The NFL offseason is in full swing, and 2020 NFL free agency is off and running. Teams are negotiating with free agents, and they’re already striking deals to re-sign players — and make trades — while rumors are flowing on all the latest news across the league.
Which teams will sign the biggest free agents? What does Tom Brady‘s future hold? Which teams are most active in free agency, and what are we hearing on the trade front?
We’re tracking every notable NFL free-agent signing, trade and cut of the offseason below, with the most recent moves at the top.
After a pair of significant moves on their defensive front Monday, the San Francisco 49ers closed the day by taking another big step toward keeping their defense largely intact, as they agreed to terms on a new three-year, $28.5 million deal with free safety Jimmie Ward, according to a league source.
The Detroit Lions started rebuilding the interior of their defensive line Monday night by agreeing to a two-year, $10 million deal with former Chicago defensive tackle Nick Williams, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Wide receiver Randall Cobb, who played for the Dallas Cowboys last season, is headed to the Houston Texans on a three-year, $27 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Todd Archer. The deal includes $18.75 million in guaranteed money.
The Buffalo Bills have agreed to a three-year deal with free-agent defensive end Mario Addison, a league source told ESPN on Monday. The former Carolina Panthers pass-rusher reunites with Bills general manager Brandon Beane, head coach Sean McDermott and defensive line coach Eric Washington — all of whom are familiar with Addison from their time with the Panthers.
The Washington Redskins pounced on a chance to get cornerback Kendall Fuller back with the organization. Two years after trading him to Kansas City as part of a deal for quarterback Alex Smith, the Redskins reached an agreement with Fuller to return on a four-year deal, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Field Yates says it is good the Cowboys re-signed Amari Cooper so they can now focus on Dak Prescott.
Wide receiver Amari Cooper intends to re-sign with the Dallas Cowboys on a five-year, $100 million deal, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal has $60 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Former New Orleans Saints linebacker A.J. Klein signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, a source confirmed to ESPN. Klein previously played under head coach Sean McDermott with the Carolina Panthers.
Former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant reached an agreement with the New York Jets on a three-year, $30 million deal that includes $13.7 million guaranteed, according to reporting by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter.
Now that Marcus Mariota has agreed to terms with the Raiders, the NFL Live crew questions what might happen to Derek Carr.
Former Cleveland Browns safety Eric Murray reached an agreement Monday with the Houston Texans on a three-year deal worth up to $20.25 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Murray played in nine games with the Browns last season, making four starts. He totaled 24 tackles, one sack and one pass defended.
The NFL announced special procedures for free agency and postponed the offseason training activities indefinitely on Monday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the NFL said that clubs aren’t allowed to bring any free agent “to a club facility or other location to meet with club personnel. Further, club personnel, including members of the club medical staff, may not travel to any location to meet with or conduct a medical examination of a free agent player.”
The San Francisco 49ers are bringing back reserve offensive tackle Shon Coleman on a one-year deal. He spent all of 2019 on injured reserve with a fractured ankle. He was expected to be the “swing” tackle before his preseason injury. This is a depth move for the Niners as they head toward the new league year on Wednesday.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave has reached agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year, $39 million deal with $26 million fully guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, making Hargrave the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL.
Free-agent tight end Jimmy Graham has agreed with the Chicago Bears on a two-year, $16 million deal, including $9 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Graham became a free agent when the Packers released him on March 12.
The Seattle Seahawks gave restricted free agent Jacob Hollister a second-round tender, a source told ESPN. That’s worth $3.259 million for 2020 and would entitle the Seahawks to a second-round pick if they decline to match another team’s offer for Hollister. The Seahawks have the potential for a loaded tight end group with Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Hollister.
The Carolina Panthers agreed to a two-year, $12.5 million deal with former Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly. The 2016 seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt is the type of player Carolina is looking for in a rebuild under Matt Rhule. He’s a young up-and-comer and fills a need on a defensive line that is being retooled. He also is relatively inexpensive.
The Atlanta Falcons are releasing cornerback Desmond Trufant, according to multiple reports. The move saves the Falcons $4.95 million against the salary cap. Trufant had three years and $35.25 million left on his contract. The Falcons were looking for salary-cap relief as they attempt to target an impact pass-rusher in free agency.
