Who’s ready for 2021 NFL free agency? With Super Bowl LV in the rearview mirror, one of the strangest NFL offseasons ever is just getting started. We’ve already seen quarterback trades and other drama around star signal-callers, and the franchise tag window has come and gone with 10 players getting tagged.
Free agency is off and running. Even before the start of the league year, news of new agreements were streaming in nonstop. Teams are also wary of the salary cap — $182.5 million — so there could be more cuts on the way too.
Which teams will sign the biggest free agents? Wide receiver Kenny Golladay and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz are the top players available, but several players are already off the board. Which teams are most active in free agency? What are we hearing on the trade front?
We’re tracking every notable NFL free-agent agreement, trade and cut of the offseason, with the most recent moves at the top.
While the Justin Simmons contract is not final yet, it is expected he will become the NFL’s highest-paid safety and first safety in the NFL to make over $15 million per year, per sources. https://t.co/xckt0h2XzG
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2021
Browns K Cody Parkey back on 1-year deal, source confirms. @TomPelissero first
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) March 19, 2021
Here’s a twist to the free-agent WRs: the Ravens have reached out to Kenny Golladay’s agent, Todd France, to inquire about the former Lions’ wideout.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2021
The Cincinnati Bengals made a big signing for their offensive line Friday but also announced they were releasing one of their all-time greats on the defensive line.
The Bengals signed offensive tackle Riley Reiff but coach Zac Taylor later announced that defensive tackle Geno Atkins was being released. Backup quarterback Ryan Finley and starting right tackle Bobby Hart will also be released, Taylor said.
DE Isaac Rochell signing with the Colts on a 1-year $2.5 million deal that can go up to $3 million, per his agent @bd_mclaughlin.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2021
We ranked the top 25 players still on the free-agent market. The list starts with wide receiver Kenny Golladay and includes some playmaking talents who can contribute in big ways to a new team. See who still needs to be signed.
At a news conference a week ago, Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta was surprised that it took 25 minutes before the first question about wide receivers was asked. Now, it’s everyone else who is in a state of shock. Five days into free agency, the Ravens have not signed a wide receiver for quarterback Lamar Jackson. Based on the team’s limited salary cap and a dwindling free-agent pool, the chances of Baltimore signing a significant pass-catcher appear up in the air.
New England Patriots starting center David Andrews is re-signing with the Patriots, according to a source. It’s a four-year deal, a source tells ESPN’s Field Yates. The Patriots keep spending, retaining a key player and longtime captain, which seemed like a longer shot after they had signed Ted Karras to a 1-year deal earlier in the week.
On Thursday night, the New York Jets agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract with former Las Vegas Raiders defensive back Lamarcus Joyner, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Joyner, 30, was released March 9, two years into a four-year, $42 million contract.
The Seattle Seahawks are expected to re-sign starting center Ethan Pocic to a one-year deal, a source confirms to ESPN. The 25-year-old Pocic started 14 games last season, finding a home at center after playing both guard positions over his first three seasons. He ranked 16th last season in ESPN’s Pass Block Win Rate as a center. The 2017 second-round pick out of LSU has made 30 starts in four seasons.
One day after the San Francisco 49ers retained their own Pro Bowl offensive lineman, they added another from the outside, signing center Alex Mack to a three-year contract. Terms of the contract were not yet available. The Mack deal had been brewing since the wee hours of Wednesday morning after left tackle Trent Williams tagged Mack in an Instagram post announcing his own re-signing with the 49ers.
The Chicago Bears are releasing veteran cornerback Kyle Fuller in a cost-cutting move that frees up $14 million worth of salary cap space, a league source confirmed. Fuller, 29, was entering the final year of his contract and set to count $20 million against the cap. The Bears will have to eat $6 million in dead money.
Former Browns’ CB Kevin Johnson is going to the Titans on a one-year deal, per @DrewJRosenhaus. Back to the AFC South, where he once starred for the Texans.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
Cornerback Desmond King is joining the Houston Texans on a one-year, $3.5 million deal, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. King, who turned 26 in December, was acquired by the Tennessee Titans from the Los Angeles Chargers last November in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick. He finished the 2020 season with 31 tackles, a sack and a quarterback hit in nine games with the Titans.
The Detroit Lions are signing the son of one of their all-time great receivers, agreeing to terms with Breshad Perriman on a one-year, $3 million deal, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 27-year-old Perriman, the son of former Lions wide receiver Brett Perriman, was actually born during his dad’s stint with Detroit.
The Colts hosted former Texans and Dolphins OT Julie’n Davenport on a free agent visit.
Indy has a hole at left tackle following Anthony Castonzo’s retirement and Davenport could be a possible depth option.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2021
Washington has signed former Panthers C Tyler Larsen. Another player in the Carolina to Washington pipeline.
Additionally, QB Kyle Allen has signed his ERFA tender.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2021
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 18, 2021
Another Seahawks connection for Panthers GM Scott Fitterer. Carolina has a deal with WR David Moore, per source. He had 35 catches and six TDs In 2020.
— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) March 18, 2021
Meanwhile, the Texans announced on Thursday that they cut tight end Darren Fells. The move saved Houston $2.3 million and the team will take on just $500,000 of dead money. Last season, Fells caught 21 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns for Houston.
The Texans also released punter Bryan Anger, who was due a base salary of $2.5 million in 2021 that was not guaranteed. Anger signed a three-year contract in December 2019.
Hill had a breakout season for the Los Angeles Rams in 2020, starting all 16 games for the first time in his six-year career. He had three interceptions and three defensive touchdowns for the NFL’s top-ranked defense.
The Raiders are re-signing RB Theo Riddick to a one-year deal that includes $50K guaranteed. Kenyan Drake signed today, Theo Riddick retained.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2021
The Patriots have re-signed veteran K Nick Folk to a one-year deal with $1.225M guaranteed, per source. He was solid for them last season.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 18, 2021
The Detroit Lions have released backup quarterback Chase Daniel, a year after he signed to back up Matthew Stafford with the franchise. With Detroit remaking its roster, the franchise initially tried to trade Daniel before releasing him Thursday. He now will count $3 million in dead money against this year’s cap, according to Roster Management System.
