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2012 NFL Free Agents: Each Team's Top Priority

Jason FrayCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2016

2012 NFL Free Agents: Each Team's Top Priority

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    With the free agency period rapidly approaching on March 13th, every team in the NFL will be looking to enhance their prospects of contending for a Super Bowl. 

    In addition to making new acquisitions, teams have to be cognizant of their own free agents—while acting accordingly and deciding whether or not to re-sign those players.

    The targets and areas of need differ from team to team, and it will be quite fascinating to see how teams will prioritize their individual needs.

    Let's take a look at each team's top priority in free agency.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Top Priority: Offensive Line

    The Cardinals have talent—there's no doubt about it.

    They trot out one of the best wide receivers in the game (Larry Fitzgerald), one of the most physically imposing players around (Adrian Wilson) and one of the most exciting young players the league has to offer (Patrick Peterson).

    With that said, improvements need to be made if they are to compete with San Francisco for the division crown.

    The offensive line has been down right porous. In the last two seasons, the Cardinals have finished 31st in sacks allowed. A concerted effort needs to be made in order to improve the line, specifically at tackle. 

    Also, a wide receiver to go alongside Fitzgerald would help quarterback Kevin Kolb tremendously. 

Atlanta Falcons

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    Top Priority: Re-signing John Abraham, Curtis Lofton, Brent Grimes

    This is a very important offseason for the Falcons. Arguably their top three defensive players are all free agents, and significant decisions need to be made in regards to the aforementioned three.

    Lofton is the "quarterback" of the defense from his middle linebacker spot. He plays with enthusiasm and energy and is the vocal leader for the defense. He's also a ball hawk, as he had 147 tackles last season.

    Grimes has turned into a very good corner for Atlanta. Although undersized at 5'10", he plays much bigger than his size indicates. This last season, he had five interceptions and led the league in pass deflections with 23. 

    In a division with fellow quarterbacks Drew Brees, Josh Freeman and Cam Newton, Atlanta would be well-advised to resign the Pro Bowler Grimes.

    Perhaps the biggest need to fill would be bringing Abraham back.

    As a pass rusher, he had 9.5 sacks this past season and was a constant nuisance for opposing quarterbacks. Due to his ability to rush the passer, he'll be a hot commodity in the free-agent market.

    Couple that with the fact that he's 33, and it's unlikely he'll be back in Atlanta. The Falcons should look for a cheaper alternative in the draft.  

Baltimore Ravens

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    Top Priority: Offensive Line

    The Ravens had a magnificent season, as they reached the AFC Conference Championship Game before losing to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

    Truth be told, this team has minor holes to fill, but they still have areas that they'd like to strengthen.

    All-Pro running back Ray Rice is a free agent, but there's no way Baltimore will let him join another team. He will most likely be given the franchise tag. 

    A team can never have enough offensive line depth, and in the Ravens' case, they'd like to fortify their collection of "big uglies."

    Center Matt Birk is in the twilight of his illustrious career, and they'd like to find an eventual replacement for the Harvard graduate. The bigger issue is the status of left guard Ben Grubbs.

    The Pro Bowler has been a staple on the Baltimore line for multiple seasons. The Ravens would be extremely wise to bring Grubbs back into the fold.

    Although some progress has been made, a report indicates that nothing is imminent in terms of re-signing the former Auburn player.

    In addition, Baltimore would still like to add another playmaker on the offensive side of the ball.

    The emergence of rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith has given quarterback Joe Flacco a big-time deep threat, but a slot receiver who can go over the middle and catch the intermediate throws would be a good get. 

Buffalo Bills

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    Top Priority: Pass Rushing

    Not one Bills player recorded over 5.5 sacks in 2011. That anemic output has to change if Buffalo wants to compete in the AFC East.

    In free agency, the Bills should target hybrid outside linebackers/defensive ends who can apply pressure to the quarterback while also retaining the versatility of covering players in space. With the 10th overall pick, someone like a Courtney Upshaw would be a no-brainer.