The New York Giants will be adding some high-end talent to their defensive backfield. They have agreed to terms with former Carolina Panthers cornerback James Bradberry, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, to the tune of three years, $45 million and $32 million guaranteed.
The Miami Dolphins are poised to sign S Clayton Fejedelem to a three-year deal, according to his agent, Mike McCartney. Fejedelem served as a special-teams ace and reserve safety for the Bengals for the past four seasons.
With their former starting right tackle Jack Conklin having agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns, the Tennessee Titans have re-signed tackle Dennis Kelly to a three-year, $21 million deal, per reporting by ESPN’s Field Yates. The deal includes $8.75 million guaranteed.
The New Orleans Saints have made their first big move of free agency, agreeing to a deal that will keep defensive tackle David Onyemata in New Orleans, a source confirmed to ESPN. Onyemata, 27, has been a big reason for the resurgence of New Orleans’ run defense, which led the NFL over a two-year span from 2018 to 2019, allowing just 85.8 rushing yards per game. But he also has enough athleticism for his size to aid in the pass rush, compiling 9.5 sacks over the past three seasons.
One of the top free-agent offensive linemen is off the market. Jack Conklin agreed to terms on a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns for $42 million, with $30 million fully guarantee, according to reporting by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Browns and OT Jack Conklin agree to a three-year, $42 million deal to fortify Cleveland’s offensive line and provide Baker Mayfield with more protection.
The Washington Redskins will re-sign veteran linebacker Jon Bostic, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates, an expected move after the team had checked out other players at the position. The source said Bostic will sign a two-year contract with a base value of $5 million and $1.75 million guaranteed.
The Indianapolis Colts traded their first-round pick (13th overall) to the San Francisco 49ers for All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Buckner has already agreed to a massive contract that pays him $21 million a year and makes him the second-highest paid DT in NFL history behind only Aaron Donald, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs sent the rumor mill into a frenzy with a series of two tweets on Monday afternoon. Stay tuned!
it’s time for a new beginning.
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) March 16, 2020
Nah this ain’t one of them times champ. Somethings going to happen.
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) March 16, 2020
Booger McFarland and Josina Anderson speculate that Stefon Diggs isn’t happy with the Vikings signing Kirk Cousins to a two-year contract extension.
The Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to a three-year contract with former Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. A former fourth-round pick out of West Virginia, Kwiatkoski enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 with 76 tackles, 3 sacks and an interception in eight starts at inside linebacker.
The Miami Dolphins have agree to terms with former Buffalo Bills edge rusher Shaq Lawson, a source told ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe. Lawson was an early target of the Dolphins to address the team’s pass-rush issues. He played for Dolphins defensive-line coach Marion Hobby at Clemson.
The 2016 first-round pick made the most out of a do-or-die 2019 season, before which the Bills declined to exercise the defensive end’s fifth-year option.
With the Atlanta Falcons losing tight end Austin Hooper, they moved quickly to get themselves another young player at the position in Hayden Hurst. The Falcons also get a 2020 fourth-round pick from Baltimore, and are sending the Ravens a 2020 second-round pick and 2020 fifth-round pick.
The Dallas Cowboys and tight end Blake Jarwin are in agreement on a new deal that keeps him with the team for four years, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates. The deal has a maximum value of $24.5 million, and includes $9.25 million in guaranteed money.
The San Francisco 49ers and defensive lineman Arik Armstead are closing in on a five-year contract, a source told ESPN. He finished the regular season with 54 tackles, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and had two sacks and a forced fumble in three playoff games while lining up on the edge and the interior.
The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans completed a trade Monday sending wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona and running back David Johnson to Houston, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Cardinals also receive a 2020 fourth-round pick, while the Texans receive a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 fourth-round pick.
Austin Hooper has agreed to a four-year contract with the Cleveland Browns that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid tight end. Hooper told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure the deal is worth $44 million, with $23 million guaranteed. Hooper, 25, is coming off his best NFL season, with 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns in 2019. He posted those numbers despite missing three games with an MCL sprain.
As the legal tampering period kicks off at noon, would fully expect the Colts to pursue former Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers, though Indianapolis also will look at other QB options.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 16, 2020
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 16, 2020
Stephen A. Smith remarks on Kirk Cousins’ continued ability to secure big paydays despite limited playoff success.
