2012 NFL Free Agents: Predicting the First 5 to Sign Big Contracts

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2012 NFL Free Agents: Predicting the First 5 to Sign Big Contracts
Joey Foley/Getty Images

With the 2012 free-agency season just over the horizon, it’s time to play money ball—meaning that teams will begin to play with numbers like politicians play with taxpayer money.

This year’s salary cap is estimated anywhere from $120 million–$130 million. Some teams are in great cap shape while others try to cut some losses or restructure the contracts of older players in order to free up more space.

There are five teams that top the list of cap room: Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Each of these teams has an estimated $40 million or more in cap space. There are several other teams that are close to this as well.  

Having a lot of cap money can be a blessing and a curse. It’s easy to overspend and realize a year or two from now the return on that investment was not what you had hoped for, or it can be a blessing where you are able to sign guys who will propel your team on to greater heights.

Teams that need to be more frugal will most likely do greater research on whom they’ll bring in and attempt to sign.  

So, on to my predictions for the first week of free agency—press on to see who I think will be the first five to sign, and who might soon follow.

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