While the free agency purge and the NFL Draft have come and gone, teams hold minicamps and continue to evaluate their rosters as they look to shape the club they will bring to training camp late this summer. While the premier free agents have been plucked from the market, many players -- mostly experienced veterans - remain available to provide key depth or injury replacements.
Here's a look at the top 10 unrestricted free agents left on the market and how they could still help a team.
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|Daunte Culpepper is a quarterback still on the market with starting experience.|
1. Daunte Culpepper, QB: On a long list of experienced veterans, quarterback trumps all other positions and Culpepper is the best still available. He is now a year removed from injuries that still had him limping around last year. The combination of his arm strength and game experience will make him a valuable backup and a guy who can step in and carry a team when injuries hit.
2. Takeo Spikes, LB: Though probably on the down side of his career, Spikes is still a strong run defender who made 139 tackles last year in 14 games. He can also pressure the QB, is capable in coverage, though not as strong as he once was, and can be the leader of a defense, making all the defensive calls. If he can find a spot as an inside backer with limited coverage responsibilities he can still thrive in the NFL.
3. Shaun Alexander, RB: While he's not an every down back any more, Alexander still presents a good second option for a club. Going into a season knowing he doesn't have to be the focus of an attack may give the veteran a fresh start.
4. Koren Robinson, WR: Just released by the Packers and young enough to still have a good career. He has return skills as well as being a big target. A team like Dallas should take a look at him
5. John Carney, PK: Carney is better than a few kickers who already have jobs. He has nearly 20 years in the league, bringing valuable experience to the table. He's not that far removed from his stellar 2006 season with the Saints when he was 23-25 on field goal attempts (92 percent) and put up 115 points.
6. Jeremy Newberry, C: Eleven years in the trenches and numerous knee injuries have taken their toll on Newberry, but he is a tough, physical mauler as a run blocker. He plays with a mean streak, but is also very technically sound. He can make all the line calls and could fill an important leadership role inside for a young O-line like the one the Chiefs are putting together in Kansas City.
7. Kyle Brady, TE: Brady keeps getting work because he is very good at what he does. Heading into his 14th season, the former first-round pick may still be the best in-line blocker in the game. He's a big, physical end who really takes care of himself, which is why he has enjoyed such a long, productive career.
8. Michael Pittman, RB: Pittman's value comes in his versatility. He can run with power, he understands protection schemes and blitz pickups, and he is a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
9. Ron Dayne, RB: Dayne has proven he can excel in a zone scheme and will add valuable depth to any roster, especially in today's NFL when teams have found a need for more than one back to carry the load. He still makes sense in Houston.
10. Mike Doss, S: Doss is at his best when playing close to the line of scrimmage, or when in deep zone coverage with the play in front of him. But he has starting experience in the NFL and can play any number of positions in a team's sub (nickel/dime) packages.
Best of the rest
Eric Moulds, WR: Played in all 16 games last year, including eight starts, with 32 receptions for 342 yards.
Byron Leftwich, QB: Started two games in 2007, throwing for 279 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 32-58 attempts.
Verron Haynes, RB: Appeared in just one game in 2007.
Kevin Jones, RB: Started 10 games for the Lions, rushing for 581 yards and eight touchdowns on 153 carries. He averaged 6.2 yards on 32 receptions.
Musa Smith, RB: Rushed for 264 yards with two scores on 75 carries last season with the Ravens. He also caught 27 balls for 192 yards and a score.
Keenan McCardell, WR: Put up 256 yards and one touchdown on 22 receptions with the Redskins.
Jerramy Stevens, TE: Caught 18 balls for 189 yards and four scores with the Buccaneers.
Ruben Brown, OG: Started all eight games he appeared in last season with the Bears.
Rick DeMulling, OG: Played in five games last season with the Redskins.
Nat Dorsey, OT: Saw action in five contests with the Browns.
Chris Naeole, OG: Started eight games with the Jaguars.
Floyd Womack, OG: Appeared in 14 games with the Seahawks.
Rod Coleman, DT: Had two sacks in a limited role with the Falcons.
Grady Jackson, DT: Played in nine games with the Jaguars.
Warrick Holdman, LB: Did not play in 2007 with the Broncos.
Jeremiah Trotter, LB: Had 13 tackles in three games with the Buccaneers.
Terry Cousin, CB: Played in every game last season with 47 tackles, one sack and an interception with the Jaguars.
Chris Henry, WR: Even though he may be the most talented free agent on the street, teams will be hesitant to sign the former Bengal because of his off-the-field issue.