    Wide receiver Steve Johnson is also a free agent. Although talented, he's also enigmatic and somewhat controversial.

    Nevertheless, he stretches the field for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. This past season, Johnson led the Bills with 76 receptions, 1,004 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. 

    Right now, all signs point to Buffalo bringing back Johnson.

    Tight end Scott Chandler is also a free agent. If the Bills cannot resign Chandler, look for them to go after someone like John Carlson. 

Carolina Panthers

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    Top Priority: Defensive help 

    Cam Newton has effectively re-energized the Carolina franchise and has brought huge amounts of excitement to Charlotte. 

    Along with wide receiver Steve Smith and running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, Carolina has quite a potent offense.

    Defensively is where the biggest focus will be for the franchise.

    Help at defensive tackle, outside linebacker and cornerback is needed in mass quantities.

    With serious injuries to linebackers Thomas Davis and Jon Beason last season, depth is needed should the tandem not perform to their pre-injury capabilities.

    In addition, tight end Greg Olsen is also a free agent that the team might look to re-sign. He was a good third-down target for Newton. 

Chicago Bears

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    Top Priority: Offensive Line 

    Over the last two seasons, the Bears' offensive line has been a complete mash unit.

    With constant injury and a lack of continuity, the offense suffered. Quarterback Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense never quite gelled—and that stems from the instability on the offensive line.

    There needs to be more depth on the line. Cutler was battered and bruised perhaps more than any other quarterback last year.

    In addition, the team is absolutely void of playmakers. Matt Forte is a fabulous running back, but he can't do it alone.

    Last season, he accounted for over 50 percent of the Bears' total offense. That's more than any other player in the entire NFL for one team.

    Forte is a free agent, but it looks as if the Bears will do everything in their power to extend him long-term

    Devin Hester might be a fantastic return man, but he isn't a great receiver. Johnny Knox is a great deep threat, but he offers not much else.

    Cutler needs a possession receiver who can consistently move the chains.

    Marques Colston would fit the bill extremely well in that capacity, as would Reggie Wayne.  

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Top Priority: Running Back

    It looks as if starting running back Cedric Benson won't be returning to Cincinnati. With that in mind, the Bengals will look to add a back.

    Bernard Scott might assume the starting role, but he lacks experience and isn't very proven. For a playoff team, they need a consistent running threat to complement second-year quarterback Andy Dalton and stud receiver A.J. Green.

    Aside from running back, the team also needs help at corner. Leon Hall tore his Achilles and will be gone for the entire season. 

    After Hall, there's next to no depth in the secondary. Carlos Rogers, Brandon Carr and Richard Marshall are good free-agent options for the Bengals.   

Cleveland Browns

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    Top Priority: Wide Receiver

    The 2011-12 season was an extremely disappointing year for the Browns, who came into the season with high expectations.

    There was a renewed sense of optimism with former Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren on board in a management position. However, the overall talent of the team needs to improve.

    Also, this past season running back Peyton Hillis was ineffective and riddled with injures for the majority of the year (attack of the Madden curse!).

    Hillis is a free agent, and the Browns have indicated that they'd like to resign him.  

    In addition, Colt McCoy is not a franchise quarterback. If the Browns want to become a perennial playoff contender, they need to find a difference maker. 

    They won't necessarily find that guy in free agency, but they can definitely find someone like Robert Griffin III by trading up in the draft.

    In terms of free agency, the team needs to target wide receiver help. The offense is extremely shackled because there's no real No. 1 option.

    Cleveland also needs to help out Jabaal Sheard on the pass rush. An impact defensive end (maybe Cliff Avril?) would enhance the defensive front greatly.  

Dallas Cowboys

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    Top Priority: Secondary

    The pressure is mounting on the franchise to get back to the promised land. By promised land, I mean the playoffs.

    By pressure, I mean owner Jerry Jones.