The Detroit Lions are signing former first-round pick Charles Harris, per source. The defensive end had three sacks for the Falcons last year.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 18, 2021
Former Houston Texans receiver Will Fuller has reached an agreement with the Miami Dolphins, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday. Fuller, who turns 27 in April, was drafted by the Texans with the 21st overall pick in the 2016 draft and was playing on his fifth-year option before he was suspended in December for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The six-game suspension will carry over to Week 1 of the 2021 season.
Former Packers’ DE Montravius Adams reached agreement with the Patriots on a 1-year deal worth up to 2.5 million, per @DrewJRosenhaus, who now has done five deals this week with New England.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 18, 2021
Lions’ free-agent WR Kenny Golladay spent Wednesday night meeting with Bears GM Ryan Pace and HC Matt Nagy, per source. He is scheduled to be in New York tonight to meet with the Giants.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
Former Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky reached a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday to serve as the backup to starter Josh Allen. Bills GM Brandon Beane said this is a “reset” for Trubisky and that he doesn’t expect the former No. 2 overall pick to be a long-term option behind Allen.
Former Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph reached agreement with the New York Giants on Thursday, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Rudolph gives the Giants another playmaker at the tight end spot to pair with Evan Engram.
The deal is for two years at $11 million and worth up to $14.5 million, including $11 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The New England Patriots‘ unprecedented free-agent splurge at tight end has had a trickle-down effect, with the club agreeing to trade fourth-year tight end Ryan Izzo to the Houston Texans, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
The Patriots are expected to receive a late-round draft choice, with NFL Network reporting it’s a 2022 seventh-rounder.
Tight end Jared Cook and the Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to a one-year contract worth a maximum of $6 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Cook will help fill a void created when Hunter Henry left the Chargers to sign with the New England Patriots.
Signed after a HUB Football workout – a new path to the NFL. https://t.co/nY4R3eUbR6
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
Panthers are signing veteran free-agent cornerback Rashaan Melvin to a 1-year deal, per @DrewJRosenhaus. The Panthers will be Melvin’s 10th NFL team.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 18, 2021
Dolphins are signing former Ravens C Matt Skura to a one-year deal, source tells ESPN. New Dolphins starting center.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 18, 2021
The Rams have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with tight end Johnny Mundt, the team announced.
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) March 18, 2021
Chiefs have signed TE Blake Bell, who played for them in Super Bowl championship season. Spent last season with Cowboys. https://t.co/PRUQ2gcWIm
— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) March 18, 2021
The Eagles have agreed to terms with DT Hassan Ridgeway. He’s been with the team the last two seasons. Productive when healthy.
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) March 18, 2021
As mentioned previously, Crowder’s roster spot not secure — due a non-GTD $10M in final yr. Comes off books if cut.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 18, 2021
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin has signed his $15.9 million franchise tender for 2021, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move does not preclude the Bucs and Godwin from reaching an agreement on a long-term extension, however, which sources say is the long-term goal. They have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal, or Godwin will play under the tag for the 2021 season.
First look at QB1 in his new threads 🤩 pic.twitter.com/hjTqv1w8Wg
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) March 18, 2021
The New York Giants are signing veteran quarterback Mike Glennon to serve as the backup to Daniel Jones, a source confirmed. Glennon replaces Colt McCoy, who is currently a free agent. The Giants had spoken to McCoy about a potential return after he filled in admirably during a pair of starts, including a stunning upset of the Seattle Seahawks.
Running back Phillip Lindsay and the Denver Broncos have “mutually agreed” to go their separate ways. Just hours after the Broncos signed running back Mike Boone in free agency, Lindsay’s representatives and the Broncos agreed the best course was for the Broncos to rescind the restricted free-agent tender and for Lindsay to become a free agent.
Longtime New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung, who had intended to play this season after opting out of the 2020 campaign, has reversed course and announced his retirement Thursday. Chung, 33, said on Instagram that “It’s time to start a new life.”
No team has made a signing as impactful as Tom Brady this year, but I’ve scoured the deals handed out on the first few days of free agency to find my favorites. I’m looking at these deals from the team’s perspective, so I’m trying to find contracts in which a player can outplay what he’s expected to earn over the next several years.
The Cincinnati Bengals and defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi have agreed to terms on a deal, according to a source. Ogunjobi, 26, started all but two games for the Cleveland Browns over the past three seasons, compiling 13.5 sacks — but only 2.5 in 2020.
The New England Patriots have reunited with former linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the veteran confirmed on social media Wednesday night. The Miami Dolphins released Van Noy in March, just one season after signing him to a four-year, $51 million contract. The team tried unsuccessfully to trade the linebacker before releasing him.
After one of the most accurate seasons in team history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and kicker Ryan Succop have agreed to terms on a new three-year contract worth $12 million, his agent, Joel Turner, told ESPN on Wednesday. The deal includes $6.25 million guaranteed, Turner said. Succop’s 2021 salary cap number is expected to be $2.8 million.
Browns wide receiver Rashard Higgins is returning to Cleveland on a one-year deal, a source told ESPN. Higgins will make $2.38 million fully guaranteed, a source said.
Perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson has reached an agreement on a one-year, $10 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 30-year-old Peterson leaves the Arizona Cardinals as one of the best cornerbacks in franchise history.
The Seattle Seahawks are acquiring guard Gabe Jackson from the Las Vegas Raiders for a 2021 fifth-round drat pick, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler on Wednesday. Their trade for Jackson leaves them with only three picks in this year’s draft but gives them an upgrade along their offensive line, something quarterback Russell Wilson said he wanted when he publicly aired his frustrations with the organization after the season.
Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel is signing a three-year, $34.5 million deal with the Washington Football Team, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. A second-round draft pick by the Panthers out of Ohio State in 2017, Samuel finally met expectations this past season under offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who took advantage of the speedster’s ability to play receiver and running back as he did in college.
The Seattle Seahawks are signing former Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett, he tweeted Wednesday. It’s a one-year deal worth $7 million, with $6 million fully guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Everett will reunite with new Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, who was with the Rams for all four of Everett’s NFL seasons.
The Arizona Cardinals signed 36-year-old kicker Matt Prater to a two-year contract. Prater, who spent the past six-plus seasons with the Detroit Lions, will replace Zane Gonzalez as Arizona’s place kicker. Gonzalez became a free agent Wednesday afternoon.
