NFL Free Agency Rumors: All the Latest News and Reports on Available Stars

Jesse Pantuosco
March 19, 2020 - 9:45 am
Categories: 

Between teams assigning franchise tags, trade happenings and free-agent rumblings, the NFL news machine will be firing on all cylinders this week. We’re keeping track of it all right here at Radio.com. Here’s the latest from around the league:

Update: March 19, 4:15 PM ET

Whoa …

With Gurley and Matthews both goners and Brandin Cooks also on the way out, Los Angeles appears headed for a rebuild. Had the Rams kept Gurley past 4 PM ET today, they would have been on the hook for $10.5 million. The Rams explored the prospect of trading Gurley, but unsurprisingly, no one was willing to take on his albatross contract. The Buccaneers and Falcons (who just released long-time workhorse Devonta Freeman) would both make sense as potential landing spots for the Georgia alum.

Update: March 19, 3:05 PM ET

We know Tom Brady wants Antonio Brown by his side in Tampa, but it doesn’t sound like Bruce Arians is too keen on that idea. Arians never saw eye-to-eye with AB during his stint as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator.

Former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco got the heave ho from Denver Thursday. Flacco became expendable when the Broncos reached a deal with former Lions and Bengals backup Jeff Driskel earlier this week.

With Byron Jones headed to Miami and Chris Harris off to L.A., Logan Ryan is left as one of the corners still available in free agency. The ex-Titan said he’d be amenable to a short-term deal, but won’t sign for less than the $10 million he made in 2019.

Along with teammate Todd Gurley, the Rams are putting receiver Brandin Cooks on the trade block.

Of the 15 players either franchise or transition tagged this week, only New England’s Joe Thuney has signed his tender.

Update: March 19, 9:40 AM ET

Eagles snag Slay

Ask …

… and you shall receive! Slay, a first-team All-Pro selection as recently as 2017, is an awesome get for the Eagles. Philly needed secondary help in the worst way, particularly after whiffing on Byron Jones earlier in free agency. This deal makes Slay the league's highest-paid corner on a per year basis.

The Brady Effect

Tom Brady turns 43 in August, but apparently that hasn’t deterred prospective free agents from hopping aboard the Bucs bandwagon:

Josh Gordon

Brady’s former target in New England, Josh Gordon, is hoping to resume his career despite his latest suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse and performance-enhancing drug policies.

Update: March 18, 8:45 PM ET

Clowney seeking king's ransom

Jadeveon Clowney has so far heard crickets in free agency. Maybe that’s because of his sky-high asking price. For a player with injury red flags and a questionable motor, $20 million annually is pretty steep.

Michael Pierce

The Vikings couldn’t keep Linval Joseph from leaving the nest (he flew the coop by signing with the Chargers earlier today), but Michael Pierce, a 14-game starter for the Ravens last year, may be the next best thing.

Desmond Trufant

After spending an anxious 48 hours in free-agent purgatory, former Falcon Desmond Trufant resurfaced Wednesday as a member of the Lions. Trufant’s arrival in Detroit would suggest the Lions are serious about trading Darius Slay.

Update: March 18, 6:10 PM ET

Saints make things official with Malcolm Jenkins

Malcom Jenkins is officially headed to New Orleans for his second stint with the Saints. According to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, the four-time Pro Bowler signed for four years and $32 million.

Update: March 18, 5:50 PM ET

Devon Kennard wasn’t out of a job for long. It took him only one day to land on his feet after being cut by the Lions. This will be a homecoming for the 28-year-old, who grew up in Phoenix.

Speaking of homecomings, veteran linebacker Bruce Irvin is headed back to Seattle, where he began his career in 2012.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson was the first to report Chris Harris would be signing with the Chargers and now James Palmer has the contract terms. Harris also made sure to thank the fans in Denver, where he spent his first nine seasons.

Update: March 18, 5:05 PM ET

Rams retain Andrew Whitworth

Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth is back to protect Jared Goff’s blind side for another three years. This should allow the 38-year-old to finish his career in Los Angeles.

Elandon Roberts

Another Patriot leaving to play for a former Belichick assistant? The Pats are just getting trolled at this point. Though he’s listed as a linebacker, Roberts filled in at fullback for a stretch last season, even snagging a 38-yard touchdown out of the backfield in a Week 17 loss to Miami.

Update: March 18, 4:30 PM ET

Chargers bolster secondary with Chris Harris

Chris Harris, a four-time Pro Bowler and arguably the top slot corner in football over the past several seasons, is headed to the division-rival Chargers following a nine-year stint in Denver. He joins a loaded Chargers secondary also featuring perennial Pro Bowler Casey Hayward and promising up-and-comer Derwin James.

Update: March 18, 3:55 PM ET

Do you like apples?

WELL HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? Sorry, had to do it.

Update: March 18, 3:15 PM ET

Fowler spurns Rams for Atlanta

Dante Fowler said sayonara to the Rams Wednesday, saying peace to the 213 by signing a three-year, $48-million deal with Atlanta. Still just 25, the former third overall pick tallied a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2019.

Leonard Floyd resurfaces in L.A.

The Rams wasted little time in finding Fowler’s replacement, quickly pouncing on Bears castoff Leonard Floyd.

