AFC Free Agency Capsules
A look at each AFC team's free agency situation (salary cap space is estimated):
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-2)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Dont'a Hightower, DE Jabaal Sheard, RB LeGarrette Blount, TE Martellus Bennett, CB Logan Ryan, DT Alan Branch, WR Michael Floyd, SS Duron Harmon, LB Barkevious Mingo, DE Chris Long, RB Brandon Bolden, FB James Develin, DE Greg Scruggs.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Malcolm Butler, G Cameron Fleming, FS Brandon King, CB Justin Coleman, DE Geno Grissom, TE Matt Lengel.
NEEDS: Bill Belichick worked some wizardry on defense after parting with edge rusher Chandler Jones in offseason, and linebacker Jamie Collins at halfway mark. It's now priority to fortify that unit. It begins with Hightower, coming off first Pro Bowl selection. Patriots are letting him explore open market not franchise-tagging him. Starters Ryan and Butler are both due raises. Long was solid contributor up front, but says he plans to sign elsewhere. New England will try to re-sign 31-year-old Branch and 27-year-old Sheard. Patriots would like to keep both Blount and Bennett; more likely things work out with Blount, though they would like to see two-headed weapon Bennett and injury-free Rob Gronkowski can be. Adding top-tier receiver is possible to productive trio of Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell, which would complicate future for Danny Amendola, entering final year of contract.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $59 million.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (10-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Kenny Stills, TE Jordan Cameron, LB Jelani Jenkins, LB Spencer Paysinger, LB Donald Butler, G Jermon Bushrod, TE Dion Sims, DE Andre Branch, DE Mario Williams, LS John Denney, QB TJ Yates, TE Dominique Jones, S Baccari Rambo.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Kiko Alonso, S Michael Thomas, RB Damien Williams, DE Nick Williams.
NEEDS: Second offseason together for Dolphins' decision-making team of coach Adam Gase, vice president Mike Tannenbaum and general manager Chris Grier. Speedy receiver becomes priority if Dolphins lose Stills, who led team with nine touchdowns last year. Otherwise, emphasis will be to shore up defense that allowed franchise-record 6,122 yards. Alonso is only linebacker certain to return, and secondary decimated by injuries last year also needs attention. Dolphins would like to re-sign Branch, will also be in market for couple of cheap starting guards. Plan to add tight end Julius Thomas in trade with Jaguars that will be completed once new league year begins.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $40 million.
BUFFALO BILLS (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Stephon Gilmore, LB Zach Brown, LB Lorenzo Alexander, WR Robert Woods, QB EJ Manuel, WR Marquise Goodwin, DT Corbin Bryant, DT Leger Douzable, OT Jordan Mills, FB Jerome Felton, RB Reggie Bush, TE Chris Gragg, S James Ihedigbo, LB Brandon Spikes, S Robert Blanton, WR Percy Harvin, WR Brandon Tate, WR Justin Hunter, CB Corey White, LB Lerentee McCray, S Sergio Brown, S Jonathan Meeks.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Mike Gillislee, P Colton Schmidt, G Ryan Groy, G Michael Ola, TE Logan Thomas, DT DeAndre Coleman, CB Marcus Roberson, RB Dri Archer.
NEEDS: Despite key needs in secondary and at receiver, Buffalo's biggest question mark remains quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Bills have until Saturday to pick up five-year contract extension Taylor signed in August, and commit to paying him nearly $31 million in salary and bonuses. Decision will go far in determining new coach Sean McDermott's approach to filling needs, and how much cap space Bills will have. If Buffalo parts ways with Taylor, quarterback will have to be addressed with developmental project Cardale Jones only player under contract. Otherwise, top priority is receiver, with Buffalo lacking experienced depth behind Sammy Watkins. Starting job at cornerback will open with Gilmore's pending departure. And both safety positions need shoring up with Aaron Williams' future uncertain after second consecutive season-ending neck injury, and 31-year-old Corey Graham showing signs of slowing.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $18 million.
