Free agency is off an running. Teams can now negotiate with free agents and officially sign them Wednesday when the new league year starts, and they’re already striking deals to re-sign (and release) players and rumors are flowing on all the latest news across the league. Teams have to cut under the salary cap — $182.5 million — by Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET
Which teams will sign the biggest free agents? Offensive tackle Trent Williams, pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue and tight end Hunter Henry are among the top players available. Which teams are most active in free agency? What are we hearing on the trade front? And will there be any surprise cuts?
We’re tracking every notable NFL free-agent signing, trade and cut of the offseason, with the most recent moves at the top.
Washington to sign QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
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 ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday. Fitzpatrick is expected to head to camp as the starter, with competition from Taylor Heinicke, the source said.
Vikings agree to terms with DT Dalvin Tomlinson
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 Vikings also signed former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Nick Vigil to a one-year deal that includes $1.35 million guaranteed, a league source told ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.
Bengals agree to 4-year deal with DE Trey Hendrickson
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.
Texans agree to 2-year deal with LB Kevin Pierre-Louis
Broncos decline option of S Kareem Jackson
Jets agree to deal with pass-rusher Carl Lawson
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.
Jameis Winston re-signs with Saints on one-year deal
Quarterback Jameis Winston reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $12 million with the New Orleans Saints, a league source told ESPN’s Adam 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.
Broncos offer RB Phillip Lindsay low RFA tender
Chargers agree to 3-year deal for OT Matt Feiler
Titans agree to deal with pass-rusher Bud Dupree
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a deal with linebacker Bud Dupree, the former Steeler told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Monday. The deal will pay Dupree more than $16 million per year.
Michael Davis re-signs with Chargers for three years
Devontae Booker signs 2-year deal with Giants
Tennessee Titans agree to deal with DL Denico Autry
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a deal with former Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Denico Autry, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Turron Davenport on Monday.
Former Titans WR Corey Davis gets $27 million guaranteed from Jets
Former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis reached agreement on a three-year, $37.5 million deal with the New York Jets, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday. The deal includes $27 million guaranteed, sources said.
Urban Meyer nabs former Buckeye Carlos Hyde
Jaguars add receiver Phillip Dorsett
Gronk and Brady will do it again in Tampa
The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to get the band back together. The latest to rejoin: Rob Gronkowski.
The star tight end and the Bucs have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Broncos bringing in Ronald Darby on three-year deal
The Broncos agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract that includes $19.5 million guaranteed with cornerback Ronald Darby, a source told ESPN’s Adam 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.
Linebacker Joe Thomas heading to Texans
Leonard Floyd gets a four-year deal from Rams
The Los Angeles Rams are re-signing linebacker Leonard Floyd to a four-year contract, the team announced Monday. The deal is worth $64 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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.
Patriots bringing in Nelson Agholor
The New England Patriots are giving former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Nelson Agholor a two-year, $26 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Raiders add Yannick Ngakoue
The Las Vegas Raiders and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue have agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday. The deal includes $22 million guaranteed, a source said.
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.
Former Patriots S Terrence Brooks headed to the Texans on one-year, $2 million deal
Saints agree to terms with OT James Hurst on three-year, $9 million deal
Broncos to re-sign DT Shelby Harris to three-year contract
The Denver Broncos are re-signing defensive tackle Shelby Harris to a three-year deal worth as much as $27 million, sources told ESPN.
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.
RB Jamaal Williams exploring free agency
Jamaal Williams posted a goodbye message to Green Bay and the Packers on his Instagram account. It comes one day after Aaron Jones re-signed with the Packers (four years, $48 million). Both running backs were headed toward free agent. Now, Williams will get there, saying “I’m looking forward to what’s ahead … but nothing by love … GB it’s been real.”
Chargers land center Corey Linsley with five-year deal
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.
CB Cam Sutton returns to the Steelers via two-year, $9 million deal
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 stays in Texas, agrees to one-year pact with Houston
49ers agree to two-year deal with DE/OLB Samson Ebukam
Former Los Angeles Rams DE Samson Ebukam has agreed to a two-year, $12 million pact with the San Francisco 49ers, a source told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner.
DL Deatrich Wise agrees to return to the Patriots
The New England Patriots continue to be busy on Monday, coming to an agreement with Deatrich Wise Jr. on a return to the team for the defensive lineman.
Lions bring back LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin on one-year deal
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.
Jaguars begin to tackle defensive line needs, securing three-year deal with Roy Robertson-Harris
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ first step in addressing their defensive line issues began with agreeing to terms on a three-year contract with former Chicago Bears tackle Roy Robertson-Harris on Monday.
