By Allen Kim
NT Sione Pouha
Pouha had an impressive year in 2011, but a bad back limited his play and forced him to sit out four games last season. Back injuries are very tricky for most athletes, and it certainly doesn’t bode well for the 34-year-old’s future.
DT Sedrick Ellis
I think it’s fair to label Ellis as a bust at this point in his career after being selected by the Saints with the No. 7 overall pick in 2008. Still, he’s only 28 years old, and he could bring some needed depth to a team’s defensive line.
LB Larry Grant
Grant will be serving a four-game suspension to start the 2013 season for violating the league’s policy on PEDs. He was pretty much a non-factor on defense for the 49ers last season, but he could be valuable on special teams and as a backup.
LB Bradie James
James is more of a two-down linebacker this late in his career, but he provides leadership both on the field and in the locker room.
LB Bart Scott
I’m sure Bart Scott “can’t wait” to finally sign with a team. The 33-year-old linebacker may have slowed down over the last couple of seasons, but he’s still capable of being a reliable, albeit limited, contributor.
LB Takeo Spikes
Looking at his numbers alone, Spikes had a solid, if unspectacular season with the San Diego Chargers in 2012. However, most of the damage came in the early part of the season while he was still fresh. He showed signs of his age, and clearly wore down as the season went on.
At 36, Spikes is nearing the end of his career, and should he decide to continue playing, he’ll be relegated to no more than a backup role.
CB Quentin Jammer
Jammer could potentially still start at cornerback for a desperate team, but he’s slowed down over the years and may be better off moving over to free safety. His coverage skills have eroded considerably, and he’s certainly on the downswing at the age of 34.
S Nate Clements
A long time starter at cornerback, Clements may have to settle for playing safety exclusively at this stage of his career after playing the position with the Bengals last season. At 33, he’s no longer an effective cornerback, but he can still continue his career if the NFL if he remains a safety.