I know you're excited for free agency. We all are. I don't want to be the guy throwing cold water on the fun, but someone has to say it: this isn't a very good free agent class. But we won't let that fact stop us from clinging to every rumor pushed by player agents and clueless front office personnel onto anyone with "insider" in their job title. This is our hot stove, dammit.
There are some impressive names at the top of this list, or there WERE some impressive names. Teams tagged a total 10 players this year, including seven of our top 10 and nine of our top 15. Good teams don't stay good by letting their best players walk away.
John Elway and the Broncos had their work cut out for them. Four of the top 20 players ranked here were Broncos, and Brock Osweiler and Malik Jackson took the money and ran out of Denver. Von Miller isn't leaving, but he's also the kind of player who doesn't come cheap. He got the franchise tag, and now the two sides will try to work out a long-term deal.
The Bengals were in a similar situation. Hit especially hard is the Cincinnati secondary with two of the top three corners and both starting safeties up for grabs. Kansas City's front office will be feeling a similar pinch.
More Free Agency
More Free Agency
It's not all bad for teams looking for free agent talent to fill holes in their roster. The cornerback position has plenty to offer. Trumaine Johnson got the franchise tag, and so did Josh Norman before it was rescinded. Norman, along with Sean Smith and Janoris Jenkins, commanded plenty of attention and dollars from suitors.
A few words about these rankings for you to read before making angry comments.
The fact that it's not all that deep of a free agent class made the exercise of ranking the top 100 unrestricted players that much harder, especially by the time you're down to the last 40 players or so when it gets pretty subjective. We'll also be updating this as necessary.
This list is also limited to unrestricted free agents. Restricted free agents are few and far between since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement. The few that are there this year, and every year, are probably going to get re-signed by their current team.
You'll note that Greg Hardy isn't ranked very high on this list, given the kind of talent he has. Aldon Smith's name isn't even on the list. There are other problems with those two players. In fact, we're still not sure when Smith will be allowed to play again, which is definitely something that complicates his free agent status.
The salary cap for 2016 was set at a record $155.7 million, a jump of around $12 million from last season.
Okay, without further ado, here's the list.