A league source confirmed to ESPN that the sides agreed to a three-year deal worth $24.4 million with $14 million guaranteed.
Browns boost secondary by adding S John Johnson III
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.
Lions cut OL Joe Dahl
The Lions have cut OL Joe Dahl. The 27-year-old Dahl played in 44 games in Detroit, starting 21 of them. A fifth-rounder out of Washington State in 2016, Dahl had been a developmental project because he was moving inside and hadn’t played in a conventional pro offense with the Cougars. He did well and elevated to a full-time starter in 2019. Cutting him saves at least $1.6 million against the cap, according to Roster Management System.
Chiefs reach agreement with former Patriots OL Joe Thuney on five-year, $80 million deal
The Kansas City Chiefs and free agent offensive lineman Joe Thuney have agreed to a five-year, $80 million deal, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.
Thuney, the previous standout for the New England Patriots, gives the Chiefs’ O-line an immediate boost in the wake of the team’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February’s Super Bowl.
Dolphins, P Michael Palardy agree to terms
Jets agree to terms with former Lions LB Jarrad Davis via one-year, $7 million pact
Patriots continue to spend, agreeing with DB Jalen Mills on a four-year, $24 million deal
Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills has agreed to a four-year, $24 million deal, with $9 million guaranteed, sources have told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
LB Matthew Judon reached agreement with Pats on a four-year, $56 million deal
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.
Rams placing a first-round tender on CB Darious Williams
49ers are re-signing CB Jason Verrett
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.
WR Andre Roberts, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill set to join Texans
Steelers extend vice president and GM Kevin Colbert
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.
NT Davon Godchaux, Patriots agree on a two-year deal
OT Cam Erving, Panthers working on a two-year, $10 million deal
Patriots, TE Jonnu Smith agree to a four-year, $50 deal
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.
Lions, DE Romeo Okwara agree to 3-year, $39M contract
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.
OL Pat Elflein heading to Carolina
DE Shaq Barrett returning to Bucs
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.
OLB Markus Golden staying in Arizona
DE Brandon Graham, Eagles working on extension
The Philadelphia Eagles and defensive end Brandon Graham are working on a contract extension that will help with cap space, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The deal will likely be a one-year extension for the would-be 2022 free agent, a source told Fowler, that can re-arrange Graham’s $17.9 million cap hit and $13 million salary while likely adding new money.
Russini: Titans won’t bring back two high-profile free agents
Cimini: Jets have interest in top offensive linemen
G Kevin Zeitler to sign with Ravens
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.
G Andrew Norwell restructures contract with Jacksonville
49ers re-sign FB Kyle Juszczyk to 5-year, $27 million deal
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.
Saints QB Drew Brees announces retirement
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%).
G Jon Feliciano signs extension with Bills
Packers re-signing RB Aaron Jones
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.
Patriots trading OT Marcus Cannon to Texans
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.
Russini: Top free-agent wide receivers could seek short-term deals
Texans trading LB Benardrick McKinney to Dolphins for LB Shaq Lawson
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.
DE Mario Edwards Jr. finalizing 3-year, $11.5M deal with Bears
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.
Last-minute NFL free-agency nuggets: Everything we’re hearing, plus teams and players to watch
OT Nate Solder expected back with Giants on reworked deal
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.
Chargers release CB Casey Hayward Jr.
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.
LB Preston Smith returns to Packers after cap reduction
49ers, CB Emmanuel Moseley reach two-year deal
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.
Chargers release OL Trai Turner one year after trade
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.
Chiefs to restructure QB Patrick Mahomes’ contract
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.
Bills agree to three-year extension with RT Daryl Williams
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.
Steelers re-signing veteran OL B.J. Finney
The Pittsburgh Steelers are fortifying their offensive line with a familiar face. Veteran lineman B.J. Finney is signing a contract with the Steelers, a league source told ESPN.
Cardinals re-signing CB Robert Alford
LB Christian Kirksey signing one-year deal with Texans
QB Tom Brady gets four-year extension with Buccaneers, saves cap space
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.
Saints plan to release LB Kwon Alexander
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.
QB Cam Newton returning to Patriots on 1-year deal
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.
Ravens re-sign veteran OLB Pernell McPhee
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.
Bears agree to three-year deal with K Cairo Santos
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.
Falcons re-sign kicker Younghoe Koo after Pro Bowl season
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.
Bills, LB Matt Milano agree on 4-year $44 million extension
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.
Texans reach one-year deal with RB Mark Ingram
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.
Lions plan to release slot CB Justin Coleman, TE Jesse James
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.
Texans coach David Culley reaffirms commitment to Deshaun Watson: ‘He is our quarterback’
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.”
