Top looming free-agent decisions for all 32 NFL teams

Vikings have decisions to make with QB situation (0:58)

Dan Graziano says the Vikings would like to sign Case Keenum, but it ultimately depends on whether Keenum wants to test the free-agent market. (0:58)

Case Keenum has led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game, but he might not even be back next season -- all three quarterbacks in Minnesota could hit the open market.

NFL Nation reporters assess the biggest looming free-agent decisions facing all 32 teams.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills

Cornerback E.J. Gaines

He was an afterthought in the August trade that sent receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams, but the Bills acquired one of their best-performing defensive starters this season in the deal, along with a 2018 second-round pick. Gaines was the 13th-ranked cornerback in the league, according to Pro Football Focus, and if he isn't re-signed he will be one of the top options on the open market. When Gaines missed five games with groin, hamstring and knee injuries, the Bills went 1-4 and allowed an opponent completion rate of 67 percent and an average yards per attempt of 7.4. When Gaines played, the Bills were 8-3 and allowed an opponent completion rate of 63.6 percent and an average yards per attempt of 6.1. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry

Landry played out the final season of his rookie contract with 112 catches for 987 yards and nine touchdowns. His 400 catches through his first four seasons are the most in NFL history. The next closest is Anquan Boldin, who had 342. Landry will become an unrestricted free agent in March, and the Dolphins would be foolish to let him walk. Landry won't come cheap. Receivers with his level of production could make anywhere between $12 million and $17 million per season. -- ESPN.com Staff

New England Patriots

The Big Three

Running back Dion Lewis, left tackle Nate Solder and cornerback Malcolm Butler will be key free-agent negotiations for the Patriots. Lewis emerged as the clear-cut No. 1 option as one of the team's most dynamic playmakers, Solder protects the blind side of Tom Brady, and Butler was primed for a big payday but now looks more likely to depart after the 2017 signing of Stephon Gilmore. While those are some of the in-house questions, the Patriots are usually active in free agency with players from other teams -- off-the-line linebacker is likely to be a priority -- but an interesting dynamic will be if New England's coordinators become head coaches elsewhere and then find themselves competing for the same type of player on the open market. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Quarterback Josh McCown

Actually, it's a two-pronged question: Does McCown, 38, want to keep playing? If so, will he re-sign with the Jets? They say they want him back -- he was their team MVP this season -- but he could be a fallback option if they fail to acquire free agent Kirk Cousins or another established quarterback in the offseason market. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Center Ryan Jensen

He went from being a question mark as a first-year starter to a free agent who should land a big payday. Retaining Jensen would solidify one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, especially with the return of guards Marshal Yanda and Alex Lewis from season-ending injuries. But the Ravens, who rank among the teams with the least amount of salary-cap room, are bracing themselves for not being able to keep Jensen. It will likely take a contract similar to the one signed by Green Bay center Corey Linsley (which averaged $8.5 million per season) to hold onto Jensen, and that would appear to be out of Baltimore's range. Jensen would follow Kelechi Osemele and Rick Wagner as offensive linemen who signed elsewhere in free agency because they received top dollar on the open market. If Jensen goes elsewhere, the Ravens could look to Matt Skura to replace him. Skura, who played center at Duke, started 12 games at right guard filling in for Yanda. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Tight end Tyler Eifert

Eifert elevated the team's offense to another level in 2015 when he emerged as the Bengals' best red zone threat, but he has been unable to stay healthy for most of his career. Eifert has never played a 16-game season and has played only 10 games combined over the past two seasons. The Bengals would like to have him back, but that would probably come with provisions that he must be on the active roster to earn a large portion of his salary. -- Katherine Terrell

Cleveland Browns

Upgrades at wide receiver

The Browns need improvements at the position in a big way. The group was simply not consistently productive in 2017. Getting Terrelle Pryor Sr. back would be a good start, as he's a fit for the Browns. But they would still need help in addition to him. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

Running back Le'Veon Bell

The Steelers return most of their starters but could lose a big one in Bell, whose free agency is sure to dominate the offseason. Bell has made it clear he doesn't want to play on a franchise tag for the second straight year, but tagging Bell is good business for the Steelers, who will have until mid-July to sign him to a long-term deal. Bell believes he should be valued as the game's most productive running back and a No. 2 receiver. Let's see if the Steelers agree. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans

Answers at cornerback

The Texans have a decision to make on cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who is a free agent as he heads into his age-34 season. A year after Houston's secondary finished the season ranked second in passing yards allowed, the unit finished 2017 ranked 24th in that category. Along with Joseph, the Texans have cornerbacks Kareem Jackson and 2015 first-round pick Kevin Johnson, who struggled and was injured for part of 2017. Even if Houston re-signs Joseph, the team likely needs to further address the position in the draft or free agency. -- Sarah Barshop

Indianapolis Colts

Land a quality pass-rusher

The Colts will have a new head coach (Josh McDaniels is the front-runner) and quarterback Andrew Luck back next season, but neither can sack an opposing quarterback. Indianapolis continues to be an embarrassment when it comes to sacking quarterbacks, as the Colts ranked 31st with just 25 in 2017. They haven't had a legitimate pass-rusher since Robert Mathis had 19.5 sacks in 2013. The Colts also need to re-sign Rashaan Melvin, who was the team's top cornerback the entire season. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars

Wide receiver Allen Robinson

The Jaguars want to bring Robinson back because they need a No. 1 receiver regardless of who is at quarterback. The question will be how much it'll cost. Robinson tore an ACL in Week 1 and missed the rest of the season, so he has little leverage in negotiations. It could be best for the Jaguars to sign him to a one-year prove-it deal in the $8 million to $10 million range (though it might be a little higher). If they can't agree, there's always the franchise tag. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Strengthen the interior offensive line

Right guard Josh Kline will be an unrestricted free agent and left guard Quinton Spain will be a restricted free agent. The Titans struggled to run the football inside in 2017, and one of quarterback Marcus Mariota's biggest weaknesses was handling inside pressure. It would be wise for the Titans to strengthen the guard position with at least one top-tier free agent. -- Cameron Wolfe


Denver Broncos

Figure out what to do at quarterback

Anything that starts with "biggest" and includes ''decision" as it relates to the Broncos this offseason will center on quarterback. President of football operations/general manager John Elway has made it the top priority "to get better at the position." One of the first things the Broncos must decide is whether they're going to go all-in in free agency if a veteran quarterback such as Kirk Cousins is on the open market or if Drew Brees unexpectedly isn't re-signed by the Saints. Denver also has the No. 5 pick in what could be a top-level quarterback draft class. Free agency is up first, so the Broncos have to make a call if they're going to sign a veteran to be their starter the next few seasons, sign a veteran to be a bridge until a developmental prospect is ready, or simply draft a quarterback in the first round and start him right away. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback Alex Smith

Smith has one season remaining on his contract, so he's not a free agent, but the Chiefs' biggest offseason decision is whether to keep him as their starter for one more year or switch to Patrick Mahomes. Every other decision they make rests on that one, in part because the Chiefs would save $17 million against their salary cap by trading or releasing Smith. -- Adam Teicher

Los Angeles Chargers

Find a consistent kicker

Yes, the Bolts recently signed Roberto Aguayo to a reserve/future contract. But the former second-round selection by the Buccaneers is on his fourth team and made just 71 percent of his kicks during his rookie season in 2016. That does not exactly instill confidence for the Chargers, who finished last in the NFL in 2017 by making just 67 percent of their field goals with four different kickers. They need to open their wallet and sign one of the top kickers on the free-agent market to bring stability to the position. Possible targets include Graham Gano of the Panthers or Matt Bryant of the Falcons. -- Eric D. Williams

Oakland Raiders

Linebacker NaVorro Bowman

Signed in Week 7 after the 49ers unceremoniously cut him, Bowman started with two days of practice and never looked back. He helped solidify the middle of Oakland's defense -- the Raiders won four of their first six games with Bowman wearing the "green dot" helmet -- and even had the team's first interception. He finished with 89 tackles, five stuffs and a fumble recovery with 1.5 sacks. Plus, the lone veteran presence at inside linebacker seemed more than intrigued by the potential of playing for Jon Gruden. "You know what he's done in the past," Bowman said. "You know that he understands the game of football, both sides. He's studied the quarterback position inside and out. He's a guy that is a well-known critic in this game and coach as well." New defensive coordinator Paul Guenther ran a 4-3-4 scheme in Cincinnati, so Bowman could presumably fit right in. -- Paul Gutierrez


Dallas Cowboys

Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence

Lawrence will be a Cowboy in 2018, but how will it happen? The team could look to sign him to a long-term deal after he recorded 14.5 sacks in 2017 -- tied for second most in the league -- and was named to the Pro Bowl. He fits the profile of what the Cowboys want to do: draft, develop and retain. He turns 26 in April, but he has had two back surgeries, which could be of some concern. If they don't reach a deal on a contract, then the Cowboys will use the franchise tag, which will cost roughly $17 million. That chews up a lot of their cap space and forces them to make other moves they might not ordinarily want to make. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh

The Giants need to improve their offensive line, and their best lineman is about to hit the market in a year that lacks quality options. That will make the versatile Pugh, who has played tackle and guard successfully but does have an injury history, quite costly. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with new general manager Dave Gettleman known to prioritize the lines. -- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Running back Darren Sproles

The electric veteran back intended to retire after the 2017 season to spend more time with his family. But he wanted to go out a champion, not on injured reserve. Sproles tore an ACL and broke a forearm on the same play in Week 3 against the Giants and was lost for the season. Video emerged recently of him sprinting, a clear sign he's on the comeback trail. The buzz is that he's eyeing one more year. With his contract set to expire, the Eagles and Sproles need to decide if his final playing days will be in Philly. -- Tim McManus

Washington Redskins

Quarterback Kirk Cousins

We're now entering offseason No. 3 of the Kirk Cousins value debate -- held in Washington and around the NFL. The Redskins must first decide whether they want to tag him, which tag to use, and then how much to offer him per year (and in guaranteed money). In the first offseason, the Redskins didn't want to meet Cousins' asking price; they wanted to see more from him. Last offseason, Cousins didn't want to counter Washington's last offer because he wasn't ready to commit long term. Both sides appear ready for this matter to be settled, but if the Redskins use a third franchise tag -- or even a transition tag -- Cousins could always opt to stay on another one-year deal if there are no good options elsewhere. In which case, we'll be right back at this same spot heading into 2019. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Figure out what to do at cornerback

Both 2017 starters -- Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara -- are unrestricted free agents. Fuller, the Bears' 2014 first-round pick, had a bounce-back season after missing all of 2016 due to a routine knee scope. (The Bears declined his fifth-year option.) He appeared on his way out of town at the beginning of the 2017 season, but he played better than expected. The Bears need to decide whether Fuller is worthy of a new multiyear deal. Amukamara, who played on a one-year contract in 2017, had a sturdy season in Chicago's secondary. Amukamara's main drawback is that he doesn't take the ball away enough, but he should have no trouble finding a job in free agency ... if the Bears are unable to bring him back. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions

Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah

Ansah represents Detroit's toughest free-agency decision, and a lot of it has to do with whether he fits into the scheme the Lions are going to run. He's a tricky case because he had 12 sacks in 2017 -- including six in the last two games. The talent is there, but the injury history is a major, major question mark. Detroit has to decide whether he is worth using the franchise tag on to kick the bigger contract decision down the road. If the Lions choose not to do that, then it's a matter of whether they want to lock him up long term -- and there will be a ton of factors (scheme, health, other free agents on the market) that could dictate that. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers

Defense, defense, defense

It's one thing to hire a new coordinator like the Packers did with Mike Pettine. But he needs players -- better players than Dom Capers had the past couple of seasons. Yes, new general manager Brian Gutekunst probably should re-sign veteran safety Morgan Burnett for continuity's sake, and he's the biggest name among the Packers' free agents-to-be, but the biggest area of need is pass rush. Former GM Ted Thompson essentially ignored that last offseason, and the Packers paid the price. Outside of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry -- two veterans who were banged up too often -- there wasn't much pass rush from anyone else. That said, elite pass-rushers don't usually hit the open market, so Gutekunst might have to search for some hidden gems. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

What to do with all three quarterbacks

After the Vikings' incredulous 2017 run is over, the front office and coaching staff need to decide on their quarterback of the future. Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are all pending free agents. Keenum won the Vikings a playoff game in thrilling fashion, but will it end up being enough for Minnesota to bring him back? Even with Keenum's 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions and a 98.3 passer rating in the regular season, the Vikings could choose to go another direction, especially with Pat Shurmur potentially headed to New York, thus creating an opening for a new offensive coordinator. For a while, it seemed likely that Bridgewater would be the QB of the future in 2018 and beyond, but with Bradford selected as Keenum's backup in the divisional round, what does that say about how the Vikings view Bridgewater's health and ability? And what about Bradford? While he has been back on the active roster for only a few days, the Vikings must have liked what they saw enough to bump him up the depth chart against the Saints. With his age and history of left knee issues, it's unlikely Bradford will earn the megadeal he aimed for after this season, but he could return to Minnesota for a reduced price. -- Courtney Cronin


