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Looking ahead at possible free agents

11/20/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

We started talking about potential 2009 free agents in the previous post on the Carolina Panthers and that's prompted several of you to ask for lists of possible free agents for all the NFC South teams.

My friends at kffl.com do a nice job of keeping their list up to date and, with their help, here's a list for each of the NFC South teams:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quarterback Jeff Garcia, quarterback Luke McCown, fullback B.J. Askew, tackle Anthony Davis, defensive end Kevin Carter, defensive tackle Ryan Sims, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, safety Jermaine Phillips and safety Will Allen are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. Fullback Byron Storer is slated to be a restricted free agent.

New Orleans Saints: Running back Aaron Stecker, receivers Devery Henderson and Lance Moore, tight end Mark Campbell, tackle Jon Stincomb, defensive tackle Antwan Lake and linebacker Jonathan Vilma highlight the list of potential unrestricted free agents. Offensive lineman Jahri Evans and Zach Strief are potential restricted free agents. A couple of notes here: Expect the Saints to either extend Vilma's contract or place the franchise tag on him (there are implications that would impact the conditional draft picks the Saints are giving up for Vilma and Jeremy Shockey). Also, look for the Saints to try to extend Evans' contract.

Carolina Panthers: Defensive end Julius Peppers, cornerback Chris Gamble, offensive tackle Jordan Gross, offensive tackle Frank Omiyale and long snapper Jason Kyle highlight the list of potential unrestricted free agents. Tight end Jeff King and linebacker James Anderson can become restricted free agents. Subtle point here, but keep an eye on Kyle. I wouldn't be surprised if the Panthers quietly try to extend one of the best long snappers in the game. They believe in continuity and already have extended kicker John Kasay. If you've never heard of Kyle before, it's only because the guy almost never has had a bad snap.

Atlanta Falcons: Guard Harvey Dahl, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Lawyer Milloy highlight the list of potential unrestricted free agents. Babineaux and Dahl probably are the top targets for extensions.