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Free Agency 2018

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Concudan, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006

    The Miami Dolphins' roster purge won't be limited to just Jarvis Landry and Jay Ajayi.

    NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday the team is likely to release three-time All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh before the new league year begins Wednesday.

    The move has been rumored to be a possibility for the past month, though given the massive cap hit the 'Fins will eat to make the cut, it's still hard to believe Dolphins executive VP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is pulling the trigger on the transaction this week.

    Releasing Suh, who just three years ago inked a whopping six-year, $114 million contract with the Dolphins, will incur an astounding $22.2 million cap penalty, per NFL Research. If he's released with a June 1 designation, which is expected to happen Wednesday, $9.1 million of Suh's $22.2 million of dead money would count against the 2018 cap while the remaining $13.1 million would count against the team's 2019 cap.

    Given that Miami agreed to take on Robert Quinn's $11.4 million cap hit in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, the move hardly makes sense on the surface.

    But, as was the case when the Dolphins traded away running back Ajayi for just a fourth-round pick and agreed to jettison receiver Landry for fourth- and seventh-round picks, cutting Suh could be more locker-room based than performance based.

    The big DT tallied 15.5 sacks and 181 combined tackles in his time in Miami, despite eating up double teams constantly. Since 2010, he ranks second among NFL DTs in sacks (51.5), first in QB hits (147), second in total pressures (381.5) and first in tackles for loss (103).

    Ajayi found a happy home in Philadelphia when the Dolphins cut him loose. Landry sounded excited about his pending move to Cleveland. It appears Suh will have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps when free agency kicks off later this week.
  2. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Free Agents by Position:


    Sam Bradford
    Drew Brees
    Teddy Bridgewater
    Kirk Cousins
    Jay Cutler
    Blaine Gabbert
    Mike Glennon
    Case Keenum
    AJ McCarron
    Josh McCown

    Running Backs

    LeGarrette Blount
    Alfred Blue
    Rex Burkhead
    Jamaal Charles
    Isaiah Crowell
    Orleans Darkwa
    Andre Ellington
    Frank Gore
    Jeremy Hill
    Carlos Hyde
    Chris Ivory
    Dion Lewis
    Jerick McKinnon
    Doug Martin
    Alfred Morris
    Charles Sims
    Darren Sproles
    Jonathan Stewart
    Shane Vereen
    Terrance West
    Damien Williams

    Wide Receivers

    Jaron Brown
    John Brown
    Brice Butler
    Eric Decker
    Bruce Ellington
    Michael Floyd
    Taylor Gabriel
    Jarvis Landry
    Cody Latimer
    Marqise Lee
    Jordan Matthews
    Donte Moncrief
    Terrelle Pryor
    Brian Quick
    Paul Richardson
    Allen Robinson
    Mike Wallace
    Sammy Watkins
    Albert Wilson
    Kendall Wright

    Tight Ends

    Trey Burton
    Ed Dickson
    Tyler Eifert
    Antonio Gates
    Jimmy Graham
    Virgil Green
    Niles Paul
    Austin Seferian-Jenkins
    Benjamin Watson
    Luke Willson


    Chris Clark
    Cameron Fleming
    Breno Giacomini
    Seantrel Henderson
    Chris Hubbard
    James Hurst
    Austin Pasztor
    Justin Pugh
    Greg Robinson
    Michael Schofield
    Andre Smith
    Nate Solder
    Donald Stephenson
    LaAdrian Waddle


    Alex Boone
    D.J. Fluker
    Zach Fulton
    Brandon Fusco
    Ryan Jensen
    Luke Joeckel
    Senio Kelemete
    Josh Kline
    Spencer Long
    Jack Mewhort
    Andrew Norwell
    Weston Richburg
    Matt Slauson
    John Sullivan
    Travis Swanson

    Defensive Linemen

    Beau Allen
    Chris Baker
    Jay Bromley
    Dominique Easley
    Justin Ellis
    Nick Fairley
    Tom Johnson
    DaQuan Jones
    Bennie Logan
    Star Lotulelei
    Haloti Ngata
    Mike Pennel
    Dontari Poe
    Sheldon Richardson
    Ahtyba Rubin
    Frostee Rucker
    Shamar Stephen
    Tyrunn Walker
    Muhammad Wilkerson
    Kyle Williams

    Edge Defenders

    Jeremiah Attaochu
    Denico Autry
    Connor Barwin
    David Bass
    Tank Carradine
    Adrian Clayborn
    Kony Ealy
    Junior Galette
    William Hayes
    Lamarr Houston
    Charles Johnson
    Devon Kennard
    Aaron Lynch
    Kareem Martin
    Pernell McPhee
    Barkevious Mingo
    Trent Murphy
    Alex Okafor
    Julius Peppers
    Courtney Upshaw
    Muhammad Wilkerson

    4-3 Off-Ball Linebackers

    Nigel Bradham
    Jonathan Casillas
    Ramon Humber
    Kemal Ishmael
    Jelani Jenkins
    Emmanuel Lamur
    Kevin Pierre-Louis
    LaRoy Reynolds
    Tahir Whitehead
    Paul Worrilow

    Inside Linebackers

    Jon Bostic
    NaVorro Bowman
    Preston Brown
    Zach Brown
    Demario Davis
    Todd Davis
    Anthony Hitchens
    Christian Jones
    Paul Posluszny
    Avery Williamson


    Prince Amukamara
    Bashaud Breeland
    Malcolm Butler
    T.J. Carrie
    Morris Claiborne
    Ross Cockrell
    Aaron Colvin
    Kyle Fuller
    E.J. Gaines
    Brent Grimes
    Trumaine Johnson
    Nevin Lawson
    Rashaan Melvin
    Patrick Robinson
    Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie


    Tre Boston
    Tyvon Branch
    Morgan Burnett
    Kurt Coleman
    Quintin Demps
    Bradley McDougald
    Reggie Nelson
    Eric Reid
    Michael Thomas
    Kenny Vaccaro
    Tavon Wilson

    Restricted Free Agents

    Atlanta Falcons S Ricardo Allen
    Denver Broncos LB Shaquil Barrett
    New Orleans Saints CB Delvin Breaux
    Chicago Bears CB Bryce Callahan
    Dallas Cowboys DT David Irving
    New York Giants C Brett Jones
    Los Angeles Rams DE/OLB Matt Longacre
    Chicago Bears WR Cameron Meredith
    Denver Broncos C Matt Paradis
    Tennessee Titans G Quinton Spain
    Los Angeles Chargers WR Tyrell Williams
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    By Team:

    * -- Restricted free agent
    ** -- Exclusive rights free agent

    Arizona Cardinals
    QB Matt Barkley
    QB Blaine Gabbert
    QB Drew Stanton
    RB Kerwynn Williams
    WR Jaron Brown
    WR John Brown
    TE Troy Niklas
    T Khalif Barnes
    G Alex Boone
    G Earl Watford
    DE Kareem Martin
    DE Olsen Pierre
    DE Frostee Rucker
    LB Karlos Dansby
    CB Justin Bethel
    CB Tramon Williams
    S Tyvon Branch

    Atlanta Falcons

    RB Terron Ward*
    FB Derrick Coleman
    WR Taylor Gabriel
    T Austin Pasztor
    DE Adrian Clayborn
    DT Dontari Poe
    DT Ahtyba Rubin
    LB Courtney Upshaw
    LB Sean Weatherspoon
    CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
    S Ricardo Allen*
    S Kemal Ishmael
    K Matt Bryant

    Baltimore Ravens
    QB Ryan Mallett
    RB Alex Collins**
    RB Terrance West
    WR Michael Campanaro
    WR Mike Wallace
    TE Crockett Gillmore
    TE Benjamin Watson
    T James Hurst
    C Ryan Jensen
    C Matt Skura**
    LB Patrick Onwuasor**
    CB Brandon Boykin