Former Chicago Bears Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long, who came out of retirement this offseason, is signing a one-year deal worth up to $5 million with the Kansas City Chiefs, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Carolina Panthers improved their defense with deals for edge rusher Haason Reddick and middle linebacker Denzel Perryman. Reddick secured a one-year deal worth up to $8 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and Perryman netted a two-year contract, his agency confirmed.
The Miami Dolphins reached agreement with veteran wide receiver Robert Foster, his agency, SportsTrust Advisors, announced. Foster has averaged 20.1 yards per catch in limited NFL opportunities with the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team, and seems set to compete for a roster spot. Foster played his last year at Alabama with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Mack, who rushed for a career-high 1,091 yards in 2019, was supposed to team up with rookie Jonathan Taylor to form a formidable one-two punch for the Colts in 2020. However, a torn Achilles ended Mack’s season after Week 1.
The team is also shopping starting guard Gabe Jackson, Schefter reports.
According to NFL Network, which first reported the news, Brown is returning on a one-year contract worth $5.25 million.
As of 3:30 p.m. ET, the top 10 players still available are:
The Titans announced the signing of tight ends Anthony Firkser and Geoff Swaim. Firkser served primarily as a pass-catcher last season, posting 39 receptions for 387 yards and a touchdown. Swaim joined the Titans during training camp and mostly served as a blocking tight end. Both players figure into the Titans’ effort to replace tight end Jonnu Smith after he signed with the New England Patriots.
Veteran receiver A.J. Green is finalizing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals that is worth up to $8.5 million, a source told Schefter on Wednesday. The deal includes $6 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN.
The New England Patriots have agreed to a one-year deal with free-agent center Ted Karras that could be worth up to $4 million, a source confirmed, which could foreshadow that starting center David Andrews won’t be back with the team. The Patriots drafted Karras in the 2016 sixth round out of Illinois, and attempted to re-sign him last offseason to a multiyear deal. But Karras elected for a one-year contract in Miami, where he had a clearer path to a starting role.
The new league year is upon us and tight end Zach Ertz is still a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. That has some people scratching their heads. The sides have appeared destined for a split ever since extension talks broke down last offseason, putting strain on the relationship in the process. Here are four trade destinations that make the most sense and are worth keeping an eye on.
The Miami Dolphins are adding former Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman on a one-year deal worth up to $2.75 million, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday. Coleman, 27, started 16 games — mostly in the slot — in his two seasons with the Lions, breaking up 14 passes with one interception.
The Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to a one-year contract with wide receiver John Brown, a source confirmed to ESPN. The deal is worth $3.75 million and could be worth up to $5.5 million if incentives are met, the source said.
Not only was Buccaneers star pass-rusher Barrett awarded a new four-year contract worth up to $72 million Monday — he was awarded a $1.372 million franchise tag settlement stemming from a grievance filed with the NFLPA last year, a source told Schefter.
After a dizzying stretch of negotiating during the NFL free-agency period, the New England Patriots‘ roster has undergone a significant transformation. Even more change is expected. For now, here’s the new-look position-by-position breakdown.
No team was more hamstrung by the NFL’s reduced salary cap than the New Orleans Saints, who began the offseason nearly $100 million over the threshold. The Saints’ approach? Keep their best players and stay committed to trying to win a fifth straight NFC South championship.
On Tuesday, the Houston Texans agreed to a one-year, incentive-laden deal worth up to $12.5 million with Tyrod Taylor, sources told Schefter. While this doesn’t mean the Texans have changed their mind about trading Deshaun Watson, who has said he won’t play for them again, the move is the first step made by general manager Nick Caserio toward figuring out what life without their franchise quarterback could look like.
Trent Williams and San Francisco have reached a deal, sources told ESPN. Williams’ deal with the 49ers is for six years, $138 million, making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Of the $55.1 million guaranteed cash in the contract, $30.1 million comes in the form of a signing bonus.
The Detroit Lions are bringing in a new complementary back to play alongside D’Andre Swift, agreeing to terms with running back Jamaal Williams. Williams, who will turn 26 on April 3, confirmed the agreement in a tweet Tuesday night. He is likely to replace free agent Adrian Peterson, who had been Detroit’s No. 2 back next to Swift last season. Detroit also has its former starting running back, Kerryon Johnson, on the roster, but Johnson had been primarily used as a third-down and pass-protection back last season.
This is the second trade the Rams and Lions have engaged in this offseason after the Lions hired former Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes as general manager in January.
The Las Vegas Raiders are “closing in” on re-signing unrestricted free-agent linebacker Nicholas Morrow, a league source told ESPN. Morrow, who joined the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Division III Greenville University in Illinois, was the Raiders’ most dependable linebacker last season, when Las Vegas brought in a pair of high-priced free agents in middle linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski and weakside linebacker Cory Littleton.
Former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback William Jackson reached agreement with the Washington Football Team on a three-year, $42 million deal, a source told Schefter. Jackson, 28, entered 2020 with a lot to prove after the Bengals picked up his fifth-year option, and he responded by making his case for a lucrative new deal with a bounce-back season.
The Buffalo Bills and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders reached agreement on a one-year, $6 million deal that includes another $500,000 in incentives, a source told Schefter on Tuesday. The New Orleans Saints released Sanders in March as they scrambled to get under the salary cap. He had been scheduled to make $8 million, with $2 million guaranteed, in 2021.
A trade: Bills are trading TE Lee Smith to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2022 late-round pick, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2021
The Seattle Seahawks are working to finalize a two-year deal with defensive tackle Poona Ford, a source told ESPN. Ford, 25, was set to be a restricted free agent, so his new deal would be in lieu of a one-year, restricted-free-agent tender. It would put Ford on track to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season, when he’ll be 27.
The Seahawks also agreed to a one-year deal with former San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a source confirmed to ESPN. The agreement comes after the team lost starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin to the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier Tuesday.
The Arizona Cardinals solidified their right tackle position for the next couple of seasons by agreeing to a two-year contract with Kelvin Beachum. Beachum, 31, signed with the Cardinals last July and then went on to start all 16 games at right tackle after Marcus Gilbert opted out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tennessee Titans released cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and added veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins shortly afterward. After the Titans announced the release of Jackson and right tackle Dennis Kelly, Jenkins’ agent, Neil S Schwartz, announced on Twitter that his client had agreed to a contract with Tennessee.
