The lack of football is starting to wear on NFL fans across the nation already, but the beginning of the 2013 free agency period has people talking once again and started the push toward next season.
There are many players this year hitting the open market, and fans want to know which of the most unheralded stars will end up signing with their team.
If your team manages to sign any of the following players through free agency, it will be a major coup for the organization and make the franchise you cheer for that much better.
Martellus Bennett, TE
The New York Giants are facing several tough offseason questions, but none is more pressing than the issue of re-signing standout tight end and free agent Martellus Bennett to a new deal.
Bennett had the best season of his short career in his first year in New York—amassing 54 catches for 611 yards and five touchdowns—and if the Giants won’t pay him, there will likely be a few other teams on the market for a tight end with as much potential as the 25-year-old star has.
Despite sharing on Twitter that he wants to stay in New York, Bennett would consider playing wherever his brother Michael ends up in 2013-14. The pressure is on for the Giants.
Everyone keeps asking me about free agency. My outlook is NYG and if not wherever my brother is most likely.— Martellus Bennett (@JoeGryffindor) February 14, 2013
Danny Amendola, WR
There are injury concerns that surround a small wide receiver like Danny Amendola—he only played in 11 games this season—but the abilities the 27-year-old possesses are worth a long-term investment from a team this offseason.
Despite the St. Louis Rams remaining committed to re-signing the slot receiver (h/t Jim Thomas), any team looking for a Wes Welker-type player with great speed and mobility will find the perfect match in Amendola.
Add in his sure-handedness and his ability to avoid contact in the open field—63 catches for 666 yards in his limited time—and a monetary investment in Amendola will pay off huge for the team that takes the risk.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
The New York Giants moved forward with David Wilson as the cheaper alternative at running back by cutting Ahmad Bradshaw this offseason, but there are many teams that should consider signing the veteran to a short-term deal.
There is no questioning that injuries have hampered Bradshaw over the last two seasons predominantly, and another offseason surgery (h/t New York Post) will only add to the questions about his longevity, but the fact that Bradshaw is just 26 years old proves he is worth the risk.
Bradshaw will have to prove to the league that he is 100 percent healthy and ready to play at a high level before he sees much free agent action, but talented running backs are always in demand.
Whichever team lands Bradshaw this offseason will be taking a risk, but one that could pay major dividends for a franchise on the cusp of Super Bowl contention.