NFC Free Agency Capsules
A look at each NFC team's free agency situation (salary cap space is estimated):
DALLAS COWBOYS (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church, CB Morris Claiborne, G Ron Leary, QB Kellen Moore, RB Darren McFadden, RB Lance Dunbar, WR Terrance Williams, S J.J. Wilcox, LB Rolando McClain, QB Mark Sanchez, LB Andrew Gachkar, DE Jack Crawford, TE Gavin Escobar, DT Terrell McClain, LB Justin Durant, CB Josh Thomas, WR Brice Butler, DE Ryan Davis, DT Richard Ash.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT: DE Ryan Davis.
NEEDS: Cowboys retooling at cornerback same way as in 2012, when they gave Carr $50 million contract and traded into top 10 in draft to take Claiborne. Carr has edge over Claiborne for return because of durability. Search for elite pass rusher hasn't stopped since letting franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware go in 2014 salary cap move. Like last year, signing own free agents will be top priority, perhaps led by trying to retain Church. Rookie RB sensation Ezekiel Elliott's backup in question, with McFadden intriguing as option if he can't find better playing time elsewhere. Dunbar fits change-of-pace role but hasn't been same since knee injury in 2015. Backup question also in play behind other rookie star, QB Dak Prescott, with 10-year starter Tony Romo likely headed to another team. VP of personnel Stephen Jones says Cowboys wants Moore back after training camp injury ended season. New No. 2 WR behind Dez Bryant possible with return of Williams or Butler unclear. Team losing LB depth in free agency, so expect couple of veteran additions.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $3.3 million.
NEW YORK GIANTS (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Victor Cruz, RB Rashad Jennings, LB Keenan Robinson, TE Larry Donnell, T Marshall Newhouse, S Leon Hall, LB Mark Herzlich, T Will Beatty, PK Robbie Gould, DT Johnathan Hankins, QB Josh Johnson, RB Bobby Rainey, LB Kelvin Sheppard, G John Jerry, QB Ryan Nassib, CB Coty Sensabaugh, CB Trevin Wade, RB Orleans Darkwa.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Anthony Johnson, LB Deontae Skinner, TE Will Tye, LB Uani Unga, DE Kerry Wynn, DT Robert Thomas, FB Nikita Whitlock, RB George Winn, S/LB Eric Pinkins.
NEEDS: Outside receiver opposite Odell Beckham Jr. and re-signing Hankins. After focusing on defense in free agency last year (DE Olivier Vernon, DT Damon Harrison and CB Janoris Jenkins), GM Jerry Reese needs to turn attention to offense. OL is mess. LT Ereck Flowers has been disappointment and right side, Jerry and Newhouse, are free agents. Expect free agent or high-round draft pick. New York also needs tight end, running back and eventually, heir apparent for QB Eli Manning. Don't expect Cruz, Jennings and Donnell to return. New York might be interested in Adrian Peterson, but that might be too costly for older RB. Former Rutgers WR Kenny Britt has had some non-football problems but had 1,000-yard season in 2016 and would be second option for Manning. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and LB J.T. Thomas might be cap cuts if Giants need more money.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $13.9 million.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (8-7-1)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR DeSean Jackson, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Vernon Davis, DE Chris Baker, DE Ziggy Hood, DT Kedric Golston, LB Terence Garvin, C John Sullivan, S Duke Ihenacho, CB Greg Toler, S Donte Whitner.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Chris Thompson, LB Will Compton, OT Ty Nsekhe, DE Matt Ioannidis, CB Dashaun Phillips, OL Vinston Painter.
