Posted March 11, 2014

NFL free agency: Latest rumors, buzz

NFL Free Agency
NFL free agency: Latest rumors, buzz: Running backs generating little interest

Knowshon Moreno is generating little interest on the open market. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

NFL free agency doesn’t officially open until 4 p.m. ET, but the rumor mill is churning away. Find all the latest buzz from around the league below.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock DraftContract killers | FA Primers: QBs, RBs | O-line | WRs, TEs

Tuesday, March 11

1:45 p.m. ET

• The Raiders have emerged as strong players in the Darrelle Revis-derby, reports Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

• The Browns have become the team to beat for LB Karlos Dansby, writes Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• If WR Miles Austin is cut by the Cowboys, the Jets could be interested, reports Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.

• Many believe the Bears and Buccaneers are the finalists for QB Josh McCown’s services, reports Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

• Baltimore could be a landing spot for WR Steve Smith if he’s cut by Carolina, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

1:20 p.m. ET

• The Bears are facing “little competition” in their pursuit of Raiders DE LaMarr Houston, reports Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider.

• One player getting an “impressive amount of interest” is Chiefs DE Tyson Jackson, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• DeMarcus Ware has asked the Cowboys to inform of his fate by the start of free agency, reports ESPN’s Ed Werder.

• The Chiefs are showing interest in former Bears WR Devin Hester, says Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

• Looking for a wideout to complement Josh Gordon, the Browns are showing “major interest” in Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins, writes Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.

11:20 a.m. ET

• If the Ravens are unable to bring back OT Eugene Monroe, their backup plan is Browns C Alex Mack, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• New England is offering WR Julian Edelman a three-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• The Giants, Buccaneers, Patriots and Packers are on Jared Allen’s “wish list,” according to Bill Hubert of Packer Report.

• Ravens and OT Eugene Monroe are very close to a new deal, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.

• The Lions are close to a long-term deal with restricted free agent RB Joique Bell, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.


Monday, March 10

• The Dolphins are “gearing up for another big year in free agency,” writes Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. One of their big targets? Bill S Jairus Byrd.

• Denver is expected to pursue Browns S T.J. Ward when the market opens Tuesday, per Mike Klis of the Denver Post.

• Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun believes the tackle market will shake out like this: the Rams’ Rodger Saffold is expected to sign with the Raiders, but he’s still in talks with the Buccaneers; the Raiders’ Jared Veldheer is expected to sign with the Cardinals; the Bengals’ Anthony Collins will sign with the Bucs, “provided that he doesn’t re-sign with the Bengals.” Chiefs OT Branden Albert is expected to sign with the Dolphins.

• Upgrading the secondary appears to be a priority in Washington. The Redskins have expressed interest in Pats CB Aqib Talib and Panthers S Mike Mitchell, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Washington has also expressed interest in Bills S Jairus Byrd. “Talks not at a serious point yet, though,” Jones writes.

• Chris Johnson will be hitting the trade block very soon, reports ProFootballTalk. “If the Titans can find no takers, they will cut him.”


Sunday, March 9

• There’s currently “no market” for free-agent running backs, according to ProFootballTalk. Among the notable names on the market: Knowshon Moreno, Darren McFadden, Donald Brown, Rashad Jennings, Ben Tate, LeGarrette Blount and Ahmad Bradshaw.

• People inside the Patriots organization are making “a strong push” to keep WR Julian Edelman, says Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet New England.

• Lovie Smith and the Buccaneers are making a “hard push” for Bengals DE Michael Johnson, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

• Ravens DE Arthur Jones is drawing interest from the Titans, Redskins, Packers, Giants and Vikings, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

• Nearly seven teams are interested in Cowboys DE/OLB Anthony Spencer, tweets ESPNDallas’ Calvin Watkins.

• The Redskins are interested in Bengals OT Anthony Collins, Patriots CB Aqib Talib and Panthers S Mike Mitchell, writes Mike Jones of the Washington Post.

• The Lions have inquired about Browns S T.J. Ward, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.


Saturday, March 8

• Defensive end Red Bryant has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to ProFootballTalk, joining his former defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, who’s now the head coach in Jacksonville.