Update: March 18, 2:30 PM ET

Cam Newton latest

Despite ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio suggesting the Chargers as a potential landing spot for Cam Newton, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network hears the Bolts won’t be going that route. Tyrod Taylor, who has starting experience from his previous stints with Cleveland and Buffalo, will likely serve as a bridge to whichever quarterback Los Angeles inevitably drafts in April.

In other Chargers happenings, former Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph is headed to Los Angeles on a two-year deal.

Hopkins downplays Bill O’Brien feud

Michael Irvin made waves this morning by detailing a conversation he had with DeAndre Hopkins about his falling out with Texans coach Bill O’Brien. However, Hopkins took the high road Wednesday, responding to the controversy with this message on social media:

Update: March 18, 1:45 PM ET

Bears add Foles to quarterback mix

The Bears cast a wide net in their quarterback search—Teddy Bridgewater and Andy Dalton had both been on their wish list—but appears they’ve finally found their man. Former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is headed to the Windy City. Foles didn’t work out in Jacksonville—he broke his collarbone in his Jaguars debut before eventually falling behind fan favorite Gardner Minshew in the Jags’ pecking order. But perhaps Foles will benefit from a change of scenery in Chicago, where he’ll be reunited with his former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. Foles will battle former second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears’ starting job this summer.

Update: March 18, 12:55 PM ET

Malcolm Jenkins returns to the Big Easy

That didn’t take long. A day after the Eagles declined his option for 2020, Malcolm Jenkins is headed back to where it all started. The veteran safety began his career in New Orleans before leaving for Philadelphia as a free agent in 2014. Jenkins makes up for the loss of Vonn Bell, who is expected to depart in free agency.

Panthers hand Eric Reid his walking papers

Meanwhile the Panthers are turning the page on one-time Pro Bowler Eric Reid, who started all 16 games for them in 2019.

Update: March 18, 12:35 PM ET

Broncos reel in five-time Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey

Look at the Broncos getting frisky! Jurell Casey is a big loss for the Titans, though his departure does clear $10 million in salary cap space. With Denver allotting $12-million a year to Casey, the Broncos are expected to cut the cord on Joe Flacco with an announcement likely coming later today.

New England’s mass exodus continues

Two more Patriots are on the move. Ted Karras, who filled in at center for David Andrews (he spent the year on injured reserve while battling blood clots) in 2019, is setting up shop in Miami. The Dolphins, of course, are coached by former Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores. Meanwhile, Duron Harmon is also headed elsewhere. The eighth-year safety will join the Lions, reuniting Harmon with his former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Update: March 18, 11:35 AM ET

Another Patriots departure

The Patriots’ mass exodus continued Wednesday with Danny Shelton skipping town to join the Detroit Lions on a two-year contract. Shelton joins Tom Brady, Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy among recent Patriots defectors.

Clowney hearing crickets

It’s been strangely quiet on the Jadeveon Clowney front. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo acknowledged Wednesday that the star pass-rusher’s market has been slow to develop, though Clowney does have an offer on the table from Seattle.

Nuk sets his price

DeAndre Hopkins is reportedly seeking somewhere between $18-20 million annually on a new contract. Along with his falling out with head coach Bill O’Brien (covered in detail by NFL Network’s Michael Irvin), the 27-year-old’s contract demands played a major role in Houston trading him to Arizona for David Johnson and a second-round pick.

Update: March 18, 9:25 AM ET

Emmanuel Sanders

Emmanuel Sanders, a Texas native who trains in Dallas during the offseason (he also played his college ball at nearby SMU), is reportedly on the Cowboys’ radar. Dallas-based NFL Network correspondent Jane Slater reports the interest is mutual. Sanders, who turned 33 on Tuesday, would make up for the loss of Randall Cobb, who left Dallas to join the Texans on the first day of free agency.

Update: March 18, 9:10 AM ET

Gerald McCoy

The Cowboys’ defense has been hit hard by free agency—Byron Jones, Robert Quinn, Maliek Collins and Jeff Heath have all signed elsewhere in the past 48 hours—though Dallas did have one trick up its sleeve Tuesday, roping in Gerald McCoy (a six-time Pro Bowler with 139 games of starting experience) on a three-year contract. His deal is pending a physical.

Brady recruiting AB to Tampa?

As NESN’s Dale Arnold alluded to yesterday, Tom Brady wants Antonio Brown to join him in Tampa Bay (can you imagine a receiving corps of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and AB?), though obviously that’s easier said than done with the league still investigating Brown for allegations of sexual misconduct. He’s also facing battery and burglary charges stemming from an incident in January. It’s an interesting scenario to imagine but probably unrealistic given all of Brown’s baggage.

Update: March 17, 11:30 PM ET

Last update before I hit the hay. After a breakneck start to free agency, things are finally beginning to slow down. There’s more to come, of course, with Jameis Winston, Jadeveon Clowney and Melvin Gordon among the names still available. Denver is bringing in former Lions and Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel to back up Drew Lock, an indication the Broncos plan to move on from Joe Flacco.

Also, notice the tone of these tweets submitted by the Panthers earlier today. “Permission to seek a trade” would imply some leeway, but that’s not the vibe I'm getting here. Judging by these tweets, I'm guessing Cam's a goner regardless of how his trade market unfolds. Maybe they'll get a few lowball offers (a reunion with Ron Rivera in Washington has already been floated as a possibility), but the Panthers don’t have much leverage. Cutting Cam outright would leave behind just $2 million in dead money while clearing $19.1 million in cap space. Just saying.

