2015 NFL Free Agency: Previewing Team Cap Space and Strategy

Russell S. Baxter@@BaxFootballGuruContributor IJanuary 1, 2015

2015 NFL Free Agency: Previewing Team Cap Space and Strategy

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    Head coach Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers own the first overall pick in April's draft.
    Head coach Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers own the first overall pick in April's draft.Cliff McBride/Getty Images

    It’s not personal. It’s just business.

    We are not only mere weeks away from Super Bowl XLIX, but we are only mere weeks and one day from all 32 teams preparing for the 2015 NFL season.

    What does that mean?

    One day after previewing this upcoming year’s unrestricted free-agent field, here’s a look at where every club currently stands in terms of the 2015 salary cap. At this moment, the figures do not include any rollover from 2014, something to certainly keep in mind. All of our free-agent numbers and financial information comes courtesy of Spotrac (subscription required).

    In any case, we’ll take a look at all 32 franchises in terms of their anticipated free-agent class. The complete list for each team is linked on each slide. We also delve into each team’s coaching situation and draft position and speculate on their financial moves.

    Of course, 12 of these clubs have bigger things on their mind than 2015, so we’ll put that in perspective as well.

    Enjoy this very early look ahead even before we put the 2014 season behind us…and happy New Year to all.

Arizona Cardinals

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Over $12.5 million

    NFL Rank: 31st

    Notable Potential UFAs

    CB Antonio Cromartie   

    OLB John Abraham         

    DT Dan Williams               

    OLB Sam Acho  

    G Paul Fanaika  

    ILB Larry Foote

    QB Ryan Lindley

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Nobody did more with less than the Cardinals this past season. They entered the year short-handed on defense, endured their share of injuries at the quarterback position and still managed to win 11 games and grab a playoff spot.

    It will be interesting to see if veteran defenders such as Foote and Cromartie are re-signed. Bringing back Williams would be a positive move. But perhaps the biggest loss could be defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who is drawing interest as a head-coaching candidate.

Atlanta Falcons

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $23.83 million

    NFL Rank: 13th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    OLB Osi Umenyiora

    OLB Sean Weatherspoon

    OLB Kroy Biermann        

    PK Matt Bryant

    RB Jacquizz Rodgers

    DT Corey Peters

    CB Robert McClain

    CB Javier Arenas

    FS Dwight Lowery

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    From 13 wins and a share of the best record in the NFL in 2012 to a combined 10-22 mark the last two seasons, the Mike Smith era has come to end in Atlanta after seven years.

    The Falcons finished dead last in the NFL in total defense and also gave up the most passing yards in the league, confirmation that this unit is in need of a total overhaul. General manager Thomas Dimitroff used free agency to sign veteran defensive lineman Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai a year ago, but look for this defense to get an infusion of youth via the draft.

Baltimore Ravens

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $306,482

    NFL Rank: 27th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    WR Torrey Smith

    TE Owen Daniels

    G Jah Reid

    OLB Pernell McPhee

    RB Justin Forsett

    DT Terrence Cody

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The Ravens are in the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years under head coach John Harbaugh. General manager Ozzie Newsome did a terrific job of retooling the Ravens following their 8-8 finish a year ago.

    Still, this club is right near the salary cap, so some tough decisions will have to be made. Forsett was a huge pickup this year and finished fifth in the NFL in rushing. But Baltimore also has some young running backs in Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro.

    Could veteran defenders such as Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Elvis Dumervil, Daryl Smith and Chris Canty, as well as quarterback Joe Flacco and guard Marshall Yanda, be asked to restructure their contracts this offseason? Newsome always finds a way.

Buffalo Bills

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $27.87 million

    NFL Rank: 9th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    DE Jerry Hughes

    G Erik Pears

    ILB Brandon Spikes

    FS Da’Norris Searcy

    DE Jarius Wynn

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The good news is that the Buffalo Bills will come off a 9-7 season, their first winning campaign since 2004. And for the first time since 2007, the team won’t finish in last place in the AFC East.

    The bigger news is that head coach Doug Marrone, who led the club to a 15-17 mark the last two seasons, has opted out of his contract and is headed elsewhere. Mark Maske of The Washington Post has the latest on the surprising development and where the franchise could look in terms of a new sideline leader.

