To prepare for the start of NFL free agency, Bill Polian led a "front office" consisting of Insider analysts Gary Horton, Matt Williamson and Field Yates to evaluate every player scheduled to reach free agency in 2014. Breaking down each player using a similar system to the one Polian himself used as a general manager, each impending free agent was studied in four key areas (speed, production, injury concerns and character) and given an overall grade. The overall grade correlates to the term and financial commitment the player is expected to receive on the open market this offseason. For more on the grading methodology used in player evaluations, click here.
Who are the best-available unrestricted free agents in this year's class? We graded every player this offseason and have compiled below our list of guys who earned grades of A, A-minus and B-plus -- 14 in total. The grading scale translates as follows:
A: $6-plus million AAV (annual average value), three-plus years in term and/or guaranteed money
B: $2 million to $6 million AAV, two years or fewer in term and/or guaranteed money
C: $2 million or less AAV, two years or fewer in term and/or guaranteed money
D: Minimum salary, one-year contract
You can find all of our grades and analysis in the new Bill Polian Free-Agent Tracker, but here is our take on the best players who still remain on the market as of March 5:
Grade A Players
Players listed in alphabetical order by grade
Bennett has good length and a good motor, with good initial quickness to add to that. He can bend and bore, and he has the speed to get to the passer. He is a little limited as a run-stopper because of strength and is more of a situational player, but a good one. He is strictly a fit in a 4-3 front, though he's long enough to go inside in nickel situations.