denver going all out for a superbowl win this year. and even if they don't win it all peyton retiring will give them an extra $20m in cap space the year after.
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Free Agent Signings: Around The NFL
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Sure like most fans I would like to see the Rams fill some needs through free agencies. The Rams have done that for years and it seems to be a vicious cycle that rarely makes a difference. For example, the reason the Rams have some cap room is they just released some recent big free agents ie Dahl, Finnegan. This team has young talent and it's time for some of these guys to step up. Would not mind seeing the FO picking up some veterans in free agency at reasonable cost. Go Rams
One-third of PFT’s top 100 free agents reach deals on Day One
Posted by Mike Wilkening on March 12, 2014
If it seemed like there was a lot of action on the first day of free agency . . . well, there was.
By our count, 33 of PFT’s top 100-ranked free agents struck deals on Tuesday.
Overall, 39 members of the PFT Free Agent Hot 100 had reached contract agreements through Day One, including six re-signings before Tuesday.
Five other top 100 free agents can be signed away from their current clubs, but interested teams must surrender draft-pick compensation, whether in restricted free agency or because of the franchise or transition tag in unrestricted free agency.
Add it up, and 44-of-100 players on the Hot 100 either have deals or have received contract tenders.
The lone unsigned/untagged free agent in the top 10 is wideout Eric Decker (No. 8), with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (No. 11) second on the list of high-rated free agents yet to find a home.
By coincidence, Decker and Rodgers-Cromartie played for the Broncos last season. Moreover, they played quite well.
So yes, the free agent ranks haven’t completely been thinned just yet.
But some of the biggest deals are already done, and a material chunk of cash is gone.
Just like that.
Getty Images :: Peter G. Aiken (Ware), Bob Levey (Talib), Jeff Zelevansky (Gabbert), Al Pereira (Byrd)
The Billion-Dollar Day
The craziest—and spendiest—day in the history of free agency is in the books. But the most unbelievable part? Bigger news is still ahead, with DeMarcus Ware, Chris Johnson, Jared Allen and other NFL stars still on the market
Tuesday, 1 a.m. ET: The NFL’s first billion-dollar day is over, and it’s officially the craziest day in the 22-year history of free agency. I’ve done the math with the available numbers: 64 player signings for an estimated total outlay of $1,001,500,000.
One billion dollars. In nine hours, NFL teams agreed to contracts totaling $1 billion.
The mayhem is not over. Some of the biggest names in the game are on the street or on the verge of being there, their fate to be determined perhaps by the time you read this. Darrelle Revis will be released or traded, a year after the Bucs traded first-round and fourth-round picks for him. Demarcus Ware, quite possibly the best pass-rusher of his day, is on the street, and could do a deal with Denver today. And Julius Peppers and Jared Allen and LaMarr Woodley and Chris Johnson and Darren Sproles and Cortland Finnegan could find new homes today too.
As Wednesday dawns, the craziest thing I can think to say is this: Today could be loonier than yesterday.
And I haven’t even mentioned the Jonathan Martin trade. You were asleep when that happened? Just before 11 on the East Coast, Miami sent the star of the Ted Wells Report to San Francisco, to be reunited with college coach Jim Harbaugh for conditional 2015 draft compensation in hopes that Martin can resume a fruitful NFL career.
That’s how incredible a day it was: Jonathan Martin, at the center of the Dolphins’ national bullying scandal, one of the most famous (infamous?) players in football in 2013, gets traded, and it’s somewhere in the netherworld of the NFL day, fighting for headlines with Dallas whacking Ware, Chicago firing Peppers, Denver’s shocking rebuilding of its secondary, Atlanta doing six deals before midnight, the cash-strapped Saints looking under the couch cushions for $54 million to sign safety Jairus Byrd. Heck, Martin might not have been the most eye-opening acquisition (Blaine Gabbert?) in his own new city.
Just what the NFL wanted: Eyes glued to the TV and the web for news, any news, about football 25 weeks before the new season begins.
Jonathan Martin switched coasts Tuesday as Miami traded the troubled offensive lineman to San Francisco for a conditional 2015 draft pick. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
* * *
A quarter-century ago, I remember Giants GM George Young holding court at a league meeting, decrying what veteran unrestricted free agency would do to the game. You can’t exchange guards annually the way baseball teams move second basemen in and out of a lineup, he said; teams need time to build chemistry. Free agency as an institution was going to be a pox on the land of a well-played game.
But in the NFL office, free agency was something else: a way for the league to begin to own the offseason, to take it away from college basketball and the Hot Stove League that baseball had always used in February and March to get fans excited for the coming season. Free agency could be the NFL’s own Hot Stove. And in the 22 opening days since the free market entered the NFL calendar in 1993, never has there been the kind of excitement around the market that there was Tuesday. Excepting Martin, five significant events of the day:
Denver showed it’s serious about rebounding from the Super Bowl embarrassment. The Broncos signed cornerback Aqib Talib to a deal close to what Sam Shields got in Green Bay and Vontae Davis got in Indianapolis: $9.5 million a year. That came after signing safety T.J. Ward, and before the serious pursuit of the 31-year-old Ware, who will visit the team today. I’m partial, obviously, working for NBC as well as The MMQB, but is there any question that the best opening game of the season the league could schedule (on NBC Thursday Sept. 4) would be Denver at Seattle in an electric Super Bowl rematch?
