A look at NFL free agency
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Capsules of the 32 teams entering NFL free agency, which begins Tuesday:
New England Patriots (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB LeGarrette Blount; DE Andre Carter; WRs Austin Collie and Julian Edelman; LBs Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher; TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan; OL Will Svitek; CB Aqib Talib; C Ryan Wendell.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LS Danny Aiken.
TEAM NEEDS: Patriots needed help at wide receiver even before Edelman entered free agency after catching career-high 105 passes. They also may need veteran cornerback since best player at that spot, Talib, could walk. Potential loss of Spikes and Fletcher would create need at linebacker, while Hoomanawanui and Mulligan were top two tight ends after Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending knee injury in 13th game.
New York Jets (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Ed Reed; CB Aaron Berry; G Willie Colon; KR-WRs Josh Cribbs and KR-WR Darius Reynaud; TE Kellen Winslow; DL Leger Douzable; OL Vladimir Ducasse; QB David Garrard; FB Lex Hilliard; T Austin Howard; LBs Josh Mauga and Calvin Pace.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Nick Bellore and LB Garrett McIntyre; CB Isaiah Trufant.
TEAM NEEDS: Finding wide receivers top priority this offseason, in free agency and/or draft. Santonio Holmes is likely salary cap casualty, leaving Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson as only experienced WRs. TE also spot Jets will look to upgrade with Winslow not likely back, although they re-signed Jeff Cumberland before he could become free agent. Also could be in market for veteran QB to back up Geno Smith and possibly challenge him for starting job. Mark Sanchez, once considered team’s franchise QB, also likely to be cut with hefty $13.1 million salary cap number for this season. CB Antonio Cromartie ($14.98 million cap number) was released Sunday, and Jets will need another starter to go along with Dee Milliner in the secondary.
Miami Dolphins (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Gs Richie Incognito, John Jerry and David Arkin; OTs Tyson Clabo and Bryant McKinnie; NTs Paul Soliai and Randy Starks; S Chris Clemons; CBs Chris Owens and Nolan Carroll; TE Dustin Keller; WR Marlon Moore; LB Austin Spitler.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB R.J. Stanford; T Will Yeatman; OL Danny Watkins;
TEAM NEEDS: Tackles, guards, tight end, safety. Incognito and Jerry, both implicated in bullying scandal, are among those on way out as Dolphins hit reset button on offensive line, which endured awful 2013 on and off field. Miami could have five new starters up front. Dolphins hope to keep either Starks or Soliai. They’re in market for upgrade at tight end after newcomer Keller missed 2013 season with right knee injury.
Buffalo Bills (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Jairus Byrd and Jim Leonhard; TE Scott Chandler; DL Alex Carrington; PK Dan Carpenter; LB Arthur Moats; OL Thomas Welch.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Mike Caussin.
TEAM NEEDS: Bills’ inability to negotiate long-term contract with Byrd opens significant hole on defense that showed marked improvement last year. Converted cornerback Aaron Williams capably made switch to safety. Re-signing Leonhard would provide insurance. Landing experienced backup QB is need after veteran Kevin Kolb missed all season because of concussion. Bills had to scramble to add quarterbacks after rookie starter EJ Manuel missed six games with knee injuries. Pass-rushing DE Jerry Hughes emerged as solid complement to Mario Williams, making him candidate for contract extension entering final year of current deal.
Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Pat Angerer and Lawrence Sidbury; S Antoine Bethea and Sergio Brown; RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown; CBs Vontae Davis and Cassius Vaughn; NT Aubrayo Franklin; WR Darrius Heyward-Bey; OT Jeff Linkenbach; DT Ricardo Matthews; DE Fili Moala; OL Mike McGlynn; PK Adam Vinatieri; C Samson Satele.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Kavell Conner and Scott Lutrus; CB Josh Gordy; DT Jeris Pendleton; G Joe Reitz.
TEAM NEEDS: Colts’ game plan hasn’t changed since last March. They’re still trying to solidify Andrew Luck’s protection, still looking for another receiver, still trying to find another pass rusher and still trying to improve defense. With roughly $42 million to spend in free agency, Indianapolis could again be major player in market, though GM Ryan Grigson will try to keep enough cap space to start re-signing all those key contributors from Colts’ 2012 rookie class when he is allowed to do so. They signed LB D’Qwell Jackson, cut by Cleveland.
Tennessee Titans (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Alterraun Verner; WRs Kenny Britt, Marc Mariani and Damian Williams; DT Antonio Johnson; KR Leon Washington.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OL Kevin Matthews.
