While the 2013 NFL postseason churns along towards the Super Bowl, the teams that missed this year’s playoff glory are already formulating ways to dominate the free-agent market this offseason.
There are many huge names due to hit the open market in 2013, and teams all across the NFL will be trying to use free-agent additions to transform their franchises into serious contenders.
All of the following players will have a major impact in the free-agent pool, and will be the top targets for many of the top franchises in the league.
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
While the New England Patriots will have to make the tough decision about re-signing veteran wideout Wes Welker this offseason, it is very clear that the Patriots have prepared to move away from Welker and what should be a pricey contract.
If Welker does hit free agency like most expect, one of the best pure pass-catching receivers in the league will be available to the highest bidder.
Welker has the kind of talent that doesn’t hit the open market very often, and many teams across the league would pay the star receiver whatever he wanted to sign with their franchise.
There is likely no way Welker will match the kind of numbers he amassed over his career in New England—100 or more receptions and over 1,00 yards in five of his six season with the Patriots—but a team with a strong No. 1 receiver could find solace in the sure-handed abilities of a No. 2 like Welker.
Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Tackle
While versatile defensive lineman Richard Seymour’s time with the Oakland Raiders was full of ups and downs, there is no questioning the raw talent this veteran possesses even at 33 years old.
Seymour still has the speed he needs to get any offensive linemen on their heels, but it’s his elite ability to stop the run or rush the passer that makes him one of the league’s best defensive end/tackle combinations.
Add in the ability to play in the 3-4 or 4-3 defensive sets, and Seymour is the ultimate weapon.
The game of football is won and lost in the trenches—the offensive and defensive lines—and any team that is looking to shore up their defensive line must kick the tires on the free-agent superstar this offseason.
Greg Jennings, Wide Receiver
One of the best pure talents to become a free agent in 2013, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings may not find a better quarterback on the open market, but there are plenty of teams that would love to get their hands on a player like him.
The seven-year NFL veteran will be one of the hottest commodities to hit free agency this offseason, but there are serious questions about the receiver's durability. Soft tissue injuries (hamstring and groin) cost the veteran half of the 2012 season, and he isn’t getting any younger.
Jennings will have to prove he is healthy and ready to stay that way before he gets a huge deal.
Having a down statistical season in a contract year is never good in terms of monetary impact for the player, but the lower price tag will have every team looking for a reliable, veteran presence at receiver considering Jennings.