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Lunchbreak: Defensive Players Nab Top 2 Spots in ESPN's Best Free Agents List

The countdown is on to the NFL's free agency period, which begins at 3 p.m. (CT) today.

With the frenzy about to start, ESPN ranked the top 150 free agents around the league.

ESPN wrote:

The list is not based on how players did on the field in 2016; it rates the market for each player, attempting to determine their values on the open market. Youth and the value of the position they play goes into the evaluations for each player. Older players who could sign minimum-salary deals are mostly excluded.

There were six defensive players and four offensive players in ESPN's Top 10. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams and Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower were ranked 1-2 ahead of Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery.

The Vikings have 16 players who are scheduled to be free agents this afternoon, six of whom made the top 150 list.

Running back Adrian Peterson is No. 38, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is 70th, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is 86th on the list, tackle Matt Kalil is 92nd, fullback Zach Line is No. 108 and punter Jeff Locke is 128th.

Wald recalls favorite Greenway moments

Chad Greenway spent plenty of time recalling memories and moments at his retirement press conference on Tuesday.

Jeff Wald of WCCO-CBS also took a trip down memory lane, as he reflected on what he will remember most about the former Vikings linebacker.

Wald said Greenway's 91-yard interception return for a score against the Chargers in 2015 was a top highlight.

It was September 2015 and the Vikings were hosting the Chargers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings held a 24-7 lead at the start of the fourth quarter when Greenway made a play that sealed a victory. He was in the right place for a deflected pass, grabbed it for the interception and had nothing but a host of teammates and green turf in front of him. It was a 91-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The play was the fifth-longest "pick 6" in Vikings history. He finished his career with 11 interceptions, but probably none more enjoyable than that one. After all, defensive touchdowns don't come around very often.

Wald also mentioned Greenway's consistency and durability, but said the 34-year-old will also be remembered for his impact in the community.

Greenway said Tuesday he is the man and player he is because of his parents. His mother still runs their family farm, two years after his dad's death from cancer. If you were to model the ideal football player who is the ultimate competitor on the field and can turn the switch off to being a human being after the game or practice, it's Chad Greenway.

He and his wife, Jenni, have four kids and they are among the most philanthropic couple you'll find when it comes to charity. Greenway runs the Lead the Way Foundation, which helps enrich the lives of people and families in need. Greenway is constantly seen at community events, seeing kids battling disease at the hospital or contributing to charities by volunteering or donating. In September 2016, Greenway and his wife broke ground on a $75,000 handicap accessible playground at the Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities. He's been named the Vikings Community Man of the Year four times, including three straight years from 2014-16.

Chad Greenway dished out numerous "thank yous" at his Tuesday news conference. But thank you, Chad Greenway, for being a model of consistency on the field and a class act away from it. The shoes will be hard to fill.

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