NFL Training Camp is about two weeks away, and football season is knocking on the door. Not everyone is getting excited for Week 1 though, as a handful of big-name players remain unsigned months after the start of free agency. Among these veterans are a good number of defensive linemen and sack artists—slightly past their primes, but still fierce nonetheless:
- Red Bryant: Obviously much better known for his defensive role in the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII run, Bryant didn’t fall off much with the Jacksonville Jaguars this past season. In fact, Bryant was ranked No. 3 in league against the run in 2014 while leading the Jags defensive line to a decent season. That only should be enough to earn him a roster spot somewhere.
- Dwight Freeney: His time with the San Diego Chargers is up, the Indianapolis Colts have shown little-to-no interest in bringing him back, and so now the former star pass rusher is free for the taking. Sure, he’s 35 now, but he really hasn’t dropped off much. Only two players had more quarterback hurries this past season, and one of them was named Justin Houston. That’s pretty good company.
- Brandon Spikes: When you’re off-the-field antics get you cut from the New England Patriots, you must really be doing something wrong. After pleading guilty to a hit-and-run case in June, Spikes is back on the market. Usually run-stuffers like that don’t stay available for very long, but his history of problems is enough to make teams cautious. Spikes is only 27, so as the season gets underway and teams realize they could really use someone like him, he may get another chance. It isn’t a stretch to say he’ll have his name called a few weeks in.
- Osi Umenyiora: Umenyiora was one of the better defensive linemen in the league at one point. His time with the New York Giants was fantastic, but he was a non-factor for the Atlanta Falcons this past season. 2.5 sacks just doesn’t cut it, it gets you cut. Osi is 34, but he still plans on going strong. He may not be as fearsome as he once was, but a one-year deal with a team in need of a veteran presence on defense would be the perfect way to go out.