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The Brandt Report

2019 NFL season: Finding homes for top remaining free agents

Free agency frenzy is a distant memory now -- but there are still plenty of unsigned players on the market who can help a team win in 2019. Below is my list of the top remaining unsigned free agents, along with the destination that would be the best fit for their services.

Morris Claiborne, CB, to the New York Jets. The Jets have one of the thinnest cornerback crews in the NFL, and I would not be surprised to see them bring back Claiborne, a former first-round pick who revived his career in New York over the past two seasons after a disappointing first stint with the Cowboys. In 2018, Claiborne recorded 57 tackles, 14 passes defensed and two picks, including one touchdown -- all career highs. The coaching staff has changed over, and there is reported interest in Claiborne from Tampa, where Claiborne's old head coach, Todd Bowles, is the new defensive coordinator. But I should think Claiborne would still fit in the Gregg Williams-helmed unit in New York.

Jay Ajayi, RB, to the Indianapolis Colts. The question of whether or not Ajayi will be ready by Week 1 after suffering an ACL tear last October could be tempering interest in a veteran back who averaged a robust 5.1 yards per carry over 11 games with the Eagles in 2017 and '18. Presuming Ajayi is able to return to health, he would be a logical fit with the Colts, given his familiarity with head coach Frank Reich. (Reich was Ajayi's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, where he was traded by Miami in '17.) Only six people in NFL history have more 200-yard rushing games than Ajayi (three), and when he's 100 percent, he can contribute as both a runner and a receiver. It would make sense for the Colts to give him a look.

Corey Liuget, DT, to the Los Angeles Chargers. Liuget told Sirius XM NFL Radio that he would be open to re-signing with the Chargers after the Bolts -- with whom he's spent the entirety of his eight-season career thus far -- chose not to exercise an option that would have necessitated a $9.5 million cap hit. The 29-year-old Liuget lost 10 games last season (to suspension, for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, and a knee injury), and he hasn't played consecutive 16-game seasons since 2013-14. But lingering questions persist along the Chargers' defensive line. At this point in the calendar year, the price could be right for the team to welcome back the player it selected 18th overall in 2011.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, to the New York Giants. The Giants need to improve on their 28th-ranked red-zone offense from 2018, and the big-bodied Benjamin (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) could potentially help them do so. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and offensive coordinator Mike Shula know Benjamin well, as they were with the Panthers when that team selected Benjamin 28th overall. They should also have a strong handle on the weaknesses of a player whose production has plummeted steadily since then. Benjamin topped 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie, but more or less disappeared over the past two seasons, scraping together just over 1,000 combined yards while changing teams twice (he was traded to Buffalo in '17, waived by the Bills last year and spent three games in Kansas City). With Odell Beckham Jr. gone, New York needs receiver depth. Might Gettleman and Shula's familiarity with Benjamin help him get his career back on track?

Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, to the Green Bay Packers. Wilkerson endured quite the fall from grace after notching a career-high 12.0 sacks and reaching the Pro Bowl in 2015 with the Jets. The former first-round pick signed a five-year, $85 million extension with New York, failed to crack the five-sack mark in either of the next two seasons and was released. Reunited with former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine (they were in New York together in 2011 and '12) on the Packers last season, Wilkerson showed some signs of life before landing on injured reserve with an ankle injury in October. Picking back up where they left off in Green Bay would make sense for both parties, though his availability could be in question following his DWI arrest in June.

Nick Perry, OLB, to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphinsshowed interest in the former Packer earlier this offseason, but no contract has resulted yet. It might behoove Miami to make a renewed push for Perry, considering none of the Dolphins' returning defenders registered more than three sacks in 2018. Perry couldn't top that total last season either, recording 1.5 sacks before going on injured reserve in November with a knee injury. But he's just one year removed from a seven-sack campaign (he totaled 18 in 2016-17) and two years removed from signing a five-year extension in Green Bay. Perhaps defensive-minded coach Brian Flores can help the 29-year-old Perry return to form.

Tre Boston, S, to the San Francisco 49ers. Boston remains unsigned deep into the offseason despite coming off a productive 2018 campaign (79 tackles and three picks) for the Cardinals. San Francisco will be without Jimmie Ward, who is dealing with a broken collarbone, for much of the preseason, and Tarvarius Moore will face a learning curve as he converts from corner to safety. Boston is apparently content to wait for the best deal, but it would make sense to see if the safety could be a fit for the Niners.

Eric Berry, S, to the Cleveland Browns.A lot has transpired since John Dorsey signed Berry to a six-year, $78 million extension with the Chiefs in February of 2017. Achilles and heel injuries limited Berry to four games (including the playoffs) in the past two seasons, including the 2018 AFC title game, when Berry struggled in coverage against Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Dorsey, meanwhile, ended up leaving Kansas City and taking on the Browns' rebuilding efforts. The 30-year-old Berry, who was released by the Chiefs this offseason, would bring leadership skills and savvy to a safety unit that currently includes just two other veterans (Damarious Randall and Morgan Burnett). The big question is whether the three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler will be able to stay healthy for an entire season.

Ryan Schraeder, OT, to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Falcons thought they'd solidified the right tackle position for the long haul when Schraeder signed a five-year extension in 2016, but the veteran struggled last season, to the point that he was benched for Ty Sambrailo, who landed an extension in February while Schraeder was released. Depending on the medical status of Russell Okung, which is still unknown following an injury suffered in June, the Chargers could be in the market for veteran help. Signing Schraeder to back up Trent Scott at right tackle would allow Los Angeles to move Sam Tevi to Okung's blind-side spot.

Jermey Parnell, OT, to the Houston Texans. The Texans need line help, and they should certainly be familiar with Parnell, who played for the division-rival Jaguars over the last four seasons. Though he'll turn 33 in July, he has appeared in 111 games over his eight-year career -- including 57 starts over the past four seasons -- and he could prove to be a better option on Houston's depth chart than Seantrel Henderson or rookie Max Scharping.

Allen Bailey, DE, to the New England Patriots. Bailey has made the rounds this offseason, reportedly visiting with the Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks and Patriots. Bailey has been in Kansas City since the Chiefs picked him in the third round in 2011, and his last season with the team was his best, as he racked up six sacks, two forced fumbles and this touchdown. New England has a history of signing versatile defensive linemen on the cheap, and the 30-year-old Bailey fits the profile.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The initial version of this article included Derrick Morgan, who announced his retirement after the post was published, and Michael Crabtree, who was pegged as a fit for the Chiefs prior to the NFL's announcement that it will not suspend Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill after its investigation of recent child abuse allegations.

Follow Gil Brandt on Twitter _@GilBrandt_.

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