Making a list of the best remaining NFL free agents in May is like trying to serve an ice cream sundae for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. It's the wrong time of year, no one's hungry and there's almost nothing left to put on it.
Yet here we are.
There are some interesting names still looking for NFL work two months after free agency began and a week after the draft. And while the timing may seem weird, the calendar actually has some relevance here. Starting in the second week of May, free-agent signings no longer count against teams' compensatory pick formula for next year.
So it's entirely possible that teams have been waiting until next week to forage around the pantry to see if there's a stray bag of M&Ms or Marshmallow Fluff that may just hit the spot. Here's a partial list of guys still out there and where they might fit:
Note: All ages are as of the beginning of the 2017 season.
Colin Kaepernick, QB
2016 team: San Francisco 49ers | Age: 29
We've been over this one. Kaepernick apparently wants to play, but so far no one has been interested. Could be his politics. Could be his career completion percentage of 59.8. Could be both. Could depend on who's making the decisions. At this point, he has to have given up hope of signing to be someone's starter. And you've heard chapter and verse about how no one wants a backup quarterback for whom you'd have to change the offense. But that sounds like lazy excuse-making, and at some point it will make sense for someone to take a chance on a backup with 58 career starts.
Other quarterbacks on the market: There was that thing a couple of months ago about Saints coach Sean Payton having breakfast or something with Johnny Manziel. And has anyone at all heard anything from Robert Griffin III?
2016 team: New England Patriots | Age: 30
Life comes at you fast. One minute you're capping an 18-touchdown season with a Super Bowl title, the next you're hoping the Giants don't draft a running back so they'll sign you. The Giants took a back in the fourth round, and that could mean their interest in Blount wanes. But he still fits there (and elsewhere) as a goal-line hammer and a vet who can teach some kids about pass protection.
Best fit: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But they're not alone. I had the Giants, Packers and Lions all here at one point and erased each.
2016 team: Pittsburgh Steelers | Age: 34
Drafting James Conner notwithstanding, Williams has been so valuable to the Steelers as a backup to Le'Veon Bell during suspensions and injuries that you have to think they bring him back at some point. At this stage of his career, he seems like a part of the fabric there.
Best fit: Pittsburgh Steelers.
Other running backs on the market: Former Giant, Raider and Jaguar Rashad Jennings seems busy with "Dancing with the Stars," which is probably where he belongs at this point in his career. Chris Johnson is out there looking for work, too.
Michael Floyd, WR
2016 team: New England Patriots | Age: 27
His late-season tryout with the Patriots went poorly, and they went with Brandin Cooks instead. Floyd could be looking at a suspension for the DUI arrest that led the Cardinals to cut him during the season, and that's almost certainly part of the reason he's having trouble finding work.
Victor Cruz, WR
2016 team: New York Giants | Age: 30
Cruz basically lost two whole seasons to injury before coming back and performing at a decent level for the Giants in 2016. He's not the star-caliber player he used to be, but he makes sense for some team looking to add depth.
Anquan Boldin, WR
2016 team: Detroit Lions | Age: 36
He turns 37 in October, but no one trains harder, and he still would want to keep playing if someone would have him. Boldin relishes the role of mentor to young receivers who work out with him in Miami in the offseason, and that role could be part of his sales pitch to an interested team.
Best fit: Carolina Panthers. Word on Boldin is that he doesn't want to be too far from home, so this would be on the outer radius of teams that would interest him. He just seems like the kind of guy who could help an inaccurate Cam Newton.
Other wide receivers on the market: Vincent Jackson has been replaced a few times over in Tampa Bay, but he's not retired yet. Josh Gordon isn't a free agent yet, but likely would be if he were reinstated from suspension.
Nick Mangold, C
2016 team: New York Jets | Age: 33
His only offers so far have been from teams that want him to switch positions and play guard. At 33, who wants to do that? You wonder if he'll follow former teammate D'Brickashaw Ferguson into retirement a year later.
Best fit: Los Angeles Rams. They already added one veteran offensive lineman (Andrew Whitworth) in free agency, and they have an opening in the middle of their line. And the weather out there is fantastic.
Ryan Clady, OT
2016 team: New York Jets | Age: 30
Ferguson's Jets replacement unsurprisingly showed he couldn't stay healthy, and he'll have to take a make-good deal somewhere until he does that.
Dan Williams, DT
2016 team: Oakland Raiders | Age: 30
Williams was a big free-agent pickup for Oakland a couple of years ago, but the Raiders cut him just before the draft and he's on the market a month before his 30th birthday. The Giants had interest when he was a free agent and could go back to that well if they don't think second-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson is ready to start right away at defensive tackle as Johnathan Hankins' replacement.
Best fit: New York Giants. They're in win-now mode and likely aren't going to count on a rookie to handle a major role on the defensive line.
Jared Odrick, DT
2016 team: Jacksonville Jaguars | Age: 29
The Jaguars cut Odrick for cap and other reasons (they couldn't agree on the specifics of his offseason rehab program), but he can play a couple of different positions on someone's defensive line, and teams are looking for pieces like that.
Best fit: Denver Broncos. They're still looking to add versatile depth pieces up front.
Darrelle Revis, CB
2016 team: New York Jets | Age: 31
Revis was cut by the Jets and might have to move to safety at this point in his career. He could be someone whose pedigree lands him one more shot ... perhaps in a familiar place?
Best fit: New England Patriots. Hey, it worked once.
Jason McCourty, CB
2016 team: Tennessee Titans | Age: 30
He was cut by the Titans after not living up to his big free-agent contract. His twin brother is making a push for the Patriots to sign him so they can play together.
Other defenders on the market: Veteran pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil still thinks he can help someone. Dwight Freeney is the Boldin of defense, and he usually signs just before or maybe even during the season. Former big-money corners Alterraun Verner and Brandon Flowers are available, too.