    Buffalo Bills

    FB Mike Tolbert
    WR Jordan Matthews
    WR Deonte Thompson
    TE Nick O'Leary**
    TE Logan Thomas**
    T Seantrel Henderson
    DT Cedric Thornton
    DT Kyle Williams
    LB Preston Brown
    LB Ramon Humber
    CB E.J. Gaines
    CB Leonard Johnson
    CB Shareece Wright
    S Shamarko Thomas

    Carolina Panthers
    QB Derek Anderson
    WR Damiere Byrd**
    WR Kaelin Clay
    TE Ed Dickson
    G Andrew Norwell
    G Amini Silatolu
    C Tyler Larsen**
    DE Charles Johnson (cut)
    DE Julius Peppers
    DT Star Lotulelei
    S Jairus Byrd
    S Kurt Coleman (cut)

    Chicago Bears
    QB Mark Sanchez
    RB Benny Cunningham
    WR Josh Bellamy
    WR Dontrelle Inman
    WR Cameron Meredith*
    WR Kendall Wright
    TE Zach Miller
    G Josh Sitton (declined option)
    DE Mitch Unrein
    LB Sam Acho
    LB Lamarr Houston
    LB Christian Jones
    CB Prince Amukamara
    CB Bryce Callahan
    CB Kyle Fuller
    CB Sherrick McManis

    Cincinnati Bengals
    QB AJ McCarron
    RB Jeremy Hill
    TE Tyler Eifert
    T Andre Smith
    T Eric Winston
    C Russell Bodine
    DT Pat Sims
    LB Kevin Minter

    Cleveland Browns
    RB Isaiah Crowell
    WR Josh Gordon**

    Dallas Cowboys
    RB Alfred Morris
    WR Brice Butler
    T Byron Bell
    G Jonathan Cooper
    DT David Irving*
    DE Benson Mayowa
    LB Anthony Hitchens

    Denver Broncos
    QB Brock Osweiler
    RB Jamaal Charles
    WR Bennie Fowler*
    WR Cody Latimer
    TE Virgil Green
    T Donald Stephenson
    C Matt Paradis*
    DE Jared Crick
    DE Shelby Harris**
    LB Shaquil Barrett*
    LB Todd Davis

    Detroit Lions
    RB Zach Zenner*
    WR T.J. Jones*
    T Greg Robinson
    C Travis Swanson
    DE Dwight Freeney
    DT Haloti Ngata
    LB Tahir Whitehead
    LB Paul Worrilow
    CB DJ Hayden
    CB Nevin Lawson
    S Tavon Wilson

    Green Bay Packers
    WR Geronimo Allison**
    WR Jeff Janis
    TE Richard Rodgers
    G Jahri Evans
    G Justin McCray**
    LB Ahmad Brooks
    CB Davon House
    S Morgan Burnett

    Houston Texans
    QB Tom Savage
    QB T.J. Yates
    RB Alfred Blue
    RB Andre Ellington
    WR Bruce Ellington
    T Chris Clark
    T Breno Giacomini
    G Xavier Su'a-Filo
    C Greg Mancz*
    LB Brian Cushing (cut)
    CB Johnathan Joseph
    CB Marcus Williams
    S Marcus Gilchrist
    P Shane Lechler

    Indianapolis Colts
    QB Scott Tolzien
    RB Frank Gore
    RB Matt Jones*
    WR Kamar Aiken
    WR Donte Moncrief
    TE Erik Swoope**
    G Jack Mewhort
    G Mike Person
    G Jeremy Vujnovich**
    LB Jon Bostic
    LB Barkevious Mingo
    CB Rashaan Melvin
    S Darius Butler
    K Adam Vinatieri

    Jacksonville Jaguars
    QB Chad Henne
    RB Corey Grant*
    RB Chris Ivory
    WR Marqise Lee
    WR Allen Robinson
    G Patrick Omameh
    LB Paul Posluszny
    CB Aaron Colvin

    Kansas City Chiefs
    WR De'Anthony Thomas
    WR Albert Wilson
    C Zach Fulton
    DE Rakeem Nunez-Roches*
    DT Bennie Logan
    LB Derrick Johnson
    LB Ramik Wilson*
    CB Terrance Mitchell
    P Dustin Colquitt

    Los Angeles Chargers
    RB Branden Oliver
    WR Tyrell Williams
    TE Antonio Gates
    G Michael Schofield
    G Matt Slauson
    G Kenny Wiggins
    LB Korey Toomer
    S Tre Boston
    S Adrian Phillips*
    K Nick Novak

    Los Angeles Rams
    WR Sammy Watkins
    C John Sullivan
    DE Dominique Easley
    LB Connor Barwin
    CB Trumaine Johnson
    CB Nickell Robey-Coleman

    Miami Dolphins
    QB Jay Cutler
    QB Matt Moore
    RB Damien Williams
    WR Jarvis Landry
    TE Anthony Fasano
    T Jermon Bushrod
    G Anthony Steen**
    DE William Hayes
    CB Alterraun Verner
    S Nate Allen

    Minnesota Vikings
    QB Sam Bradford
    QB Teddy Bridgewater
    QB Case Keenum
    RB Jerick McKinnon
    WR Michael Floyd
    G Joe Berger
    C Nick Easton*
    DT Tom Johnson
    CB Tramaine Brock
    CB Terence Newman
    K Kai Forbath

    New England Patriots
    RB Rex Burkhead
    RB Dion Lewis
    WR Danny Amendola
    T Cameron Fleming
    T Nate Solder
    T LaAdrian Waddle
    LB James Harrison
    CB Malcolm Butler
    ST Matthew Slater

    New Orleans Saints
    QB Drew Brees
    QB Chase Daniel
    FB John Kuhn
    WR Brandon Coleman*
    WR Willie Snead*
    G Senio Kelemete
    CB Delvin Breaux*
    S Rafael Bush
    S Kenny Vaccaro

    New York Giants
    QB Geno Smith
    RB Orleans Darkwa
    RB Shane Vereen
    G D.J. Fluker
    G Justin Pugh
    C Brett Jones*
    C Weston Richburg
    LB Akeem Ayers
    LB Jonathan Casillas
    LB Mark Herzlich
    LB Devon Kennard
    LB Keenan Robinson
    LB Kelvin Sheppard
    CB Ross Cockrell

    New York Jets
    QB Josh McCown
    WR Quincy Enunwa*
    TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
    C Wesley Johnson
    DE Kony Ealy
    LB Bruce Carter
    LB Demario Davis
    CB Morris Claiborne
    K Chandler Catanzaro

    Oakland Raiders
    QB EJ Manuel
    TE Lee Smith
    DE Denico Autry
    DE Aldon Smith
    DT Justin Ellis
    LB NaVorro Bowman
    CB T.J. Carrie
    S Reggie Nelson
    K Sebastian Janikowski
    K Giorgio Tavecchio*

    Philadelphia Eagles
    RB LeGarrette Blount
    RB Darren Sproles
    TE Trey Burton
    T Will Beatty
    DT Beau Allen
    LB Nigel Bradham
    LB Dannell Ellerbe
    CB Patrick Robinson
    S Corey Graham

    Pittsburgh Steelers
    WR Justin Hunter
    WR Eli Rogers*
    T Chris Hubbard
    LB Arthur Moats
    LB Sean Spence
    CB Mike Hilton**
    K Chris Boswell*

    San Francisco 49ers
    RB Carlos Hyde
    WR Louis Murphy
    G Brandon Fusco
    C Tim Barnes
    DE Leger Douzable
    LB Tank Carradine
    CB Leon Hall
    CB Dontae Johnson
    S Eric Reid

    Seattle Seahawks
    RB Mike Davis*
    RB Eddie Lacy
    RB J.D. McKissic**
    RB Thomas Rawls*
    WR Paul Richardson
    TE Jimmy Graham
    TE Luke Willson
    G Oday Aboushi
    G Luke Joeckel
    DE Dion Jordan*
    DE Marcus Smith
    DT Sheldon Richardson
    LB Michael Wilhoite
    CB Justin Coleman*
    CB Byron Maxwell
    CB DeShawn Shead
    S Bradley McDougald
    K Blair Walsh

