2011 team - Denver Broncos
2012 team – Denver Broncos
Bunkley started 13 games for the Broncos in 2011 amassing 33 tackles despite not getting a sack or forced fumble. In 2012, Bunkley asserted his reputation as a reputable Defensive Tackle in the NFL, garnering the praise of his star team mate Elvis Dumervil. Although he will most likely be allowed to test the Free Agency market come March 13th, I reckon he will be re-signed or franchise tagged by the Broncos despite attracting attention from New Orleans.
2011 team - Cincinnati Bengals
2012 team – Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have reportedly offered Fanene a new contract after totalling 17 tackles and 6.5 sacks in the 2011 season. Fanene was a crucial cog in the success of the Bengals defense in 2011. Therefore I expect him to re-sign with the Bengals in 2012. That being said, there are rumours that the versatile Fanene will sign with the Broncos, which would potentially be catalysed by the departure of Bunkley.
2011 team – New Orleans Saints
2012 team – New Orleans Saints
After a relatively disappointing season, without any sacks, you may be surprised at the Saints for resigning Franklin, however I predict that they do whilst picking up a young DT in the draft to groom under him. As one of the best Nose Tackles in the game, keeping him for 2012 would be in the interests of the Saints.
2011 team – Tennessee Titans
2012 team – St. Louis Rams
Jason Jones is arguably the top three-technique Defensive Tackle in Free Agency and after only having played four seasons, he is also one of the youngest. After amassing 3 more sacks to total 15.5 in his first four seasons, Jason Jones is the Defensive Tackle to look out for in Free Agency. I predict that Jeff Fischer, having moved to the Rams, will want to get Jones back on his own team, thus boosting the Rams Defensive Line.
2011 team – San Diego Chargers
2012 team – Kansas City Chiefs
After a productive season for them in 2011, with 2.5 sacks and 37 tackles, the Chargers will want to sign him. However I doubt he will be re-signed before the start of Free Agency, thus allowing him to test the market. The Chargers will struggle to resign him and I predict they will be outbid by a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, who are in need of a decent Nose Tackle.
2011 team – Kansas City Chiefs
2012 – Relaxing on a beach in Florida
Despite having another productive season in his 12th year, Gregg is likely to retire at the grand old age of 35. Although he could serve as a situational Nose Tackle, I think it is more likely Gregg will hang up his boots to retire in Florida or somewhere else warm, maybe Arizona.
2011 team – New York Jets
2012 team – New York Jets
Pouha was the rock of the New York Jets defence in 2011, totalling 41 tackles with a sack. The Jets would love to re-sign him, although with their limited cap room it is unlikely they will be able to use a franchise tag. However at 33 I don’t think other teams will want to sign Pouha to a long term deal he will be looking for, thus allowing the Jets to re-sign him.
2011 team – Miami Dolphins
2012 team – San Diego Chargers
The Dolphins have been unable to reach an agreement with Soliai since the end of the 2011 season. After being franchise tagged in 2011 the dolphins will let him leave in Free Agency. As a top Nose Tackle Soliai will attract plenty of interest but his high contract may put off a few teams. I predict Soliai will travel to the sunny west coast landing with the San Diego Chargers as a replacement for Antonio Garay, who signs with the chiefs.