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Most recent 20 results returned for keyword: Chris Prosinski (Search this on MAP)

https://plus.google.com/100201889599393434016 Dirk Staples : 03/31/2017 Waived DL Ego Ferguson. 03/24/2017 Signed QB Mark Sanchez to a one-year contract. 03/23/2017...
03/31/2017 Waived DL Ego Ferguson.
03/24/2017 Signed QB Mark Sanchez to a one-year contract.
03/23/2017 Re-signed WR Deonte Thompson to a one-year contract.
03/22/2017 Re-signed DL C.J. Wilson to a one-year contract.
03/21/2017 Signed RB Benny Cunningham to a one-year contract.
03/20/2017 Re-signed DB Chris Prosinski to a one-year contract.
03/17/2017 Signed DL John Jenkins to a one-year contract.
03/14/2017 Agreed to terms with K Connor Barth on a one-year contract.
03/11/2017 Agreed to terms with WR Kendall Wright on a one-year contract.
03/11/2017 Agreed to terms with OL Tom Compton on a one-year contract.
03/11/2017 Signed DB Marcus Cooper to a three-year contract.
03/11/2017 Re-signed DB Johnthan Banks to a one-year contract.
03/11/2017 Re-signed LB Christian Jones to a one-year contract.
03/11/2017 Signed DB Prince Amukamara to a one-year contract.
03/10/2017 Signed WR Markus Wheaton to a two-year contract.
03/10/2017 Signed QB Mike Glennon to a three-year contract.
03/10/2017 Signed DB Quintin Demps to a three-year contract.
03/10/2017 Signed TE Dion Sims to a three-year contract.
03/09/2017 Released QB Jay Cutler.
03/06/2017 Tendered exclusive rights to DB Bryce Callahan.
03/06/2017 Tendered exclusive rights to WR Joshua Bellamy.
03/06/2017 Signed TE Daniel Brown to one-year contract.
03/04/2017 Signed QB Connor Shaw to one-year contract.
03/04/2017 Signed LS Patrick Scales to one-year contract.
02/15/2017 Signed G Eric Kush to a two-year contract.
02/10/2017 Signed TE Justin Perillo.
01/10/2017 Signed WR Rueben Randle to reserve/futures contract.
01/10/2017 Waived LB Josh Shirley.
01/06/2017 Signed DL Kapron Lewis-Moore to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed WR Dres Anderson to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed CB De'Vante Bausby to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed C Cornelius Edison to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed RB David Cobb to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed CB Jacoby Glenn to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed CB Rashaad Reynolds to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed T William Poehls to reserve/futures contract.
01/03/2017 Signed G Cyril Richardson to reserve/futures contract.
17 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/103848791290429750469 TSJ Sports : Chris Prosinski Re-Signed by the Bears NFL Prosinski Returning Chris Prosinski will remain in Chicago...
Chris Prosinski Re-Signed by the Bears

NFL Prosinski Returning Chris Prosinski will remain in Chicago. On Monday, the veteran safety and special-teams contributor signed a one-year contract with the Bears, improving their secondary and special teams.  Prosinski attended the University of…
Chris Prosinski Re-Signed by the Bears - TSJSports.com | Breaking Sports News and Analysis | @TSJ_Sports
Chicago Bears re-sign veteran safety and special-teams contributor Chris Prosinski to one-year contract boosting their secondary.
29 days ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/107160422533227749258 FanRag Sports : The Chicago Bears have signed a few role players this week, from their own talent to potential passing...
The Chicago Bears have signed a few role players this week, from their own talent to potential passing-down back Benny Cunningham. They reached an agreement on Tuesday to re-sign Deonte Thompson, who has functioned as the Bears’ kick returner over the past two seasons, Patrick Finlay of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. This comes a day after the team re-signed one of its top special-teamers and backup safety, Chris Prosinski, along with…..
Report: Bears Re-Sign Kick Returner Deonte Thompson
The Chicago Bears have signed a few role players this week, from their own talent to potential passing-down back Benny Cunningham. They reached an agreement on Tuesday to re-sign Deonte Thompson, who has functioned as the Bears’ kick returner over the past two seasons, Patrick Finlay of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. This comes a day […]
1 month ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/107940376129963715351 Taable Note : Bears re-sign Prosinski to one-year deal - http://bit.ly/2n82VcL The Bears on Monday bolstered their...
Bears re-sign Prosinski to one-year deal - http://bit.ly/2n82VcL

The Bears on Monday bolstered their secondary by re-signing veteran safety and special-teams contributor Chris Prosinski to a one-year contract.

Read more on: note.taable.com/NFL

#NFL #Bears +Official Chicago Bears
Bears re-sign Prosinski to one-year deal - Taable Note
The Bears on Monday bolstered their secondary by re-signing veteran safety and special-teams contributor Chris Prosinski to a one-year contract.
1 month ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/106076971950928617084 Truetemper Rocket 2 : Some might cost a little (relatively speaking). Some might cost a lot. But there will be numerous newly...


Some might cost a little (relatively speaking). Some might cost a lot. But there will be numerous newly-minted multi-million-dollar men found around the NFL after March 9 when the new league year opens for business.

Both Over The Cap and Spotrac.com project the 2017 salary cap will rise to $168 million. A December report from USA Today's Tom Pelissero confirms both sites are well within the expected range. An official announcement of the exact cap figure will come in March.

Those numbers don't include the amount of rollover money each team takes from the 2016 fiscal year that can be used toward the 2017 salary cap. According to the NFLPA, six teams can carry $13 million or more into the next financial cycle. The Browns claim a staggering $50.1 million in potential rollover spending.

Organizations must ready themselves for a market flush with cap space. Between the 32 teams, a robust $1.3 billion is projected to be available.

The market should reset itself, and those about to enter free agency should expect to experience a windfall unlike any other.

This confluence of factors could provide a shift in the NFL's landscape. Each team has multiple issues to address during free agency with the potential to redefine their current trajectories. To establish an order, each team is slotted based on its projected cap space, per spotrac.com.

There is plenty of money burning holes in the pockets of the NFL's billionaire owners, and they'll discover which players can be bought.
1. Cleveland Browns
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $110.896 million

Notable Free Agents: linebacker Jamie Collins, wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Austin Pasztor, defensive lineman Stephen Paea, punter Britton Colquitt



The Cleveland Browns should be the envy of every other NFL franchise. Yes, you read that right.

Granted, the team is coming off a 1-15 season that required a Week 16 victory over the San Diego Chargers to avoid becoming the second team in history to finish 0-16. But no organization is better positioned entering the offseason.

With the NFL's most available cap space, the Browns can completely reinvent the team's roster if the front office chooses to do so. The primary concern moving forward is twofold.

First, the Browns must find a way to attract top-shelf free agents—which is no easy task due to the team's constant state of turmoil. Also, the franchise needs to retain its existing talent base.

The organization took a major step in the right direction Monday when it agreed to a four-year, $50 million extension with linebacker Jamie Collins, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

(Editor's Note: Collins' recent agreement isn't reflected in the Browns' available cap space since the official numbers have yet to be released. As such, the Browns cap number should now be under $100 million—which is still the most in the league.)

Terrelle Pryor will draw plenty of interest, but the Browns are expected to use the franchise tag on the wide receiver if the two sides can strike a deal, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. Leading rusher Isaiah Crowell is also a restricted free agent.

If the Browns want to build their roster primarily through homegrown talent, they need to re-sign all three before the team hits the open market.

The franchise certainly has the money to retain whomever it likes and still sign multiple other free agents if executive VP of football operations Sashi Brown and head coach Hue Jackson can coerce them to come to Cleveland.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $84.243 million

Notable Free Agents: running back Jacquizz Rodgers, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, center Joe Hawley, defensive lineman William Gholston, quarterback Mike Glennon, safeties Bradley McDougald and Chris Conte



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trending in the right direction.

