The Vikings.com 2018 Free Agency Primer series uses *NFL.com's Top 101 Free Agents list to break down this year's class. We will count down the groups of players until March 14 when free agency is scheduled to open. *
The list was composed by Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling of NFL.com. Career stats are taken from NFL.com and/or pro-football-reference.com and apply to regular seasons, unless noted.
Note: The list may end up changing prior to free agency opening, but this breakdown is updated as of March 5.
91-101: Monday, March 5*81-90: Tuesday, March 6 71-80: Wednesday, March 7 61-70: Thursday, March 8 51-60: Friday, March 9 41-50: Saturday, March 10 31-40: Sunday, March 11 [21-30: Monday, March 12](21-30: Monday, March 12) 11-20: Tuesday, March 13 *1-10: Wednesday, March 14
Free agency is upon us.
The 2018 league year begins at 3 p.m. (CT), which is the soonest players can sign free agent deals with teams.
The 10th and final list features plenty of big names, including potential options for the Vikings at quarterback.
Kirk Cousins tops the list, while other stars such as Drew Brees, Le'Veon Bell, and Demarcus Lawrence also were listed in the top five. Bell and Lawrence were given the franchise tag by their respective teams.
Case Keenum, who went 11-3 as a starter in 2017, ranks 10th on the list.
1. Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins
62 career games; 57 starts; completed 1,372 of 2,096 career pass attempts (65.5 percent) for 16,206 yards with 99 touchdowns and 55 interceptions; career passer rating of 93.7; 123 career carries for 379 yards (3.1 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns
Cousins leads the list after throwing for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns while starting every game for Washington over the past three seasons. He was a fourth-round pick in 2012 out of Michigan State who saw limited action in his first three seasons in the NFL, but he led the league with a completion percentage of 69.8 in 2015, his first season atop the depth chart. Cousins played for Washington under the franchise tag in each of the past two seasons.
2. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
249 career games; 248 starts; completed 6,222 of 9,294 career pass attempts (66.9 percent) for 70,445 yards with 488 touchdowns and 228 interceptions; career passer rating of 96.7
Brees is a lock for the Hall of Fame as he currently ranks third all-time and is the NFL's active leader in passing yards. Brees is also tied with Tom Brady for the most touchdown passes among active players. He is entering his 18th professional season and has compiled five seasons of at least 5,000 passing yards.
3. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
62 career games; 62 starts; 1,229 career carries for 5,336 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and 35 touchdowns; 312 career catches for 2,660 yards (8.5 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell, preventing him from hitting the market. One of the most versatile running backs in the game today, Bell has topped 1,250 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in three of the past four seasons. He has finished in the top five in rushing each of the past two seasons and is known as a reliable pass catcher, too.
4. Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Cowboys
48 career games; 32 starts; 133 total tackles; 23.5 sacks; seven forced fumbles; four fumble recoveries
The Cowboys recently placed the franchise tag on Lawrence, who was a breakout star in 2017. The former second-round draft pick had a career-high 14.5 sacks, which ranked tied for second in the league. He had four games with 1.5 or more sacks this past season.
5. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
43 career games; 41 starts; 202 career catches for 2,848 yards (14.1 yards per catch) and 22 touchdowns
Robinson was among the league's best receivers in 2015 when he had 1,400 receiving yards and an NFL-best 14 touchdowns. But he had a frustrating past two years, as he couldn't match those numbers in 2016 and tore his ACL in the 2017 season opener. Robinson was a second-round pick out of Penn State in 2014.
6. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Seahawks
73 career games; 70 starts; 286 total tackles; 19 sacks; six forced fumbles; five fumble recoveries; one interception; one safety recorded
Richardson was one of the NFL's most dominant interior defensive linemen in 2014 when he tallied 8.0 sacks. He has not played a full season since, and he was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season. Richardson was traded to Seattle just before the start of the 2017 season and totaled 1.0 sack in 15 games.
7. Sammy Watkins, WR, Rams
52 career games; 51 starts; 192 career catches for 3,052 yards (15.9 yards per catch) and 25 touchdowns
Watkins made a successful transition to the NFL, totaling more than 2,000 receiving yards and 15 total receiving touchdowns in his first two seasons in Buffalo. He missed half of the 2016 season with an injury before the Bills traded him to the Rams in the 2017 preseason. Watkins had 593 receiving yards and eight scores for Los Angeles.
8. Andrew Norwell, G, Panthers
55 career games; 54 starts
Norwell was a solid starter for the Panthers from 2014-16 before blossoming this past season. He was a First-Team All-Pro selection as he helped Carolina earn a Wild Card berth. Norwell was an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State.
9. Kyle Fuller, CB, Bears
48 career games; 46 starts; 188 total tackles; eight interceptions; 41 passes defensed; three forced fumbles
The Bears recently placed the transition tag on Fuller, who was the 14th overall pick out of Virginia Tech in the 2014 NFL Draft. He had six interceptions in his first two seasons before missing the entire 2016 season with a knee injury.
10. Case Keenum, QB, Vikings
41 career games; 38 starts; completed 779 of 1,258 career pass attempts (61.9 percent) for 8,771 yards with 46 touchdowns and 27 interceptions; career passer rating of 86.0
Keenum had the best season of his career in 2017 when he started a career-high 14 games and led the Vikings to an NFC North title while throwing for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Keenum spent time with the Texans and Rams before landing in Minnesota during the 2017 offseason. He is 20-18 in his career as a starting quarterback.