ESPN Staff Writer
In an expected move, the Steelers tag OLB Bud Dupree. The tag will run the Steelers an estimated $16.12M, but Dupree’s tag means the team will have to part with some veterans to make room for the 27-year-old pass rusher in an already tight cap. Coming off a career year, Dupree made himself an indispensable part of the Steelers’ defense — no matter the cost. A year ago, Dupree and OLB TJ Watt combined for 26 sacks. Now the Steelers will keep the tandem together for at least one more year.
Christian Kirksey has agreed to terms on a two-year, $16 million dollar deal with the Green Bay Packers. Kirksey was limited to nine games total the past two seasons, but had 138 tackles in 2017, his last 16-game campaign with the Cleveland Browns.
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Getting former Browns inside linebacker Christian Kirksey on a 2-year, $16 million deal gives the Packers a new look in the middle of their defense, where Blake Martinez patrolled the last four years. But is Kirskey an upgrade? He might be if he can stay healthy. But he hasn’t finished a season in the last two years, playing seven games in 2018 and just two in 2019. He as familiarity with the Packers’ scheme, having played for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Cleveland.
The Kansas City Chiefs were unable to reach a long-term deal with Chris Jones before Monday’s deadline to use the franchise tag, so they placed the tag on their star defensive lineman, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jones, who turns 26 in July, led the Chiefs in sacks in each of the past two seasons.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed the franchise tag on linebacker Shaquil Barrett, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. After signing a one-year “prove it” deal with the Bucs for $4 million last offseason, Barrett did just that. In his first year as a full-time starter, Barrett went from fighting for a job in the fourth preseason game to finishing with a league-high 19.5 sacks.
The New York Giants are expected to place their tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams on Monday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Giants acquired Williams from the New York Jets in a surprise midseason trade, giving up two draft picks.
Notes on the NFL’s legal negotiating window, which begins at Noon EST today:
▫️Teams may speak with the agents of free agents to be
▫️Players without an agent may NOT speak to teams
▫️Terms of a deal can be agreed to, but no deals are signed or official
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 16, 2020
New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty announced the news of his own signing Sunday night, saying he is foregoing free agency to return to the team this season. The deal is for two years and $23 million, a source told ESPN.
ESPN Staff Writer
The Patriots’ re-signing of safety Devin McCourty, which was announced by McCourty himself, ensures that the team brings back a pillar on and off the field. McCourty, 32, is still playing at a high level, as his role in tying together communication across the secondary is critical in the team’s ever-evolving defense. At a time when Tom Brady’s future with the team hangs in the balance, bringing back McCourty, and also Matthew Slater, keeps two of the franchise’s top all-time leaders in the fold.
The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a three-year, $12 million extension with defensive tackle Tyeler Davison, who started 12 of 16 games in his first year with the team last season. Davison’s deal includes $4.5 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN.
Cornerback Bradley Roby has agreed to terms with the Houston Texans, a source confirmed to ESPN. Last offseason, Roby signed in Houston on a one-year, prove-it deal. He played in 10 games for Houston in 2019, missing five games in the middle of the season as he recovered from a hamstring injury.
Cornerbacks could get paid. The pass-rusher market is thin. And will any team pay the free-agent running backs? Here’s what Dan Graziano is hearing ahead of the legal tampering period.
The Tennessee Titans have agreed on a four-year deal with Ryan Tannehill that will pay the quarterback up to $118 million, a source tells ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. The deal, which has an average annual value of $29.5 million, includes $62 million fully guaranteed, the source told Darlington.
The Titans have agreed to a deal with QB Ryan Tannehill a source confirmed to ESPN. Tannehill’s return gives them the QB that sparked the offense last season.
In Weeks 7 – 17 the Titans ranked first in yards per play (6.9) and third with 406.2 yards per game. Smith’s offense scored 30.4 points per game in that stretch (3rd best) and scored touchdowns on 34% of their drives (2nd best).
The Indianapolis Colts have agreed to terms with longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo on a contract extension, the team announced Sunday. The Colts did not disclose terms, but Castonzo will sign a two-year extension worth $33 million, according to ESPN and multiple reports.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed in principle to trade Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2020 fifth-round pick, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Campbell will try to finalize an extension with Baltimore.
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Ravens are trading a fifth-round pick for Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, which is a remarkable move in terms of fit and value. Baltimore, which ranked 21st in the NFL in sacks, upgrades its pass rush with Campbell, who has 31.5 sacks over last three seasons. And the Ravens acquired him with a fifth-round pick that they received from the Vikings for backup kicker Kaare Vedvik.