Update: March 17, 9:15 PM ET

A few more signings have trickled in since the Brady bomb dropped a few hours ago. Have a look:

Quinton Jefferson was quietly one of the stouter defenders in football last season (fourth-highest grade among 3-4 defensive ends, according to ProFootballFocus) while the versatile Finney drew a handful of starts for Pittsburgh in 2019.

Buffalo addressed its receiving need in the form of Stefon Diggs while Arizona went for the top shelf in poaching DeAndre Hopkins from Houston. Meanwhile the Patriots’ solution is … Damiere Byrd? No wonder Brady skipped town on them.

Update: March 17, 7:05 PM ET

Schefter confirms Bucs to land Brady

Throughout the day, all signs have pointed to Tom Brady becoming a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Adam Schefter confirms that will indeed be the case. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Brady's deal with Tampa will pay him $30 million annually.

Bridgewater contract details

Teddy Bridgewater’s three-year deal with Carolina is for a reported $63 million. That computes to a $21-million AAV.

Sean Lee

In a surprise move, the Cowboys are bringing back long-tenured linebacker Sean Lee on a one-year deal. Either the Cowboys value Lee’s locker-room presence or the team has reservations about the health of Pro Bowler Leighton Vander Esch, who spent much of last year battling neck issues.

Connor McGovern

A day after bolstering their line by bringing in former Seahawks tackle George Fant, the Jets added another piece to that unit, landing ex-Broncos center Connor McGovern on a three-year contract.

Update: March 17, 6:30 PM ET

Chargers to bow out of Brady sweepstakes

The once inconceivable notion of Tom Brady leaving New England to start a new chapter in Tampa Bay is on the verge of becoming a reality. The Chargers put in a valiant effort, but it appears their pursuit of Brady has ended. Barring a late entry into the Brady sweepstakes, TB12 will be a Buccaneer. No state income taxes!

Update: March 17, 5:55 PM ET

Thomas Davis

After a short stint in Los Angeles, Thomas Davis is moving back east to be a Washington Redskin. He’ll be back under the same roof as Ron Rivera, who coached him for eight seasons in Carolina.

Derek Watt

Watt siblings unite! Derek Watt is headed to Pittsburgh, where he’ll share a locker room with younger brother T.J. This isn’t the first time they’ve played together as the Watt brothers also overlapped at the University of Wisconsin.

Trae Waynes

If any bars were open, drinks would be on Trae Waynes tonight. Cincinnati made the former Vikings corner a VERY wealthy man Tuesday. The Bengals have quietly been heavy spenders, loading up on defense by inking Waynes and D.J. Reader to lucrative long-term deals.

Update: March 17, 5:05 PM ET

Just going to leave this here …

👀

D.J. Reader

As John Malkovich would say, pay that man his money. That’s exactly what the Bengals did Tuesday, poaching D.J. Reader from the Texans on a generous four-year, $53-million deal. Reader was phenomenal in 2019, grading as PFF’s No. 6 defensive tackle out of 103 positional qualifiers.

Update: March 17, 4:35 PM ET

Bulaga leaves Cheese Country for Tinseltown

After a decade spent in Green Bay, veteran tackle Bryan Bulaga will begin a new chapter in his NFL journey. He’s headed to the Chargers on a three-year deal. Bulaga’s departure from Green Bay was foreshadowed when the Packers signed Rick Wagner to a two-year contract earlier this week.

Nickell Robey-Coleman

Nickell Robey-Coleman, who is most known for this egregious pass interference that somehow wasn’t called in the 2018 NFC title game, will not be back with Los Angeles after the Rams declined his option for 2020. The slot corner has missed just one game over his seven-year career.

Update: March 17, 4:05 PM ET

Colts secure Rivers on one-year pact

It’s been hinted at all day and now ESPN’s Adam Schefter has made it official: Philip Rivers will be the next quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. It’s only a one-year deal, however, which means the Colts are still likely to target a QB in next year’s draft. With Rivers in tow, don’t expect the Jacoby Brissett to New England rumblings to end any time soon.

Witten to Sin City

Veteran tight end and Monday Night Football alum Jason Witten will join the Raiders on a one-year deal worth up to $4.75 million. The former Cowboy could see the writing on the wall when Dallas shelled out $24.25 million for Blake Jarwin on Monday.

Update: March 17, 3:40 PM ET

Bucs emerge as frontrunner for Brady

It may be a while before we hear anything definitive from Tom Brady’s camp, though reading the tea leaves, it looks like Tampa Bay has a clear leg up in the Brady sweepstakes. Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports and NESN reporter Dale Arnold are both of the belief Brady will be a Buc come Wednesday.

Falcons castoff Vic Beasley looks for redemption in Tennessee

Former Falcon Vic Beasley, who led the league with 15.5 sacks during his breakout 2016, will head to Nashville for a change of scenery. The 27-year-old Clemson alum will be tasked with replacing veteran Cameron Wake, who the Titans pink-slipped last week.