The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a trade with the New Orleans Saints to acquire defensive tackle Malcom Brown for an unspecified draft pick, sources confirmed to ESPN. According to NFL Network, which first reported the news, Brown, who turned 27 last month, signed a new two-year, $11 million deal with the Jaguars that includes $8 million guaranteed.
In Jacksonville, Jones will be reunited with former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who holds the same position on coach Urban Meyer’s staff.
The Falcons took $21 million of Ryan’s base salary for 2021 and converted it into a signing bonus spread out over the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons. Doing so knocked Ryan’s cap number for this season from $40,912,500 down to $26,912,500, according to Roster Management System.
This move helps get Atlanta get under the salary cap by the time the new league year begins Wednesday afternoon.
The Chiefs last season drafted Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round to be their featured back and he led the team in rushing, despite missing time with injuries. And on Tuesday, they re-signed his leading backup, Darrel Williams, to a one-year contract.
Williams, 31, spent the past eight seasons in Pittsburgh after being selected in the sixth round of the 2013 draft.
Jackson’s fifth-year option salary of $10.244 million for the 2021 season was set to become fully guaranteed on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET when the new league year begins.
The Titans create $3,416,666 in cap spacings by releasing Kelly. His release also results in $3,166,667 in dead money on their cap.
Tramon Williams, one of the Green Bay Packers‘ greatest success stories, retired Tuesday. The 14-year veteran, who wore No. 38 during his 10 seasons in Green Bay, made the announcement on his 38th birthday.
The New York Giants and twice-franchised defensive lineman Leonard Williams reached agreement on a three-year, $63 million deal that includes $45 million fully guaranteed on Tuesday, sources told Schefter.
The Giants placed the franchise tag on Williams before the March 9 deadline, the second straight year that Williams was tagged. He was scheduled make approximately $19.35 million for the 2021 season on the franchise tender without an extension, which the two sides had until July 15 to agree upon.
Our expert crew weighs in on the Patriots’ busy week with their checkbook, the Bucs’ chances of repeating after returning Shaquil Barrett and others, what to make of the massive deals we’ve seen for pass-rushers so far and how some quarterbacks on new deals might fare in 2021.
Payton left open the possibility that the Saints will still consider other options at the position during an interview Tuesday with The Dan Patrick Show. But when asked if the Saints are “set” at quarterback, Payton responded, “I think we are. I think we are.”
The Ravens are re-signing outside linebacker Tyus Bowser to a four-year, $22 million deal.
The Cincinnati Bengals and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie have agreed to terms on a three-year deal on Tuesday, sources confirmed to ESPN. Awuzie gives Cincinnati an outside cornerback to pair with Trae Waynes, who signed with Cincinnati in 2020 but missed the entire season after he suffered a pectoral injury during training camp.
He now joins a Patriots team that is undergoing a pass-catching overhaul. On Monday the team gave out a total of nearly $100 million worth of contracts to tight end Jonnu Smith and wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
After 135 games, 106 sacks, eight Pro Bowls and one glorious Super Bowl MVP award, linebacker Von Miller‘s dance-filled run with the Denver Broncos will go on for at least one more season. The Broncos elected to exercise an option clause in Miller’s contract that guarantees $7 million of Miller’s $17.5 million base salary for the 2021 season, sources told ESPN.
Six of our top 10 free agents already have agreed to deals, but there are still several good players on the board, including most of the top group of receivers. Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Curtis Samuel, A.J. Green and Will Fuller V are still unsigned.
The Dallas Cowboys are poised to do anything they want in NFL free agency. It just might not be what Cowboys fans want them to do. As the free-agency period opens and big-name signings flash in your head, the wiser move for Cowboys fans would be to enjoy the early signs of spring instead.
All we have of new Denver Broncos general manager George Paton are a selection of video snippets: early-morning arrivals, a trip to North Dakota for Trey Lance‘s pro day and a stroll through the team store posted on the team’s website. But with free agency set to formally begin Wednesday, Paton will give his first real glimpse, at least with the team’s checkbook in hand, of how he thinks it should all fit together.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was uncharacteristically active Monday, the first day he could negotiate with free agents from other teams. In a reflection of how out of character it is, consider this: The Patriots spent $51 million in bonuses and guarantees on free agents over the prior three offseasons combined. As for the sudden change, there are a couple of different ways to look at it.
Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has reached an agreement with the Washington Football Team on a one-year deal worth $10 million that could grow to $12 million with incentives, a source told Schefter on Monday. Fitzpatrick is expected to head to camp as the starter, with competition from Taylor Heinicke, the source said.
The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a deal with former New York Giants defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, his agency confirmed on Twitter. Tomlinson, who turned 27 in February, was a stalwart in the middle of the defensive line for the Giants this past season, finishing with 49 tackles (8 for loss), 3.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. He also batted down a team-high four passes at the line of scrimmage, and his 5.1% run-stuff rate was third best among interior linemen, according to NextGen Stats.
The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a four-year, $60 million deal with defensive end Trey Hendrickson, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Monday. The deal with Hendrickson, the former New Orleans Saints standout, includes $32 million over the first two years, the source said.
The Jets agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with defensive end Carl Lawson, a source told ESPN. The deal includes $30 million guaranteed.
Quarterback Jameis Winston reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $12 million with the New Orleans Saints, a league source told Schefter. The former No. 1 overall draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner turned 27 in January. He spent his first five seasons as a starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing a one-year deal to be a backup with New Orleans last year.
Former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis reached agreement on a three-year, $37.5 million deal with the New York Jets, sources told Schefter on Monday. The deal includes $27 million guaranteed, sources said.
The star tight end and the Bucs have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told Schefter on Monday.
The Broncos agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract that includes $19.5 million guaranteed with cornerback Ronald Darby, a source told Schefter. Darby, who turned 27 in January, signed a one-year deal worth $4 million to play for Washington last season. He started all 16 regular-season games for the first time in his six-year career.
Floyd is coming off a career-best season with the Rams, starting all 16 games at outside linebacker while recording a career-high 10.5 sacks, 55 tackles and 19 quarterback hits on the NFL’s top-ranked defense.
Ngakoue, who turns 26 on March 31, is a highly regarded disruptive pass-rusher who had a hectic 2020 season, receiving the franchise tag from the Jacksonville Jaguars after contract talks broke down before getting traded to the Minnesota Vikings and, later, the Baltimore Ravens.