TEAM NEEDS: Verner poised to be biggest loss after he reached first Pro Bowl and had team-high five interceptions. Britt will be allowed to leave after being healthy scratch at times last season. Defense is key area of need with Titans moving to hybrid 3-4 under new coach Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Titans already signed S Bernard Pollard to new deal. Linebacker is top target, and they visited with D’Qwell Jackson before he signed with the Colts after he was released by Cleveland. RB could be another target with Chris Johnson due $8 million in 2014 and coming off second-worst season of six-year career.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Maurice Jones-Drew; CB Will Blackmon; DT Brandon Deaderick; WR Taylor Price.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Kyle Love; TE Allen Reisner.
TEAM NEEDS: Team has to revamp interior offensive line after releasing veteran G Uche Nwaneri and having C Brad Meester retire after 14 seasons. Jaguars also looking for pass-rushing help as well as potential replacements for Jones-Drew, an unrestricted free agent who will test market, and suspended WR Justin Blackmon. They re-signed QB Chad Henne.
Houston Texans (2-14)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RBs Ben Tate, Jonathan Grimes and Deji Karim; DE Antonio Smith; LBs Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton; FB Greg Jones; G Wade Smith; TE Garrett Graham; OTs Andrew Gardner and T Ryan Harris; CB Elbert Mack.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Terrell McClain and Earl Mitchell; WR Lestar Jean; LB Bryan Braman.
TEAM NEEDS: Texans are likely to cut ties with QB Matt Schaub after he was benched last season, so Houston could be in market for veteran. Probably won’t re-sign Tate so Texans will need RB with Arian Foster’s status uncertain after back surgery. Houston could also use upgrade at offensive tackle and will need DE to play opposite J.J. Watt with team unlikely to shell out money to keep 32-year-old Smith.
Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Michael Johnson; OTs Dennis Roland and Anthony Collins; S Chris Crocker and Taylor Mays; WR Brandon Tate; CB Brandon Ghee; OL Mike Pollak; TE Alex Smith; LB Michael Boley; P Zoltan Mesko.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Andrew Hawkins and Dan Sanzenbacker; LB Vincent Rey.
TEAM NEEDS: Johnson got team’s franchise tag last season, but will most likely be too costly to keep around for another year. Rookie Margus Hunt was his backup and could move into bigger role. Collins played exceptionally well as injury fill-in last season and will be looking for starting job somewhere else. Secondary needs upgrading. CB Terence Newman played well but will be 36. Same goes for CB Adam “Pacman” Jones, who turns 31. Top CB Leon Hall turns 30 and is recovering from another torn Achilles tendon. Second-year CB Dre Kirkpatrick was healthy last season but had growing pains. Crocker again was a valuable addition after he was signed during season for second straight year. He’s turning 34 and is ready to retire if no team wants him. QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green are entering final years on contracts, so Bengals must decide on offering big-money extensions. Green has quickly blossomed into one of NFL’s best receivers. Dalton has been impressive during regular season but gone 0-3 in playoffs.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Plaxico Burress, WR Jerricho Cotchery and WR Emmanuel Sanders; RBs Jonathan Dwyer, RB LaRod Stephens-Howling and RB Felix Jones; TEs David Johnson and Michael Palmer; C Fernando Velasco; OLs Cody Wallace and OL Guy Whimper; DTs Al Woods and Ziggy Hood; DE Brett Keisel; LBs Sylvester Stevenson and LB Jamal Westerman; S Will Allen and S Ryan Clark; P Mat McBriar; LS Greg Warren.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
TEAM NEEDS: Steelers answered one of biggest questions when they tagged LB Jason Worilds as transition player, meaning heavily compensated but rarely healthy LB LaMarr Woodley will either take pay cut or play elsewhere. Salary cap room is at premium, even with cap number bump. New deal for QB Ben Roethlisberger could be in works and at least one of unrestricted free agent linemen could return at discount.
Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TEs Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson; DL Terrence Cody; CB Corey Graham; S James Ihedigbo and Jeromy Miles; DT Arthur Jones; WR-KR Jacoby Jones; OTs Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher;, RB Bernard Scott;, LB Daryl Smith.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan; WR Tandon Doss; S Omar Brown and Anthony Levine.
TEAM NEEDS: Ravens are eager to add WR to provide support for Torrey Smith. This is priority because Jones, who had 37 catches in 2013, might not be back. Team is also intent on improving running game, which means adding RB or shoring up OL that last season lacked size and depth.