Over the last two seasons, the team improved to 9-7 after going 6-10. The organization already acquired its franchise quarterback in Jameis Winston. Mike Evans is one of the NFL's best wide receivers. Dirk Koetter established himself in his first year as head coach. Coordinator Mike Smith turned the defense into one of the league's better units over the second half of the 2016 campaign.

With the second-most cap space available, the Buccaneers can add a major piece or two to keep up with the division-leading and Super Bowl-bound Atlanta Falcons.

A few key pieces should be retained.

Running back Jacquizz Rodgers only started five games, yet he ran for 462 yards in those contests and finished as the team's top rusher.

Joe Hawley led the way for Rodgers as the team's center. He started 29 games over the last two seasons, and his presence is important to retain continuity along the offensive front.

Safety Bradley McDougald is a young up-and-coming defender who finished second on the team with 91 total tackles. At 26 years old, his re-signing should be a priority.

On the flip side, veteran Vincent Jackson has been a valuable part of the offense since signing with the Buccaneers in 2012, but he's 34 years old and ended the last two seasons on injured reserve. Unless Jackson signs a team-friendly deal for another year or two, his time in Tampa Bay could be coming to an end.

With a few smart offseason decisions, the Buccaneers will be able to battle the Falcons for NFC South supremacy.
3. San Francisco 49ers
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $83.594 million

Notable Free Agents: defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, wide receiver Quinton Patton, linebacker Michael Wilhoite, kicker Phil Dawson



Uncertainty continues to envelop the San Francisco 49ers.

Eventually, the team plans to hire a general manager and head coach. According to CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, the organization believes it has its next head coach in Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

But the franchise will have to wait for Shanahan since the Falcons earned a Super Bowl LI berth before it can officially hire him. The general manager search is far more nebulous. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport (per NFL.com's Nick Shook), the Minnesota Vikings' George Paton and Arizona Cardinals' Terry McDonough remain in the conversation.

Whoever takes over the team will have plenty of assets.

Granted, San Francisco is third in available cap space, but the organization could add $14 million more to its current projected total with Colin Kaepernick's release.

Whether the 49ers do or not, they are still well-positioned to sign multiple free agents without losing many.

Defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey is the only significant unrestricted free agent, and he only started 14 games over the last three seasons. His veteran presence would be missed along a young defensive front, but he graded as the team's worst defender this past season, per Pro Football Focus.

The team won't be any worse off if its free agents decide to leave. But the 49ers could be much-improved depending on their upcoming hires and how they decide to spend their nest egg.
4. Tennessee Titans
5 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $72.339 million

Notable Free Agents: wide receiver Kendall Wright, guard Chance Warmack, tight end Anthony Fasano, defensive end Karl Klug, cornerback Antwon Blake



The Tennessee Titans emerged as a surprise playoff contender during the 2016 campaign. Ultimately, the team fell short with a 9-7 record, but it's ahead of schedule regarding the current rebuilding phase.

Two years ago, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Titans held the first and second overall picks. Both teams are now in very similar positions coming off the same records and counted among the top five in salary-cap space.

If anything, the Titans might be further along, because they don't have the current NFC Super Bowl representative in their division. Instead, Tennessee held the same record as the AFC South-winning Houston Texans, who have major quarterback problems.

As such, an opportunity exists for the Titans to become the team to beat in their division.

Prior to free agency, the organization doesn't face a ton of tough decisions. Wide receiver Kendall Wright never lived up to first-round expectations and finished fourth on the team this past season with 416 receiving yards. Another former first-round pick, Chance Warmack, suffered a season-ending hand injury, and Josh Kline played well in his absence. Veteran Anthony Fasano played well in 2016, but he'll turn 33 in April.

The organization might want to retain each, but the offense won't be worse due to their losses.

Defensively, Karl Klug is a far more important piece to the team's success. He's a situational defender who is very disruptive. Even though Klug was on the field for less than 400 snaps this past season, he still received the team's third-highest defensive grade, per Pro Football Focus.

Klug may search for an opportunity to be a full-time starter, though. His potential departure wouldn't be devastating, but he's a solid piece to the puzzle.

The Titans are no longer a league doormat. Being able to retain their talent if they choose to do so while enticing other free agents should be much easier to accomplish.
5. New England Patriots
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $67.853 million

Notable Free Agents: linebacker Dont'a Hightower, tight end Martellus Bennett, running back LeGarrette Blount, wide receiver Michael Floyd, cornerback Logan Ryan, safety Duron Harmon, defensive tackle Alan Branch, fullback James Develin, defensive ends Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long



The New England Patriots' "Do your job" credo doesn't just fall on the players. It applies to the front office and coaching staff, too. They do their job as well or better than any other organization in the league.

No one should be surprised the Patriots are playing in their seventh Super Bowl in the last 16 years. The faces change—except owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady—but the winning continues.

The Patriots understand team-building better than any other American pro sports franchise other than maybe the San Antonio Spurs. This year alone, New England traded its two most talented linebackers—Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins—and still fielded the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense.

It's important to keep these things in mind when looking at the Patriots' 2017 free agent class. Multiple key contributors could leave via free agency if the franchise doesn't want to overspend.

The team should be expected to retain Dont'a Hightower since it moved both of the previously mentioned linebackers. It seems clear the Patriots already made their choice on who would get the contract among the previous corps.

Otherwise, Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Alan Branch, James Develin, Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long combined to play over 5,000 regular-season snaps, per Pro Football Focus.

Some will be re-signed. Others won't. The Patriots will retain a degree of their cap flexibility to prepare for future seasons. Their approach won't change whether or not they win Super Bowl LI.

This level of consistency makes New England the most successful franchise in the free agency era.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $66.811 million

Notable Free Agents: cornerback Prince Amukamara, safety Johnathan Cyprien, guard Luke Joeckel, running back Denard Robinson, defensive tackles Abry Jones and Tyson Alualu



A year ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars were counted among the leagues freest spenders. The organization handed out contracts in excess of $200 million in total value.

Even so, the Jaguars still have the sixth-most projected cap space with $66.8 million more to spend. Jags fans shouldn't expect the team to go wild in free agency this year, but there's certainly room for improvement after a disappointing 3-13 campaign.

The organization already made changes at head coach with Doug Marrone and executive VP of football operations Tom Coughlin now leading the way. How these two coincide and they're overall approach alongside general manager David Caldwell has yet to be determined.

But this is a talented squad that didn't get the most out of its players last season.

Quarterback Blake Bortles' development is the biggest concern area. However, the team claims plenty of young and talented individuals in cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith, defensive lineman Malik Jackson and wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

At this juncture, the Jaguars' primary goal should be to retain their young talent like safety Johnathan Cyprien, who finished second on the team with 128 tackles, and defensive tackle Abry Jones to keep their core intact.

Excessive spending isn't needed to show improvement. The team performed much better during Marrone's interim stint than it did earlier in the season under Gus Bradley's supervision.

A few added pieces alongside what's already in place should make the Jaguars far more competitive in 2017.
7. Washington Redskins
8 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $66.673 million

Notable Free Agents: quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, tight end Vernon Davis, outside linebacker Junior Galette, defensive linemen Chris Baker, Ziggy Hood, Cullen Jenkins and Kedric Golston.



The Washington Redskins' offseason should be renamed, "The Year of Kirk Cousins."

What the team ultimately decides to do with its franchise quarterback will have ripple effects not just through the organization but the entire NFL.

After throwing for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns, Cousins is by far the top available quarterback. His actual availability is a relative concept, though.

Last offseason, Washington and Cousins couldn't reach a long-term agreement. Instead, the quarterback operated under the $19.9 million franchise tag during the 2016 campaign. This offseason, the two are expected to discuss another long-term deal, or Washington may be forced to use the franchise tag a second time. In doing so, Washington would owe its quarterback $23.9 million next season.

