If you missed the start of the countdown, head on over here for an explanation of how we put this list together and what rankings we’re using. If you’ve already read part one, and part two let’s continue the countdown once again starting in reverse order.READ MORE: Parkland first responder weighs in on Uvalde massacre: ‘It’s gut wrenching’
15) Jeremy Maclin WR Philadelphia Eagles– Maclin bet on himself before last season by signing only a one year deal with the Eagles worth $6 million dollars after missing all of 2013 with a torn ACL. That bet is about to pay off in a BIG way this offseason after Maclin had a career year as the number one wide receiver in Chip Kelly’s high flying offense. Maclin caught 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns averaging over 15 yards per catch. The Eagles have more than enough money to retain him and definitely need his skills at wide receiver. Another team that I think would fit Maclin’s possession style of game well is the Kansas City Chiefs. The other connection there of course is his former head coach Andy Reid is currently the head man in KC.
14) Jerry Hughes DE Buffalo Bills– Hughes had a career resurrection in Buffalo the last two seasons tallying 20 sacks for the Bills. The biggest question that seems to still be attached to Hughes is how much of his production came as the benefit of playing in that Buffalo front that includes dominating forces like Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus. That said, Hughes could be coveted by a couple of teams and one that certainly makes sense is the Atlanta Falcons. Dan Quinn coming in as the new head coach will want to build a similar pass rush to the one that he had in Seattle and Hughes could certainly help that building process.
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13) Pernell McPhee OLB Baltimore Ravens– McPhee will continue the trend of spot duty outside linebackers in Baltimore getting rewarded with huge deals elsewhere that former Raven Paul Kruger started in the 2013 off season. McPhee had 7.5 sacks this past season and has had 17.5 sacks over his career. He has only started 6 games so any team that signs him will be betting that his production will increase along with his playing time. This is a deep edge rusher class, we’ve already covered a couple of the guys and where they could end up. I think McPhee would be the main target for the Colts.
12) Mike Iupati G San Francisco 49ers– Iupati is considered one of the best guards in the game, and the 49ers would love to keep him if they weren’t so cap strapped. So instead, I think the 27 year old ends up in the AFC East with the New York Jets or the Buffalo Bills. The Bills with Rex Ryan are going to want to pound the rock and Iupati would be a big upgrade over either of the guards they currently have. The Jets can offer Iupati the most money with how much room they have underneath the cap. It really comes down to money versus wins. The Bills were 9-7 last year with bad QB play and a below average running game. Adding McCoy at the running back spot and putting Iupati in front of him to clear the way could add another win to that record.
11) Nick Fairley DT Detroit Lions– Fairley is a tough player to predict performance wise. He had a dominating year this past season paired with Suh in the middle of the Lions line and showed the kind of ability the Lions were always hoping that he had. The problem is he has had weight issues and work ethic issues throughout his career and that led to the Lions not picking up his option for next season making him a free agent now. I think the best fit for Fairley would be to stay in Detroit under Jim Caldwell and Teryl Austin who clearly got the most out of him this past season and if the Lions can’t re-sign their other big free agent, they’re definitely going to need Fairley to help fill that void.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow numbers 6-10 will come your way and on Monday we’ll get to the top 5 so that you’re ready for Tuesday and the opening of the free agent bidding war.MORE NEWS: 'Hidden Worlds': An immersive voyage into deepest oceans & mesmerizing mangroves through state-of-the-art technology
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.