NEW YORK JETS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Darrelle Revis, WR Brandon Marshall, C Nick Mangold, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, LT Ryan Clady, RT Breno Giacomini, QB Geno Smith, K Nick Folk, OT Ben Ijalana, LB Erin Henderson, LB Josh Martin, LB Bruce Carter, S Antonio Allen, TE Kellen Davis, LB Corey Lemonier, LS Tanner Purdum.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Marcus Williams, OL Wesley Johnson, TE Brandon Bostick, RB Khiry Robinson, LB Julian Stanford, LB Mike Catapano, CB Dexter McDougle, LB Randell Johnson, DT Mike Pennel.
NEEDS: What don't they need? In what appears to be massive roster rebuild after dismal campaign, GM Mike Maccagnan has been busy overseeing purge of big-name players with big contracts. Revis, Marshall, Mangold, Folk and Giacomini were released. Jets also didn't exercise options on Fitzpatrick, Clady or Henderson, making them free agents, too. Moves created nearly $46 million in salary cap space, and New York now has some money to use in free agency. Maccagnan said goal is to be competitive, but with eye on future. Jets need to find quarterback first, with only unproven Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg on roster. Both are still major question marks, so New York could opt to bring in veteran QB. There are plenty of other holes, including center, both tackle spots, tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety. Oh, and New York also needs placekicker. Jets will likely be plenty busy during free agency, but won't make many big splashes.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $33 million.
HOUSTON TEXANS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: NT Vince Wilfork, ILB Akeem Dent, P Shane Lechler, CB A.J. Bouye, OLB John Simon, SS Quintin Demps, DE Antonio Smith, K Nick Novak, RB Johnathan Grimes, DT Devon Still, FS Don Jones, G Oday Aboushi, LT David Quessenberry, TE Ryan Griffin.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Ufomba Kamalu, RB Akeem Hunt.
NEEDS: Quarterback is biggest need after Brock Osweiler fiasco of last season. Owner Bob McNair has said they'll do something on that front in free agency or draft, but Texans must pay Osweiler $16 million this year. Unclear how much they'd be willing to pay for short-term solution like Tony Romo. Another priority will be reinforcements for offensive line, most notably right tackle with Derek Newton recovering from serious knee injuries. Want to re-sign cornerback Bouye, but he'll command huge raise from $1.67 million after undrafted free agent's performance last season made him one of top players available at position. Could use playmaker at wide receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins after first-round pick Will Fuller fizzled last season after strong start. But Texans have other more pressing needs.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $23 million.
TENNESSEE TITANS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Kendall Wright, RG Chance Warmack, TE Anthony Fasano, S Rashad Johnson, OL Brian Schwenke, OL Byron Bell, S Daimion Stafford, LB David Bass, CB Valentino Blake, DT Karl Klug, WR-KR Marc Mariani, LB Sean Spence, LB Nate Palmer.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Antonio Andrews, CB D'Joun Smith, TE Phillip Supernaw and LB Justin Staples.
NEEDS: Titans have QB in Marcus Mariota, fixed offensive line last offseason along with run game. Now Cornerbacks and safeties are top needs to fix secondary that caused Titans to rank 30th against pass. CB Perrish Cox was released late last season, Blake is likely gone and Johnson may be, too, after being replaced as starter by rookie S Kevin Byard. CB Jason McCourty is due $7 million in final year of deal and could be asked to rework that. Wright is gone, so speedy wide receiver for Mariota is must to stretch field for both Pro Bowl RB DeMarco Murray and Pro Bowl TE Delanie Walker. Offensive line depth must be shored up with competition at RG, where Josh Kline replaced Warmack after season-ending finger surgery. Walker will be 33 before season opener, so tight end also could be addressed.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $63 million.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Mike Adams, CB Darius Butler, LB Chris Carter, LB Trent Cole, TE Jack Doyle, OG Hugh Thornton, RB Jordan Todman, RB Robert Turbin, LB Erik Walden.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Quan Bray, C Jonotthan Harrison, LB Josh McNary, TE Erik Swoope, DL Zach Kerr.