    Head coach Jason Garrett needs to produce this season, or he could be shown the door. 

    In terms of the roster, the secondary is an area that needs to be addressed. Both Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins were torched last season. Absolutely torched.

    Look no further than the contests against their rival the New York Giants. Time after time, both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks were perpetually open for big gains.

    Also, the offensive line could use some help—namely at center. Phil Costa and quarterback Tony Romo didn't exactly see eye to eye

Denver Broncos

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    Top Priority: Offensive Line

    The Broncos had a very good season with Tim Tebow at the helm. Defensively, the team saw the biggest leap from a season ago.

    They were active, enthusiastic and very turnover-minded. With the problems Tebow had offensively, the Broncos' defense effectively kept them in many games.

    Offensively, however, the line needs some retooling.

    Center J.D. Walton was abysmal for the majority of the season. Also, guard Zane Beadles gave up seven sacks.

    Signing a Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks would go a long way in the development of Tebow as a passer. Not only would it make the line obviously much stronger, but it would give him more time to throw the ball and improve his accuracy.

    In addition, the Broncos could stand to get another wide receiver to help out Demaryius Thomas on the outside.   

Detroit Lions

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    Top Priority: Re-signing Cliff Avril

    The young team took a huge step forward this season—making the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

    Detroit may have the best collection of defensive line players in the game today, led by the dominating Ndamukong Suh.

    In addition to Suh, the Lions possess the talented Nick Fairley, Willie Young, Corey Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

    Their No. 1 target this offseason is re-signing another talented member of their front four: Cliff Avril.

    Avril was an absolute terror off the edge for Detroit. He collected 11 sacks to go along with his numerous quarterback pressures. At only 25 years old, he's going to command a huge amount of cash from a team this offseason.

    The Lions hope to re-sign Avril and continue their stellar continuity along the defensive linewhich is the big strength of their team.

    With offensive tackle Jeff Backus a free agent, the Lions also need to replenish their offensive line with depth up front.

    Quarterback Matthew Stafford has a penchant for taking too many hits, and that is in direct correlation with why he's somewhat injury-prone. 

    Ample depth on the offensive line will help to keep Stafford healthy and upright. 

    Willie Young, Corey Williams

Green Bay Packers

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    Top Priority: A pass rusher

    The Packers had arguably the most lethal offense in all of football.

    MVP Aaron Rodgers was simply on another level, constantly placing the ball with pinpoint accuracy while making big play after big play.

    The offense wasn't why the Packers failed to advance to the Super Bowl. It was their defense.

    Aside from Clay Matthews, the Packers lacked a consistent pass rush. Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers uses a defense predicated upon pressure and confusion.

    With no consistent push, opposing teams killed the Packers through the air.

    Although B.J. Raji is a good player, the loss of Cullen Jenkins from a year ago still stings big time. He occupied space up front but got consistent pressure from his nose tackle position. 

    That constant activity allowed for the defensive ends and outside linebackers to swarm the opposing quarterback.


Houston Texans

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    Top Priority: Keeping DE Mario Williams in Houston

    There's no doubt that the Texans are a better team with the former No. 1 overall pick Williams on the field.

    He offers great versatility as a hybrid OLB/DE, but more than that, he's a pass-rush artist who can get after the opposing quarterback with great frequency.

    In six seasons, the North Carolina State product has 53 sacks. Without a doubt, he's the top defensive player in this free-agency class. Houston has to keep Williams if they want to make a push for a Super Bowl.

    In addition to Williams, getting another wide receiver would greatly help. Andre Johnson, at 30, isn't getting any younger. Plus, he's been injury prone of late.

    Acquiring a complementary wide receiver would not only equip quarterback Matt Schaub with another weapon, but it would help to take pressure off of running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate.

    Foster is a free agent as well, but Houston will almost certainly keep him - whether it be via a long contract or by using the franchise tag. 

    Another option downfield would lessen the toll on the dynamic running back duo.