    In terms of personnel, re-signing defensive end Jerry Hughes, who has blossomed in his two seasons with the Bills, would be a very positive move.

Carolina Panthers

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $9.61 million

    NFL Rank: 20th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    DE Greg Hardy

    T Byron Bell

    DT Dwan Edwards

    DT Colin Cole

    OLB Chase Blackburn

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Who would have thought that with twice as many losses as a year ago, the Panthers would not only become the first team to win back-to-back NFC South titles, but make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time?

    That’s the reality for Ron Rivera and Co., who host the Arizona Cardinals this Saturday in the playoffs. When it was all said and done, Carolina (7-8-1) finished 10th in the league in total yards allowed, playing the vast majority of the season without former Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy.

    Speaking of the talented defender, the franchise obviously has a decision to make regarding his future with the Panthers, if there indeed is one. And does veteran running back DeAngelo Williams, who has had problems staying healthy, have a future with the club after nine seasons?

Chicago Bears

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $27.30 million

    NFL Rank: 10th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    OLB Lance Briggs

    CB Charles Tillman

    FS Chris Conte

    MLB D.J. Williams

    DT Stephen Paea

    C Brian De La Puente

    QB Jimmy Clausen

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    There have already been plenty of changes in the Windy City as the Bears wrapped up their worst season since finishing 5-11 in 2004.

    Gone are general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman. And what does the future hold for nine-year quarterback Jay Cutler, who threw 28 touchdown passes this season but offset that total with two dozen turnovers?

    Last offseason, the Chicago brain trust did its best to fix a defense that gave up the third-most yards in the league in 2013. This year the Bears finished 30th in the NFL in total defense once again. It will be interesting to see if free-agent additions such as defensive end Jared Allen and LaMarr Houston are part of the new regime’s plans.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $28.69 million

    NFL Rank: 7th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    TE Jermaine Gresham

    MILB Rey Maualuga

    CB Terence Newman

    G Clint Boling

    PK Mike Nugent              

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    In the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, extending their team record, the Bengals are hoping that their Wild Card tilt with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday doesn’t end like the last six postseason games for the franchise.

    As for the future, Cincinnati is a team with a lot of young talent and certainly some room to play with in terms of the salary cap. They rarely delve heavily into free agency and have drafted extremely well in recent years. This is a team that changed both its offensive and defensive coordinator last offseason and still made a return to the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $34.45 million

    NFL Rank: 4th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    DT Ahtyba Rubin

    WR Miles Austin

    OLB Jabaal Sheard

    TE Jordan Cameron

    CB Buster Skrine

    QB Brian Hoyer

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    For the fourth consecutive year, the Browns were the only team in the AFC North to finish with a losing record. And for the second time in four seasons, this was the only team in the division not to make the playoffs.

    So are the Browns about to become Johnny Manziel’s football team? It’s far too early to tell. The former Heisman Trophy winner’s performances both on and off the field haven’t helped. Could the team actually make a push to bring back quarterback Brian Hoyer, the team’s starter for most of 2014?

    Elsewhere, the team would love to retain former Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron, who missed the vast majority of the season with concussion issues but is one of the best players at his position in the league.

Dallas Cowboys

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $362,759

    NFL Rank: 26th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    WR Dez Bryant

    RB DeMarco Murray

    T Doug Free

    OLB Bruce Carter

    DE Anthony Spencer

    DE George Selvie

    DT Nick Hayden

    MLB Rolando McClain

    WR/KR Dwayne Harris

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The Dallas Cowboys are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and have won 12 games, their best showing since finishing 13-3 in 2007.

    It’s been a terrific year for a franchise mired in an 8-8 slump for three straight years. But two of their offensive stars are eligible for free agency in 2015 and it’s certainly a matter of concern.

    Running back DeMarco Murray led the NFL with 1,845 yards rushing, while wide receiver Dez Bryant caught a league-high 16 touchdown passes.

    While no one expects the Cowboys to part ways with either player, it will be interesting to see the contract numbers for both stars.

Denver Broncos

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $24.54 million

    NFL Rank: 12th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    WR Demaryius Thomas

    TE Julius Thomas

    WR Wes Welker

    DT Terrance Knighton

    TE Jacob Tamme

    C Will Montgomery

    G Orlando Franklin

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Peyton Manning’s favorite pass-catcher as well as his top touchdown target in 2014 each share the same last name. They also have another thing in common: Both are eligible for free agency in March.

    Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas finished second in the NFL with 111 catches while tight end Julius Thomas hauled in a team-high 12 touchdown passes this season.

    As the Denver Broncos prepare for the playoffs, they also know they have some other important players to address in terms of free agency this offseason, namely Franklin and Knighton.

Detroit Lions

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    Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $15.49 million

    NFL Rank: 16th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    DT Ndamukong Suh

    DT Nick Fairley

    DT C.J. Mosley

    C Dominic Raiola

    G Rob Sims

    OLB Ashlee Palmer

    FB Jed Collins

    CB Rashean Mathis

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    If three is indeed company, the Detroit Lions hope to keep their best defensive tackles with their company.

    With Suh, Fairley and Mosley all eligible to hit the open market this offseason, general manager Martin Mayhew certainly has some decisions to make.

    And as for Suh, despite taking a big step backward last Sunday at Lambeau Field, he is suddenly eligible to suit up for this Sunday’s playoff game vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Per the league office, the NFL reduced his suspension to a fine on Wednesday after deciding that intentionally stepping on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t worthy of missing a game.

Green Bay Packers

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $16.30 million

    NFL Rank: 15th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    CB Tramon Williams

    DE/NT B.J. Raji

    T Bryan Bulaga

    CB Jarrett Bush

    QB Matt Flynn

    FB John Kuhn

    WR Randall Cobb

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    It’s like a broken record. The good news is that nothing is broken.

    The Green Bay Packers have won four straight NFC North titles and remain a well-oiled machine. But the team has some prominent players who could potentially be free agents in March.

    Williams is the veteran on the list and Raji looks to bounce back after missing all of 2014. But the priorities could be Bulaga, who comes off a good year after being injured in 2013, and the electrifying Cobb.

Houston Texans

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Available Cap Space: Under $8.58 million

    NFL Rank: 21st

    Notable Potential UFAs

    QB Case Keenum

    QB Ryan Mallett

    CB Kareem Jackson

    OLB Brooks Reed

    T Derek Newton

    NT Jerrell Powe

    FS Kendrick Lewis

    FS Danieal Manning

    NT Ryan Pickett

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The Houston Texans came up short of a playoff berth in 2014. But head coach Bill O’Brien led the team to a 9-7 season and helped erased the memory of a 2-14 showing the previous season.

    Led by star performer J.J Watt, the Texans defense rebounded from a dismal showing a year earlier. Performers such as Jackson, Reed and Lewis (who led the team in tackles) played vital roles as well.

    A strong draft class could propel this team back into the postseason in 2015. But who will be the team’s starting quarterback in September?

Indianapolis Colts

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Available Cap Space: Under $30.25 million

    NFL Rank: 5th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    WR Reggie Wayne

    DE Cory Redding

    WR Hakeem Nicks

    CB Darius Butler

    FS Sergio Brown

    RB Ahmad Bradshaw

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The current Indianapolis Colts are looking a lot like the team that Peyton Manning quarterbacked his final few years with the club.

    It’s all about the quarterback, and the team has a good one in Andrew Luck, who led the NFL with 40 touchdown passes this season. But the lack of a reliable ground game and a shaky defense has a familiar but uncomfortable feel to it.

    Will veteran wideout Wayne return for another season in 2015? Will general manager Ryan Grigson use some of that extra money on some defensive help? That’s what makes it fun.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $36.51 million

    NFL Rank: 3rd

    Notable Potential UFAs

    OLB Geno Hayes

    WR Cecil Shorts

    CB Alan Ball

    OLB J.T. Thomas

    S Sherrod Martin

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    It’s hard to imagine a team that has been worse in its last five seasons than it was during its first five years of existence.

    Such is the case of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who own an NFL-worst 22-58 record dating back to 2010. This was a team that from 1995-99 made four playoff appearances and came within a game of the Super Bowl twice over that span.

    The franchise has money to spend and last season they did it wisely as Gus Bradley’s defense began to show signs of life. But will the Jaguars break the bank in free agency to bring in a big-time target for young quarterback Blake Bortles?

