Crystal balling: Bold predictions for free agency

With the clock about to strike midnight in the East, here’s a look at how some of the top players could begin to come off the market. A handful of players will get new deals tonight, with DE Julius Peppers and LB Karlos Dansby likely in line for the biggest paydays.

Peppers — Washington is making a strong push and Dan Snyder generally gets his guy. Word is swirling that Peppers is on the verge of getting a massive contract from the Redskins. Seattle and Chicago are also suitors.

Dansby — Miami has been linked with him for quite some time and remain favorites.

CB Dunta Robinson — He’s Atlanta’s top target, and I expect them to get their man. Washington could be a dark horse.

WR Antonio Bryant — There is a healthy market for what many consider the top receiver on the market, and the Dolphins are again a key team to watch.

DE Aaron Kampman — If the Bears can’t land Peppers, this is their top prize. Seattle also in the mix.

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch — Seattle is a strong possibility. Detroit also will be in the mix.

RB Chester Taylor — Detroit, his hometown team, is a favorite. KC, Chicago, Denver and Buffalo are also interested.

S Antel Rolle — Chicago came on strong, and Miami and the Giants are also in the hunt. The Cardinals would like to keep him as well, but if he gets the $8-million per season he covets, that might out-price them.

WR Nate Burleson — Chicago, Baltimore, KC and Detroit will show interest, and Seattle would like to keep him.

I also expect, when all is said and done, that LBs Gary Brackett and Scott Fujita will end up back with their current teams, the Colts and Saints, respectively. S Darren Sharper could well end up back with New Orleans as well.

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