The 2016 NFL free agent class has some notable names, as players like Matt Forte, Lamar Miller, Travis Benjamin, Doug Martin, Chris Ivory, Jermaine Kearse, Kirk Cousins, Ronnie Hillman, Sam Bradford, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alshon Jeffery and Anquan Boldin are hitting the market.
The salary cap is expected to rise significantly this offseason and that could spark some teams to spend more than in the past few years. Numerous teams are expected to look at new starting quarterbacks this winter and that could make Bradford, Fitzpatrick and Cousins top targets for teams. Cousins is expected to remain with the Redskins, while Fitzpatrick is likely going back to the Jets and that could make Bradford a popular target for teams like the Texans, Browns and Eagles.
The running back position is expected to be a main focus for teams and this year the group hitting the market is very talented. Players like Lamar Miller, Doug Martin and Matt Forte could end up switching teams, while names like LeGarrette Blount, Chris Ivory, Ronnie Hillman, James Starks and Chris Johnson also could get some attention. Marshawn Lynch and Arian Foster are rumored to be on the cutting block and they could join the group in free agency if they are released by the Seahawks and Texans.
Alshon Jeffery is the top wide receiver hitting the market, but he is expected to remain in Chicago, which could put attention on names like Travis Benjamin, Jermaine Kearse, Marvin Jones, Anquan Boldin, Rishard Matthews and Rueben Randle. Percy Harvin is also hitting the market, while James Jones could be a prime target after having a strong season with the Packers.
Miller is in a strong position to get a decent contract this offseason, as he is just 24 heading into the winter and does not have as much wear and tear on his body as other running backs. One knock on the Dolphins over the past few years has been the use of Miller on offense and that could be a factor in whether or not Miller returns to Miami. Adam Gase is taking over as head coach and according to James Walker at ESPN, Miller said that "scheme and fit" will be important issues as he decides where to sign.
Benjamin is hitting the market at the right time, as the receiver set career highs in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns this past season for the Browns. Benjamin is just 26 and should get some attention on the market, although reports have Benjamin saying in early January that a new deal with the Browns was "75 to 80 percent" done, but things could change as the winter rolls along. If Benjamin is off the board, players like Kearse, Harvin, Jones and Randle could get some extra attention.
Matt Forte is not expected to be back with the Bears and he could be a main target for teams like the Cowboys, Dolphins and Giants. Forte is 30, but he has been one of the most productive backs in the league over the past few years and he could be a nice fit with those teams with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
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