We are all excited about the possibility of which FA's we will be able to sign to hopefully take our team to the next level next season. Since we have to wait until March 12 to see what happens all we can do is speculate at this point.
Instead of just throwing names around I wanted to look a bit deeper. Teams that are strapped by the cap are more likely to provide us the player pool we need. Also, the franchise tag can ruin our hopes faster than my wife telling me once again that she has a headache so "not tonight". With that being said, some teams have more than one "candidate" that they could tag.
What follows is a list of some of the players I've seen thrown around on this site and others. I have some ideas of who I want to sign, but I trust Grigson to get the most of our $47 million. I expect us to spend a max of $37 in FA as we will have to save around $10 for drafted players and in-season acquisitions next year. All cap figures are from John Clayton. I would venture to say that about any player I list could be a tag candidate (I've seen rumors where we may even tag Pat at punter).
Ryan Clady - OT. The Broncos have $18.5 in cap space next year. Other notable FA's - Brandon Stokely, Tracy Porter, Dan Koppen. I would say there is no way he hits the market.
Jake Long - OT. The Fins have $35.8 in cap space. Other notable FA's - Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline, Matt Moore, Randy Starks. Different sources say anything from letting him walk to them using the tag.
Andre Smith - OT. The Bengals have $55.1 in cap space - the most of any team. Other notables - Andrew Hawkins, Michael Johnson, Manny Lawson, Ray Maualuga, Pacman Jones. Obviously, they have the $$ if they want to keep him.
Jermon Bushrod - OT. Finally! The Saints are $14.7 OVER the cap. Bushrod could hit the market. Other notables - Chris Ivory, Devery Henderson, Chase Daniel.
Phil Loadholt - OT. The Vikes have $16.1 in space. Other notables - Jerome Simpson, Erin Henderson.
Brandon Albert - OT. KC has $16.1 in space. Other notables - Dwayne Bowe, Glenn Dorsey. All signs point to Bowe walking. That means the $$ may be there if they want to keep Albert.
Sebastion Vollmer - OT. The Pats have $18.6 in cap space. Other notables - Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Woodhead, Deion Branch, Dante Stallworth, Donald Thomas, Aqib Talib, Pat Chung. Obviously, the Pats have some decisions to make. I say there might be a chance due to $$ that Vollmer could hit the market.
Will Beatty - OT. The Giants are $4.7 OVER the cap. Other notables - Victor Cruz, David Carr, Andre Brown, Ramses Barden, Dominik Hixson, Martellus Bennett, Osi, Stevie Brown, Kenny Phillips, Lawrence Tynes. Wow. Cap Hell in NY.
Andy Levitre - G. The Bills have $20.6 in cap space. Other notables - Tyler Thigpen, Tashard Choice, Donald Jones, David Nelson, Chad Rhinehart (the other G, RFA), Leodis McKelvin, Jarius Byrd. We'll just cover both of these right now...I'll take Levitre or Bryd and I don't think they have the $$ to sign both while signing other role players as well as the draft and in-season money.
Louis Vasquez - G. We might as well cover Kenny Phillips, here, too. The Dolts have $8.7 in cap space. Other notables - Ronnie Brown, Denario Alexander, Aubrayo Franklin, Chris Carr, Quentin Jammer. Some of these guys are going to be cap casualties. Which ones...I don't know.
Paul Kruger - Rush LB. Baltimore has $15.7. I don't know if this will go up when Lewis retires because I'm not sure of his contract specifics. Other notables - Joe Flacco (ouch), Dennis Pitta, Arthur Jones, Dannell Ellerbe, Albert McClellan, Cary Williams, Ed Reed. I think this one surprised me. I didn't think there was a chance in hell that Kruger would get away, but the Ravens have a lot of players to consider here.
Connor Barwin - Rush LB. Houston has $12.9 in space. Other notables - Shaun Cody, 6 differnt LB's including Barwin, Glover Quin. How much do Rush LB's that are above average cost in free agency? Answer - a shitload. Barwin may be out there.
Anthony Spencer - Rush LB (and the guy I want) - Dallas is $18.2 OVER, the most of any team. Combine that with a rumored switch to the 4-3 and I like the chances of Spencer hitting the market. He will be costly for us to sign. Other notables - Felix Jones, Kevin Ogeltree, Mike Jenkins (another target for us?).
Dashon Goldson - S - San Fran has $3.9 in cap space. Other notables - Randy Moss, Brandon Jacobs. Not a lot of "big name" guys on SF. Also, if they trade Alex Smith it will open some cap room. But, Goldson will command some decent $$, so you never know.
That's all I've got right now. I could do this forever, but I'm out of time. Throw any names you're curious about in the comments and I will look them up. Thoughts?