Free agents to watch

Colts receiver Reggie Wayne tries to run past

Colts receiver Reggie Wayne tries to run past Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. (Dec. 27, 2009) (Credit: AP)

PEYTON MANNING,QB, Colts: It's once-in-a-lifetime that a future Hall of Fame quarterback is available on the open market. Questions linger, however, about his neck condition and his age; he turns 36 March 24. Potential landing spots: Dolphins, Cardinals, Broncos.

MARIO WILLIAMS,DE/OLB, Texans: Terrific pass rusher coming off a torn pectoral muscle. The 2006 No. 1 overall pick can thrive in a 3-4 defense. Potential landing spots: Patriots, Titans, Cowboys.

CARL NICKS,G, Saints: Arguably the best run-blocking guard in the game. Unrestricted free agent after Saints assigned the franchise tag to Drew Brees. Potential landing spots: Bears, 49ers, Saints.

MATT FLYNN,QB, Packers: Has looked terrific in limited work behind Aaron Rodgers, and joins an impressive list of former Packers backups who can excel as starters. Potential landing spots: Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins.

CORTLAND FINNEGAN, CB, Titans. A shutdown corner who can sometimes go over the line with his aggressiveness (see: altercation with Andre Johnson in 2010). Best overall corner on the open market. Potential landing spots: Ravens, Titans, Raiders.

VINCENT JACKSON, WR, Chargers. Played on a one-year contract with the franchise tag last season after a long holdout. Could be a target of the Bears or Jaguars.

BRANDON CARR, CB, Chiefs. After the Chiefs signed Stanford Routt following his release from the Raiders, Carr became expendable. A dependable corner who will see early action in free agency.

JARRET JOHNSON, OLB, Ravens. An underrated pass rusher overlooked on a very good Ravens defense. The Jets might have interest in a player Rex Ryan helped develop when he was Baltimore's defensive coordinator.

BRODRICK BUNKLEY, DT, Broncos. A solid inside force who can move well for a big man (306 pounds).

JEREMY MINCEY, DE, Jaguars. A 28-year-old pass rusher coming into his own. Had eight sacks and four forced fumbles last season.

SCOTT WELLS, C, Packers. Looking for a big-money deal from Green Bay, but might have to look elsewhere. The Packers are known for fiscal discipline.

REGGIE WAYNE, WR, Colts. A bit past his prime at age 33, but still something left in the tank. Would love to be reunited with Peyton Manning.

TERRELL THOMAS, CB, Giants. Coming off ACL surgery. Assuming he makes a full comeback, he's one of the top cover corners in the league. The Giants hope to re-sign him.

MARQUES COLSTON, WR, Saints.Has had some injury problems in recent years, but one of the most reliable pass catchers when healthy.STEPHEN TULLOCH, LB, Lions. A steady middle linebacker for an emerging Lions defense. The team opted to keep DE Cliff Avril with the franchise tag.

ALEX SMITH, QB, 49ers. The 2005 No. 1 overall pick had his best season in 2011 in helping the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. He hopes to re-sign with San Francisco.

JOHN ABRAHAM, DE, Falcons. Former Jets first-round pick has a lot of mileage on him, but can still be valuable in pass-rush situations.

PIERRE GARÇON, WR, Colts. A favorite of Peyton Manning's before he got hurt. Not a No. 1 receiver, but still a valuable performer.

CHRIS MYERS, C, Texans. Reliable veteran center could wind up in Green Bay if Packers don't re-sign Wells.

SIONE POUHA, DT, Jets. A stout presence in the middle who is solid against the run. The Jets hope to re-sign the 33-year-old defender.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NFL videos

@BobGlauber

advertisement | advertise on newsday