ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Tyvon Branch; CB Justin Bethel and Tramon Williams; QBs Drew Stanton Mitch Haniger Seattle Mariners Jersey , Blaine Gabbert and Matt Barkley; DT Frostee Rucker; WRs John Brown, Brittan Golden and Jaron Brown; OLBs Karlos Dansby and Kareem Martin; RB Kerwyn Williams; G Alex Boone; ILB Josh Bynes, OT Khalif Barnes; OL Earl Watford; TE Troy Niklas; LS Aaron Brewer.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Xavier Williams.
NEEDS: With no QB on roster, team’s No. 1 need is obvious. General manager Steve Keim seems to want to sign veteran, with Cardinals in Kirk Cousins sweepstakes despite salary cap challenges, especially considering large number of departing free agents, some of whom could be re-signed. Expect Cardinals also to address QB in draft. Other needs are at WR, where ranks are thin to nonexistent behind Larry Fitzgerald. With big contracts of aging, oft-injured G Mike Iupati and T Jared Veldeer, Cardinals will be looking at OL help as well as in secondary. With entire new coaching regime and system, team might look for someone to play FB.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $21 million.
ATLANTA FALCONS (11-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Adrian Clayborn; FB Derrick Coleman; WRs Taylor Gabriel, Andre Roberts and Nick Williams; LBs Jordan Tripp Nathan Shepherd Color Rush Jersey , Sean Weatherspoon and Kemal Ishmael; DTs Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin; CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FS Ricardo Allen; RBs Terron Ward and Terrence Magee; G Ben Garland.
NEEDS: Tight end is priority following release of Levine Toilolo. Veteran could be signed to challenge Austin Hooper. Team cut Derrick Shelby and could lose Clayborn, so more pass rush help at defensive end may be needed. If team loses Poe and Upshaw in free agency, another veteran defensive tackle may be signed. Guard is another priority that may be addressed high in draft or in free agency. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said at NFL scouting combine that Gabriel would not be re-signed
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $9 million.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Gs Andrew Norwell and Amini Silatolu; DEs Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson; DT Star Lotulelei; QB Derek Anderson; TE Ed Dickson, Ss Jairus Byrd and Kurt Coleman; CB Teddy Williams; LB Andrew Gachkar; WR Brenton Bersin; RB Jonathan Stewart.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Scott Simonson; G David Yankey; WR Kaelin Clay; CB LaDarius Gunter.
NEEDS: Panthers need thumper at safety after releasing Coleman, as well as pass rushing defensive ends after release of Johnson and with 37-year-old Peppers’ future uncertain. Team allowed All-Pro guard Norwell to walk, but believes last year’s draft pick Taylor Moton can step into that spot. Center Ryan Kalil and outside linebacker Thomas Davis said they will retire after season, so it’s time to address those areas. Carolina cut Stewart, its all-time leading rusher; team needs complement to Christian McCaffrey in backfield. Finding speedy wide receiver remains priority. Don’t be surprised if Carolina drafts quarterback at some point and parts with Anderson.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $24 million.
CHICAGO BEARS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Kyle Fuller (transition tag), Prince Amukamara, Bryce Callahan and Sherrick McManis; WRs Josh Bellamy, Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright; QB Mark Sanchez; RB Benny Cunningham; TE Zach Miller; G Josh Sitton; DE Mitch Unrein; LBs Sam Acho http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chase-edmonds-jersey , Lamarr Houston and Christian Jones.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Cameron Meredith.
NEEDS: Bears have glaring need for playmaking receivers and could make run at Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson and Rams’ Sammy Watkins in free agency. Chicago needs help on offensive line after declining option on Sitton and with Kyle Long recovering from multiple surgeries. On defense, Bears could use more pass rushers to go with LB Leonard Floyd. Chicago placed transition tag on Fuller, giving them right to match any offer he receives in free agency.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $64 million.
DALLAS COWBOYS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE DeMarcus Lawrence; RB Alfred Morris; WR Brice Butler; T Byron Bell; G Jonathan Cooper; LBs Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber; LS L.P. LaDouceur; C Joe Looney; CB Bene Benwikere.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE David Irving; FB Keith Smith.
NEEDS: Lawrence will be back after signing for $17.1 million under franchise tag as sides work on long-term deal. Team plans to tender Irving and wants him back. Dallas also wants Hitchens back but likely won’t overpay in scenario that could be similar to last year, when S Barry Church left for Jacksonville. Morris and Butler probably not coming back, and Cowboys could target LG in draft if Cooper doesn’t return. Days of headline-grabbing free agents mostly over with owner Jerry Jones’ son, executive VP Stephen Jones, having strong influence and preferring to avoid big-money deals with players outside organization.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $3.2 million.