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
    RB Peyton Barber**
    RB Doug Martin (cut)
    RB Charles Sims
    WR Adam Humphries*
    TE Cameron Brate*
    G Kevin Pamphile
    G Evan Smith
    DT Chris Baker (cut)
    DT Clinton McDonald
    CB Brent Grimes
    CB Robert McClain
    S Keith Tandy
    S T.J. Ward

    Tennessee Titans
    QB Brandon Weeden
    WR Eric Decker
    WR Harry Douglas
    G Josh Kline
    G Quinton Spain*
    DT DaQuan Jones
    LB Erik Walden
    LB Avery Williamson
    CB Brice McCain

    Washington Redskins
    QB Kirk Cousins
    WR Ryan Grant
    WR Terrelle Pryor
    WR Brian Quick
    TE Niles Paul
    G Shawn Lauvao
    C Spencer Long
    DE Arthur Jones
    LB Zach Brown
    LB Will Compton
    LB Junior Galette
    LB Trent Murphy
    CB Bashaud Breeland
    S DeAngelo Hall
    K Dustin Hopkins
  4. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
    I think the list of FA's did not include the latest release.......Suh. Gonna be one of the tops. Huge salary and huge ego and potential problem,,,,,,but probably still a hell of a player and will plug up the middle for anyone. Bolts could use him but they would have to pay.

    Will be interesting to see which FA's want to go play where there is no home field advantage, in a soccer stadium.
  5. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    I don't about all those names I've never heard of but of all the ones I have, I would say no if I were chrgr brass

    But if they want to make a splash in the fight for la

    they should sign Suh
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Want to make a splash, that makes sense. No other reason, I cant stand his loss of control on the field.
  7. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
    yeah I keep seeing that one replay of him absolutely brutalizing a GB Packer after the whistle.......I mean it was off the charts bad. He's a hell of a player, just unpredictable.
  8. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
    If he's released with a June 1 designation, which is expected to happen Wednesday, $9.1 million of Suh's $22.2 million of dead money would count against the 2018 cap while the remaining $13.1 million would count against the team's 2019 cap.

    Given that Miami agreed to take on Robert Quinn's $11.4 million cap hit in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams, the move hardly makes sense on the surface.

    But, as was the case when the Dolphins traded away running back Ajayi for just a fourth-round pick and agreed to jettison receiver Landry for fourth- and seventh-round picks, cutting Suh could be more locker-room based than performance based

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  9. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
  10. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Good that he's covering my new team for now. Lynch I see getting cut but not Crabtree.
  11. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
    yeah it's like they fed off each other......that was hilarious that dance marshawn was doing and Crabtree in stitches on the bench behind him. Del Rio clueless to stop it. That's great if you are a winning dominant team. They sucked last year so they had no business going off like that during a game. Crazy. Del Rio held no one accountable. Don't expect to see that with Gruden.
  12. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

    Apr 8, 2015
    I disagree. The statement in bold above is pure speculation and is worthless as such unless corroborated/confirmed. Suh is a very good player (4 time First Team All-Pro, 2 time Second Team All-Pro, 5 time Pro Bowler). That matters. Is Suh a good fit for the Chargers from a defensive scheme standpoint? That matters. What terms would Suh accept on on a new contract? That matters.

    From the standpoint of the Chargers, Suh at least warrants some consideration/investigation.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  13. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005

    The Oakland Raiders will be signing wide receiver Griff Whalen, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Whalen spent the 2017-18 campaign with the Baltimore Ravens, catching four passes for 23 yards.

    The 28-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Stanford, went undrafted in 2012 but was then signed by the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. While he didn’t play at all for the Colts in 2012-13, he took the field nine times in 2013-14 en route to hauling in 24 receptions for 259 yards and two touchdowns. He also handled some punt return duties, returning eight punts for 104 yards.

    The following year, Whalen primarily served as a return specialist, taking back 26 punts for 187 yards and returning 15 kickoffs for 379 yards. He also logged two catches for 23 yards. Then, in 2014-15, Whalen became a bit more of a target in the aerial attack again, snaring 19 balls for 205 yards and one score. In addition, he took back 12 punts for 85 yards and nine kickoffs for 244 yards.

    After spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Colts, Whalen proceeded to sign with the Miami Dolphins in March 2016, but was waived during the final round of roster cuts just before the 2016-17 campaign began. He then landed with the San Diego Chargers, where he caught two passes for 22 yards and returned four kickoffs for 56 another yards.

    The Raiders are coming directly off a disappointing season in which Oakland won just six regular-season games and missed the playoffs a mere one year after ending a 13-year postseason drought by winning 12 regular-season games.
  14. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
  15. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017

    Frugal cheapo Dean has to be loving this! Not that he's ever gone out of his way to land a top tier FA anyway lolz

    Such a reality could crystallize a common expectation for not only top-tier quarterbacks, but also elite free agents. One that has them going to the negotiating table looking for three or four-year deals with nearly full guarantees. That would be an immense change in the standard for franchise quarterbacks, essentially eliminating the latter years of long-term contracts that are often team-friendly and completely unguaranteed.
    Such a deal could also dramatically impact the league’s fiscal rules in free agency, which stipulate that any guaranteed money outside of the first year of a deal be kept in escrow for future disbursement. If Cousins lands a massive three-year deal, whichever teams signs him would have to be cash rich – to the point of putting tens of millions into escrow upon signing. If fully guaranteed deals were to become more common in the ensuing years, it would mean teams could potentially sock away massive sums of money to stay in compliance with league rules. In theory, that could put some cash-poor franchises (or frugal owners) at a disadvantage, as they avoid elite players seeking huge fully guaranteed paydays.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Quetzalcoatl

    Quetzalcoatl BoltTalker

    Feb 1, 2015
    I don't care about Kirk Cousins, but his name automatically makes me think Spock Brothers.
  17. Harryo the K

    Harryo the K Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2017
    Cousins and Gallo of SF can get maximum money. Each will make at least $7 million more than Rivers. Philip is foolish to work two more years for lesser wages and zero.zero chance of a SB.
    Nice guys finish last. Maybe third.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  18. Fender57

    Fender57 BoltTalker

    Sep 7, 2008
    The NFL is imploding if they give the likes of Kirk Cousins the money he's commanding.
  19. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2005

    Brees 2 years 50mil

    Case Keenum not sure how much

    Kirk Cousins looking for short term

    Crazy QB derby this year
  20. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Glad he's back to end his career with the Saints.
  21. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Discuss and post all FA signing related articles here.
  22. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    WR Sammy Watkins, LB Anthony Hitchens intend to sign with Chiefs


    Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Sammy Watkins intends to sign a three-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs when free agency opens Wednesday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    The deal is worth $48 million with $30 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini.

    Free-agent linebacker Anthony Hitchens will also sign with the Chiefs, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

    Watkins, 24, proved he could stay healthy while with the Rams in 2017, but his numbers didn't stack up among the game's best receivers. Acquired from the Buffalo Bills in August, Watkins finished with only 39 catches for 593 yards, though he did manage to score eight touchdowns.

    Sammy Watkins was a former No. 4 overall pick by the Bills out of Clemson. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
    The big, physical receiver (6-foot-1, 211 pounds) specializes in stretching defenses vertically. With the Rams, though, that mostly benefited the likes of Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley underneath.

    Watkins entered the NFL with the promise of being one of the game's best receivers. He starred at Clemson, and the Bills gave up future first- and fourth-round picks to move up five spots and draft him at No. 4 overall in 2014.

    He showed glimpses of star potential in his first two seasons, totaling 125 catches for 2,029 yards and 15 touchdowns in 29 games. But a broken bone in his left foot eventually forced him to miss the first eight games of the 2016 season, prompting the Bills to decline their fifth-year option. Buffalo sent Watkins to the Rams on Aug. 11 in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round pick.

