Free Agency: NFC South



Atlanta Falcons ($12,035,622 of Cap Space):

The Atlanta Falcons only have a few players on the offensive skill position side of the ball up for free agency.  Matt Bryant who is one of the oldest players in the NFL and Taylor Gabriel at WR.  Unless Matt Bryant decides he is ready to retire I fully expect the Falcons the resign him during free agency.  If you look at the defensive side of the ball th Falcons have to resign or replace Dontari Poe (DT) and Adrian Clayborn (DE) which would use up the entirety of their cap space.  I think it is very likely with the emergence of Sanu that they let Taylor Gabriel walk.



Carolina Panthers ($20,305,968 of Cap Space)

The Panthers are in really good shape this offseason with free agents.  They have plenty of cap space and don’t have any of their high paid assets hitting free agency.  If they chose they could resign their 2017 roster to new contracts.  Of note Graham Gano who they tried very hard to trade prior to the 2017 kickoff is up for free agency.  Rather than signing him up for another $3MM a year contract I expect them to let him walk. The long time backup QB for the team Derek Anderson is also up for a new contract.  With Cam’s Injury history and the scarcity of QBs I expect them to sign Anderson to another short term contract. At the tight end position Ed Dickson is also up for free agency.  With the early injury to Greg Olsen we saw what Dickson can really do with his career year.  He is coming off of a very cheap 3 year deal that he will likely want to move on from for a better opportunity.  The Panthers will have a difficult time paying their backup TE the $3.5MM/Yr he will demand.



New Orleans Saints ($31,779,554 of Cap Space):

The Saints are going to be pretty tight on cap space this coming season. You might see the $31MM of cap space and think they are sitting pretty, but Drew Brees is up for a new contract.  Looking at spottrac the 39 year old QB will have a fair market value of $25MM.  There is zero doubt in my mind they will get a new contract worked out, but that leaves just under $7MM to work with for 2018.  They will have to get creative with Nick Fairly (DT $7MM), Kenny Vaccaro (SS $2.4MM), Alex Okafor (DE $2MM), and Senio Kelemete (G $1.4MM) along with several others coming off of rookie deals.  We will likely see a fall off in the effectiveness of the defense in the coming season.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($60,531,463 of Cap Space):

We saw a very disappointing backfield in Tampa this past season which led to an overall disappointing season for the team.  For Fantasy Football the team is loaded with offensive options, but with a poor backfield and Jameis Winston at the helm there was very little consistency.  With $60MM of cap space the Bucs have a ton of options moving forward.  On the defensive side of the ball Brent Grimes (CB $6.8MM), TJ Ward (SS $4MM), Clinton McDonald (DT $3MM), and Sealver Siliga (DT $1.1MM) are hitting free agency.  On the offensel we have Evan Smith (C $3.6MM), Charles Sims (RB $0.8MM), and Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB $3MM) hitting the open market.  Their name is not getting tossed around at all, but I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility for the Bucs to target one of the free agent QBs this offseason or an option in this year’s draft.  Kirk Cousins, Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater,  AJ McCarron are among the biggest options.  This would likely accompany a WInston trade.  That said I think they are very good candidates to get one of the top FA running backs such as Jerick McKinnon, Dion Lewis, Carlos Hyde, Isaiah Crowell, or Rex Burkhead.  I would love to see what McKinnon could do the keys to the kingdom on that backfield.


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