theScore goes division by division to identify the biggest need for every NFC team entering free agency, which opens March 17 at 4 p.m. ET. The legal tampering period begins two days prior.
AFC I NFC
Biggest needs: QB, WR, G
Mitchell Trubisky is a free agent and unlikely to return to Chicago, while Nick Foles should be nothing more than the backup. The Bears are prime candidates to trade up in the draft but they'll also need to explore free-agent and trade options at quarterback. Chicago would be crazy to allow Allen Robinson out of the building. If the team does, though, it should splash the cash to acquire one of the top names in a strong receiver class.
Top potential FA targets: Jameis Winston, Kenny Golladay, Joe Thuney
Biggest needs: LB, EDGE, WR
The Achilles' heel of the Lions' defense has long been at linebacker, with the group's lack of speed being a particular issue. Detroit should make multiple high-profile signings to reinforce the position. Pass-rusher and wide receiver also need to be addressed even if the Lions find a way to keep both defensive end Romeo Okwara and wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The latter is a prime candidate for the franchise tag.
Top potential FA targets: Lavonte David, Ryan Kerrigan, Tyrell Williams
Green Bay Packers
Biggest needs: CB, LB, WR
With Kevin King set for free agency, the Packers should look to sign an experienced veteran who can solidify the No. 2 cornerback spot. Green Bay cut Christian Kirksey as a cap casualty, creating a hole in the center of the defense. The linebacking group, which was routinely burned in coverage last season, needs even more athleticism now. While Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had solid seasons, the Packers should explore wideout upgrades to keep Aaron Rodgers happy.
Top potential FA targets: Patrick Peterson, K.J. Wright, Corey Davis
Biggest needs: EDGE, G, DT
The Vikings are currently 25th in projected cap space, so they'll likely have to make modest free-agent signings. Their pass rush dropped off a cliff after Danielle Hunter suffered an injury, so they should focus on adding a complementary defensive end. A veteran target to better protect Kirk Cousins is also a must as the guard position, particularly Dakota Dozier, was a glaring weakness.
Top potential FA targets: Trey Hendrickson, Kelechi Osemele, Kawann Short
Biggest needs: CB, DT, S
Trevon Diggs put together a solid rookie season, but the Cowboys could be short of cornerbacks if Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and C.J. Goodwin all leave in free agency. Dallas needs to find both outside and slot options. The defensive tackle position must also be addressed if the Cowboys are to avoid being run on at will like last season.
Top potential FA targets: Troy Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Justin Simmons
New York Giants
Biggest needs: WR, EDGE, CB
New York needs to improve its pass-catching group to find out if Daniel Jones is the long-term answer. Landing a No. 1 target would allow Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard to move into more suitable supporting roles. Pass-rusher and cornerback are the most pressing holes on defense.
Top potential FA targets: Allen Robinson, Haason Reddick, Kevin King
Biggest needs: WR, CB, LB
DeSean Jackson is gone and Alshon Jeffery will soon follow, leaving a gaping hole in the Eagles' receiving corps. Jalen Reagor was poor as a rookie, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is barely holding onto his spot, and Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham are best-suited as depth. The cap-strapped Eagles should target a middle-tier option. Elsewhere, Philadelphia has to find a reliable No. 2 cornerback opposite Darius Slay.
Top potential FA targets: T.Y Hilton, Shaquill Griffin, Anthony Walker
Washington Football Team
Biggest needs: QB, WR, LB
Alex Smith is likely to be a cap casualty despite being an inspiring story in 2020. And while Taylor Heinicke impressed in the playoffs, he's best-suited for a backup role. Washington will likely aim to take a quarterback high in the draft, but it should look to add an experienced veteran in free agency. However, whoever's under center for Washington will need another pass-catcher to draw attention away from Terry McLaurin.
Top potential FA targets: Cam Newton, Curtis Samuel, Jayon Brown
Biggest needs: EDGE, CB, RB
The Falcons have swung and missed with pass-rushers Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley in the draft. With a win-now mentality and a weak incoming rookie class, it's time to target a free-agent option. While A.J. Terrell flashed potential during an up-and-down debut season, more help at cornerback is needed to improve last season's worst-ranked pass defense. Offensively, Atlanta has to prioritize replacing Todd Gurley as running back is a key component of new head coach Arthur Smith's attack.
