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2019 Free Agency Discussion

This is our open thread to discuss all the free agent movement, trades, cuts, and other news for the first few days of free agency, starting with the "legal tampering period" that begins at noon Eastern on March 11.

Later today we'll begin updating this thread with announcements of moves.

UPDATE MARCH 11 NOON
These deals are with players who were cut this last week, so they are not subject to waiting for the official start of free agency on Wednesday.

Detroit signs WR Danny Amendola (1 year, $4.5 million).
Philadelphia signs DT Malik Jackson (3 years, $30 million).

These deals are with new free agents and cannot be official before Wednesday.

Oakland signs OT Trent Brown (4 years, $66 million, $36.75 million guaranteed, making him highest-paid OL in NFL history).
San Francisco signs LB Kwon Alexander (4 years, $54 million, $27 million guaranteed).
Washington signs S Landon Collins (6 years, $84 million).
Detroit signs OLB Trey Flowers (5 years, reported $16-17 million per year).
Detroit signs CB Justin Coleman (4 years, $36 million).

UPDATE MARCH 11 5:30 PM
Tampa Bay trades WR DeSean Jackson and 2020 seventh-round pick to Philadelphia for 2019 sixth-round pick, then sign Jackson to new 3-year, $27 million contract.

Buffalo signs RB Frank Gore (1 year, $2 million).
Buffalo signs TE Tyler Kroft.
Detroit signs TE Jesse James.
Jacksonville signs QB Nick Foles (4 years, $88 million, $50.1 million guaranteed).
New York Jets sign WR Jamison Crowder (3 years, $28.5 million, $17 million guaranteed).
Tennessee re-signs SS Kenny Vaccaro (4 years, $26 million, $11.5 million guaranteed).
Tennessee signs WR Adam Humphries (4 years, $36 million).

UPDATE MARCH 11 9:30 PM

Buffalo signs C Mitch Morse.
Denver signs CB Kareem Jackson (3 years, $33 million, $23 million guaranteed).
Indianapolis signs WR Devin Funchess (1 year, maximum value of $13 million with all incentives).
Kansas City signs FS Tyrann Mathieu (3 years, $42 million).

UPDATE MARCH 11 MIDNIGHT

Chicago signs RB Mike Davis (2 years, $6 million).
Cincinnati re-signs TE C.J. Uzomah (3 years, $18 million).
Minnesota signs DT Shamar Stephen (3 years).
Chicago signs CB Buster Skrine (3 years, $16.5 million).
Oakland signs S Lamarcus Joyner (4 years).
Denver signs RT Ja'Wuan James (4 years, $52 million, highest salary ever for a right tackle).

UPDATE MARCH 12 9:30 AM (Baltimore LB edition)

Arizona signs LB Terrell Suggs (1 year, $7 million).
Green Bay signs LB Za'Darius Smith (terms unknown).
New York Jets sign LB C.J. Mosley (5 years, $85 million, $51 million guaranteed).

Cleveland signs DT Sheldon Richardson (3 years, $36 million).
Green Bay signs S Adrian Amos.
Green Bay signs OLB Preston Smith.
Houston signs FS Tashaun Gipson.
New Orleans re-signs QB Teddy Bridgewater.

UPDATE MARCH 12 2:30 PM

Anthony Barr changes his mind, will re-sign with Minnesota instead of going to the Jets (5 years, $67.5 million, $33 million guaranteed).

Arizona signs LB Jordan Hicks (4 years, $36 million, $20 guaranteed).
Buffalo signs WR John Brown (3 years, $27 million).
Buffalo signs WR Cole Beasley (4 years, $29 million).
Green Bay signs G/T Billy Turner (4 years, $28 million).
Los Angeles Chargers sign LB Thomas Davis (2 years, $20.5 million).
Miami re-signs WR DeVante Parker.
New Orleans signs RB Latavius Murray (4 years, $14.4 million).

UPDATE MARCH 12 10 PM

As discussed here, the Giants are trading WR Odell Beckham to the Browns for a first-round pick, a third-rounder, and S Jabrill Peppers.

In other trade news, the Chiefs are trading edge rusher Dee Ford to the 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick. The 49ers are then signing Ford to a five-year, $87.5 million contract.

