Ted Thompson, than anyone thought and doesn’t sign any impact free agents. That would leave him with major holes to fill through the draft. Yes, Gutekunst has 12 selections this year, but with holes in the secondary and at pass-rusher, plus the needs on offense (tight end, offensive line and perhaps even receiver), that’s too much to find in the draft. -- Rob Demovsky
Best case: Minnesota can begin solving its issue of quarterback longevity by landing Kirk http://www.bengalsnflofficialprostore.com/WOMENS-JAKE-FISHER-JERSEY.html Cousins and making him the highest-paid QB in NFL history. Of all Cousins’ potential suitors, the Vikings are his best fit to win now. Minnesota arguably has a two- to three-year window to contend for a Super Bowl with a stacked defense, tons of receiving threats and what could be one of the best backfields in
the NFL. All of that is part of a dream scenario for Cousins, whom the Vikings wouldn’t necessarily have to lock in for more than three years -- at least not right now. Therefore, the risk of things going sour won’t be weighed down by a lengthy contract. The cost for Cousins is high, but the Vikings have the cap space to get it done, can secure an important missing piece and find their franchise quarterback in the process.
Worst case: Minnesota strikes out on Cousins and has to look elsewhere for a quarterback in free agency. The Vikings have a pretty good silver lining as it stands with the option to re-sign Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford. Keenum will be the most expensive of the three, but the price to keep him pales in comparison to signing Cousins. The Vikings could then go out and make competitive offers to other free agents in spots they need help the most: the offensive and defensive lines. Not signing Cousins would certainly be a blow, but it frees up money Minnesota needs elsewhere in free agency and to extend the contracts of several key players over the next year. Also, this year’s quarterback draft class is one of the best in recent history. Who’s to say Minnesota won’t want to go another route and draft (possibly via trading up) a quarterback in April? -- Courtney Cronin
Best case: Find help at guard. The Falcons don't have much cap room to make a big splash in free agency, but they would be wise to see what type of bargains they could find on the offensive and defensive lines. Upgrading at right guard is a priority, and finding that player in free agency would give the Falcons the opportunity to focus on defensive line, wide receiver and tight end in the draft. Again, this can't be a big splash like Andrew Norwell from Carolina, but the Falcons could find an under-the-radar guy capable of starting, maybe like a Kevin Pamphile from Tampa Bay. The Falcons already restructured the contract of their returning starting left guard, Andy Levitre.
Worst case: Strike out on pass-rush help, period. The Falcons need more of an interior push along the defensive line, and losing a chance to trade for Michael Bennett -- now a Philadelphia Eagle -- hurt some. Now the Falcons have to consider re-signing last season's sack leader, Adrian Clayborn, to help Vic Beasley Jr., Grady Jarrett and Takk McKinley. Clayborn is certain to draw some interest on the free-agent market if not immediately re-signed. Whiffing on veteran pass-rush help would make finding an impact defensive lineman more of an emphasis in the draft. -- Vaughn McClure
Best case: The Panthers acquire the Ravens' Mike Wallace or Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson. Coach Eric Decker Womens Jersey Ron Rivera wants a veteran wide receiver to provide leadership to a position loaded with young players. Wallace, 31, fits the bill. He wants a chance to win a Super Bowl. Carolina could offer that. Wallace still is fast enough to provide an upgrade in speed, a priority for http://www.newenglandpatriotsauthorizedstore.com/danny-amendola-jersey-elite general manager Marty Hurney. Wallace Eric Dickerson Jersey had three touchdown catches of 50 or more yards last season and might have had more if quarterback Joe Flacco had been on target. Robinson, 24, wouldn’t necessarily provide veteran leadership, but he could be the true No. 1 receiver the Panthers need.
Worst case: Rams wide receiver Sammy Watkins has yet to live up to expectations since being drafted by Buffalo in 2014 with the fourth overall pick. The Bills traded him to Los Angeles in August. Injuries have played a role in Watkins’ development. While he wouldn’t offer the veteran leadership, he could be a No. 1 or 2 with Devin Funchess, depending on what Carolina ultimately decides to do with Funchess. Seattle’s Paul Richardson also could fit into that mold. -- David Newton
Best case: The Drew Brees contract negotiations come together as smoothly as everyone has promised they will and he re-signs before other teams even get the chance to tempt him. The Saints don’t necessarily need the future Hall of Famer to agree to a “hometown discount,” but they have made it clear they only want to pay Brees one year at a time now that he is 39. They're hoping he’ll agree to a deal with only about one year’s worth of guaranteed money. Then, to make things even better, the Saints reunite Brees with one of his all-time great targets by re-signing tight end Jimmy Graham in free agency at a reasonable rate.
Worst case: The Saints don’t plan to bring back their other prominent free agent (safety Kenny Vaccaro). But they would like to keep versatile backup offensive lineman Senio Kelemete, who might get yanked away by another team offering a starting job and starter’s money. And New Orleans would love to re-sign defensive end Alex Okafor, provided he remains on pace for a healthy return from an Achilles tear. The worst-case scenario would be losing both of those guys, then getting outbid for all of the top tight ends in the open market (Graham, Trey Burton, Tyler Eifert, etc.). -- Mike Triplett