    Watkins previously underwent two surgical procedures on his foot and had hip surgery after the 2014 season.

    A fourth-round pick in 2014, Hitchens started 48 of 60 games in his four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, playing weakside, middle and strongside linebacker in their 4-3 scheme.

    Hitchens had 84 tackles in 12 starts in 2017. He missed the first four games of the season with a knee injury suffered in the preseason.

    In addition, Hitchens, who turns 26 in June, had two pass deflections and a forced fumble and was credited by Cowboys coaches with nine tackles for loss and five quarterback pressures in 2017.

    At 6-foot, 235 pounds, he is not the biggest linebacker, but his coaches raved about his instinctiveness, which was aided by the presence of Sean Lee. Hitchens' ability to play all three linebacker spots helped the Cowboys deal with injuries to Lee and Jaylon Smith.
  23. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Broncos pick Case Keenum to get back to being a playoff contender


    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There is one way to make a steely-eyed Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback get a little uncomfortable in his own skin.

    Just ask John Elway to say "rebuilding."

    Or as Elway put it at the scouting combine: "I didn't say it. I’m not going to say it. Life is too short to rebuild in the NFL."

    In an effort to lift the Denver Broncos back into the playoff conversation and to avoid the dreaded "R" word, the Broncos have gone in all-in on Case Keenum, who is expected to sign with the Broncos when free agency officially opens Wednesday afternoon.

    The 30-year-old Keenum led the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-3 mark in his 14 starts last season in place of an injured Sam Bradford as the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Keenum, Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees are considered the top quarterbacks in free agency, with the Broncos heavily evaluating Cousins and Teddy Bridgewater before deciding Keenum would be their pick.

    The Broncos' desire to upgrade the offense quickly enough to take advantage of a quality defense came with a hefty price tag, which will be revealed once the terms of the multiyear deal are finalized. But that is the cost of doing business in free agency, and Keenum had impeccable timing after he had played so well for the Vikings in their playoff run.

    Elway is now in his eighth year as the Broncos' chief decision-maker. The Broncos have missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and at the moment, linebacker Von Miller is the only former Broncos draft pick on the roster who has been named to a Pro Bowl.

    Miller was in Elway's first draft class -- in 2011.

    And just as folks once used to add up former Denver coach Mike Shanahan's statistics "without John Elway," Elway now finds himself sometimes being measured as a team executive for what has happened "without Peyton Manning." When Elway romped into free agency in 2012 and signed Manning, who was not yet 100 percent after his fourth neck surgery, the result was four AFC West titles, two Super Bowl trips, one title and a historic season as the only 600-point team in league history.

    In order to try to recapture a little of that history, the Broncos went after Keenum and got him. And it should be noted that the Broncos' best quarterbacks have largely arrived from somewhere else.

    Five of the top seven passers in the franchise's history, including Elway at No. 1, have arrived either by trade or by free agency. The Broncos had four quarterbacks with the team this past season, including Chad Kelly on injured reserve, who were former draft picks, and Denver will have simply bypassed them all to sign Keenum.

    While Keenum comes as a "safer" bet than the Broncos using the No. 5 pick of this draft on a quarterback to groom, Elway's ability to build the kind of team that competes for a playoff spot each and every season will now largely hinge on his ability to build a roster around the players with the biggest contracts on the roster -- Keenum and Miller.

    Kirk Cousins. Jimmy Graham. Andrew Norwell. This class could get wild. Here's everything to know heading into free agency.

    Miller signed a $114.5 million deal in 2016.

    In short, the Broncos have to be right on this one. Keenum has to be what the Broncos have seen in their evaluations and then a little more. He has just two playoff starts in his career -- both this past January -- or two more than Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.

    But the biggest impact of all of this is the multimillion-dollar admission that Lynch has not become what the Broncos hoped he would be. The Broncos traded up to select Lynch in the first round of the 2016 draft. He has lost back-to-back training camp battles to Siemian and has four career starts, and he lost crucial developmental time in 2017 with shoulder and ankle injuries.

    Keenum's arrival turns back the clock, or perhaps even stops it, on Lynch. Elway has left open the possibility that Lynch could be the team's backup if he's ready to work on his game, but in the end, even one of Elway's most notable first-round picks couldn't avoid the team's current mission.

    Because if you can't help Elway avoid a rebuild, you'll be moved aside for those who can.
  24. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    KC Offense is going to be scary good.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  25. Gill Man

    Gill Man Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 1, 2017
    yeah I think the Chiefs will do fine on offense. Remains to be seen who they bring in to shore up the D after losing Peters and Hali and IIRC they were shaky to begin with last year......up and down on D. They are gonna be real interesting watching how Mahomes develops and handles the pressure of starting for the first time in the NFL. If that guy is one of those first year starter wonders....watch out.
  26. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    QB is the big question, but if they get someone who can mesh, their skill positions remain pretty consistent, then yeah, I am sure Andy will give them regular season victories.

    Am I the only one who hates the fuggin blue/white Rams helmets with the white/blue/gold jerseys?
  27. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Kirk Cousins plans to sign with Vikings on Thursday

    Former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins plans to sign a three-year, fully guaranteed $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, sources tell ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    The landmark deal will make Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in the league.

    "No final decisions have been made," Cousins' agent Mike McCartney said Tuesday. "The plan is to visit Minnesota first. That's all we can say right now."

    Cousins, 29, has been one of the NFL's most productive quarterbacks since becoming the Redskins' full-time starter three years ago. During that time, he's ranked fourth in passing yards, sixth in passer rating, seventh in Total QBR and eighth in touchdown passes.

    In 2017 Cousins topped the 4,000-yard mark for the third straight season. He finished with 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions -- and a Total QBR of 52.3, his lowest as the full-time starter.

    The 2012 fourth-round pick went from the backup to Robert Griffin III to a productive starter during his time in Washington. He started nine games in his first three seasons. In 2015, his first year as the starter, he helped lead the Redskins to the NFC East title by throwing 23 touchdowns to three interceptions over the final 10 games -- starting with the "You like that?!" comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    He finished that season with 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a franchise-record 4,166 yards.

    New York Giants.

    That led to yet another franchise tag, as Cousins told the Redskins he wasn't ready to commit long term and wanted to gauge the direction of the franchise. It was clear by season's end that both sides wanted to avoid another one-year tag situation. Rather than negotiate a final time with Cousins, the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on Jan. 30, agreeing to a four-year extension with the veteran.

    Cousins heads to Minnesota where the Vikings are coming off a 13-3 regular season with an appearance in the NFC title game. Last year's starter, Case Keenum, the QB who stepped in for an injured Sam Bradford early in the 2017 season, is expected to sign with the Broncos when free agency officially opens Wednesday afternoon.

    Along with Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater is also a free agent after spending eight weeks as the team's No. 2 quarterback before being deactivated for the playoffs in favor of Bradford.

    Cousins inherits a roster predicated on the league's top-ranked defense in the regular season with a plethora of weapons on offense. Both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen return for another season where they'll vie to be the NFL's top receiving duo. The Vikings backfield also could become one of the league's best behind the return of Dalvin Cook, who is recovering from a torn ACL, and Latavius Murray.

    ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin contributed to this report.
  28. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Love the Helmets...but the Rams need to go back to their blue and white uni's.
  29. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..F the LA Chargers, Go Irish Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005
    Crazy that he's getting paid that much. But he's joined a team that's stacked and ready to win this year.
  30. Concudan

    Concudan Still Chargin Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 5, 2006
    Barnwell's NFL free agency and trade grades: Every big 2018 move

    We'll be grading all of the NFL offseason moves -- signings and trades -- right here in March, so check this file for updates as the deals come in. Grades go all the way back to the Alex Smith deal before Super Bowl LII.

    Most recent grades and write-ups are at the top.