Minus Talib, the Patriots are so wasted at cornerback that they might have to join the race to acquire Revis. Under the terms of his contract in Tampa, Revis is owed a $1.5 million signing bonus if still on the roster this week. And the Bucs would have to hand the Jets a third-round pick, not a fourth-rounder, in trade if Revis is still on the roster today at 4 p.m. I realize the new Tampa staff wants to make its own way, but the Bucs have the money to pay Revis. I think it’s crazy for the Bucs to dump one of the best corners in football—and I don’t care what defense they play.
Revis can cover in any scheme. Last year, they traded first-round and fourth-round picks to get Revis, and now they’re going to release him or trade him today? Crazy talk. But if it happens, the Patriots, who have a terrible time hanging onto top free agents and lost corner Talib on day one of the market, could try to convince Revis to come over to the dark side in New England after he spent the first six years of his career with the Jets. Revis swears he won’t take a pay cut. We shall see.
But the Bucs had a very good day otherwise. They added edge rusher Michael Johnson from Cincinnati, corner Alterraun Verner—the top corner in free agency on some NFL boards—to replace Revis, and an underrated and undervalued defensive tackle from the Seahawks’ Super Bowl team, Clinton McDonald. Good start for coach Lovie Smith and new GM Jason Licht.
Julius Peppers and Aaron Rodgers could be reacquainted soon, but this time as teammates. (Scott Strazzante/Getty Images)
Ware and Peppers hit the street within two hours of each other late in the day.Defensive coordinators everywhere rejoiced … particularly in Denver and Green Bay, where pass-rush help is a priority. Denver GM John Elway would love to make Ware a bookend for Von Miller in the rush game, while solid run player Peppers would fill a need for the Packers for a year or two as a tough and physical end to complement Clay Matthews. Other teams will be in play for them too—including Super Bowl champion Seattle, if the price is right.
One contract begat another, as always happens—but this time, it cost Indianapolis millions. The Colts were deep in talks with Vontae Davis in the days before free agency when word came down from Green Bay that cornerback Sam Shields signed a huge four-year, $39 million deal. That sent waves around the league, particularly at a time when so many teams were trying to get cornerback deals done. The Colts were in the $7-million-a-year neighborhood when Shields signed. To get the deal done and keep the valuable Davis in the fold, Indianapolis had to push the money up, up, up … until it was right where Shields’ was. Davis agreed just around the time the free-agent period opened.
Lots of adjustments will be made in the NFL over the next few months, as teams figure new rosters and try to do more free-agent deals. San Francisco’s secondary could have four different starters from the Super Bowl 13 months ago. Atlanta shored up its two weakest points—the offensive and defensive lines, by signing six linemen, two and offense and four on defense. Oakland flipped 40 percent of its starting offensive line.
It’s tough to spend a billion dollars in half a day, but the NFL proved it can be done. And the walls in the league office are still standing. The game will survive. And flourish, apparently.
Giants to host Shelley Smith
Posted by Josh Alper on March 12, 2014
The Giants got the ball rolling in free agency by signing guard Geoff Schwartz on Tuesday, but they aren’t done looking for ways to upgrade an offensive line that was an abject failure last season.
Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that the team will have guard Shelley Smith in for a visit on Wednesday. They are also expected to visit with kick returner Jacoby Jones a day after signing running back Rashad Jennings to further help what owner John Mara called a “broken” offense.
Smith spent the last two years with the Rams, starting eight times while playing in 25 games. The 2010 sixth-round pick started his career with the Texans, but never saw any regular season action until he moved to St. Louis.
With Schwartz in the fold and Chris Snee taking a pay cut, Smith is likely ticketed for a depth role. That’s not insignificant given the fact that Snee is coming off of hip surgery and Smith could be an option to start in the future as Snee is close to the end of the line.
[Photo credit: StLouisRams.com]
The free-agent frenzy is just getting started
Posted by Mike Florio on March 12, 2014
Some call the start of the new league year Christmas. It’s actually more like an extended Hanukkah.
While many of the big presents get opened on the first day, the process continues for days if not weeks, with players watching and waiting and visiting and negotiating.
Sure, the big money evaporates quickly. But the players who haven’t gotten the contract they want must now try to strike the best deal they can. That could take some time.
Until then, you’ve got plenty of time to track the movements and anticipate the next ones. May we suggest our continuously updated PFT Free Agent Hot 100 list?
It’s our oft-imitated device for keeping tabs on the biggest names — and we’ll be adding to it the names of the men who weren’t free agents as of Tuesday at 3:59 p.m. ET, but who have become, or will become, free agents.
The Rams Falcons connection?
Its been rumored that the Falcons would select a pass rusher or a OL'er with their first selection.
First UFA day they went out and signed four Ol'ers.
Jon Asamoah (Signed multi-year deal with ATL)
Falcons re-signed C Joe Hawley to a two-year, $6.5 million contract.
Falcons signed G/T Gabe Carimi.
Mike Johnson (Re-signed one-year deal with ATL)
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