Thomas has been a major weapon for Peyton Manning for the better part of the three seasons that Manning has been in Denver. Thomas has 24 TDs the past two years. He had 489 receiving yards in 2014 and is the third highest-rated TE on Pro Football Focus' 2015 free agent tracker. The Packers are weak at the TE position and Thomas provides a great target for franchise QB Aaron Rodgers.
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Charles Clay (Miami, TE)
Clay had a breakout season in 2013, compiling 69 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns (all career highs). This year Clay's numbers in those categories, and overall, dropped a bit, but he was still targeted 84 times -- the second highest total of his career. Clay is a dynamic talent at tight end, and could be an awesome target for Aaron Rodgers should the Packers be able to sign him. Clay is the fourth highest-rated TE on Pro Football Focus' 2015 FA tracker, so his services are likely to be highly sought after.
Ndamukong Suh (Detroit, DT)
The Lions' defensive superstar is going to demand a lot of money in March. And why not? The fifth-year tackle out of the University of Nebraska has been a force to be reckoned with since his 2010 rookie season. He has 36 career sacks, and 181 career tackles in his five seasons as a pass rushing/run-stopping interior defender that is constantly double-teamed. That's pretty stellar, and he's by far the highest-rated free agent DT on Pro Football Focus. His attitude and penchant for commiting personal fouls are infamous, but his talent, dedication, hard work and drive are more than enough positives to counteract his negatives.
Terrance Knighton (Denver, DT)
'Pot Roast' is Knighton's nickname, and it's well-earned. The big six-year veteran is 6-foot-2 and weighs in at over 290 pounds, making him a very skilled run stopper. He's been a big piece of Denver's defense for the past two years, and the DT had 47 tackles in those two seasons with Denver. He started his career in Jacksonville, where in four seasons as a Jaguar he had 7.5 sacks and 95 combined tackles.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
Jared Odrick (Miami, DT)
Odrick was a huge part of Miami's devastating defensive front in 2014. Odrick has played in 16 games all but once (his 2010 rookie season) in his five years as a pro. Odrick's totals have steadily climbed with each passing year, and he's a burgeoning young talent that may still be exploring his full potential, so he could be cheap and still achieve more individual success as he further approaches his ceiling.
Getty ImagesTom Szczerbowski
Doug Free (Dallas, OT)
Free was one of Dallas' standout offensive linemen in 2014, a major part of a unit that almost singlehandedly improved the Cowboys offense in 2014. Free and his teammates opened up huge holes for RB DeMarco Murray, who had a stellar season, and they protected Tony Romo so he could be free to fire away at his perimeter weaponry without having to run for his life on each dropback. Green Bay's o-line was stellar in 2014, but with big-time players like Bryan Bulaga facing free agency, bringing in worthy replacements like Free is a must.
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Mike Iupati (San Francisco, G)
Iupati has been a staple in San Francisco for years, and he's one of the best individual o-linemen in the game. He likely still has enough left in the tank to physically dominate opposing defensive linemen and allow his back (Eddie Lacy, perhaps?) to hit the second level with ease and give his QB (Aaron Rodgers, maybe?) the time needed to cut up opposing secondaries, as he did for so many years in San Francisco.
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Orlando Franklin (Denver, G)
Franklin is the highest-rated FA guard on Pro Football Focus, and with good reason. He played more than 1,100 snaps in 2014 and was one of the best guards in the league at holding his blocks and foiling the efforts of even the best edge rushers, often without the help of a double-team. Franklin will be highly sought after and well-funded for his talents and presence in whichever offensive line he calls home in 2015 and beyond.
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Brandon Flowers (San Diego, CB)
Flowers doesn't get as much hype as other corners such as Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson, and Darrelle Revis, but it's not because he doesn't have game. Flowers is one of the most underrated cover corners in the league. He has 20 career picks, 388 career return yards on those interceptions, and has defensed 102 passes in his seven year career. Flowers is a great player, and his addition to the Green Bay secondary could turn the fortunes of a unit that's been up and down for years.
Kareem Jackson (Houston, CB)
Jackson is a young, budding star at the CB position. Pro Football Focus' top-rated FA corner, the soon to be 27-year old defender has had a good five-year career to this point. His play started off great his first two seasons (2010 and 2011), then tailed off a bit after that. Since 2013 his totals have started increasing again, and he proved himself an adept corner in 2014: 9 passes defended, three interceptions, and 48 combined tackles just last year alone.
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Brandon Spikes (Buffalo, ILB)
Spikes had his consistency and injury issues in New England, but overall this stellar inside linebacker would be a massive upgrade over anyone in the Green Bay linebacking corps except Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews. Spikes was much more effective in Buffalo this past season. He's young and dynamic, and he has the size, speed and skill to play both the run and the pass. A physical specimen like him alongside Clay Matthews would make the Packers' linebacking corps a force to be reckoned with.