2018 NFL free agency coverage: Latest news, players to watch

— -- NFL free agency officially kicks off at 4 p.m. ET on March 14. Until then, we'll be monitoring the latest in franchise tag news and offering our best content to help you get ready for when the market opens.

Full coverage

  • Offseason moves for all 16 AFC teams: The Patriots have a path back to the Super Bowl. The Browns could land Kirk Cousins. Bill Barnwell has five ways each of the 16 teams could improve.
  • Offseason moves for every NFC team:?Seattle has big decisions to make on the Legion of Boom. The Saints need to lock up Drew Brees. Bill Barnwell offers ways to improve each of the 16 teams.
  • Players who need a change of scenery on every team:?NFL Nation reporters identify players and teams that should part ways.
  • Making every team's biggest free-agent decision Insider:?NFL Insider Field Yates offers?advice on the league's top upcoming roster decisions.
  • Seven offers for Cousins, and the one he should take:?NFL Nation reporters made their best offers, and ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando picked the best one.
  • Destination Cousins:?The?11 potential landing spots and why Cousins might (and might not) fit with these QB-needy teams.
  • Clock ticking on Redskins-Cousins tag showdown: John Keim looks at possible scenarios if the Redskins were to franchise Cousins for a third year.
  • How much of an upgrade is Cousins over Blake Bortles? Michael DiRocco looks at why the Jaguars might be better off sticking with their less-pricey option.
  • What a potential deal between Cousins and the Vikings looks like:?Minnesota has a big decision to make at QB. Going all-in to sign Cousins is a possibility.
  • Other top stories:

  • Why Saints, Drew Brees have hard deadline for new contract, and what's next
  • The Le'Veon Bell-Steelers showdown, Part II: What you need to know
  • Here are ways Minnesota could use franchise tags with Case Keenum
  • Why the Detroit Lions should use franchise tag on Ezekiel Ansah
  • Saints' other high-profile free agent, Kenny Vaccaro, might get away
  • 49ers' priority in free agency should be bolstering cornerback position
  • Jets can impress Kirk Cousins by signing a top wide receiver
  • Filling the Ryan Shazier void at ILB begins with free agency for Steelers
  • Kyle Fuller represents Bears' biggest free-agent decision
  • Franchise tag watch

    Teams can place the franchise tag on one pending free agent now through the March 6 deadline. Read about how the tag works here.

    Dolphins tag Jarvis Landry

    Miami used its nonexclusive franchise tag on the wide receiver. The tag will hold Landry in place while the Dolphins try to make progress on a long-term deal. Read more.

    Notable franchise tag candidates:

  • Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys
  • Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions
  • Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota Vikings
  • Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams
  • Sheldon Richardson, DT, Seattle Seahawks
  • Here are? more candidates from NFL Nation?and predictions for which teams will (or won't) use the tag.

    Players available right now

    The NFL has a subcategory of free agents who have been released by their former teams and are thus eligible to sign immediately. They include:

  • Doug Martin, RB, 29 years old:?The Buccaneers grew weary of Martin's inconsistency and released him earlier this month.
  • Jerrell Freeman, LB, 31 years old:?Released by the Bears after two seasons, Freeman might not have a future in the league. He has been suspended in consecutive years, for a total of 14 games, after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
  • Chris Baker, DT, 30 years old:?The Buccaneers released Baker, a fun-loving locker-room presence whose production on the field was inconsistent, just one year into a three-year contract.
  • Brian Cushing, LB, 29 years old:?Cushing has been suspended twice for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, including 10 games in 2017. He spent nine seasons with the Texans.
  • Kurt Coleman, S, 29 years old:?Coleman didn't intercept a pass in 2017 after totaling 11 in the previous two seasons, but he could still be a ballhawk in the right scheme.
  • Charles Johnson, DE, 31 years old:?Johnson's productivity dropped dramatically in the past three seasons, and he will be 32 when the 2018 season begins. But in a part-time role with a new team, he might still be effective.?
  • Salary bonanza

    Another projected jump in the NFL salary cap could create more than $1 billion in cap space when the 2018 league year begins on March 14. Below are some key data points via ESPN's Resource Management System, which is estimating cap space based on a $178 million cap. The NFL has not yet finalized that figure; it could be higher. Keep in mind that many teams can make easy adjustments to free up space.

    Here are the highlights as of Feb. 22:

  • Total space: $1.03 billion
  • Average per team: $32.2 million
  • Teams with five highest totals:

  • Cleveland Browns: $104 million
  • New York Jets: $77.4 million
  • Indianapolis Colts: $72.4 million
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $70.9 million
  • San Francisco 49ers: $64.5 million
  • Teams with least salary-cap space:

  • Philadelphia Eagles: (-) $10.8 million
  • Kansas City Chiefs: (-) $3.5 million
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: $2.8 million
  • Baltimore Ravens: $8.2 million
  • Miami Dolphins: $8.3 million
  • Projected top 20 free agents

    Keep in mind some face the franchise tag or could re-sign with their current teams before the market opens:

    1. Kirk Cousins, QB
    2. Le'Veon Bell, RB
    3. Drew Brees, QB
    4. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE?
    5. Case Keenum, QB?
    6. Andrew Norwell, G?
    7. Ezekiel Ansah, DE?
    8. Jimmy Graham, TE?
    9. Sheldon Richardson, DL
    10. Nate Solder, LT
    11. Trumaine Johnson, CB
    12. Star Lotulelei, DT
    13. Allen Robinson, WR
    14. Sammy Watkins, WR?
    15. Lamarcus Joyner, S
    16. Dontari Poe, DT
    17. Sam Bradford, QB
    18. Bashaud Breeland, CB
    19. Aaron Colvin, CB
    20. Trey Burton, TE