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Haloti Ngata and Jordan Hill; LBs Tahir Whitehead, Nick Bellore, Dwight Freeney and LB Paul Worrilow; CBs D.J. Hayden and Nevin Lawson; C Travis Swanson; S Don Carey; TE Darren Fells; OTs Greg Robinson and Don Barclay; RB Mike James.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR TJ Jones; LB Brandon Copeland; OL Zac Kerin; RB Zach Zenner.
NEEDS: Lions’ weakness is defensive line and improving it will be priority under first-year coach Matt Patricia. Former New England Patriots defensive coordinator also might want to bolster offensive line to protect QB Matthew Stafford and help boost poorly performing runni Eli Manning is looking ahead. Who wouldn’t after the year he just had?
Manning comes off the worst season of his professional career that dates back to being the top overall selection in the 2004 draft. His Giants went from likely contender after making the 2016 playoffs to one of the NFL’s worst.
They were ravaged by injuries, dissension in the locker room, and then-coach Ben McAdoo even benched his quarterback in Week 13, ending Manning’s 210-game starting string.
McAdoo was fired the next week Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey , the usually well-run franchise was embarrassed as badly as for any of the 13 defeats in 2017, and though Manning immediately got his job back, the Giants ended the year as one of the NFL’s biggest flops.
”It was a great reminder that nothing is guaranteed,” Manning said Friday. ”No matter what you did the year before – win your division, make the playoffs, whatever – it has no effect on the next year.
”So there’s no reason we can’t win 11 or more games this year. We made a lot of changes and will make more, and if we stay healthy and win some of those close games you always get in, who knows?”
Besides, that lost season serves as an impetus for the future.
”When you have a tough year, you use it as motivation,” he said. ”Get back in there and do whatever you need to do to make changes. Make a commitment again to playing at a higher level. It challenges you and makes you hungrier.”
The two-time Super Bowl MVP has a new coach in Pat Shurmur, who like McAdoo has a background as a QB guru. Unlike the rough-edged McAdoo Ryan Switzer Color Rush Jersey , though, Shurmur has a smoother style and also is more open in his thinking and planning for running an offense.
To Manning, 37, an opportunity to expand the attack is much welcomed.
”We’ve talked a bit, getting to know each other, but there’s a limit how much you can meet and talk,” Manning said.
”I am excited to start learning the offense and the playbook and how Pat will use our skillsets. He’s got a combination of Norv Turner, Andy Reid and Chip Kelly in there from the places he’s been.
”There’s definitely an adjustment, but if you’ve played the game long enough, there are only so many new plays you can put in.”
Manning smiled when he said that, knowing Shurmur isn’t about to design a Russell Wilson/Cam Newton type of offense for him.
There’s been much speculation that Manning could be traded and the Giants would use the second overall pick in April on one of the highly rated quarterbacks in this draft. The choice of Shurmur and ownership’s devotion to Manning seems to have made Manning’s departure unlikely.
Asked if he’d encourage new general manager Dave Gettleman to take an offensive lineman to offer the kind of protection he doesn’t get often enough, Manning laughed and replied http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mike-remmers-jersey , ”I won’t complain.”
He certainly won’t complain about getting back his prime target, Odell Beckham Jr. The spectacular receiver was lost in early October to a broken ankle. Beckham is enough of a difference maker that New York might have had a few more victories had he been available all season.
”He’s a tremendous player, and when he gets back and is healthy, he impacts games,” Manning said. ”It’s tough when guys you work with all spring and summer and you lose them and have all new guys. Odell, Brandon (Marshall), Sterling (Shepard).”
Manning spent part of the day welcoming visitors to a Courtyard by Marriott experience whose contest winners will spend Saturday night sleeping in a luxury suite at U.S. Bank Stadium.
He joked that he can’t ever remember sleeping in a stadium, but that waking up the morning of the Super Bowl at the venue would be ”pretty neat to do.”
Then he wondered just how quiet the stadium would be on Super Bowl eve.
”You’re right there in the dome and get to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff,” he said. ”Then you wake up on Super Bowl Sunday right there. Has to be a wonderful experience.”
Considering he is 2-0 in the big game, Manning knows about wonderful Super Bowl experiences.