NFL players voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement with the league’s owners, ensuring NFL labor peace through at least 2030 and clearing the way for a 17-game regular season as early as 2021. The vote to approve was close, at 1019-959. Approval required a majority of the players voting.
Multiple team officials are skeptical that the NFL will be able to start its league year next week, expressing doubt to ESPN’s Adam Schefter given the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country and the typical in-person visits, including physicals, that would have to happen as part of free agency.
The Houston Texans have signed cornerback Phillip Gaines to a one-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN. Gaines played in six games for Houston in 2019 before injuring his ankle and missing the rest of the season.
The Washington Redskins have placed their franchise tag on guard Brandon Scherff, the team announced Saturday. There is no doubting Scherff’s talent, but he has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons, missing a combined 13 games.
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The Redskins made it official what was long expected: They placed the franchise tag on right guard Brandon Scherff, ensuring he will stick around. They would like to work out a long-term deal and have until July 15 to do so. Multiple sources had said all offseason they would end up placing the tag on Scherff. New coach Ron Rivera has said often that he wanted to retain Scherff and free agent left guard Ereck Flowers.
Atlanta Falcons impending free-agent tight end Austin Hooper was flattered to hear about the strong interest he could draw in free agency with the new league year scheduled to begin Wednesday. The 25-year-old Hooper, a two-time Pro Bowler, should be the top tight end on the market after the Los Angeles Chargers placed the franchise tag on Hunter Henry.
The Detroit Lions re-signed long-snapper Don Muhlbach on Saturday, bringing him back for a 17th season with the club he first started playing for in 2004. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, but in the past few seasons, he has typically signed a minimum salary benefit contract.
The Buffalo Bills have re-signed tight end Jason Croom to a one-year contract, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates. An exclusive rights free agent, Croom missed the entire 2019 season with a hamstring injury but caught 22 passes for 258 yards in 2018.
The Baltimore Ravens re-signed kick returner De’Anthony Thomas on Saturday but they’ll likely bring in competition for that spot in the offseason. Thomas, 27, was an average returner who didn’t make as many explosive plays as expected.
Throughout the offseason, there have been some not-so-subtle hints that the makeup of the Minnesota Vikings roster is going to experience big changes. Here’s a look at the most pressing items on Minnesota’s to-do list.
The Miami Dolphins have the biggest pot in the 2020 NFL free-agency pool, and they are getting ready to make a dramatic overhaul of their roster. But don’t expect Miami to go on a big-fish shopping sweepstakes. Even with the NFL’s most cap space, the Dolphins are approaching free agency with selective aggression.
The Indianapolis Colts have nearly $86 million in salary-cap space and players who could immediately help are available. Their $85.5 million in salary-cap space is second only to the Miami Dolphins‘ $88.5 million.
The New England Patriots are bringing back longtime captain Matthew Slater, with the sides agreeing to a two-year extension, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates. The deal is similar to Slater’s previous contract, a two-year deal that averaged $2.6 million per year. Slater, who turns 35 in September, has been the Patriots’ special-teams captain every year since 2011. The eight-time Pro Bowl selection is an inspirational and spiritual leader. Coach Bill Belichick has him address players and coaches after every victory.
ESPN Staff Writer
The Patriots’ two-year extension with special teams captain Matthew Slater ensures that the club’s inspirational leader returns, which was a top priority. Slater, 34, was scheduled to be a free agent, and his presence might take on added importance this year as the Patriots have a coaching transition on special teams with Joe Judge departing to become Giants head coach. On the field, he still commands significant attention from the opposition, even at this latter stage of his career.
The Chicago Bears signed veteran inside linebacker Danny Trevathan to a three-year extension, the team announced Friday. Chicago opted to retain Trevathan even though fellow inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, 26, also is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Kwiatkoski is expected to generate substantial interest in free agency when the new NFL league year begins Wednesday.
The makeup of the Minnesota Vikings‘ defense changed in a major way Friday when the team announced it had terminated the contracts of cornerback Xavier Rhodes and nose tackle Linval Joseph. Five days ahead of the start of the new league year and free agency, which is set to begin at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the Vikings created significant salary cap space ($18.5 million, $22.25 million in cash) by releasing the two veteran players.