Carolina signs C Matt Paradis (3 years, $27 million)
Tennessee signs G Rodger Saffold (4 years, $44 million)
Tennessee signs DE Cameron Wake (3 years, $23 million)
Atlanta signs G James Carpenter and G Jamon Brown
Buffalo signs G Spencer Long (3 years, $13 million)
Arizona signs G J.R. Sweezy
Tampa Bay signs S/LB Deone Bucannon
Houston signs CB Bradley Roby (1 year, $10 million)
Giants sign S Antoine Bethea
Tampa Bay signs P Bradley Pinion
Chicago signs WR/RB/KR Cordarrelle Patterson

UPDATE MARCH 12 AFTER DARK

Word broke late Tuesday night that RB Le'Veon Bell was signing with the Jets for four years, $52 million. The news caused great debate online concerning Bell's decision to sit out the 2018 season. On the one hand, Bell won't make any more per year than he would have in the deal the Steelers offered him, which he turned down, and by sitting out the year he forfeited the $14.5 million he would have made for playing on the franchise tag. On the other hand, Bell's new deal includes $35 million guaranteed, more than twice the guaranteed money Pittsburgh was offering. So it is a more secure deal for the player.

UPDATE MARCH 13 3 PM

Baltimore signs S Earl Thomas (4 years, $55 million) and RB Mark Ingram (3 years, $15 million)
Raiders sign WR Tyrell Williams
Washington re-signs RB Adrian Peterson (2 years, $8 million). Peterson turns 34 in eight days. If he runs for just a thousand yards in each of those two years, he'll move into the top five in career rushing yards (though he'll still be behind Frank Gore, who has a good shot at passing Walter Payton for second place behind Emmitt Smith).

Comments

133 comments, Last at 18 Mar 2019, 8:48am

1 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

I think this tweet is appropriate for here:

https://twitter.com/MikeTanier/status/1104842012610740227

Also... haven't the Raiders taken five OTs in their last two drafts, including a first rounder they massively overreached for?

What's the point in having a ton of cap space if you're just going to use it stupidly?

2 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Trent Brown is young and played awesome in 2018, albeit with a great OL coach and quick passing QB in a quick passing offense.

However, assuming an even split among the 4 years (which will not be case, but let's stay simple), in 2019 he will also count for around 8,77% of the cap; while the projected NE's Offensive Line will be on the book for 12,25% of the cap, all together.

6 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

If that's the case, shouldn't a team want to save money on its OL? It seems like spending big money on OTs should be a better value for a team like the Rams, who run a bunch of long-developing downfield route concepts. If the QB is getting rid of the ball quickly, it doesn't really matter if his OTs are great.

10 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Pottsville, yes - that's exactly what I would have thought. It's why as someone else posted, the Pats only spend 12% of their cap on the entire line.

But an alternative thought does occur about how much time Tom Brady got to throw in the Super Bowl against the d-line of Donald, Suh and others.

Plus I believe Gruden wants to run the ball.

So all in all, I don't know. Perhaps someone else can chime in with an answer?

13 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

My answer is that any investment in the offensive line when your OL coach is Tom Cable is probably not going to work out as well as you had hoped, especially when it's making a one-year wonder in a favorable system with a legendary OL coach the highest paid O Lineman in history.

Everything about the Raiders amuses me. Gruden is a buffoon. Carr won't throw the ball downfield. They fired the best personnel executive they've ever had. And now we're supposed to take them seriously because they just threw money at a malcontent WR? Does nobody remember Carr's game charts from last season? If all his targets are within five yards of the LOS who cares? If the Patriots can manage to get Edelman, Gronk, and three replacement level players all wide open within five yards of the LOS on the same play, pay their entire OL only slightly more than Brown and churn their receivers every few weeks and still end up with the most efficient offense in football, what on earth makes us think that paying Brown and Brown all that money is necessary?

And now of course they're saying they're too cash poor to contend for LeVeon Bell. (Not that I think he's a great investment either...) If there's a disgruntled former Steeler that fits their QB and OL quality of play, it's him, not Brown.

18 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Yes, this is two years running where the Pats have lost their LT in free agency, to a team that made him the highest paid OL ever, each time. How well did that work out for the Giants last year?

Meanwhile, Belichick takes in extra 3rd round picks in compensation.

