With more and more teams entering the postseason as we progress further into the 2011 NFL playoffs, organizations are really starting to get the gears cranking on planning for the draft and laying out a foundation for success in the 2011-2012 season.
For practically all of the teams in the NFL, this process will include parting ways with some veterans, most of whom will still be looking for work next year.
Some of these guys are players that most people have never heard of. That doesn't mean, though, that there won't be some big-ticket veteran free agents out on the market next year.
Enough of the talk, though. Let's take a look at 10 veterans who could very well be looking for a new home next year.
Of all the big name veterans who could enter free agency this offseason, Alge Crumpler is probably the only one who has a higher chance of staying with his team than leaving his team.
The New England Patriots love Crumpler, and Crumpler loves the New England Patriots. Indications are that he will return.
That having been said, it wouldn't be too far of a reach to believe that the Patriots part ways with the veteran tight end.
As most of you probably know, the Patriots have (arguably) the two best young tight ends in the game right now in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. That wasn't always a sure thing though. That's why the Patriots brought on Alge Crumpler.
Now that the two rookies have found so much success, Crumpler finds himself in the depth chart as the No. 3 tight end, which is a position that doesn't see a lot of time for the New England Patriots.
Again, of all the big name veterans, Crumpler is the most likely to remain with his team. However, it should come as no surprise if Crumpler is cut in favor of depth at other positions.
Everyone knows what the deal is with Terrell Owens right now.
Despite the fact that he was the leading receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals this year, it is clear that Cinci doesn't want him and plans on getting rid of him as soon as possible.
What a shame.
In any case, Terrell Owens clearly still has gas left in the tank, so he will be a hot commodity when the free agency market opens up.
As strange as this sounds, it actually wouldn't be too big of a surprise.
Chad Ochocinco struggled a lot this year, dealing with injuries and catching inconsistency, and it was made even worse by the fact that the Bengals proved they could move the ball much better through the air without him on the field (see Bengals vs. Chargers).
Ochocinco still has one year left on his contract, so this year may not be the year he leaves the Bengals, but don't be surprised if Cincinnati chases top wide receivers in the draft and attempts to move him.
By the beginning of next season, LaDainian Tomlinson will be 32.
I have no doubt that he still has talent, but there are question marks around whether or not he can keep that up next year, especially considering how the Jets have started to struggle in the running game lately.
With Shonn Greene likely to wake up from his sophomore slump next year, there is a good chance that LT could be heading for a new city. I'm crossing my fingers for San Diego. After all, who doesn't like a happy ending?
Putting the fact that he's not that good aside for now, the more important point is that you can't blow up on reporters like Derek Anderson and not find yourself in hot water.
Anderson played himself out of the rotation, which has put Arizona in a position to grab a top quarterback in April's draft, and his comments about the conversation between him and teammate Deuce Lutui might just have placed him in the unemployment line.
Matt Hasselbeck is playing for a lot more than most people think in the Seattle Seahawk's improbable playoff run this year.
Few people seem to know that this happens to be a contract year for the aging quarterback.
After bringing in San Diego Charger third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst to back up Hasselbeck this season, all signs have been pointing towards a replacement sometime in the future, and that is still certainly possible.
Hasselbeck has shown that he still has stuff left in the tank, but 7-9 isn't going to cut it in the NFC West for much longer. The Seahawks are going to need a guy they can trust to be consistent under center.
With all that in mind, it is certainly possible that the Seahawks let Hasselbeck go to free agency at the end of this season.
With six years under his belt, believe it or not, Alex Smith is, well, technically a veteran.
In any case, this one is worth mentioning, if only to say that all the bases have been covered. Unless Jim Harbaugh decides that he can salvage the current quarterback situation in San Francisco, Alex Smith is going to free agency this offseason.
There are times when I feel like it is too easy to pick on quarterbacks, like it's not always their fault that they aren't succeeding.
This isn't one of those times.
Jake Delhomme blew it in Carolina, then proceeded to blow it in Cleveland, and should be headed out the door by all accounts.
He has another year on his contract, but I doubt that the Browns want to pay him over $5 million to sit on the bench and watch Colt McCoy outperform him.
That having been said, though, there are probably plenty of teams that would be willing to take him as a backup, or perhaps even as a starter. I hear Carolina is looking for a new starting quarterback.
At this point, it is almost entirely clear that the offensive attack for the Kansas City Chiefs revolves around three players: Thomas Jones, Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.
Chris Chambers returned home only to find himself as an outsider looking in.
Chambers played 13 games this year for the Chiefs, but recorded only 22 catches for 213 yards and one touchdown.
The Chiefs would be better off chasing a younger replacement in the draft.
That's not to say that Chris Chambers is down for the count. He still has enough left in him to make a legitimate case for a backup role on a number of teams, especially since there seems to be a receiver-talent void in a lot of places in the league all of a sudden.
Oddly enough, the ageless Ronde Barber may be leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year.
It's not the most likely of the two options, but the fact of the matter is that Barber's contract is up, and there has been no talk of a new one, despite the fact that contract issues are apparently being sorted out as we speak (yes, I'm assuming this from the fact that the Bucs have picked up the options on both their head coach and their GM).
Don't think that this will be the end of Barber, though. He's still got plenty of ability left, and there are certainly a number of teams that would pick him up should the Buccaneers fail to do so.