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Peter Aiken/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $900,326

    NFL Rank: 25th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    OLB Justin Houston        

    C Rodney Hudson

    G Jeff Linkenbach

    CB Christopher Owens

    S Ron Parker

    ILB Josh Mauga

    WR Jason Avant               

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    From 0-2 to 7-3 to losers of four of their last six games, the Kansas City Chiefs teased their fans via a five-game winning streak that perhaps signaled a second straight playoff appearance.

    Instead, Andy Reid and Co. fell three games short of the Denver Broncos in the AFC West and nine wins weren’t good enough to ensure a trip to the postseason.

    The Chiefs have several players they would certainly want back in 2015, and obviously Houston is at the top of the list. Look for him to get the franchise tag if the team can’t work something out sooner than later.

Miami Dolphins

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Over $5.28 million

    NFL Rank: 29th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    QB Matt Moore               

    FS Louis Delmas               

    RB Knowshon Moreno

    DT Jared Odrick

    G Daryn Colledge

    C Samson Satele

    TE Charles Clay

    FS Jimmy Wilson

    RB Daniel Thomas           

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The playoff drought continues for the Dolphins. The team finished 8-8 for the second straight season and has not enjoyed a winning campaign nor reached the postseason since 2008.

    This is a team that has been active in free agency in recent years but is also looking at some cap issues. It will be interesting to see what kind of changes are ahead for a club that just hasn’t been able to get over the hump as of late despite being aggressive in the offseason.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $9.96 million

    NFL Rank: 19th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    QB Christian Ponder

    FB Jerome Felton

    DT Tom Johnson

    MLB Jasper Brinkley

    G Vladimir Ducasse

    G Joe Berger

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Kudos to first-time NFL head coach Mike Zimmer, who led the Vikings to two more wins (seven) than the previous season (five) and has lots of young talent at his disposal. The continued development of players such as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and linebacker Anthony Barr will be the key to the team making even bigger strides in 2015.

    General manager Rick Spielman has some work to do in terms of the salary cap, so look for a few contracts to get re-worked in the coming months. But this is a franchise with a promising future.

New England Patriots

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Over $4.02 million

    NFL Rank: 28th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    CB Darrelle Revis

    FS Devin McCourty

    G Dan Connolly

    PK Stephen Gostkowski

    RB Shane Vereen

    SS Patrick Chung

    RB Stevan Ridley

    OLB Akeem Ayers

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    For a team that was supposedly dead after four weeks of the 2014 season, the New England Patriots have proven to be a pretty lively corpse.

    The franchise owns the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs thanks in part to a sixth consecutive AFC East title. They are the obvious favorite to reach Super Bowl XLIX at Glendale, Arizona.

    As far as the future, will Revis be back in Beantown next season? Standout performers such as McCourty and Vereen could be free agents as well. And Gostkowski is one of the most dependable kickers in the league.

    Here’s what we do know: It has become somewhat futile to question any move the Patriots make, no matter how shaky it appears at the moment.

New Orleans Saints

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Over $22.43 million

    NFL Rank: 32nd

    Notable Potential UFAs

    CB Patrick Robinson

    RB Mark Ingram

    OLB Parys Haralson

    C Jonathan Goodwin

    PK Shayne Graham

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    From 11 wins and a playoff appearance in 2013 to a 7-9 finish for the second time in three years, the New Orleans Saints proved to be one of the league’s most disappointing teams this season.

    Of course, being more than $22 million over next year’s salary cap doesn’t help as well. The team needs to rework some of its recent deals and hope they can rebuild the NFL’s 31st-ranked defense this season via the draft.

    And do the Saints need a new stadium by chance? After winning 11 consecutive games at home, Sean Payton and Co. have dropped their last five contests at the Superdome.

New York Giants

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $14.85 million

    NFL Rank: 17th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    SS Antrel Rolle

    DE Jason Pierre-Paul

    CB Walter Thurmond

    FS Stevie Brown              

    FB Henry Hynoski

    G John Jerry

    CB Zack Bowman

    TE Daniel Fells   

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The New York Giants have broken form in recent years by being extremely active during the free-agency period.

    Is it any coincidence that the team has posted consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2003 and ’04?

    Quarterback Eli Manning threw 30 touchdown passes in the first year of Ben McAdoo’s offensive system. He also reduced his interceptions from 27 in 2013 to just 14 this season, with five of those coming in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

    The New York defense is a different story. The unit fell to 29th in the league and only two teams gave up more yards on the ground. It will be interesting to see if the Giants bring back both Rolle and Pierre-Paul, the latter leading the team with 12.5 sacks in 2014.

