Every NFL Team's Top Free Agency Targets, Post-Franchise Tags

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIMarch 12, 2012

Every NFL Team's Top Free Agency Targets, Post-Franchise Tags

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    Are you ready?

    Are you ready for the madness and chaos that we're about to encounter now that free agency starts Tuesday, March 13?

    Aside from the NFL draft, this is the most exciting part of the offseason.

    Where will the top free agents land? That is just one of many questions that surface in my mind.

    With that being said, let's take a look at every NFL team's top free agent target. 

Arizona Cardinals: Peyton Manning

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    Can anyone say Kurt Warner 2.0? 

    Well, I take that back. Signing Peyton Manning is certainly far more significant than acquiring Warner a few years ago.

    The possible signing of Manning would suddenly turn the Arizona Cardinals into one of the contenders to run away with the NFC in 2012. 

Atlanta Falcons: Mario Williams

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    The Atlanta Falcons may not have a ton of cap space but they could certainly manipulate their salary enough to make a run for the NFL's most dominant pass-rusher, Mario Williams.

    Adding Williams to the Falcons' roster would be certainly beneficial and could immediately turn Atlanta into a Super Bowl contender heading into the 2012 season. 

Baltimore Ravens: Mike Wallace

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    How remarkable of a story would this one be?

    The Baltimore Ravens could very well steal away the Pittsburgh Steelers' No. 1 wide receiver, Mike Wallace. 

    Wallace is a restricted free agent, which means that the Ravens would have to cough up a first-round pick to sign him, but it would be so worth it.

    Wallace is one of the up-and-coming wide receivers in the NFL, and not only would they be adding them to their rather pedestrian passing attack, but they would be taking him away from their biggest threat, the Steelers.  

Buffalo Bills: Marques Colston

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    Beefing up the pass-rush may be a priority for the Buffalo Bills, but adding a player like Marques Colston could be a bit more realistic. 

    The New Orleans Saints will likely be unable to pay Colston, as they have some salary cap issues, which means that the Bills could fly in and steal away one of the top receivers in the game.

    Adding Colston to Buffalo's offense would be pretty beneficial as he'd start opposite of Stevie Johnson, and this would ultimately create more opportunities for Ryan Fitzpatrick to succeed.  

Carolina Panthers: Marques Colston

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    Coughing up the right amount of money for Marques Colston may be an issue for the Carolina Panthers, as they don't really have too much money to spare.

    However, as of right now, I'd say that one of their biggest needs is at wide receiver.

    If the Panthers are able to steal a wide receiver from a divisional foe, that'd be a win-win situation for Carolina. 

Chicago Bears: Vincent Jackson

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    The Chicago Bears need to do whatever it takes to sign Vincent Jackson. 

    Jay Cutler badly needs a wide receiver to throw to and adding a guy like V-Jax would pay huge dividends. Their offense would immediately turn into one of the better ones that the NFL has to offer. 

Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Bush

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    Michael Bush would be a nice replacement for Cedric Benson, as I don't see the Cincinnati Bengals bringing back Benson for another run with the team.

    Bush is a durable running back who would not only stabilize the Bengals' rushing attack but also be a threat in the passing game, as he's one of the better receiving running backs in the free agent market. 

Cleveland Browns: Matt Flynn

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    If you ask me, the Cleveland Browns need to go all in for free agent quarterback Matt Flynn.

    I'm sorry but Colt McCoy is not cutting it as a franchise quarterback in my book, and Flynn could certainly serve that role.

    Flynn may have little experience but Cleveland's offense is similar to the Green Bay Packers', and all the Browns would have to do is surround Flynn with talent, which I'm sure would lead to Pro Bowl numbers. 

Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Carr

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    The Dallas Cowboys need to do something about their secondary, and adding a guy like Brandon Carr would certainly stabilize things back there. 

    Carr may have been a No. 2 cornerback with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he is certainly talented enough to take on the role as being a No. 1—and I am almost certain that the Cowboys are going to make a run for him. 

Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning

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    If you haven't been under a rock the past few days, then you know how the Denver Broncos have been recruiting Peyton Manning to play for them after his weekend in Denver.

    The Broncos need to go all in for Manning, even though they already have Tim Tebow.

    Tebow would not only learn from Manning, but the Broncos would immediately turn into favorites to win the AFC West with No. 18 at quarterback. 

Detroit Lions: Cortland Finnegan

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    I don't know about you, but I firmly believe that Cortland Finnegan would be a nice fit in the Detroit Lions' secondary.

    Finnegan is a proven No. 1 cornerback, which is something the Lions need badly. 

    If Detroit is willing to spend the money, then I'm sure Finnegan would have no problem playing for the Lions. 

Green Bay Packers: Mario Williams

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    If the Green Bay Packers can figure out a way to clear up some cap space, then Mario Williams would be quite the fit in their 3-4 defensive system.

    Williams is by far the best pass-rusher available in free agency, and he would join a team that already has a chance to win the Super Bowl.

Houston Texans: Mario Williams

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    I don't know about you, but I don't think that the Houston Texans can afford to let Mario Williams leave town.

    Williams is an elite pass-rusher and could turn Houston's defense into the best in the league considering they were already an elite group this past season, with Williams playing in just five games. 

Indianapolis Colts: Antonio Garay

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    If the Indianapolis Colts want to win a few games in 2012, they need to find a nose-tackle, and the best available is Antonio Garay. 

    Garay is certainly in Indy's price range and would be an immediate impact player next season for the Colts as they enter a stage of rebuilding with quarterback Andrew Luck at the helm. 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Vincent Jackson

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    If the Jacksonville Jaguars want any chance of seeing Blaine Gabbert succeed as a quarterback in the NFL, they need to find him a wide receiver to throw to.

    With that being said, Vincent Jackson is the fit.

    Jackson is an elite player who would certainly help the development of Gabbert for many years to come. 

Kansas City Chiefs: Peyton Manning

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    Yep—you read it right. 

    I strongly believe that the Kansas City Chiefs need to go out and sign Peyton Manning.

    Manning would immediately turn the Chiefs into a playoff contender, one who could even win the conference.

    The Chiefs already have a solid defense and have an elite running back in Jamaal Charles, as well as an elite wide receiver in Dwayne Bowe—so why not give No. 18 a chance? 

Miami Dolphins: Peyton Manning

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    Yet another team that's in the race for Peyton Manning.

    Let's be honest here, Peyton already has a home in Miami, so I think that it's safe to say that the Miami Dolphins have a real good shot at reeling in the future Hall of Fame quarterback, don't you? 

Minnesota Vikings: Vincent Jackson

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    Adding Vincent Jackson would be huge in the development of Christian Ponder.

    The Minnesota Vikings have the pieces offensively but are just lacking a true No. 1 wide receiver—V-Jax would fill that void.

    Jackson would not only make Ponder better but he'd also create more opportunities for slot wide receiver Percy Harvin. 

New England Patriots: Mario Williams

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    If the New England Patriots want to break the bank this offseason, they could certainly do so by signing Mario Williams.

    The Patriots have enough cap space to make a move for the elite pass-rusher, and he would ultimately turn New England's 31st ranked defense into one of the better ones that the NFL has to offer. 

New Orleans Saints: Marques Colston

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    Somehow, someway the New Orleans Saints need to find a way to keep Marques Colston.

    Colston is Drew Brees' No. 1 wide receiver and there's no way that they can let him slip—they just need to find a way to clear up some cap space to keep Brees' go-to man. 

New York Giants: Dallas Clark

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    Believe it or not but the New York Giants don't have too many holes to fill this offseason after their Super Bowl-winning season. 

    However, adding a tight end like Dallas Clark would be an interesting idea.

    The Giants lost their top two tight ends in the Super Bowl with knee injuries and Clark could simply fill in as the team's starter in 2012. 