Harris has effectively carved out a significant place in the Broncos’ defense over the past four seasons, but especially in the past two since coach Vic Fangio’s arrival. Harris became the team’s most consistent presence up front and tied for the league lead this past season when he knocked down seven passes.
The Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to a five-year contract with free agent center Corey Linsley, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The deal is worth $62.5 million with $17 million fully guaranteed at signing, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
Linsley earned first-team All-Pro honors for this past season, becoming the first Green Bay Packers center to do so since Jim Ringo in 1963.
The Steelers signed cornerback Cameron Sutton to a two-year, $9 million contract, a league source told ESPN. Sutton, 26, was drafted by the Steelers out of Tennessee in the third round of the 2017 draft and was set to hit free agency.
Former Cowboys’ DT Maliek Collins reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $6 million with the Texans; @DrewJRosenhaus tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2021
The Lions re-signed linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a one-year deal, a source told ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. Reeves-Maybin had been one of the team’s top special-teams players since being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft out of Tennessee.
A league source confirmed to ESPN that the sides agreed to a three-year deal worth $24.4 million with $14 million guaranteed.
The Cleveland Browns are signing former Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson III to a three-year contract. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the deal is worth $33.75 million with $24 million guaranteed.
Johnson will fill a major hole in the Browns defense at safety, where Cleveland juggled several players in and out of the lineup last season.
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon has reached an agreement with the New England Patriots on a four-year, $56 million deal, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal includes $32 million guaranteed.
Cornerback Jason Verrett is re-signing with the San Francisco 49ers, general manager John Lynch announced Monday. A league source told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner that Verrett received a one-year, $5.5 million deal with incentives.
Kevin Colbert will remain the Pittsburgh Steelers general manager for at least one more season. Colbert, 64, agreed to a one-year extension that keeps him with the team through the 2022 NFL draft.
Colbert, who enters his 11th season as general manager and 22nd with the organization, has been working on year-to-year deals since the end of the 2019 season. His previous contract, agreed to after the 2020 season, kept him with the team through the 2021 draft.
Former Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith reached agreement with the New England Patriots on a four-year, $50 million deal that includes $31.25 million fully guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Romeo Okwara is staying in Detroit Lions after his breakout 2020 season, agreeing to a three-year deal worth $39 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Okwara will get $25 million when he officially signs the contract, a massive payday for a player the Lions claimed off the waiver wire after roster cutdowns in 2018 from the New York Giants.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Shaquil Barrett have agreed to a four-year deal worth up $72 million that keeps the star pass-rusher with the reigning Super Bowl champions, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Cardinals have signed OLB Markus Golden to a two-year deal
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 15, 2021
Former New York Giants guard Kevin Zeitler has reached an agreement on a three-year, $22.5 million deal, including $16 million guaranteed, with the Baltimore Ravens, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Giants released Zeitler in March in a move that cleared $12 million in salary-cap space.
The San Francisco 49ers are re-signing fullback Kyle Juszczyk to a five-year, $27 million deal that includes $10 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Juszczyk, 29, was one of the 49ers’ first free-agent signings after coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over in 2017. At the time, San Francisco outbid a handful of other suitors, making Juszczyk the highest-paid fullback in league history.
One of the most prolific and powerful careers in NFL history has come to an end as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced Sunday on Instagram he has decided to retire after 20 seasons. Brees, 42, retires as the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards (80,358) and ranks second all time in touchdown passes (571) and completion percentage (67.7%).
Running back Aaron Jones has reached an agreement with the Green Bay Packers on a four-year deal worth $48 million, including a $13 million signing bonus, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Packers decided not to use their franchise tag on Jones before the deadline to do so last Tuesday and instead continued talks on a long-term contract.
The New England Patriots have agreed to trade longtime right tackle Marcus Cannon to the Houston Texans in a deal that involves a swap of middle- to late-round draft picks, sources told ESPN. Cannon had opted out of the 2020 season, and sources said a catalyst for the trade was that he had not reported to the Patriots for a physical and workout — due to COVID-19 considerations — with the team’s other players who opted out.
The Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans have agreed to a swap of starting linebackers, with Miami sending Shaq Lawson to Houston and receiving Benardrick McKinney in return, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The teams also are swapping late-round picks in the deal. Miami is sending out a 2021 sixth-round pick and receiving back a 2021 seventh-round pick, sources told ESPN.
The Chicago Bears and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. are finalizing a three-year, $11.5 million deal, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Edwards, 27, had a career-high four sacks in 15 games for the Bears last season.
Offensive tackle Nate Solder is expected to return to the New York Giants on a reworked deal, a source told ESPN, with financial details still to be finalized. Solder, who opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns for his family, was scheduled to make $10 million in 2021, while costing $16.5 million against the salary cap this season.
Casey Hayward Jr. was released by the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday. The cornerback spent five seasons with the franchise after signing as a free agent in 2016. Hayward, who was a team captain, played in 14 games with 13 starts last season, registering an interception and eight passes defensed.
With free agency approaching, the San Francisco 49ers‘ top cornerbacks were all slated for some form of free agency. On Friday, that number dwindled to three as the Niners struck a deal with Emmanuel Moseley. Moseley agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $10.1 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That means Moseley, who was slated to be a restricted free agent, will not have to go through the tender offer process and is signed for the next two seasons.
The Los Angeles Chargers have released offensive guard Trai Turner, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Turner was released after the Chargers first attempted to trade him. He was acquired by the Chargers during the 2020 offseason in a trade that sent veteran offensive tackle Russell Okung to the Carolina Panthers.
The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to restructure quarterback Patrick Mahomes‘ contract to provide some cap relief, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The team is expected to convert Mahomes’ $21.7 million roster bonus to a signing bonus in the coming days, which would save the Chiefs $17 million against the cap, sources said.
The Buffalo Bills have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with starting right tackle Daryl Williams, according to a source. The deal is worth $28.2 million, with $14 million guaranteed, according to the NFL Network.
Tom Brady reached agreement with the Buccaneers today on a four-year contract extension that voids to a one-year extension, locking him in with Tampa Bay through the 2022 season, sources tell ESPN. The extension saves the Buccaneers $19 million against the cap this year, per sources. The additional voidable years are there to defray the cost.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 12, 2021
The New Orleans Saints plan to release linebacker Kwon Alexander, a source confirmed, as they continue to chip away at their massive salary-cap deficit. Alexander’s release is not surprising since he tore his Achilles in Week 16 and was due $13.4 million this season. But it’s not out of the question that the two sides could consider a reunion when he gets healthy.
