Building a reliable offense is key to any playoff team. Even the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, teams thought of for their defense first, reached the Super Bowl because of strong play on the offensive side of the ball.
That will likely equate to a lot of big paydays for playmakers on the free-agent market. With so many teams hoping to find another player capable of making game-changing plays, the stars capable of providing them are going to command plenty of attention.
Let's examine some of the most prominent names on the market at the main offensive positions, aside from quarterback, and take a look at where they may land based on the current rumor mill.
RB: Reggie Bush
The Arizona Cardinals are quickly emerging as a top contender for Bush. Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports the team has already contacted his agent as it's starting to look more and more like he won't be back with the Miami Dolphins.
Bush has done a lot over the past two seasons to prove he's more than a change-of-pace back. He received over 250 touches in each of his campaigns with the Dolphins, missing just one game and putting up solid numbers.
The Cardinals are coming off a season in which four different running backs were given at least 50 carries. None of them were able to stand out from the crowd, prompting the team's desire to seek outside options. Bush would be an ideal fit.
Which of these would be the best fit?
WR: Mike Wallace
It appears the Dolphins are the front-runners for Wallace. In fact, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post reports a source close to the situation says that it can almost be considered a done deal already and he'll join Miami once the signing period opens.
Nothing can become official until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, which means any report of an agreement before that must be taken with a grain of salt. That said, Wallace has been connected with the Dolphins for a while and Volin seems confident a deal will get done.
Wallace would bring some much-needed explosiveness to an offense that sorely lacked it on the outside last season. His ability to stretch the field should really help the offense, especially Ryan Tannehill, who had a shaky rookie season under center.
TE: Jared Cook
The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of an upgrade at tight end and are showing interest in Cook to fill that void, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She reports the Chicago Bears and Dolphins are also monitoring the situation.
Cook was never used properly during his tenure with the Tennessee Titans, so his subpar numbers are deceiving. He's got the potential to become a very impactful player in a different offense based purely on his combination of size and athleticism.
The Browns' offense is moving in the right direction with players like Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon, but there's still work to do. Adding Cook, who would seemingly be used far more often in Cleveland, would be a wise way to start free agency.