    Someone like Robert Meachem would help to make an already stellar run game even better.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Top Priority: Uh...there's not just one thing wrong with the Colts. 

    Where to start?

    In theory, the Colts need help everywhere. I think that's safe to say when coming off of a 2-14 season.

    The obvious place to start is at quarterback. I'm not going to belabor the point, just go and watch any sports channel on television.

    My personal opinion? The Colts will trade Peyton Manning and draft Andrew Luck with the intention of Luck starting from day one.

    Okay, now on to the rest of the roster.

    The secondary needs immense help, as does the defensive line. Stud defensive end Robert Mathis is someone that the Colts will most likely not be able to retain. 

    On the offensive line, three lineman (Mike Pollak, Jeff Saturday, Ryan Diem) are free agents. As for the wide receivers, both Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are not locks to return to Indianapolis.

    A long and arduous process lies ahead for this franchise.

    Like I said, where to start?

    Hopefully, with a strong draft.  

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Top Priority: Offensive help on the perimeter

    Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing in 2011, as he compiled 1,606 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also second on the team in receptions with 43.

    Jones-Drew acts as the Jaguars' primary threat on offense. With a young quarterback in Blaine Gabbert, an outside threat is needed to take pressure off both Gabbert and Jones-Drew.

    In his rookie season, Gabbert only averaged 5.4 yards per completion. He doesn't have the requisite receivers needed in order to give him a chance to win.

    Jacksonville can run the ball all they want, but they'll wear down their most valuable commodity with no one to throw the ball to. 

    Wide receiver Mike Thomas had the most catches of any wideout on the team, with 44. That's not a good sign.

    This offense is littered with question marks, and a good start would be to acquire an outside threat.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Top Priority: Re-signing Dwayne Bowe

    The Chiefs should be aided greatly with the return of Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, and Tony Moeaki.

    The trio helped the Chiefs win their division in 2010, getting them to the playoffs in the process. Last season, however, each suffered torn ACLs, and with their absence went the Chiefs' season.

    With the impending return of the three, the prospects for the upcoming season look much brighter.

    The No. 1 priority without a doubt for Kansas City is retaining star receiver Dwayne Bowe. At this point, it looks as if they'll franchise tag their top offensive threat.

    Having Bowe back in the fold is paramount for the Chiefs. He's an absolute terror around the goal line with his size and physicality, and he uses his massive hands to pluck balls out of the air with ease.

    Defensively, the Chiefs could use help on the defensive line. Up front, the nose tackle position needs to be filled. Starter Kelly Gregg could conceivably retire, so the Chiefs could opt to fill the position in-house with Glenn Dorsey.

Miami Dolphins

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    Top Priority: A quarterback

    The quarterback position for the Dolphins has been a black hole for years. They've desperately been looking for a solidifying force who can help them compete regularly with division foes the Patriots and Jets.

    A regime change has taken place in the form of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as head coach.

    With the hiring of Philbin, one would have to think that the Dolphins' No. 1 target would be free-agent quarterback Matt Flynn, formerly of the Green Bay Packers.

    Flynn represents a big unknown since he has only started two games in his career.

    He very well could turn out to be someone like Kevin Kolb—a guy not proven who commanded a large contract and thus far has underachieved. 

    I would be extremely hesitant to overpay for Flynn. But if Philbin believes in his former quarterback, then he most likely will be the guy commanding the offense in Miami. 

Minnesota Vikings

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    Top Priority: Offensive line 

    Without Adrian Peterson for this upcoming season, things sure look grim in Minnesota.

    There are gaping holes all over the aging roster, and a massive overhaul needs to take place at this point. One area in need of help is the offensive line.

    Steve Hutchinson is getting older, Anthony Herrera was horrible last season, and an overall talent upgrade needs to take place. It looks as is USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil will be the likely choice for Minnesota—which would be a smart one.

