The NFL offseason is in full swing, and 2020 NFL free agency kicks off next week. Teams can begin to negotiate with free agents on Monday afternoon, but they’re already striking deals to re-sign players — and make trades — and rumors are flowing on all the latest news across the league.
Which teams will sign the biggest free agents? What does Tom Brady‘s future hold? Which teams are most active in free agency, and what are we hearing on the trade front?
We’re tracking every notable NFL free-agent signing, trade and cut of the offseason below, sorted by most recent moves at the top.
The Detroit Lions have released starting right tackle Rick Wagner with two years remaining on a five-year deal he signed entering 2017. Wagner was due to make $9 million in cash in 2020 and had a cap charge of $11.9 million against the salary cap. In releasing him, the Lions save $6.1 million against the cap but do take a hit of $5.8 million of dead money.
The Cincinnati Bengals and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn officially ended their tumultuous relationship on Friday. Cincinnati released Glenn, who played in six games in 2019, was in the middle of a four-year contract worth more than $46 million that was set to expire after the 2020 season. The Bengals will gain $9.5 million in salary cap space and will not owe Glenn any additional money.
The Los Angeles Chargers have placed their franchise tag on tight end Hunter Henry, the team announced Friday. Henry, who turned 25 in December, set single-season career highs in receptions (55) and receiving yards (652) last season.
The Denver Broncos have used the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons. Simmons, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft who is set to enter his fifth season, was poised to be an unrestricted free agent, but Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said at the combine he would use the franchise tag to retain him if a long-term contract couldn’t be reached.
The Tennessee Titans released veteran kicker Ryan Succop and tight end Delanie Walker on Friday. Releasing Succop frees up $2 million in salary-cap space but costs the team $2.1 million in dead money. Walker, 35, spent the past seven seasons with the Titans, but has been limited to a total of eight games over the past two seasons due to an ankle injury and resulting complications.
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Ravens place the franchise tag on linebacker Matthew Judon on Friday. The tag will cost between $16 million and $18 million, which will take up over half of Baltimore’s projected $30 million salary cap space and limit what the team can do in free agency. Baltimore couldn’t risk losing Judon. Addressing the pass rush has become an offseason priority for the Ravens after ranking 21st in the league with 37 sacks, their fewest since 2015.
The 2020 free-agent market is set to open Monday with a three-day negotiating period for players with expiring contracts. Deals can be formalized beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. Here is everything you need to know about the market, and the players available.
Tennessee could be an attractive landing spot for quarterback Tom Brady if he decides to move on as a free agent after 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. However, the Titans would not be adding the Brady of 2017 (his most recent MVP season). They would be adding the quarterback who turns 43 in August and is coming off one of his worst seasons. A closer look at his 2019 numbers shows the choice between Brady and Ryan Tannehill isn’t as clear-cut as many think.
The Cleveland Browns stumbled to a 6-10 finish last season, prompting ownership to overhaul the coaching staff and front office. Here is what to watch for as the NFL’s offseason calendar cranks up:
There’s just a little something different in the air when it comes to the Raiders, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the start of free agency for the 2020 season. he team’s move to Las Vegas has given the franchise certain lures for free agents, from state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium, to the appeal of playing for a young team on the rise, to, wait for it, no state income tax.
The Buffalo Bills agreed to a three-year contract with offensive lineman Quinton Spain, per a league source, which ensures the team will return its entire starting offensive line in 2020. The deal is reportedly worth $15 million over those three years.
he NFL said Thursday it has “no plans to move the start of the league year” as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The NFL’s statement comes after several teams have restricted travel for their coaches and scouts because of the virus. The Washington Redskins and New York Jets were among teams to announce Thursday they were pulling personnel off the road and sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t sending their coaches to upcoming pro days.
The Tennessee Titans released running back Dion Lewis and linebacker Cameron Wake, the team announced Thursday, freeing up close to $10 million in cap space. Lewis signed a four-year, $19.8 million contract in 2018 and was set to hold a $5.1 million cap number in 2020. Wake signed a three-year, $23 million contract in 2019 and was set to hold a cap figure of $8.6 million in 2020.
The New England Patriots have officially exercised the 2020 option year on cornerback Jason McCourty, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates on Thursday. While McCourty signed a two-year, $11 million contract last offseason, the presence of a $500,000 option bonus to activate the second year of the pact was notable.
