Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs the ball after a catch during the first quarter against New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) during the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Updated 2014 NFL Mock Free Agency: AFC Edition

The countdown to the active parts of the NFL off-season has begun, starting with free agency.  Here’s a mock rundown of where the AFC teams will go.

Oakland Raiders – $66.5 million – Sign:  Alex Mack

Jared Veldheer is expected to return to the Oakland Raiders but their primary concern is fixing the interior of their offensive line which was just bad last season.  Alex Mack is a two-time Pro Bowler and arguably the best center in the league.  The Raiders can more than afford his services

Jacksonville Jaguars – $56.1 million – Sign:  Greg Hardy

Until Greg Hardy is actually signed or franchise tagged, then he will hit the open market.  That would be sweet music for Gus Bradley and the Jacksonville Jaguars who badly need a pass rusher at defensive end.  Hardy would be a perfect fit and allow the team to focus on getting a quarterback in the draft.

Cleveland Browns – $56.8 million – Sign:  Jon Asamoah
Every sign points to the Cleveland Browns picking a quarterback in the first round of the draft.  If so they have to upgrade their offensive line, especially the interior.  Jon Asamoah might be the best option on the market, lauded most for his ability in pass protection.

Indianapolis Colts – $40.9 million – Sign:  Eric Decker

It could be a smokescreen but would it be?  The Indianapolis Colts need another receiver to compliment T.Y. Hilton as Reggie Wayne winds down and Eric Decker proved in Denver that he is a more than capable #2 option.

Miami Dolphins – $39.1 million – Sign:  Branden Albert

Ryan Tannehill took a horrendous beating in 2013.  That cannot happen again if the Miami Dolphins wish to unlock his potential.  The offensive line will be their priority and signing a veteran tackle like Branden Albert could pay huge dividends towards accomplishing their goals.

Cincinnati Bengals – $30.3 million – Sign:  Captain Munnerlyn

Even though they have a good amount of money the Cincinnati Bengals proved last year they are huge spenders.  Captain Munnerlyn is an experienced, capable cornerback who fits their system, is still young and proved he is an all-around playmaker during his previous season in Carolina.

Baltimore Ravens – $28.1 million – Sign:  Geoff Schwartz 

Getting back to running the football was a stated goal by the Baltimore Ravens after last season ended.  That means improving the offensive line.  Geoff Schwartz was the best run blocker for the Kansas City Chiefs last season and turns 28 this year.

New York Jets – $26.7 million – Sign:  Sam Shields

Every sign points to the New York Jets going offense early and often in the draft, so NFL free agency can be about bolstering the defense.  Finding some help at cornerback is a must.  Sam Shields was among the most reliable defensive backs for the Packers last season and fits the Jets’ 3-4 scheme given his ability in man coverage ability.

Buffalo Bills – $25.6 million – Sign:  Dennis Pitta

E.J. Manuel needs protection but he also could really use more playmaking help from the tight end position.  The Buffalo Bills can give it to him by pursuing Dennis Pitta.  Though he is still expected to return to Baltimore, it’s no guarantee and the Bills could check one need off their draft list if they got him.

Denver Broncos – $19.4 million – Sign:  Aqib Talib

The secondary took a horrible pounding with injuries for the Denver Broncos last season and now two of their key guys are free agents.  Aqib Talib proved last season he’s one of the best in the league, especially one-on-one and would lend a huge hand towards help Denver’s defense recover.

Tennessee Titans – $13 million – Sign:  Jason Worilds

Ray Horton is the new man in charge of the Tennessee Titans defense and he runs a 3-4 scheme.  That means he’ll need pass rushers at outside linebacker.  Jason Worilds had eight sacks in 2013 and played in a very similar system at Pittsburgh.

New England Patriots – $10.6 million – Sign:  Brandon Pettigrew

They won’t have a lot of money to maneuver but the New England Patriots know they have to add some depth to the tight end position.  Brandon Pettigrew is not a star but he was consistently productive for the Detroit Lions and was a nice secondary option.

Kansas City Chiefs – $9.7 million – Sign:  Austin Howard

With Albert possibly leaving, the Kansas City Chiefs may have to shuffle their offensive line.  One way they could do is by moving 2013 #1 NFL draft pick Eric Fisher over to the left side and then signing his replacement.  Austin Howard is not great but he is adequate and reliable in pass protection from the right tackle position.

Houston Texans – $8.9 million – Sign:  Mike Neal

The linebackers are certain to get some attention from the Houston Texans in regards to getting more pass rush from them.  Mike Neal could be a cheap option on the market.  He posted five sacks in just 10 starts for the Packers and at 280 lbs also could lend a hand in setting the edge against the run.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets Oakland Raiders Tennessee Titans

  • Christian Paige

    Monroe to Dolphins.

    • Erik Lambert

      He would be the other the choice.

  • David

    Yes Alex Mack to the Raiders would be a great start. I think they will sigh josh freeman as well

    • Erik Lambert

      I don’t understand the love affair with that guy. He has a terrible work ethic and has only gotten worse over the past few years.

      • David

        He’s only 26 and hopefully Olson can get him back on track. I mean what other option do they have? Vick? Possibly Schaub? Not much out there they may have to take a flyer on Freeman

        • Sterling Archer

          I would rather have Mark Sanchez then Freeman, he couldn’t even be the starter in Minnesota where they are as QB needy as we are, guy is not a good fit. as for Alex Mack it would be a good first step to rebuilding our line but I don’t see that happening as the just resigned Barnes…. same ole Raiders again this year it looks.

  • mnelson52

    I can’t see KC letting Albert, Asomoa, and Schwartz all three go after they had their O-line playing very well together. That would mean a step back for their offense this year.

    • Erik Lambert

      Oh they won’t but until they are actually re-signed I have to assume they will hit the open market.

  • Paul Newbold

    I see the Jets resigning Howard. They have the cap space and are unlikely to let him walk considering the offensive line woes. Sam Shields would be a great addition to the Jets secondary, but at what cost? I don’t think Idzik will be handing out big lucrative contracts. The Packers still have the option of placing the franchise tag on him, which would cost them somewhere near 11 million for the season. Any idea what he’d be getting on the open market Erik?

    • Erik Lambert

      If he thinks he’s getting $11 million, he’s dreaming. My guess would be the same or maybe a little more than what Tim Jennings got from Chicago (4-year deal worth $22.4 million) because he’s three years younger.