The Detroit Lions have released starting right tackle Rick Wagner with two years left on a five-year deal he signed entering 2017. Wagner was due to make $9 million in cash in 2020 and had a cap charge of $11.9 million against the salary cap. In releasing him, the Lions save $6.1 million against the cap but do take a hit of $5.8 million of dead money.
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The Lions cutting starting RT Rick Wagner, who would have had an $11.9 million cap hit, comes in part because of his cost for 2020 and also because of their confidence in Tyrell Crosby, who was the team’s swing tackle last season. It also means the team’s two big 2017 free agent signings on the offensive line of T.J. Lang and Wagner are gone.
The Cincinnati Bengals and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn officially ended their tumultuous relationship on Friday. Cincinnati released Glenn, who played in six games in 2019 and was in the middle of a four-year contract worth more than $46 million that was set to expire after the 2020 season. The Bengals will gain $9.5 million in salary-cap space and will not owe Glenn any additional money.
The Los Angeles Chargers have put their franchise tag on tight end Hunter Henry, the team announced Friday. Henry, who turned 25 in December, set single-season career highs in receptions (55) and receiving yards (652) last season. The Chargers also released veteran DT Brandon Mebane and LB Thomas Davis Sr. in an effort to create room under the salary cap.
The Chargers have placed the franchise tag on TE Hunter Henry, which ensures that he will remain with the team through the 2020 season. The designation also allows for the Chargers to continue negotiating a long-term contract with Henry, who they have considered a promising tight end to replace future Hall of Fame player Antonio Gates. The franchise tag is expected to pay Henry about $11.1 million in 2020, if the two sides don’t reach a long-term deal.
The Denver Broncos have used the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons. Simmons, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft who is set to enter his fifth season, was poised to be an unrestricted free agent, but Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said at the combine he would use the franchise tag to retain him if a long-term contract couldn’t be reached.
The Tennessee Titans released veteran kicker Ryan Succop and tight end Delanie Walker on Friday. Releasing Succop frees up $2 million in salary-cap space but costs the team $2.1 million in dead money. Walker, 35, spent the past seven seasons with the Titans but has been limited to a total of eight games over the past two seasons because of an ankle injury and resulting complications.
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Ravens place the franchise tag on linebacker Matthew Judon on Friday. The tag will cost between $16 million and $18 million, which will take up over half of Baltimore’s projected $30 million salary cap space and limit what the team can do in free agency. Baltimore couldn’t risk losing Judon. Addressing the pass rush has become an offseason priority for the Ravens after ranking 21st in the league with 37 sacks, their fewest since 2015.
The 2020 free-agent market is set to open Monday with a three-day negotiating period for players with expiring contracts. Deals can be formalized beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. Here is everything you need to know about the market, and the players available.
Tennessee could be an attractive landing spot for quarterback Tom Brady if he decides to move on as a free agent after 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. However, the Titans would not be adding the Brady of 2017 (his most recent MVP season). They would be adding the quarterback who turns 43 in August and is coming off one of his worst seasons. A closer look at his 2019 numbers shows the choice between Brady and Ryan Tannehill isn’t as clear-cut as many think.
The Cleveland Browns stumbled to a 6-10 finish last season, prompting ownership to overhaul the coaching staff and front office. Here is what to watch for as the NFL’s offseason calendar cranks up:
There’s just a little something different in the air when it comes to the Raiders, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the start of free agency for the 2020 season. The team’s move to Las Vegas has given the franchise certain lures for free agents, from state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium, to the appeal of playing for a young team on the rise, to, wait for it, no state income tax.
The Buffalo Bills agreed to a three-year contract with offensive lineman Quinton Spain, per a league source, which ensures the team will return its entire starting offensive line in 2020. The deal is reportedly worth $15 million over those three years.
he NFL said Thursday it has “no plans to move the start of the league year” as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The NFL’s statement comes after several teams have restricted travel for their coaches and scouts because of the virus. The Washington Redskins and New York Jets were among teams to announce Thursday they were pulling personnel off the road and sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t sending their coaches to upcoming pro days.
The Tennessee Titans released running back Dion Lewis and linebacker Cameron Wake, the team announced Thursday, freeing up close to $10 million in cap space. Lewis signed a four-year, $19.8 million contract in 2018 and was set to hold a $5.1 million cap number in 2020. Wake signed a three-year, $23 million contract in 2019 and was set to hold a cap figure of $8.6 million in 2020.