    Quick links: Latest news, players to watch | Schefter's news, notes | Signings by team | Top 100 free agents[​IMG]

    Tuesday, March 13
    TE Trey Burton, Bears

    Grade: C

    Last seen famously throwing a touchdown pass to Nick Foles, Burton has been too useful of a player to stick around as a secondary tight end behind Zach Ertzin Philadelphia. Ertz has missed four games over the last two years, and in those four games, Burton has produced 14 catches for 180 yards and four touchdowns. Burton is not going to score 16 touchdowns as a starter, and he's not the blocker Ertz is, but the 26-year-old's upside is as a legitimate No. 1 tight end up and down the field.

    Bears general manager Ryan Pace made a pair of investments at tight end last year in signing blocking tight end Dion Sims and drafting freak athlete Adam Shaheen in the second round, so it's a bit of a surprise that he's making a third foray into the market, but Burton is a more complete player than either of those two. This is likely more of a referendum on Shaheen, given that Burton will probably occupy two tight-end sets alongside Sims to start the season.

    The four-year, $32 million deal Burton signed is hardly insignificant; he now holds the third-largest average annual salary for a tight end in the league behind Jordan Reed and Travis Kelce, each of whom had much more impressive campaigns before signing their deals. (With four years and $31.25 million left on his deal, it's perhaps notable that Ertz is in line to make less money than his former backup.)

    If Burton hits that upside, he'll be worth the money he's getting as part of this contract, but a lot of teams pay for the best-case scenario in free agency and end up getting something significantly less. Unless the specific contract terms make this a friendlier deal for the Bears, this looks like a very aggressive deal from Pace.

    QB Drew Brees, Saints
    Grade: B

    There was never any realistic likelihood of Brees leaving the Saints, given that the 39-year-old and his family have been settled in Louisiana for more than a decade, and he finally got some defensive help last season. The Saints' second-half leads and excellent defense allowed them to run the ball more frequently last season, taking some of the workload off Brees, who averaged fewer attempts per game than he has since 2005.

    His rate statistics remained strong, including an NFL-record completion percentage of 72.0, but they masked some on-field slippage. From 2012 to '16, Brees' average pass traveled 7.8 yards in the air and resulted in 5.1 yards after the catch. In 2017, Brees threw much shorter passes, averaging 6.4 yards in the air, with those throws generating 6.2 yards after the catch.

    Going back through 2005, the only starting quarterback to average more yards after the catch than air yards in a single season is Alex Smith, who did it in 2014 and 2015. Brees is probably closer to Smith than it might have seemed a few years ago, and while the Saints didn't need him to throw the ball downfield very frequently last season, it will be interesting to see what happens if the defense doesn't play as effectively as it did in 2017.

    Brees should remain effective in 2018. It's also fair to say that there's significantly more risk in Brees' profile than there was even a year ago. But the two-year, $50 million deal the Saints gave Brees was a no-brainer, and given that Brees could have forced the Saints to eat up $18 million in dead cap space from his old deal by hitting free agency, he did his longtime club a favor.

    OG Andrew Norwell, Jaguars
    Grade: B

    We found what the Jags were saving money to add! If you're going to sign a free agent, it might as well be a 26-year-old coming off a first-team All-Pro appearance, as is the case with Norwell. The Panthers made the decision to retain guard Trai Turner before the season, and while they might have thought at the time about making a move to re-sign Norwell later on, the subsequent season he produced likely priced the Panthers out of retaining the Ohio State product.

    In return, Norwell gets the biggest deal for an interior lineman in league history. His five-year, $66.5 million pact reportedly fully guarantees $30 million, which would be a hefty increase on the record set last offseason, when Kevin Zeitler got a five-year, $60 million deal with $23 million guaranteed from the Browns. It's a reflection on how good Norwell's 2017 campaign was, given that the Panthers tendered him at a second-round level last season as a restricted free agent and no team made a run at him.

    It's interesting and probably fair to think about this as another move by the Jaguars to shift toward a run-first attack, given that Norwell is an absolute mauler on the ground. Norwell will slot right in for free agent Patrick Omamehat left guard and should be a considerable upgrade. The Jags have generally structured their free-agent deals with two years of significant money up front and flexibility after, so this is probably a two-year, $30 million deal with subsequent team options for Jacksonville. Big-ticket guards haven't always translated well to their new locations, but Norwell's a worthy risk for a team whose interior offensive line play on either side of Brandon Linder hasn't been very good.

    WR Allen Robinson, Bears
    Grade: B+

    We're two years removed from the monster season (1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns) of Robinson's career, when he single-handedly convinced people that Blake Bortles was a promising quarterback. As was the case with Bortles, though, it's fair to wonder whether Robinson benefited from spending much of that year in garbage time. Robinson racked up 556 yards and six touchdowns on drives that began with the Jags having no more than a 20 percent chance of winning; that yardage mark ranked third in the league behind DeAndre Hopkins and Jarvis Landry. The only other receiver with six touchdowns in those situations? Teammate Allen Hurns.

    At the same time, though, Robinson was brilliant while playing with a quarterback who needed him to shoulder much of the workload. The talent is clearly there, and while Robinson struggled in 2016 before missing virtually all of 2017 with a torn ACL, I'd chalk up the subpar year to quarterback issues. The Penn State product saw his catch rate drop to 48.3 percent in 2016, but he was thrown 50 "deep" passes (throws 16-plus yards downfield). He caught just 24 percent of those throws despite dropping only one of them.

    Receivers with a season like Robinson's 2015 campaign in their back pocket don't hit the market in their prime. The only guy in recent memory who produced a better season during his rookie deal before leaving in free agency was David Boston, who had significant off-field concerns (and subsequently bombed with the Chargers). Robinson doesn't appear to have similar issues. Alshon Jeffery left after one franchise tag, and Robinson's situation is complicated by the ACL tear, but it was a surprise the Jaguars didn't franchise their star wideout, let alone sign him to an extension.

    Maybe the Jaguars know something we don't, and the Bears will regret their decision, but Robinson is one of the highest-upside players in free agency in recent memory. For a team that let Jeffery pursue new pastures and replaced him with the combo of Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright and Dontrelle Inman, Robinson is a legitimate No. 1 wideout as a simultaneous safety valve and deep target for Mitchell Trubisky.

    Robinson's contract calls for him to make $42 million over three years, which is an excellent deal. He gets to make serious money coming off a lost season -- his $14 million average is just below the $14.5 million Davante Adams got from the Packers in December -- and he gets to hit free agency again at age 27, which could keep Robinson in line for two more upper-echelon contracts if he continues to play at a high level into his late-20s. With $25 million in guarantees, this is likely a two-year deal for the Bears before they have to worry about renegotiating or if Robinson flames out. This is a win-win.

    WR Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
    Grade: D+

    The problem in evaluating Watkins is that every analysis starts with the reference point of 2014, when the Bills used two first-round picks and passed on Odell Beckham Jr. to move up and grab Watkins at No. 4 overall. Since then, Watkins has only shown flashes of the guy whose ceiling seemed to be Julio Jones-esque at Clemson. In 2015, Watkins finished the year by generating 679 yards and six touchdowns over the final six weeks of the year, which seemed to portend superstardom to come.

    In April 2016, though, Watkins suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot, which required surgery. The Bills rushed him back onto the field, but after Watkins limped through two games, he underwent a second surgery, went back on injured reserve and missed half the year. The Bills traded him to the Rams before the 2017 season, and it's fair to wonder whether concerns about the foot made the Rams wonder whether a long-term deal was in their best interests.

    Jarvis Landry. Nobody else came close to that touchdown rate, and while Watkins has the size and talent to excel in the red zone, he needed 19 targets to score five red zone touchdowns during his time in Buffalo.