Cleveland Browns (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S T.J. Ward; RB Willis McGahee; G Oneil Cousins.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
TEAM NEEDS: Quarterback remains unresolved issue, but Browns will likely address that position high in draft. Placing transition tag on center Alex Mack, Pro Bowler last season, will impact where team shops in free agency. Browns would like to sign Mack to long-term deal, but he may want to leave and could get big offers. With Ward likely out of plans, Browns could focus on Bills’ ball-hawking safety Jairus Byrd, who played under Cleveland coach Mike Pettine last season in Buffalo. Ben Tate could be target at running back and there’s new hole at inside linebacker after D’Qwell Jackson was released. Browns are $55 million under salary cap, so there’s plenty to spend, and new GM Ray Farmer does inherit roster with six Pro Bowlers and more depth than his predecessors.
Denver Broncos (13-3)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Quentin Jammer and Marquice Cole; WRs Eric Decker and Bubba Caldwell; DEs Robert Ayers, Jeremy Mincey and Shaun Phillips; RB Knowshon Moreno; LBs Wesley Woodyard, Stewart Bradley and Paris Lenon;, S Mike Adams and Michael Huff; LG Zane Beadles; C Steve Vallos and Dan Koppen; OT Winston Justice.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Chris Harris Jr.; KR Trindon Holliday; DT Mitch Unrein.
TEAM NEEDS:Broncos need to shore up secondary and linebacking corps. Harris is coming off ACL surgery and CB Champ Bailey was released after most trying season of 15-year NFL career. OLB Von Miller also recovering from torn ACL and Woodyard had to play in middle last year after Bradley got hurt in preseason. He was undersized and by midseason had lost starting job to journeyman Lenon.
Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OLs Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, Geoff Schwartz and Ricky Henry; WRs Dexter McCluster and Kyle Williams; DEs Tyson Jackson and Anthony Toribio; LBs Frank Zombo and Akeem Jordan; CB Dunta Robinson; and S Husain Abdullah, Quintin Demps and Kendrick Lewis.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:: DL Jerrell Powe; LB Robert James.
TEAM NEEDS: Chiefs must shore up OL with franchise LT Albert likely to walk in free agency and RGs Asamoah and Schwartz also free agents. Secondary was exposed by Indianapolis in playoffs, making upgrades at FS and CB priorities. Search continues for playmaking WR to take pressure off Dwayne Bowe. QB Alex Smith is not a free agent until 2015 but Chiefs already discussing extension.
San Diego Chargers (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Seyi Ajirotutu, Danario Alexander and Lavelle Hawkins; RB Ronnie Brown; LBs Reggie Walker and Larry English; CB Richard Marshall; OLs Rich Ohrnberger and Chad Rinehart; DL Cam Thomas; QB Charlie Whitehurst.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Bront Bird; T Steve Schilling.
TEAM NEEDS:Chargers took care of biggest need by signing ILB Donald Butler, potential unrestricted free agent, to long-term deal. Chargers released CB Derek Cox, biggest free agent acquisition in GM Tom Telesco’s first offseason, but who was benched several times. Chargers likely will try to keep OL Ohrnberger, Rinehart. They also might shop for CB, WR, pass rusher. They re-signed S and special-teams ace Darrell Stuckey.
Oakland Raiders (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LT Jared Veldheer and RT Tony Pashos; DEs Lamarr Houston and Jason Hunter; RBs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings; S Charles Woodson and Usama Young; DTs Vance Walker, Daniel Muir and Pat Sims; CBs Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and CB Phillip Adams; TE Jeron Mastrud; WR Jacoby Ford; C Andre Gurode.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: RB Jeremy Stewart.
TEAM NEEDS: GM Reggie McKenzie has more than $60 million in salary cap room to find playmakers on both sides of ball. Veldheer and Houston are top priorities to bring back. Team would also like to keep Jennings after career-best season in first year in Oakland. Raiders seek veteran QB either as starter or mentor to possible draft pick. McFadden will likely be allowed to leave after injury-plagued six years with team. Raiders want upgrade at CB but also counting on improvement from 2013 first-rounder D.J. Hayden.
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Michael Vick; S Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson; DE Clifton Geathers; P Donnie Jones.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:LB Philip Hunt.
