When Elvis Dumervil agreed to a five-year deal with the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the first domino of free agency's second wave officially fell.
Dumervil's departure from the free-agent market should open the door for more deals among the top remaining players, especially with so many potential difference-makers available for what should be team-friendly deals.
Several potential deals could be coming down the wire in the coming days.
In the following slides, we'll examine the latest news and rumors on some of the top free agents remaining, including those among the defensive ends.
From the second Dumervil left the Broncos' offer on the table and bolted for Baltimore, Freeney became the obvious choice to replace him in Denver.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Broncos are chasing Freeney and could have a deal wrapped up soon.
A former teammate of quarterback Peyton Manning, Freeney was miscast in the Colts' 3-4 defense in 2012 and craves the switch back to a four-man front. When healthy, Freeney can still represent one of the top pass-rushing defensive ends in football.
Age is an obvious concern—Freeney is 33 years old—but there should be a few good years left in his tank. He would also cost a fraction of the price of retaining Dumervil.
If a deal with Denver doesn't work out, New England remains another potential landing spot.
Abraham has received interest from a number of teams, including Denver, New England and Miami.
According to Field Yates of ESPN Boston, Abraham is likely the "best option" for the Patriots among the veteran free-agent defensive ends. Klis of the Denver Post reported that the Broncos are choosing between Freeney and Abraham, but that Denver prefers Freeney.
Like Freeney, one obvious hurdle for Abraham is age—he'll be 35 years old in early May.
That said, Abraham has 9.5 sacks in five of the last six years, including 19.5 over the last two seasons. While not an every-down player at this stage, he can still provide immediate value as a situational pass-rusher.
Unless the Broncos go a different way, the expectation here is that Abraham will land in New England on a cheap deal.
It now appears to be more of a matter of when, not if Umenyiora will sign with the Atlanta Falcons.
According to Pro Football Talk, Umenyiora is expected to sign in Atlanta soon, with an agreement Monday still on the cards.
Umenyiora, just 31 years old, will then replace the soon-to-be 35-year-old Abraham at defensive end with the Falcons, who need pass-rush help.
Barring a setback in the agreement process, Umenyiora should be the next defensive-end domino to fall, with Freeney and Abraham close behind.
Once Umenyiora agrees in Atlanta, expect Freeney to land in Denver and Abraham in New England.
Asomugha won't likely be on the open market much longer.
Both teams need help at the position, but this decision will likely come down to Asomugha's preferences. While the 49ers are much better positioned to win now, the Saints might be willing to offer more money and playing time.
No other team has been reported to be in on Asomugha, so expect a deal to be finalized in either San Francisco or New Orleans within the week.
Grimes is drawing interest, but no deal appears to be imminent.
According to Pro Football Talk, Grimes has been courted—to varying degrees—by Tampa Bay, Miami and Cleveland. However, the market has been colder than expected for the 29-year-old cornerback, who missed the entire 2012 season.
Arguably the top cornerback left on the market, Grimes will eventually find a job. When and with who are both still very much in question.
Like Grimes, a market appears to be shaping up for Winfield's services.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Winfield is "set to visit" the Washington Redskins Wednesday, and the Minnesota Vikings and "1-2" other teams are still interested.
Winfield will turn 36 years old this summer, but he still has plenty of value as a slot cornerback.
The Vikings might be the leaders to retain Winfield at a more manageable monetary investment, but interest from the Redskins should be serious. It's possible such a visit could be leverage to get every last penny out of either Minnesota or one of the other interested teams.
Regardless of Winfield's plans, a deal for the veteran corner could materialize quickly. Even at his age, Winfield remains one of the better players still available.