    The Jones fracture is going to end up dictating Watkins' long-term success, and wideouts haven't always been able to get past their foot issues. Julian Edelmanand Julio Jones were both able to recover from a broken foot and return to their previous level of play. On the flip side, though, Hakeem Nicks suffered a Jones fracture after a breakout season in 2011 and never really returned to that level of form; after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at ages 22 and 23, Nicks was out of football by 27. Likewise, Dez Bryant hasn't looked the same since breaking his foot in 2015.

    Watkins' chances of turning back into the guy who looked like a budding superstar at the end of 2015 will depend on that foot, and while the upside is still theoretically there, he comes with an enormous amount of risk. Teams employ doctors and have players take physicals for a reason, but the Chiefs are making an enormous bet by giving Watkins more money than Robinson, who has a less terrifying injury history and has been more productive than Watkins on a game-by-game basis. The Chiefs needed some help at wide receiver alongside Tyreek Hill, but with initial reports suggesting this is a three-year, $48 million deal with $30 million guaranteed, this seems like a team betting that their scouting report from four years ago was more accurate than what they've seen since.

    WR Albert Wilson, Dolphins
    Grade: D+

    Wilson's final game as a member of the Chiefs was comfortably his best as a pro. The 25-year-old averaged just 26 receiving yards per game before Week 17 of the 2017 season, but with Patrick Mahomes under center and both Tyreek Hilland Travis Kelce on the sidelines, Wilson went off for 10 catches and 147 yards against the Broncos. It was the first time Wilson had produced a 100-yard game since his final season at Georgia State back in 2013.

    Before that game, though, Wilson had struggled to emerge as the second wideout the Chiefs have sought behind Jeremy Maclin and then Hill. Take out screens, and there have been 108 wideouts who have been targeted 100 or more times since the start of 2014, when Wilson entered the lineup. Of those 108, Wilson is 101st in targets per routes run, 94th in receptions per routes run, and 98th in receiving yards per route run. Wilson has also dropped 4.6 percent of the passes thrown in his direction, worse than the league average of 3.6 percent over that timeframe.

    The rosiest scenario for Wilson was that some team would see him as this year's Robert Woods, a wideout with solid blocking skills whose talents would play up in a better offense. Come on down, Miami Dolphins! Miami was already $3 million over the salary cap after trading Landry, but as part of the Dolphins' move to fix the team culture, they're going to cut Ndamukong Suh and use some of the savings to lock up Wilson on a three-year, $24 million deal that truly seems beyond any possible expectations of what Wilson might have been offered elsewhere.

    Teams obviously can have positive or negative cultures, but I'm skeptical the Dolphins are going to turn it around by spending $8 million per year on a decent third wideout. Remember that Miami spent big last year in free agency to bring back their core and add players like Julius Thomas and Lawrence Timmons to fill out the weak spots in a playoff team. Virtually all of those moves were disasters. They traded Jay Ajayi in midseason under the pretense of fixing their team culture and subsequently went 2-7 while Ajayi went on to win the Super Bowl with the Eagles.

    If you want to improve the team's culture, go nuts. There are plenty of veterans with impeccable practice habits and the will to win who would have helped improve things in Miami. Most of them don't cost $8 million per year. It also would have been nice to improve the team's culture by adding an offensive lineman, given that the Dolphins already have Kenny Stills and 2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker at wideout and desperately need to fix their line.

    Monday, March 12
    Trade: Bills deal LT Cordy Glenn to Bengals
    Grade for Bills:
    Grade for Bengals: B

    Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane refuses to stop in his attempt to hoard as many draft picks as possible, presumably to trade up for a new quarterback. Now he might not need to make a deal at all. By unloading a player he didn't want in Glenn and swapping a fifth-round pick for one in the sixth, Beane was able to move his top draft pick up from the 21st selection to the 12th pick.

    The quarterback Beane wants might still be on the board at 12. He also can hold on to a fair amount of his pick haul; if Beane wants to move up for the third pick, as an example, the Jimmy Johnson chart says the Bills would only need to deal their two first-round picks and the third-rounder they just got from the Browns.

    At the same time, it's fair to wonder whether the Bills should have been this aggressive to move on from an above-average left tackle in the prime of his career. Glenn's extension was massive at the time, but the Bengals are acquiring Glenn with three years and $30 million left on his deal. That's not an awful contract by any means, and while the Bills were impressed with rookie Dion Dawkins last season, Buffalo could have kept Glenn on the left side and installed Dawkins as an upgrade over Jordan Mills at right tackle. Their new quarterback might have appreciated having Glenn around.

    As for the Bengals, their offense was sunk by a dismal offensive line last season. The move to push overmatched right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to the left side as a replacement for Andrew Whitworth was disastrous, and they couldn't run behind that line in 2018. Glenn should be a massive upgrade at a major position of need.

    By the Johnson chart, the draft picks cancel out to essentially value Glenn as worth the 51st overall pick in the draft, a pick in the middle of the second round. In making this move, though, the Bengals are essentially saying they don't trust their ability to develop a left tackle, given that they could easily have drafted a tackle at 12 themselves. After last year, it would be difficult to disagree with them.

    TE Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
    Grade: C

    When Tampa Bay drafted O.J. Howard with the 19th selection in last year's draft, it seemed likely that the Bucs would be moving on from their incumbent tight end, given that Brate was due to become a restricted free agent after the 2017 season. Instead, after Brate's 591-yard, six-touchdown season, the Buccaneers made a major investment and signed him to a six-year, $41 million extension with $18 million guaranteed.

    The Bucs have plenty of cap room, and their deals are almost always two-year contracts with what amounts to team options tacked on, but it's hard to believe they'll use Brate frequently enough to justify this sort of outlay. The Harvard product finished his first full season in 2017 and still played only about 55 percent of Tampa Bay's snaps in 2017. The Bucs will point to his success in the red zone with Jameis Winston under center, but red zone performance is wildly inconsistent from year to year.

    We're still waiting to see the exact structure of this deal, but it's entirely possible we're looking at a top-five tight end contract over two and three years for a player who might not even be the best tight end on his own roster. This feels a lot like Tampa Bay paying for the player it wants Brate to be as opposed to a realistic evaluation of his play.

    WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers
    Grade: B+

    It's hard to find much fault, on the other hand, with the contract Tampa Bay handed its star wide receiver. Evans was entering the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, and the obvious reference point for a contract was the five-year, $81 million extension DeAndre Hopkins picked up in August before playing out his own fifth-year option.

    The difference between the two was their draft position. Hopkins was drafted with the 27th pick, making his fifth-year option a relatively team-friendly $7.9 million. As a top-10 pick, Evans was entitled to a far bigger fifth-year option, as the Bucs were on the hook for $13.3 million before signing him to an extension.

    With that in mind, it's a surprise that Evans was able to make only a modest leap over the maximum value of Hopkins' deal, with his contract coming in at five years and $82.5 million. The trade-off is in the money early in the deal. Spotrac reports that Evans will make $54 million over the first three years of the deal, which would be the most of any wideout in history. Hopkins' new pact came in at $49 million over three years.

    The difference between the three-year money and the difference between those fifth-year options is essentially identical, but even so, it's a surprise that Evans and his representation weren't able to get more given the 6.1 percent rise in the salary cap over last season. There's every reason to think the 24-year-old will continue to rank among the league's top wideouts, and while he just became the highest-paid wide receiver in football by the three-year money, the Buccaneers appear to have gotten off pretty easily with this extension.

    Saturday, March 10
    CB Richard Sherman, 49ers

    Grade: B

    The recent track record of superstar cornerbacks leaving their old homes for new digs is mixed, at best. Nnamdi Asomugha went from being a true side eraser for the Raiders to being borderline unplayable for the Eagles at age 31. Darrelle Revis was a major disappointment after leaving the Jets for the Buccaneers; and while Revis produced an above-average season in winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots, age caught up to him during the second year of his second run with Gang Green. Revis was essentially finished at 31. Things went better for Aqib Talib in Denver, but after Talib's age-31 season, the Broncos decided they were better off going with Bradley Roby and shipped Talib off to the Rams.

