UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Demaryius Thomas (franchise tagged), TE Julius Thomas, NT Terrance Knighton, S Rahim Moore, G Orlando Franklin, WR Wes Welker, TE Jacob Tamme, LB Nate Irving, S Quinton Carter, TE Virgil Green, C Will Montgomery, DT Mitch Unrein.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Steven Johnson, CB Tony Carter.
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NEEDS: GM John Elway wants to beef up both his offensive and defensive lines. On offense, he’ll likely need three new starters, plus hope LT Ryan Clady and RG Louis Vasquez return to full health in 2015. On defense, he’ll need a stout nose tackle to anchor Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 scheme that aims to better capitalize on the pass rushing prowess of Pro Bowlers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Also, with all three tight ends hitting the market, the Broncos might need a complete refurbishing at that position.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Justin Houston (franchise tagged) and Josh Mauga; CBs Ron Parker and Chris Owens; S Kurt Coleman; DL Kevin Vickerson; C Rodney Hudson; OGs Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach; OT Ryan Harris; RB Joe McKnight; TE Richard Gordon; WR Jason Avant; LS Thomas Gafford.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Dezman Moses; S Kelcie McCray.
NEEDS: The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on NFL sacks leader Houston as they try to work out long-term deal. That leaves porous offensive line and ineffective receiving corps as biggest needs in free agency. Chiefs are in market for safety and cornerback help given uncertainty of SS Eric Berry’s cancer treatment, and depth needed at LB and DL after injuries took their toll last season. QB Alex Smith signed a long-term deal last training camp, keeping him off the market.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-13)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Tarell Brown, CB Carlos Rogers, RB Darren McFadden, C Stefen Wisniewski, DT Pat Sims, WR Vincent Brown, DE CJ Wilson, WR Denarius Moore, TE David Ausberry.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Andre Holmes, WR Rod Streater, S Brandian Ross, P Marquette King, CB Chimdi Chekwa, S Larry Asante, RB Kory Sheets.
NEEDS: The Raiders will enter free agency with more than $50 million in cap room and will be required to spend a lot of it to reach the minimums established by the CBA. Oakland only spent about 80 percent of the cap the past two seasons and will need to be right at the limit the next two years to reach the 89 percent threshold. It has plenty of needs after a three-win season. Help for quarterback Derek Carr is paramount, especially finding a playmaking receiver. The interior of the offensive line has openings and Oakland also needs to upgrade the pass rush. Other needs are at safety following the release of Tyvon Branch, and middle linebacker, where Nick Roach has still not recovered from a season-ending concussion sutained last preseason.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Seyi Ajirotutu, RB Ronnie Brown, CB Brandon Flowers, OLB Dwight Freeney, LB Andrew Gachkar, S Marcus Gilchrist, OL Doug Legursky, DE Ricardo Mathews, RB Ryan Mathews, P/K Matt McBriar, OL Rich Ohrnberger, WR PR/KR Eddie Royal, OL Willie Smith, CB Shareece Wright.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: C Trevor Robinson.
NEEDS: While owner Dean Spanos ponders whether the team itself will become a free agent – he’s threatening to move to a Los Angeles suburb if San Diego won’t build him a new stadium – GM Tom Telesco is focusing on rebuilding an offensive line depleted by retirements. The running game also floundered as San Diego missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. Center Nick Hardwick, the anchor of the line since 2004, and guard Jeromey Clary retired after fighting injuries. Telesco did re-sign left tackle King Dunlap to a four-year contract. Telesco has to decide whether to re-sign Ryan Mathews, who replaced LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010, or let the injury-prone back leave. Another area that needs help is the toothless pass rush. While outside linebacker Jarret Johnson retired, Dwight Freeney said he wants to play another season. He’s had only four sacks in his two seasons with the Chargers.
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