In the wake of an uncapped year, there won't be very many quality unrestricted free agents available this spring. With that in mind, there will be quite a few restricted free agents who will be acquired by another team in exchange for a draft pick.
The following 10 players (listed alphabetically) offer the best value in this huge restricted free agent market. You can view what your team will have to give up for all of the restricted free agents by browsing the positions in the links above.
March 5 update
Anquan Boldin (2011 NFL Free Agent), WR, Cardinals. Age: 29.
OK, so the first guy on this list is not actually a free agent, but he is being shopped around by the Cardinals, and according to Michael Lombardi, Arizona is asking for only a third-round pick.
Anquan Boldin is one of the top receivers in the league, and he still has four or five years left of elite production. I would trade a second-rounder for him without even giving it a second thought, so any team in the NFL in need of a wideout should be calling up the Cardinals right now.
Some teams that make sense (i.e. those that would be able to re-sign Boldin after the 2010 season): Cowboys, Bears, Panthers, Falcons, Patriots, Dolphins, Bengals, Titans.
Jared Gaither (RFA), OT, Ravens. Age: 24. Tendered by Ravens (1st round)
Jared Gaither is one of the top left tackles in the NFL. Franchise left tackles don't grow on trees, and at just 24 years old, Gaither would be well worth a late first-round pick.
The Cardinals should really consider taking Gaither off Baltimore's hands. Arizona has a huge need for a left tackle, and the team won't be able to get anyone nearly as talented as Gaither at No. 26 overall.
D'Qwell Jackson (RFA), ILB, Browns. Age: 26. - 3/5
Tendered by Browns (2nd round)
D'Qwell Jackson isn't as good as his tackle numbers were indicate, but he's still a talented inside linebacker who can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4. At just 26 years old, he's well worth a low second-round pick.
If the Broncos were serious about keeping Brandon Marshall, they would have tendered him for first- and third-round picks. By giving him a first-round tender, they've opened the door for a couple of teams at the bottom of Round 1 who have a dire need for a receiver, including Baltimore and New England.
Sure, Marshall is a headcase, but at just 26 years old, he's one of the most talented wideouts in the game. He would really help Joe Flacco and the Ravens' offense reach the next level. He's well worth the No. 25 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Richard Marshall (RFA), CB, Panthers. Age: 25. Tendered by Panthers (2nd round)
Richard Marshall had a very good season for the Panthers and is only 25. I don't get why he was tendered for a mere second-round pick. Teams drafting toward the bottom of Round 2 that are in need of a corner really should consider Marshall. Options include the Jets, Steelers and Texans.
For a mere third-round pick, you can have one of the better linebackers in the NFL. I really don't get this. Perhaps Al Davis doesn't think Morrison is a "great player" anymore because he's not as fast in the 40. Or perhaps Undead Al spilled some goat blood on his tender sheet and couldn't read the names, which would explain why he gave his crappy nickel corner a first- and third-round tender.
Every 4-3 team should be interested in Morrison. The one that makes the most sense to me is the Eagles - they have two third-round selections and need to upgrade their linebacking corps. If they obtain Morrison, they can put him in the middle and slide Stewart Bradley to the strongside position.
Quinn Ojinnaka is available for a fifth-round pick. He has starting experience and can play multiple positions. Teams in search of quality depth up front should consider giving up their fifth-round pick for the versatile Ojinnaka.
Rob Sims (RFA), G, Seahawks. Age: 26. - 3/5
Tendered by Seahawks (4th round)
It's not saying much, but Rob Sims was Seattle's best offensive lineman last year. For a mere fourth-round pick, he's a heck of a bargain for any zone-blocking team that needs an upgrade at guard.
I really don't understand why you keep bashing the 49ers contracts. You have to overpay for guys when you have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Beyond that, they have nearly $70 mill in cap space even after free agency, so what's the big deal if they overspend?