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Guide to 2015 NFL Free Agency

by Photo of Ankit Ahuja

There Are Some Big Names That Could Be On The Move

Guide to 2015 NFL Free Agency

NFL free agency has always been a little complicated. Teams will franchise tag some players, and let others test out the free agent market. The free agent market is usually relatively dry as big names usually get contract extensions before they hit free agency. 

This year is a little different. There are some big names available that can change the outcome of a team’s season, and there are players that can be the piece needed to put a team over the top. A lot of teams have plenty of cap space, so we could see a lot of players change teams for big paydays. Here's a primer of what to expect when the 2015 NFL free agency period begins on April 10.

Franchise Tag

Dez Bryant, WR Dallas Cowboys

One of the biggest names on the free agent market, Bryant is going to be franchised tagged by the Cowboys. This means he signs a one-year deal with the Cowboys and will be a free agent after next season. Dez had always said he wanted a long term deal, and I’m sure he isn’t too happy about the tag. But it's a great move for the Cowboys to lock up one of the top three receivers in the league.

Demaryius Thomas, WR Denver Broncos

Thomas, another great wide receiver on the market, will have to wait another year to test free agency. Thomas was Peyton Manning’s biggest target and had over 1600 receiving yards. Denver is still wondering if Manning is coming back, and but tagging Thomas allows Denver to reset and look at its options a year from now.

Justin Houston, OLB Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are going to keep one of the best pass rushers in Kansas City for at least another year. Houston had 22 sacks last year, just half a sack less than the record. Houston was viewed as a big name free agent for teams trying to upgrade their pass rush.

Free Agents

Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit Lions

The Lions decided to let Suh test the free agent market. It is highly likely teams will dish out a ton of money to Suh. With the Lions not franchise tagging Suh, many expect Suh to have a new home. Teams like the Raiders, Colts, and Giants are going to chase Suh with a big contract. He has been a force for years on the defensive line, and he impacts offensive coordinators game plans week in and week out.

DeMarco Murray, RB Dallas Cowboys

Murray was the best running back in the league last year. He rushed for over 1800 yards, but there have been questions about his durability. Last year was his only fully healthy year, and people believe that he has peaked as a running back. Although these are all legitimate concerns, when he has been on the field, he has been absolutely terrific. Dallas has a great chance of re-signing him, but teams like the Jaguars and Colts could be an option for him.

Julius Thomas, TE Denver Broncos

With the other Thomas getting franchise tagged, tight end Julius Thomas will be able to test the free agent market. Thomas has been Peyton Manning’s safety blanket on third downs and a matchup nightmare in the red zone, tallying 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He was not fully healthy this year, and it hurt Denver big time. Thomas will be chased by teams, but expect Denver to lock him up to keep Manning’s weapons intact. Teams like the Falcons and Giants will do their best to pry the young tight end from Denver.

Darrelle Revis, CB New England Patriots

The Super Bowl champion is one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Without Revis, it is tough to envision the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, and now Revis will have to decide if he willing to take a paycut to stay in New England, or look at teams that are willing to give him more money. His former team, the New York Jets, are said to be preparing to take a run at the corner. The Bills are also said to be interested in Revis to reunite him with head coach Rex Ryan.

Other Important Names

Randall Cobb, WR Green Bay Packers

He likely stays with the Packers, but a big offer from a team like the Brows might lure him away.

Devin McCourty, FS New England Patriots

The safety will have plenty of suitors this offseason, but he loves being in New England. Teams like the Colts and Steelers, who are in need of a safety, will do their best to steal him away from New England.

Mike Iupati, G San Francisco 49ers

Iupati is the best offensive lineman on the market. He has been a staple for the 49ers, but the Bucs and Redskins are said to be interested in the guard.

Greg Hardy, DE Carolina Panthers

Hardy was suspended almost the entire year due to an ongoing domestic violence case. Now that the trial is over, Hardy is going to be back in the NFL. When he has played he has been one of the best at his position. There is almost no scenario where he returns to the Panthers, so teams like the Raiders and Cowboys will try and make a run for him.

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