TEAM NEEDS: Eagles need help in secondary, especially at safety. Cleveland’s T.J. Ward could reunite with coach Chip Kelly, whom he played for at Oregon. Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd might be out of Philadelphia’s price range. DT like Green Bay’s B.J. Raji or DE such as Seattle’s Chris Clemons could be fit at right price. With Vick almost certainly leaving, Eagles could look for veteran backup behind Nick Foles because Matt Barkley struggled in limited action as rookie.
Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Jason Hatcher; LB Ernie Sims; G Brian Waters; S Danny McCray; DEs Anthony Spencer, Edgar Jones and Jarius Wynn; OL Ryan Cook; QB Jon Kitna.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Phillip Tanner.
TEAM NEEDS: Cowboys don’t figure to make significant moves because of salary cap issues. Biggest need is defensive line with Hatcher and Spencer unlikely to re-sign and DE DeMarcus Ware finishing with career low in sacks in first season on four-man front. Possibly biggest question in free agency is whether 37-year-old Waters will want to return after coming out of retirement at end of training camp and stabilizing offensive line before season-ending triceps injury. Dallas is thin at safety and probably needs another linebacker with continuing concerns about Sean Lee.
New York Giants (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Jon Beason and Keith Rivers; G Kevin Boothe; RBs Peyton Hillis, Da’Rel Scott and Andre Brown; PK Josh Brown; DTs Linval Joseph, Mike Patterson and Shaun Rogers; S Stevie Brown and Ryan Mundy; CBs Terrell Thomas, Corey Webster, Aaron Ross and Trumaine McBride; WRs Hakeem Nicks and Louis Murphy; TEs Bear Pascoe and Brandon Myers; QB Curtis Painter; DE Justin Tuck.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: C Jim Cordle; LB Spencer Paysinger; FB Henry Hynoski.
TEAM NEEDS: With G Chris Snee, C David Bass and OT Will Beatty coming off injuries and David Diehl retired, offensive line needs immediate help. Expect Boothe to re-sign. GM Jerry Reese will sign some free agents or use first-round pick for another OL. Reese has told Nicks and Tuck to test free agent market. If either comes back, it will be Tuck. Beason will probably re-sign and so might Josh Brown, if Giants offer more than one-year deal. Giants also need to find TE and shore up RBs with David Wilson coming off neck injury.
Washington Redskins (3-13)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Rex Grossman; WRs Joshua Morgan and Santana Moss; TE Fred Davis; C J.D. Walton; LBs Rob Jackson, Darryl Tapp, Nick Barnett, Bryan Kehl, Perry Riley and London Fletcher; CBs E.J. Biggers and Josh Wilson; S Reed Doughty and Brandon Meriweather.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: WR Dezmon Briscoe.
TEAM NEEDS: Redskins have tons of money to spend now that two-year, $36-million salary cap penalty has expired. They’ll need it, because they’re upgrading 3-13 team and because they have so many defensive starters headed for free agency. CB DeAngelo Hall and DL Chris Baker have been re-signed, but LB remains a major question mark because of Fletcher’s retirement. Three-time Pro Bowler LB Brian Orakpo was franchised. WR and OL need upgrade on offense.
Carolina Panthers (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QBs Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen; WRs Domenik Hixon, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr.; TE Ben Hartsock; OLs Geoff Hangartner, Travelle Wharton, Garry Williams and Bruce Campbell; DT Colin Cole; LBs Jordan Senn, Jason Williams and Dan Connor; S Quintin Mikell and Mike Mitchell; and CBs Captain Munnerlyn and Drayton Florence.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Richie Brockel; OL Byron Bell; CB James Dockery.
TEAM NEEDS: Panthers have huge hole to fill at left tackle following retirement of Jordan Gross. They also look to upgrade at wide receiver where Steve Smith’s future is unclear ($7 million salary cap figure in 2014) and fellow starter LaFell is free agent. Cornerback is area of need with starter Munnerlyn’s future uncertain. Carolina needs to add youth to offensive line. Panthers re-signed K Graham Gano to four-year deal and franchised DE Greg Hardy, who had 15 sacks last season.
New Orleans Saints (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:TE Jimmy Graham; RT Zach Strief; C Brian de la Puente; FS Malcolm Jenkins; LBs Parys Haralson and Ramon Humber; WR Robert Meachem; QB Luke McCown.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Rafael Bush; FB Jed Collins; WR Joe Morgan; DT Tom Johnson.