• The Bucs cut former first-round pick Davin Joseph, wiping $6 million off their books. The guard missed all of the 2012 season after knee surgery. Only one qualifying guard graded lower than him last season by Pro Football Focus’ metrics. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to report the news.

• If the Miami Dolphins don’t have any luck in their pursuit of Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe, the Miami Herald says they’re also interested in also interested in Rodger Saffold and Jared Veldheer.

• Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean wouldn’t be surprised if the Titans made a run at either Ben Tate or Donald Brown.

ESPN 1500 Twin Cities says the Vikings have joined the pack interested in Alterraun Verner.

• Would the New York Giants be interested in having Devin Hester as their return man? Giants beat writer Mike Graziano isn’t totally selling the idea of Hester coming to New York but he’s not buying either.


Friday, March 7

• Matt Cassel, who finished the season as the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback, will return to Minnesota on a two-year deal, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.  

• There’s a chance Mark Sanchez could stay with the Jets on a revised deal, according to ProFootballTalk. Sanchez has a $9 million base salary and is due a $2 million roster bonus later this month.

• DeMarcus Ware may not want to take a pay cut in Dallas as he “believes he can get a payday in free agency,” according to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.

• The Eagles haven’t ruled out bringing back Michael Vick, reports the AP.

• Despite getting the transition tag, C Alex Mack intends to test free agency (via Brent Sobleski of USA Today): ““We’ll see what happens. It’s tough to know. I don’t know how teams feel about me. I still have an opportunity to meet with coaches and experience free agency. That’s the goal. I like Cleveland; I know it. I like these new coaches. But there are other opportunities out there.”

• No deal is imminent between the Raiders and OT Jared Veldheer, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “He’s going to take his decision into the weekend, weigh his options and the market.”

• Former Saints DE Will Smith could be a backup plan for the Seahawks if they fail to re-sign Michael Bennett, reports Albert Breer of NFL Network.

• The Packers offered DT B.J. Raji a one-year, $4 million deal, but “there are indications Raji isn’t interested in the Packers’ offer,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

• The Buccaneers are looking for a backup QB, and Josh McCown and Shaun Hill are on their list, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• Michael Bennett intends to test free agency, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.


Thursday, March 6

• Will Matt Cassel land in Houston? The Texans’ interest in the QB is “real,” reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “New Texans coach Bill O’Brien was an assistant with the Patriots during Cassel’s final two seasons in New England,” details Kevin Patra at NFL.com. “Interest in the veteran might indicate the Texans aren’t sold on taking a quarterback No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL draft and would rather develop one taken in the later rounds while using Cassel as the bridge to that future.” CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora also expects Cassel to land with the Texans.

• Despite speculation, the Eagles aren’t actively shopping DeSean Jackson and they have no intention of parting with the wideout this offseason, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Jackson isn’t close to being cut, and even if he was one misstep away from forcing the Eagles to move him, they most certainly wouldn’t release him without getting something in return. … [A]fter talking with almost a dozen sources from around the league, it’s clear the Eagles aren’t interested in dealing the 27-year-old Jackson – not by a long shot.”

• Champ Bailey, released Wednesday by the Broncos, is open to playing safety on a new team, via Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today. “My vision is to still play corner, but I’m a little more open-minded about the season I had last year. I’m a corner at heart. If a situation made sense to play safety, then I would consider it.”

• TE Jermichael Finley (neck) is hoping to get medical clearance to return to the field in the next few weeks. ProFootballTalk quotes a source who says that clearance could be coming “very soon.”


Wednesday, March 5

• Aqib Talib wants to be paid like an upper-echelon cornerback, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “It’s possible the Patriots wanted Talib for a less risky three-year deal, perhaps in the range of $7 million per year, but that’s well shy of Grimes’ mark [four years, $32M; $16M guaranteed]. Since Talib has thoroughly enjoyed his season and a half with the Pats, he might take something of a discount, but it’s got to be close.”

• The Steelers will not release Troy Polamalu despite their cap crunch, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “Rooney family is too loyal and Polamalu has been too valuable,” Schefter says.

• OT Eugene Monroe will be the Dolphins’ primary target if he reaches free agency, says the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero. “Monroe is good but not yet elite. So paying him $11.5 million to $12 million per season suggests overpaying. That’s elite tackle money. … So if the Dolphins can get Monroe for somewhere between $9 million to $11 million per season, they should be pleased.”