    Sherman will turn 30 later this month and will be coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in November, so the odds are against him returning to his perennial All-Pro form for a significant length of time. The good news is that he landed in a welcoming location with the 49ers. The Seahawks were more diverse in their coverages than some might suggest, but Sherman's size, instincts and spatial awareness made him a perfect fit for the Cover-3 that Seattle ran as its base coverage. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was an assistant with the Seahawks and Jaguars under Gus Bradley, so he should have no difficulty finding a familiar spot for Sherman along the sidelines.

    The future Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate was able to sign a three-year, $39.2 million deal one day after being released by the Seahawks, who didn't want to pay him an $11 million base salary in 2018. The contract, according to reports, is really a one-year, $9 million deal with incentives. If Sherman makes the Pro Bowl in 2018, the Niners will pay him $3 million and trigger $16 million in guarantees over the next two seasons. General manager John Lynch & Co. would be assuming some risk by paying Sherman through his age-32 campaign, but the structure of the deal allows the Niners to stay out of danger if Sherman doesn't return to form. It's a fair deal for both sides, and that first Seahawks-49ers game can't get here soon enough.

    Trade: Browns deal DT Danny Shelton to Patriots
    Browns: C+

    Patriots: B+

    Another former University of Washington star defender goes on the move this offseason, but unlike Marcus Peters, Shelton hadn't quite hit the heights his prior team had hoped. Cleveland's 2015 first-round pick was drafted with the idea of being a nose tackle in Mike Pettine's 3-4 alignment. But after spending two years in that 3-4 under Pettine and replacement Ray Horton, the Browns moved to a 4-3 under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams last season.

    Shelton is never going to rack up big stats, but he was an effective piece in a Browns run defense that quietly finished fourth against the run in DVOA in 2017. Splitting out individual pieces of a run defense is nearly impossible, but during Shelton's career in Cleveland, the Browns were far stouter with him on the field. Cleveland allowed 3.9 yards per carry and 20.6 percent of rushes to turn into a first down or a touchdown with Shelton on the field. With the former 12th overall pick off the field, the Browns allowed 4.7 yards per rush and a conversion 26.2 percent of the time.

    The 24-year-old Shelton should slot in as a replacement for the departing Alan Branch up front for the Patriots. New England was 30th in the league against the run, and while Branch had been impressive in previous seasons, he had fallen so far out of favor that the Pats scratched him for Super Bowl LII in favor of keeping Malcolm Butler inexplicably active. New England will probably decline Shelton's fifth-year option, given that run-stuffing defensive linemen just aren't making eight-figure salaries often in free agency; but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Pats offer Shelton a contract extension if he starts his career in Foxborough well.

    The return isn't much for the Browns. Cleveland sends a fifth-round pick in this year's draft to the Patriots, although it's unclear whether it'll be the pick the Browns acquired from the Packers on Friday or the fifth-rounder the Browns picked up from the Chiefs for another former first-round pick, Cam Erving. In return, Cleveland will get a 2019 third-rounder, but given the Patriots' nearly unprecedented run of success, it seems extremely likely that pick will fall into the 90s next year.

    Friday, March 9

    Trade: Packers deal CB Damarious Randallto Browns for QB DeShone Kizer
    Grade for Packers: C+
    Grade for Browns: B+

    Kizer needed a change of scenery after his disastrous rookie season, and Browns general manager John Dorsey might have found a new free safety by trading for a struggling cornerback in Randall. Read the full analysis here.

    Trade: Bills deal QB Tyrod Taylor to Browns
    Grade for Bills: B+
    Grade for Browns: B-

    The Bills got a meaningful pick for a player they were going to cut in Taylor, giving them another asset for a possible trade up in this year's draft. Read the full analysis here.

    Trade: Dolphins deal QR Jarvis Landry to Browns
    Grade for Dolphins: B-
    Grade for Browns: C+

    Landry is an upgrade at receiver for the Browns, but it's hard to see him returning much value on the massive extension he's likely to sign to stick around in Cleveland. Read the full analysis here.

    Trade: Eagles deal WR Torrey Smith to Panthers for CB Daryl Worley
    Grade for Eagles: A-
    Grade for Panthers: C

    It's difficult to believe that the Panthers sent an actual asset to the Eagles for Smith, given that Philadelphia was virtually guaranteed to decline the former Ravens star's $5 million option for 2018. Smith's impact was underrated by his final numbers (36 catches for 420 yards and two touchdowns) -- he got open downfield far more frequently than it seemed, but was let down by some subpar deep throws by Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. Smith also chipped in with a few drops, which didn't help matters.

    The Panthers needed wideout help alongside Devin Funchess, but it's hard to figure that they were really bidding against other teams who wanted to assume Smith's contact for 2018 and trade an asset in the process. Smith probably would have struggled to get the two years and $10 million left on his deal as a free agent.

    In lieu of possibly netting a compensatory pick for Smith, the Eagles instead take home another cheap cornerback in Worley, who started 25 games over his two seasons in Carolina. Worley hasn't developed as much as fellow 2016 draftee James Bradberry and fell into a rotation at times with Kevon Seymour, who should now have a clear path to a starting role. The Eagles want to spend money at just about every position besides running back and cornerback, and Worley gives them another low-cost option as they try to replace Patrick Robinson, who will likely leave in free agency this offseason.

    Thursday, March 8

    Trade: Broncos deal CB Aqib Talib to the Rams
    Grade for Broncos: B
    Grade for Rams: B-

    The Rams appeared to enter the offseason with serious question marks at cornerback, but in a matter of two weeks, they've pieced together what might be the best cornerback duo in football. After trading for Marcus Peters, the Rams added another playmaking veteran on the outside by dealing a fifth-round pick to the Broncos for Talib, whose departure from Denver had been rumored since the end of the regular season.

    Denver had clearly made the decision to promote fifth-year corner Bradley Roby into an every-down role at the expense of Talib, who failed to pick off more than one pass for the first time in his professional career last season. Given that decision, John Elway did well to create a market and pick up a fifth-round pick for a player the Broncos seemed likely to release. With Roby and Chris Harris Jr., the Broncos should still be set at cornerback for years to come, and Denver can put the $11 million they owed Talib toward a new deal for Roby and/or their bid for Kirk Cousins.

    Alshon Jeffery when the Broncos played the Eagles last season, but he's still an above-average cornerback as he enters his age-32 campaign. That lone pick was a Dak Prescott throw he took 103 yards back to the house, so the wheels are still there.

    At two years and $19 million, the Rams aren't paying an exorbitant amount for Talib at his current level of play, since the going rate for solid 1A cornerbacks in free agency these days is $10 million per season. If Les Snead restructures Talib's deal and adds guaranteed money after this season, I would be a little concerned, but this is a logical acquisition for the Rams. Throw in the low-cost addition of cornerback Sam Shields, who sat out in 2017 as he recovered from a concussion, and the Rams probably have the best set of corners in the game.

    Watching the Los Angeles defense is going to be fun next year. Peters and Talib are absolute ball hawks who fool quarterbacks into throws they regret from the moment the ball leaves their hand, but they also take risks and get beat by double-moves more than most cornerbacks of their ilk. It will be on franchised free safety Lamarcus Joyner to clean up when his cornerbacks get beat, and on the Aaron Donald-led pass rush to get home quickly and allow L.A.'s two star cornerbacks to break on the football.

    Wednesday, March 7
    DL Chris Baker, Bengals

    Grade: B-

    Last year went disastrously for Baker, who left Washington to sign a three-year, $15.8 million deal with Tampa Bay. Baker got $6 million guaranteed but did little during his season in Tampa, racking up just a half-sack, five quarterback knockdowns and two tackles for loss across 437 defensive snaps. Baker didn't win the locker room over, either, with teammates having to stop quarterback Jameis Winston from getting in Baker's face after a critical encroachment penalty on fourth down late against the Panthers.