Update: March 17, 3:20 PM ET

Jordan Howard

Two-time 1,000-yard rusher Jordan Howard is headed to his third team in as many seasons, hopping aboard the Dolphins’ bandwagon on a two-year, $10-million pact. After missing only one game over his first three seasons, Howard struggled to stay on the field in 2019, logging just nine appearances while battling a nagging shoulder injury. With Miles Sanders emerging as the Eagles’ workhorse, Howard was always a long shot to return to Philly. Though a limited athlete who has never made much headway on the receiving side, Howard still represents a sizable improvement on Miami's 2019 backfield trio of Kalen Ballage, Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin.

Malcolm Jenkins

Philadelphia announced Tuesday the team will not exercise Malcolm Jenkins’ team option for 2020, making the long-tenured safety a free agent. Jalen Mills, who is reportedly bracing for a move to safety, could be an option to replace Jenkins in the Eagles’ secondary.

Update: March 17, 3:00 PM ET

Jaguars empty the vault for Schobert

Hours after Cory Littleton made things official with Las Vegas, another linebacker came off the board Tuesday with former Brown Joe Schobert defecting to Jacksonville on a five-year deal. Schobert’s arrival marks a drastic departure from the Jags’ recent rebuilding efforts, which claimed both Calais Campbell and A.J. Bouye as roster casualties earlier this offseason.

Jalen Mills

Jalen Mills, a nine-game starter for the Eagles in 2019, is headed back to Philadelphia on a one-year deal. The plan is for Mills—a cornerback by trade—to see most of his reps at safety.

Update: March 17, 2:05 PM ET

Colts close to landing Rivers

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms the Colts are close to putting a bow on Philip Rivers, reuniting him with former Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich. The declining 38-year-old is best viewed as a bridge quarterback in Indy, though the Colts options in the draft are limited after sending their first-round pick to San Francisco in exchange for DeForest Buckner.

Vernon Hargreaves

Former first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves, who wore out his welcome in Tampa Bay before resurfacing in Houston late last season, will return to the Texans on what amounts to a “prove it” deal.

Ryan Shazier

Though it’s long been the assumption, the Steelers made it official Tuesday by placing Ryan Shazier on the reserve/retired list. This effectively ends Shazier’s career, though the 27-year-old hadn’t seen the field since 2017 when he suffered a serious spinal injury in a game against Cincinnati. The two-time Pro Bowler has made a remarkable recovery—at the time, it was unclear if he’d even walk again—but any thought of him resuming his NFL career ended with Tuesday’s announcement.

Update: March 17, 12:45 PM ET

Teddy Bridgewater to succeed Cam in Carolina

Teddy Bridgewater is off the market. He’s teaming up with offensive coordinator Joe Brady (who previously worked with Bridgewater as a Saints assistant in 2018) in Carolina. The Panthers are giving him quite an allowance too. Pretty good loot for a guy who has started only six games over the last four seasons.

Cory Littleton

All-Pro linebacker Cory Littleton will have a new address in 2020. The former Ram will make his new home in Sin City after agreeing to a three-year, $36-million contract with the newly-minted Las Vegas Raiders.

Update: March 17, 12:30 PM ET

Bears land two-time Pro Bowler Robert Quinn

Coming off a resurgent year for the Cowboys (career-high 11.5 sacks), Robert Quinn is heading to Chicago on a five-year deal that will net him a cool $70 million. The Bears will represent Quinn’s fourth team in as many seasons following stints in Los Angeles, Miami and Dallas.

Leonard Floyd was the collateral damage with Chicago deciding to cut the former first-round pick to clear a roster spot for Quinn.

Update: March 17, 12:20 PM ET

Cam calls out Panthers

Despite how the Panthers framed it in their initial announcement, Cam Newton took to social media to clarify that his expected departure from Carolina was not a mutual decision. The three-time Pro Bowler was adamant he loved playing for Carolina and had no desire to leave. Also, interesting font choice on Cam's part.

Teddy Bridgewater

In addition to being pursued by the Bears and Panthers, former Saints and Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is also being courted by the suddenly quarterback-needy Patriots.

Isaiah Crowell

Isaiah Crowell, who spent last year on the Raiders’ injured reserve list after tearing his Achilles in OTAs, is on the verge of joining Seattle. With Crowell likely to back up entrenched starter Chris Carson, perhaps the Seahawks are gearing up to shop 2018 first-rounder Rashaad Penny, who the team also made available at last year’s trade deadline. That could be difficult, however, with Penny still recovering from ACL surgery.

Update: March 17, 11:15 AM ET

Cam on the outs in Carolina?

Well this has taken a turn. Apparently, the Panthers are moving on from Cam Newton with Teddy Bridgewater expected to be his successor. Patriots fans are still in a glass of case emotion after the news of Tom Brady’s departure, but Cam wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize, assuming the former MVP is healthy after missing most of last year with a Lisfranc injury.

Update: March 17, 11:05 AM ET

Philip Rivers nearing deal with Colts

From the looks of it, Philip Rivers will be the next free-agent domino to fall at quarterback. With Brady jumping ship, perhaps the Patriots would be amenable to a reunion with Jacoby Brissett, who should be expendable with Rivers apparently headed to Indy.

Emmanuel Ogbah

Seriously, how much money do the Dolphins have? Between Ogbah, Byron Jones, Ereck Flowers, Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy, the Fins have spent over $200 million in roster improvements just in the past 24 hours.

