Organized team activities and minicamps are finished, so NFL players and coaches now can enjoy the closest thing they have to a summer vacation.
Some players already have been on vacation. Dozens of free agents are still unsigned and most of them will have to see how training camp shakes out before their phone rings. Every NFL team is looking for a discount, just like shoppers who use a coupon promo code.
Expect the ship to come in for these 10 players.
Anquan Boldin seemed content to sit back and relax through spring workouts and let the offers come to him when training camp rolls around.
That’s pretty much what he told Arizona Sports 98.7. Boldin turns 37 in October, but he caught 67 passes last season and led the Lions with eight touchdowns. The ship seems to have sailed with the Lions, but there could be several other teams looking for a veteran receiver who are interested in his services.
Boldin hasn’t caught less than 56 passes in his 14-year career, and that floor came in 2004. He’s caught at least 65 passes every year since earning a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2012. He told the Detroit Free Press that he doesn’t want to go too far from his home in Florida. Boldin could make a lot of sense for the Panthers, a team with a corps of enigmatic receivers.
Gary Barnidge had a breakout year in 2015 with 79 catches and nine touchdowns for the Browns. He slipped to 55 catches and two touchdowns in 2016, but it still dwarfed his pre-2015 career high of 13 receptions.
The tight end was infamously cut by the Browns the same day he welcomed rookie tight end David Njoku to the team via Twitter. The Browns just want to start over with young players. There’s no place for a veteran whose career is in any kind of decline even if there’s still some tread on the tires.
Barnidge, who turns 32 in September, has drawn interest from the Broncos, Bills, Jaguars and Panthers. He could find a place with a team that needs a tight end and has a realistic chance of winning in 2017.
Alterraun Verner could turn out to be a one-year wonder. The cornerback led the league with 23 passes defended in 2013 and had five interceptions for the Titans, earning a Pro Bowl berth and a four-year, $25.5 million contract with the Buccaneers.
Verner broke up just 20 passes and intercepted four in his three years with the Bucs, and was released in February. The 28-year-old worked out for the Jaguars in May but is still out of work. He doesn’t seem too worried about it, telling Sirius XM NFL Radio that he’s “confident” he’ll land somewhere before training camp.
Perhaps the security of a long-term deal took a little bit out of Verner.
Trent Cole is ninth on the active list with 90.5 career sacks. Unfortunately, only five of them came over the last two seasons after he signed with the Colts.
Cole was miscast as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Indianapolis after playing as a 4-3 end for 10 years in Philadelphia. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, with a career-high 12.5 sacks in each of those seasons.
The former fifth-round draft pick turns 35 next season, but he might have boosted his stock with two sacks in four games after returning from a back injury last season.
The Jets released Nick Mangold in February after 11 seasons. The seven-time Pro Bowl center was an early casualty of the team’s veteran purge.
The 33-year-old Mangold had ankle surgery in December, so his phone hasn’t exactly been lighting up. The only team he’s visited is the Ravens in early April. He left without signing, but as long as John Urschel is in line to start at center for the Ravens, Mangold will remain on the Ravens’ radar. They could be waiting to see how his ankle rehab progresses. The Baltimore Sun reported in May that it was taking “a lot longer” than expected.
If Mangold’s healing speeds up or if the center position becomes a glaring question mark for the Ravens, the former Jet could get a call.
Jared Odrick is another veteran jettisoned by a rebuilding team. It didn’t help that he was taking up $8.5 million in salary cap space following a season in which he played just six games and had one sack for the Jaguars, who cut him in February.
The defensive lineman had 5.5 sacks the year before after signing a five-year, $42.5 million contract with Jacksonville. He had 16.5 sacks in five years with the Dolphins.
Odrick might turn some teams off because, as he once told the MMQB, “people get blinded by the religion of football.” If a team wants someone who eats, sleeps and drinks football, the 29-year-old Odrick probably isn’t their guy.
But the 6’5″, 300-pounder has used his 34-inch arms to break up 15 passes in his career and he’s forced one fumble in each of the last four seasons. He was on the radar of the Giants, Eagles and Seahawks in April, and still could provide defensive line depth somewhere.
The Bills released Dan Carpenter in March after he missed six of his 25 field goal attempts in 2016. All of those misses were 40-yard attempts or longer, so the 31-year-old might be losing some distance in that leg. He’s made 84 percent of his field goal tries in his nine-year career, however. As the most accomplished kicker available, it would be surprising if Carpenter isn’t at least given a chance to compete for a job in training camp.
With new sheriff Sean McDermott in town, the Bills released Corey Graham in March with another year remaining on his contract.
A Buffalo native, Graham signed with the Bills in 2014 but failed in his quest to help his hometown team end its 18-year playoff drought. He turns 32 next month, and if he wants to keep playing he has durability going for him. He’s missed just three games in his career, all in 2007, his rookie season. Graham started all 16 games for the Bills in both 2015 and 2016. He had never started more than nine games in a season before that.
Graham is another remaining free agent who earned a ring with the Ravens in 2012. The safety has 15 career interceptions and 60 career passes defended, including nine last year. One of the reasons he’s still out there is because he’s probably too old to help out on special teams.
Corey Graham isn’t the only safety the Bills have kicked to the curb since Sean McDermott was hired as head coach.
Aaron Williams has struggled to regain the form of 2013, when he intercepted four passes and broke up 11. He’s been limited to eight games over the last two seasons because of neck injuries, but while Graham knows the end of his career could be right around the corner, Williams has no plans to walk away.
Once again I'm NOT retiring but I am going to return better than ever. Now, it's the waiting game ⏰ #TickTick
— Aaron Williams (@ajwilliams23) March 10, 2017
Williams has visited the Texans and Jaguars since the draft, and as a 27-year-old with the ability to play cornerback and safety he has some value.
Robert Griffin III
There are two unsigned quarterbacks who once captivated the NFL but have fallen on hard times.
Since Robert Griffin III stands up for the national anthem, he could catch on somewhere without any backlash. He’s thrown eight touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in his last 17 games, but considering how hard it is to find quarterbacks, he could be a backup somewhere. He’s still only 27.