It feels like most of the big free-agent dominoes in the NFL should have toppled by now.
Yet as teams approach the third and final week of the preseason, the free-agent market still offers huge names and—more importantly—players who can provide immediate upgrades to rosters.
These must-know names remain on the market for a variety of reasons. Some have injury concerns; others have production question marks. Some veterans presumably don't want to deal with the grind of training camp.
Regardless of the reasoning, it wouldn't be a shock to see the best remaining players find homes while teams trim down rosters after the third preseason game. These are the players we can't believe are available, plus a best fit projection for each.
K.J. Wright, LB
Linebacker isn't a premium position in the NFL compared to pass-rusher and cornerback, but it's surprising K.J. Wright has yet to find a home.
The 32-year-old has been a steady presence in Seattle since 2011, missing more than three games in a season just once. He's recorded 941 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, six interceptions and 11 forced fumbles.
Last year, Wright posted 86 total tackles, two sacks and 10 passes defended in 16 games, which earned him a 75.3 Pro Football Focus grade, firmly in the "starter" bracket of the grading process.
Wright is past the dreaded age of 30, but the signs of slowing down aren't dramatic, and he's reliable. A contender like Green Bay could use his experience in the middle of a multiple front to help others, never mind the production he'd offer.
Best Fit: Green Bay Packers
Mitchell Schwartz, OT
Mitchell Schwartz might be the best free agent left on the market.
It's a bit strange he's unsigned given the premium placed on quality offensive line play in the NFL. But Schwartz was a casualty of the line rebuild in Kansas City after injuries derailed the team's Super Bowl LV appearance.
If he has fully recovered from back surgery, he's only 32 years old and had a 74.7 PFF grade last season in 357 snaps. The 2019 season offers a better look at what Schwartz brings, as he had an 84.0 grade with no sacks permitted over 1,046 snaps.
A steady rock of a player who hadn't missed time until the 2020 season, Schwartz has the upside to function as one of the NFL's best right tackles. After years of contention in Kansas City, he'll probably want to do so again, so providing an upgrade in a locale like Pittsburgh for a shaky line would make sense.
Best Fit: Pittsburgh Steelers