Quarterbacks Lead Way in Free Agency
Wednesday is the day that all the NFL teams must get under the salary cap, so both trades and cuts are likely. Tuesday, however, belonged to the free agents as it was the second-day teams were permitted to make contract agreements. As usual with the NFL, quarterbacks were in control.
Tuesday saw Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Tyrod Taylor all get new teams. The Chicago Bears signed Dalton to a one-year deal worth at least $10 million, with an additional three million available via incentives. The 33-year-old spent last year starting nine games in Dallas after nine seasons in Cincinnati. Dalton threw for 2,170 yards with 14 scores and eight interceptions while posting a 4-5 record.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, still in search of that elusive playoff win, signed with the Washington Football Team for $10 million. Fitz has a great chance to be the WFT starter after the team decided against bringing back Alex Smith.
The Miami Dolphins gave Jacoby Brissett $5 million guaranteed as a backup plan to Tua Tagovailoa. Brissett was the Indianapolis starter in 2019 before backing up Philip Rivers in 2020. The Dolphins also added Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown
The Houston Texans haven’t made a move yet with frustrated superstar Deshaun Watson, but they now have a Plan B with the signing of Tyrod Taylor. The deal with Taylor could reach $12.5 million as the former Chargers signal-caller made just one start in 2020. He had his lung accidentally punctured by a team doctor while recovering from a lung injury and never took the job away from rookie Justin Herbert.
Emmanuel Sanders On Move
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has another weapon as the AFC East champions signed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The one-year deal is worth $6 million guaranteed plus incentives. Sanders was a cap casualty of the Saints last month after catching 61 passes for 726 yards and five touchdowns.
Sanders has played in the NFL for 11 seasons with 47 touchdowns and 662 catches for 8,619 yards. He entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has also played for Denver and San Francisco.
Belichick Busy in New England
The New England Patriots have been busy in the first two days of contract negotiations. They agreed to a three-year deal with tight end Hunter Henry for $37.5 million. The Pats also added former Titans tight end Jonnu Smith on a four-year $50 million deal. They also added wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne from the Raiders and 49ers, respectively.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots also made a big splash with linebacker Matthew Judon. The former Ravens linebacker signed a four-year deal worth $56 million.
The biggest cuts are likely to come on Wednesday, but a few teams got going early. The Las Vegas Raiders cut Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson and will now have to replace four starting linemen in front of Derek Carr. They traded tackle Trent Brown to New England this week and are also releasing guard Gabe Jackson.
The Tennessee Titans released cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and tackle Dennis Kelly just days after releasing cornerback Malcolm Butler. Wideout Adam Humphries and safety Kenny Vaccaro are also on their way out as Tennessee shed over $30 million from the cap.
Denver said goodbye to veteran defensive back Kareem Jackson as they signed defensive lineman Shelby Harris instead. Jackson’s option was declined, and he will hit the free-agent market on Wednesday.
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