NFC South Free Agency Capsules
Capsules of NFC South teams heading into free agency. Available salary cap space is an estimate. The 2016 salary cap is $155.27 million per team.
ATLANTA FALCONS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Paul Soliai, G Chris Chester, DE Adrian Clayborn, DE Kroy Biermann, C Gino Gradkowski, OT Jake Long, OT Bryce Harris, CB Phillip Adams, TE Tony Moeaki, LB Philip Wheeler, SS Charles Godfrey, FB Collin Mooney, CB Travis Howard, PK Shayne Graham.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: ILB Paul Worrilow, OT Ryan Schraeder, OLB Nate Stupar, FS Ricardo Allen.
NEEDS: Release of 2016 starter Justin Durant makes linebacker obvious area of offseason emphasis. Other top needs include interior offensive line and wide receiver following release of veteran Roddy White. Team also released starting safety William Moore and may seek competition for Kemal Ishmael.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $27 million.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (17-2)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Josh Norman (franchise tag), FB Mike Tolbert, CB Charles Tillman, WR Jerricho Cotchery, S Roman Harper, CB Cortland Finnegan, G Amini Silatolu, DE Frank Alexander, DT Kyle Love, P Brad Nortman, QB Joe Webb, G Tyrone Green, G Fernando Velasco.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OT Mike Remmers, WR Brenton Bersin, LB Ben Jacobs.
NEEDS: Panthers will be in market for defensive end following retirement of Jared Allen, release of Charles Johnson. They have other needs in secondary, where it may be time to part with aging veterans Tillman and Harper, both starters last season. Finding a right tackle could be a possibility even though team tendered offer to Remmers, who struggled in Super Bowl against Denver's Von Miller.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $26 million.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Benjamin Watson, S Rafael Bush, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, DT Kevin Williams, QB Luke McCown, OLB Anthony Spencer, DE Lawrence Virgil, OLB James Anderson, QB Matt Flynn, G Mike McGlynn, CB Chris Owens, S Jamarca Sanford, CB Kyle Wilson, T Tony Hills, RB Tim Hightower, RB Kendall Hunter, K Kai Forbath, RB Travares Cadet, DT Austin Brown.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Josh Hill, G Tim Lelito, RB Khiry Robinson, G Senio Kelemete, G Ryan Seymour.
NEEDS: Saints' top priorities include improving pass rush, but finding room under salary cap for top-tier defensive end in free agency will be tricky because of about $25 million in dead money from players who've been cut but still have pro-rated bonuses counting against Saints' cap. New Orleans also is in market for tight end, particularly if it can't retain Watson. Other areas of need include offensive guard and defensive back.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $9 million.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Doug Martin, CB Sterling Moore, DT Henry Melton, DT Tony McDaniel, S Chris Conte, DL Da'Quan Bowers, DE Larry English, CB Mike Jenkins, RB Bobby Rainey.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FB Jorvorskie Lane, LB Danny Lansanah, S Bradley McDougald, WR Russell Shepard.
NEEDS: Despite tripling their victory total from two years ago, Bucs have lots of holes to fill, beginning with pass rusher. They haven't had sack leader finish with at least 10 in single season since Simeon Rice in 2005. There's need for cornerbacks and safeties, too, after secondary was shuffled constantly because of inconsistent and, at times, flat-out poor play. Also could be in market to bolster guard and center.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE: $54 million.
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