Breaking down's list of top 101 free agents

The beginning of the new league year is just two days away, but the window to negotiate with prospective free agents started today at noon.

That means teams can start negotiations with agents of those players but can't finalize any of the deals until 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Browns have four players set to hit the market Thursday: WR Terrelle Pryor Sr., DB Jordan Poyer, OL Austin Pasztor and DL Stephen Paea. That's a small number compared to many teams around the league, some of which have as many as 20 impending free agents.

Pryor is a featured player on's annual ranking of the league's top free agents. We're breaking that group down by position as we wait for the league year to officially begin.


  1. Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay)
  1. Brian Hoyer (Chicago)
  1. Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco)
  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick (New York Jets)
  1. Geno Smith (New York Jets)

-- The highest-ranked member of this group hasn't started a game since 2014, but Glennon has traits teams covet at the position, which is always high on demand and short on supply. Hoyer, Kaepernick and Fitzpatrick were all starters for their respective teams over various stretches of 2016.

Running backs

  1. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
  1. Eddie Lacy (Green Bay)
  1. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)
  1. Latavius Murray (Oakland)
  1. LeGarrette Blount (New England)
  1. Rex Burkhead (Cincinnati)
  1. Danny Woodhead (Los Angeles Chargers)
  1. Christine Michael (Green Bay)
  1. DeAngelo Williams (Pittsburgh)

-- A number of players on this list, a handful of whom are incredibly accomplished, dealt with significant injuries last season. Blount had the best season, rushing for 1,161 yards and a career high 18 touchdowns.

Wide receivers

  1. Alshon Jeffery (Chicago)
  1. Pryor
  1. DeSean Jackson (Washington)
  1. Pierre Garcon (Washington)
  1. Kenny Britt (Los Angeles Rams)
  1. Brandon Marshall (New York Jets)
  1. Michael Floyd (New England)
  1. Torrey Smith (San Francisco)
  1. Kenny Stills (Miami)
  1. Kendall Wright (Tennessee)
  1. Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota)
  1. Robert Woods (Buffalo)
  1. Brandon LaFell (Cincinnati)
  1. Ted Ginn Jr. (Carolina)

-- This group represents a good chunk of the list with Jeffery, who has 4,549 yards and 26 touchdowns over the past five seasons, serving as the lead dog among all free agents. Marshall is the most accomplished of the group while Jackson and Stills are the biggest deep threats.

Take a look at the top 25 impending free agents of 2017 according to

Tight ends

  1. Martellus Bennett (New England)
  1. Jared Cook (Green Bay)
  1. Jack Doyle (Indianapolis)
  1. Vernon Davis (Washington)

-- Doyle is the youngest member of this group and he's riding high after a breakout 2016 season (59 receptions, 584 yards, five TDs).

Offensive tackles

  1. Andrew Whitworth (Cincinnati)
  1. Riley Reiff (Detroit)
  1. Ricky Wagner (Baltimore)
  1. Russell Okung (Denver)
  1. Matt Kalil (Minnesota)
  1. Kelvin Beachum (Jacksonville)
  1. Ryan Clady (New York Jets)
  1. Mike Remmers (Carolina)

-- Wagner, Beachum and Remmers are the youngest members of this group, which has been described as light compared to previous years.

Offensive guards

  1. Kevin Zeitler (Cincinnati)
  1. T.J. Lang (Green Bay)
  1. Larry Warford (Detroit)
  1. Ronald Leary (Dallas)
  1. Chance Warmack (Tennessee)

-- Depending on what happens with Pasztor, the Browns could be in need for some depth at the position. Starters Joel Bitonio and John Greco are both recovering from season-ending foot injuries.


  1. Nick Mangold (New York)
  1. JC Tretter (Green Bay)

-- The two players on this list couldn't be more different. Mangold is an 11-year veteran with 140 games under his belt. Tretter was impressive during a seven-game stretch as a starter last season but has just 10 for his career.

Defensive end

  1. Calais Campbell (Arizona)
  1. Chris Baker (Washington)
  1. Jabaal Sheard (New England)
  1. Charles Johnson (Carolina)
  1. Jared Odrick (Jacksonville)
  1. Lawrence Guy (Baltimore)
  1. Mario Williams (Miami)
  1. Dwight Freeney (Atlanta)
  1. Andre Branch (Miami)
  1. Devin Taylor (Detroit)
  1. Karl Klug (Tennessee)
  1. Chris Long (New England)
  1. Margus Hunt (Cincinnati)

-- Fit will be big at this position, as some of these players work better in a 4-3 while others are better suited for a 3-4. Campbell, one of the best at his position over the past few years, is a fit for anyone's defense.

Defensive tackles

  1. Brandon Williams (Baltimore)
  1. Dontari Poe (Kansas City)
  1. Johnathan Hankins (New York Giants)
  1. Alan Branch (New England)
  1. Nick Fairley (New Orleans)
  1. Bennie Logan (Philadelphia)
  1. Terrell McClain (Dallas)

-- Like quarterback, it's a position that is high on demand and short on supply. That's why six of the seven named here are ranked so highly. Poe and Fairley are both former first-round picks.


  1. Dont'a Hightower (New England)
  1. Nick Perry (Green Bay)
  1. Zach Brown (Buffalo)
  1. Kevin Minter (Arizona)
  1. Julius Peppers (Green Bay)
  1. DeMarcus Ware (Denver)
  1. Lawrence Timmons (Pittsburgh)
  1. John Simon (Houston)
  1. Datone Jones (Green Bay)
  1. Lorenzo Alexander (Buffalo)
  1. Erik Walden (Indianapolis)
  1. Malcolm Smith (Oakland)
  1. Jarvis Jones (Pittsburgh)
  1. Gerald Hodges (San Francisco)

-- The Browns addressed the linebacker position in a big way with the extension of Jamie Collins Sr. in January. Still, it wouldn't be a surprise if the team further supplements the room via this avenue.


  1. A.J. Bouye (Houston)
  1. Stephon Gilmore (Buffalo)
  1. Logan Ryan (New England)
  1. Micah Hyde (Green Bay)
  1. Prince Amukamara (Jacksonville)
  1. Dre Kirkpatrick (Cincinnati)
  1. Morris Claiborne (Dallas)
  1. Brandon Carr (Dallas)
  1. Nolan Carroll (Philadelphia)
  1. Captain Munnerlyn (Minnesota)
  1. Nickell Robey-Coleman (Buffalo)
  1. Darius Butler (Indianapolis)

-- It's typically a position that generates the most lucrative contracts in free agency, and this year promises to be no different. Bouye and Gilmore took very different paths to this point, as Bouye was undrafted out of Central Florida while Gilmore was a top-10 pick in 2012.


  1. Tony Jefferson (Arizona)
  1. T.J. McDonald (Los Angeles Rams)
  1. Barry Church (Dallas)
  1. Johnathan Cyprien (Jacksonville)
  1. Bradley McDougald (Tampa Bay)
  1. D.J. Swearinger (Arizona)
  1. Jahleel Addae (Los Angeles Chargers)
  1. Jairus Byrd (New Orleans)

-- The Browns could use both a thumper and coverage safety on a defense that dealt with multiple injuries and growing pains throughout 2016. The draft is also strong at this position, with as many as two pegged as top-10 picks and a handful of others slotted as potential first-rounders.

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