Burgess collected 11 sacks last season, one year after leading the league with 16. But Tyler Brayton did not net a single quarterback takedown and has just six since his rookie season in 2003.
So, how does the team improve its pass rush?
Kevin Huntley showed promise in his debut season, notching 2.5 sacks after being inactive for the first ten games of the season. He will get a shot at increased playing time in 2007 but the depth has to be increased.
Two of the top defensive ends have already been taken off the market. Justin Smith, Charles Grant and Dwight Freeney were slapped with the franchise tag. That leaves the cupboard a little bare in terms of impact talent but it can be had:
Jared Allen, Kansas City Chiefs (restricted) – With 27 sacks in his first three seasons in the league, the Chiefs will probably tender Allen at least a first-round offer and look to match any other offer sheets he receives, but the Chiefs only have about $5 million in available cap room.
Leonard Little, St. Louis Rams – Little hasn't had fewer than seven sacks in the last six years, but the fact that he has been in the NFL for nine years will likely be cause for pause for some teams. He didn't show signs of slowing down last year, however, garnering 13 sacks.
OTHER FREE-AGENT DEFENSIVE ENDS
Rodney Bailey, Pittsburgh Steelers
Dave Ball, New York Jets (restricted)
David Bowens, Miami Dolphins
Kenyon Coleman, Dallas Cowboys
Chris Cooper, Arizona Cardinals
Nick Eason, Cleveland Browns
Robert Gaethers, Cincinnati Bengals (restricted)
Brandon Green, St. Louis Rams
Tony Hargrove, Buffalo Bills (restricted)
Jarret Johnson, Baltimore Ravens
Ndukwe Kalu, Houston Texans
Chris Kelsay, Buffalo Bills
Patrick Kerney, Atlanta Falcons (could opt out)
Leonard Little, St. Louis Rams
Bobby McCray, Jacksonville Jaguars (restricted)
Alvin McKinley, Cleveland Browns
Elton Patterson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Antwaan Peek, Houston Texans
Monsanto Pope, New York Jets
Kemp Rasmussen, Seattle Seahawks
Cory Redding, Detroit Lions
Bo Schobel, Indianapolis Colts (restricted)
Darrion Scott, Minnesota Vikings (restricted)
Joe Tafoya, Seattle Seahawks
Josh Thomas, Indianapolis Colts (restricted)
Juqua Thomas, Philadelphia Eagles
Dewayne White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Marcellus Wiley, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bryant Young, San Francisco 49ers (could opt out)