NEEDS: Saints won’t likely acquire NFL star in free agency because they have limited wiggle room under salary cap and intend to retain Graham, who has led team in catches in past three seasons. Still, New Orleans will be on lookout for bargains in order to add depth in several key spots. With release of Roman Harper and possible departure of Jenkins, Saints could be looking for a safety. And with release of injured former starter Jabari Greer (knee), New Orleans could use experienced cornerback. Meanwhile, possibility of losing two starters on offensive line could create need up front, and New Orleans is always on lookout for receivers to bolster elite passing attack.
Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Peria Jerry and Jonathan Babineaux; TE Chase Coffman; CB Dominique Franks; LB Omar Gaither; OLs Joe Hawley, Mike Johnson, Sean Locklear and Jeremy Trueblood.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Kevin Cone; CB Robert McClain
TEAM NEEDS: Falcons released three former starters after disappointing season: CB Asante Samuel, LB Stephen Nicholas and G Garrett Reynolds. Veteran Gabe Carimi was signed, and more additions are expected on OL. Defensive line also glaring need, especially with two top DTs facing free agency after Corey Peters was re-signed. Team expected to make strong push to keep Babineaux. Strong pass-rusher needed at DE. TE Tony Gonzalez retired, but team drafted Levine Toilolo last year. WR Drew Davis has re-signed as exclusive free agent.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson; LS Andrew Economos; DT Gary Gibson; CB Danny Gorrer; OL Ted Larsen; RB Brian Leonard; PK Rian Lindell; FB Erik Lorig; OT Jamon Meredith; QB Dan Orlovsky; DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim; WR Tiquan Underwood.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TEs Kyle Adams and Nate Byham; WR Eric Page; DT Matthew Masiflo.
TEAM NEEDS: New coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht must determine if Mike Glennon, coming off rookie season in which he was forced into starting role under former coach Greg Schiano, is quarterback of future. If not then QB in draft or free agency will be added. If braintrust is willing to link its success — or potential failure — to Glennon, areas of need include defensive end, offensive tackle, tight end, wide receiver and maybe even cornerback, if Smith and Licht are open to trading Darrelle Revis and his $16 million per year salary.
Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RBs James Starks and Kahlil Bell; DLs Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, B.J. Raji and C.J. Wilson; C Evan Dietrich-Smith; TEs Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless; QBs Matt Flynn and Seneca Wallace; LBs Rob Francois and Mike Neal; WR James Jones; FB John Kuhn; OL Marshall Newhouse; CB Sam Shields.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S M.D. Jennings; LB Jamari Lattimore.
TEAM NEEDS: Biggest is getting more playmakers on defense that slipped in second half. DL could get makeover with starters Pickett, Raji and Jolly hitting free agency, and team could use jolts of energy at safety and linebacker, where thumb injury to pass rusher Clay Matthews hurt last season. Cornerback may be need if Shields walks. Finley coming off serious neck injury, and Pack may look elsewhere at tight end. GM Ted Thompson espouses “draft-and-develop” philosophy and rarely makes splash in free agency. What might team do this year with estimated $30 million-plus in cap space?
Chicago Bears (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CBs Charles Tillman, Sherrick McManis and Zack Bowman; QBs Josh McCown and Jordan Palmer; LS Patrick Mannelly; WR/KR Devin Hester; DTs Landon Cohen, Nate Collins and Henry Melton; DE Corey Wootton; OLs Jonathan Scott and OL Eben Britton; LBs James Anderson, Blake Costanzo and D.J. Williams; S Craig Steltz and Major Wright.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: DB Anthony Walters.
TEAM NEEDS: McCown’s status aside, offense is basically set after franchise record for total net yards (6,109) last season while finishing second in club history in points (445). Heavy lifting will be on defense after group gave up 2,583 yards rushing on 5.3 per carry — both club records. Bears need help on line, at linebacker and in secondary. Star LB Lance Briggs, CB Tim Jennings have jobs locked in. Looks like DT Jeremiah Ratliff does, too, after agreeing to two-year deal Wednesday. Other spots are question marks. DE Julius Peppers could be released or have contract restructured given cap hit of more than $18 million. Hester was released.
Detroit Lions (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: K David Akers; DT Andre Fluellen; T Jason Fox; G Dylan Gandy; QB Shaun Hill; DEs Israel Idonije and Willie Young; CB Rashean Mathis; LB Rocky McIntosh; C Don Muhlbach; WRs Michael Spurlock and Kevin Ogletree; TE Brandon Pettigrew; S John Wendling.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Isa Abdul-Quddus; RB Joique Bell; TE Dorin Dickerson.