Cam Newton is re-signing with the Patriots on a one-year deal, sources have confirmed to ESPN. The contract is worth close to $14 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Newton, who will turn 32 in May, hoped to return to New England after signing a modest one-year deal with them in 2020. On the “I Am Athlete” podcast in late February, he said he would be open to another one-year deal in New England.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The return of McPhee provides some stability to the Ravens’ pass rush. McPhee was one of four Baltimore outside linebackers set to become unrestricted free agents who could begin to talk to other teams starting Monday.
The Chicago Bears have agreed to a three-year contract extension with place kicker Cairo Santos worth up to $11 million, according to a source. Santos set a franchise record by connecting on 27 consecutive field goals in 2020, and finished the year 30-of-32.
The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed placekicker Younghoe Koo and three other exclusive rights free agents. The Falcons also announced they have re-signed cornerback Tyler Hall, wide receiver Christian Blake and defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. Koo earned Pro Bowl honors after making 37 of 39 field-goal attempts, including each of his eight kicks from 50 yards or longer.
The Buffalo Bills and linebacker Matt Milano have agreed to a four-year contract, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, keeping the unrestricted free agent in Buffalo through at least the 2024 season. The deal is reportedly worth $44 million with $24 million guaranteed.
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II has reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $3 million with the Houston Texans, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Ingram will join a Texans backfield led by starter David Johnson, who agreed to a restructured contract to remain with the team.
The Detroit Lions have informed slot cornerback Justin Coleman he will be released by the franchise, a source confirmed to ESPN. Coleman is the second Detroit defensive back to learn of his pending release this offseason, joining Desmond Trufant. Coleman had been scheduled to count $11.029 million against the cap in 2021 and depending how he’s designated upon his release, the Lions may save up to $9 million if he’s declared a post-June 1 release.
The Lions also told tight end Jesse James he would be released, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Moving on from James could save between $3.571 million and $5 million, depending how his release is designated, according to Roster Management System. He will account for $2.858 million in dead money this year.
Speaking for the first time since his introductory news conference, Houston Texans coach David Culley reiterated that the team is committed to quarterback Deshaun Watson. “We are very committed to Deshaun as our quarterback,” Culley said. “He is our quarterback. He’s the only guy we got under contract at this time, right now.”
Ray-Ray McCloud‘s solid season with the Pittsburgh Steelers earned the wide receiver/returner a second stint with the team. The Steelers signed McCloud to a one-year deal on Thursday. McCloud had been a restricted free agent.
The Texans have restructured wide receiver Brandin Cooks‘ contract, sources confirmed to ESPN. According to a source, the restructure voids the final season of the deal Cooks signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, meaning he will now be a free agent after the 2022 season.
The Kansas City Chiefs released longtime starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, moves that will save the team more than $18 million against its salary cap but leaves it looking to rebuild at two key spots on the offensive line. The Chiefs’ most obvious candidate to start at tackle next season is Lucas Niang, who was a third-round draft pick last season. Niang didn’t play last year after opting out.
The New Orleans Saints will release veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins in their latest move to save money against the salary cap, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move will save the Saints $7 million against the cap, which is $182.5 million for the 2021 season — an 8% decrease from last year.
Riley Reiff became the first domino to fall for the Minnesota Vikings this offseason and will allow the team more financial flexibility to go after unrestricted free agents. The left tackle was due a $5 million roster bonus on March 19, which was negotiated into his contract upon agreeing to a restructured deal last September. His release frees up $11.75 million in cap space to put Minnesota $8,730,584 under the cap.
The Miami Dolphins released linebacker Kyle Van Noy just one year into his four-year, $51 million contract signed last March. The team tried to trade him over the last week but was unsuccessful and decided to move on.
The New York Giants released veteran guard Kevin Zeitler after two years with the team. Zeitler, 31, was the Giants’ best and most consistent offensive lineman last season. But he was set to earn $12 million and count $14.5 million against the salary cap.
The Carolina Panthers restructured the deals of running back Christian McCaffrey and linebacker Shaq Thompson to clear more than $11 million in salary cap space. They saved $5.6 million in space on McCaffrey, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, by converting his 2021 base salary of just over $8 million into signing bonus.
The Bills have released wide receiver John Brown as well as defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, the team announced Wednesday. Buffalo’s decision to part ways with the 30-year-old receiver comes as little surprise; the Bills are $3.64 million under the NFL’s $182.5 million salary cap for 2021, but releasing Brown clears $7.93 million in cap space for the upcoming season.
The New Orleans Saints are releasing veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders after just one season as they continue to trim their massive salary-cap deficit, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Sanders, who turns 34 next week, confirmed the move in an Instagram post.
The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed Wednesday to a salary cap of $182.5 million per team for 2021, a long-anticipated 8% decrease from last season, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The drop-off will force teams to make difficult roster decisions in the coming days and weeks.
The Tennessee Titans are releasing veteran cornerback Malcolm Butler, his agent, Derek Simpson, told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday. The seventh-year veteran would have held a $14.2 million cap number for the upcoming season. Releasing Butler clears $10.2 million in cap space.
Coach Bruce Arians made good on his word at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Super Bowl boat parade, when he told inside linebacker Lavonte David, “Your ass ain’t going nowhere.” The Bucs agreed to terms with David on a two-year deal worth $25 million, with $20 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN, keeping one of the league’s premier inside linebackers from hitting free agency.
The Green Bay Packers did not use the franchise tag to retain Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones, but they still have one more shot to retain him before he hits free agency. A source told Schefter that Green Bay is still attempting to re-sign Jones before he gets there. The team retains exclusive negotiating rights with him until Monday, when unrestricted free agents can begin talking to other teams. The tag would have cost the Packers about $8 million.
The Seattle Seahawks informed running back Chris Carson that they will not place their franchise tag on him, a source told Schefter. OverTheCap.com projected the franchise tag for running backs to cost just over $8 million. That was apparently too rich for the Seahawks.
The Cleveland Browns have released defensive end Adrian Clayborn, a move that will save the team $3 million against the cap. Clayborn, 32, who signed a two-year deal with Cleveland last offseason, had 3.5 sacks while backing up starters Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon.