New York Jets

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $38.65 million

    NFL Rank: 2nd

    Notable Potential UFAs

    ILB David Harris

    QB Michael Vick

    CB Kyle Wilson

    G Willie Colon

    RB Bilal Powell

    NT Kenrick Ellis

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Ah, the always-interesting New York Jets.

    There will be a new sheriff as well as deputy in town as both general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan were let go.

    Only the Oakland Raiders have more salary-cap room at the moment than New York. But will the new man in charge be active during free agency? Don’t be surprised if the under-appreciated Harris re-signs soon or at the very least gets the franchise tag.

Oakland Raiders

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $50.27 million

    NFL Rank: 1st

    Notable Potential UFAs

    FS Charles Woodson

    DT Pat Sims

    RB Darren McFadden

    WR Denarius Moore

    C Stefen Wisniewski

    TE David Ausberry

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Over the last two offseasons, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has spent a lot of money on defensive free agents, most of which have not panned out. This season, the team managed only 22 sacks and totaled a mere 14 takeaways.

    But the news is not all bad with this team, who could be looking for a new head coach if McKenzie opts not to re-up with interim sideline leader Tony Sparano, who took over in October for jettisoned Dennis Allen. There’s some promising young players in quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack, both coming off solid rookie showings.

    Again, with money to spend, will the Silver and Black throw around the green in 2015?

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Available Cap Space: Under $2.1 million

    NFL Rank: 24th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    WR Jeremy Maclin

    CB Bradley Fletcher

    OLB Brandon Graham

    SS Nate Allen

    QB Mark Sanchez

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    For the second straight year under head coach Chip Kelly, the Philadelphia Eagles finished 10-6.

    Last season, that was good enough to win the NFC East by two games. In 2014, it wasn’t nearly good enough as the Birds finished second to the Dallas Cowboys and failed to reach the playoffs.

    There’s nothing financially the team can do to rectify a league-leading 36 turnovers this season. But can the Eagles afford to bring back wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who rebounded extremely well after missing all of 2013?

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $3.02 million

    NFL Rank: 23rd

    Notable Potential UFAs

    OLB Jason Worilds

    CB Ike Taylor

    TE Matt Spaeth

    OLB Arthur Moats

    CB Brice McCain

    S Will Allen

    OLB James Harrison

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Youth has been served in the Steel City in recent years. In 2014, the up-and-down Pittsburgh Steelers finally got their act together in December and came away with their first division title since 2010.

    The team has its share of key players under contract but this is a franchise that doesn’t have much wiggle room in terms of finances. A year ago they slapped the transition tag on outside linebacker Jason Worilds and now he’s once again an unrestricted free agent.

    General manager Kevin Colbert certainly has some work to do this offseason.

St. Louis Rams

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Available Cap Space: $3.91 million

    NFL Rank: 22nd

    Notable Potential UFAs

    G Davin Joseph

    QB Shaun Hill

    DT Alex Carrington

    WR Kenny Britt

    TE Lance Kendricks

    T Joe Barksdale

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The St. Louis Rams have added four first-round picks in the last two drafts. Some of that young talent is starting to blossom in the Gateway City.

    But the bottom line is that this team hasn’t had a winning season since 2003 and hasn’t been to the playoffs since ’04, one of the longer postseason droughts in the league.

    Will the Rams use a first-round pick on a quarterback in April? Former first overall pick Sam Bradford just can’t stay healthy and missed all of 2014. Will the team re-sign Hill and groom a rookie signal-caller?

    Meanwhile, the St. Louis defense figures to remain intact, which is bad news for the rest of the league.

San Diego Chargers

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $27.1 million

    NFL Rank: 11th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    C Nick Hardwick               

    WR Eddie Royal

    OLB Dwight Freeney

    RB Ryan Mathews

    CB Brandon Flowers

    T King Dunlap

    SS Marcus Gilchrist

    CB Shareece Wright

    WR Seji Ajirotutu

    P Mat McBriar  

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    One year after winning their final four games and grabbing a playoff berth, the San Diego Chargers went 1-3 down the stretch, and this time a 9-7 record wasn’t good enough to get to the postseason in 2014.