TEAM NEEDS:Lions recently released WR Nate Burleson and S Louis Delmas, so both areas now need shoring up. Without Burleson, Lions could use another veteran pass catcher to play alongside star WR Calvin Johnson. DT Ndamukong Suh is not free agent, but Lions may try to sign him to extension that also offers team short-term relief under salary cap.
Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DEs Jared Allen and Everson Griffen; LBs Desmond Bishop and Marvin Mitchell; C Joe Berger; QB Josh Freeman; CB Chris Cook; DTs Kevin Williams and Fred Evans; RB Toby Gerhart; OL Charlie Johnson; WRs Jerome Simpson and Joe Webb; OT J’Marcus Webb.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: LB Larry Dean.
TEAM NEEDS: Defense! With Allen and Williams no longer under contract and release of LB Erin Henderson, three of front seven starters are gone. After allowing league-most 30 points per game last season, several spots in need of upgrades, too. Griffen’s a candidate to be re-signed, but with salary cap space that ranks in top quarter of league there’s opportunity to get more-proven DE. CBs also priority. Cook’s assumed departure opens another starting job. Gerhart’s free agency creates need for dependable backup to RB Adrian Peterson, but that could come in draft. Team’s biggest deficiency remains QB.
Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Tarvaris Jackson; FB Michael Robinson; WRs Arceto Clark, Golden Tate and Bryan Walters; TEs Kellen Davis and Anthony McCoy; OLs Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan; PK Steven Hauschka; DE Michael Bennett; DT Clinton McDonald; LB O’Brien Schofield; CBs Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond; S Chris Maragos.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: WR Doug Baldwin.
TEAM NEEDS: Getting DL Bennett re-signed seems to be No. 1 priority when it comes to retaining players. That point seemed to be emphasized by decision to release DE Red Bryant last week. Not far behind Bennett in priority would be WRs Tate and Baldwin and reliable kicker Hauschka. Seattle could be looking for additional defensive line help in free agency after success of deep rotation. And don’t forget that contracts for All-Pros S Earl Thomas and CB Richard Sherman can be extended this offseason.
San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: PK Phil Dawson; S Donte Whitner; CBs Eric Wright and Tarell Brown; C Jonathan Goodwin; WRs Mario Manningham and Kassim Osgood; QB Colt McCoy; RB Anthony Dixon.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DL Demarcus Dobbs; CB Perrish Cox.
TEAM NEEDS: Could be some big voids to fill. Dawson converted 32-of-36 field goals and set franchise record with 27 consecutive made field goals. Whether Niners, who lost in NFC title game to Seattle, can retain Whitner is unclear. Goodwin has said he will listen to any offers around league or contemplate retirement. 49ers are likely to work on extending QB Colin Kaepernick’s contract, so that could affect where others fall on general manager Trent Baalke’s to-do list.
Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:CBs Javier Arenas, Bryan McCann and Antoine Cason; S Yeremiah Bell; DT Marcus Benard; LBs Matt Shaughnessy and Karlos Dansby; TEs Jeff King, Kory Sperry and Jim Dray; PK Jay Feely; G Mike Gibson; RB Rashard Mendenhall; WR Andre Roberts; DL Frostee Rucker, OT Eric Winston.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Jake Ballard; OLB Dontay Moch; RB Alfonso Smith; DL Ronald Talley.
TEAM NEEDS: Left tackle is most obvious need, with team having to go with inexperienced Bradley Sowell last season after trading Levi Brown to Pittsburgh. There also is opening at right tackle if Winston doesn’t return. Other needs are outside pass rusher, cornerback, safety and tight end. With Roberts probably gone, Arizona is in market for No. 3 receiver. Team is concentrating on signing its own free agents. At top of list is Dansby, who led team in tackles, but he might have priced himself out of Cardinals’ budget.
St. Louis Rams (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QBs Kellen Clemens and Brady Quinn; LBs Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Will Witherspoon; S Matt Giordano and Darian Stewart; OL Rodger Saffold; Gs Chris Williams and Shelley Smith.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: TE Mike McNeill.
TEAM NEEDS: Thin secondary tops long laundry list. Safety was manned by fill-ins last year and CB Cortland Finnegan will not return after suffering an eye injury. Finnegan was team’s top free agent pickup two years ago. Rams have fortified at WR last two drafts but still seeking true No. 1. OT a major concern with Saffold likely testing market after spending time at G before finishing season at LT in place of Jake Long. Long’s ACL knee surgery was delayed until late January by an MCL tear, although team believes he’ll be ready for opener.
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