• WR Golden Tate “hasn’t heard much” from the Seahawks, via ProFootballTalk.

• In an ideal world, WR James Jones would return to Green Bay, but he’s not sure that’ll happen, via NFL.com. “I’ve thought about places that I would like to go play, whether it’s in Indy or there’s coming back home, San Diego or somewhere. Teams have popped up in my head. I can’t say I haven’t thought about it, but in a perfect world I’d love to go back [to Green Bay].”

• The Cowboys “definitely” want to keep DE DeMarcus Ware, but not at his current salary ($13M), reports Ian Rapoport.


Tuesday, March 4

• Titans CB Alterraun Verner is unlikely to give the Titans a hometown discount, reports Jim Wyatt at the Tennessean. “I love being here, I love my teammates and I love Tennessee. … From a business standpoint, you don’t know how long you are going to play in this league, so you have to take advantage when you can. …  So if they don’t offer me something that shows they value me, I feel like it is a slap in my face.”

• The Bills haven’t ruled out brining S Jairus Byrd back, GM Doug Whaley told the team’s official site. “It’s a negotiation,” Whaley said. “We still have some time to get it done so we’re not closing the door on it. We’re hopeful. We’re optimistic, but we’ll see where it goes from here.”

• Miami is “very intrigued” with free agent LB D’Qwell Jackson, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

• The Ravens haven’t entered contract talks with OT Michael Oher, says Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

• There’s a “gut” feeling DE Michael Johnson lands in Minnesota, per the team’s website.


Monday, March 3

• The Bills are unlikely to keep S Jairus Byrd, reports Jeremy White of WGR 550 in Buffalo. “I’m told that it’s unlikely they’ll use the tag and that it’s unlikely they’ll reach an agreement before that time. … The two sides have had productive discussions, and while things could change, it seems at this point that the two sides will split.”

• Tackle Eugene Monroe and the Ravens remain “far apart” in negotiations, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. ” It’s uncertain whether they will designate Monroe as their franchise player, but one source characterized that option as a possibility the team has considered.”

• The Jets will “definitely” make a play for Michael Vick when free agency opens, reports Adam Schefter.

• Red Bryant could be an option for the Chiefs, says The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson.

• The Dolphins are not expected to tag CB Brent Grimes, reports Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. It’s “more likely than not,” though, that Grimes signs a long-term deal to stay in Miami.

• The Colts are still negotiating a long-term deal with CB Vontae Davis, but don’t plan to use the franchise tag on him, per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

• Steve Hauschka won’t get the franchise tag from the Seahawks, says USA Today‘s Tom Pelissero.

• The Packers are trying to give CB Sam Shields less than $6M per year, reports Ian Rapoport.


Friday, Feb. 28

• The Dolphins are “gauging [the] trade value” of Dion Jordan, reports CBS’ Jason La Canfora. Miami took Jordan No. 3 overall last season after giving up two picks to trade into that spot.

• The Panthers and DE Greg Hardy are still discussing a long-term deal, says Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Hardy is looking for a contract commensurate with his place among the league’s best pass rushers after totaling 26 sacks over the past two seasons,” the Observer says.

• Golden Tate says he would like to stay with the Seahawks “because I see this team winning for a long time,” via the Seattle Times.

• The Redskins seem unlikely to bring back Brandon Meriweather, says John Keim of ESPN.

• The contract talks between S Jairus Byrd and the Bills have been “pleasant,” according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News.

• Will Josh McCown return to Chicago? The Bears “overwhelming desire” is to re-sign the backup QB, reports the Chicago Tribune.


Thursday, Feb. 27

• The Jets haven’t “told [Mark] Sanchez he’s gone,” according Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• Four to six teams are expected to have interest in Jeremy Maclin if he hits the open market, says ESPN’s Adam Caplan on NFL Insiders

• The Ravens are in active discussions with both OT Eugene Monroe and TE Dennis Pitta, but nothing is imminent, reports Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

• There’s been “no real progress” between CB Alterraun Verner and the Titans, says Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.

• The Colts are among the teams interested in Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, per Vic Lombardi of Denver’s CBS4.

• Contrary to a report Wednesday, the Eagles are not close to a deal with WR Jeremy Maclin, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

• The Bills are willing to use the franchise tag on safety Jairus Byrd, according to the team’s website.

