While most of the biggest names hitting the free agency market in the 2023 offseason have already been signed to their new teams, many players still have slipped under the radar and remain unsigned for one reason or another. Some of these players have the potential to make a real impact on whichever team ends up pulling the trigger on signing them. While a handful of big-name veterans are still waiting for deals to come their way, we will focus on the lesser-known free agents that could make a huge difference in 2023.
Before he signed with the Cleveland Browns four years ago, Hunt was considered one of the top backs in the NFL. After sitting behind Nick Chubb and developing his game to fit the Browns’ offense better, Hunt is a much more versatile back. Last season, he had a very rough season with a career low in both yards per carry and rushing touchdowns. However, this can be explained away by Chubb staying healthy this season, taking up a lion’s share of the carries, and Hunt never really getting the chance to get into a groove. If he finds a landing spot that will allow him to be more involved in the offense, there is a strong chance we will see a huge bounce-back year from him in 2023.
While his game has taken a step back from his Pro Bowl season in 2017, Yannick Ngakoue could prove to be a treasured addition to a contender’s defensive line this season. While he struggles to defend against the run, he is still an elite pass rusher, accounting for 9.5 sacks last season. With some of the most successful offenses in the league becoming more passing-oriented, has the potential to be a great value signing in 2023.
Despite Wagner is one of the most talked about free agents still on the board, the fact that he remains unsigned indicates that teams are undervaluing him. While he is no longer the same player from the “Legion of Boom” Seattle Seahawks, he was still a key contributor to the Super Bowl-winning Las Angeles Rams in 2020. Last season, he was a member of the All-Pro second team, and barring his outrageous contractual demands, there is no reason why he is still unsigned.
Rock Ya-Sin is one of the few remaining veteran corners on the board. He is coming off of an incredible year with the Las Vegas Raiders, in which he allowed a career-best 82.6 QBR in coverage. While he struggles in zone coverage, he is elite in man and would provide any team that signs him with a physical corner. There are injury concerns as he has yet to make it through an entire season. However, he will likely have a low asking price and be well worth the risk.
Marcus Peters is coming from a shaky year that ended in an injury. However, he has a track record of proven success in the NFL. He has three Pro Bowl appearances to his name, can still make plays, and is one of the few remaining starting caliber corners in free agency. While there is a fair amount of risk involved with him being 30 years old and coming off of an injury, if he is able even to show flashes of his peak throughout the season, he will be well worth signing.
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