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Top remaining NFL free agent target for each team

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hundreds of players were added to the NFL free agent market this week as teams cut their rosters from 80 to 53. There were several surprising releases, including former Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round pick O.J. Howard being handed his walking papers by the Buffalo Bills.

With the 2022 NFL season now two weeks away, teams will still be scrambling to solidify their rosters. That includes playoff contenders such as the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, both of whom have a massive need along the offensive line.

Below, we look at the top-10 remaining NFL free agents and their ideal landing spots. We will also list one free-agent target for each team at the bottom.

Related: Top NFL free agents for 2023

Nate Solder, left tackle

nfl free agents: nate solder
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  • Ideal landing spot: Las Vegas Raiders

A former first-round pick of the Patriots back in 2011, Solder performed at a high level in New England for seven seasons. He ultimately signed a whopping four-year, $62 million deal with the New York Giants ahead of the 2018 season. Things didn’t go swimmingly for Solder in four seasons with the team. That included opting out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID.

Solder, 34, has started 16 games in each of the past four seasons he’s played. He can be a good right tackle or swing tackle option. That’s where the Raiders come into play. Right now, they are slated to start rookie Thayer Munford at right tackle following the decision to move off 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood and Brandon Parker’s season -ending injury.

Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive end

nfl free agents: jason pierre-paul
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  • Ideal landing spot: New York Giants

After earning a Pro Bowl spot with the Buccaneers in 2020, Pierre-Paul put up a career-worst performance with 2.5 sacks this past season. He’s 33 years old and no longer the same player that saw him earn consecutive Pro Bowl appearances earlier in his career with the Giants. However, there’s certainly a track record of success.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul stats (2010-21): 164 QB hits, 122 tackles for loss, 91.5 sacks, 21 forced fumbles

Why not return to Jersey to end his career? The Giants have a need out on the edge with stud rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux sidelined to injury to open the season. Pierre-Paul would also act as a solid veteran presence for both Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari if he were to return to the Giants.

Related: NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Will Fuller, wide receiver

nfl free agents: will fuller, houston texans
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  • Ideal landing spot: Cleveland Browns

At one point earlier in his career, Fuller was considered a major deep threat. The former Notre Dame standout is still averaging nearly 15 yards per catch since he entered the NFL back in 2016. Unfortunately, injuries have caught up to him. Fuller missed all but two games in his first (and only season) with the Miami Dolphins with a broken thumb.

  • Will Fuller stats (2020): 53 receptions, 879 yards, 8 TD, 71% catch rate

This performance came with Fuller catching passes from new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson when they were teammates in Houston. There’s an obvious connection here. Cleveland also has a need at wide receiver behind the recently-acquired Amari Cooper. This seems to be a match made in heaven despite Watson being suspended for the first 11 games of the season.

Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle

nfl free agents: ndamukong suh
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  • Ideal landing spot: Las Vegas Raiders

Once one of the better interior pass rushers in the game, Suh has taken a step back in recent seasons. Last year with the Buccaneers, the five-time Pro Bowler did return to form some by registering 13 quarterback hits and six sacks. It’s led to him drawing interest from the Cleveland Browns and Las Vegas Raiders, among other teams.

We’re hear to say that Vegas makes the most sense. It has a pair of elite edge rushers in Patrick Graham’s defense in the form of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. Adding someone like Suh to the mix would give these Raiders one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

Related: 3 possible Ndamukong Suh landing spots in NFL free agency

Cole Beasley, wide receiver

cole beasley, buffalo bills
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
  • Ideal landing spot: Dallas Cowboys

An embattled figure last season due to some off-field controversy, Beasley found himself released by the Bills after three years. On the field, he’s proven to be among the most-consistent slot receivers in the game. That’s not hyperbole.

  • Cole Beasley stats (2020-21): 164 receptions, 1,660 yards, 75% catch rate

Beasley’s former Cowboys team traded Amari Cooper and lost Cedrick Wilson in free agency. Meanwhile, Michael Gallup is slated to miss Week 1 as he recovers from injury and James Washington was just recently placed on injured reserve . Bringing Beasley back to Big D after a three-year hiatus makes a ton of sense.

Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2022

J.C. Trettter, center

san francisco 49ers sign jc tretter
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  • Ideal landing spot: San Francisco 49ers

An eight-year veteran, Tretter has started 90 games throughout his career. That includes 16 games in each of the past five seasons with the Cleveland Browns. The veteran seems to think that his role with the NFLPA has impacted his ability to latch on with a team.