    Aside from the offensive line, another wide receiver to help the often-injured Percy Harvin is needed. Second-year quarterback Christian Ponder will need all the help he can get, especially without the services of Peterson.

    Defensively, the secondary is a complete mess. Minnesota's best corner Antoine Winfield is 34 years old. The other starting option, Asher Allen, was dreadful this past season.

New England Patriots

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    Top Priority: Secondary help

    The Pats will look to rectify their latest loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl. 

    Offensively, they are incredibly complete. One big issue was the situation with star wide receiver Wes Welker, who is a free agent. However, the Patriots intend to place the franchise tag on the All-Pro talent.

    With Welker's situation cleared up, the Pats will look for help on the defensive side of the ball.

    The secondary was the weakest level of the New England defense. Wide receiver Julian Edelman even had to play at the cornerback position due to a lack of depth.

    With multiple first-round picks, New England should target secondary help.

    The defensive line is also a position of need. With Mario Williams being a free agent, he would fit perfectly into the Patriots 3-4 scheme. 

New Orleans Saints

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    Top Priority: Re-signing Carl Nicks

    The Saints were shocked as they were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers. 

    Offensively, there might not be a more potent group. 

    Defensively, they just weren't very good. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams left to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis, so a big transitional period will take place this offseason—with scheme and personnel alike.

    Despite their defensive struggles, re-signing offensive lineman Carl Nicks should be their No. 1 priority.

    The face of the franchise, Drew Brees, is also a free agent. But there is no way in the world that he won't be coming back to New Orleans.

    Nicks, on the other hand, might be a different story. He's revered as one of the best guards in all of football. His combination of power and athleticism truly makes him a special player.

    However, there have no been no contract talks between Nicks and the Saints up to this point.

    In addition to Nicks, wide receivers Marques Colston and Robert Meachem are also free agents.

    The Saints' brass definitely has some interesting choices to make.

New York Giants

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    Top Priority: Tight End

    The Giants had a magical run this year, winning their last six games en route to a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.

    All of the parts clicked at the right time, and their cohesiveness made them an incredibly formidable opponent.

    Although they are still celebrating in East Rutherford, the Giants have some moves to make if they are to make an encore showing at next year's Super Bowl.

    Easily, the tight end position needs to be addressed.

    The Giants' top two tight ends, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, both suffered severe injuries in the Super Bowl which will keep them out indefinitely.

    Beckum tore his ACL in the first quarter, while Ballard also tore his ACL in the second half.

    With both out, where do the Giants turn?

    Obviously, they could fill a spot via the draft. If they go the free agent route, two players who might be in the mix include John Carlson and Martellus Bennett.

    Also, the team would like to re-sign wide receiver Mario Manningham. The probability of that happening at this point looks dicey, at best.  

New York Jets

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    Top Priority: Help at Safety

    It's not good when the head coach's persona is bigger than that of his team's. Especially when that team plays in the media capital of the world.

    Ryan bestowed unreal expectations on his team before the season started, and they vastly underperformed.

    Where do the Jets need help the most?

    For one thing, both of their starting safeties were relatively poor. Eric Smith didn't play well at all, and their other starting safety Jim Leonhard is unlikely to be re-signed. Leonhard suffered a season-ending knee injury which looks to prohibit his participation for a long time.

    Likely targets for the Jets? Two possibles could be Tyvon Branch or Michael Griffin.

    In addition to safety, the Jets need some added help on the defensive line in the form of a pass rusher. A staple for a Ryan defense is getting after the quarterback and causing havoc.

    Look for the Jets to draft a pass rusher with one of their earlier selections. 

Oakland Raiders

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    Top Priority: Defensive help

    This upcoming season marks the first in the era without iconic owner Al Davis. A passing of the proverbial torch has been given to new general manager Reggie McKenzie.

    McKenzie, a former member of the Packers' front office, will oversee player personnel and the football operations. With that in mind, the mantra of the Raiders only going after "speed" with their players should subside a bit.