Update: March 17, 10:30 AM ET

Drew Brees makes the easy choice

Drew Brees—the NFL’s all-time leader in both passing yards and touchdowns—will return to the Saints on a two-year deal, which should allow him to finish his career in New Orleans.

Zero Dark Brady?

If Tom Brady knows where he’s headed next, he’s not telling anyone. The Buccaneers and Chargers have both made their interest known, though if either team is expecting a decision Tuesday, they shouldn’t hold their breath.

Before announcing his intent to leave New England, Brady hashed it out with owner Robert Kraft on Monday night. Though Brady ultimately decided his time in Foxboro was up, Kraft has nothing but love for the future Hall of Famer:

Update: March 17, 9:15 AM ET

Brady breaks New England’s heart

To quote the great Kenny Smith, it’s over. The day we never thought would come is finally here. After a 20-year relationship, Tom Brady is breaking up with the Patriots.

Brady had hinted at this possibility for months, but it still doesn’t feel real. He’ll finish his New England tenure—the greatest 20-year stretch an NFL quarterback has ever had—with six Super Bowl rings, nine conference titles, three MVP awards, four Super Bowl MVPs, 14 Pro Bowl nods and over 74,000 passing yards. He hasn’t tipped his hand yet, though it’s fair to surmise Brady’s decision will come down to either the Buccaneers (who reportedly made an aggressive pitch Monday) or Chargers. With Brady gone it’s back to the drawing board in Foxboro, with the Patriots weighing their options including trade possibilities (Jacoby Brissett, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles) and what’s left of this year’s free-agent quarterback crop (Teddy Bridgewater, Philip Rivers and Jameis Winston).

Brady elaborated on his decision to skip town, which you can read below.

Update: March 17, 8:40 AM ET

Drew Brees

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! The Saints are celebrating, not with Guinness and Irish car bombs, but by re-signing long-time signal-caller Drew Brees. There are still a few I’s to dot and T’s to cross but rest assured, Brees will be back in the Big Easy when all is said and done.

Anthony Harris

The plot thickens. The Vikings assigned Anthony Harris the franchise tag Monday, but apparently he’s no lock to be back in ‘Sota. Per Ian Rapoport, the Vikes are open for business and would gladly flip the veteran safety for a mid to late-round pick.

Blake Martinez

The Giants were in need of linebacker help after cutting the cord on Alec Ogletree last month. Big Blue addressed that deficiency Monday night by nabbing tackle machine (he racked up 155 of them last year) Blake Martinez, formerly of the Packers.

Jimmie Ward

While you were busy catching Zs, the Niners were opening up their wallet for seventh-year safety Jimmie Ward, who is headed back to Santa Clara on a three-year, $28.5-million pact.

Update: March 16, 11:55 PM ET

This will make up for trading DeAndre Hopkins!

Any time you can replace a generational talent/potential Hall of Famer with an aging slot receiver whose one Pro Bowl appearance came six years ago, you have to jump on it.

Update: March 16, 11:35 PM ET

Kendall Fuller returns to Washington

Kendall Fuller is going back to where it all began. After spending the past two seasons in Kansas City (his interception of Jimmy Garoppolo sealed Super Bowl LIV), Fuller is heading back to the nation’s capital, where he’ll reunite with the team that drafted him out of Virginia Tech in 2016. Though he’s best known for his slot exploits, the versatile 25-year-old can play anywhere in the secondary.

Update: March 16, 11:15 PM ET

Amari Cooper re-ups with Dallas

So much for going to sleep. The Cowboys were burning the midnight oil Monday, staying up late to sign Amari Cooper to a massive five-year extension. His $20-million AAV ties Michael Thomas for the highest among wide receivers. The Redskins quietly made a run at Cooper but obviously fell short in their pursuit.

Vikings ship Diggs to Buffalo

We knew something was up with Stefon Diggs when this cryptic tweet came across our screens earlier today. After months seeking a way out of Minnesota, the Vikings finally granted Diggs his wish Monday by trading him (ironically on the day Kirk Cousins inked a two-year extension) to Buffalo. Diggs, who is coming off a career-high 1,130 yards in 2019, gives Josh Allen a legitimate go-to weapon, though he came at quite a cost with the Bills sending back four picks as compensation including the No. 22 selection in next month’s draft.

Update: March 16, 10:05 PM ET

Marcus Mariota resurfaces in Vegas

It’s still quiet on the Tom Brady front but one of the Patriots’ fallback options appears to be off the market. We’ll know once we see the dollar amount, but for now, it’s unclear if the Raiders view Marcus Mariota as their starter or if he’s being brought in to compete with Derek Carr. Either way, it’s looking like Carr’s days in Vegas are numbered.

Another Patriot jumps ship

So I guess all the Patriots defensive free agents are just going to pair off with their old assistants? That’s the way it’s been going at least with Kyle Van Noy forming an alliance with Brian Flores in Miami and now Jamie Collins teaming up with former Pats D coordinator Matt Patricia in the Motor City.

George Fant bolts Seattle for the Big Apple

George Fant won’t fix all that ails New York’s broken O line, but it’s a start.

