As you are likely well aware, not every NFL player who will hit the field in 2017 is currently on a roster. Plenty of veteran talent is still available for the taking.
While many are still waiting to see if Colin Kaepernick will find a new team, there are several other impact players whose prospects of signing another contract are more certain.
Here are seven remaining offensive free agents you shouldn’t be surprised to see finding paydirt at least once in 2017.
Gary Barnidge, TE
After being cut following the first round of the draft, Barnidge hasn’t had much reported interest in his services, but all that can change with an injury or two. The 31-year-old proved to be a capable pass-catcher playing with below-average quarterbacks in Cleveland the last two seasons. As a 6-foot-6 tight end with reliable hands who can contribute in the red zone, he should find a job before the season ends.
Anquan Boldin, WR
Entering his 15th season, Boldin will likely delay signing with a team until later in the summer, as his 36-year-old body has already endured the training camp grind plenty of times already. Boldin has reached the end zone at least once in every season he’s played, including eight times in 2016. His veteran leadership, as well as his effectiveness on third downs and in the red zone, will most certainly be desired by at least one team before the season starts.
Eddie Royal, WR
You know that guy who just goes off for one or two big games every season and then disappears? That’s Royal. The 2008 second-round pick has managed to break off some surprisingly productive games throughout his nine-year career, so don’t be surprised when he catches a touchdown in the first quarter of Week 3 and you realize he’s still in the league, again.
Rashad Jennings, RB
The winner of the latest “Dancing With The Stars” said on Saturday that he expects to sign with a team before the season begins after taking somewhat of a break from football since his February release. Jennings, 32, has scored at least two touchdowns in each of the last six seasons. He may have to sit tight as a backup to start the year, but with injuries being a regularity at his position, he should see a decent amount of carries later in the season.
Jacob Tamme, TE
Through his nine NFL seasons, Tamme has shown very few top-level skills, yet he always seems to find the end zone at least once per year. He’s had the benefit of working exclusively with Peyton Manning or Matt Ryan, which may endear him more to teams with elite quarterbacks. The tight end groups in Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Carolina, and Indianapolis are all one injury away from calling up Tamme and allowing him to add to his fortunate resume.
Khiry Robinson, RB
Once the season starts, at least one team’s running backs will catch the injury bug and a need for cheap, free-agent rushers will arise. While speedy, receiving backs are becoming a dime a dozen, power runners like Robinson are rarer. At 27 years old, the former Jet and Saint can still take the wear and tear that a short-yardage back needs to endure in plunging through the bodies stacked up at the goal line.
Shaun Hill, QB
While he never actually threw a touchdown (or an interception) in his past two seasons with the Vikings, the 37-year-old is the most likely candidate to be called in for a late-season start when some unlucky club endures a slew of injuries to its passers. Hill has made a career out of doing his best with whatever a team gives him to work with. He doesn’t need weeks to figure out a playbook and he probably won’t win you the game, but if someone gets open in the end zone, he can get them the ball.
(Photos Courtesy: Action Images)