The New England Patriots have officially exercised the 2020 option year on cornerback Jason McCourty, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates on Thursday. While McCourty signed a two-year, $11 million contract last offseason, the presence of a $500,000 option bonus to activate the second year of the pact was notable.
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With the Patriots officially picking up Jason McCourty’s option Thursday, a snapshot of the cornerbacks under contract for 2020: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams, D’Angelo Ross, Lenzy Pipkins, Justin Bethel (special teams).
The Seattle Seahawks figure to need more than one stud pass-rusher lest they experience a repeat of 2019, when they had Jadeveon Clowney and not much else in that department. That need would be even more pronounced if they lose Jarran Reed and/or Quinton Jefferson in free agency.
Keeping Joe Mixon around for another contract, at whatever cost, could be well worth it for a Cincinnati Bengals team likely building around a rookie quarterback, assuming they select Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft on April 23. Mixon’s value isn’t lost on Cincinnati’s front office, which is already exploring the idea of giving him a new deal before the start of the season.
It appears increasingly likely Michael Brockers, who is coming off a three-year, $33.3 million extension, won’t fit into the budget for the Los Angeles Rams. While the 29-year-old is expected to draw plenty of attention when he tests the market, the experience also will be accompanied by some uncertainty.
The Green Bay Packers are releasing tight end Jimmy Graham on Thursday, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Graham will become an immediate free agent. Graham, who turned 33 in November, ranked as the highest-paid tight end in the NFL with an average salary of $10 million and was scheduled to take up the second-most salary cap space ($11,666,668) in 2020 of any tight end in the league.
“I just had a dream last night that we were on the same team,” Anderson said Wednesday morning, appearing as a guest on ESPN’s SportsCenter set. “No lie. It’s so crazy.”
The Houston Texans and veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph have mutually agreed that he will enter free agency, the team announced Wednesday. Joseph, 35, has spent the last nine seasons with the Texans. He had 51 tackles, 13 pass breakups and one interception in 14 games last season.
The Miami Dolphins are releasing two-time Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter Wednesday. The move, which will become official March 18, frees up $5.3 million against the Dolphins’ salary cap.
Paying $15 million a year for a running back, even an elite one such as Christian McCaffrey, could put a long-term strain on the Carolina Panthers‘ cap, and the team has already parted with arguably their second-biggest asset in terms of trade value when they sent Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The New England Patriots need help at tight end. And adding another receiver would be ideal. History suggests they’ll cast a wide net at those positions, and others, in search of what they view as the best combination of talent and value.
A key deadline is approaching for the Philadelphia Eagles and safety Malcolm Jenkins that will help shed light on where this relationship is headed. The Eagles have until the first day of the new league year, March 18, to exercise a club option that would keep Jenkins under contract in 2020. If they decline, he becomes a free agent.
Hunter Henry has been billed as the eventual replacement for future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, and he has mostly lived up to those lofty expectations when on the field. The past four seasons, Henry’s 17 touchdown catches rank eighth in the league among tight ends. Henry has had trouble staying healthy, though, missing 22 games since the Los Angeles Chargers selected him in the second round of the 2016 draft.
Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is close to finalizing a deal with WWE, according to a report by FS1’s WWE Backstage program. Gronkowski is “deep in talks” with the pro wrestling promotion, according to the report, though how he’ll be used on screen is unknown. The report noted that Gronkowski could pop up on WWE SmackDown as early as March 20.
The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday signed quarterback Kyle Allen, set to become an exclusive rights free agent, to a one-year deal. Carolina now has three quarterbacks – Cam Newton, Will Grier and Allen – under contract for the 2020 season.
The Cleveland Browns released veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey on Tuesday. The Browns tried to renegotiate Kirksey’s contract but released him after the sides couldn’t come to an agreement, a source told ESPN. Releasing him will save the Browns roughly $6.58 million in cap savings this offseason.
The Houston Texans have agreed to re-sign tight end Darren Fells and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, sources confirmed to ESPN. Fells’ two-year deal, which was first reported by NFL Network, includes $4 million in the first year, the source told ESPN. Fairbairn’s contract is for four years, a source told ESPN, confirming a report by the Houston Chronicle
The NFL Players Association and the league management council have agreed to move the franchise/transition tag deadline from Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to Monday at 11:59 a.m. ET. By setting the tag deadline as noon, it allows for the period known as “legal tampering” to begin as scheduled on Monday. The start of the league year remains Wednesday, March 18.