The New York Giants placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams after working on a long-term deal. Both parties wanted to get something done, and the franchise tag could still act as a placeholder. Williams, 26, played on the franchise tag last season at $16.126 million. A second tag comes at the cost of 120% of last year’s number, or $19.351 million.
The Minnesota Vikings released kicker Dan Bailey, the team announced. Bailey, 33, was at risk of becoming a salary-cap casualty this offseason after the Vikings signed kicker Greg Joseph off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad in February. With $1.8 of Bailey’s $2.7 million 2021 base salary set to become guaranteed on March 19, the Vikings released the kicker to yield $1.7 million in salary-cap savings.
The New Orleans Saints placed the franchise tag on safety Marcus Williams, the team announced. The only thing surprising about the Saints using their franchise tag on Williams is that it reduces their salary-cap flexibility — and they were already about $50 million over the projected cap to start this week. But the Saints made it a priority to keep Williams, and the franchise tag cost for safeties is much cheaper than other positions.
The Chicago Bears placed the franchise tag on veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson, the team announced. The Bears and Robinson’s agent failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal during last season, forcing Chicago to apply the tag or risk losing Robinson — the club’s top receiver the past three years — in free agency.
Former Chicago Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long plans to unretire and play in the NFL in 2021, ESPN confirmed. Long announced in January 2020 that he would retire after seven NFL seasons, all in Chicago.
The Detroit Lions did not use their franchise tag on wide receiver Kenny Golladay, clearing the way for him to enter free agency. Golladay heading to the open market means the Lions probably will overhaul their receiver corps completely. Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and Jamal Agnew are also scheduled to be free agents, taking the majority of the team’s receiver reps from a season ago.
The Los Angeles Chargers have informed tight end Hunter Henry that he will not receive the franchise tag for a second consecutive season, a source told Schefter. Henry, who turned 27 in December, clicked with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert and had a career-best 60 receptions last season. Henry played last season on the franchise tender, making $10.6 million.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are using the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson, coach Urban Meyer confirmed. “[Offensive line coach] George Warhop feels very strong about his future and the development,” Meyer said. “We realize that he has a great future. His ceiling is very high.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers have informed linebacker Bud Dupree that they will not use the franchise tag on him, a league source told Schefter. Dupree, who was franchised by the Steelers last year, will now head to free agency. After posting 11.5 sacks for Pittsburgh during the 2019 season, Dupree, who turned 28 in February, was on track for another strong season in 2020 before suffering a torn ACL in Week 12.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, the team announced. The tag will cost the Bucs roughly $16.5 million and means they won’t be able to tag outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who earned $15.8 million playing under the franchise tag last year. Tagging Barrett again in 2021 would have cost the Bucs $18.96 million — 120% of what they paid last year.
The Carolina Panthers have used the franchise tag to lock down right tackle Taylor Moton. The offensive tackle franchise number is expected to be between $13.5 million and $14 million in 2021, and applying the tag allows Carolina to continue to negotiate a long-term deal, which was a priority heading into the offseason.
The New England Patriots will be acquiring offensive tackle Trent Brown from the Las Vegas Raiders in a trade after agreeing to a restructured one-year contract worth up to $11 million with him, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates. The Patriots are sending a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Raiders in exchange for Brown and a 2022 seventh-round pick, a source told ESPN.
The Seattle Seahawks released veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap, the team announced. The move clears $14.1 million in badly needed cap space but leaves the Seahawks without their most accomplished edge rusher and a two-time Pro Bowl selection. The team is expected to attempt to re-sign Dunlap at a discounted rate once he tests the market.
The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract, including $126 million guaranteed, a source told Schefter. The deal, which is technically for six years but voids to four so as to help Dallas against the salary cap, can be worth up to $164 million, a source said. Prescott’s signing bonus is $66 million, the highest in NFL history.
Safety Marcus Maye, who turned 28 on Tuesday, received an early birthday present from the New York Jets: the franchise tag, a source told Schefter. Maye, poised to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time, is the first Jets player since defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016 to get the designation.
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to trade offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson, their first-round pick last year, to the Miami Dolphins, sources told ESPN. The Titans will send a seventh-round pick in 2022 and Wilson to Miami for a 2021 seventh-rounder to complete the deal, sources said.
Washington has placed the franchise tag on right guard Brandon Scherff for a second consecutive year, the team announced. Scherff will receive $18.03 million in the 2021 season — a 20% increase over last season. But Washington still hopes to sign him to a long-term deal. It has until July 15 to do so.
The Houston Texans have signed former Seattle Seahawks center Justin Britt to a one-year deal worth up to $5 million, a source told Schefter. Britt, who did not play during the 2020 season after Seattle released him in April, indicated he is Houston-bound in an Instagram post.
The Cincinnati Bengals on Friday released guard B.J. Finney, ending a year of confusion, fear and physical limitations for the former $8 million player.
The Denver Broncos are placing the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons for the second consecutive season, it was announced Friday. Simmons, who was poised to become an unrestricted free agent, becomes the first player to be tagged this offseason. The Broncos now have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.
Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro center Jason Kelce announced that he will return for an 11th season and has restructured his contract for 2021. Kelce has been contemplating retirement the past several offseasons but has decided to play for at least another year even though the Eagles are going through a transition period.
Quarterback Alex Smith, who won the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in helping the Washington Football Team win the NFC East title, has been released by the franchise, it was announced Friday. Washington coach Ron Rivera said in a statement that the team granted Smith’s request to be released after the two met this week.
The Seattle Seahawks on Thursday officially released wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was suspended indefinitely, and retired tight end Greg Olsen. The moves were procedural, with Gordon having joined another league and Olsen having already announced his retirement on Jan. 24. Gordon posted on Twitter that he “personally asked” the Seahawks to be released, noting that his contract “was expired but still legally binding.”
Ben Roethlisberger is officially back with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2021 NFL season, the team announced Thursday. The Steelers did not disclose the terms, but a source told Schefter that Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14 million from $19 million in this final year of his contract and spread the cash payment through 2022. The move lowers the team’s salary-cap hit by more than $15 million.
The Detroit Lions have told cornerback Desmond Trufant that he will be released at the start of the league year, which begins on March 17, a source told Schefter. Trufant signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Lions before the 2020 season to be the team’s replacement for Darius Slay, who was traded to Philadelphia. Detroit still owes Trufant $3.5 million in guaranteed money for 2021.