Either way, the former fourth-round pick is expected to be paid among the league's top quarterbacks once negotiations are held.

The possibility exists, albeit slight, Cousins hits the open market. If he does, he'll be the most sought-after free agent, and Washington will be searching for a new signal-caller.

Until his fate is decided, the rest of Washington's free agents can take a back seat. Yes, DeSean Jackson remains one of the league's best deep threats, but his presence doesn't mean much without a solid option passing to him.

Numerous franchises around the league will watch Cousins' evolving situation with plenty of interest.
8. Chicago Bears
9 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $62.341 million

Notable Free Agents: wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, outside linebacker Sam Acho, safety Chris Prosinski, wide receiver Deonte Thompson, quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer



Two major decisions loom over the Chicago Bears organization.

The first seems to be quite easy since the Bears are expected to release quarterback Jay Cutler and save $14 million more toward the 2017 salary cap.

The second is more difficult. Will the next Bears quarterback throw to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery?

The organization placed the franchise tag on its top receiving target last year, but he disappointed in 2016 after being suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Cameron Meredith actually led the team with 66 receptions for 888 yards and four touchdowns.

In five years, Jeffery played a full 16-game slate only twice. If the team allows him to leave, they'll need to address the position. If Chicago decides to re-sign him, he may never live up to the contract he'll likely demand. It's a tough decision regarding a very talented individual.

The South Carolina product seems like he wants to stay in Chicago.

"I guarantee you we're going to win the Super Bowl next year," Jeffery said after the team's season-ending 38-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, per the Washington Post's Des Bieler.

Jeffery added, "Right now, I'm a Chicago Bear, and I'm happy with it."

The rest of the team's free agents won't have a drastic impact on the Bears' direction. What the team does with Cutler and Jeffery will.
9. Indianapolis Colts
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $58.049 million

Notable Free Agents: tight end Jack Doyle, cornerback Darius Butler, safety Mike Adams, guard Hugh Thornton, outside linebackers Trent Cole and Erik Walden



The Indianapolis Colts will enter free agency with a fresh start after owner Jim Irsay fired general manager Ryan Grigson. Exactly who will be making roster decisions has yet to be determined, but Grigson's tenure proved to be disastrous.

For whomever takes over, the Colts are well positioned in regards to cap flexibility. The team ranks 10th overall in available space, and no major decisions are forthcoming.

Tight end Jack Doyle is the franchise's most interesting free agent. The Western Kentucky product finished second on the team with 59 receptions for 584 yards.

The 26-year-old target ranks as one of the top available tight ends.

"Really hard to see myself playing anywhere else," Doyle said after the Colts' season-ending 24-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, per the Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer. "Obviously, I want to be back. I love Indy, all that stuff. But we'll see what shakes out. There is a business part of it."

Being able to re-sign Doyle is important since he developed into a reliable security blanket for quarterback Andrew Luck.

Plus, he's the only starter under 30 years old about to hit free agency. Darius Butler, Mike Adams, Trent Cole and Erik Walden are all on the wrong side of the ledger.

Grigson tried to build his team with older quick fixes. The next general manager should be expected to do the opposite.
10. Carolina Panthers
11 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $57.116 million

Notable Free Agents: defensive tackle Kawann Short, offensive tackle Mike Remmers, linebacker A.J. Klein, wide receiver Ted Ginn, defensive ends Charles Johnson and Mario Addison



The Carolina Panthers experienced an epic letdown after their Super Bowl 50 appearance. The team tumbled to 6-10 overall, and all of its warts were exposed.

General manager Dave Gettleman is entering a very important offseason. The Panthers want to be a consistent contender, not a one-hit wonder. In order to build consistency, the organization will have to address the trenches before it reaches free agency.

Outside of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short may be the most prized free agent. The ability to rush the passer from the defensive interior is arguably football's rarest trait. Over the last two seasons, Short registered 17 sacks. As an all-around performer, Pro Football Focus graded him as top-five performer at his respective position.

Between Ndamukong Suh, Fletcher Cox, Marcell Dareus, Gerald McCoy and Malik Jackson, Short can expect the total value of his next contract to fall somewhere between $84-114 million. The Panthers defensive lineman has been as good as all of them which could make him very difficult to re-sign.

As such, the team could concentrate on defensive end Mario Addison. The 29-year-old edge defender led the team with 9.5 sacks. Since he's a situational pass-rusher, he'll demand far less. Veteran stalwart Charles Johnson could return under the right circumstances, too.

Refurbishing the offensive line may be a little more difficult. Right tackle Mike Remmers is a free agent. He disappointed this past season when asked to bounce between both tackle spots. Michael Oher also ended his 2016 campaign on injured reserve due to a concussion.

If the Panthers' primary goals are to protect Cam Newton and get after opposing quarterbacks, the franchise has some work to do.
11. Oakland Raiders
12 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $49.769 million

Notable Free Agents: running back Latavius Murray, linebacker Malcolm Smith, wide receiver Andre Holmes, tight end Mychal Rivera, offensive tackle Menelik Watson, cornerback D.J. Hayden



The Oakland Raiders' offseason won't be dictated by anything the team needs to do at the present. Instead, quarterback Derek Carr enters his first window into negotiations before the end of his rookie contract. As such, a possible extension could take priority over any other move the organization plans to make.

While Carr's future should be at the forefront of the team's concerns, a couple key contributors are about to enter free agency.

Running back Latavius Murray led the team with 788 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. During the previous season, he posted a 1,066-yard campaign. At 27 years old, the Raiders will have to consider what to offer a running back who will likely be entering his last contract before hitting the dreaded age of 30.

If anything, the ability to keep the team's triplets—Carr, Murray and Amari Cooper—together for a few more years could hold more value to the Raiders than another team trying to sign the talented runner.

On defense, Malcolm Smith is the team's most consistent tackler. The linebacker posted 224 tackles since coming over from the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. Like Murray, Smith is 27 years old. He's been particularly good against the run, but Oakland's linebacker corps needs an upgrade in regards to coverage.

While those two aforementioned free agents have produced, wide receiver Andre Holmes and tight end Mychal Rivera flashed during their careers yet never showed consistent production. Maybe a different situation could help both blossom.

After a 12-win campaign, the Raiders would like to retain their talent. If Oakland doesn't, that's OK because the team's core pieces are already in place.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $47.082 million

Notable Free Agents: offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, guard Kevin Zeitler, defensive tackle Domata Peko, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, wide receiver Brandon LaFell, running back Rex Burkhead



Even with head coach Marvin Lewis being retained for another year, the Cincinnati Bengals could look completely different than they did during their recent five-year playoff run.

It starts in the trenches where the team could be replacing a pair of exceptional starters in left tackle Andrew Whitworth and guard Kevin Zeitler.

Whitworth's primary focus—whether he stays in Cincinnati or moves elsewhere—is to stay on the blind side.

"I think I'm playing left tackle pretty well and that's what I’ll look to do next year," Whitworth said in December, per ESPN.com's Katherine Terrell. "Whether that’s here or elsewhere, and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity here but if not, I just look forward to playing."

Also, veteran right tackle Eric Winston, who started six games and played in 33 over past three seasons, is a free agent.

These aren't the only familiar faces who could possibly leave the organization. Nose tackle Domata Peko has been a mainstay in the middle of the defense for 11 seasons. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick played in all but one game the past three seasons and started 31 contests.

The Bengals won't just be tasked with replacing talented players if the majority of these veterans leave; they'll need to replace team leaders, too.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $43.018 million

Notable Free Agents: running back Le'Veon Bell, wide receiver Markus Wheaton, linebackers James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons and Jarvis Jones



The Pittsburgh Steelers rarely dabble in free agency, and they're never counted among the free spenders once the opening bell rings.

What the team has done for decades is draft well, develop its talent and re-sign its star players. The organization reached another crossroads with a franchise-caliber player about to enter free agency.

