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Six free-agent fits that make sense

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With free agency set to kick off in less than a month, let's take a look at six player-to-team fits that make plenty of sense:

Mark Sanchez to the Bills


The Bills cannot afford to march into September without a veteran to compete with the scattershot QB EJ Manuel. The pairing of coach Rex Ryan and Sanchez fizzled out in Florham Park, but bringing the former Jets quarterback to Buffalo feels like a no-brainer. It's depressing to ponder that Sanchez sits atop our ranking of free-agent passers, but he would serve as an adequate bridge quarterback for a Bills team that (a) sports a nasty defense and (b) promises to ground-and-pound the ball under new play-caller Greg Roman. That formula worked well for Rexy and The Sanchize in back-to-back trips to the AFC title game way back when.

Cecil Shorts to the Browns


The Browns desperately need warm bodies at wideout to fill the void left by Josh Gordon. Shorts is a Cleveland native who played his college ball at nearby Mt. Union. The pairing would give the Browns a solid No. 2 wideout who averaged 58 catches for 771 yards per season over the past three years on a Jaguars team lacking consistency under center. We expect the Browns to find a potential lead pass-catcher with the No. 12 overall pick in April's draft, but Shorts would hit town as an affordable complementary weapon.

Julius Thomas to the Raiders

While Denver mulls a potentially massive deal for wideout Demaryius Thomas, Julius has told the Broncos he wants to be among the NFL's highest-paid players at his position. We expect the pass-catching tight end to draw a legion of suitors, but nobody has more cash to play with than the down-and-out Raiders. It would fill an immediate need for Oakland with only David Ausberry and Mychal Rivera at the position, while giving young quarterback Derek Carr a legitimate target to base the passing game around.

Byron Maxwell to the Falcons


New Falcons coach Dan Quinn was hired to fix a bend-and-break defense that finished dead last in the league. Cornerbacks always do well in free agency, but Maxwell makes the most sense for Atlanta, where he would form a deadly duo with Desmond Trufant. Seahawks general manager John Schneider wants Maxwell back, but acknowledged that Around The NFL's top-ranked free-agent cover man might cost too much for Seattle to keep around.

C.J. Spiller to the Jets

The Spiller-to-Gang Green rumors bubbled up as soon as New York inked Chan Gailey as their new play-caller. That makes sense after the former Bills coach milked 1,703 total yards out of the runner just two seasons ago. The Jets are a solid bet to dump Chris Johnson, making room for a tantalizing Spiller and Chris Ivory combination come September. Speaking of a potential reunion with Gailey, C.J. went on record last month to say "that would be a perfect match." We agree.

Jordan Cameron to the Seahawks


It was just four months ago when Seattle tried peddling Percy Harvin to the Browns in exchange for Cameron. The Seahawks could use a play-making tight end to fortify their skittish passing attack. If they don't wind up chasing down Julius Thomas in free agency, Cameron -- who isn't expected to re-sign with the Browns -- would give the 'Hawks a fascinating young target just one season removed from a 917-yard outburst. Cameron's concussion history is concerning, but if he stays healthy, Seattle could land him at a bargain price.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes Malcolm Butler to the show and plays a free agency edition of "Who Do You Trust?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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