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With the Patriots officially picking up Jason McCourty’s option Thursday, a snapshot of the cornerbacks under contract for 2020: Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams, D’Angelo Ross, Lenzy Pipkins, Justin Bethel (special teams).
The Seattle Seahawks figure to need more than one stud pass-rusher lest they experience a repeat of 2019, when they had Jadeveon Clowney and not much else in that department. That need would be even more pronounced if they lose Jarran Reed and/or Quinton Jefferson in free agency.
Keeping Joe Mixon around for another contract, at whatever cost, could be well worth it for a Cincinnati Bengals team likely building around a rookie quarterback, assuming they select Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft on April 23. Mixon’s value isn’t lost on Cincinnati’s front office, which is already exploring the idea of giving him a new deal before the start of the season.
It appears increasingly likely Michael Brockers, who is coming off a three-year, $33.3 million extension, won’t fit into the budget for the Los Angeles Rams. While the 29-year-old is expected to draw plenty of attention when he tests the market, the experience also will be accompanied by some uncertainty.
The Green Bay Packers are releasing tight end Jimmy Graham on Thursday, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Graham will become an immediate free agent. Graham, who turned 33 in November, ranked as the highest-paid tight end in the NFL with an average salary of $10 million and was scheduled to take up the second-most salary cap space ($11,666,668) in 2020 of any tight end in the league.
“I just had a dream last night that we were on the same team,” Anderson said Wednesday morning, appearing as a guest on ESPN’s SportsCenter set. “No lie. It’s so crazy.”
The Houston Texans and veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph have mutually agreed that he will enter free agency, the team announced Wednesday. Joseph, 35, has spent the last nine seasons with the Texans. He had 51 tackles, 13 pass breakups and one interception in 14 games last season.
The Miami Dolphins are releasing two-time Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter Wednesday. The move, which will become official March 18, frees up $5.3 million against the Dolphins’ salary cap.
Paying $15 million a year for a running back, even an elite one such as Christian McCaffrey, could put a long-term strain on the Carolina Panthers‘ cap, and the team has already parted with arguably their second-biggest asset in terms of trade value when they sent Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The New England Patriots need help at tight end. And adding another receiver would be ideal. History suggests they’ll cast a wide net at those positions, and others, in search of what they view as the best combination of talent and value.
A key deadline is approaching for the Philadelphia Eagles and safety Malcolm Jenkins that will help shed light on where this relationship is headed. The Eagles have until the first day of the new league year, March 18, to exercise a club option that would keep Jenkins under contract in 2020. If they decline, he becomes a free agent.
Hunter Henry has been billed as the eventual replacement for future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, and he has mostly lived up to those lofty expectations when on the field. The past four seasons, Henry’s 17 touchdown catches rank eighth in the league among tight ends. Henry has had trouble staying healthy, though, missing 22 games since the Los Angeles Chargers selected him in the second round of the 2016 draft.
Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is close to finalizing a deal with WWE, according to a report by FS1’s WWE Backstage program. Gronkowski is “deep in talks” with the pro wrestling promotion, according to the report, though how he’ll be used on screen is unknown. The report noted that Gronkowski could pop up on WWE SmackDown as early as March 20.
The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday signed quarterback Kyle Allen, set to become an exclusive rights free agent, to a one-year deal. Carolina now has three quarterbacks – Cam Newton, Will Grier and Allen – under contract for the 2020 season.
The Cleveland Browns released veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey on Tuesday. The Browns tried to renegotiate Kirksey’s contract but released him after the sides couldn’t come to an agreement, a source told ESPN. Releasing him will save the Browns roughly $6.58 million in cap savings this offseason.
The Houston Texans have agreed to re-sign tight end Darren Fells and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, sources confirmed to ESPN. Fells’ two-year deal, which was first reported by NFL Network, includes $4 million in the first year, the source told ESPN. Fairbairn’s contract is for four years, a source told ESPN, confirming a report by the Houston Chronicle
The NFL Players Association and the league management council have agreed to move the franchise/transition tag deadline from Thursday at 4 p.m. ET to Monday at 11:59 a.m. ET. By setting the tag deadline as noon, it allows for the period known as “legal tampering” to begin as scheduled on Monday. The start of the league year remains Wednesday, March 18.