Running back Le'Veon Bell is a special talent. In just 12 games this season, he finished with 1,268 rushing yards.

Bell's goal is simple: He wants to stay in Pittsburgh, per ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler. If he chooses to test the market, he won't find a shortage of interested suitors.

His season ended on a down note, though. The running back tried to work through a groin injury that eventually shelved him during the team's AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots.

The injury should cause the Steelers and other teams to pause just for a second. In his four seasons, Bell played a full 16-game slate only once. He's either suffered injuries or been suspended during the other three. These factors must be weighed.

Bell is gifted, but he brings baggage. The Steelers may be uniquely capable of handling him since they understand the young man better than any other organization. These are the things the franchise must contemplate before committing to him long term.
14. Detroit Lions
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $43.015 million

Notable Free Agents: offensive tackle Riley Reiff, guard Larry Warford, defensive end Devin Taylor, wide receiver Anquan Boldin, defensive tackles Tyrunn Walker and Stefan Charles



Once Bob Quinn took over as the Detroit Lions' general manager, a concerted effort began to beef up the offensive line. The organization spent three of its first five selections during the 2016 NFL draft on blockers.

The depth Quinn built may be necessary if the team can't re-sign right tackle Riley Reiff and guard Larry Warford.

Reiff's situation should be interesting since he can enter free agency as the top left tackle. The class itself is quite thin regarding blindside protectors. Reiff started 55 games on the blind side before moving to the strong side due to Taylor Decker's acquisition. His value lies in an ability to play both positions.

A team in search of a reliable option will likely hold Reiff in higher regard than the Lions or any squad that projects him as a right tackle.

Larry Warford is a more important piece to the Lions' offseason puzzle. The former third-round pick is younger, developed into a leader along the offensive front and brings a physical presence to the line.

The guard market is expected to reset after Kelechi Osemele signed a five-year, $58.5 million deal with the Oakland Raiders last offseason. With the salary cap going up and so much money to spend, Warford may wait to see what he can get on the open market. At least, he would be smart to do so.

As such, the Lions could lose their starting right side. This should be a major concern; one that will define the team's offseason.
15. Los Angeles Rams
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Projected Salary Cap Space: $39.104 million

Notable Free Agents: cornerback Trumaine Johnson, safety T.J. McDonald, quarterback Case Keenum, kicker Greg Zuerlein, wide receivers Kenny Britt and Brian Quick



Nothing will ever be the same again for the Los Angeles Rams. A terrible offense and sub-.500 seasons shouldn't be expected now that head coach Jeff Fisher is no longer a part of the organization.

Instead, this should be an exciting transition to the youngest head coach in NFL history. Sean McVay already hired veteran coaches in former offensive coordinator Greg Olson and the defensive brilliance of Wade Phillips.

Roster turnover tends to occur any time a team makes significant change among its front office or coaching staff. As such, the team's urgency to re-sign cornerback Trumaine Johnson and safety T.J. McDonald could be affected.

Johnson played under the franchise tag a year ago. The cornerback will be one of the top available free agents again this offseason. A team can never have too many cornerbacks or bypass one of the league's best.

McDonald's case is is a little more difficult to predict. According to Pro Football Focus, the safety played over 1,000 snaps last season. He's an important part of the secondary but may be difficult to retain if Johnson takes priority.

Along with the defensive backfield, wide receiver could suffer a major blow to its ranks depending on how the Rams address Kenny Britt and Brian Quick's contract statuses. The duo finished first and second on the team in receiving yardage and combined for 1,566 yards. Britt eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

Even with the potential departures at wide receiver and defensive back, Greg Zuerlein's impending free agency shouldn't be overlooked. Kickers are more valuable than ever, and he remains one of the league's best.

Turnover to some degree is going to happen among the Rams roster. It all depends on who the organization decides to prioritize under its new leadership.
16. Arizona Cardinals
17 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $38.948 million

Notable Free Agents: defensive lineman Calais Campbell, safety Tony Jefferson, tight end Jermaine Gresham, center A.Q. Shipley, linebackers Chandler Jones and Sio Moore



Linebacker Chandler Jones immediately jumps to the forefront looking at the Arizona Cardinals' potential free agents. However, head coach Bruce Arians already stated the organization isn't going to let its top pass-rusher leave.

"Chandler's not going anywhere because if we have to, we will franchise (tag) him," Arians said three weeks ago, per Darren Urban of the Cardinals official site.

As such, attention turns toward defensive lineman Calais Campbell and Arizona's emerging star at safety, Tony Jefferson.

Campbell will turn 31 years old during the 2017 campaign, which makes his negotiation somewhat tricky. Although, no one can deny how good of a player he still is. The ninth-year pro graded among the league's best defenders regardless of position, per Pro Football Focus. The defensive lineman finished last season with 53 tackles, eight sacks, seven tackles for loss, six pass deflections and a pair of forced fumbles.

As good as Campbell is, Jefferson will likely draw more interest around the league. He's only 24 years old after he led the Cardinals with 96 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss. Since box safeties are once again en vogue, Jefferson's value can't get any higher.

"You never know what's going to happen," he said, per ESPN.com's Josh Weinfuss. "It's always kind of a tricky thing."

Jones, Campbell and Jefferson are fantastic players, but the team also needs to address center and tight end. Veterans A.Q. Shipley and Jermaine Gresham are solid starters whose contracts are up. Neither should be in heavy demand, and they're both good fits in Arians' scheme.

After falling off during the 2016 campaign, Arizona needs to reload. The best way to do so is by re-signing its current talent.
17. Denver Broncos
18 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $38.798 million

Notable Free Agents: outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, wide receiver Jordan Norwood



From Super Bowl champions to out of the playoffs, 2016 provided the highest of highs and lowest of lows for the Denver Broncos.

The team is also replacing its head coach. Gary Kubiak stepped down due to health reasons. Enter first-time head coach Vance Joseph.

Due to such extreme turnover in a short amount of time, the Broncos are in flux. The team's approach in free agency could be quite telling.

Their first major decision will deal with veteran pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware. The edge defender hasn't played a full season since his first in Denver, and he turn 35 years old this summer. Still, he's effective when he's in the lineup.

How much will a new defensive staff value Ware, though?

The 12-year pro isn't the only Broncos defender whose future is clouded. Former first-round pick Sylvester Williams started 44 games over the past three seasons. He's set to enter free agency for the first time.

While the team weighs its options regarding those veterans, the statuses of center Matthew Paradis, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett and kicker Brandon McManus will need to be addressed since they're either exclusive or restricted free agents.

Also, Russell Okung has an upcoming four-year, $48 million option built into his contract. If the team doesn't feel he's worth the long-term investment, it could be looking for a new left tackle.

General manager and executive vice president of football operations John Elway has plenty to do after overhauling the team's coaching staff.
18. Miami Dolphins
19 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $37.049 million

Notable Free Agents: wide receiver Kenny Stills, defensive end Andre Branch, tight end Dion Sims, guard Jermon Bushrod, linebacker Spencer Paysinger and Jelani Jenkins



Under Adam Gase's supervision, the Miami Dolphins built an identity and became a legitimate playoff contender. In fact, the Dolphins made the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Said identity was built around the team's rushing attack and a strong defensive front. The team still has many issues to address during the offseason, including multiple young starters about to hit free agency.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills developed into a crucial part of the offense. As a vertical threat, Stills not only creates space for running back Jay Ajayi but fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry as well. His ability to take the top off a defense made him a true threat. Stills led the team with nine receiving touchdowns and an average of 17.3 yards per catch—which ranked third-best in the league.

At 24 years old, the wide receiver, who the Dolphins acquired in a trade from the New Orleans Saints, can be a big part of the team's future.

So can defensive end Andre Branch. The 27-year-old edge defender developed into a starter and finished second on the team with 5.5 sacks. With Mario Williams being a potential salary-cap casualty, Branch's re-signing becomes even more important.