Wide receiver Golden Tate has been released by the New York Giants in a cost-cutting move. The move creates $6 million in cap space for the Giants, $10 million if he is designated a post-June 1 cut. Tate was to make $8.5 million and count $11 million against the salary cap in 2021.
Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams has reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $6.2 million with the Detroit Lions, a source told Schefter on Wednesday. The Lions might have a revamped wide receiver corps in 2021, as Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola are set to become free agents later this month.
The New Orleans Saints have agreed to a two-year deal with special-teams standout and backup safety J.T. Gray. Gray, who was named second-team All Pro in 2019, was scheduled to be a restricted free agent after originally signing as an undrafted free agent out of Mississippi State in 2018.
In a cost-cutting move, the New York Jets on Tuesday released veteran defensive end Henry Anderson, who started 24 games for them over the past three seasons. By cutting Anderson, who carried a $9.5 million cap charge, the Jets will save $8.2 million — the amount of his non-guaranteed base salary. The remaining $1.3 million will remain as a “dead” charge.
The Minnesota Vikings have released veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph after 10 seasons, the team announced. The move saves Minnesota $5.1 million against the salary cap for 2021. Rudolph, 31, will become a free agent for the first time in his NFL career.
The Houston Texans restructured running back David Johnson‘s contract, which now will be worth up to $6 million in 2021, including $4.25 million fully guaranteed at signing, a source told ESPN. Johnson might have been a salary-cap casualty if he had not restructured his contract.
The Miami Dolphins are moving on from linebacker Kyle Van Noy just one year after he signed a four-year, $51 million deal in free agency. Van Noy released a statement Tuesday afternoon through NFL Network that he was informed of his release and was “surprised and disappointed” with the Dolphins’ decision. He mentioned he gave his all to Miami in his one season there as a captain and fought through a painful hip injury.
Free-agent pass-rusher J.J. Watt has agreed to a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, the team announced Monday. Terms were not disclosed, but a source told Schefter that the deal is worth $31 million and includes $23 million guaranteed.
New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder intends to play in 2021 as long as the situation is right, he told ESPN in a phone conversation. Solder, who opted out this past season because of concerns for his family with COVID-19, has yet to have that conversation with the team about his future. He was considered a high-risk opt-out and his contract tolled. He is scheduled to make $10 million in 2021 while costing $16.5 million against the salary cap this season.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson met with new Houston Texans coach David Culley last Friday, according to sources, and informed Culley that he has no intention of suiting up for the team again. Upset over the way the organization has operated in recent years, Watson has asked the Texans to trade him and has had very little contact with the team since the season ended.
The Tennessee Titans waived wide receiver Adam Humphries in a move that saves about $4.47 million in cap space, it was announced Thursday. The sixth-year receiver missed four games last season after a vicious hit by Cincinnati Bengals safety Jessie Bates in Week 8 resulted in a concussion.
Representatives for Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown have started exploring trade possibilities as he eyes a full-time role at left tackle, a source told ESPN. The Ravens are aware of those plans, the source said, as they value the three-year starter and Pro Bowler but are open to discussions about his future.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has not demanded a trade, his agent Mark Rodgers told Schefter. Rodgers said Wilson has told the Seahawks that he wants to play in Seattle, but if a trade were considered, the only teams he would go to are the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders and Chicago Bears.
The Denver Broncos have released defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, the team announced. Casey, 31, played in only three games before suffering a season-ending torn biceps during the Broncos’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Casey had no guaranteed money left on his contract, which was set to run through the 2022 season. The move saves the Broncos $11.87 million against the salary cap in 2021.
Receiver DeSean Jackson has been released by the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced. “Looking forward to my next chapter,” Jackson posted on his Instagram story before the announcement was made official. “Philadelphia it’s always Love. Appreciate Everything.” He played in just three games in ’19 because of a core muscle injury, and he missed 11 games this past season with an injured ankle.
The Carolina Panthers cleared $19.9 million in salary-cap space this week with the release of four players, including three on Friday. The release of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short on Wednesday and of defensive end Stephen Weatherly, safety Tre Boston and punter Michael Palardy on Friday improved the team’s cap space to $28.473 million heading into the start of free agency next month. Boston’s release won’t be official until the league year starts March 17, with a post-June 1 designation, according to a source.
The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to trade quarterback Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third-round draft pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick that could turn into a first-rounder, league sources told ESPN. The Eagles will receive the 85th overall pick in this year’s draft, and the conditional second-rounder can become a first-round pick based on Wentz’s playing time, according to sources. Wentz needs to play at least 75% of the Colts’ offensive snaps for the 2022 conditional pick to convey to a first-rounder, according to sources. The pick also could become a first-rounder if Wentz plays at least 70% of the snaps and the Colts reach the playoffs.
In moves that free up $10.75 million in salary-cap space, the Atlanta Falcons have released starting cornerback Ricardo Allen and defensive end Allen Bailey. The Falcons rank near the bottom of the NFL in salary-cap space.
The Miami Dolphins signed kicker Jason Sanders to a five-year extension that ties him to the franchise through the 2026 season. Financial terms were not disclosed, but a source told Schefter that the contract is worth $22 million and includes $10 million guaranteed.
The Las Vegas Raiders plan to release wide receiver Tyrell Williams at the start of the new league year, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Williams missed last season because of a torn labrum in his shoulder suffered in training camp that required surgery.
The Denver Broncos have released cornerback A.J. Bouye. The move is the first of several that will have to be made at cornerback as the Broncos rebuild their depth chart at the position after a season that saw four cornerbacks finish the year on injured reserve. Bouye also missed the last four games of 2020 due to a six-game suspension for violations of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
It took less than two games to transform quarterback Taylor Heinicke from a guy whose NFL career appeared over to signing a multiyear contract. The Washington Football Team announced Wednesday that it re-signed Heinicke to a two-year deal, which is worth up to $8.75 million, a source confirmed. Heinicke would have been a restricted free agent, but Washington had made it clear it wanted to keep him based on how he finished the season.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is heading to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff and a multitude of draft picks, sources told Schefter. The Lions will receive a third-round pick in 2021, a first-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023 in what is the first exchange of former No. 1 overall picks in the common draft era (since 1967). The deal cannot be made official until the start of the new league year on March 17.