Monday, March 10, 2014
Top free-agent roundup: NFC West
By ESPN.com staff
This division was toughest in football last season, yielding three double-digit-win teams and the Super Bowl champion. It is no surprise some serious free-agent talent will come out of the NFC West. Here are the top 15 free agents, as ranked by ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Terry Blount, Rams reporter Nick Wagoner, Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss and 49ers reporter Bill Williamson.
1. Michael Bennett, Seattle DE: He was a free-agent bargain last year. That won’t be the case this year.
2. Karlos Dansby, Arizona LB: He is 32, and that could scare teams, but he can still dominate.
3. Donte Whitner, San Francisco S: The 49ers could have some big competition, but Whitner is a strong defender they want back.
4. Brandon Browner, Seattle, CB: Even though he is facing a four-game suspension, Browner should get attention. Great talent and size. he may be worth the risk.
5. Golden Tate, Seattle WR: Tate might not be a numbers monster, but he has big potential.
6. Rodger Saffold, St. Louis OG: The Rams' biggest free-agent priority has proved capable of being a Pro Bowl-caliber guard when given the chance.
7. Clinton McDonald, Seattle DT: A solid plugger on a great defense. He will get interest.
8. Tarell Brown, San Francisco CB: Solid performer who could get looks as a No. 2 cornerback.
9. Walter Thurmond, Seattle CB: He isn’t as known as one of the Seahawks’ top cornerbacks, but he played big. He could be looking at nice payday.
10. Andre Roberts, Arizona WR: He quietly had a nice season in 2013, with 43 catches. He could attract solid interest.
11. Breno Giacomini, Seattle OG: A solid offensive lineman whom the Seahawks want back.
12. Shelley Smith, St. Louis OG: Started just two games in 2013 but flashed starter potential when given the chance.
13. Steven Hauschka, Seattle K: A standout kicker whom the Seahawks want back.
14. Phil Dawson, San Francisco K: The 49ers badly want this guy to return. He saved many games last season.
15. Eric Winston, Arizona OT: He’s not what he used but is still solid. The Cardinals want him back.