Linebacker is also a sore spot for the team. The position should be counted among the team's most pressing issues. But the organization still might attempt to retain Spencer Paysinger and Jelani Jenkins. Both started multiple games this past season and could provide solid depth behind whomever is added to the second line of defense.

Expectations have been raised in Miami. The next step is building a roster that can compete with the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
19. Green Bay Packers
20 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $35.541 million

Notable Free Agents: running back Eddie Lacy, guard T.J. Lang, center J.C. Tretter, tight end Jared Cook, cornerback Micah Hyde, outside linebackers Julius Peppers and Datone Jones



One thing is certain: The Green Bay Packers aren't going to spend much if anything on free agents outside of the organization.

Some were aghast when the franchise signed tight end Jared Cook last offseason, albeit to a team-friendly one-year, $1.425 million contract.

The Packers under general manager Ted Thompson keep their approach simple. The team is built through the draft. It re-signs its talent once those players are up for new contracts. Free agency is almost an afterthought.

Granted, there have been a few good signings over the years. Cook and Julius Peppers are two examples, and they're about to enter free agency again. Although, the 37-year-old edge defender isn't sure if he'll play next season or retire.

"I'll let you know when I find out," Peppers said after Sunday's 44-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, per the Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person.

Cook became a valuable target during the playoffs, and his status should be a higher priority as a result.

The same can't be said of running back Eddie Lacy. The team's workhorse experienced his share of issues during his first four seasons. When he's good, he's very good. But he hasn't always been properly motivated. He's also coming off an ankle injury that cost him all but five games this past season.

Those blocking for the Packers' running backs and quarterback Aaron Rodgers could face some upheaval. Last year, the organization released Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton. T.J. Lang is a free agent this year. His contract demands might dictate his fate in Green Bay. Meanwhile, J.C. Tretter started the year at center before being placed on injured reserve. Corey Linsley played well in his stead, and the team could keep him at center.

Everyone should expect the Packers to re-sign a few of their free agents with very little action outside of their building.
20. Seattle Seahawks
21 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $35.196 million

Notable Free Agents: kicker Steven Hauschka, offensive tackle Bradley Sowell, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, safety Kelcie McCray



The Seattle Seahawks are doing something right.

Their kicker, Steven Hauschka, should be the team's top priority among its free agents, and the organization has over $35 million to spend.

The franchise made sure to lock up its top talents early to provide long-term stability. Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson are all signed through the 2019 campaign.

With the team's core signed long term, the organization can enter free agency looking to address specific concern areas or just add complementary pieces.

Offensive line, for example, should receive the utmost attention. Bradley Sowell started the season at left tackle, but he shouldn't be re-signed as anything more than depth. Instead, the team could pursue a legitimate blindside option.

Right tackle Garry Gilliam faces a similar situation. He's a restricted free agent, though.

Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel has been a consistent presence during his three seasons in Seattle, but he's 32 years old and the the staff will likely go with younger options along the defensive interior.

Instead of placing a heavy emphasis on this year's free agency, another option exists. The Seahawks can continue their trend by signing upcoming free agents such as Kam Chancellor and Justin Britt to extensions before they have a chance to test the market.

All of these options are available, because Seattle provided itself with financial flexibility courtesy of smart business decisions.
21. Atlanta Falcons
22 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $34.361 million

Notable Free Agents: fullback Patrick DiMarco, guard Chris Chester, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, linebacker Paul Worrilow, defensive ends Courtney Upshaw and Dwight Freeney, tight ends Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo



What makes the Atlanta Falcons' current Super Bowl run so impressive is the fact the team is built to last. General manager Thomas Dimitroff has done an exceptional job drafting in recent years.

The selections of Jake Matthews, Ra'Shede Hageman, Devonta Freeman, Ricardo Allen, Vic Beasley, Tevin Coleman, Grady Jarrett, Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, Austin Hooper and De'Vondre Campbell form the heart of the team. All of them are still operating under rookie contracts.

Plus, quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, center Alex Mack, right tackle Ryan Schraeder and cornerback Robert Alford are signed for at least three more seasons.

The Falcons will have those ready to fly the coop and capitalize on a successful season—whether or not the team wins Super Bowl LI. But those potential losses shouldn't have a profound effect on the roster.

Patrick DiMarco can make a case as the best fullback about to hit the market, but his options will be limited since many teams no longer employ the position.

Guard Chris Chester, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and defensive end Dwight Freeney are all in their mid 30s. Meanwhile, Hooper can assume the role as primary tight end without Jacob Tamme and Levine Toilolo. Jones already replaced Paul Worrilow at linebacker.

The Falcons may ultimately decide to use a chunk of their extra salary-cap space to sign Ryan to a new contract extension.

The window to Atlanta's success is just starting to open.
22. New York Giants
23 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $32.78 million

Notable Free Agents: defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, tight end Larry Donnell, linebacker Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard



The New York Giants better be prepared for a standoff with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. The talented sack artist played last season under a one-year deal to prove his capabilities after an unfortunate Fourth of July accident in 2015.

Pierre-Paul now expects to be paid courtesy of a long-term contract.

"Football is a game of business," he said, per NJ.com's James Kratch. "You don't work for free. That's basically it. It's going to be a family decision, and it'll be my decision at the end of the road."

The veteran end registered seven sacks in 12 games before suffering a groin injury.

"My future is bright, man," Pierre-Paul said. "I just turned 28-years-old. It's a blessing; I'm still alive. I have lots of football to be played."

As talented as Pierre-Paul is, the Giants have another concern along the defensive line.

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is only 24 years old and started all 16 games last season. With Pierre-Paul expecting a big contract, the Giants could instead concentrate on building the strength of the defense along the interior.

The second line of defense also requires attention. Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard each started multiple games. Robinson finished fourth on the team with 83 tackles. Linebacker has never been a priority for the Giants under the direction of general manager Jerry Reese, but both were a large part of the team's rotation this past year.

For a team that won championships built on the strength of its defensive front, the Giants have plenty of work to do to maintain their identity after finishing top 10 overall in total defense this past season.
23. New Orleans Saints
24 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $32.683 million

Notable Free Agents: defensive tackle Nick Fairley, guard Tim Lelito, outside linebacker Paul Kruger, defensive end Daryl Tapp, safety Roman Harper, running back Tim Hightower, fullback John Kuhn



The New Orleans Saints always find a way to fit a big free-agent signing under the salary cap even when the team doesn't appear to have much to spend. This offseason will be different.

New Orleans owns a chunk of available cap space to upgrade a team that finished 7-9 in each of the last three seasons.

The upcoming campaign will be a big year for the entire organization. Rumors of the organization trying to trade head coach Sean Payton began before the current offseason started. Quarterback Drew Brees is 38 years old with only one year remaining on his contract. These two have been great together, but the team is now eight years removed from its Super Bowl victory.

Either the current group rights the ship, or the Saints need to go in another direction.

With over $30 million in cap space, general manager Mickey Loomis doesn't need to concentrate on the team's unrestricted free agents.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley played well at times for the Saints, but he didn't prove to be a difference-maker. Tim Lelito is a utility lineman who can start when needed. Darryl Tapp, Roman Harper, Tim Hightower, John Kuhn and Paul Kruger are solid performers, but they're all on the wrong side of 30.

The Saints require legitimate change, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. It won't come in the form of re-signing older players who already proved they couldn't get the job done. As a result, New Orleans may be best served by allowing all of its unrestricted free agents to leave and entice other, younger options to join the fray.
24. Buffalo Bills
25 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $29.492 million

Notable Free Agents: cornerback Stephon Gilmore, insider linebacker Zach Brown, outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, offensive tackle Jordan Mills, wide receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, defensive linemen Corbin Bryant and Leger Douzable



The Buffalo Bills were in disarray by the end of the 2016 campaign. Head coach Rex Ryan had been fired, the team lost three of its last four games, and the organization lacked direction.