But with two weeks remaining until the regular season, one Super Bowl contender should come calling. That comes in the form of a San Francisco 49ers squad that is going to struggle big time on the interior of their offensive line. With all of three starts under his belt in four NFL seasons, Jake Brendel is slated to be under center in front of youngster Trey Lance Week 1. That can’t be seen as a good thing for Kyle Shanahan and Co.

Joe Haden, cornerback

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
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  • Ideal landing spot: Cincinnati Bengals

Having already starred for the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North, Haden might want to think about making it a trifecta. Despite earning a trip to the Super Bowl last season, Cincinnati has issues at cornerback. Any time someone like Eli Apple is a top-three player at that position, trouble is abound.

A three-time Pro Bowl performer, the 33-year-old Haden fell off the map last season with Pittsburgh (100.1 QB rating allowed). However, he was still playing at a high level as recent as the 2020 campaign (75.9 QB rating allowed). Cincinnati should take a swing and see if he’s able to return to form.

Related: Potential fits for Odell Beckham Jr. in NFL free agency

Jason Peters, offensive tackle

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
  • Ideal landing spot: Dallas Cowboys

The torn hamstring that star left tackle Tyron Smith suffered during training camp has put Dallas in a less-than-stellar position heading into Week 1. It’s the second-most important position for Dallas on offense with consistent protection needed in front of Dak Prescott.

With Peters in the mix, rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith could move to either a swing tackle role or back inside as the rookie gets his footing in the NFL. He could also transition to right tackle should current starter Terence Steele struggle in that role. Peters is a nine-time Pro Bowler and performed well for the Chicago Bears a season ago. This just makes too much sense.

Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) against the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Ideal landing spot: Tennessee Titans

Let’s be clear here. OBJ will not be ready to make an impact until late in the season after suffering a torn ACL in the Super Bowl this past February. That’s the only reason he remains unsigned. It also means only legitimate Super Bowl contenders would even have interest in him.

Enter into the equation a Titans squad that traded A.J. Brown in a cost-cutting move during the 2022 NFL Draft. It needs more proven weapons for a regressed Ryan Tannehill on offense. Short of that, Tennessee will be relying too much on running back Derrick Henry. Beckham Jr. would be a nice addition for late in the season.

Cam Newton, quarterback

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
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  • Ideal landing spot: Las Vegas Raiders

We focused on the Raiders’ offensive line issues above. This could have an impact on starting quarterback Derek Carr’s health. After trading Nick Mullens, Vegas has Jarrett Stidham is QB2 in Sin City. His built-in relationship with head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler played a role in that.

Despite this, Stidham doesn’t have the experience to lead a playoff contender should Carr go down with a long-term injury. Also familiar with McDaniels’ system during his time with New England, Newton would make a ton of sense for the Raiders as QB behind Carr.

Related: Top NFL QBs of 2022

Ideal NFL free agent signing for each team

  • Arizona Cardinals: Xavier Rhodes
  • Atlanta Falcons: Josh Rosen
  • Baltimore Ravens: T.Y Hilton
  • Buffalo Bills: Brandon Williams
  • Carolina Panthers: Tim Boyle
  • Chicago Bears: Ereck Flowers
  • Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Haden
  • Cleveland Browns: Will Fuller
  • Dallas Cowboys: Jason Peters
  • Denver Broncos: Albert Wilson
  • Detroit Lions: Anthony Hitchens
  • Green Bay Packers: DeSean Jackson
  • Houston Texans: Chris Harris
  • Indianapolis Colts: David Johnson
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Linval Joseph
  • Kansas City Chiefs: Trae Waynes
  • Las Vegas Raiders: Nate Solder
  • Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Jackson
  • Los Angeles Rams: Emmanuel Sanders
  • Miami Dolphins: Landon Collins
  • Minnesota Vikings: Colin Kaepernick
  • New England Patriots: Dont’a Hightower
  • New Orleans Saints: Jaquiski Tartt
  • New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul
  • New York Jets: Dee Ford
  • Philadelphia Eagles: Jarrad Davis
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: Eric Fisher
  • San Francisco 49ers: J.C. Tretter
  • Seattle Seahawks: Tarik Cohen
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kevin King
  • Tennessee Titans: Odell Beckham Jr.
  • Washington Commanders: Lynn Bowden