Top potential FA targets: Melvin Ingram, Troy Hill, Marlon Mack
Biggest needs: TE, LB, LT
Ian Thomas led the Panthers' tight ends with 145 yards last season. Carolina has talent at the other skill positions but the team needs to find a game-changer at tight end to diversify its attack. The Panthers are still feeling the loss of Luke Kuechly, with Shaq Thompson failing to step up in 2020. While right tackle Taylor Moton will likely be re-signed or hit with the franchise tag, left tackle Russell Okung is probably leaving and will need replacing.
Top potential FA targets: Jonnu Smith, Matt Milano, Cam Robinson
New Orleans Saints
Biggest needs: QB, DE, WR
Drew Brees is expected to retire, leaving the Saints with uncertainty at quarterback for the first time in 15 years. With New Orleans unlikely to be able to draft a Day 1-ready signal-caller, the team will need to bring in competition for Taysom Hill. Trey Hendrickson will likely be too expensive for the Saints to retain, so getting pass-rush help should be a priority.
Top potential FA targets: Jameis Winston, Tyus Bowser, Nelson Agholor
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Biggest needs: DL, RB, CB
Tampa Bay's focus should be on retaining its handful of vital free agents, including Lavonte David, Shaq Barrett, and Chris Godwin. Assuming those three are brought back, the Bucs' biggest need will be the defensive line, as Ndamukong Suh, Steve McLendon, and Rakeem Nunez-Roches are all set to hit the open market. Ronald Jones proved he can be a solid starter in 2020, but he isn't the reliable pass-catcher Brady covets at the position. Therefore, depth is needed with Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy heading for free agency.
Top potential FA targets: Henry Anderson, James White, A.J. Bouye
Biggest needs: CB, WR, DL
With Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Johnathan Joseph set to hit the open market, Arizona needs to find multiple starting cornerbacks. The Cardinals could re-sign Peterson but the position should still be their top priority. Though acquiring DeAndre Hopkins was one of Arizona's best moves last offseason, the team still needs to bolster the group behind its star to help Kyler Murray progress. Larry Fitzgerald is likely to retire, while Andy Isabella hasn't shown enough to be trusted as the No. 2 option.
Top potential FA targets: Desmond King, Corey Davis, Shelby Harris
Los Angeles Rams
Biggest needs: C, WR, EDGE
The Rams filled their biggest need by trading for Matthew Stafford. But the quarterback will need reinforcements if the gamble is to pay immediate dividends. Center Austin Blythe is a free agent, so L.A. must re-sign him or target an upgrade to avoid a gaping hole in the middle of the line. While the Rams have two quality starting wide receivers, Josh Reynolds is a free agent. The unit needs speed and depth to help ease Stafford's transition into Sean McVay's scheme.
Top potential FA targets: Alex Mack, Marvin Jones, Romeo Okwara
San Francisco 49ers
Biggest needs: CB, OL, EDGE
Richard Sherman doesn't expect to return to San Francisco and Jason Verrett is also a free agent, so the team's top priority is restocking the cornerback position. The offensive line will become less of a concern if the 49ers can re-sign left tackle Trent Williams, but the unit could still be improved at the center and right guard spots. With Dee Ford's return uncertain due to a back injury, San Francisco needs to find pass-rush support to ease the pressure off Nick Bosa.
Top potential FA targets: Quinton Dunbar Bud Dupree, Kelechi Osemele
Biggest needs: OL, CB, RB
Russell Wilson's message to the Seahawks with his recent public comments is clear: Improve the protection or things could get ugly. It won't be easy, though. Seattle needs to find a long-term successor to Duane Brown as well as replacements for free-agent center Ethan Pocic and recently retired guard Mike Iupati. Defensively, Seattle will probably need to invest in a cornerback with Shaquill Griffin likely to leave in free agency.
Top potential FA targets: Corey Linsley, Chidobe Awuzie, Mike Davis