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Groundwork being laid for possible deals

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Call it the calm before the storm.

As the weekend came to a close, leaving reduced time before the beginning of the 2013 league year at 4 p.m. Eastern Tuesday, groundwork has been laid for possible deals with an expected onslaught Tuesday afternoon.

Perhaps the most notable news emerging Sunday was the speculation coming from Atlanta that tight end Tony Gonzalez is on the verge of returning to the Falcons rather than retiring.

Late in the season, and during the postseason, Gonzalez let it be known he was 95 percent sure the 2012 season was his last. However, the Falcons held out hope they could convince him to come back for another season.

Yahoo! Sports reported early Sunday that a Falcons player said Gonzalez would re-sign if his contract was in the $7 million range and if "he doesn't have to do training camp."

USA Today subsequently reported that "a person familiar with Gonzalez's thinking," said he will inform the Falcons of his desire to continue playing.

The source said, "There's a pretty darn good chance that he comes back. He's been chasing that Super Bowl for a long time. If I was a betting man, I'd say he'd be on the side of trying to come back."

The weekend was filled with reports of players receiving interest from teams.

It was reported that Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger is being pursued by Indianapolis and Cleveland. Miami, after re-signing wide receiver Brian Hartline, is said to be making a bold move for Pittsburgh wide receiver Mike Wallace and perhaps St. Louis wide receiver Brandon Gibson.

Browns receiver/kick returner Josh Cribbs has reported interest from five teams (Arizona, Dallas, New England, New York Giants and San Francisco); Jets defensive end Mike DeVito from six unknown teams; Tennessee defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (five teams); Bears linebacker Nick Roach (six teams); Tampa Bay defensive end Michael Bennett (multiple teams); Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril (four teams) and defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill (four teams).

And that's likely the tip of the iceberg.

There were some more re-signings Sunday as Washington reached agreement with two more restricted free agents: linebacker Rob Jackson and long snapper Nick Sundberg, while Cincinnati re-signed potential unrestricted free-agent kicker Mike Nugent and the Jets re-signed potential restricted free-agent linebacker Josh Mauga.

As rumored Saturday, the Cardinals announced the release of wide receiver Early Doucet.

The following is the updated position-by-position list of top free agents available. The figures in parentheses are the franchise and transition tenders.

Quarterbacks ($14.896/$13.068 million)

Jason Campbell, Chicago

David Carr, N.Y. Giants

Drew Stanton, Indianapolis

Matt Leinart, Oakland

Brady Quinn, Kansas City

Running Backs ($8.219/$6.970 million)

Steven Jackson, St. Louis

Reggie Bush, Miami

Shonn Greene, N.Y. Jets

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh

Cedric Benson, Green Bay

Ahmad Bradshaw (released by Giants)

Best of the rest: Michael Turner (released by Falcons); Felix Jones, Dallas; LaRod Stephens-Howling, Arizona

Wide Receivers ($10.537/$8.867 million)

Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh

Greg Jennings, Green Bay

Wes Welker, New England

Danny Amendola, St. Louis

Devery Henderson, New Orleans

Best of the rest: Jerome Simpson, Minnesota; Steve Breaston (released by Chiefs); Julian Edelman, New England; Ted Ginn, San Francisco; Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland

Tight Ends ($6.066/$5.194 million)

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta

Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets

Fred Davis, Washington

Delanie Walker, San Francisco

Martellus Bennett, N.Y. Giants

Best of the rest: Jared Cook, Tennessee; Anthony Fasano, Miami; James, Casey, Houston; David Thomas (released by Saints)

Tackles ($9.828/$8.709 million)

Ryan Clady, Denver (franchised)

Jake Long, Miami

Branden Albert, Kansas City (franchised)

Andre Smith, Cincinnati

Sebastian Vollmer, New England

Best of the rest: Phil Loadholt, Minnesota; Eric Winston (released by Chiefs); Gosder Cherilus, Detroit; Sam Baker, Atlanta; Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans; Bryant McKinnie, Baltimore; Winston Justice, Indianapolis

Guards ($9.828/$8.709 million)

Andy Levitre, Buffalo

Brandon Moore, N.Y. Jets

Lance Louis, Chicago

Louis Vasquez, San Diego

Kevin Boothe, N.Y. Giants

Best of the rest: Stephen Peterman (released by Lions); Ramon Foster, Pittsburgh

Defensive Ends ($11.175/$9.151 million)

Michael Bennett, Tampa Bay

Michael Johnson, Cincinnati (franchised)

Cliff Avril, Detroit

Osi Umenyiora, N.Y. Giants

John Abraham (released by Falcons)

Best of the rest: Robert Geathers, Cincinnati; Kyle Vanden Bosch (released by Lions); Israel Idonije, Chicago

Defensive Tackles ($8.45/$7.039 million)

Henry Melton, Chicago (franchised)

Randy Starks, Miami (franchised)

Chris Canty, (released by Giants)

Sammie Lee Hill, Detroit

Corey Williams, Detroit

Best of the rest: Sedrick Ellis, New Orleans

Outside Linebackers ($9.619/$8.358 million)

Anthony Spencer (DE), Dallas (franchised)

Paul Kruger (DE), Baltimore

Dwight Freeney (DE), Indianapolis

Shaun Phillips, San Diego

Connor Barwin, Houston

James Harrison (released by Steelers)

Best of the rest: Calvin Pace (released by Jets); Michael Boley (released by Giants); Erik Walden, Green Bay

Inside Linebackers ($9.619/$8.358 million)

Dannell Ellerbe, Baltimore

Scott Shanle, New Orleans

Rey Maualuga, Cincinnati

Brian Urlacher, Chicago

Bart Scott (released by Jets)

Best of the rest: Stewart Bradley (released by Cardinals)

Cornerbacks ($10.854/$9.095 million)

Brent Grimes, Atlanta

Sean Smith, Miami

Mike Jenkins, Dallas

Derek Cox, Jacksonville

Cary Williams, Baltimore

Best of the rest: Chris Gamble (released by Panthers); Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Philadelphia; Bradley Fletcher, St. Louis; Chris Houston, Detroit; Aqib Talib, New England; Nate Clements, Cincinnati

Safeties ($6.916/$6.002 million)

Dashon Goldson, San Francisco

Jairus Byrd, Buffalo (franchised)

Glover Quin, Houston

Ed Reed, Baltimore

LaRon Landry, N.Y. Jets

Best of the rest: Louis Delmas, Detroit; Kenny Phillips, N.Y. Giants; Corey Lynch, San Diego; Dawan Landry (released by Jaguars); Adrian Wilson, Arizona (released by Cardinals); Eric Smith (released by Jets)

Kickers ($2.977 million)

Phil Dawson, Cleveland

Josh Brown, Cincinnati

Lawrence Tynes, N.Y. Giants

Jason Hanson, Detroit

Nick Folk, N.Y. Jets

Punters ($2.977 million)

Shane Lechler, Oakland

Donnie Jones, Houston

Pat McAfee, Indianapolis (franchised)

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