The lockout is set to end and the ensuing free agent frenzy will be unlike anything we have seen. While teams and players have diligently studied available options throughout the offseason, the pressure of nabbing the right guy -- and players choosing the right team -- could lead some to make mistakes.
With that in mind, letâs take a look at some of the notable free agents, and the situations that make the most and least sense.
Nnamdi Asomugha, cornerback
Ideal Fit: Houston Texans
The Texans are in desperate need of a shutdown corner. Asomugha's suffocating bump-and-run skills are ideally suited for Wade Phillipsâ aggressive system. If the Texans are willing to cough up the capital to bring him into the fold, this will be the marquee signing of free agency.
Bad Fit: Philadelphia Eagles
The thought of Asomugha teaming up with Asante Samuel is certainly intriguing, but it is not sensible from a philosophical or schematic standpoint. The Eagles traditionally give out big deals to young players approaching their primes, and Asomugha's age (30) makes it very likely he is on the backside of his career. Also, the Eagles are reportedly moving away from the blitz-happy approach of the late Jim Johnson in favor of more zone-based coverage. Given Asomugha's reputation as a man-to-man defender, it doesnât make sense to join a team that will not play to his strengths.
Sidney Rice, receiver
Ideal Fit: St. Louis Rams
The Rams desperately need a No. 1 receiver to help Sam Bradford fulfill his potential. Rice is a playmaker with outstanding speed and quickness. He is capable of running the entire route tree, and his versatility will allow him to be a big part of the game plan under new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Remember, McDaniels has been extremely successful getting production out of his top receivers, and it would appear to be a match made in heaven based on his scheme and Riceâs skills.
Bad Fit: Washington Redskins
The Redskins need more firepower in the passing game, but the presence of a starter (John Beck) with a popgun arm makes the situation a poor fit for Rice. Beck lacks the arm strength to throw the ball down the field and that would limit Riceâs effectiveness. The money the Redskins can throw at Rice will certainly be enticing, but he would underachieve in Washington due to the quarterback situation.
Santonio Holmes, receiver
Ideal Fit: Washington Redskins
Holmes is the best wide receiver available on the free-agent market and is capable of thriving as a No. 1 receiver in any scheme. While the Redskins' muddled quarterback situation poses an issue, the creative mind of Mike Shanahan could take Holmes' game to another level. Shanahan transformed the likes of Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey and Brandon Marshall into Pro Bowlers, and he would make Holmes a star in Washington.
Bad Fit: Minnesota Vikings
Holmes certainly fits the Vikings' offense from a skill standpoint, but the prospect of joining another team built heavily around the running game might not be appealing. Holmes has never been prominently featured as a âgo-to-guyâ in an offense, and he might not be willing to play second fiddle to Adrian Peterson in Minnesota.
DeAngelo Williams, running back
Ideal Fit: Denver Broncos
John Fox wants to build the offense around a strong running game with a workhorse carrying the load. Since Knowshon Moreno hasn't shown that ability in the past, Fox will cast his eyes toward Williams as his potential feature back. The former Pro Bowler has averaged 5.0 yards per carry throughout his career, and posted two 1,000-yard seasons despite sharing the workload in Carolina. With the bulk of the carries heading in his direction, Williams could lead the Broncos back into contention in the AFC West.
Bad Fit: Carolina Panthers
Williams has already spent most of his career sharing the load in Carolina, and he would rejoin a backfield with two talented runners -- Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson -- in place. This can't be an appealing option for a runner looking to establish himself as one of the top backs in the game.
Cullen Jenkins, defensive tackle/end
Ideal Fit: Washington Redskins
Jenkins has been one of the leagueâs most underappreciated players, but coaches and scouts view him as a potential superstar in the right system. The Redskinsâ 3-4 would place him at the five-technique, and allow him to use his versatile skill set to become an impact pass rusher along the front. With Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan poised to line up alongside him, he could feast off the isolated match-ups the Redskinsâ defensive alignment creates up front.