Teams would do better to try to throw that money at Scarnecchia instead, to pry him away from the Pats. And it wouldn’t count against their cap. (Though he might not want to. He already retired once).

20 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

"Teams would do better to try to throw that money at Scarnecchia instead, to pry him away from the Pats. And it wouldn’t count against their cap."

Bite your tongue! Part of Scarnecchia's value is that he is good both as a coach and a judge of draft talent.

I'm interested to see how Brown does. How much of Brown's performance was due to Scar/Brady/Belichick/scheme in a way that's not transferrable? I agree with Dave that the Tom Cable factor is key.

58 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

I could see this having a real impact. The Jags were 5-5 in games where they held the opposition to 20 or fewer points last season, and 2-6 in games decided by one score. Going from Blake Bortles to Foles makes them a contender. That plus a healthy Fournette makes them dangerous.

73 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

The "spending $88 million" is the key here. The Jags signing "not Blake Bortles" to be their quarterback is a significant upgrade and makes sense on the face of it. But who were they bidding against with Foles? They had to get rid of 3 decent to good players to make room for his bloated salary. It would have made way more sense to try to sign Teddy Bridgewater (if he was interested) for a lot cheaper and keep guys like Malik Jackson.

12 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

I get that he's immortal and loves football, but I can't think of any reason why Frank Gore should take a "paltry" $2m to go suffer through playing in Buffalo.

Also, this is just another move that makes it feel like the three crappy teams in the AFC East are just carousel-ing through each others' retreads in the world's worst attempt to play catchup with the Patriots.

Bills hire fired Jets coach
Jets hire fired Dolphins coach
Bills hire crappy former Patriots OC
Bills hire aging Dolphins RB

etc.

And before all the Pats fans come after me again for daring to suggest that the rest of their division sucks, please everybody note that I AM KIDDING.

Speaking of intradivisional moves, the Landon Collins deal baffles me. I get that that's a HUGE amount of money for a safety (does this mean that Earl Thomas is now going to demand 15 per?) but damn... why would ANYONE want to go play for Washington?

Also, he would've been a damn good fit for the Colts, and I was really hoping that'd happen (but for more like 10m per...)

17 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Dave, you're a bitter man. :-) The Colts are getting better. Their QB looks to have recovered finally. They have boatloads of cap space. They're gonna make the playoffs. Other teams are signing away the Pats' free agents. The Pats lost their best pass rusher and their LT is a rookie coming off a serious injury. You should be happy! :-)

24 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

I am happy! I'll just feel confident when my team gets a real pass rush that can be trusted to slow a title-caliber offense. The healthy QB and godsend of a coach made me extremely happy last year, even as they were 1-5.

(Actually, thinking back on that... the Patriots game was their only loss of those 5 - heck, of the 6, since the 10-1 streak had only that freakishly awful shutout to the Jags where they were only one play away too - that they didn't have a realistic shot to win. Now that they've gotten more comfortable and confident, they're not just in the playoff conversation, but in the playoff bye conversation, even if they don't improve.

But against a real QB they'd still be in trouble. They quietly got a damn easy slate of them last year, with only Brady and Mahomes (Wentz was in his first game back) standing out. Heck, the conversation for third best QB the Colts played last year might be Derek Carr vs. Marcus Mariota. Or Deshaun Watson, I guess, depending on your opinion of him.

These next two years will be interesting, though. I hated that they did the dance of switching from 3-4 to 4-3 and blowing up the personnel (the Hankins deal was a waste and I loved Henry Anderson) but they did great in year one under Eberflus. As the personnel improves, maybe they can turn into a legitimately scary well-balanced team. (Not really sure how paying Funchess and Chester Rogers to drop passes is going to help much, but hard to get upset about 1-year prove it deals for non #1 WRs unless they take snaps away from a promising rookie or something.)

And as for the Pats, I'm sure I'm quite like you in being somewhat less than scared of the dropoff in pass rush and pass protection next year. I'm sure they'll be just fine.

107 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

When the Colts were 1-5, I was not despondent at all. I thought they were doing way better than I expected and were pretty promising, given Mack's injury, Costanzo's injury, and the youth starting--the first month they had like 6 rookies starting! As Dave indicated, the Pats game was the only "complete" loss--a typical Colts/Pats Game for the past 6-7 years--misery with a few flashes of what might be stomped to cinders by what it is. Some frustrating losses, yes, but they were just kids. But ignoring the W/L and looking at the actual output... I was really optimistic. Not playoffs optimistic, but surely 2019 optimistic. And they they went on the run. So now I am a lot more expectant.

