The 2013 NFL Free agency class is dominated by players from the Baltimore Ravens, as Joe Flacco, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams might hit the market. Most of the talent that can be bought for money comes in the form of offensive linemen, like Ryan Clady and Sebastian Vollmer, or guys who can rush the passer, like Anthony Spencer and Michael Johnson.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
After five seasons of being compared, unfavorably, to other QBs, Flacco has a Super Bowl title and an MVP, not to mention proof of how good a quarterback he is, throwing 11 touchdowns without any interceptions during the postseason. He’s pretty much the only premier quarterback hitting free agency, and will be commanding a lot money, which will be surprising to see the Ravens not agree to.
Andy Levitre, G, Buffalo Bills – Probably the best guard hitting free agency, Levitre has played left guard for the Buffalo Bills in all 64 games since being drafted in 2009. He hardly makes mistakes and is a very solid blocker in the middle, who’s only vice is playing in a position that usually doesn’t grant too many big deals.
Ryan Clady, T, Denver Broncos – A pro bowler for three times and an All-Pro twice, including 2012. Clady did play injured in some games this season for the Broncos, but still hasn’t missed a single game in his five year career, clocking 80 so far at left tackle. If his shoulder is ok, Clady will get a big contract.
Sebastian Vollmer, T, New England Patriots
Anoter tackle (a RT this time) who played very well in 2012, making the Pro Football Focus second All-NFL team for the second time in his career, but has an injury concern, which made him miss a game this season. Vollmer is one of the better pass protectors around, which should be enough to erase concerns.
Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears – Melton went to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2012, which says a lot about his ability for a guy who was a fullback before he became a defensive lineman. He recorded 15.5 sacks over the last three years, but some concerns regarding his ability to fit in anything but a Tampa-2 defense might limit his market.
Anthony Spencer, OLB, Dallas Cowboys – Spencer brought his best on a contract year, which is always dangerous, but it’s hard to argue with 11 sacks in 14 games last season and 10 forced fumbles over the last four seasons. Spencer is also a good fit for a 4-3 defense as a DE, which some even think should be his primary position, which makes him a very coveted target for anyone needing a pass rusher.
Michael Johnson, DE, Cincinnati Bengals
A huge Right Defensive End, Johnson had a breakout season in 2012, recording a career high 11.5 sacks. After falling, surprisingly, to the third round in the 2009 draft, hurting his rookie contract, Johnson will probably look to be compensated with his next one.
Paul Kruger, OLB, Baltimore Ravens – Another 2009 product who had somewhat of a breakout year in 2012, recording nine sacks during the season and 4.5 in the playoffs, including two in the Super Bowl. The Ravens have a lot of players hitting free agency, and Kruger, on the defensive side of the ball, might be the best of ’em.
Brent Grimes, CB, Atlanta Falcons – Brent Grimes missed the entire 2012 season (well, he did play in one game) due to a torn achilles, but he’s still one of the best cornerbacks hitting free agency, assuming he’s healed up nicely.
Cary Williams, CB, Baltimore Ravens
After a career of hardly playing, Williams has started in all 16 games for the Ravens these last couple of seasons. People will ignore him shoving a referee because of his talents as a man-to-man coverage corner, recording four interceptions in 2012, returning one for a touchdown.
Louis Delmas, S, Detroit Lions – There wasn’t a lot of good things happening this season with the Detroit Lions secondary, but if Louis Delmas is over his knee injury that has kept him out of 8 games this season, he’s fantastic safety to have, with great instincts and a lot of toughness.
Glover Quin, S, Houston Texans – Few safeties do everything well, but Glover Quin is the complete package when it comes to safeties, playing man, covers ground, and go up and plays in the nickel on the line of scrimmage. He recorded his first career sack last season, and it’s hard seeing the Texans letting go of a player who has done a great job since shifting from corner.