• The Panthers have not asked WR Steve Smith to take a pay cut, says Darin Gantt of ProFootball Talk. Smith will count $7M against the cap in 2014.

• DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys have had no dialogue, despite Jerry Jones’ comment that Ware could be cut, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

• Bears DT Henry Melton is interested in signing with the Cowboys, his agent told ESPNDallas.

• Jared Allen could be a target of the Buccaneers in free agency, says Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.


Wednesday, Feb. 26

• Several teams have contacted the Buccaneers about CB Darrelle Revis, and many believe he “could be dealt by the start of the league year,” says Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first reported the Revis talks. “Revis [who counts $16M against the cap in 2014] got no guaranteed money,” says La Canfora, “so he could be traded or released without cap or cash ramifications (no cap acceleration) and thus Tampa could conceivably get assets in return for him, and then use his cap and cash savings to address several other positions.”

• Mark Sanchez has a “20 to 30 percent chance” of returning to the Jets, according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.

• The Dolphins plan to pursue Ravens OT Eugene Monroe and Chiefs OT Branden Albert, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “The Dolphins like both, and would be happy to land either. … The Dolphins prefer to sign a high-end left tackle and fill the other tackle spot through free agency or the draft, possibly with Notre Dame’s Zack Martin with the 19th pick in the first round.”

• Jimmy Graham and the Saints remain “several million dollars per season apart,” according to Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo.

• A “healthy market” is forming for Packers TE Jermichael Finley, says CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. Finley suffered a season-ending neck injury, but he hopes to receive medical clearance soon.

57 comments
Jeff16
Jeff16

"If the Ravens are unable to bring back OT Eugene Monroe, their backup plan is Browns C Alex Mack".

Umm ... while Mack would be a nice pick-up, how is a center the 'backup plan' for a left tackle?

StLBUSKER
StLBUSKER

How do you make a Houston Texican cry??? Mention Mario Williams and his First Round *Can't Miss* pick of 2006 :-)

WarrenSappSucked
WarrenSappSucked

LOL THE TEXANS CAN HAVE MATT CASSELL....LOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Mike26
Mike26

Aqib has always been a punk, is a punk, and will remain a punk until long after his career is over.  He deserves nice money and none of this silly guaranteed money.  He's one strike from being suspended for a year from the league.  Has everyone forgotten his last incident, where he and his mommy went shooting up the town?

Ciscos
Ciscos

If the Texans grab Cassel, it's only until O'Brien can find a QB he likes. Problem with that he has to win or he won't have the years to "find one." 


Cassel isn't a bad QB. He's more of a game manager. Keep his reads few and simple and he won't do you any harm. You go Harvard style and he's going to struggle. If BO'B goes with Cassell, you can expect a plain vanilla offense.  As long as you win and/or stay competitive, who cares.


Champ Bailey will end up with another team, just not as a starter. I love this guy's work ethic and skill set.  He'd be a perfect game mentor to a young DB fresh in the league.


Eagles would be a galactic sized idiot not to keep Jackson. So there are no worries there. 1. Chip Kelly isn't stupid. 2. See number 1.

RamsNewsNow
RamsNewsNow

It will be a big surprise if the Rams don't go hard after Verner.  Fisher drafted him and they have a need at CB.  Byrd has been associated with the Rams, but it's doubtful the Rams want to spend that much for a Safety.

Rams-News.com

DavidNelson1
DavidNelson1

Why in the Wide Wide World of Sports would Michael Vick leave Philly (as a Backup QB) to go to the Jets (as a Backup QB). Makes zero sense for hi m personally of professionally. Unless a team wants him  where he could start or at least compete for the starting job there is no incentive to leave Philly. I would be shocked if this happens as it is certainly not a move up. 

Jeff16
Jeff16

Ravens sign Pitta, 5 years $32 million.

commchf
commchf

So an entire week goes by and there's nothing about San Diego?

stewartjk1
stewartjk1

The Redskins have both a glaring need at CB and the cap space to afford him.  They will offer Cousins (since TB needs a QB but isn't going to burn a draft pick on one this year), plus their 2015 4th rounder, conditional to a 2nd-rounder if Revis starts all 16 games.

