Players Every NFL Team Must Target in Free Agency This Offseason

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Players Every NFL Team Must Target in Free Agency This Offseason
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jairus Byrd heads up all free agent safeties in 2013.

With all of the recent hiring and firing of NFL general managers, head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators and coaching staffs, the 2013 season is off to a roaring start.

It will take some time to identify which free agents every NFL team wants to target in free agency. Every new regime has to determine which players they want to retain and which ones need to be released because they don't fit with the new schemes.

Shortly after Super Bowl XLVII is over, NFL teams will need to decide if they want to pay out huge roster bonuses to veterans that they want to keep, or will they release a select few to save room on their salary cap?

There were already a large number of free agents that existed on every roster, due in part to the short-term contracts that were signed after the 2011 NFL work stoppage ended. Many players were scrambling for a deal, so they entered into short contracts with the hope of securing greater financial security down the road.

But as we saw with the Oakland Raiders in 2012, and what the New York Jets are facing in 2013, it is very easy for teams to get caught in bad salary-cap scenarios. The end result is that these teams are forced to release expensive players that they really would like to keep.

We will look at some key internal free agent decisions, and which external free agents to target based on who they might lose to free agency.

All salary cap space numbers used in the presentation came from a story by John Clayton of ESPN.com. According to Clayton's figures, there are currently nine teams that are already under the salary cap for 2013. That means a number of players will probably be released after the Super Bowl.

Free agent status listed for any player is courtesy of Rotoworld.com.

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