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NEEDS: Falcons released three former starters after disappointing season: CB Asante Samuel, LB Stephen Nicholas and G Garrett Reynolds. Veteran Gabe Carimi was signed, and more additions are expected on OL. Defensive line also a need, but team re-signed top DTs Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters. Strong pass-rusher needed at DE. TE Tony Gonzalez has retired, but team drafted Levine Toilolo last year. WR Drew Davis has re-signed as exclusive free agent.


UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LBs Adam Hayward and Dekoda Watson; LS Andrew Economos; DT Gary Gibson; CB Danny Gorrer; OL Ted Larsen; RB Brian Leonard; PK Rian Lindell; FB Erik Lorig; OT Jamon Meredith; QB Dan Orlovsky; DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim; WR Tiquan Underwood.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TEs Kyle Adams and Nate Byham; WR Eric Page; DT Matthew Masiflo.

NEEDS: New coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht must determine if Mike Glennon, coming off rookie season in which he was forced into starting role under former coach Greg Schiano, is quarterback of future. If not then QB in draft or free agency will be added. If braintrust is willing to link its success - or potential failure - to Glennon, areas of need include defensive end, offensive tackle, tight end, wide receiver and maybe even cornerback, if Smith and Licht are open to trading Darrelle Revis and his $16 million per year salary.



UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RBs James Starks and Kahlil Bell; DLs Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly, B.J. Raji and C.J. Wilson; C Evan Dietrich-Smith; TEs Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless; QBs Matt Flynn and Seneca Wallace; LBs Rob Francois and Mike Neal; WR James Jones; FB John Kuhn; OL Marshall Newhouse.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S M.D. Jennings; LB Jamari Lattimore.

NEEDS: Biggest is getting more playmakers on defense that slipped in second half. DL could get makeover with starters Pickett, Raji and Jolly hitting free agency, and team could use jolts of energy at safety and linebacker, where thumb injury to pass rusher Clay Matthews hurt last season. Sam Shields was re-signed to 4-year deal Sunday, keeping one of game’s top CBs in Green Bay. Finley coming off serious neck injury, and Pack may look elsewhere at tight end. GM Ted Thompson espouses “draft-and-develop” philosophy and rarely makes splash in free agency. What might team do this year with estimated $30 million-plus in cap space?


UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CBs Charles Tillman, Sherrick McManis and Zack Bowman; QBs Josh McCown; LS Patrick Mannelly; WR/KR Devin Hester; DTs Landon Cohen and Henry Melton; DE Corey Wootton; OLs Jonathan Scott and OL Eben Britton; LBs James Anderson, Blake Costanzo and D.J. Williams; S Craig Steltz and Major Wright.


NEEDS: McCown’s status aside, offense is basically set after franchise record for total net yards (6,109) last season while finishing second in club history in points (445). Heavy lifting will be on defense after group gave up 2,583 yards rushing on 5.3 per carry - both club records. Bears need help on line, at linebacker and in secondary. Star LB Lance Briggs, CB Tim Jennings have jobs locked in. Looks like DT Jeremiah Ratliff does, too, after agreeing to two-year deal on Wednesday. Other spots are question marks. DE Julius Peppers could be released or have contract restructured given cap hit of more than $18 million. Hester was released, as was backup RB Michael Bush. Agreed to one-year deals with DT Nate Collins and backup QB Jordan Palmer on Sunday.

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