NFL training camps don’t start until mid to late July, but the NFL Vegas Odds for week 1 are already out and this is the time that teams load up their roster before they have to make cuts later in the Summer. Therefore it’s somewhat surprising to see the names that are still on the available free agent list, a group that includes pro-bowlers, Super Bowl winners, and even a couple of potential Hall of Famers.
Some free agents are still available because they are mulling their playing futures, others because teams are telling them their playing futures by not making the phone call. Here is a list of available free agents as we head into about a month away from training camp.
Rob Gronkowski, TE
It would seem that Gronk is either going to resign with the Bucs for a third season or head off into the sunset – or the WWE or something. Gronkowski looked done with the NFL for good when Tom Brady announced his retirement – but Brady being away from the game lasted 40 days as he returned to Tampa Bay. Gronkowski is still just 33 years old and has only missed five games in the two years since his 2019 retirement season.
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR
Beckham, Jr. being on the free agency list isn’t a surprise, as he’s coming off a Super Bowl win but one that resulted in a torn ACL. Beckham, Jr. may just spend the year rehabbing and enjoying becoming a father for the first time and then weigh his options for 2023.
Duane Brown, OT
Brown is getting a little long in the tooth at 36 years old, but he started all 17 games last season with Seattle and made his 5th Pro Bowl appearance. You would think a one or two-year contract will be coming Brown’s way as teams start developing injuries in training camp because solid offensive tackles are hard to come by.
Riley Reiff, OT
Another veteran that teams will likely take a flier on as the offseason progresses is Reiff, who missed the Bengals run to the Super Bowl last season after suffering an ankle injury in week 14. He gave up 4 sacks in 12 games with Cincinnati, not bad after switching to right tackle after spending his entire career on the left side.
Trey Flowers, LB
Some team is going to get a great discount on Trey Flowers, the former Patriot and Lion who is a 2X Super Bowl champion. Flowers was cut by Detroit in the offseason, not because of his ability – but his availability as he was injured during week 8 in 2020 and also missed the entire 2021 season on injured reserve as well. That history of ailments is a concern, but Flowers is also just turning 29 in August.
We will see if any of these players find a home and if some team will look back at their signing as one of the most crucial aspects of their 2022 success.