2013's free agent Wide Receivers/Tight Ends and potential cap casualties
After receiving the franchise tag last year, Fred Davis is now eligible to hit the open market. The Redskins will definitely want to have him back, but with the way teams value an athletic pass-catching tight end, the price may be too steep for them to match.
Dustin Keller was one of the few weapons the Jets had on offense last season, but he's likely to walk due to the awful salary cap situation left behind by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum. He was plagued by injuries in 2012, but caught 65 passes for 815 yards in 2011.
Some say that the Titans may give Jared Cook the franchise tag, while others say that he has no future in Tennessee. The talented, yet under-utilized tight end would get plenty of interest on the open market, but there's a chance that the Titans won't let him go.
Martellus Bennett has loads of talent, though he often fails to maximize on it... Brandon Myers had one of the better seasons among tight ends last year with the Raiders, catching 79 passes for 806 yards... Delanie Walker is very versatile, but is reportedly the 49ers' No. 2 priority in free agency.
Here are some of the players that could be released and on the market by the time free agency comes around:
Jermichael Finley (GB) has all the tools to be great, but has never been able to take that next step in becoming one of the game's elite tight ends. With a 2013 salary of $4.45 million and a $3.5 million roster bonus due in March, there's a very good chance Finley is a free agent by March 12th. Still considered to have plenty of potential, he'll likely get a starting gig somewhere else. For what it's worth, Finley puts his chances of remaining in Green Bay at 50/50.
Although Darrius Heyward-Bey (OAK) has transformed from a complete bust into a decent receiver, his $7.7 million salary in 2013 is more than he's worth. I'm sure they'd like to have him back, but it's tough to see him remaining on the roster at that price.
Anquan Boldin (BAL) is commonly brought up in the cap casualty conversation, but he claims that he'll retire if he's not playing for the Ravens next year.
The Jaguars signed tight end Marcedes Lewis (JAX) to a five-year, $35 million deal after his Pro Bowl season in 2010, but he hasn't done much of anything since his big pay day. He's being overpaid, but new GM David Caldwell considers him a "very good tight end," so we'll have to wait and see whether or not he remains in Jacksonville.