Marshal Yanda will announce his retirement this week, closing out one of the most decorated careers by a guard in NFL history, according to a league source. Yanda, 35, played all of his 13 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, building a reputation based on toughness, technique and work ethic.
With the deadline to use the franchise tag coming Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys have sent a new proposal to quarterback Dak Prescott‘s agent in hopes of kick-starting earnest discussions that lead to a multiyear agreement, according to a source.
New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison has announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons. Ellison, 31, missed the final six games of this past season because of a concussion. He had one year remaining on a four-year deal.
ESPN Staff Writer
The Jets’ release of CB Trumaine Johnson was a no-brainer. He disappointed under two different coaching staffs, so it was time to cut bait. The remaining cap hit depends on the outcome of the CBA vote. If a new CBA is approved for the 2020 league year, the Jets can designate him a June 1 cut and spread the hit over two years — $4M and $8M. Absent a new CBA, they get the entire hit this year —$12M. In that case, they’d save only $3M of his $15M hit. Ouch.
The New Orleans Saints plan to place a first-round tender on restricted free-agent quarterback Taysom Hill, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, meaning another team would have to give up a first-round draft pick to sign him away. The Saints also will have the right to match any offer that Hill might sign with another team after making him the qualifying offer, which is for one year and worth $4.67 million, according to Over the Cap.
The Los Angeles Chargers and restricted free-agent running back Austin Ekeler have agreed to a multiyear extension, the team announced. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that it is a four-year, $24.5 million deal that includes $15 million guaranteed.
The Philadelphia Eagles will let left tackle Jason Peters enter free agency by mutual agreement, the team announced Thursday, but said they will remain in communication as “each side continues to evaluate its options.”
The Carolina Panthers made their first big deal under new coach Matt Rhule, agreeing to trade Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers for left tackle Russell Okung, league sources told ESPN. The trade cannot be made official until 4 p.m. ET on March 18, the start of the NFL’s new league year.
Former Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith, whose girlfriend was killed in a traffic accident last September, signed a one-year deal with his hometown team, the Carolina Panthers, on Wednesday.
Two-time Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams is retiring after a 16-year career, announcing his decision on NFL Network. Adams, who turns 39 on March 24, played for the Houston Texans last season after signing in October when safety Justin Reid was dealing with a shoulder injury.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will use their franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The tag will allow them to try to trade him if that’s what they decide or are forced to do.
The Cincinnati Bengals currently plan to use the franchise tag on wide receiver A.J. Green, sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler. The Bengals want Green in Cincinnati in 2020 no matter what, either through the tag or a longer deal, the sources said. The tag is estimated to be worth around $18.5 million, according to overthecap.com. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal.
The Kansas City Chiefs plan to use their franchise tag on Chris Jones if they cannot reach a long-term deal with the star defensive lineman, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The source said Kansas City will continue working toward a new contract with Jones and would use the franchise tag if necessary. Teams have until March 12 to use the tag.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer will hit the open market as unrestricted free agents, but he didn’t rule out re-signing any of them.
The Denver Broncos have no intention of letting safety Justin Simmons hit the open market. John Elway, the Broncos’ president of football operations and general manager, said at the scouting combine that Denver will use the franchise tag on Simmons if it can’t work out a long-term deal.
The Jacksonville Jaguars declined to pick up the option on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus‘ contract, a move that creates $20 million in salary-cap space. The Jaguars had until Tuesday to pick up or decline Dareus’ option year in 2020. Had they picked up the option, Dareus’ $9.5 million base salary in 2020 would have been fully guaranteed and he would have been due a $10 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the league year (March 22).
Kicker Mason Crosby has agreed to a three-year contract with the Green Bay Packers, his agent, Mike McCartney, announced on social media Saturday. The three-year contract is for $12.9 million, sources told ESPN, with Crosby receiving $6 million in 2020 and $9.5 million through Year 2 of the deal.
Preparing for a possible overhaul at wide receiver, the New York Jets added a former first-round pick to their roster by signing Josh Doctson, who was drafted 22nd overall by the Washington Redskins in 2016