Capsules of the 16 AFC teams entering NFL free agency, which begins Tuesday:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB LeGarrette Blount; DE Andre Carter; WRs Austin Collie and Julian Edelman; LBs Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher; TEs Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan; OL Will Svitek; CB Aqib Talib; C Ryan Wendell.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LS Danny Aiken.
NEEDS: Patriots needed help at wide receiver even before Edelman entered free agency after catching career-high 105 passes. They also may need veteran cornerback since best player at that spot, Talib, could walk. Potential loss of Spikes and Fletcher would create need at linebacker, while Hoomanawanui and Mulligan were top two tight ends after Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending knee injury in 13th game.
NEW YORK JETS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Ed Reed; CB Aaron Berry; G Willie Colon; KR-WRs Josh Cribbs and KR-WR Darius Reynaud; TE Kellen Winslow; DL Leger Douzable; OL Vladimir Ducasse; QB David Garrard; FB Lex Hilliard; T Austin Howard; LBs Josh Mauga and Calvin Pace.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Nick Bellore and LB Garrett McIntyre; CB Isaiah Trufant.
NEEDS: Finding wide receivers top priority this offseason, in free agency and/or draft. Santonio Holmes is likely salary cap casualty, leaving Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson as only experienced WRs. TE also spot Jets will look to upgrade with Winslow not likely back, although they re-signed Jeff Cumberland before he could become free agent. Also could be in market for veteran QB to back up Geno Smith and possibly challenge him for starting job. Mark Sanchez, once considered team’s franchise QB, also likely to be cut with hefty $13.1 million salary cap number for this season. CB Antonio Cromartie ($14.98 million cap number) released Sunday, so Jets likely targeting another starter opposite Dee Milliner in secondary.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Gs Richie Incognito, John Jerry and David Arkin; OTs Tyson Clabo and Bryant McKinnie; NTs Paul Soliai and Randy Starks; S Chris Clemons; CBs Chris Owens and Nolan Carroll; TE Dustin Keller; WR Marlon Moore; LB Austin Spitler.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB R.J. Stanford; T Will Yeatman; OL Danny Watkins
NEEDS: Tackles, guards, tight end. Incognito and Jerry, both implicated in bullying scandal, are among those on way out as Dolphins hit reset button on offensive line, which endured awful 2013 on and off field. Miami could have five new starters up front. Dolphins hope to keep either Starks or Soliai. They’re in market for upgrade at tight end after newcomer Keller missed 2013 season with right knee injury. Signed S Louis Delmas, released by Lions, to one-year contract and cut CB Dimitri Patterson.
BUFFALO BILLS (6-10)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Jairus Byrd and Jim Leonhard; TE Scott Chandler; DL Alex Carrington; PK Dan Carpenter; LB Arthur Moats; OL Thomas Welch.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Mike Caussin.
NEEDS: Bills’ inability to negotiate long-term contract with Byrd opens significant hole on defense that showed marked improvement last year. Converted cornerback Aaron Williams capably made switch to safety. Re-signing Leonhard would provide insurance. Landing experienced backup QB is need after veteran Kevin Kolb missed all season because of concussion. Bills had to scramble to add quarterbacks after rookie starter EJ Manuel missed six games with knee injuries. Pass-rushing DE Jerry Hughes emerged as solid complement to Mario Williams, making him candidate for contract extension entering final year of current deal.
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