Both the NFL Draft and the meat of free agency is in the rear-view mirror. This means training camp rosters are largely set. However, some unsigned free agents could still move before Week 1. These are the teams that would be wise to sign them.
Jay Ajayi, RB
The 26-year-old tore his ACL in October. So, understandably, Jay Ajayi’s status for Week 1 is uncertain, which likely depressed his value on the open market this offseason. If he can get healthy early in the season, he could have an impact on a team looking for a viable running back.
With a weak running game, the Colts are a good place for Ajayi. Head Coach Frank Reich has a history with the running back, who was traded to the Eagles in 2017 when Reich was the team’s offensive coordinator. Ajayi is just three seasons removed from a 1,200-yard season on the ground. Can he return from his ACL injury? Reich’s system could help him.
Eric Berry, S
Eric Berry may be the best defender left in free agency. Unfortunately, heel and Achilles injuries from the last few seasons could make teams question whether he is the same player elected to five Pro Bowls in nine seasons with the Chiefs.
Age is also not on Berry’s side (the former first-round pick is 30). But the veteran can provide leadership to a young defensive unit. With this in mind, the Browns should sign Berry, who the Chiefs released this offseason. Cleveland is a trendy pick to make the playoffs this season — and Berry could be the missing piece.
Jermey Parnell, OT
Offensive tackle isn’t a sexy position that gets a lot of media attention, but tackles make a difference. Veteran Jermey Parnell started 13 games for the Jaguars last season, but the free agent may be a good choice for another AFC South team.
The Texans have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. They need all the help they can get to protect franchise QB Deshaun Watson. Parnell is on the backside of his career at age 33. But he is a veteran presence who can help a bad offensive line in Houston. The Texans should be familiar with how he plays because he spent the last four seasons on the division-rival Jaguars.
Michael Crabtree, WR
Michael Crabtree doesn’t get as much work as he once did, but the nearly-32-year-old veteran can still make some plays. (He had eight receiving touchdowns in 2017.) He’s no longer a No. 1 receiver, but he can provide depth for a team lacking at the position.
One team in that position is the Chiefs. They have one of the best QBs in Patrick Mahomes. But Kansas City faces uncertainty surrounding their receivers. Three-time Pro Bowler Tyreek Hill is potentially facing a suspension for violating the league’s code of conduct. The Chiefs have high hopes for making the Super Bowl this season. If Hill misses time they’ll need all the help they can get in the receiving game.