    The team made great strides last year, finishing at 8-8. They do need to shore up a few areas if they are to capitalize on their new-found success.

    With a possible switch to a 3-4 alignment, the Raiders need a run-stuffing defensive tackle to eat space and take up blockers. Nose tackle Paul Soliai would be a great fit here.

    Also, starting safety Tyvon Branch is a free agent. He played really well last season, and the Raiders should look to bring him back into the fold.  

    UPDATE: Tyvon Branch will be franchised by the Raiders. Running back Michael Bush looks to hit free agency as well. 

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Top Priority: Linebacker help

    The supposed "dream team" crashed and burned last year. The Eagles fell incredibly below their lofty expectations before last season began.

    Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo and defensive line coach Jim Washburn's vaunted "wide nine" defense was not productive, to say the least. The hiring of Castillo was very peculiar in the first place by head coach Andy Reid.

    Castillo was the former offensive line coach. When he was appointed as the head man on defense, it was the first time since 1989 that Castillo had been coaching the defensive side of the ball.

    The Eagles need help at the entire linebacker level, but most pressingly at middle linebacker.

    Rookie Casey Matthews was considerably overmatched at the mike linebacker position. Opposing teams would zone block with the intention of targeting Matthews early and often.

    The other middle linebacker option, Jamar Chaney, was better, but he might not be a long-term option.

    Akeem Jordan and Brian Rolle look like backups as opposed to full-time starters, so the Eagles would be wise to go the free-agent route and look for help at the outside linebacker spot as well.

    The volatile yet extremely talented wide receiver DeSean Jackson is also a free agent. He could be franchised, but he also could be traded at this point.   

    UPDATE: The Eagles placed the franchise tag on Jackson earlier today. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Top Priority: Getting younger on defense

    Let's face it, the Steelers are old on defense.

    There's no doubting their championship pedigree, but they have to get younger defensively in order to replace their aging veterans. 

    Defensively, a nose tackle is a must. For as good as Casey Hampton is, he cannot maintain the same level of effectiveness with the physical toll his body has endured for over a decade.

    Help at inside linebacker would suffice, as would reinforcements on the offensive line. The Steelers can definitely use depth at both guard and tackle spots.

    Their biggest free agent, star wide receiver Mike Wallace, looks to be staying put in Pittsburgh.  

San Diego Chargers

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    Top Priority: Re-signing Vincent Jackson

    The Chargers are coming off of a very disappointing year, finishing 8-8.

    Head coach Norv Turner, despite being on the hot seat seemingly every year, has been retained for another season. He'll look to improve the roster and put the Chargers back into playoff contention.

    Vincent Jackson is the big-fish free agent that the Chargers have to re-sign. Not only is the wide receiver one of the better pass catchers in the league, but he's arguably the Chargers' best offensive option.

    Jackson, at 6'5", presents matchup problems for any corner. He had 1,106 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season.

    If the Chargers cannot bring him back, they should look to target help at the safety spot opposite Eric Weddle.

    An impact defensive end would also tremendously help San Diego off the edge.  

San Francisco 49ers

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    Top Priority: Offensive playmakers

    San Francisco came out of nowhere and had a stellar season, finishing at 13-3 while nearly missing out on a Super Bowl appearance. 

    New head coach Jim Harbaugh has brought a blue-collar, lunch-pail style of play to San Francisco.

    The staples of this new implementation? Discipline. Physicality. Energy.

    Defensively, the 49ers possess one of the best units in the league. Justin Smith is an absolute beast up front, the trio of NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks and Patrick Willis make up the best linebacking corps in the league, and the safety tandem of Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner are ball-hawks that pack a punch.

    Both Rogers and Goldson are free agents. Goldson looks as if he will be franchised, but Rogers' status with the 49ers is still up in the air.  

    Offensively however, the 49ers lack any big playmaking ability outside of tight end Vernon Davis.