Update: March 16, 8:55 PM ET

Javon Hargrave

Former Steeler Javon Hargrave is headed cross-state to the Eagles after cashing in on a three-year deal with Philadelphia. Hargrave’s gaudy $13-million annual salary makes him the highest-paid nose tackle in football.

Kyle Van Noy

The Dolphins’ spending spree continues. Kyle Van Noy is headed to Miami along with fellow newcomers Byron Jones, Ereck Flowers and Shaq Lawson. It should be an easy transition for Van Noy, who is familiar with head coach Brian Flores from their time together in New England.

Update: March 16, 7:45 PM ET

Bears ante up for Jimmy Graham

The Bears were reportedly one of the teams interested in Austin Hooper before the Browns swooped in with a Godfather offer. It appears Chicago’s fallback plan was former Packers and Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, who is headed to the Windy City on a two-year deal.

Update: March 16, 7:35 PM ET

Byron Jones contract details announced

The numbers are in and dear lord, Ian Rapoport wasn’t kidding. Byron Jones’ deal with Miami is indeed massive. Look at all that coin.

Michael Brockers

The Ravens also got better Monday with the addition of veteran defensive end Michael Brockers. This comes a day after the Ravens added Calais Campbell in a lopsided trade with Jacksonville (all it cost them was a fifth-round pick).

Update: March 16, 7:10 PM

Dolphins make Byron Jones the NFL’s top-paid CB

Right on cue. Mere minutes after James Bradberry put the finishing touches on a three-year, $45 million pact with the Giants, Byron Jones did him one better, signing what NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport described as a “massive” contract with the Dolphins. We’re still waiting on specifics, though Rapoport hears the deal will net Jones over $17 million annually. That makes him the league’s highest-paid cornerback, an honor once held by his new Dolphins teammate Xavien Howard.

Update: March 16, 6:45 PM ET

James Bradberry

After taking a beating in the secondary last season, the Giants made sure to address their need in free agency, signing on for three years of James Bradberry. The former Panther didn’t reset the corner market as he had hoped but came awful close—his $15-million annual salary is second-highest at the position, trailing only Miami’s Xavien Howard ($15.05 AAV). Of course, it’s only a matter of time until Byron Jones blows both of those deals out of the water. In New York, Bradberry will reunite with GM Dave Gettleman, who drafted him as a second-round pick in 2016.

Titans move quickly to replace Conklin

Tennessee wasted no time in replacing Jack Conklin. The Titans are bringing back Dennis Kelly at literally half the cost of Conklin, who put pen to paper on a three-year, $42-million contract with the Browns earlier today. Kelly logged four starts in place of suspended left tackle Taylor Lewan last season.

Update: March 16, 6:10 PM ET

Graham Glasnow

Graham Glasnow, one of the better guards available in this year’s free agency, is leaving Detroit for the Mile High City.

Update: March 16, 5:45 PM ET

Case Keenum

The well-traveled Case Keenum gets to put another stamp on his NFL passport. The Browns (busy day for them) will represent his fifth team in as many seasons.

Blake Martinez

According to NJ.com beat reporter Matt Lombardo, Blake Martinez is drawing significant interest from the Giants. Only Seattle’s Bobby Wagner compiled more tackles than Martinez in 2019. The 26-year-old's departure from Green Bay became a foregone conclusion Monday when the Packers sunk $16 million into former Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Big V is leaving the nest. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who spent much of his Eagles tenure backing up Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, will finally have an opportunity to start in Detroit after joining the Lions on a five-year, $50-million contract. With Philadelphia allowing Peters to test the market and Vaitai headed to the Motor City, the Eagles will move forward with Johnson and 2019 first-rounder Andre Dillard as their starting tackles.

Update: March 16, 5:15 PM ET

Jack Conklin

What a day for Cleveland. Hours after landing arguably the top tight end in this year’s free-agent crop (Austin Hooper entered the fold on a four-year, $44 million deal), the Browns made another splash Monday by poaching All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin from the Titans on a three-year, $42 million contract. Losing Conklin was the expected outcome for Tennessee as the Titans simply couldn’t afford him after throwing $118 million at Ryan Tannehill and franchising Derrick Henry. Conklin is a huge get for the Browns, who needed to overhaul their O line after yielding an embarrassing 41 sacks last season.

Update: March 16, 4:25 PM ET

Niners trade All-Pro DeForest Buckner to Indy

We knew San Francisco couldn’t pay everyone after splurging on Arik Armstead. Sure enough, the Niners are shipping DeForest Buckner—a second-team All-Pro selection in 2019—to Indianapolis in exchange for the 13th overall pick in next month’s draft. The Colts have already inked Buckner to a monster extension worth $21 million annually, the second-highest salary ever for a defensive lineman (Aaron Donald still holds court with his $22.5 million AAV). The 49ers were in desperate need of draft capital—even with Indy’s first-rounder, they still own just two picks in the first four rounds.

Update: March 16, 3:50 PM ET

Gurley a goner?

It’s been a heavy afternoon of trade speculation in the NFL with Stefon Diggs and Brandin Cooks both generating substantial buzz. Michael Silver is adding one more name to that list. The NFL.com scribe suggests the Rams could be ready to throw in the towel on Todd Gurley with Los Angeles reportedly seeking a mid-round pick as compensation.