    The Bengals have a long history of taking on reclamation projects with some success under Marvin Lewis, and at one year, $3 million, Baker doesn't come with much risk. The 30-year-old is down to 300 pounds, a noticeable drop given that he was listed at 320 and likely played at a larger weight last season. The Hampton product racked up 9.5 sacks and 27 knockdowns between 2015 and 2016, so if Lewis can turn Baker back into a useful interior pass-rusher, the Bengals will have a steal on their hands.

    Trade: Rams deal LB Alec Ogletree to Giants
    Grade for Rams: C+
    Grade for Giants: C

    The Giants were loathe to spend money on coverage linebackers under the reign of general manager Jerry Reese, who never adequately replaced Antonio Pierce in the middle of the field after the playoff hero finished his career in 2009. Draft picks like Jonathan Goff and a bevy of free agents -- everyone from Jon Beason to J.T. Thomas -- couldn't stay healthy or play effective football. With new GM Dave Gettleman coming over from a Panthers organization that built its defense around Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly, it's no surprise that he might want to address inside linebacker this offseason.

    Of the candidates the Giants have brought in since Pierce, Ogletree is certainly the most likely to succeed, but it's hard to argue that the former Georgia star is likely to return value. The 26-year-old is a stud athlete, but he hasn't been able to turn those measurables into significant production since 2014. Ogletree forced 10 fumbles over his first two seasons, but he has been responsible for only two strips in the three years since. He made tackles on 16.1 percent of Los Angeles' run plays last season, a rate that ranked 60th in the league among players with 200 run snaps or more.

    The problem is that Ogletree plays a position the league really doesn't seem to value with significant contracts. The Rams signed Ogletree to a four-year, $42.8 million extension last October, and the Giants will essentially have Ogletree on a four-year, $38 million deal with $10 million guaranteed, all coming this season. That's not in line with what better players have gotten in free agency; Dont'a Hightower, for one, got four years and $35.5 million to stay with the Patriots last offseason. Useful players such as Zach Brown, who is back in the market this year, had to settle for a one-year pact. It's difficult to believe Ogletree would have received this much if he were a free agent.

    The Rams free up cap space as part of this deal, which marks the second expensive defender they've dealt away in a week after trading Robert Quinn to the Dolphins. It now seems more likely that they'll hang on to fellow linebacker Mark Barron, who seemed like a plausible cap casualty. L.A. will have $6.5 million in dead money on its cap for Ogletree this year, but with $47.3 million in space, the Rams can use the savings to bring back receiver Sammy Watkins, who would otherwise be an unrestricted free agent. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has helped develop unheralded inside linebackers such as Todd Davisand Brandon Marshall in years past, so the Rams might be able to get by without big-money players on the interior.

    Gettleman gives up fourth- and sixth-round picks to the Rams, who send a 2019 seventh-rounder back as part of the deal. The Giants managed to avoid sending the 102nd pick and instead sent their later fourth-rounder, the 135th selection, but they're not in a position to trade away draft picks given how bereft the back of their roster is at the moment. This is a better swap for the Rams.

    Trade: Seahawks deal DE Michael Bennettto Eagles
    Grade for Seahawks: C
    Grade for Eagles: B+

    The Eagles are one of the most aggressive trading teams in the league and built their Super Bowl success around a deep, dominant defensive line, so it's no surprise that they acquired Michael Bennett from the Seahawks today. Bennett will slot in as a replacement for Vinny Curry, and with three years and $22.1 million left on his deal, Bennett won't break the bank as part of one of the league's best defensive lines. It seems pretty clear that Seattle wanted to move on from Bennett, who might be the first part of a painful defensive rebuild over the days to come. The Seahawks would likely have cut Bennett, given that the return -- a fifth-round pick and flyer WR Marcus Johnson, with a seventh-rounder going back to Philadelphia -- won't move the needle.

    Tuesday, March 6
    RB Chris Ivory, Bills

    Grade: D

    Chris Ivory has been one of the worst running backs in football over the last two years, averaging 3.6 yards per carry while producing more fumbles (seven) than touchdowns (five). It's no surprise he was cut by the Jaguars, but it's more difficult to see why the Bills prioritized him on a two-year, $5.5-million deal when backs of his ilk are free to acquire in the market. Remember that LeGarrette Blount, a more effective power back, languished in free agency for months after an 18-touchdown season before settling for a one-year, $1.3-million deal with the Eagles last offseason. The Bills just guaranteed Ivory $3.3 million, which seems inexplicable for a team which already has the league's most expensive running back in LeSean McCoy.

    Friday, March 3

    Trade: Rams deal DE Robert Quinn to Dolphins
    Grade for Rams: C+
    Grade for Dolphins: C+

    The Rams decision to trade Robert Quinn is a reflection on what the 27-year-old has looked like since undergoing back surgery in January of 2016. Quinn has just 12.5 sacks and 18 knockdowns over the past two years. That would be an upgrade for the Dolphins, who foolishly gave Andre Branch a three-year deal last offseason with $8 million fully guaranteed for 2018 to play across from Cameron Wake. Quinn will be a massive upgrade at defensive end on Branch, but the Dolphins will likely need to perform cap gymnastics to either fit Quinn in on his current cap hit of $11.4 million or as part of a new contract. It seems likely that Quinn could serve as a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, whose departure would free up $17 million in cap room for a Dolphins team which is nearly $16 million over the salary cap at the moment.

    Monday, Feb. 26
    CB Vontae Davis, Bills

    Grade: B+

    The one-year, $5-million deal the Bills inked with Vontae Davis is a good short-term risk for a team who probably would have had to pay more to bring back the oft-injured E.J. Gaines next season. Davis slipped badly in 2016 and was impacted by injuries in 2017, but the former Colts standout won't turn 30 until May and was a legitimate number-one cornerback up to that point. In a free-agent pool where mid-market starting corners are likely to approach $10 million per season with two years of guaranteed money, getting Davis on a short-term pact for half that is a win for Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

    Friday, Feb. 23

    Trade: Chiefs deal CB Marcus Peters to Rams
    Grade for Chiefs: C
    Grade for Rams: B+

    Grades for the Marcus Peters trade: The Chiefs get a C for their end of the swap, in which they sent Peters and the 196th pick to the Rams for the 124th selection and a 2019 second-rounder. If the Rams finish 20th in the draft order next year and we don't depreciate the pick's value for time (both of which are perhaps conservative estimates), the Chase Stuart suggests the Chiefs picked up the 33rd selection in a typical draft for a 25-year-old former All-Pro cornerback on a below-market deal for the next two seasons. While Kansas City clearly wanted to trade Peters, this is a price point at which the Chiefs probably needed to trust their ability to rehabilitate Peters and bring him back into the fold. The Rams, meanwhile, get a B+ for their end of the bargain. They probably need to start holding onto their draft picks after sending high selections out in the trades for Peters, Jared Goff, and Sammy Watkins, but they're not incurring an enormous amount of risk in trading for Peters. They can go year-to-year and pay the Washington product just $27.5 million over the next three seasons, which is less than inferior cornerbacks like Dre Kirkpatrick and Logan Ryan got in their free-agent deals last offseason.

    Tuesday, Jan. 30

    Trade: Chiefs deal QB Alex Smith to Washington
    Grade for Chiefs: B
    Grade for Washington: B

    Plenty of people figured the Chiefs were going to trade Alex Smith this offseason to free up their starting job for 2017 first-round pick Patrick Mahomes. They were half-right. The Chiefs didn't wait until the offseason to make their move, agreeing to a deal to trade Smith to Washington for a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller.

    Washington's stunning trade for a new quarterback should reverberate around the league; a half-dozen teams that weren't involved with the deal suddenly saw their offseason plans change or come into focus. The deal (and Smith's subsequent extension) obviously suggest Washington will be moving on from incumbent quarterback Kirk Cousins, who will hit unrestricted free agency.

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