Training camp is just around the corner for NFL teams, which means the offseason is starting to wind down, but it’s not over. For teams that are still looking to upgrade their roster before the start of the season, there are still plenty of free agents available that can help a team. Here are the top offensive free agents that are still out there and capable of helping a team in 2013:
Deion Branch – He’s certainly not the player he used to be, and he had just 16 catches last season, but Branch isn’t done just yet. For a team out there with a youthful corps of wide receivers, Branch would be a great veteran presence and provide a good mentor for the younger players; and he can still catch a few passes as well.
Dallas Clark – With the impact tight ends are able to make on the game today, how is Clark still unemployed? He won’t play every down, but as a backup tight end that can still catch the ball and average close to 10 yards per reception, he’d be a great addition.
Chris Cooley – He hasn’t played much the past two seasons, but he should be fully healthy by now, and he’s still young enough to play a prominent role in an NFL offense. If a team is willing to give Cooley a chance, he won’t disappoint.
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Braylon Edwards – Last year did not go well for Edwards, and there aren’t a lot of reasons to be optimistic about his future in the league, but he’s too young and too talented to be left out there. Some team out there should at least be willing to give him a look during training camp to see what he brings to the table at this stage in his career.
Peyton Hillis – He’s not the fastest or the flashiest running back in the NFL, but Hillis has a lot of versatility and brings a lot to the table. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be on a roster by the start of the regular season, because he’s absolutely capable of contributing something positive to an NFL roster.
Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs has had too many good NFL seasons to be ignored. There has to be a home out there for a part-time power back that can still grind out the tough yards and soften up a defense.
Willis McGahee – His long history of injury is a concern, especially the knee injury that ended his season in 2012, but McGahee proved over the past two seasons with Denver that he can still be a productive running back in this league, possibly even a starter. Even if he has to start the season on the PUP list, signing McGahee is worth the risk for any team that doesn’t have two running backs that it trusts.
Javon Ringer – Ringer hasn’t done much lately, but he still fits the mold of a useful change-of-pace back that can also return kicks. He may not have size, but he has speed, which you can’t teach, and that makes him worthy of another chance.
Michael Turner – Teams are right to be cautious after Turner’s production dropped over 500 yards from 2011 to 2012, but that doesn’t mean his career is over, it just means that his role needs to be adjusted. He scored double digit touchdowns all five seasons he was in Atlanta, and in the right situation with the right team, Turner is capable of finding the end zone 10 more times in 2013.
Vince Young – A long time has passed since he was rookie of the year, and Young may not deserve another chance, but there are still a few teams out there that could use another quarterback. Young has plenty of experience, and he is still capable of being a backup quarterback in the NFL. So any team out there that doesn’t feel confident about their backup heading into training camp should consider giving Young a look during the preseason.