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2013 NFL free agents: Best defensive players still available

Believe it or not, there are still some quality NFL free agents still waiting for a phone call and a chance to continue their career.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

With the NFL Draft in the books and undrafted free agents signed, most teams are close to settling on the roster they will take into training camp. Some teams, however, still have holes to fill and could turn back to the free agent pool to do so. Teams with needs on defense will find plenty of notable names still on the market, but most of the players are nearing the end of their careers.

Here's a look at a few of the top defenders still available.

Defensive end

Dwight Freeney, 33

2012 stats: 14 games, 12 tackles, 5.0 sacks

Freeney has drawn interest from several teams, but the 33-year-old is yet to come close to a deal. He's been linked to Denver throughout the offseason, but his asking price was reportedly too high for the Broncos. Freeney has lowered his asking price and is now seeking a deal similar to the two-year, $8.5 million deal Osi Umenyiora signed with Atlanta.

Israel Idonije, 32

2012 stats: 16 games, 48 tackles, 7.5 sacks

Idonije is coming off a productive season, but hasn't drawn much interest on the open market. He visited the Titans following the draft and reportedly has a standing offer to return to Chicago. The 49ers have also shown interest and while he may not be able to fill a starting role, Idonije should help a team next season.

John Abraham, 34

2012 stats: 16 games, 35 tackles, 10.0 sacks

Abraham has drawn interest from several teams and even taken numerous visits, but he's yet to land with a new organization. Even at 34, Abraham has remained an effective pass rusher, racking up 33.5 sacks over the last three seasons.

Honorable mention: Ty Warren, Juqua Parker

Defensive tackle

Sedrick Ellis, 27

2012 stats: 16 games, 36 tackles, 0.0 sacks

The former No. 7 pick, Ellis hasn't drawn a lot of interest on the open market, despite entering the prime of his career. The Cardinals were linked to Ellis recently, but he is yet to take a free agent visit. Ellis proved to be a solid pass rusher early in his career but totaled 0.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

Richard Seymour, 33

2012 stats: 8 games, 15 tackles, 3.0 sacks

Seymour battled injuries last season, but still proved to be an effective player when healthy. He's drawn interest on the open market, but according to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Seymour may opt to retire if he doesn't find a considerable contract offer.

Casey Hampton, 35

2012 stats: 16 games, 26 tackles, 0.0 sacks

Once one of the best 3-4 nose tackles in football, Hampton has received little interest in free agency. He played all 16 games last season, but is unlikely to re-sign with Pittsburgh. Hampton could still fit a 3-4 team looking for depth at nose tackle

Honorable mention: Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Amobi Okoye, Shaun Cody


Karlos Dansby, 31

2012 stats: 16 games, 134 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 9 pass deflections

Dansby was released despite setting career-highs in tackles and pass deflections. He's drawn interest from Buffalo and Cincinnati, but both teams appear to have gone in other directions. Dansby proved he can still play at a high level last season, but won't receive the mega-contract he had with Miami and may have to wait for a spot to open up due to an injury.

Daryl Smith, 31

2012 stats: 2 games, 6 tackles

Smith was limited to two games last season due to a groin injury, but is just one season removed from being one of the most productive linebackers in the NFL. If healthy, Smith should be able to help a team and possibly even start next season. He visited the St. Louis Rams, but came away without a contract offer.

Brian Urlacher, 34

2012 stats: 12 games, 68 tackles, 7 pass deflections

Urlacher turned down a one-year offer to return the Bears and hasn't drawn much interest from other teams. Minnesota was once thought to be a possible fit, but that looks unlikely. The free agent pool is loaded with veteran linebackers like Urlacher.

Honorable mention: Michael Boley, Nick Barnett, Bart Scott, Takeo Spikes, Leroy Hill


Quentin Jammer, 33

2012 stats: 16 games, 64 tackles, 9 pass deflections, 3 interceptions

Jammer started 16 games for San Diego last season, but hasn't drawn much interest in a down cornerback market. The top corners struggled to find deals this offseason, leading older players like Jammer to sit and wait for a spot to open up.

Marcus Trufant, 32

2012 stats: 12 games, 34 tackles, 2 pass deflections

Injuries were once again an issue for Trufant in 2012 as he played in 12 games. After starting on the outside for most of his career, Trufant shifted into a slot role for Seattle last season. With the Seahawks signing Antoine Winfield, Trufant is unlikely to return for his 11th season in Seattle.

Nate Clements, 33

2012 stats: 15 games, 53 tackles, 5 pass deflections, 1 interception

Clements played a key role for the Bengals last season, although he shifted into a reserve role for the first time in his career. The Bengals re-signed Terence Newman and Adam Jones this offseason, making a return to Cincinnati unlikely for Clements.

Honorable mention: Sheldon Brown, Terrence McGee, Cedric Griffin


Quintin Mikell, 32

2012 stats: 16 games, 101 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 2 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles

Mikell started 16 games for the Rams last season and played well, but was released in large part to his $6 million 2013 salary. The Rams still have a need at safety and could bring Mikell back into the fold.

Charles Woodson, 36

2012 stats: 7 games, 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections, 1 interception

Woodson missed most of the 2012 season due to injury and has generated very little interest on the open market. He visited the 49ers and San Francisco remains a possible destination. Age could be an issue with Woodson as he said teams consider him to be "ancient."

Kerry Rhodes, 30

2012 stats: 15 games, 67 tackles, 11 pass deflections, 4 interceptions

Rhodes has drawn interest from Cleveland and Cincinnati in free agency, but has yet to receive a free agent offer. A few teams are still in need of safety depth and Rhodes has ties to Cleveland with former Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton now running the Browns' defense.

Honorable mention: Ronde Barber, Gerald Sensabaugh, Madieu Williams

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