The OL was very un-Colts-like and having Howard Mudd back can only help. They need to generate pressure.
With three picks in the first 60, I'd like to see a top-36 edge rusher and WR and CB, in any order (although that would be my preferred order). Unless they sign a B+ or A- free agent in one of those roles. I'd consider Funchess a seasoned, big, veteran B quality FA signing. Then again, so was Ebron and he turned into an A- (some key drops). Maybe Reich and Luck can squeeze the most out of Funchess like they did Ebron. Maybe having Hilton and Ebron/Doyle (and Hines) to worry about in the passing game will help Funchess open up and blossom. Maybe he just racks up 600 yards as the #2/#3 WR while K'Neal Harry slowly supplants him by the time the playoffs come around. (As a Pac-12 guy, Harry impressed me last season.)

Speaking of Pac-12, I'd also love to see, but don't think we really need him, Ben Burr-Kirven from UW (go Huskies!). That LB was literally everywhere in every game--I swear he was making tackles one play, then telestrating the next for the TV crew, then handing out towels in the men's washroom the next, before tipping a pass on the next. Basically Darius Leonard for the Huskies. I don't think he's gotten much press this spring, but his game film should put him in the range of picks #30-#50; I suspect he'll be high a third rounder (65-70) and a bargain for anybody who nabs him there.

25 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Nope. I remember being in my cousin's med school apartment in Syracuse watching the local broadcast in awe as they killed the clock on that 31-0 Lawyer Malloy revenge game that made the region all optimistic for two months. The hideous navy uniforms... the Sam Adams SI cover... the inevitable crashing down to earth.

Ugh, I'm old.

30 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Of course 2003 was Bledsoe's second season with the Bills ... the Pats couldn't get rid of him quick enough after the SB victory.

But I guess there was reason for optimism in Buffalo. After all they were still only three years since their last playoff appearance. The Pats had only gone 9-7 in 2002 - which is currently their last single-digit winning season - how crazy is that. The Jets were a wildcard team with Chad Pennington playing very efficiently.

At that moment, Belichick was still the average coach from Cleveland and his Pats record was 5-11, 10-6, 9-7 and with SB XXXVII having been delayed by 9-11 everybody loved that a team called the Patriots had won it.

How different that time was.

55 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Interesting, because as a Peyton Manning fan I very clearly remember being told from all angles in 2004 that Brady was already the GOAT because of his rings and that Manning was a choker.

Watching the McGinest game (11/2003) now, 15 years later, is a fascinating study in quarterback-centered roster building and game planning.

I remember that super bowl clearly. I, too, was very pro-Patriot.

109 Re: 2019 Free Agency Discussion

Don't bring up the McGinest game; just don't go there.

It's possible that his "injury" with a minute left and Indy surging downfield tipped the scales for that Pats win, therefore HFA in the playoffs, a possibly SB appearance, and a SB win.
One freakin' timeout that the team did not have. That's a big returnon investment, a high leverage play.

Of course, he made two great plays on that drive. One was falling down, the other tackling Edge in the backfield two plays after the "injury."

One thing I always held against Manning was his predictability. Not that his choice of calls when he audibled was bad, far from it. But it was obvious to me--If I was the defensive coordinator, I'd think "we're stacking the box, but we know you'll audible to a pass and that's our plan." I always felt that early on, even if it cost them a couple drives around midfield (where Hunter Smith could punt them out of danger), he should make what appeared to be an unwise audible, or "refuse" to change a play call, or quick-snap the ball with 20 seconds left instead of 3 like always, just to make the defense uncertain what he'll do when he sees X in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line. Because he was so good at, and comfortable with,and successful with, his ability to diagnose the D, he'd always wait until the D showed its hand and snap the ball with 2 seconds left. Everybody on the planet knew that. SO why not surprise them once in a while and take a chance, even if the play fails?

"Hey they're stacking the box. Guys, I'm gonna fake audible the shit out of this, and we'll run it anyway. Because win or lose on this play, it will pay dividends later in the game. Papa John's on me if we lose."

Just my two cents.