Sean McDermott will be asked to fix a squad that looked to be trending in the right direction just two years ago with a 9-7 record. The first-time head coach will take over an evolving roster. As a defensive guru, McDermott should ask general manager Doug Whaley to prioritize a few of the team's top performers.

Stephon Gilmore is one of the league's better young cornerbacks. A player with Gilmore's coverage skills and age (26 years old) should never hit the open market. He and Ronald Darby form one of the league's best starting duos.

What the orgnaization decides to do with Zach Brown and Lorenzo Alexander is far more unpredictable. Both experienced career seasons during Ryan's final campaign. Should they be considered journeymen who had career years or can each linebacker be counted upon moving forward?

Brown is only 27 years old and led the team with 149 tackles. His inclusion should be obvious. Alexander's isn't.

The 33-year-old exploded onto the scene with a 12.5-sack performance—which bested his previous career high by 10 sacks. This may be Alexander's one time to capitalize in free agency with a team who values a veteran presence and his ability to harass opposing quarterbacks.

On offense, Robert Woods led the team with 613 receiving yards, and Marquise Goodwin finished third with 431 yards (one more than Sammy Watkins provided).

Despite these key free agents, they're not even the organization's biggest offseason decision. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, the Bills don't plan to pick up quarterback Tyrod Taylor's upcoming $15.5 million option.

The Bills will have a brand new look entering the 2017 campaign.
25. Los Angeles Chargers
26 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $25.486 million

Notable Free Agents: outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, safety Jahleel Addae, running back Danny Woodhead, inside linebacker Manti Te'o, defensive lineman Damien Square



The Chargers are moving to La La Land, but their move hasn't been met with similar critical acclaim as the film with the same name. Instead, the franchise's decisions as of late have been panned.

Neither Ryan Gosling nor Emma Stone will be stepping in as the new face of the franchise. The Chargers must reconcile their future by building a competitive team.

In order to do so, new head coach Anthony Lynn needs to change a culture that became too accustomed to losing, especially late in games. Before he can do so, a few important pieces should be retained by the organization.

After a slow start to his career, former first-round pick Melvin Ingram developed into one of the league's better pass-rushers. The South Carolina product registered 18.5 sacks over the last two seasons. With Joey Bosa now playing opposite, this duo could be dynamic if Ingram is re-signed.

Despite missing eight games, Jahleel Addae became one of the game's better safeties. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded him with the league's second-best run-stop percentage. The 26-year-old fits well in a secondary that also features Casey Hayward, Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett.

Ingram and Addae should take priority, but Danny Woodhead, Manti Te'o and Damien Square can all be contributors next season.

Although, three restricted free agents deserve attention. Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, nose tackle Ryan Carrethers and defensive lineman Tenny Palepoi are young players with the potential for big roles.

The Chargers must adapt to insure they experience success in Los Angeles.
26. Houston Texans
27 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $24.685 million

Notable Free Agents: cornerback A.J. Bouye, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, safety Quintin Demps, outside linebacker John Simon, punter Shane Lechler



The Houston Texans can be found in the NFL's version of limbo.

The team is good enough to win division titles and make it to the playoffs, yet it doesn't feature a franchise quarterback which puts it at a constant disadvantage against the league's premier organizations.

Brock Osweiler's status as Houston's starting quarterback will be discussed ad naseum this offseason. But his potential release would cost the team $6 million against the salary cap. His continued presence on the roster shouldn't overlook the fact a handful of the Texans' top performers are eligible for free agency.

Cornerback A.J. Bouye prefers to stay with the Texans, per Houston Sports Radio 610's Alex Del Barrio. He likely made those comments before understanding the potential market available to him. At 25 years old as one of the league's emerging stars, Bouye can demand top dollar.

His representation should ask for a deal somewhere between $62.5-75 million based on the current top-five cornerback contracts. If the market pushes Bouye into that stratosphere or even higher, Houston may not be able to re-sign the talented defensive back.

Meanwhile, two veterans who have provided a lot of stability in the defense could also depart.

Nose tackle Vince Wilfork has yet to make a final decision, but he appears to be leaning toward retirement, per KRIV Fox 26's Mark Berman. If he decides to play again, the Texans should consider re-signing the mammoth defender.

Quintin Demps' play was stellar in 2016. He turns 32 years old this summer, though.

Speaking of a veteran presence, 40-year-old punter Shane Lechler just may play forever. Said head coach Bill O'Brien, per Drew Doughty of the team's official site, "He's a guy that we would like to have back here."

Osweiler's name will come up in every Texans conversation, but the team around him is pretty good as long as the front office retains its other talent.
27. Minnesota Vikings
28 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $24.363 million

Notable Free Agents: offensive tackles Matt Kalil and Andre Smith, cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn and Terence Newman, linebacker Chad Greenway, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, fullback Zach Line, running back Matt Asiata, punter Jeff Locke



The Minnesota Vikings are in an interesting position. A year ago, the team fantasized about the Super Bowl. All the pieces appeared to be in place until Teddy Bridgewater's knee gave out, Adrian Peterson's suffered a torn meniscus and the defense eventually crumbled after being asked to do too much.

Is this situation a quick fix after a disappointing 8-8 campaign? That's what general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer must ask themselves.

The quarterback situation will be in flux if Bridgewater fully recovers. If not, Bradford is in place. Who protects those signal-callers is far more pertinent.

Last year, the Vikings owned the NFL's most expensive offensive line. Two of those top-paid blockers are now set to enter free agency, and Minnesota might not want them back.

Left tackle Matt Kalil flopped as a former fourth overall draft selection, and he's coming off a season-ending hip injury. At one time, Andre Smith was considered the league's best right tackle. That's no longer the case nor did that player show up in Minnesota. Instead, he ended his season on injured reserve with a triceps injury.

The Vikings must build their offensive line, which could come at the expense of other veterans. Captain Munnerlyn, Terence Newman and Chad Greenway have all been reliable contributors. Munnerlyn is the only one under 30 years old, though.

Cordarrelle Patterson is a fantastic return man, but he's another first-round failure.

The possibility of Adrian Peterson's release exists, too. If the team chooses to do so, his departure would grant $18 million more in available cap space.

These are all big names for the Vikings, but the majority won't be missed if the organization decides to move in another direction in an attempt to reassert itself as a playoff contender.
28. Baltimore Ravens
29 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $18.194 million

Notable Free Agents: nose tackle Brandon Williams, offensive tackle Ricky Wagner, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, defensive end Lawrence Guy, cornerback Jerraud Powers, guard Vlad Ducasse, safety Matt Elam, wide receiver Kamar Aiken



The Baltimore Ravens don't rebuild; they reload.

This is often said about teams that have been successful over an extended period, but it's especially true in Baltimore because general manager Ozzie Newsome has the league's best eye for talent.

At 8-8, the Ravens fell short of the playoffs for the second straight season. The team however is good enough—if it remains healthy—to compete for an AFC North title in 2017.

A few individuals about to enter free agency will need to be retained, though.

Brandon Williams is an absolute load in the middle of the defense—a unit that finished top five against the run. Williams is 27 years old and a prototypical nose tackle. If Newsome feels former undrafted free agent Michael Pierce can effectively replace Williams, the team might move in another direction. But those two massive bodies are better when they're on the field together.

Right tackle Ricky Wagner started 45 games over the last three seasons. The team already experienced what it's like trying to replace blockers in 2016. It's doubtful the Ravens will want want to make another change.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk made his first Pro Bowl in 2016. The position doesn't demand much compared to others around the league, but it's another player the team should attempt to re-sign.

All three are vital components to the Ravens' success, yet the franchise doesn't have a lot of money to spend. Re-signing homegrown talent should be a top priority, especially when someone like Newsome continues to address problem areas via the draft.
29. Philadelphia Eagles
30 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $12.44 million

Notable Free Agents: nose tackle Bennie Logan, cornerback Nolan Carroll, safety Jaylen Watkins, guard Stefen Wisniewski



After a tremendous start to the 2016 campaign, the Philadelphia Eagles faded down the stretch. Even so, the team flashed plenty of potential under head coach Doug Pederson coupled with the play of quarterback Carson Wentz.