Andy Dalton

Despite discussions with Teddy Bridgewater, ESPN’s Ed Werder believes the Bears have narrowed their quarterback search to Nick Foles and Andy Dalton. Chicago is hoping to bring in a veteran to push underachieving Mitchell Trubisky for the starting job this summer.

Update: March 16, 3:35 PM ET

Something is up with Stefon Diggs

Disgruntled Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs could be teasing a trade with this cryptic tweet:

Nick Foles

We know the Bears are hot on Teddy Bridgewater’s trail, but apparently he’s not the only quarterback they’ve been vetting. Michael Lombardi of The Athletic reports Chicago has checked in on Nick Foles, who could be expendable after losing his starting job to Gardner Minshew in Jacksonville last season. The Bears aren’t alone in their pursuit of Foles, however, as Adam Schefter notes multiple teams have shown interest in the former Super Bowl MVP, though to this point, the Jags have been reluctant to pull the trigger.

Jason Pierre-Paul

The Bucs have reportedly struck a deal with veteran pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul, who returns to Tampa on a two-year, $27-million pact.

Philip Rivers latest

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network confirms the Colts have held “discussions” with Philip Rivers. With the Buccaneers all-in on Tom Brady (Teddy Bridgewater has been floated as a fallback option), all signs point to Rivers reuniting with his former offensive coordinator Frank Reich in Indianapolis.

Update: March 16, 2:50 PM ET

Case Keenum

Case Keenum, the driving force behind one of the most iconic plays in NFL history, appears to be on the Browns’ radar. In Cleveland, the journeyman would serve as a mentor/veteran backup for entrenched starter Baker Mayfield.

Shaq Lawson

Coming off his best season (career-high 6.5 sacks), former Bills pass-rusher Shaq Lawson is defecting to division-rival Miami on a three-year, $30-million pact.

Update: March 16, 2:40 PM ET

Falcons tap Hurst to replace Hooper

The trades keep coming. Adam Schefter just dropped this bomb on us:

It’s not Nuk for DJ, but it’s still notable given Hurst’s first-round pedigree. Hurst, who largely took a backseat to Pro Bowler Mark Andrews throughout his Baltimore tenure, will presumably slot in as the Falcons’ No. 1 tight end, a post once manned by Austin Hooper. Speaking of Hooper, we now have the details on his four-year deal with Cleveland:

Update: March 16, 2:15 PM ET

Teddy Bridgewater

I was hoping news would slow down enough for me to eat lunch at some point but the NFL refuses to cooperate. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBC Sports has learned the Bears are in talks with Teddy Bridgewater. Per Florio, Bridgewater could earn up to $21 million annually as Chicago starter. If the Bears wrap up Bridgewater, it would signal the end of Chicago’s ill-advised Mitchell Trubisky experiment.

Blake Jarwin

With Dallas committing to Blake Jarwin at tight end, it looks like Jason Witten’s Cowboys tenure has finally run its course.

Update: March 16, 1:50 PM ET

OMG DEANDRE HOPKINS GOT TRADED

So this just happened …

That wrinkled my brain. To recap, Hopkins and a fourth-rounder are headed to 'Zona in exchange for former 1,000-yard rusher David Johnson and a pair of picks. Props to NBC’s Peter King, who suggested Nuk was on the trade block in his latest column.

DJ is no slouch, but if you're the Texans, that's a mighty light return for possibly the best receiver in the sport. With Hopkins a goner and injury-prone Will Fuller entering the final year of his contract, it’s a safe bet the Texans will add a pass-catcher in the upcoming draft. In Houston, Johnson (who was supplanted by Kenyan Drake as the Cardinals’ starter last year) will fill the void left by free agents Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller, who we can now assume are headed elsewhere.

Arik Armstead

Arik Armstead cashed in big Monday, re-upping with San Francisco on a five-year mega-deal. It’s a well-deserved raise for the former first-round pick, who garnered ProFootballFocus’ third-highest grade among 4-3 defensive ends last season.

Ereck Flowers

This news comes as pretty anticlimactic in the wake of Houston and Arizona’s reported blockbuster, but it's still worth noting. Miami native Ereck Flowers is heading back home. The Dolphins rewarded the 25-year-old with a lucrative three-year, $30-million contract. That’s a pretty penny for a player who hasn’t come close to meeting expectations since arriving in the league as a first-round pick in 2015.

Update: March 16, 1:10 PM ET

Bucs and Chargers to “inquire” on Brady

Tom Brady is back from his vacation in Costa Rica and ready to get down to business. Now that legal tampering has begun, the Buccaneers and Chargers are both expected to reach out to Brady’s camp, joining New England in their pursuit of TB12.

Anthony Harris

With franchise tags popping up left and right, the Vikings decided to get in on the fun, using their tag on starting free safety Anthony Harris.

Austin Hooper got PAID

Austin Hooper is signed, sealed and delivered. The newest Cleveland Brown also drew interest from the Bears, Packers, Redskins and—surprisingly—the 49ers (did they forget about George Kittle?). We’re still waiting on the details but multiple sources have indicated it’s the largest deal for a tight end in NFL history.

Update: March 16, 12:45 PM ET

Austin Hooper

The Browns are apparently nearing the finish line in negotiations with Austin Hooper, who ranked fifth among NFL tight ends with 75 catches last season. The two-time Pro Bowler would be a substantial upgrade on injury-prone David Njoku.

