AFC free agency capsules
BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Mike Wallace and Michael Campanaro; TEs Benjamin Watson and Crockett Gillmore; Cs Ryan Jensen and Luke Bowanko; QB Ryan Mallett; RB Terrance West; CB Brandon Boykin; LB Steven Johnson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
NEEDS: Even if they retain Wallace and Campanaro, Ravens are going after big-play wide receiver. Baltimore appears ready to give up on 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman, who has thus far been bust. Baltimore also needs pass rusher to help out 35-year-old Terrell Suggs and could use more depth on offensive line, especially if Hurst and Jensen end up elsewhere. Tight end is also trouble spot, given that Watson is 37 and Gillmore has struggled to stay healthy.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $4.3 million.
BUFFALO BILLS (9-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Jordan Matthews, Deonte Thompson, Brandon Tate, and Jeremy Butler; CBs E.J. Gaines, Leonard Johnson, and Shareece Wright; LBs Preston Brown and Ramon Humber; DT Cedric Thornton; Ss Colt Anderson and Shamarko Thomas; RBs Travaris Cadet and Taiwan Jones; FB Mike Tolbert; OT Seantrel Henderson; QB Joe Webb.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
NEEDS: Quarterback moved to the top of the list after Buffalo traded three-year starter Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a third-round pick. The deal leaves Nathan Peterman – a fifth-round draft pick last year – as the only quarterback on the roster. Aside from free agency, the Bills are anticipated to select a quarterback in the draft. The defensive front seven could be in store for major overhaul, though Williams re-signed. Starters Brown and Humber are eligible for free agency. Unanticipated hole to fill is center after Eric Woods was diagnosed with career-ending neck injury in January. Bills already addressed needs by signing nine-year veteran CB Vontae Davis and running back Chris Ivory, who is expected to take over as LeSean McCoy’s primary backup.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $37 million.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB AJ McCarron; C Russell Bodine; TE Tyler Eifert; RBs Jeremy Hill and Cedric Peerman; P Kevin Huber; LB Kevin Minter; OTs Andre Smith and Eric Winston; DT Pat Sims.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
NEEDS: McCarron won grievance against Bengals, making him free agent and giving team unexpected task of finding backup for Andy Dalton. Bodine has started every game in past four seasons and team would like to keep him. Offensive line is priority after struggling to protect Dalton and open holes for running backs. Eifert has been injury-prone TE but when healthy is one of Dalton’s favorite targets near goal line. Offense finished last in league and needs major all-around upgrade.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $32.4 million.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-16)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Isaiah Crowell; LB Tank Carder.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DL Jamie Meder.
NEEDS: S, maybe LT. Cleveland figured to be in market for veteran quarterback, but that changed Friday when team acquired Tyrod Taylor in trade with Buffalo. Arrival of dynamic Taylor would seem to rule out Browns making run at AJ McCarron or any other free agent QBs. Still, team is expected to use No. 1 overall draft pick on a young QB to compete with Taylor or maybe start at some point in 2018. Browns also added wide receiver Jarvis Landry via trade, but would like to add depth at what has been troublesome position. Star left tackle Joe Thomas still hasn’t told team if he plans to keep playing or retire. If Thomas is done, team will need to address replacing future Hall of Famer. Browns have been league’s youngest team past two seasons and need infusion of both talent and experience in free agency.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $113 million.
DENVER BRONCOS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: ILBs Todd Davis and Corey Nelson; DEs Jared Crick and Billy Wynn; QB Brock Osweiler; WR Cody Latimer; TE Virgil Green; RB Jamaal Charles; OL Allen Barbre; OT Donald Stephenson; G Billy Turner.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: G Shaquil Barrett; WR Bennie Fowler; C Matt Paradis.
NEEDS: After last year’s deflating draft class produced so little, Broncos need upgrades throughout roster but especially on offense. GM John Elway said high-priced WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, both of whom underperformed last season, will be back. That would make for attractive draw for veteran QB. They need to bolster running backs corps and do usual O-line fix, which has become annual rite of spring in Denver. Even with Jake Butt back from ACL surgery, they could use some more tight end prowess. On defense, they’re no longer elite unit that carried them to Super Bowl 50 title, but still very good behind Von Miller, MVP of Pro Bowl. They could use some jolts at linebacker and even in secondary, which for years was among league’s best.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $24 million.
HOUSTON TEXANS (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CBs Johnathan Joseph and Marcus Williams; RBs Alfred Blue, Andre Ellington and Jordan Todman; OTs Chris Clark and Breno Giacomini; Ss Marcus Gilchrist and Eddie Pleasant; G Xavier Su’a-Filo; QBs Tom Savage, Josh Johnson and T.J. Yates; OLB Jelani Jenkins; WR Bruce Ellington.