NEEDS: Defense, defense, defense. With Robert Mathis retiring, D'Qwell Jackson released and no clear indication of re-signing sacks leader Erik Walden, Colts desperately need pass rushers and linebackers. Also need help along defensive line and upgrade at CB. New GM Chris Ballard has made it clear he intends to fix defense that finished each of Chuck Pagano's five seasons in or near bottom third of NFL. Ballard can clear more cap room by releasing oft-injured defensive tackle Art Jones and underwhelming CB Patrick Robinson. Ballard appears to prefer productivity to pizzazz, so may be inclined to make splashy big-name singing. Expect Ballard to also seek help on right side of offensive line. Indy presumably will try to keep Butler and Doyle for reasonable prices.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $55 million.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-13)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Jared Odrick, LT Kelvin Beachum, CB Prince Amukamara, S Johnathan Cyprien, CB Davon House, OL Luke Joeckel, DE Tyson Alualu, RB Denard Robinson, WR Bryan Walters, G Patrick Omameh, DT Jordan Hill.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: SS Peyton Thompson, RB Joe Banyard, RB Daryl Richardson.
NEEDS: After whiffing in free agency by overpaying Odrick, Beachum, TE Julius Thomas, House, G Zane Beadles, RB Chris Ivory and LB Dan Skuta in recent years, Jaguars need to hit on more guys like they did with DT Malik Jackson in 2016. Have to find defensive starters to replace Odrick, Amukamara and Cyprien, as well as offensive line help. Jaguars expected to make huge play for Houston CB A.J. Bouye, potentially offering him around $30 million guaranteed, in hopes of pairing him with budding star Jalen Ramsey. Buffalo CB Stephon Gilmore would be second choice. Arizona S Tony Jefferson or Dallas S Barry Church should be targets to replace Cyprien, an in-box safety who failed to meet expectations as second-round draft pick. Jaguars cut Odrick and haven't re-signed Alualu, so need help at defensive end. Arizona's Calais Campbell or New England's Jabaal Sheard would be upgrade. Jags have trade in place for Miami LT Branden Albert, but unclear who will play next to him. Team used six players at LG in 2016, and because new executive Tom Coughlin wants to build on line of scrimmage, Jacksonville could make strong bid for Cincinnati's Kevin Zeitler.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $67 million.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Lawrence Timmons, LB Jarvis Jones, RB DeAngelo Williams, TE David Johnson, OL Cody Wallace, DT Ricardo Mathews, WR Markus Wheaton, QB Landry Jones.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB L.J. Fort, TE Xavier Grimble.
NEEDS: Pass rushers, more pass rushers and maybe some help for star wide receiver Antonio Brown. Steelers have already started process of creating more havoc in opposing backfield by re-signing seemingly ageless LB James Harrison to two-year deal at very cap-friendly price of less than $2 million per season. Also chance Timmons could return, though he was so productive (114 tackles, 2 1-2 sacks and two picks) last season he'll draw significant interest on open market - meaning if he stays it would be at hometown discount. Pittsburgh rarely splurges in free agency, and last spring's splash, TE Ladarius Green, was dogged by ankle and concussion issues that limited him to five games. Steelers chalked that up to bad luck and insist it won't change vetting process. There's money, for once, even after signing Brown to $68 million extension. Some of it should go to improving Brown's supporting cast that was lackluster in blowout loss to New England for AFC championship. Secondary also has depth issues, though there's strong chance the Steelers will look to draft in that area, which they did last spring when CB Artie Burns and S Sean Davis rapidly morphed from prospect to starter.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $20 million.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Brandon Williams, OL Rick Wagner, DE Lawrence Guy, WR Kamar Aiken, G Vladimir Ducasse, S Matt Elam, FB Kyle Juszczyk, DB Anthony Levine, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, QB Ryan Mallett, CB Jerraud Powers, WR Steve Smith.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: T James Hurst, OL Ryan Jensen, RB Terrance West, WR Michael Campanaro, CB Jumal Rolle, S Marqueston Huff, LB Zachary Orr.
