However, one of the rules of this uncapped year limits any player with less than six years of service to restricted free agency.
A whole lot of players who will be at the end of their rookie contracts will most likely have to defer the big payday they have earned. Teams will have an incentive to place high tenders on anybody worth keeping. That leads to very unexciting prospects for those who thrive on offseason action.
An uncapped year does not necessarily mean spending will go through the roof.
There are a couple of teams, most notably Washington and Dallas, who are always itching to bust through the cap.
However, there are also several teams, particularly the ones in smaller markets, that will probably want to go under what appears to be the minimum salary floor.
In any case, all teams will have to plan as if there will be a new salary cap in 2011, which may temper even Daniel Snyder's urges to collect big name players.
This analysis will not consider any of the fourth- and fifth-year restricted free agents, at least not until there's hope of a new agreement.
I'll cover the bigger names who just might change uniforms next season, then list the players who I believe will re-sign with their current teams but are still worth watching.
Aaron Kampman, Packers - Kampman is a stud DE horribly miscast as an OLB in Dom Capers' defense. Since he was so out of place this year, he won't command top dollar. Kampman is going to make some team that still uses a 4-3 scheme very happy. I really like the idea of Kampman lining up on the other side of Trent Cole in Philadelphia.
Julius Peppers, Panthers - Peppers has to be discussed, considering the contention over his franchise tag from last year. One year later, Peppers claims all those issues are ancient history, and his play justified the insane amount of money Carolina will have to pay to keep him. I have no doubt they'll do it.
Karlos Dansby, Cardinals - Somebody's going to offer Dansby $11-12 million a year, and I doubt it will be Bill Bidwill. Bertrand Berry's retirement may motivate them to come to terms with last year's franchise tag player. On the other hand, Dansby's could fit right in with any defensive scheme, opening up his market. I like Miami to make the winning play for him.
Dre' Bly, 49ers - San Francisco outbid the Redskins three years ago for Bly but probably aren't inclined to enter that battle again. Snyder is probably still interested, if only for the headlines he will generate when Washington throws too much money at him.
Leigh Bodden, Patriots - Bodden signed a one-year deal to try to prove his worth and position himself for the uncapped year. Smart move. He certainly proved his value to the Patriots, but there are a few teams out there who are desperate for a starting cornerback. One such team is Atlanta, who can't face Drew Brees twice a season with the likes of Brent Grimes and Chris Houston another year.
Sean Jones, Eagles - Jerry Jones will have to make at least one high-profile free agent signing to keep him busy. Sean Jones will have an easier time trying to replace Ken Hamlin in Dallas than he did trying to fill the shoes of Brian Dawkins.
Jermaine Phillips, Bucs - While the news is still fresh about his domestic abuse charges, Phillips could well be shopping himself while wearing a pending suspension. Tanard Jackson played well enough in relief that Tampa Bay will find Phillips expendable. This may keep him unsigned until after the beginning of next season.
Dunta Robinson, Texans - Like Peppers, Robinson squealed about having the franchise tag used on him last year but now says he has no hard feelings, even if they use the franchise tag on him again. Considering they just barely cobbled together a run defense during the season, Houston will almost certainly pay the man.
Probably staying put
Derrick Burgess, Patriots
Adewale Ogunleye, Bears
Richard Seymour, Raiders
Will Smith, Saints
Kyle Vanden Bosch, Titans
Jimmy Wilkerson, Bucs
Gary Brackett, Colts
Keith Bulluck, Titans
Brandon Chillar, Packers
Larry Foote, Lions
Scott Fujita, Saints
Jason Taylor, Dolphins
Mike Brown, Chiefs
Nick Harper, Titans
Bryan Scott, Bills
Darren Sharper, Saints
By Sean Haugh, IDPs expert at Fantasy Football Maniaxs