Key figures: Indianapolis has a long history of letting linebackers walk, but middle linebacker Gary Brackett is a special player and a special case. A great tackler and a great leader, the drop-off without him would be significant. And while the Coltsásurely will ábe looking to stick to a budget even in what’s looking like a cap-less environment, they can, and should, find a way to ensure he’s part of the 2010 team.
Key figures: Defensive end Reggie Hayward broke his left leg in the 2009 opener and was finished for the season. For a team trying to build a pass rush, maybe he still canábe a valuable veteran presence. Three restricted guys are of note: linebacker Clint Ingram, defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison and receiver Troy Williamson.
Key figures: The lack of a CBA will benefit the Texans more than anyone in the division, because middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and tight end Owen Daniels will be restricted rather than unrestricted. Cornerback Dunta Robinson was ticked off at being franchised last year. Will they do it again? Receiver Kevin Walter didn’t have a great year, but is a valuable piece who could be attractive to a team looking for a No. 2 wideout.