NEEDS: Help on defense and particularly defensive line is paramount after ranking 28th in NFL in past two seasons. New defensive coordinator Greg Manusky won't vary from team's 3-4 scheme but needs more talent to work with. Baker could return but is expected to draw interest around league. Secondary after CB Josh Norman should also be focus after porous third-down and pass defense, particularly at safety. If Jackson and Garcon leave, they'll need at least one receiver to go with Josh Doctson, who missed almost entire rookie season with Achilles tendon injury. Jackson and Garcon will be sought commodities, with Jackson never shooting down idea he'd like to return to Philadelphia, Garcon saying he's more than No. 2 WR or possession guy. Decision on franchise-tagged Kirk Cousins will affect moves at QB in free agency and draft. Across roster, expect more additions than last offseason.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $34.6 million.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Bennie Logan, OL Stefen Wisniewski, CB Nolan Carroll, DE Bryan Braman, LB Stephen Tulloch, LB Najee Goode.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Trey Burton, RB Kenjon Barner, S Jaylen Watkins.
NEEDS: Starting cornerbacks and playmaker at wide receiver are top priorities. They likely won't bring Carroll back and already released Leodis McKelvin, so they'll enter next season with two new starting CBs. Logan is valuable starter, but they have depth and might allow him to walk. Personnel boss Howie Roseman is known for making splash in free agency, though it was former coach Chip Kelly who wanted RB DeMarco Murray and CB Byron Maxwell in 2015. They lasted one season and were traded away by Roseman after Kelly was fired. Veteran receivers are available, but Eagles might not want to spend big money on guys who could be trending downward by time they're ready to contend. If they go quick-fix route, DeSean Jackson made it clear he'd love to return to Philly. Chicago's Alshon Jeffery is top WR on market, but he'll command more than Eagles currently can afford, though they'll cut more players to free up cap space.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $8.5 million.
ATLANTA FALCONS (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Jonathan Babineaux, OG Chris Chester, OG Tom Compton, FB Patrick DiMarco, OLB Dwight Freeney, S Dashon Goldson, S Kemal Ishmael, LB LaRoy Reynolds, WR Aldrick Robinson, TE Jacob Tamme, QB Matt Schaub, TE Levine Toilolo, DT Courtney Upshaw, LB Sean Weatherspoon, WR Eric Weems, OLB Philip Wheeler, LB Paul Worrilow, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Taylor Gabriel, OG Ben Garland, SS Akeem King, OLB Tyler Starr.
NEEDS: Falcons have given defense an overhaul in last two drafts, and now is time for tweaking. Another edge rusher is needed to complement Vic Beasley; 37-year-old Freeney's future is uncertain. With so much youth elsewhere, veteran to help pass rush might be good fit. Other top needs are offensive guard and defensive tackle, especially if Babineaux and Upshaw leave. GM Thomas Dimitroff said at NFL combine team hopes to reach new deals with Ishmael and Toilolo. Tamme was productive starter before landing on IR with shoulder injury, and Falcons could look for veteran tight end. Chester is 34; his departure would leave hole at right guard. Team re-signed two starters, CB Robert Alford and OT Ryan Schraeder, during 2016 season.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $16 million.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Mike Glennon, WR Vincent Jackson, T Gosder Cherilus, S Chris Conte, C Joe Hawley, LB Daryl Smith, S Bradley McDougald, TE Brandon Myers, DT John Hughes, CB Josh Robinson, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Cecil Shorts, WR Russell Shepard, DT Sealver Siliga, RB Antone Smith, DT Akeem Spence.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Ryan Griffin, LS Andrew DePaola, DE Jacquies Smith.
NEEDS: Coming off first winning season since 2010, Bucs have plenty of salary cap space to address weaknesses that have kept them out of playoffs past nine seasons. But with WR Mike Evans and QB Jameis Winston due contract extensions soon, don't expect general manager Jason Licht to launch all-out spending frenzy in pursuit of running back, receiver, safety and defensive line help. GM, entering fourth year with Bucs, has been aggressive in free agency in past three offseasons, though with mixed results. No. 2 receiver is priority, though with Doug Martin's future uncertain after being slowed last season by injury and - just as concerning - suspension that will extend into 2017 for violating league's policy on performance enhancers, running back may be more pressing need. RB Adrian Peterson and WR DeSean Jackson are among biggest names in market, though both are in their 30s. That may not make them good fit, especially if Licht and coach Dirk Koetter feel they can fill those needs in draft.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $67 million.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Nick Fairley, G Jahri Evans, DE Paul Kruger, RB Tim Hightower, CB Sterling Moore, S Roman Harper, G Tim Lelito, DE Darryl Tapp, S Jamarca Sanford, LS Justin Drescher, S Shilo Keo, RB Travaris Cadet, CB B.W. Webb, LB Michael Mauti, CB Kyle Wilson, T Tony Hills, TE John Phillips, CB Tony Carter, LB Sam Barrington, LB Jason Trusnik.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OLB Kasim Edebali, WR Corey Fuller, S Chris Banjo.