Steelers re-sign WR Ray-Ray McCloud to one-year deal
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.
Texans WR Brandin Cooks restructures deal
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.
Kansas City releases OTs Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz
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.
Saints to release veteran CB Janoris Jenkins in latest cost-cutting move
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.
Vikings release LT Riley Reiff, free up $11.75 million
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.
Kenny Vaccaro joins Malcolm Butler as a Titans cap casualty
Dolphins cut Kyle Van Noy after one season
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.
Giants release G Kevin Zeitler to clear salary cap space
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.
Panthers restructure RB Christian McCaffrey, LB Shaq Thompson deals
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.
Bills release WR John Brown, DL Quinton Jefferson
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.
Saints to release WR Emmanuel Sanders
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.
NFL salary cap set at $182.5 million, down 8%
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.
Titans releasing CB Malcolm Butler
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.
Buccaneers bringing back LB Lavonte David on 2-year, $25M deal
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.
Packers don’t franchise RB Aaron Jones
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.
Seahawks won’t franchise-tag RB Chris Carson
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.
Browns release DE Adrian Clayborn, save $3M in salary cap space
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.
Giants tag DT Leonard Williams after working on deal
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.
Falcons release veteran G James Carpenter
The Atlanta Falcons have saved almost $4 million from the 2021 salary cap by cutting veteran offensive guard James Carpenter.
Vikings release veteran K Dan Bailey
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.
Saints use franchise tag on S Marcus Williams
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.
Bears franchise-tag star WR Allen Robinson
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 Bears OL Kyle Long to unretire
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.
Lions don’t use franchise tag on WR Kenny Golladay
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.
Chargers tell TE Hunter Henry he won’t be tagged again
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.
Jaguars use franchise tag on LT Cam Robinson
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.”
Steelers won’t use franchise tag on LB Bud Dupree
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.
Buccaneers use franchise tag on WR Chris Godwin
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.
Panthers use franchise tag on RT Taylor Moton
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.
Raiders trade OT Trent Brown to Patriots
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.
Seahawks release DE Carlos Dunlap, create $14.1M in cap space
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.
QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys reach four-year, $160 million deal, source says
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.
S Marcus Maye receives franchise tag from Jets, source says
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.
Sources: Titans shipping OT Isaiah Wilson to Dolphins
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 places franchise tag on Brandon Scherff
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.
Texans sign ex-Seahawks C Justin Britt to one-year deal
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.
Bengals release G B.J. Finney
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.
Broncos placing franchise tag on S Justin Simmons
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.
C Jason Kelce, Eagles reach new deal for 2021 season
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.
Washington releases QB Alex Smith
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.
Seahawks release WR Josh Gordon, TE Greg Olsen
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.”
QB Ben Roethlisberger signs with Steelers for 2021 season
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.
Saints release P Thomas Morstead after 12 seasons
The New Orleans Saints have released Thomas Morstead, who has been one of the NFL’s best punters over the past 12 years and was responsible for one of the most iconic moments in franchise history.
Lions tell CB Desmond Trufant he’ll be released
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.
Giants release veteran WR Golden Tate in cost-cutting move
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.
Lions, WR Tyrell Williams reach deal
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.
Saints re-sign special-teams ace J.T. Gray
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.
Jets release DE Henry Anderson
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.
Vikings release TE Kyle Rudolph after 10 seasons
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.
RB David Johnson reworks deal for 2021 with Texans, source says
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.
LB Kyle Van Noy ‘surprised’ as Dolphins plan to move on
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.
DE J.J. Watt agrees to 2-year deal with Arizona
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.
OT Nate Solder intends to play after opting out in 2020
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.
QB Deshaun Watson met with Texans coach David Culley, still wants to be traded
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.
Titans release WR Adam Humphries
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.
Ravens OT Orlando Brown exploring trade possibility, source says
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.
QB Russell Wilson hasn’t demanded trade from Seahawks, agent says
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.
Broncos release veteran DT Jurrell Casey after one season
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.
Eagles release veteran WR DeSean Jackson
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.
Panthers release three players to increase cap space to $28.5 million
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.
Eagles trade QB Carson Wentz to Colts for draft picks
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.
Falcons release CB Ricardo Allen, LB Allen Bailey for salary-cap savings
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.
Dolphins sign All-Pro K Jason Sanders to 5-year extension
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.
Raiders release WR Tyrell Williams
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.
Broncos release CB A.J. Bouye one year after trade
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.
Washington signs QB Taylor Heinicke to 2-year deal
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.
Lions deal QB Matthew Stafford to Rams for QB Jared Goff, picks
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.
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