Marshal Yanda will announce his retirement this week, closing out one of the most decorated careers by a guard in NFL history, according to a league source. Yanda, 35, played all of his 13 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, building a reputation based on toughness, technique and work ethic.
With the deadline to use the franchise tag coming Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys have sent a new proposal to quarterback Dak Prescott‘s agent in hopes of kick-starting earnest discussions that lead to a multiyear agreement, according to a source.
New York Giants tight end Rhett Ellison has announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons. Ellison, 31, missed the final six games of this past season because of a concussion. He had one year remaining on a four-year deal.
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The Jets’ release of CB Trumaine Johnson was a no-brainer. He disappointed under two different coaching staffs, so it was time to cut bait. The remaining cap hit depends on the outcome of the CBA vote. If a new CBA is approved for the 2020 league year, the Jets can designate him a June 1 cut and spread the hit over two years — $4M and $8M. Absent a new CBA, they get the entire hit this year —$12M. In that case, they’d save only $3M of his $15M hit. Ouch.
The New Orleans Saints plan to place a first-round tender on restricted free-agent quarterback Taysom Hill, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, meaning another team would have to give up a first-round draft pick to sign him away. The Saints also will have the right to match any offer that Hill might sign with another team after making him the qualifying offer, which is for one year and worth $4.67 million, according to Over the Cap.
The Los Angeles Chargers and restricted free-agent running back Austin Ekeler have agreed to a multiyear extension, the team announced. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that it is a four-year, $24.5 million deal that includes $15 million guaranteed.
The Philadelphia Eagles will let left tackle Jason Peters enter free agency by mutual agreement, the team announced Thursday, but said they will remain in communication as “each side continues to evaluate its options.”
The Carolina Panthers made their first big deal under new coach Matt Rhule, agreeing to trade Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers for left tackle Russell Okung, league sources told ESPN. The trade cannot be made official until 4 p.m. ET on March 18, the start of the NFL’s new league year.
Former Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith, whose girlfriend was killed in a traffic accident last September, signed a one-year deal with his hometown team, the Carolina Panthers, on Wednesday.
Two-time Pro Bowl safety Mike Adams is retiring after a 16-year career, announcing his decision on NFL Network. Adams, who turns 39 on March 24, played for the Houston Texans last season after signing in October when safety Justin Reid was dealing with a shoulder injury.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will use their franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The tag will allow them to try to trade him if that’s what they decide or are forced to do.
The Cincinnati Bengals currently plan to use the franchise tag on wide receiver A.J. Green, sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler. The Bengals want Green in Cincinnati in 2020 no matter what, either through the tag or a longer deal, the sources said. The tag is estimated to be worth around $18.5 million, according to overthecap.com. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal.
The Kansas City Chiefs plan to use their franchise tag on Chris Jones if they cannot reach a long-term deal with the star defensive lineman, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The source said Kansas City will continue working toward a new contract with Jones and would use the franchise tag if necessary. Teams have until March 12 to use the tag.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and offensive lineman Wes Schweitzer will hit the open market as unrestricted free agents, but he didn’t rule out re-signing any of them.
The Denver Broncos have no intention of letting safety Justin Simmons hit the open market. John Elway, the Broncos’ president of football operations and general manager, said at the scouting combine that Denver will use the franchise tag on Simmons if it can’t work out a long-term deal.
The Jacksonville Jaguars declined to pick up the option on defensive tackle Marcell Dareus‘ contract, a move that creates $20 million in salary-cap space. The Jaguars had until Tuesday to pick up or decline Dareus’ option year in 2020. Had they picked up the option, Dareus’ $9.5 million base salary in 2020 would have been fully guaranteed and he would have been due a $10 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the league year (March 22).
Kicker Mason Crosby has agreed to a three-year contract with the Green Bay Packers, his agent, Mike McCartney, announced on social media Saturday. The three-year contract is for $12.9 million, sources told ESPN, with Crosby receiving $6 million in 2020 and $9.5 million through Year 2 of the deal.
Preparing for a possible overhaul at wide receiver, the New York Jets added a former first-round pick to their roster by signing Josh Doctson, who was drafted 22nd overall by the Washington Redskins in 2016