NEEDS: Most priorities are on defense, which ranked 27th in 2016. Saints need edge pass rusher most, followed by middle linebacker or cornerback. Saints have 2016 opening day starting CBs returning, but P.J. Williams' future has been clouded by injuries, limiting him to fewer than two full games in first two seasons, including severe concussion in 2016. Starting MLB Craig Robertson returning after solid campaign, but Saints could pursue upgrade at that key spot. Saints have more room to spend in free agency than in past years, but could proceed cautiously following more recent costly signings such as S Jairus Byrd and RB C.J. Spiller which didn't pan out. Offense ranked No. 1 in NFL last season, but some concern on interior line if veteran Evans isn't retained. Similar need could arise at interior defensive line if Saints can't retain Fairley, who wants to test market but likes New Orleans for proximity to native Alabama.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $30 million.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Kawann Short (non-exclusive franchise tag), DE Charles Johnson, WR Ted Ginn Jr., OT Mike Remmers, CB Leonard Johnson, LB A.J. Klein, CB Teddy Williams, FS Michael Griffin, C Ryan Wendell, G Chris Scott, DT Kyle Love.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Fozzy Whittaker, CB Lou Young, WR Philly Brown.
NEEDS: GM Dave Gettleman has several areas to address after Panthers regressed last season, particularly at offensive tackle and defensive end. There is uncertainty whether left tackle Michael Oher will make it back from concussion-plagued season. Right tackle Remmers is free agent. Free agent Matt Kalil, brother of center Ryan Kalil, could be option. Defensively, Johnson, 33, is on downside of career. Although Carolina was second in sacks last season, starters Kony Ealy and Johnson struggled to get to quarterback. It is likely time to upgrade at running back with Jonathan Stewart's body seemingly wearing down. Cam Newton could use upgrade at receiver this season, although it is expected Ginn will re-sign. Panthers used franchise tag on Short, one of game's top young defensive tackles, even though previous franchise tags in recent years with Greg Hardy and Josh Norman flopped.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $36 million.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: T/G Don Barclay, TE Jared Cook, LS Brett Goode, DB Micah Hyde, DE/LB Datone Jones, RB Eddie Lacy, G T.J. Lang, RB Christine Michael, LB Julius Peppers, LB Nick Perry, C/G JC Tretter.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Jayrone Elliott, LB Jordan Tripp.
NEEDS: Edge rusher, cornerback and running back are top priorities. Last position could be filled by bringing back Lacy, whose season was cut short in October by ankle injury. Draft is deep at running back, though Packers are thin on experience in backfield with converted receiver Ty Montgomery only RB on roster. Pass rush could use dynamic infusion, but that might be better filled in draft. At 37, Peppers is no longer dominant force, though he can still play well in spurts. How much is that luxury worth? LB Clay Matthews was slowed by shoulder injury, but could be just as valuable to Packers with his ability to play inside, too. Perry was having breakout season before hurting left hand late in schedule. Defense could also use veteran cornerback after Sam Shields was cut; Packers' collection of second-year cornerbacks had inconsistent seasons. Most important in-house free agent might be Cook, who emerged in second half of season to give Aaron Rodgers big, athletic target over middle of field.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $40.3 million.
