The escalation of an AFC arms race obscured the feeding frenzy of offensive tackles, safeties and high-end cornerbacks during the first few days of free agency.
Around The League's top 15 free agents already have been signed, but plenty of players ranked in the top 50 players in our free-agent tracker are prime for the taking.
Follow all the developments on the NFL's open market with our up-to-the-minute tracking of 2014's free agents. **More...**
The up-to-date tracker not only lists every NFL free agent with visits and potential landing spots, but also breaks down the signings and departures of each team. Be sure to check it out for a comprehensive overview of free agency's first week.
Below is our current list of the best available free agents, along with a status update on each player.
TIER 1: Impact starters
1. Alex Mack, C, Cleveland Browns: Four teams have shown varying levels of interest in the Browns' transition player, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The Colts were one of those teams, but their interest might have taken a hit with their signing of Phil Costa.
* 2. Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers:* Finley plans to sign with Seattle, but the parties are in a holding pattern until his medical clearance comes through. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the tight end is "at least two months away and maybe several months" from being able to sign with a new team. It's an interesting pairing for a team that under-utilized the tight end in the passing game;
TIER 2: Starters with questions
TIER 3: Effective in the right role
4. Davin Joseph, G, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joseph met with the Rams, but that position might be closed with the Rodger Saffold re-signing. There's always Miami.
5. LeGarrette Blount, RB, New England Patriots: The late-season surge hasn't canceled out Blount's reputation as a one-dimensional back best suited to a power-running offense. The Patriots still seem like his best fit, but Blount will visit the Steelers, according to National Football Post.
6. Chris Clemons, S, Miami Dolphins: Clemons' market has been quiet, but he's now the best available at his position after a half-dozen safeties screamed off the board on the first day of free agency. CBS Sports reports that Clemons was set to visit the Lions.
7. Travelle Wharton, G, Carolina Panthers: Wharton is still contemplating joining Jordan Gross in retirement. Per the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings expressed interest in the guard, but with Charlie Johnson returning to Minnesota, Wharton's future is uncertain.
8. Sidney Rice, WR, Seattle Seahawks: After losing Golden Tate to the Lions, the Seahawks are now interested in bringing back Rice at a lower salary, Rapoport reports. Rapoport adds that the Jets and Saints are interested in Rice's services.
9. Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets: We're convinced Holmes will either bounce back with a new team or fall out of the league entirely by 2015. There's been no hint of interest since his release.
10. Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Austin is only one year removed from catching 66 passes for 943 yards. Don't write him off just yet.
11. Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota Vikings: The six-time Pro Bowl pick can help out as a rotational lineman on a contender, but there are no reports of interest in his services.
12. Anthony Spencer, DE, Dallas Cowboys: Spencer is coming off microfracture knee surgery, but has drawn interest from the Redskins. In addition, the 30-year-old was slated to meet with the Giants, Rapoport reports. He's also visited the Rams and is still in talks with several teams, per CBS Sports.
13. Josh Freeman, QB, Minnesota Vikings: It's hardly a shock that Freeman has faced a cold market after torpedoing his value throughout 2013. However, Albert Breer reports that the Raiders are looking at the quarterback.
14. Brian De La Puente, C, New Orleans Saints: The former journeyman is one of the candidates to replace David Baas as the Giants' center.
15. Carlos Rogers, CB, San Francisco 49ers: His best bet might be a return to the Redskins as a slot cornerback.
16. Asante Samuel, CB, Atlanta Falcons: Now 33 and coming off a disappointing season plagued by injuries, Samuel wil have to wait for younger, safer cornerbacks to sign before he finds a suitor.
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17. Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans: Daniels could end up as Jermichael Finley's replacement in Green Bay or reunite with Gary Kubiak in Baltimore. He's also visiting the Redskins.
18. Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans: Britt reportedly has four to five teams on his trail. They must be willing to overlook his 2013 game tape in favor of his pedigree. His first meeting was with old coach Jeff Fisher in St. Louis; Britt has since visited the Patriots and the Redskins will host him afterward. The Panthers are also in the mix, per Fox Sports.