NEEDS: Coach John Harbaugh is adamant about finding another cornerback or two, but that's only one of many positions Ravens must fill through free agency or draft. With Steve Smith retiring and Mike Wallace potential salary-cap casualty, Baltimore has shortage of veteran wide receivers. Aiken caught only 24 passes in 2016 after snagging 75 year before, complained about his lack of use, so probably won't be back. Free agent WR Brandon Marshall is possibility, depending on salary request. If Guy and Williams sign elsewhere, filling out defensive line must be addressed. Unexpected need at middle linebacker popped up when Orr, team's leading tackler last year, was forced to retire because of injury. Ravens are also in market for center after watching 30-year-old Jeremy Zuttah struggle in 2016. GM Ozzie Newsome has plenty to ponder, having several holes to fill while working with limited salary cap space.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $15.2 million.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-9-1)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LT Andrew Whitworth, RG Kevin Zeitler, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, DT Domata Peko, WR Brandon LaFell, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Karlos Dansby, OT Eric Winston, RB Cedric Peerman, DE Margus Hunt, DE Wallace Gilberry, CB Chykie Brown.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: C T.J. Johnson.
NEEDS: Fixing offensive line and getting pass rusher are among priorities, along with figuring out cornerback situation. Cincinnati is trying to retain several key players rather than replace them. Whitworth is free after another Pro Bowl-caliber season and Bengals would like to have him back on line that had problems last season and can't afford to lose best blocker. Cedric Ogbuehi struggled at right tackle and lost job. Zeitler has started last five seasons and Bengals would like to keep him as well. Defensive line will lose Peko, at age 32 headed elsewhere. Defensive line pressure slipped significantly, especially in first half of last season. Kirkpatrick turned into reliable starter and would be missed, although there are couple of first-round picks behind him. Bengals are still waiting to see how cornerback Adam ''Pacman'' Jones' court case is resolved and whether he faces yet another suspension from NFL. LaFell did well during one season as complement to A.J. Green, and Bengals need to find someone to fill role next season.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $26 million.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-15)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Terrelle Pryor, FS Jordan Poyer, G Austin Pasztor, DE Stephen Paea.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Isaiah Crowell, RB Glenn Winston, CB Marcus Burley.
NEEDS: Topping list: offensive playmakers, pass rushers, linemen, linebackers. After not signing some key free agents - Pro Bowl center Alex Mack, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and others - last season, Browns don't want to repeat that mistake. They've been in contract talks for several weeks with agents for Pryor, former quarterback who established himself as top-flight receiver by gaining over 1,000 yards in first full season at position. Browns decided not to use $15.8 million franchise tag on 27-year-old, with hopes of signing him to long-term deal. Cleveland also placed second-round tender on Crowell, considered another core player. Still searching for franchise quarterback, Cleveland, which has most room under salary cap, could make run at Tyrod Taylor - if Buffalo releases him. Browns won't overspend in free agency as they see draft (they have six of top 65 picks) as surest path to relevance.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $102 million.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Latavius Murray, LB Malcolm Smith, DT Stacy McGee, CB D.J. Hayden, QB Matt McGloin, WR Andre Holmes, S Nate Allen, OL Menelik Watson, TE Mychal Rivera, LS Jon Condo, S Brynden Trawick, LB Perry Riley, LB Daren Bates.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DL Denico Autry.
NEEDS: Raiders have made steady progress past few years under GM Reggie McKenzie, leading last season to team's first playoff berth since 2002. Task now is upgrading few crucial spots. Team could get needed help for pass rush if Aldon Smith is reinstated from suspension, but Oakland also would like to find players who can provide inside push at DT. Last year's inside linebacker starters are free agents (Smith and Riley) and Raiders need improvement with player capable of matching up in pass coverage with backs and tight ends. There's also need for help at cornerback, where last year's nickel player Hayden is free agent. Offense is in better shape, biggest question revolving around bringing back Murray as lead back or finding someone else. Slot receiver to team with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree would also help. One of biggest jobs this offseason: locking up quarterback Derek Carr to long-term extension before he can be free agent next offseason.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $43 million.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Knile Davis, C Mike Person, DE Jarvis Jenkins, DT Dontari Poe.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Albert Wilson, DT T.J. Barnes, CB Terrance Mitchell, S Daniel Sorensen, K Cairo Santos.
