Schefter: Top 5 NFL free agents for 2010

ESPN’s Adam Schefter breaks down the top 5 free agents in this year’s class.

1. Julius Peppers, DE, Carolina Panthers
Should Carolina not tag Peppers — and it would cost the Panthers $21.4 million to do so — he might become the highest-profile free agent since Reggie White. Peppers, 30, would like to play in a 3-4 defense and rush the quarterback as often as possible. Every team in the league could use another pass-rusher. The question will be which ones are willing to spend the millions it will take to land him.

2. Karlos Dansby, LB, Arizona Cardinals
Just like the Panthers might deem Peppers too pricey to franchise, the Cardinals could do the same with Dansby, making him another desirable defensive free agent. It would cost Arizona just less than $11 million to keep the 28-year-old Dansby, and he would love to test the free-agent market and become one of the highest-paid defensive players in football history.

4. Chester Taylor, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Although Taylor turns 31 in September, he has low mileage, having backed up Jamal Lewis in Baltimore and Adrian Peterson in Minnesota. Should the Vikings tag Taylor, he would make $8.15 million next season — about twice as much as Peterson. So Taylor figures to be free, and he figures to be the top running back available for plenty of teams that need one.

Texans’ cornerback Dunta Robinson was No. 3 on Schefter’s list, while Casey Hampton and Ryan Clark of the Steelers were list at No. 5.

It’s interesting that Taylor is getting a lot of attention this offseason despite his age. Running backs over 30 usually get the silent treatment during the offseason, but Taylor figures to be a hot commodity when the free agency period opens in a couple weeks. A team like the Chargers seems like a good fit for him.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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