There are many football fans still struggling to come to grips with the way the 2015 Super Bowl ended, but for the majority of the NFL, the focus has already shifted to free agency and the draft process.
There are a plethora of big names, such as Ndamukong Suh and Dez Bryant, that are scheduled to hit the open market, but it won’t be before their current teams make a last-second bid to keep them on the roster.
Here are the latest rumors surrounding the top free agents most likely to change teams this offseason.
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions
There are several potential difference makers who could potentially hit the open market, but the biggest star on the defensive side of the ball is Suh. The Detroit Lions would love to keep the defensive tackle, but salary-cap issues could result in a change of scenery.
According to NFL Insider Jason Cole on Team Stream Now, Suh reportedly has the desire to play for the Seattle Seahawks, but it could be the Oakland Raiders that ultimately place the highest bid:
Suh was drafted No. 2 overall by Detroit in 2010 and has spent all five NFL seasons with the Lions. In 16 games during the 2014 season, Suh racked up 53 combined tackles, 8.5 sacks and 13 stuffs in yet another excellent campaign.
According to Spotrac.com, Suh earned $22.4 million last season, but Detroit only has $15.2 million in cap space entering 2015. After an incredible start to his career, the 28-year-old will be looking to make the most money possible.
Every team in the NFL will do their due diligence with Suh, but Oakland has the money and the need to make a blockbuster deal happen. Add in the fact that the Raiders finished the season 22nd against the run, allowing 119.4 yards per game, and Suh is an on-field fit as well.
While Suh wouldn’t be joining a team that could win right away, he would be the centerpiece for a franchise moving in the right direction.
Predicted Landing Spot: Oakland Raiders
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are in a tough situation. Not only is Bryant on the cusp of leaving via free agency, but star running back DeMarco Murray could also potentially test the open market.
Eventually, Dallas may be forced to pick between the two marquee free agents.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, the re-signing process between the wideout and the Cowboys has not gone as swimmingly as both sides would have hoped thus far:
Bryant's off-field issues are having a significant impact in talks on a long-term deal, league sources said, and trepidation about putting a ton of guaranteed money on the table is likely to limit the tenor of long-term talks. Going year-to-year with Bryant is OK with Jerry Jones, even at this steep price, and in terms of on-field importance, Bryant is seen as more significant than franchising running back DeMarco Murray.
Bryant was the No. 24 overall pick for Dallas in 2010 and has emerged as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. He will be looking to capitalize on his success this season and convert that into a long-term deal.
If Bryant decides to test the open market and get top dollar, look for a team like the Philadelphia Eagles to swoop in and steal the playmaker from its division rival.
After losing DeSean Jackson and possibly letting Jeremy Maclin go via free agency, Bryant would be the top receiver Philadelphia needs. The Eagles will need to rework the salary cap, but the franchise has shown the ability and the willingness to make a blockbuster signing.
Predicted Landing Spot: Philadelphia Eagles
Stats via NFL.com.