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

For the life of me I still can't figure out why teams sign these DB's who are 6 inches shorter than the guy they're suppose to cover. You'd think there would be plenty of guys 6-2 to 6-4 with lousy hands that can at least run and knock a pass down. 

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

Revis agent must have released this rumor. Sure, the Bucs would love to trade him, but there is not team in the league that is going to take on that stupid contract. He will be released and sign for a fraction of the money elsewhere. 


Seattle urges SF to sign Kapernick to a huge extension, thus tying up a huge chunk of their salary cap in one player.

Centennial
Centennial

He probably is still capable of playing. However, he would have to learn to keep his mouth shut, be a team player and clean up his sordid personal life - and what are the chances of those things happening?

utoo
utoo

I fail to see what the buzz is about. Nobody wants him. The last time media tried to create a TO buzz, nobody from the NFL went to his open workout.

nfinitwordsfoto
nfinitwordsfoto

I'd take TO on my intramural flag football team any day.  We'd dominate.  

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

TO must really, really need the money.  Although, he did train in the Jerry Rice school of hanging on to the spotlight.  Remember how long Jerry tried to use those braids to convince everyone he wasn't bald?

donald5
donald5

Well if he INSISTS he can still play...

Ciscos
Ciscos

@PackersFanNumeroUno I think in the end, the Saints and Jimmy will mend fences and get a deal done. But him to Green Bay would give Rodgers some much needed help at that spot.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@RamsNewsNow As hard as I find it to be thumbs up for anything out of bRuin outhouse, Verner is one hell'ava DB. This shouldn't be hard sell to the Rams, by Fisher, to get him. He fills a need.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@DavidNelson1 If Vick goes to the Jets, trust, he's not going to be a backup. I don't care what is said in public. Those backdoor conversations have him as the starter.  


But the Jets are dorks.  Why would you draft Geno Smith (who I'm still not impressed with) make him your starter all season (courtesy of that bonehead preseason decision to play Sanchez in the 4th quarter behind a 3rd and 4th string OLine) and live thru his struggles only to bring in Vick and make him the starter?  Dumb on top of Dumb. You drafted Smith, so ride or die with him (for now).

Ciscos
Ciscos

@stewartjk1 Tampa might... Lovie is already on record saying if one is available, they "might" go after him.  Personally, the "one" he's talking about will probably be gone by then. I still think Tampa drafts an OLB (Barr only if Mack is gone) and lives to draft a QB next year.

John4
John4

@Wisconsin Death Trip  Why are there very few tall (6'4") corners?  Too high of a center of gravity.  Not able to move quickly laterally.  They would have a lot of difficulty covering a WR who runs a quick slant.  They would have problems tackling RBs (who naturally have a lower center of gravity).  A 6'4" would be useful defending corner routes, and would be a liability in lots of other defenses.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@Wisconsin Death Trip   If the receiver gets 3 or 4 yards of separation from the DB, height becomes irrelevant. If the DB isn't allowing the receiver any separation, the QB may choose not to throw at him at all. The combination of superior size AND speed in a DB is rare. If it was common, everyone's DB's would look like Seattle's!

PWINGS
PWINGS

@PackersFanNumeroUno   Yeah, Ted Thompson has a soft spot in his heart for players who think they're more important than the team and holdout for more money.

But then, who doesn't??

tarheel2
tarheel2

@nfinitwordsfoto I'd agree with that, but by the end of the game, you would have to listen to him complain about not getting the ball enough.

stewartjk1
stewartjk1

@sunalsorises Of course he still needs the money!  He has a net worth of $0 and 3 or possibly 4 baby mamas after him.  Have you been to his website?  It's hilarious.  I am thinking of spending $250 and having him come to my birthday party in August (since he won't be in a training camp this year or ever).

kdbarbershop
kdbarbershop

Didn't the Jets win 8 games last year? You don't have to be impressed, but perhaps you should take a look at how many other qb's are out there, and who might be available to the Jets, then re-evaluate your impression of Smith.

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

@stewartjk1 @WilyCoyoteSuperGenius- Yes, but they won't trade for him. Everyone in the NFL knows the Bucs will release Revis rather than pay him $8 million per interception for another season. The problem with an Island is that you can just go around it.