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OT Riley Reiff, OG Larry Warford, DE Devin Taylor, WR Anquan Boldin, WR/PR Andre Roberts, DT Stefan Charles, DT Tyrunn Walker, S Rafael Bush, LB Josh Bynes, QB Dan Orlovsky, LS Don Muhlbach, LB Jon Bostic, TE Clay Harbor, TE Matthew Mulligan, TE Tim Wright, RB Joique Bell, CB Asa Jackson, CB Crezdon Butler, OLB Armonty Bryant, OG Garrett Reynolds.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR TJ Jones, OLB Brandon Copeland, DT Khyri Thornton, OT Cornelius Lucas, S Isaiah Newsome.
NEEDS: GM Bob Quinn says team may take shot at signing top-end guy, and could use one up front on both sides of ball. Lions may lose right side of offensive line, Reiff and Warford, in free agency and don't seem to have great options behind them. Losing Taylor would leave them without pass-rushing defensive end opposite Ezekiel Ansah, who is entering last year of rookie contract. Linebacker due for an upgrade, too.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $32 million.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Adrian Peterson, LT Matt Kalil, CB Captain Munnerlyn, CB Terence Newman, WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson, TE Rhett Ellison, P Jeff Locke, LB Chad Greenway, RT Andre Smith, LT Jake Long, RB Matt Asiata, FB Zach Line, QB Shaun Hill, LB Audie Cole, DE Justin Trattou.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Adam Thielen, WR Charles Johnson.
NEEDS: Offensive linemen unquestionably team's biggest priority after injury-ravaged 2016 that contributed to use of 12 players and eight different starting lineups while QB Sam Bradford struggled to find time to throw. Running game ranked last with mere 75.3 yards per game. LG Alex Boone, prize from last year's free agency, was one of few reliable players up front, example for GM Rick Spielman of benefit of spending aggressively on accomplished blockers. Without first-round draft pick this year, Spielman might be more active than usual with core of contender still in place despite last-season slide following 5-0 start. Kalil is only pending UFA Vikings are expected to pursue; Boone and center Joe Berger are only regular starters under contract. Retirement by Greenway will likely be compensated for within roster. Losing both Munnerlyn and Newman would be hit to desirable secondary depth. Peterson will test market, without promise of return. Other positions that could be enhanced include SS and DT.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: About $38 million.
CHICAGO BEARS (3-13)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Alshon Jeffery, QB Brian Hoyer, RT Matt McCants, G Ted Larsen, G Eric Kush, CB Johnthan Banks, K Connor Barth, OLB Sam Acho, S Chris Prosinski, WR Deonte Thompson, TE Logan Paulsen, LT Mike Adams, DE C.J. Wilson, LT Nick Becton, QB Matt Barkley, DE Cornelius Washington, WR Marquess Wilson, CB Brandon Boykin.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Demontre Hurst, LB Christian Jones.
NEEDS: GM Ryan Pace enters third offseason with long to-do list. With no guaranteed money left on seven-year deal he signed in 2014, QB Jay Cutler could be traded or released after eight seasons in Chicago. Either way, Bears need to find quarterback of future. Might need veteran bridge whether it's Cutler, Hoyer or acquisition. Bears also need help in secondary and could use more pass rushers. Another issue: receiver. Bears opted not to apply franchise tag for second straight year to Jeffery, making him unrestricted free agent.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $51 million.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-5-1)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: K Steven Hauschka, OL Bradley Sowell, LB Mike Morgan, DT Tony McDaniel, FB Marcel Reese, FB Will Tukuafu, S Jeron Johnson, S Kelcie McCray, TE Brandon Williams, CB Neiko Thorpe, DE Damontre Moore, DT John Jenkins, TE Luke Willson, KR Devin Hester, CB Deshawn Shead, LB Brock Coyle.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Steven Terrell, RT Garry Gilliam,, CB Mohammed Seisay.