    The Braylon Edwards experiment didn't pan out, and as a result the team should look to acquire a complementary piece for quarterback Alex Smith.

    A route-running receiver like Reggie Wayne or a possession pass catcher like Marques Colston would take immense pressure off both Smith and Davis. It would also give the 49ers an added dimension on offense. 

Seattle Seahawks

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    Top Priority: Re-signing Marshawn Lynch

    The "Skittles sensation" had a great season for Seattle. He became the Seahawks' first 1,000-yard rusher in six seasons, as he put up 1,204 yards to go along with 12 touchdowns.

    He runs with a reckless abandon and a punishing style that makes him extremely hard to tackle. 

    With a quarterback position in flux, Seattle leaned on Lynch big time last season. Without Lynch, Seattle would become one of the worst offenses in the NFL. 

St. Louis Rams

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    Top Priority: There's not just one thing; it's a laundry list

    When coming off of a 2-14 season, there's usually not just one position of need to target. That's the case with the Rams right now.

    The hiring of respected head coach Jeff Fisher has offered some optimism for the franchise. Personnel wise, however, moves need to be made.

    The interior of the defensive line desperately needs an upgrade. St. Louis gave up over 152 yards rushing per game—ranking them 31st in the NFL.

    Offensively, the team needs to figure out whether they should re-sign wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. If they chose not to, free agent signings need to take place. The likes of Brandon Gibson and Austin Pettis won't get it done.

    Also, the offensive line needs a massive overhaul. St. Louis' most prized possession, quarterback Sam Bradford, was beat up last year, leading to his injury. The offensive line gave up 36 sacks in the 10 games Bradford competed in.

    That number of sacks allowed is atrocious. If the Rams want to keep Bradford healthy, help needs to come on the offensive line.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Top Priority: Cornerback help

    The Bucs took a massive step back this season. After having a surprising run to the playoffs a year ago, they finished this past season a startling 4-12. 

    New head coach Greg Schiano looks to instill a winning culture in Tampa Bay.

    The cornerback position is undoubtedly a huge area of need. Their most promising secondary player, Aqib Talib, has been plagued by injury and legal problems. There's no guarantee that he'll be on the roster come next season.

    Free agent Cortland Finnegan has been a rumored target of the Bucs, and conventional wisdom has the Bucs selecting LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne in the draft with the fifth overall pick.

    Aside from the cornerback position, the Bucs need to give young quarterback Josh Freeman some help on the outside.

    One rumored target is wide receiver Mario Manningham. In fact, this report says that Manningham will reunite with former New York Giants quarterbacks coach and new Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan in Tampa.   

Tennessee Titans

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    Top Priority: Defensive line help

    The Titans will heavily look to address their defensive line in the upcoming months.

    Three of their linemen—Jason Jones, Dave Ball and William Hayes—are all testing the free-agent waters. It doesn't look good at this point to retain any of the three, so Tennessee has to look elsewhere.

    In addition to the defensive line, the Titans could use help in the secondary.

    Michael Griffin is a free agent, and the team should look to re-sign the former University of Texas product. As a two-time Pro Bowler, he is a talent that the Titans would miss.

    Also, Pro Bowl cornerback Cortland Finnegan is a free agent. Tennessee should do everything they can in re-signing the feisty corner.

    Without both Griffin and Finnegan, opposing teams will be licking their chops at the prospect of going against the Tennessee secondary. 

Washington Redskins

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    Top Priority: Finding a quarterback

    Are Rex Grossman or John Beck franchise quarterbacks?

    Yes, that's a rhetorical question.

    Head coach Mike Shanahan and owner Daniel Snyder must be fooling themselves if they think the two gentlemen mentioned above can make the Redskins relevant. 

    There's no secret that the position needs to be addressed. 

    Paging RG3? Paging RG3?

    Aside from the quarterback position, Washington needs some semblance of an offensive threat. A big-time receiver needs to be brought in to inject some life into a fledgling offense.

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