NFL Free Agency 2016 Preview: Matt Forte, Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins, Alshon Jeffery, Doug Martin, Antonio Gates, Brock Osweiler, Lamar Miller Offensive Targets?

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Jan 12, 2016 11:41 AM EST
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Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins
Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins scores a third-quarter touchdown against strong safety Morgan Burnett #42 of the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland."

The NFL free agent class for 2016 has some strong offensive players, including names like Matt Forte, Sam Bradford, Kirk Cousins, Alshon Jeffery, Doug Martin, Antonio Gates, Brock Osweiler, Lamar Miller and Chris Ivory.

There are a number of teams that will be going after quarterbacks in free agency and the draft this offseason and that could make Bradford, Cousins, Osweiler and Fitzpatrick top targets on the market. Some other players that could end up available include Travis Benjamin, Alfred Morris, LeGarrette Blount, Ronnie Hillman, Anquan Boldin, Brock Osweiler, Cordy Glenn, Russell Okung, Rishard Matthews, Rueben Randle, Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis.

The salary cap is expected to rise this offseason and that could put certain teams in strong position to spend on free agents, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The running back position has some solid names available, while players like Doug Martin and Cousins could cash in after having strong seasons. Both Cousins and Martin are expected to be retained by their respective teams, but if they hit the market they could get some major attention.

Sam Bradford is expected to be one of the top targets on the offensive side of the ball, as up 10-15 teams could be in the market for a new starting quarterback this offseason. Bradford is coming in after a solid season with the Eagles and after Chip Kelly was fired, there is a chance he may not return to Philadelphia. Bradford was able to stay healthy this season and that was a major priority for the quarterback after he dealt with multiple knee injuries in the past.

Ryan Fitzpatrick had a strong season for the Jets and while the team could be interested in keeping the quarterback, there is a chance another team will step up to try and sign Fitzpatrick. Osweiler is in an interesting situation, as the Broncos likely see him as the QB for the future, but if Peyton Manning wants to return, there is a chance Osweiler could seek employment elsewhere. Expect the Broncos to keep Osweiler even if it means using the franchise tag.

Forte is going to be a coveted free agent on the market, as he is not expected to return to the Bears. Forte is 30, but many teams are in need at the RB position and Forte has proven to be productive even after dealing with some injuries this season. Forte may not get a huge contract, but teams likely will be willing to pay for 2-3 years of solid service from the RB. Lamar Miller and Doug Martin are younger and could get some attention on the market, although the Dolphins and buccaneers are expected to try and retain the RBs.

The New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders and Jaguars are expected to have a ton of cap space this offseason and could be big spenders.

Check here for more on NFL free agency for 2016.

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