NEEDS: Chiefs have handful of free agents after giving S Eric Berry $78 million, six-year deal to keep him off market. But DT Poe is massive hole to replace, literally and figuratively. Also needs at WR, where Chris Conley and Jeremy Maclin have not provided enough playmaking, and LB spots. MLB Derrick Johnson is coming off ruptured Achilles tendon, and OLB Tamba Hali is no longer every-down player. Chiefs will need backup QB assuming Nick Foles gets cut to create salary cap space. KC will need to be creative in addressing needs given its lack of salary cap space and money it will need to sign draft picks.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $4.3 million.
DENVER BRONCOS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OLB DeMarcus Ware, DE Vance Walker, DT Sylvester Williams, LS Thomas Gafford, RB Justin Forsett, WR-KR Jordan Norwood, DE Billy Winn, OLB Dekoda Watson, CB Kayvon Webster, WR Marlon Brown, LT Russell Okung.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: C Sam Brenner, ILB Todd Davis, K Brandon McManus.
NEEDS: Fortifying trenches. GM John Elway's philosophy is to fill holes in free agency so he can avoid reaching for needs in draft. He once again is focused on fixing porous O-line, an annual rite of spring in Colorado. Elway isn't ruling out bringing back Okung, but he's entering thin market and might find many other suitors. Elway also has to plug gaping holes along D-line after teams ran seemingly at will and worked middle of field last season, taking advantage of injury (Vance Walker) and departures (Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan). That allowed teams to avoid teeth of Denver's defense: Von Miller rushing passer, with All-Pro CBs Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. ready to pick off passes. On O-line, only seemingly safe player is C Matt Paradis, but he'll be recovering all offseason from operations to both hips. On defense, Elway knows good pickup along line and at inside linebacker could propel Broncos back into playoffs no matter who's at QB in 2017. He'd love to have Ware back at right price.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $40 million.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Jahleel Addae, QB Kellen Clemens, TE Jeff Cumberland, RB Ronnie Hillman, DL Sean Lissemore, CB Robert McClain, RB Dexter McCluster, DT Damion Square, ILB Manti Te'o, OLB Tourek Williams, RB Danny Woodhead, LS Mike Windt.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Jeremy Butler, TE Asante Cleveland, WR Dontrelle Inman, TE Sean McGrath, RB Brandon Oliver, DT Tenny Palepoi, ILB Korey Toomer, OL Kenny Wiggins.
NEEDS: Aside from hiring real estate agents and moving companies, Chargers have plenty of shoring up to do as they try to woo demanding Los Angeles market after bailing from San Diego, their home for 56 seasons. They made big move by slapping franchise tag on OLB Melvin Ingram (eight sacks in 2016) to continue pairing him with NFL Defensive Rookie of Year Joey Bosa (10 1/2 sacks in 12 games) for top-flight pass rush for new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's 4-3 unit. They'll likely bring back popular Woodhead, who's big threat when not hurt, and maybe Addae, although they still need help at safety. Te'o, who's had hard time staying on field, is likely finished as Bolt. Beyond that, most glaring need is fixing underwhelming, oft-injured offensive line that needs help everywhere except at center; Matt Slauson did solid job. They'll also need draft to try to fix O-line. General manager Tom Telesco has had hits - CB Casey Hayward, Pro Bowler who led NFL with seven INTs - and misses - WR Jacoby Jones - in free agency. He doesn't have whole lot of cap space as he tries to turn around team that went 9-23 last two seasons, has missed playoffs six of last seven years, and will spend next two seasons playing in 30,000-seat soccer stadium in suburban Carson.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $5 million.
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