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Day: Free-agency hits with some big names available


March 12, 2012|RedEye

Sick of Dwight Howard trade rumors? Get ready for NFL free agency madness that could dwarf the rumors surrounding the big man.

On Tuesday, NFL teams can start signing free agents. Did you hear that, Bears?

The biggest catch, of course, is quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, has already visited Arizona and Denver. Reports suggest those two are the front-runner to land him, but Manning also is visiting the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday before free-agency begins at 3 p.m.

But Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has made it clear he wants Manning, who played in college for Tennessee.

"He is the man I want. Period," Adams told the Tennessean regarding Manning. "And the people that work for me understand that. They know who I want. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans, and I will be disappointed if it doesn't happen."

Here are other big names and teams likely to be active when free-agency starts.

Bears in receivership

The No. 1 need for the Bears, by outsiders at least, is wide receiver. And there are several out there to be had. N.Y. Giants Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham, San Diego's Vincent Jackson and New Orleans' Marques Colston are among the stacked crop of receivers.

Super Mario

Another huge free-agent is Texans defensive end Mario Williams. Through five years, he has a better sacks-per-game average (0.73) than all but the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware (1.0) and the Vikings' Jared Allen (0.99), according to the Chicago Tribune. And the Bears are a front-runner to land him, accorrding to multiple reports.

Flynn and bear it

Current Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn is another prize to be had. He opened eyes big time when he passed for 480 yards and six touchdowns Jan 1. And we all know how the Packers' last quarterback turned out ...

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