New York Jets: LaRon Landry

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    As of right now, the New York Jets' biggest need would be safety, and entering free agency, LaRon Landry is the best available.

    Landry has all the talent in the world, but his biggest enemy is consistency. 

    If Landry can be a consistent player for the Jets, he'll likely produce Pro Bowl type numbers. 

Oakland Raiders: Chris Myers

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    The Oakland Raiders need a center, and if you ask me, the best available is Chris Myers.

    If the Raiders can steal Myers away from the Houston Texans, that would be a huge addition, as Myers is one of the best centers in the NFL today and would certainly help out Darren McFadden and Oakland's ground attack.

Philadelphia Eagles: Curtis Lofton

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    When free agency starts, the Atlanta Falcons need to go after linebacker Curtis Lofton hard.

    The Atlanta Falcons will likely not be bringing back Lofton in 2012, and the Eagles would certainly benefit from adding him to their roster.

    The Eagles' biggest need right now is inside linebacker help, and Lofton would certainly fill that need. 

Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Wallace

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    There's no way around it: The Pittsburgh Steelers need to find a way to keep Mike Wallace.

    Wallace is not only Ben Roethlisberger's No. 1 wide receiver but he's developing into one of the best wide receivers that the NFL has to offer.

    Letting Wallace go would be a huge loss that the Steelers can't afford to lose right now. 

San Diego Chargers: Mario Williams

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    This is a huge reach, but just imagine if the San Diego Chargers could sign Mario Williams. 

    Williams is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL and would just add even more talent to an already talented roster in San Diego.

    I would imagine that the Chargers would be sure-shot favorites to win the AFC West in 2012 if they added Williams. 

San Francisco 49ers: Carlos Rogers

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    The San Francisco 49ers may be willing to let free agent cornerback Carlos Rogers test the open market, but he's someone I can't imagine the 49ers would want to lose entering 2012.

    Rogers is a very good player and is borderline elite, and he's certainly one of the top tier No. 1 cornerbacks in the NFL today.

    San Fran had an elite defense in 2011, so why would they want to let one of their top defenders walk? 

Seattle Seahawks: Matt Flynn

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    The Seattle Seahawks actually have a decent team right now but are only truly lacking a quarterback.

    With that being said, the most realistic answer to their quarterback woes would be free agent Matt Flynn.

    Flynn is ready to be an NFL-starter and the Seahawks need someone who can come in and get the ball to Sidney Rice on a consistent basis. 

St. Louis Rams: Pierre Garcon

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    The St. Louis Rams may be on the verge of adding Justin Blackmon in this upcoming draft, but adding another wide receiver like Pierre Garcon would be a huge asset to their offense. 

    As of right now, Sam Bradford has no one to throw to and adding a wide receiver like Garcon would be a wise decision, as he's got nice hands and the ability to turn a five-yard reception into a 30-yard play. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cortland Finnegan

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    Cortland Finnegan is one of the top cornerbacks available via free agency this offseason, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the money to spend.

    The Bucs cannot move forward with Ronde Barber at cornerback—he's simply too old. With that being said, Finnegan and Tampa Bay are the perfect match as the Bucs have the money to spend and are in a definite need for a cornerback. 

Tennessee Titans: Peyton Manning

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    The Tennessee Titans may be a perfect fit for free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.

    Manning played his college ball in Tennessee and could finish his career in the same state.

    According to reports, the Titans will plan to meet with Manning, and we'll simply have to take it from there to see how things develop. 

Washington Redskins: Carl Nicks

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    I think we all know by now that Robert Griffin III is going to be a Washington Redskins. With that being said, giving him an elite left guard would be a wise decision for the 'Skins.

    Carl Nicks is one of the best offensive guards in the entire league and may not be returning to the New Orleans Saints, as they have their fair share of salary cap issues. 

    The Redskins may be the perfect suitor for Nicks.