NFL teams have cut a number of big names to try to solve salary cap issues and execute offseason plans.
Most of the players released are approaching or in their 30s, and some will seriously consider retirement.
Others will attempt to continue their careers, and we will rank the top five, with no regard to their position, only the impact they can have on a team’s record.
1. RB Reggie Bush
Bush has been an impact player for the entirety of his career, though health issues have plagued him all the same. He is arguably the most shifty running back on the market, even at 30-years-old, and has another season or two left.
2. ILB A.J. Hawk
There’s no question how important an inside linebacker can be for a team’s defense. Last season, the Colts added D’Qwell Jackson after he was cut by the Browns and subsequently became top 12 in passing yards allowed and top 20 in rushing yards allowed. Not great, but a big improvement. Hawk’s impact could be similar.
3. WR Jacoby Jones
Jones may have won the Super Bowl for the Ravens in 2013. His 109-yard return against the 49ers was nothing short of spectacular, and there’s no sign that he’s slowed. Mostly a return specialist, his impact isn’t broad. But in the most overlooked aspect of professional football, Jones could be huge.
4. KR Ted Ginn Jr.
Ginn Jr. never lived up to his initial draft projection, but is lightning fast and another plus-special-teamer. Unlike Jacoby Jones, though, Ginn is exclusively a special teams guy, and isn’t serviceable in any way as a slot receiver.
Jason Leskiw is SFBay’s Oakland Raiders beat writer and member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.