Top 2015 NFL Free Agents

It’s never too early to begin looking forward. We’ll take a look at the top NFL players entering contract years in 2014, setting themselves up for a possible run at the free agent market in 2015. In addition, we’ll note the players who had their 5th-year options exercised, making them possible candidates for long-term extensions in the coming months.

Top Expiring Offensive Contracts


Player Pos. Team Age 2014 Cap
Alex Smith QB KC 30 $8,000,000
Carson Palmer QB ARI 34 $12,000,000
Frank Gore RB SF 31 $6,450,000
Fred Jackson RB BUF 33 $3,850,000
Ryan Mathews RB SD 26 $3,612,000
Wes Welker WR DEN 33 $8,000,000
Roddy White WR ATL 32 $6,325,000
Reggie Wayne WR IND 35 $6,166,668
Michael Crabtree WR SF 26 $4,770,443
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 26 $4,700,000
Jordy Nelson WR GB 29 $4,375,000
Dez Bryant WR DAL 25 $3,148,500
Jimmy Graham TE NO 27 $7,035,000
Jordan Cameron TE CLE 25 $1,550,350
King Dunlap OT PHI 28 $2,425,000
Michael Roos OT TEN 31 $6,625,000
Orlando Franklin OT DEN 26 $1,386,000
Doug Free OT DAL 30 $6,520,000

Clearly the wide receivers are the class of this group, with a number of young, dominant superstars all nearing the end of the deals in parallel. It’s possible that many are given contract extensions this offseason – though some may enter the season without one. The Chiefs and Alex Smith still appear far apart in their negotiations, making 2014 a very interesting season in Kansas City. The same can be said for Jimmy Graham and the Saints. It’s highly likely this marriage splits after the 2014 season, making Graham potentially the most talented player in the 2015 free agent class.

Related:  Complete list of 2015 NFL Free Agents 


Top Expiring Defensive Contracts


Player Pos. Team Age 2014 Cap
Ndamukong Suh DT DET 27 $22,412,500
Gerald McCoy DT TB 26 $15,627,253
Terrance Knighton DT DEN 27 $2,750,000
Greg Hardy DE CAR 25 $13,116,000
Cory Redding DE IND 33 $4,391,667
Brian Orakpo OLB WAS 27 $11,455,00
Justin Houston OLB KC 25 $1,598,812
Brandon Spikes ILB BUF 26 $3,250,000
David Harris ILB NYJ 30 $7,000,000
Darrelle Revis CB NE 28 $7,000,000
Chris Harris CB DEN 24 $2,187,000
Devin McCourty S NE 26 $5,115,000
Antrel Rolle S NYG 31 $9,250,000

Plenty of big men lead the 2015 free agent class currently, including names like Suh, McCoy, and Hardy. But with extensions likely forthcoming for all, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston may be the cream of this crop when it’s all said and done. While Darrelle Revis is technically on the books with the Patriots for 2015 – it comes with an obsurd cap figure of $25 million. It’s likely a strong start to his 2014 brings a long-term restructured extension between the two.

Related:  Complete list of 2015 NFL Free Agents 

Players 5th-Year Optioned for 2015


Player Pos. Team Age 2015 Cap
Cam Newton QB CAR 25 $14,666,666
Von Miller OLB DEN 25 $9,754,000
Marcell Dareus DT BUF 24 $8,060,000
A.J. Green WR CIN 25 $10,176,000
Patrick Peterson CB ARI 23 $10,081,000
Julio Jones WR ATL 25 $10,176,000
Aldon Smith OLB SF 24 $9,754,000
Tyron Smith OT DAL 23 $10,039,000
J.J. Watt DE HOU 25 $6,969,000
Robert Quinn DE STL 24 $6,969,000
Mike Pouncey C MIA 24 $7,438,000
Ryan Kerrigan OLB WAS 25 $7,038,000
Nate Solder OT NE 26 $7,438,000
Corey Liuget DE SD 24 $6,969,000
Prince Amukamara CB NYG 25 $6,898,000
Phil Taylor DT CLE 26 $5,477,000
Anthony Castonzo OT IND 25 $7,438,000
Cameron Jordan DE NO 24 $6,969,000
Jimmy Smith CB BAL 25 $6,898,000
Muhammad Wilkerson DE NYJ 24 $6,969,000
Cameron Heyward DE PIT 25 $6,969,000

Related:  2011 NFL 1st Round Draft Picks




Category: NFL Free Agency


Article by: Michael Ginnitti

Managing Editor of Spotrac