    The Bolts certainly have some substantial names on their unrestricted free-agent list, mainly Mathews, Flowers and Royal. But could the team also be in search of a new offensive coordinator?

    Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego speculates that Frank Reich could be the heir apparent to Doug Marrone, who on Wednesday exercised an option and is no longer the head coach in Buffalo.

    So could the man who orchestrated the biggest comeback in NFL history (remember the 1992 Wild Card matchup vs. the Houston Oilers?) come back to the Bills?

San Francisco 49ers

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Over $10.79 million

    NFL Rank: 30th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    RB Frank Gore

    WR Michael Crabtree

    G Mike Iupati

    OLB Dan Skuta

    CB Chris Culliver

    CB Perrish Cox

    CB Chris Cook

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    There’s been more news about who’s no longer with the franchise than who will be with the San Francisco 49ers.

    The organization and head coach Jim Harbaugh parted ways after four seasons, the latter now the new leader at the University of Michigan.

    As for some other changes this upcoming season, Gore, Crabtree and Iupati have been pivotal parts of the offense for a number of years and it will be interesting to see who returns to the Bay Area.

Seattle Seahawks

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    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    Available Cap Space: Under $19.73 million

    NFL Rank: 14th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    G James Carpenter

    DT Kevin Williams

    CB Byron Maxwell

    OLB Malcolm Smith

    OLB O’Brien Schofield

    TE Tony Moeaki               

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The Seattle Seahawks look like a solid choice to become the first team in 10 years to return to the Super Bowl.

    And never let it be said that this franchise isn’t thinking beyond that. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com brings us up to date on the team’s recent moves, re-signing linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive end Cliff Avril to contract extensions.

    As for this year’s free-agent class, the team would do well to keep cornerback Byron Maxwell in the Pacific Northwest.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Available Cap Space: Under $28.53 million

    NFL Rank: 8th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    DE Adrian Clayborn

    ILB Mason Foster

    DT Da’Quan Bowers

    TE Luke Stocker

    G Oniel Cousins

    S Major Wright

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were arguably the league’s busiest team during the 2014 offseason…and a bit beyond.

    All of those moves resulted in a 2-14 season and the first overall pick in the 2015 draft.

    General manager Jason Licht will likely be active this upcoming year as well. And it appears priority No. 1 will be finding a quarterback to fix the league’s 30th-ranked offensive unit.

    Just how much of an overhaul do we expect to see in Tampa this offseason? No move would be too surprising.

Tennessee Titans

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Available Cap Space: Under $30.13 million

    NFL Rank: 6th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    T Michael Roos

    WR Nate Washington

    QB Jake Locker

    S George Wilson

    P Brett Kern

    DT Karl Klug

    G Chris Spencer

    PK Ryan Succop

    TE Chase Coffman

    C Eric Olsen

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    Usually coming in second isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world.

    Of course, when it means that you tied for the worst record in the league, the second overall pick in the NFL draft isn’t that much of a consolation prize.

    The last time this franchise lost 14 games the Tennessee Titans were the Houston Oilers and played their home games at the Astrodome.

    It was a very disappointing year for head coach Ken Whisenhunt, whose Nashville debut resulted in using three different starting quarterbacks and a season-ending 10-game losing streak.

    The team certainly has room to maneuver when it comes to the salary cap. But will we see another busy free-agent period for the club this offseason?

Washington Redskins

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    Mark E. Tenally/Associated Press

    Available Cap Space: Under $13.59 million

    NFL Rank: 18th

    Notable Potential UFAs

    OLB Brian Orakpo

    T Tyler Polumbus

    RB Roy Helu

    S Brandon Meriweather

    WR Leonard Hankerson

    QB Colt McCoy

    2015 Offseason Strategy

    The Washington Redskins are a combined 7-25 the last two seasons since winning the NFC East with a 10-6 mark in 2012. The team has finished last in the division in six of the last seven years.

    It was a season of turmoil and unrest for the team, most of it surrounding the quarterback position. On Wednesday, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and the team went a different way, as reported by Mike Jones of The Washington Post.

    Speaking of defense, will former Pro Bowl outside linebacker Orakpo be back in D.C.? It’s one of the bigger questions concerning the franchise this offseason.

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