Kareem Hunt

The Browns have placed a second-round tender on exclusive rights free agent Kareem Hunt. The former NFL rushing champ contributed 464 yards (179 rushing, 285 receiving) as Nick Chubb’s backup last season.

Byron Jones

The market is heating up for Byron Jones, who looks to be the odd man out in Dallas with Dak Prescott staying on the franchise tag and the Cowboys expected to field a competitive offer to star receiver Amari Cooper. Per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the Dolphins, Eagles, Jets and Raiders highlight the list of teams in pursuit of Jones, who is a near lock to become the league’s highest-paid corner.

Philip Rivers

ESPN’s Adam Schefter “fully expects” the Colts to make a run at ex-Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. If Rivers lands in Indy (likely as a one or two-year stopgap for whichever QB the Colts end up drafting in April), Jacoby Brissett could emerge as a popular trade commodity. A reunion with the Patriots would make sense if Tom Brady joins forces with Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay as some are speculating.

Damien Williams

Kansas City has exercised Damien Williams’ $2.3 million team option for 2020. The 27-year-old impressed with 133 yards (104 rushing, 29 receiving) and a pair of touchdowns in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl triumph over San Francisco last month.

Update: March 16, 12:00 PM ET

Packers moving on from Bulaga?

Green Bay has reportedly struck a deal with former Lions tackle Rick Wagner. This would indicate the Packers aren’t planning to re-sign Bryan Bulaga, who should draw plenty of interest as a free agent.

Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks has suited up for three teams in his last four seasons, and according to NFL.com’s Michael Silver, he could be on the move again this offseason. The Rams acquired Cooks from the Patriots for a first-round pick two years ago, but after a down season in 2019 (career-low 41.6 yards per game), it’s unlikely he’ll cost that much this time around.

Kenyan Drake

The Cardinals are assigning Kenyan Drake—who they acquired from the Dolphins at last year’s trade deadline—the transition tag ($10.1 million projected salary). The transition tag differs from the more commonly used franchise tag as other teams can still pursue Drake, though Arizona can retain him by matching whatever offer he receives on the open market within seven days. The Cardinals would surely be open to trade overtures for expensive backup David Johnson, though they’ll likely hear crickets on that front.

Joe Thuney

New England has elected to use its franchise tag on All-Pro guard Joe Thuney. It’s the first time the Pats have used their tag since assigning it to kicker Stephen Gostkowski in 2015.

Update: March 16, 10:45 AM ET

Buccaneers now the favorites for Brady?

Patriots fans may want to look away. Odds Shark just installed Tampa Bay as the new favorite to sign Tom Brady. Some were expecting the Bucs to use their franchise tag on Jameis Winston, but instead they assigned it to Shaq Barrett. Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota are all possible pivots for the Pats should Brady defect to Tampa.

Dak Prescott

And YOU get a franchise tag! In lieu of a long-term deal (they still have a few months before that window expires), the Cowboys will use their franchise tag designation on Dak Prescott (projected $26.7 million). Dallas still has much work to do with Amari Cooper and Byron Jones both set to test the market.

Update: March 16, 10:25 AM ET

A.J. Green

A.J. Green, who missed the entirety of 2019 following a longer than expected recovery from offseason ankle surgery, will return to Cincinnati under the franchise tag designation. Per Overthecap.com, the one-year tag will net the seven-time Pro Bowler a cool $18.3 million in 2020.

Derrick Henry

As expected, the Titans will retain workhorse back Derrick Henry on the one-year franchise tag (projected $12.4 million salary).

Cory Littleton

The Packers and Raiders have emerged as two of Cory Littleton’s top suitors, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic.

Update: March 16, 10:15 AM ET

Kirk Cousins

The Vikings have locked up franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins for another two years. Cousins was entering the final year of his contract.

Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports hears the two-year pact will put an additional $66 million in Cousins' bank account.

More Falcons Cuts

Another one bites the dust in Atlanta. Ty Sambrailo will join Desmond Trufant and Devonta Freeman as casualties of the Falcons’ continuing roster purge.

Update: March 16, 9:45 AM ET

Tom Brady

Speaking on Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted the Patriots are “not close” to a deal with four-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady.

This comes on the same day NBC’s Chris Simms suggested the Brady Sweepstakes had been narrowed down to two teams—New England and Tampa Bay.

DeAndre Hopkins

Peter King of NBC Sports hears Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins could be available in a trade. He floated the Patriots as a potential suitor.

Franchise Tags

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is among those reporting the Giants are expected to franchise tag former first-round pick Leonard Williams in lieu of a long-term deal. Others tagged Monday include Buccaneers pass-rusher Shaq Barrett (who led the league with 19.5 sacks last season) and Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones.

Add Pittsburgh's Bud Dupree to that list as well.

Christian Kirksey

Cut from the Browns last week, linebacker Christian Kirksey is headed to the Packers on a two-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Desmond Trufant

The Falcons announced the team is moving on from long-time cornerback Desmond Trufant. The one-time Pro Bowler has struggled to stay healthy in recent years.

It looks like the Falcons are also turning the page on two-time 1,000-yard rusher Devonta Freeman. With Freeman out of the equation, perhaps Atlanta would pivot to Kenyan Drake or Melvin Gordon, who are both available in free agency.

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