NFL Free Agent Rumors: Wes Welker, Chris Johnson, Torrey Smith, Michael Oher, Darren McFadden Options For Raiders, Vikings, Chicago Bears?

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Feb 17, 2015 03:42 PM EST
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Wide receiver Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos
Wide receiver Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos returns a punt against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 7, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. "

The NFL free agent signing period opens in March and players like Wes Welker, Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Michael Oher and Josh McCown are some of the names out there and teams like the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders could be options in free agency.

Wes Welker is set to be a free agent for the Denver Broncos and he is not expected to re-sign with the team for 2015. There was speculation about Welker's future after FOX Sports reported that Welker was considering retirement this offseason, but came out and said that he is expecting to return. Welker said to the Denver Post that he "never" said that and is planning on "getting ready" for next season. Welker made $12 million over two seasons with the Broncos and he is not expected to get that kind of money on the open market this year.

Chris Johnson was released by the Jets and that was an expected move after a disappointing performance in 2014. Johnson criticized the Jets for how he was used last season and now he will be a free agent and can sign with any team. Michael Oher was released after signing a free agent contract with the Titans last year and he could be a backup option on the offensive line. Torrey Smith could remain with the Ravens, but teams like the Colts, Raiders and Seahawks could be interested in signing him.

Darren McFadden is coming off of a decent season with the Raiders and reports have him being a target for the Bengals. McFadden made it through a full season healthy for the first time in his career and that could help him get work this offseason. According to NFL.com, the Bengals may target McFadden as a backup option for Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, as offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was his coach during his best season in Oakland.

Welker is coming off of a disappointing season with 49 catches for 464 yards in 14 games for the Broncos, but he could be a strong third or slot option for teams. The Vikings may get rid of Greg Jennings and could look at Welker as a depth option, while the Raiders, Seahawks, Bears and Patriots also could be interested. Johnson is a potential target for the Raiders and BaltimoreRavens.com reports that he could be a "backup plan" if the team misses out on bringing in Justin Forsett after his strong season.

Forsett had over 1000 yards last season and he could look at leaving Baltimore if he gets a lucrative offer from anyone else. Johnson was released by the Jets after they opted not to pick up his option and now he could be an interesting target for anyone in need of a running back. Johnson had a disappointing season and could come cheap and if he is a bit miffed at how the Jets used him, he could be motivated to bounce back strong. Johnson is 30, so he likely will get a contract near the minimum, but he could end up with a better team than the Jets.

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