Atlanta Falcons

Settle on a solution at defensive tackle

Two-time Pro Bowler Dontari Poe took a one-year, $8 million contract with the Falcons after leaving Kansas City. Poe slimmed down and showed flashes of his strength and athleticism while also contributing on goal-line offense. But do the Falcons see him as worthy of a longer-term deal? That's unclear. Poe was impactful with 2.5 sacks, 39 tackles, four tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits, but he didn't play at a Pro Bowl level. If anybody is going to get paid on the interior of the defensive line, it has to be nose tackle Grady Jarrett -- a game-changer who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal. However it all unfolds, the Falcons certainly need to address the interior of the defensive line this offseason. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers

Left guard Andrew Norwell (and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei)

Norwell gets the nod as the top priority because he plays a vital role in protecting the franchise quarterback, Cam Newton. And because if the Panthers can't re-sign Lotulelei, they still have Pro Bowl tackle Kawann Short and 2016 first-round pick Vernon Butler to anchor the interior line. Lotulelei wants top defensive tackle money, so that could be a tough sell. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Quarterback Drew Brees

This one's pretty obvious, considering the greatest player in franchise history is scheduled to become a free agent at age 39 and has a clause in his contract that says he can't be franchised. But Brees has pretty much sapped all of the drama out of his pending free agency by insisting he doesn't want to play anywhere else, doesn't plan to talk to any other teams, and expects a new deal before the new league year starts in March. The bigger uncertainty with the Saints is whether they'll re-sign safety Kenny Vaccaro, who could be priced out of New Orleans if he draws heavy interest from other suitors. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cornerback Brent Grimes

Coach Dirk Koetter told Grimes that he would like to have him back. Grimes said he won't keep the Bucs waiting long for an answer. Grimes has been, by far, the Bucs' best corner the past two seasons and is still playing at a high level despite being 34 years old and dealing with a shoulder injury throughout 2017. There was a huge drop-off in performance in the games he missed because of the injury, though, suggesting the Bucs need to be prepared to upgrade the position even if Grimes returns. The Bucs also face decisions regarding some high-priced players still under contract -- running back Doug Martin, defensive end Robert Ayers, defensive tackle Chris Baker and offensive guard J.R. Sweezy. -- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Cornerback Tramon Williams

The Cardinals need a second cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson for a position that has been a revolving door the past couple of seasons, since they let Jerraud Powers leave in free agency after the 2015 season. Williams filled that role as a starter for 13 games and had two interceptions at age 34. He was the type of complement the Cardinals needed opposite of Peterson, who made his seventh straight Pro Bowl in 2017. But the question this offseason surrounding Williams revolves around his age. Is he, heading into his age-35 season, too old to be counted on for the short-term future, or should the Cardinals invest in a younger cornerback either through free agency or the draft? -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Cornerback Trumaine Johnson

The Rams have franchised Johnson in back-to-back years, buying time while hoping to avoid paying him like a top-flight cornerback. A continual lack of depth at the position could leave them with little choice. Their No. 2 corner, Kayvon Webster, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon last month. Their slot corner, Nickell Robey-Coleman, is a free agent. And beyond that, there isn't much on their roster (though Troy Hill did step up down the stretch). Johnson -- the only Rams corner with real size at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds -- did a nice job shadowing top-flight receivers in 2017. To keep him, the Rams would probably have to pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $13 million a year. General manager Les Snead said he could "definitely" see Johnson returning. But Snead also said that at those prices, players must be "ideal scheme fits." The Rams must ask themselves that about Johnson. -- Alden Gonzalez

San Francisco 49ers

What to do at running back

Yes, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is a free agent, but the Niners are going to do whatever it takes to keep him. So we'll go a different direction here. Starting running back Carlos Hyde is going to be an unrestricted free agent, and though he had a solid (if unspectacular) season, he's no lock to return. Hyde's future with the team likely will be determined by how his market shapes up. The 49ers wouldn't mind keeping him if the price is right, but if there's more interest in him, they'll look elsewhere. Given coach Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner's history of turning lesser-known backs into stars, the Niners also feel like they can find an upgrade at a bargain price. -- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Wide receiver Paul Richardson and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson

While tight end Jimmy Graham is the biggest name among the pending free agents in Seattle, the team's biggest decisions surround the Richardsons. Sheldon Richardson wants to return and the Seahawks need impact players along their defensive line, especially with the possibility that starting ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett won't be back. But can they afford to pay him more than $10 million a season with their salary-cap restraints? Paul Richardson could price himself out of Seattle after a breakout season as the Seahawks' No. 2 receiver. He's also heading into a crowded market at that position, which could work in Seattle's favor by driving down his price. -- Brady Henderson