Bad Fit: Green Bay Packers
Jenkins was willing to give the Packers a hometown discount to retain his services, but the team is so deep on its defensive front that it doesnât make sense for Green Bay to spend big to keep the veteran. Although he recorded a career-best seven sacks in 2010 in only 11 games, the desire for the Packers to retain a young nucleus makes it best for the Jenkins and the Packers to part ways.
Aubrayo Franklin, nose tackle
Ideal Fit: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs need a stout nose tackle to anchor their 3-4. Franklin is the best middleman on the market, and he will help the Chiefs hold up against the rugged rushing attacks that thrive in the AFC. Although Franklin is older (turns 31 in August), players have been able to sustain long careers playing in the middle and he could be a solution to the Chiefs' defensive woes.
Bad Fit: Washington Redskins
The Redskins need an upgrade at nose tackle, but the team should opt for cheaper options. While Franklin is certainly a strong player against the run, the cost-benefit analysis for the Redskins should lead them to look elsewhere for a solution.
Ike Taylor, cornerback
Ideal Fit: Philadelphia Eagles
Taylor isn't regarded as a shutdown corner in most circles, but he is effective in a zone-based system. With the Eagles transitioning into a two-deep scheme, Taylor would be a nice complement to Asante Samuel. Although his advanced age (31) is an issue, he is a much cheaper option than Nnamdi Asomugha and a better fit in their new scheme.
Bad Fit: Houston Texans
The Texans need a No. 1 cornerback to anchor their defense. While Taylor is good, he's not capable of shutting down one side of the field or engaging in isolated match-ups on a down-by-down basis. If the Texans break the bank for Taylor, they will soon find out he is a poor fit for their needs.
Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback
Ideal Fit: Tennessee Titans
Hasselbeck wants to remain a starter, and the situation in Tennessee provides him with the perfect opportunity to be a first-stringer for another year or so. He would step into a lineup with a strong runner in place (Chris Johnson) and an intriguing No. 1 receiver in Kenny Britt. With the support of a front office that is aware of Hasselbeck's strengths, weaknesses and character (Titans vice president Mike Reinfeldt was a part of the Seahawks' front office prior to coming to Tennessee), he would have the opportunity to extend his career as a mentor to Jake Locker.
Bad Fit: Seattle Seahawks
Hasselbeck has repeatedly stated his desire to return to Seattle, but the team is poised to transition at the position. The Seahawks paid a hefty sum to acquire Charlie Whitehurst a season ago, and they need to see if he has the goods to become a franchise quarterback. Also, the team's reluctance to get a deal done prior to the lockout suggests the front office isn't completely sold on Hasselbeck as their starter in 2011. Without a strong commitment from the team to remain on board, Hasselbeck would be better served to look for greener pastures.
Mathias Kiwanuka, defensive end
Ideal Fit: New England Patriots
The Patriots love to add versatile defenders to their roster, and Kiwanukaâs experience as an defensive end/outside linebacker during his time in New York makes him an ideal fit for their hybrid 3-4. While his neck injury is a bit of a concern, his exceptional length and solid all-around game would give Bill Belichick an intriguing option off the edge.
Bad Fit: New York Giants
General manager Jerry Reese is reportedly only willing to offer a one-year contract to Kiwanuka to further assess his market value after his injury. Although it is a sensible approach based on the team's depth and talent at the position, it doesnât make sense for Kiwanuka to step back into a situation that is likely a one-and-done deal.
Tyson Clabo, guard
Ideal Fit: Denver Broncos
John Fox is serious about beefing up the Broncosâ running game, and the addition of Clabo would bring a physical presence to Denver's offensive line. Clabo's rugged style and nasty demeanor would change the complexion of the unit, while also giving runners more space to work on the perimeter. With Atlanta unable or unwilling to match his surging market value, Clabo should opt for a team that is a schematic fit for his talents.
Bad Fit: Buffalo Bills
Clabo would fill a huge void for the Bills at right tackle thanks to his exceptional size, strength and run-blocking prowess. However, the team has been at its best when it spreads the field and uses a pass-first game plan. While Clabo is certainly versatile enough to fit the bill, he would be better served to join a team that operates with a more balanced offensive philosophy.
Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.