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CAROLINA PANTHERS (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: QBs Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen; WRs Domenik Hixon, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr.; TE Ben Hartsock; OLs Geoff Hangartner, Travelle Wharton, and Bruce Campbell; DT Colin Cole; LBs Jordan Senn, Jason Williams and Dan Connor; S Quintin Mikell and Mike Mitchell; and CBs Captain Munnerlyn and Drayton Florence.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: OL Byron Bell; CB James Dockery.
NEEDS: Panthers have huge hole to fill at left tackle following retirement of Jordan Gross. They also look to upgrade at wide receiver where Steve Smith’s future is unclear ($7 million salary cap figure in 2014) and fellow starter LaFell is free agent. Cornerback is another area of need with starter Munnerlyn’s future uncertain. Carolina needs to add more youth to offensive line. Panthers re-signed K Graham Gano to four-year deal and franchised DE Greg Hardy, who had 15 sacks last season.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-5)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Jimmy Graham; RT Zach Strief; C Brian de la Puente; FS Malcolm Jenkins; LBs Parys Haralson and Ramon Humber; WR Robert Meachem; QB Luke McCown.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Rafael Bush; FB Jed Collins; WR Joe Morgan; DT Tom Johnson.
NEEDS: Saints won’t likely acquire NFL star in free agency because they have limited wiggle room under salary cap and intend to retain Graham, who has led team in catches in past three seasons. Still, New Orleans will be on lookout for bargains in order to add depth in several key spots. With release of Roman Harper and possible departure of Jenkins, Saints could be looking for a safety. And with release of injured former starter Jabari Greer (knee), New Orleans could use experienced cornerback. Meanwhile, possibility of losing two starters on offensive line could create need up front, and New Orleans is always on lookout for receivers to bolster elite passing attack.
ATLANTA FALCONS (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Peria Jerry; TE Chase Coffman; CB Dominique Franks; LB Omar Gaither; OLs Joe Hawley, Sean Locklear and Jeremy Trueblood.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Kevin Cone; CB Robert McClain
NEEDS: Falcons released three former starters after disappointing season: CB Asante Samuel, LB Stephen Nicholas and G Garrett Reynolds. Veteran Gabe Carimi was signed, and more additions are expected on OL. Defensive line also a need, but team re-signed top DTs Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters. Strong pass-rusher needed at DE. TE Tony Gonzalez has retired, but team drafted Levine Toilolo last year. WR Drew Davis has re-signed as exclusive free agent.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-12)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson; LS Andrew Economos; DT Gary Gibson; CB Danny Gorrer; OL Ted Larsen; RB Brian Leonard; PK Rian Lindell; FB Erik Lorig; OT Jamon Meredith; QB Dan Orlovsky; DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim; WR Tiquan Underwood.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TEs Kyle Adams and Nate Byham; WR Eric Page; DT Matthew Masiflo.
NEEDS: New coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht must determine if Mike Glennon, coming off rookie season in which he was forced into starting role under former coach Greg Schiano, is quarterback of future. If not then QB in draft or free agency will be added. If braintrust is willing to link its success — or potential failure — to Glennon, areas of need include defensive end, offensive tackle, tight end, wide receiver and maybe even cornerback, if Smith and Licht are open to trading Darrelle Revis and his $16 million per year salary.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-7-1)Next Page >
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