While the team finished 7-9, fans should be excited about its future. The bulk of the roster is set even before free agency and the draft. Only nose tackle Bennie Logan and cornerback Nolan Carroll are significant contributors who are about to enter free agency.

The Eagles don't have a lot of cap space, but both could be retained.

Keeping Carroll may be the team's top priority. He struggled at points in 2016, yet he also played the most snaps of any cornerback on the roster, per Pro Football Focus. The team's secondary needs upgraded, but the team can't knowingly create another hole without a better available alternative.

A different argument can be made in regards to Logan. The LSU product is a strong presence over opposing centers. The coaching staff still played Beau Allen nearly as much last season. The organization should attempt to keep Logan, who is a good run defender, but he can be replaced.

If both are re-signed, the team will turn to the draft to address other problem areas like wide receiver.

The Eagles showed they can compete with Pederson at the helm and their current roster. They must add the right pieces during the offseason to become a team that can win on consistent basis.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
31 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: $3.206 million

Notable Free Agents: nose tackle Dontari Poe, safety Eric Berry, defensive end Kendall Reyes



The Kansas City Chiefs find themselves in a predicament. Two of the team's best players—safety Eric Berry and nose tackle Dontari Poe—are free agents, and the franchise doesn't have much wiggle room under the projected salary cap.

Teams know how to work their way around the cap, but it's hard to imagine the Chiefs being able to retain both Berry and Poe considering their current circumstances.

As such, general manager John Dorsey will either need to restructure a few current contracts or make a decision which of these two stellar performers he's willing to let walk.

Since overcoming lymphoma in 2014, Berry has been selected to two straight Pro Bowls. The defensive back finished second on the team with 77 tackles. He also added nine deflected passes, four interceptions and a pair of defensive touchdowns. Berry is a top-five safety in a league relying far more on the position.

One the other hand, Poe is an athletic freak at a listed 346 pounds. His lackluster stats simply don't encapsulate how effective he is in the middle of the Chiefs defense. Poe is difficult to move against the run while able to collapse the pocket against the pass. Nose tackles may not be as valuable today as they once were, but Poe is a rare talent.

Those two take priority, but the Chiefs also have to address a pair of restricted free agents. Wide receiver Albert Wilson and kicker Cairo Santos should receive qualifying tenders if they're not signed to long-term deals.

Kansas City has a lot to accomplish even though the team doesn't have an overabundance of free agents or cap space.
31. Dallas Cowboys
32 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: (-$5.785) million

Notable Free Agents: safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, guard Ronald Leary, wide receiver Terrance Williams, running back Darren McFadden, tight end Gavin Escobar, cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr



Even though the salary cap will rise and there will be plenty of money to spend around the league, the Dallas Cowboys are still in the red.

Eventually, the organization will move on from Tony Romo. A potential trade will clear $24.7 million. If released, the Cowboys will save $5.1 million.

Thus, the organization's upcoming decision regarding the veteran quarterback is vital for the entire roster. His eventual departure should allow the team to re-sign one or two of its top free agents.

The Cowboys' secondary could be overhauled if owner Jerry Jones isn't careful in how he proceeds.

Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr combined to start 39 games this past season. Church finished third on the team with 85 tackles and led the Cowboys with two interceptions despite missing four games. Carr started all 16 games. Claiborne, meanwhile, is a former first-round pick, who finally started to live up to his immense potential in his fifth season.

This is a talented group that helped Dallas transform into a 13-3 squad. Unless the organization does masterful work manipulating the salary cap, though, the Cowboys won't be able to re-sign all four defensive backs.

The same can be said about others looking for better opportunities. Guard Ronald Leary played well, but he's stuck behind La'el Collins on the depth chart. Gavin Escobar continues to back up future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten. And wide receiver Terrance Williams is the team's fourth option behind Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Witten.

Each or the aforementioned talents could go elsewhere, be paid handsomely and have bigger roles.

The Cowboys' core will remain intact, but more than handful of pieces are set to leave the organization due to the team's current salary-cap situation.
32. New York Jets
33 of 33

Projected Salary Cap Space: (-$5.986) million

Notable Free Agents: quarterbacks Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick, offensive tackle Ben Ijalana



The New York Jets are in an odd predicament. They're the team with the highest draft pick combined with the least amount of cap space.

Teams like the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans select before the Jets, but each of those franchises are flush with money to spend.

The Jets, meanwhile, are over the projected cap.

Fortunately, the team doesn't have any major free agents to re-sign. Quarterback Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick aren't going to be welcomed back. Ben Ijalana started 13 games at both left and right tackle, but the team needs upgrades along the offensive line.

Thus, Mike Maccagnan's primary job as general manager this offseason will be to trim the roster of overpaid veterans. High-profile names such as Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, David Harris and Ryan Clady could be released. By releasing those four, the Jets will save $33.533 million against the cap.

The organization might make another attempt to trade Sheldon Richardson, too. He's owed $8.06 million this year.

After a 5-11 campaign, the Jets are about to undertake a complete rebuild.
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NFL Free Agency 2017: Breaking Down Each Team's Cap Situation
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One observer I was chatting with recently compare Howard to Thomas, who was a second-round pick in 2001.

“Howard is thicker and has better bend and flexibility,” said one scout when I asked him how Howard and Thomas stacked up against each other. “A-Train was quicker, better long speed and vision. Howard’s legs are thick. Thomas’ were not like that. I like Howard but he has to improve his vision and hands.”

Howard looks like he fits what the Bears want to do blocking-wise on the offensive line and that’s another reason for him to carry the bulk of the work when Langford is back in the mix.

“We will ride him pretty good moving forward,” said coach John Fox, intimating that decision to go with Howard has already been made.



It's not the win that matters, it's that Bears players such as Jordan Howard starred

It’s certainly a good reminder of why running backs have been de-valued in the draft. The Bears picked up Howard in the fifth round and you can get productive runners in the later rounds. Let’s see how Howard is running at the end of the month. You get a good read on rookie running backs after they’ve taken a pounding for three or four games. Defenses get a feel for what hole they like to hit and opponents learn to adjust. If Howard is still running well when we turn the calendar to November, that will be a good sign.

Here is that chart of Bears rookie running backs to go over 100 yards in their first NFL start:

Dec. 20, 1998 James Allen 23 carries, 163 yards, one touchdown in 24-3 win over RavensOct. 28, 2001 Anthony Thomas 27 carries, 127 yards, one touchdown in 37-31 overtime win over 49ersSept. 7, 2008 Matt Forte 23 carries, 123 yards, one touchdown in 29-13 win over ColtsOct. 2, 2016 Jordan Howard 23 carries, 111 yards in 17-14 win over Lions

3. How about that stuff by linebacker John Timu at the goalline? If you’re looking for big plays that made a difference, that is one. The Bears were leading 7-3 when the Lions took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and went 12 plays to the 1-yard line where they had third-and-goal.

Detroit brought in running back Zach Zenner and what makes this interesting to me is Timu was able to diagnose a play going to a back that was yet to carry the ball this season. Timu blitzed and crossed the line of scrimmage just after the ball was snapped to quarterback Matthew Stafford. I asked him if he was guessing the snap count and he said no.



Jordan Howard tries to avoid Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson at the end of a 17-yard gain in the third quarter at Soldier Field on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.

(Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

“It was part of the call. Vic (Fangio, the defensive coordinator) dialed it up,” Timu said. “We kind of knew what they were about to do. He’s a chessmaster and that’s what he does. We saw the formation and that told us what play was coming. I just had to time it right. Even if the timing wasn’t right, it would have been good to go for the Bears.

