The biggest story in this division could very well be with Tennessee, where they have a new coach, a need for a new quarterback, and the opportunity to see a lot of change on the roster. The Titans have 11 players eligible for unrestricted free agency, which is one of the most in the league. (See our complete list of free agents here.)
This division includes a handful of skill position players that could be on the move, with Matt Leinart, Owen Daniels, Joseph Addai, Mike Sims-Walker and Randy Moss all possibly on the market.
Restricted Free Agents (3 years): Mike Brisiel (G)
Restricted Free Agents (5 years): Mark Anderson (DE), Tim Bulman (DE), Rashad Butler (OT), Owen Daniels (TE), Zac Diles (OLB), Jacoby Jones (WR), Matt Leinart (QB), Bernard Pollard (S) and Kasey Studdard (G)
Unrestricted Free Agents: Kevin Bentley (ILB), Shaun Cody (DT), Jarvis Green (DE), Vonta Leach (FB), Damione Lewis (DE), Karl Paymah (CB), Matt Turk (P) and Derrick Ward (RB)
Please Don’t Go: While there are a few players the Texans would like back, none of these players are necessities. The one that could be most useful is Owen Daniels who missed a bit of the year as well as last year, but when he’s healthy he’s shown he can still add a dimension to the passing attack of the Texans.
Au Revoir: The Texans are making a transition from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4, which means there are fewer spots for defensive linemen on the roster. With Antonio Smith, Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams as projected starters, 2010 starter Shaun Cody is out of the lineup and possibly out of Houston.
Restricted Free Agents (3 years): Eric Foster (DE), Mike Hart (RB), Gijon Robinson (TE), Tom Santi (TE) and Jamie Silva (S)
Restricted Free Agents (5 years): Joseph Addai (RB), Melvin Bullitt (S), Keyunta Dawson (DE), Antonio Johnson (DT), Charlie Johnson (OT), Daniel Muir (DT), Mike Richardson (CB) and Clint Session (OLB)
Unrestricted Free Agents: Aaron Francisco (S), Tyjuan Hagler (OLB), Ken Hamlin (S), Peyton Manning (QB), Dominic Rhodes (RB) and Adam Vinatieri (K)
Please Don’t Go: While any franchise in need of a quarterback would love to get Peyton Manning, now that he has the franchise tag it’s safe to say he will remain a Colt. We’re less sure about his partner in crime in the backfield Joseph Addai. He missed half of the season, but played well with 4.3 yards per carry behind a terrible run blocking line in the games he did play. Replacing him wasn’t easy during the season, and wouldn’t be if he leaves.
Au Revoir: For over the past decade, the Colts have lacked consistency at defensive tackle from season to season, and that trend looks to continue. In Daniel Muir’s second season as one of the Colts starting tackles, he regressed greatly, consistently rating below average in stopping the run. Antonio Johnson who also started at tackle last year and didn’t look good in his little time this year is also likely to go. The quest for a defensive tackle will continue.
Restricted Free Agents (3 years): Bryan Smith (OLB)
Restricted Free Agents (5 years): Tyron Brackenridge (S), Jeremy Cain (LS), Justin Durant (OLB), Trent Edwards (QB), Jason Hill (WR), David Jones (CB), Marcedes Lewis (TE), Adam Podlesh (P) and Mike Sims-Walker (WR)
Unrestricted Free Agents: Todd Bouman (QB), Sean Considine (S), Luke McCown (QB) and Kirk Morrison (ILB)
Please Don’t Go: The clear choice here is Marcedes Lewis, who is one of the rare tight ends who excels in both receiving and blocking. Outside of Lewis, Kirk Morrison has helped make up a fine linebacking crew in Jacksonville with 43 stops on the season. If the Jaguars are in a playoffs-or-bust mentality, keeping Morrison will be a big help on defense.
Au Revoir: The Jaguars biggest weakness was their secondary, and Sean Considine struggled when given playing time. He was benched and used as a nickel safety. He got another chance and played the majority of snaps in Weeks 13-15, and had a -4.9 rating in coverage over this time. The Jaguars have looked at youth to fix the secondary, which means Considine who has looked more like part of the problem rather than the solution is likely to go.
Restricted Free Agents (3 years): Colin Allred (ILB), Patrick Bailey (OLB), Brett Kern (P), Mike Otto (OT) and Tim Shaw (OLB)
Restricted Free Agents (5 years): Jacob Ford (DE), Ahmard Hall (FB), Leroy Harris (G) and Stephen Tulloch (MLB)
Unrestricted Free Agents: Jason Babin (DE), Dave Ball (DE), Kerry Collins (QB), Marques Douglas (DT), Rod Hood (CB), Randy Moss (WR), Donnie Nickey (S), Bo Scaife (TE), Chris Simms (QB), David Thornton (OLB) and Jamie Winborn (OLB)
Please Don’t Go: Two of the biggest stars on the defense could be free agents and the Titans would like both back. Jason Babin rated as the Titans’ best pass rusher with 64 combined pressures on the season, while Stephen Tulloch rated as the best run stopper with a league leading 76 stops. Losing ether of these players would knock the Titans down a peg.
Au Revoir: The new starting left guard for the Titans was Leroy Harris, and it didn’t go all that well. There were only three guards that had a worse overall rating this year, and he was a part of the reason life was harder for Chris Johnson this year. Another offensive player almost certain to see the door is Randy Moss. Once Kenny Britt returned from injury Moss was phased out of the offense. If Moss wants to continue his potential Hall of Fame carrier, it won’t be with the Titans.