NEEDS: Texans look to have finally found franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson. Now they need to upgrade offensive line to keep him protected when he returns from knee injury this season. They’ll likely let Clark and Su’a-Filo go in attempt to improve with better talent for Watson to play behind. They’ll also decide on Savage or Yates to back up Watson, or if they want to look elsewhere after both players struggled with Watson injured. Texans could also be in market for cornerback if they choose not to re-sign 12-year veteran Joseph.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $67.5 million.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Frank Gore; S Darius Butler; WRs Donte Moncrief and Kamar Aiken; LBs Barkevious Mingo and Jon Bostic; QB Scott Tolzien; OLs Jack Mewhort and Michael Person; CBs Pierre Desir and Rashaan Melvin; TE Brandon Williams.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
NEEDS: With so many holes to fill, Colts could go anywhere in free agency. Their top need is pass rusher but they may have better luck finding option in draft. Instead, Indy will likely look for complementary rusher and starting cornerback, and attempt to upgrade offensive line, find No. 2 receiver and maybe even veteran running back to replace Gore. If they lose Melvin, they could be in market for two cornerbacks.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $66 million.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (12-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Arrelious Benn; CB Aaron Colvin; LBs Paul Posluszny and Lerentee McCray; OL Patrick Omameh; QB Chad Henne; TE Mychal Rivera; S Peyton Thompson; LS Matt Overton.
NEEDS: Offensive help. With futures of wideouts Robinson, Lee and Allen Hurns unclear, Jaguars have to add playmakers to take some burden off second-year RB Leonard Fournette and inconsistent QB Blake Bortles. Jags also have 33-year-old TE Marcedes Lewis entering 13th season and needing to cut back on playing time, so they could have several new faces on that side of ball. Multiple WRs and at least one TE are possibilities in free agency and/or draft. Backup QB also needed. Coach Doug Marrone wants to be run-first team and needs explosive personnel outside to reduce and maybe eliminate eight- and nine-man defensive fronts.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $29 million.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Bennie Logan and DT Stefan Charles; P Dustin Colquitt; LBs Derrick Johnson and Kevin Pierre-Louis; WRs Albert Wilson and De’Anthony Thomas; FB Anthony Sherman; QB Tyler Bray; RB C.J. Spiller; DE Jarvis Jenkins; CBs Phillip Gaines, Kenneth Acker and Terrance Mitchell; S Steven Terrell; LG Jordan Devey; C Zach Fulton.
NEEDS: Chiefs’ trades of QB Alex Smith to Redskins and CB Marcus Peters to Rams become official March 14. That means Kansas City will likely be in market for veteran backup for QB Patrick Mahomes II and another cornerback to compete with incoming Kendall Fuller and recently signed David Amerson. Chiefs have big needs everywhere on defense, including linebackers and defensive line, and could use playmaking wide receiver to complement Tyreek Hill.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $1.9 million over.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TEs Antonio Gates and Jeff Cumberland; LBs Korey Toomer and Jerry Attaochu; RB Branden Oliver; OLs Matt Slauson, Chris Hairston, Kenny Wiggins, Michael Ola and Michael Schofield; S Tre Boston; QB Kellen Clemens; DT Tenny Palepoi.
NEEDS: After 9-3 finish to season, Chargers believe they’re few pieces away from contending. Offensive line wasn’t outstanding, and top-notch right tackle would be welcome bookend for Russell Okung. Re-signing safety Tre Boston or finding his replacement is important. Clemens could be replaced by more viable backup to Philip Rivers. Linebacker depth is significant need. GM Tom Telesco said he wants to find established veteran kicker after last season’s struggles likely cost Bolts playoff spot. And they must decide whether to give another season to Gates, who will be 38.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $22 million.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: SS Michael Thomas, Walt Aikens and S Nate Allen; QBs Matt Moore and Jay Cutler; LBs Lamin Barrow and Koa Misi; G Jermon Bushrod; LS John Denney; TE Anthony Fasano; DEs Terrence Fede and William Hayes; K Cody Parkey; CB Alterraun Verner; RB Damien Williams; OT Sam Young.
NEEDS: After backsliding in Year 2 under coach Adam Gase, Dolphins need starters at tight end, linebacker, receiver and perhaps two offensive line positions. They need more depth at running back and safety. Miami already made two significant moves, agreeing to trade receiver Jarvis Landry to Browns for two draft picks, and agreeing to acquire Rams edge rusher Robert Quinn for mid-round draft pick. But with severe salary cap constraints and mediocre pool of free agent talent, Dolphins are unlikely to be as aggressive in free agency as in recent years.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $4 million over.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (15-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CBs Malcolm Butler and Johnson Bademosi; WRs Danny Amendola and Matt Slater; RBs Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead; OTs Nate Solder, Cam Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle; DTs Alan Branch and Ricky Jean Francois; LBs James Harrison and Marquis Flowers; DE Geno Grissom; FS Nate Ebner.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FS Brandon King; G Ted Karras.