NEEDS: In past few seasons, general manager John Schneider has mostly focused on retaining own players rather than delving heavily into open market. Schneider may change that approach this year. Seattle may have no other option than diving into free agency, especially for offensive line. Seahawks would still like to build primarily in draft. That's likely to be true at cornerback with deep draft class and major need after Shead tore ACL in playoffs and was not offered tender as restricted free agent; he might miss start of 2017 season. Signing free agent CBs has not worked well for Seattle. But free agents on O-line may provide opportunities for Seattle to seek veteran upgrades; young group showed inexperience last season.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $26 million.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-8-1)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Calais Campbell, S Tony Jefferson, ILB Kevin Minter, DT Frostee Rucker, CB Marcus Cooper, S D.J. Swearinger, RB Chris Johnson, C A.Q. Shipley, OLB Alex Okafor, T/G Earl Watford, RB Andre Ellington, RB Stepfan Taylor, CB Mike Jenkins, ILB Sio Moore.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: K Chandler Catanzaro, TE Darren Fells, WR Brittan Golden, T John Ulrick.
NEEDS: Much will depend on how many of 15 unrestricted free agents they can retain given Cardinals' limited salary space. Arizona resolved one issue by placing franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones. Cardinals will want to bring back OLB Okafor, team's sacks leader, but might not be able to afford Campbell and/or Jefferson. Cardinals need help in secondary, still searching for cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson, role filled inconsistently by Cooper last season. Also need help at safety, especially if they lose Jefferson. Arizona could use upgrade at inside linebacker with good chance Minter won't return, and at center if Shipley isn't re-signed. Losing veterans Campbell and Rucker would cut into deep defensive line. But Cardinals hopeful Robert Nkemdiche, last year's first-round pick who played little in 2016, improves enough to hold down one spot. Could look for veteran help, though. Three backups to running back David Johnson are free agents. Cardinals know they must find heir apparent to 37-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer, either through free agency or draft.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $17 million.
LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Kenny Britt, WR Brian Quick, S T.J. McDonald, QB Case Keenum, RB Benny Cunningham, K Greg Zuerlein, RB Chase Reynolds, DE Cam Thomas.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Dominique Easley, DT Ethan Westbrooks.
NEEDS: Rams had NFL's worst offense for second consecutive season, and new coaching staff is probably hoping for reinforcements to woeful offensive line and subpar group of receivers. Every position on line could be improved by new player, so GM Les Snead will have plenty of options in market. While evaluating available targets for Jared Goff, Rams also must decide whether to attempt to keep Britt, who just completed first 1,000-yard season by Rams receiver since 2007. Several veterans are available, including DeSean Jackson, Long Beach native who played for Sean McVay in Washington for past three years. Los Angeles spent roughly half its available salary cap room to keep CB Trumaine Johnson, but could use another quality cornerback to help largely solid defense. McDonald is biggest defensive contributor who might get away, but he seems like solid fit for changed role in new coordinator Wade Phillips' scheme. Defensive desires might take back seat to acute offensive needs as McVay attempts to rebuild from wreckage.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $19.5 million.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-14)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Colin Kaepernick, DL Glenn Dorsey, K Phil Dawson, QB Blaine Gabbert, LB Gerald Hodges, LB Michael Wilhoite, DE Tony Jerod-Eddie, RB Shaun Draughn, WR Quinton Patton, LB Nick Bellore, WR Rod Streater, QB Christian Ponder, QB Thad Lewis, TE Jim Dray, OL Andrew Gardner, DL Chris Jones, OL Andrew Tiller, WR Torrey Smith.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Marcus Cromartie, RB DuJuan Harris, CB Chris Davis.
NEEDS: New GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have tall task taking over team that matched worst record in franchise history. Roster is filled with holes, perhaps none bigger than quarterback, where Kaepernick opted out of deal and no other QBs are currently under contract. Even if Niners plan to draft quarterback next month, they will need some veterans at position through either trades or free agency. Team also needs big-play receiver with slot man Jeremy Kerley only wideout under contract having more than 20 catches in 2016. With change of defensive schemes to 4-3 front after allowing most points in franchise history, defense needs plenty of help as well. Biggest needs there are pass rusher, inside linebacker and cornerbacks.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $92 million.
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