yard season in 2011, but Benson is headed for a timeshare. The rumor mill has been dead quiet about Benson.

Wide Receiver

Brandon Lloyd - A reunion with Josh McDaniels in New England looked preordained. What happened?

Mario Manningham - Teams are talking to Manningham. It will be interesting to see just what kind of deal and what kind of role he lands.

Braylon Edwards - Some team will eventually take a chance on Edwards after he was limited by injuries in 2011.

Offensive line

Ben Grubbs - Grubbs should be almost as happy as Carl Nicks about the kind of deal Nicks signed.

Eric Winston - Good tackles are hard to find in free agency. Winston should be able to set his own price.

Chris Myers - Houston lost two starters on their offensive line. Myers will be in demand.

Defensive End/Outside Linebackers

Mario Williams - Buffalo has done everything but tie Williams to the bed and cut off his legs to keep him from leaving town, but he is still a free agent.

Kamerion Wimbley - A teaser here: Wimbley is still not a free agent. Oakland will have to pay him some $17 million if he is still on the roster by the weekend. Many think it's a matter of days until he hits the open market.

John Abraham - Elderly by NFL standards, Abraham can still be effective with limited snaps. Who will give him his big payday?

Related: Bills Plan To Make Mario Williams Highest Paid Defensive Player

Inside Linebackers

Stephen Tulloch - The linebacker market has yet to develop. Once it does, you can expect Tulloch to be the wealthiest of the bunch.

David Hawthorne - He may only be a two-down player, but he makes the most of those two downs.

Curtis Lofton - The rumor got ahead of itself with the Buccaneers and Lofton. Middle linebackers really tie the room together, man.


Tracy Porter - Lead with any bounty program joke you want here. It could be a problem for him. With the top corners off the market, Porter should land a deal soon enough.

Ron Bartell - In spite of terrible hands, Bartell is a good cover corner. If teams feel good about his health after a neck injury last year, he could be a real bargain.

Aaron Ross - Adequate second-tier corners look good later in the free agency period.


LaRon Landry - The good news is that his biceps are included in the deal, which could be a real boon if a community has a minor league baseball team looking for a promotional tie-in. Landry is very good, but has major health concerns.

Mike Adams - Free agency and the 2012 NFL Draft are pretty thin on safeties, a win for Adams.

Reggie Nelson - Completely and totally meh, but will be in demand because of short supply.


Matt McBriar - A big leg with injury concerns, teams may wait and see how McBriar recovers.

Neil Rackers - Sign him now, or wait and see what shakes out in the draft. Not a bad training camp insurance policy for a team with an inexperienced kicker.

Donnie Jones - The Rams' punter was one of the best in the league before injuries zapped him last year.

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