While a number of big-name NFL players have expiring contracts, many of them will be re-signed by their current teams.
For players who aren't that fortunate, they must test the waters with the other teams in the league who are looking to improve their rosters in the offseason.
Many of these players will have a harder time finding a team if they had a down year in 2012. However, one down year doesn't make a career, and a number of free agents can easily rebound with a new team.
It was just announced by ESPN insider Adam Schefter that Charles Woodson is being released by the Green Bay Packers, as many fans had expected.
The eight-time pro bowler will now be an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team.
Woodson only played in seven games for the Packers last season and had a career-low number of tackles with 25 while tying his career-low number of interceptions (one).
The 14-year NFL veteran still has a lot to give to any team who is willing to sign him. He already proved in 2011 that he can still play in the league.
He played in 15 games that season, making 62 total tackles, and he had seven interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
As @RapSheet reported, Packers told DB Charles Woodson today that they will be releasing him. Woodson now will be an unrestricted FA.2/15/2013, 5:11:34 PM
There are a number of teams in the league, such as the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, who could use all the help they can get on defense, and Woodson provides veteran knowledge that would certainly benefit them.
The 6'2" wide receiver, heading into his sixth season in the league, is an unrestricted free agent and has spent his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bowe had one of the worst years of his career in 2012, although the Chiefs' offense did nothing to help him.
The 28-year-old had his worst year since 2009, catching 59 balls for 801 yards. His production was especially down in touchdowns, putting up a career-low three in 13 games.
While Gregg Rosenthal of the NFL has reported that Bowe is in contract talks with the Chiefs, if another team offers more money, Bowe is capable of putting up big numbers.
In 2011, he broke 1,000 yards receiving and had five touchdowns, following a year in 2010 when he had 15 touchdowns.
No matter where Bowe lands, he is almost automatically a No. 1 or 2 wide receiver.
Originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys four season ago, Jones has had a tough time finding a consistent running game. His highest rushing total in any season was 800 yards in 2010, and he has never scored more than three touchdowns in one season.
However, Jones has the ability to be a solid running back in the NFL, especially if he is on a team that isn't the Cowboys, who already have DeMarco Murray rushing for them.
Dallas also had 300 more passing attempts than it did rushing attempts all last year, so Jones wasn't given the ball very many times to showcase his talents.
While it's a possibility that Jones will stay in Dallas, there are a number of teams who could use a running back like him on their team.
Dallas was second-to-last in the league in rushing, but teams like the Arizona Cardinals and the Jacksonville Jaguars could use another threat in the backfield.
If Jones moves on from the Cowboys, he could produce numbers similar to 2010, when in addition to the rushing yardage, he accounted for 44 first downs for the team, and he caught 48 passes for 450 yards and a touchdown.