Best case: The Bills are able to sign up-and-coming free agents who are hitting the market for the first time in their careers. Buffalo struck gold last offseason by signing safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer; both are in their mid-20s and locked up for several years as they enter their primes. Employing that same strategy to fill some holes,
especially along the defensive front seven, will take pressure off general manager Brandon Beane. Instead of keeping all of his early-round draft picks in order to select young defensive players, Beane could package those picks and trade up for what the Bills desperately need: a quarterback prospect who has the potential to become the long-term answer.
Worst case: Buffalo continues to fill its roster with older free agents. The Bills have gotten a jump start on free agency by signing two players who were released by their former teams, cornerback Vontae Davis and running back Chris Ivory. Both players turn 30 this year and are closer to the end of their careers than their prime. Because of that, both cornerback and running back remain draft needs for the Bills, which could mean Beane shies away from drafting a quarterback in favor of filling other holes on his roster. Missing out on a quarterback in this draft would not be a popular move in Buffalo. -- Mike Rodak
Best case: The Dolphins trade receiver Jarvis Landry -- quickly. His franchise tag is eating up $16 million in cap space, and they need the money because they’re $9 million over the cap, according to [url=http://www.officialauthenticcardinalsstore.com/womens_brandon_williams_jersey]Brandon Williams Authentic Jersey[/url] Overthecap.com. Teams must be under the cap by [url=http://lionsshopsnflofficial.com/t--j--jones-jersey_c-381.html]Womens T. J. Jones Jersey[/url] the start of the league year. The problem will be solved if Miami can deal Landry by then. Of course, other teams know the Dolphins are in a pickle and could try to
leverage that against them in trade-compensation discussions. [url=http://www.coyotesofficialauthenticshop.com/Adam_Clendening_Jersey_Adidas]Adam Clendening Jersey[/url] The Dolphins also could gain a chunk of cap room by releasing tight end Julius Thomas and linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Because of the cap restrictions, they won’t be big spenders in free agency. The real drama will happen [url=http://www.shopjaguarsnfljerseys.com/Cam-Robinson-Jersey]http://www.shopjaguarsnfljerseys.com/Cam-Robinson-Jersey[/url] at the draft when they could select quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s heir apparent. Baker Mayfield, anyone?
Worst case: The Dolphins will look foolish if they can’t make a fair-market trade for Landry, their best offensive player. If they get stuck and rescind the franchise tag, they will forfeit their right to receive a 2019 compensatory pick. Losing Landry with no compensation would be a total disaster. Executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is a savvy trader and should be able to execute a face-saving trade. Right tackle Ja'Wuan James is on thin ice and could be cut, leaving a gaping hole on the offensive line -- and not much money to fix it. -- Rich Cimini
Best case: The Patriots will have to be judicious with their free-agent spending this year, so simply retaining starting left tackle Nate Solder, running back Dion Lewis, receiver Danny Amendola and special-teams captain Matthew Slater would be a successful start. As for players from other teams, a high-upside safety such as Kenny Vaccaro might pique their interest if the price isn’t too high.
Worst case: [url=http://www.officialtexansfootballauthentic.com/texans+duane+brown+jersey]http://www.officialtexansfootballauthentic.com/texans+duane+brown+jersey[/url] Losing Solder in free agency, which would create a void at a critical position protecting Tom Brady’s blind side with no surefire replacement on the roster to take his place. In addition, if Amendola receives the type of offer he can’t refuse, that would hurt. Those two players, in addition to Lewis, are key pieces. -- Mike Reiss
Best case: Their No. 1 priority is to get Kirk Cousins’ signature on a contract. If they can accomplish that, the Jets believe they will have their starting quarterback and team leader for the next few years. It also could make them more attractive to free agents; Cousins could be a trendsetter in that regard. Even if they break the bank for Cousins, they’d still have a crazy amount of cap room -- an estimated $60 million, based on an estimate of Cousins’ potential contract. That should allow them to re-sign some of their own free agents (CB Mo Claiborne, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and LB Demario Davis) and be aggressive in the open market. Center Weston Richburg and cornerback Malcolm Butler are expected to be on their radar.
Worst case: If Cousins spurns the Jets, it’ll be on to Plan B at quarterback. They will try to sign one, quite possibly two veterans -- perhaps a Josh McCown-Teddy Bridgewater pairing. The Jets like the idea of that because it would create much-needed depth and competition. Bridgewater is a risk because he’s attempting to rebound from a devastating knee injury, but the Jets like the risk-reward on a short-term deal. They’d also look to draft a quarterback in the first round, covering their short- and long-term needs at the position. If they fail to land Cousins, they’d be under pressure to make a splashy move in free agency. -- Rich Cimini
Best case: Sign Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham. Is this realistic for a team lacking cap room? Perhaps not. If Baltimore could pull this off, the addition of a rising deep threat at wide receiver and a prized red zone target at tight end would represent a massive upgrade for quarterback Joe Flacco. It also would get the Ravens back into the championship hunt. Robinson ranked fourth in the NFL with 42 catches of 20 yards or more in his past two healthy seasons, and Graham finished second in the NFL with 10 touchdown receptions last season. If Robinson gets re-signed by the Jaguars before hitting free agency, the Ravens would certainly be pleased with the acquisition of Jarvis Landry or Jordy Nelson (a potential cap cut).
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