The NFL is currently in its "dead" period, where there's very little happening until training camp begins at the end of July. That doesn't mean we can't talk about any potential battles that will be waged once camp begins later next month.
In the following slides, we'll break down the key positional battle for each potential playoff team in 2012.
Dallas Cowboys: Inside Linebacker
Sean Lee (pictured) is guaranteed a spot, but who plays next to him? 2011 second-round pick Bruce Carter is one candidate, but the Cowboys also signed former Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Connor in free agency. Connor will likely start, but Carter could make things interesting with a good camp.
New York Giants: Running Back
Ahmad Bradshaw will be the starter, but he's had injury problems in the past. The Giants also drafted the electric David Wilson in the first round, so there's going to competition for carries and touches. D.J. Ware and Da'Rel Scott will also factor in.
Philadelphia Eagles: Safety
Nate Allen and Jaiquawn Jarrett represent the future combination at safety, but there's plenty of competition in the present. Kurt Coleman played extensively at one spot last season, and Philadelphia also added veteran O.J. Atogwe in free agency.
Chicago Bears: Left Tackle
It's no secret that the Bears' offensive line has had troubles over the past couple of seasons. Part of the problem has been at left tackle, where the Bears are again looking at a positional battle this summer. Chris Williams will move back to tackle, with J'Marcus Webb attempting to hold on to his starting spot.
Detroit Lions: Cornerback
Chris Houston and Aaron Berry are the likely starters, but what will the depth chart look like from there? Jacob Lacey could be the nickel cornerback, but Alphonso Smith and Bill Bently should push for playing time.
Green Bay Packers: Receiver
2011 practice squad receivers Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel may be good enough to give the Packers seven roster-quality players at the position ahead of 2012. Veteran Donald Driver is a sure bet to return after a contract restructuring, so GM Ted Thompson might have to take six receivers on his 53-man roster.
Atlanta Falcons: Defensive End
Ray Edwards and John Abraham would seem to be the clear starters, but the Falcons have several players fighting for playing time behind the two veterans. Lawrence Sidbury, Cliff Matthews and Jonathan Massaquoi are intriguing younger players that might deserve snaps.
New Orleans Saints: Running Back
Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram are locks, and each should continue to have big roles on the Saints offense in 2012. But what about Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory? Are there enough touches to go around to keep the four?
Few teams in the NFL have the depth at running back the Saints do, but how it shakes out during camp will be telling.
Seattle Seahawks: Quarterback
The Seahawks aren't far off from competing for a playoff spot, but they'll need a consistent starter to emerge at quarterback. Matt Flynn was given $10 million in guaranteed money to be that guy, but Tarvaris Jackson won't go away and the team is enamored with rookie Russell Wilson.
San Francisco 49ers: Running Back
Receiver is another option here, but how the 49ers split their carries will be a fascinating positional battle to watch all season. Frank Gore is still the starter, but the 49ers signed Brandon Jacobs in free agency and drafted LaMichael James in the second round. Kendall Hunter also remains, and he showed an electric side in limited touches last season.
New England Patriots: Cornerback
Receiver looked like a sure bet for this title a month ago, but the Patriots have weeded out Chad Ochocinco and Anthony Gonzalez. Now, the best position battle is likely cornerback, where New England has an interesting mix of young players. Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore and Alfonzo Dennard give the Patriots five capable players.
New York Jets: Offensive tackle
Both sides need better play than the Jets received last season, but are there players in place to fix the problem? Wayne Hunter shouldn't be starting in the NFL, but is there a better option? The left side is also worth watching.
Buffalo Bills: Cornerback
After taking cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks in the 2012 draft, Buffalo now has a log-jam at the position. Aaron Williams was a second-rounder last year, and he's joined on the depth chart by Leodis McKelvin, Terrence McGee and Justin Rogers. One of the big names will likely have to go.
Baltimore Ravens: Outside Linebacker
Terrell Suggs' injury opened up an opportunity in the starting lineup. 2012 second-rounder Courtney Upshaw, Paul Kruger and Sergio Kindle will all have a chance at making up the snaps lost. Left guard is another important positional battle.
Cincinnati Bengals: Cornerback
The Bengals have a number of capable players at cornerback, including veterans Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Adam Jones, Terrance Newman and Jason Allen. The team also drafted first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick. If Hall has to miss any early time, the battle to replace him will be the one to watch.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Inside Linebacker
Who starts next to Lawrence Timmons inside? Larry Foote is a veteran, but younger players Stevenson Sylvester and Sean Spence are capable players. The Steelers will have to decide between experience and youth at an important position.
Houston Texans: Third Receiver
The Texans are one playoff team without many positional battles ahead of camp. If there is one important one, however, it's likely at third receiver. Will DeVier Posey, Keshawn Martin or Lestar Jean be the guy?
Tennessee Titans: Quarterback
Matt Hasselbeck played well as the starter in 2011, but former first-round pick Jake Locker might be ready to take over this football team. While most still feel Hasselbeck is the early leader, Locker can win the job with an impressive camp.
Denver Broncos: Manning's No. 1 Receiver
Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are the clear starting receivers, but who becomes Peyton Manning's go-to guy? Thomas is physically more talented, but Decker is closer to the kind of receiver Manning looked for in Indianapolis.
Kansas City Chiefs: Inside Linebacker
Jovan Belcher has started inside for a couple of years, but his spot will have to won again in camp. Brandon Siler could push for Belcher's spot after returning from a season-ending injury in 2011.
San Diego Chargers: Safety
Journeyman Atari Bigby and 2012 draft pick Brandon Taylor will decide in camp who begins the season as the team's starting safety. Taylor will eventually be the man, but Bigby has shown flashes during his career. If Bigby is healthy, he'll compete for the job.