NEEDS: Butler’s comments following his Super Bowl benching point to exit for him and opening at cornerback. New England likes Burkhead and got big production in 2017 from Lewis. Both are just 27 years old, but Patriots likely won’t stand pat after disappointing season by 2017 free agency pickup Mike Gillislee. Linebacking core needs some help with Harrison unlikely to be re-signed at age 39 and starter Dont’a Hightower coming off shoulder surgery. Getting another player to pair with Trey Flowers at defensive end will be another priority.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $14.7 million.
NEW YORK JETS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QB Josh McCown; CB Morris Claiborne; C Wesley Johnson, TEs Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Chris Gragg; LBs Demario Davis, Bruce Carter, Julian Stanford, and David Bass; S Terrence Brooks; PK Chandler Catanzaro; DLs Kony Ealy and Ed Stinson; DT Mike Pennel; OLs Jonotthan Harrison, Ben Ijalana and Dakota Dozier.
NEEDS: It’s all about finding quarterback, running theme for this franchise for, well, decades. New York will be in Kirk Cousins sweepstakes and has money it would take to land him. But will the former Washington QB want team that has failed to make playoffs for seven straight seasons and underwent massive rebuild last year? Jets have new offensive coordinator in former QBs coach Jeremy Bates, who runs Mike and Kyle Shanahan-style system Cousins learned during his first two seasons in league. If Jets whiff on Cousins, there’s good chance McCown will be back to mentor whomever New York takes with its first draft pick at No. 6 overall. Plenty of holes elsewhere, although Jets are interested in re-signing Claiborne, Seferian-Jenkins and Davis as core players. Help on offensive line, namely at center, proven pass rusher and cornerback will also be high priorities for GM Mike Maccagnan. Running back Matt Forte is retired, so Jets might look for some depth in backfield, as well as on defensive line after releasing disappointing Muhammad Wilkerson.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $90 million.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Ss Reggie Nelson and Keith McGill; LB NaVorro Bowman; CBs TJ Carrie and Sean Smith; K Sebastian Janikowski; DL Denico Autry; TE Lee Smith; QB E.J. Manuel; LS Jon Condo.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
NEEDS: Coach Jon Gruden takes over team coming off disappointing season with many holes. There could be even more voids if Raiders choose to release several high-priced veterans to create even more cap room. Biggest holes right now are on defense; Raiders must upgrade at linebacker and in secondary, as well as find pass rush help for Khalil Mack. Oakland also would like to add at least one more receiver, along with possible upgrade at tackle. Another question is at running back; keep Marshawn Lynch and his $6 million salary or find starter in free agency or draft?
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $20 million.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (13-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Arthur Moats; G Chris Hubbard; WR Justin Hunter; LB Sean Spence; RBs Stevan Ridley and RB Fitz Toussaint; DT Daniel McCullers; S Daimion Stafford.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: K Chris Boswell; LB Anthony Chickillo; WR Eli Rogers.
NEEDS: Two-time defending AFC North champions need help at inside linebacker with Ryan Shazier already ruled out for 2018 with spinal injury. Pittsburgh’s defense sagged late in season without Shazier and was shredded by Jacksonville in stunning home playoff loss. Depth at running back is also concern with Le’Veon Bell’s long-term status uncertain after team placed franchise tag on him for second straight spring. Steelers as usual are right up against cap; contract restructuring and cutting some veterans would give them wiggle room if needed. They could even sign marquee player if they opted to pull back franchise tag on Bell, which would free up $14.5 million in cap space off top.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $1 million.
TENNESSEE TITANS (10-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Avery Williamson and Erik Walden; WRs Eric Decker and Harry Douglas; DE DaQuan Jones; CB Brice McCain; G Josh Kline; C Brian Schwenke; QB Brandon Weeden.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: G Quinton Spain; DE David King; CB Curtis Riley.
NEEDS: Now that QB Matt Cassel is being released, upgrading Marcus Mariota’s backup is crucial after Titans lost one game Cassel started last season. Both starting guards also are hitting market, though any offer to Spain can be matched, with Titans possibly looking at options after run game slumped from first in AFC to 15th. Wide receiver is must with Decker hitting market after ranking second with 54 catches. Money seems biggest obstacle for Titans keeping pair of defensive starters in Williamson and Jones, who was playing his best when he tore biceps.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $59 million.
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