Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season concluded last night with a wild finish. After an exciting first weekend of NFL play, unfortunately, there were plenty of injuries to go around as well. Star players on both offense and defense fell victim to the injury bug as early as Week 1.
As a result, some of the league’s biggest names who are still free agents may finally get their opportunity to take the field. Here are the top three names for whom franchises are likely to come calling for.
Top 3 available NFL free agents
#1 – Todd Gurley, RB
Running back Todd Gurley, who was once the best player in the game, is still a free agent. Gurley, who is just 27, was the NFL Rookie of the year in 2015 and NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2017 with the Los Angeles Rams.
He was released by the Rams in March 2020 and signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, where he played the 2020 season with a career-low 678 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
Gurley has reportedly been in talks with the Baltimore Ravens as they continue to have their running back room devastated by injuries. But the Ravens have continued to sign other available free agents. Gurley’s previous issues with his knees remain a concern and could be the main reason a team hasn’t taken a chance on him yet.
#2 – Cam Newton, QB
Cam Newton is a former NFL MVP who led the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl 50 and may have won a championship if not for Peyton Manning and a tough Denver Broncos team. But after his most recent stint with the New England Patriots, which consisted of a lackluster 2020 season and then being released by the team a few weeks ago when the Patriots turned to rookie Mac Jones, there are some questions for teams considering taking a punt on the eccentric QB.
One of those questions is whether Newton is a team player. He himself said that the Patriots didn’t retain him as the backup to Jones because they didn’t believe he would welcome a backup role.
The Washington Football Team is in need of a quarterback after Ryan Fitzpatrick went down with a hip injury. Would they or any other NFL team be willing to take a chance on Newton?
#3 – Quinton Dunbar, DB
A former undrafted free agent, Quinton Dunbar started his NFL career with five strong seasons in Washington. Due to off-field issues, he was placed on the NFL Commissioner’s exempt list last summer but did play six games for the Seattle Seahawks, who we was traded to.
Dunbar then suffered a knee injury that cut his season short. He signed with the Detroit Lions this summer but was released by the team just days later. Dunbar still has a lot of football left to play and could be a good replacement for one of the many defensive players who have unfortunately suffered injuries early in the season.