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NFL Free Agents 2015: Latest Rumors and Predictions for Top Available Stars

Published by Bleacher Report on Mon, 29 Dec 2014

While much of the focus is currently on the impending NFL playoffs, there is no question that many football fans are already looking ahead to the offseason and free agency.With only 12 teams still alive and playing for a championship, the other 20 fanbases need something else to get excited about. The 2015 crop of free agents is both talented and deep, so several franchises will have an opportunity to improve significantly.Although a lot can obviously happen between now and the start of free agency on March 10, here is an early look at the buzz surrounding some of the top players who will be on the open market.Ndamukong SuhPlenty was expected of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh when the Detroit Lions selected him No. 2 overall in the 2010 NFL draft, and it is fair to say that the four-time Pro Bowler has been as good as advertised and then some.The Lions were second in total defense and first against the run during the 2014 season, with Suh obviously being a driving force behind that. For the first time in recent memory, it was the Lions defense that led to success more so than the offense, and losing a stud like Suh would be extremely detrimental in that regard.The former Nebraska star is in his prime at just 27 years of age, which means he will have no shortage of suitors come free agency. While a long list of teams will likely come to the forefront over the next couple of months, the Cleveland Browns are the first to emerge.According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, the Browns are considering Suh as a target in free agency due to their significant amount of cap space. Grossi submits that it will take a record-breaking deal to land Suh, but Cleveland may be willing to dish it out.With that said, Grossi doesn't believe it would be a wise move on the Browns' part:Suh is a true defensive difference-maker, though, and he would immediately provide a massive spark to whichever organization he ends up with. Conversely, losing him would be absolutely devastating to the Lions and their fans.That is made even truer by the fact that Detroit will still be on the hook for a large chunk of change if Suh ultimately bolts, per Josh Mansour of theDetroit Free Press:Since the Lions will have to pay either way, one can only assume that they will do everything within their power to keep Suh.The fact that the two sides have yet to come to an agreement is somewhat disconcerting, although the franchise tag is always an option for the Lions in the interest of biding their time in terms of a long-term contract.Losing Suh is a very real fear for the Lions, but they'll find a way to keep him after making so much progress this year defensively.Jason Pierre-PaulDefensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returned to elite form this season after two subpar campaigns, and it could have come at a better time, with the New York Giants pass-rusher hitting free agency.JPP was an All-Pro in 2011 after racking up 16.5 sacks, but the ensuing two seasons saw him put up just 8.5 sacks combined. Although 2014 wasn't a great year for Big Blue as a whole, Pierre-Paul redeemed himself by taking down the quarterback 12.5 times.The 25-year-old defensive end was especially dominant down the stretch, which certainly helped his case in free agency, according to Ralph Vacchiano of theNew York Daily News:While keeping Pierre-Paul would be ideal for a Giants team that ranked fourth in sacks this season, that may not necessarily happen.Per ESPN's Josina Anderson, New York hasn't even contacted JPP about a potential new contract:If the Giants do ultimately decide to make an offer, it will have to be substantial, since Pierre-Paul clearly realizes there is a market for his services, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com."I think I am worth a lot of money," Pierre-Paul said.Despite the lack of progress between JPP and the Giants, the two-time Pro Bowler seems to feel as though a new pact between them is quite possible, per Vacchiano:Pass-rushers are at such a premium in the NFL today that the Giants will have plenty of company. Although no teams are rumored to have interest as of yet, one franchise that would be a great fit is the Cincinnati Bengals.The Bengals are a team that needs to make a big move in order to reach that next level, and getting a player like Pierre-Paul could be huge after they ranked last in the league with just 20 sacks this season.Cincinnati also has money to spend, with nearly $10 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.com, so don't be surprised if it makes a play for a top talent like JPP.Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter
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