“It was no guess. We knew the indicator of when they were about to snap it. I had to make sure I timed it perfect and it held true to that play. I’m supposed to cause a pile and make sure there are no run-through lanes.”

Timu crashed into the backfield before right tackle Riley Reiff could reach him with a down block and both of them wound up at Zenner’s feet making it an easy 2-yard loss. That forced the Lions to kick a field goal.

What was the tell for Timu?

“That’s classified information right there,” he said. “We play those guys twice. I can’t be giving that to you."

You wonder if Danny Trevathan will return this week from surgery on his right thumb. That would push Timu to the bench but it was a crafty play and worth remembering that Fangio had the defense well prepared for what was coming.

4. A week after Logan Paulsen was on the field for only 10 snaps in the loss at Dallas, the Bears got a lot of use out of the backup tight end and that led to a lot of variety in the personnel groupings for offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. I tracked the personnel groupings and in the non-kneel down plays (including those with penalties), I had Zach Miller on the field for 51 of 67 snaps and Paulsen in action for 44 of 67 snaps.

The Bears were in 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends, two wide receivers) for 28 snaps by my count and Loggains did a nice job of mixing it up. There were 15 running plays (13 to Howard and two to Joique Bell) and 13 passes. Howard only gained 32 yards on 11 carries as two of the runs were wiped out by holding penalties on wide receiver Deonte Thompsonand center Cody Whitehair.

But the Bears mixed it up and this commitment to two tight ends and running the ball didn’t take anything away from the productivity of wide receiver Eddie Royal. I had Royal for 37 snaps unofficially and he caught all seven passes targeted for him for 111 yards and one touchdown. Loggains did a nice job of keeping the Lions off balance and that might be one reason why Detroit’s defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin, had what appeared to be a vanilla look. He is usually pretty creative but there wasn’t a lot thrown at an offensive line that has struggled in previous games.



Bears defense shows spark in victory over Lions

Personnel groupings can really vary from week to week and game situations can dictate things change in a hurry. But for the Bears to play complementary football and really commit to running the ball and keeping their defense fresh, they need to go with more two tight end action moving forward. To keep opponents honest, Paulsen was targeted three times and caught two balls for 10 yards.

5. You felt like the Bears were turning the corner this season on special teams with a young roster, something that can be challenging to do, and then they make a mess of the end of the game by allowing Andre Roberts to return a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. Fortunately, the Bears corralled the ensuing onside kick effort but the punt return was bad.

For starters, the Bears were penalized on the play for not having enough men on the line of scrimmage, an infraction the Lions declined. More concerning is the Lions had 10 men on the line going for a block. They were not setting up a return there. They wanted to create a big play. It looked like Thurston Armbrister might have blocked Chris Prosinski in the back and that is certainly what the Bears safety is saying.

“I will have to look at the film but I was pretty sure I got a block in the back,” Prosinski said.

Still, there should be someone else to bring Roberts down, especially when the Lions have not set up a return. Sam Acho and Logan Paulsen missed after Prosinski was wiped out and it was off the races, a race in which Deonte Thompson looked pretty slow. Makes you wonder if Thompson was dinged a little in the game.

The Bears have now allowed a punt return for a touchdown in three consecutive seasons. Consider that in nine seasons under former special teams coordinator Dave Toub the team allowed only two punt return touchdowns.



Eddie Royal's return a jewel for Bears passing game

6. In my Bear Essentials column on Sunday, I wrote about how the team was making a youth movement in the secondary and it’s really not something that’s been done by choice. Those young players looked good. It was a really lousy effort by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, but part of that is the defense playing well against him. Bryce Callahan was really physical with Golden Tate, who wound up eventually being benched. Tate knows all the tricks of the trade to get open and is a very physical player. Callahan matched that and more and that was really good to see. Jacoby Glenn was in the right place at the right time when Stafford and Tate had a mixup at the end of the second quarter. That’s kind of been the book on Glenn, who has logged more playing time than any cornerback butTracy Porter so far.

“I liked Glenn coming out of college (Central Florida) last year,” said one scout I reached out to this week. “He was always around the ball. He got killed in the draft because he was ‘slow.’ He’s got good instincts and that is the key to making plays. I’m glad he is balling.”

Glenn was projected to be a late-round pick but when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds at the scouting combine, that did him in. The nice thing is Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has lauded him for playing some deep balls.

Look for more of Callahan, Glenn and rookies Deiondre’ Hall and Cre’Von LeBlanc in coming weeks. If the Bears can find a starter for the future out of this collection of players, that will be a big boost for general manager Ryan Pace.



Photos of the Bears general manager Ryan Pace.

7. The offensive line looked good again and you felt better about how that unit pass blocked a week ago at Dallas. But you have to reserve judgment a little when you consider the Lions are bad on defense and were lacking their only true edge rushing threat in Ziggy Ansah, out with a high ankle sprain. Yes, I know Kerry Hyder has five sacks for the Lions but he’s more of a high-effort guy than a threat off the edge. The good thing is the Colts, who the Bears will face on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, only have seven sacks and Erik Walden, the former Packer, has four of them. This might represent a nice stretch in the schedule for the offensive line to grow without having to face a menacing threat. Last week, Dallas’ leading career sacker coming into the game was Orlando Scandrick. He’s got 10 1/2 and he missed the game with a hamstring injury.

8. As much as the Bears would love to see it, the NFL is no doubt hoping the Colts do not look jet lagged on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The NFL is pushing the envelope hard in London and the Colts played there Sunday, losing to the Jaguars. They are the first team to play overseas and not have a bye the following week. The Colts made the 3,987-mile flight from London to Indianapolis and they will begin preparation for the Bears. Reports are the Colts preferred not to have a week off so early in the season. They got their wish as their bye comes in Week 10. What we don’t know is how that trip will affect the players. The Colts left on Thursday evening and practiced in London on Saturday in advance of the game, a 30-27 win for the Jaguars. They arrived back in Indianapolis before they would have had they been playing on Sunday night somewhere else. They probably made it home earlier than they would have had they played a road game on the West coast. We’ll see how they look early this coming Sunday.



A general view during the NFL International Series match between Colts and Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in London.

 (Ben Hoskins / Getty Images)

9. Back to Eddie Royal. That was a nasty route he ran on his 64-yard reception. Royal faked an out route after about 9 yards and then turned it upfield on a shake route. He shook Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs in a big way. It’s a route you see more often in the red zone by tight ends. Tony Gonzalez ran it really well in his prime. It’s hard to pull off when the middle of the field is closed but Royal has the quickness to really sell it. That was fun to watch and in the first four games of this season we’ve seen why the Bears guaranteed Royal $10 million in his three-year contract. He’s got 18 catches for 241 yards. Royal had 18 catches for 120 yards through the first four games last season.

10. The Bears are surely hoping it’s nothing serious for wide receiver Kevin White, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle. White hobbled off after a 1-yard reception and coach John Fox said afterward there wasn’t an update. Brian Hoyer targeted White 23 times in the last two games and he’s had 12 catches for 117 yards, showing signs of coming to life. His development is paramount for the franchise this season so any missed time will be a real blow although I think Cameron Meredith offers some upside as a fill-in.



Bears vs. Lions: The most important plays

10a. It was a 50-yarder that Connor Barthpushed to the right but if the kicker misses many more chances, the Bears are going to have to take a look at the situation. Some fans wondered about the release of Robbie Gould and Barth is now 2 for 4.

10b. Three passes broken up for Lions cornerback Darius Slay. He’s a good one.

10c. The Bears leaned on tight end Ben Braunecker’s smarts as they had him active on all four special teams phases despite the fact the rookie missed the entire preseason with an ankle injury.

10d. Rookie defensive end Jonathan Bullard dressed for the game but was inactive. The guess here is his toe injury played a factor. Bullard was ready for emergency use only.

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http://yogahq.net/spice-and-prosinski-try-hot-yoga/
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