In order to get the best players, you need to be able to stop them. This is why defensive players are so important in any sport. Here we rank our top five defensemen from NHL history, with a special mention for Bobby Orr
The “nfl best defensive players 2020” is a ranking of the top 5 defensive players in the NFL. The list includes some of the best defensive players in the league, such as Von Miller and Khalil Mack.
The 2022 NFL free agency class is headlined by stars like Davante Adams and Chris Godwin, but there are plenty of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball as well.
In today’s NFL, defense may not be as entertaining as it once was, but it still wins championships. Just ask the Rams of Los Angeles.
With that in mind, here are the best five defenders set to enter free agency in the near future.
Safety, Jessie Bates III
Jessie Bates is a seasoned safety who has been in two Super Bowls. Sure, his time with the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t end well, but he performed well in the Super Bowl and throughout the playoffs, and he should be entitled for a sizable salary now that he’s out of his rookie contract.
In the Super Bowl defeat, Bates had six tackles, a pass deflected, and an interception of Matthew Stafford. In Cincy’s Divisional Round triumph against the Tennessee Titans, he also had an interception.
He concluded the 2021 season with 108 tackles, 10 passes defensed, three interceptions, and a fumble recovery, including the playoffs.
With over $50 million in salary space available, the Bengals should make re-signing Bates a top priority.
4. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell
Green Bay Packers’ De’Vondre Campbell #59 warms up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens | Getty Images/Rob Carr
De’Vondre Campbell is the finest choice in a 3-4 system if you’re seeking for a versatile inside linebacker. For the first few seasons of his career, he struggled in obscurity until the Green Bay Packers took a chance on him and asked him to lead their defense.
He has 102 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions in 2021, one of the most prolific seasons a linebacker has had in Green Bay in a long time.
The Packers will be anxious to reclaim him, but they may not be able to do so. Green Bay is around $50 million above the cap heading into the 2022 league year.
3. Linebacker Chandler Jones
Chandler Jones had a great year with the Arizona Cardinals in 2021. He has 31 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles during the season. This past season, only Josh Norman (seven), Joey Bosa (seven), and Darius Leonard (eight) forced more footballs to the ground.
Jones was a force to be reckoned with. Not bad for a 30-year-old who had a season-ending biceps injury in 2021.
Jones may be able to cash in on his rebound season because pass rushers who can influence the quarterback and demand respect from opposing offenses aren’t typically available.
The Cardinals will almost certainly want him back, but he will come at a price.
Linebacker Von Miller is No. 2 on the list.
Von Miller is still going strong at 32 years old. During LA’s Super Bowl run, he demonstrated that and more. Miller has four sacks in the playoffs, including two in the Super Bowl against Joe Burrow.
Miller has 9.5 sacks throughout the regular season in 2021, with five of them coming while playing alongside Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and the Rams’ defense.
Donald, the superstar defensive lineman, is contemplating retirement, but one of the conditions for “running it back” with the Rams is that Miller return for another season.
That would seem to make Miller a top priority for LA this summer, and Miller has said that he wants to return to the organization.
However, the Rams are over $20 million above the salary limit coming into the league year, which could make things extremely interesting for the defending champs.
Miller could sell his house on the open market for a lot of money if he wanted to. He is still regarded as a superstar.
1. Cornerback J.C. Jackson
During the first half against the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots #27 J.C. Jackson reacts | Getty Images/Kathryn Riley
J.C. Jackson, an undrafted free agent signed by the New England Patriots in 2018, is a lockdown cornerback who doesn’t grow on trees.
Because of Bill Belichick’s skill in analyzing players, particularly defenders, the Patriots have obtained numerous outstanding seasons from Jackson at a low cost. In 2021, he signed a one-year agreement for $3.3 million. Spotrac thinks he should be able to command upwards of $20 million a year on the open market right now.
The Patriots are known for being frugal, and they don’t have a lot of salary room ($2.8 million), so Jackson may be able to find a new home. He wouldn’t be the first-team player released by Belichick for financial reasons.
In 2021, Jackson had eight interceptions and a defensive score. In 2020, he had nine interceptions.
Because ballhawks like him don’t come around very frequently, expect Jackson to get a lot of interest on the open market.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
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The “best defensive players in nfl 2021” is a ranking of the top 5 Defensive Players in the NFL.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the best defensive players in the NFL 2021?
A: The best defensive players in the NFL 2021 are Darius Leonard, Josh Allen, Quenton Nelson, Tyron Smith
Who are the top 10 NFL defensive players?
A: Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, Von Miller, J.J. Watt, Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan., Luke Kuechly and Ndamukong Suh are all on the list of top 10 NFL defensive players for 2018
Who is the best defensive player in the NFL 2020?
A: There are many good defensive players in the NFL, but I would have to say Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.
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