Recapping Day 3 of NFL Free Agency
NFL Offseason - The 2023 league year officially begins at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 15. At that time, teams will be able to process trades, negotiate with tagged players, and finalize the contracts signed in the last two days.
Check back all day for the latest on NFL free agency news!
7:28 p.m. EST: Carolina Panthers Sign Eagles RB Miles Sanders
The Carolina Panthers have agreed to a contract with former Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Additional reporting from ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes the deal is for four years.
Sanders finished third in rushing DYAR and sixth in rushing DVOA among all running backs in 2022.
7:13 p.m. EST: New Orleans Saints Sign Lions RB Jamaal Williams to Three-Year Deal
The New Orleans Saints and former Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams have agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract with $8 million fully guaranteed, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Williams spent his last two seasons with Detroit, coming off a career season. In 2022, Williams rushed for a career-high 1,066 yards with a league-leading 17 rushing touchdowns.
Williams’ 78 DYAR, his best since his rookie season, ranked 21st among qualified running backs. He posted a minus-2.1% rushing DVOA, which ranked 26th.
New Orleans’ offense finished the season 22nd in both total DVOA and rushing DVOA. Saints running back Alvin Kamara finished 2022 41st in rushing DYAR and 40th in rushing DVOA among 42 qualifying backs.
6:43 p.m. EST: Cleveland Browns Sign Former Chiefs S Juan Thornhill
The Cleveland Browns and former Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill have agreed to a three-year contract worth up to $21 million with $14 million guaranteed, according to a report from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Thornhill was drafted by the Chiefs in the second round of 2019, starting 52 games over four seasons. In 2022, Thornhill set new career highs in tackles (70), tackles for loss (6), pass breakups (6), and interceptions (3) en route to his second Super Bowl with Kansas City.
6:13 p.m. EST: Philadelphia Eagles Bring Back DT Fletcher Cox on One-Year Deal
The Philadelphia Eagles and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox have agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter described the deal as a “hometown discount” for Cox’s 12th season in the league.
The Eagles drafted Cox 12th overall in 2012, he has missed just six regular season games since joining the team. Cox’s 7.0 sacks are his most since 2018.
5:41 p.m. EST: Cleveland Browns Cut EDGE Jadeveon Clowney and S Josh Johnson
The Cleveland Browns have released edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney and safety Josh Johnson with post-June 1 designations, according to a report from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Clowney signed with the Browns in 2021, playing 24 games across two seasons. After a strong first season, he took a big step back in terms of production. Clowney’s 2.0 sacks and 22 pressures are second-worst in his career and worst since 2020.
4:34 p.m. EST: Miami Dolphins Re-Sign RB Myles Gaskin
Bryan joined the Browns in 2022 after four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2022, Bryan started 16 games for Cleveland, posting 25 tackles, five tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, and 19 total pressures.
3:42 p.m. EST: Carolina Panthers Sign TE Hayden Hurst to Three Years
The Carolina Panthers have signed former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurts to a three-year, $21.75 million contract with $13 million guaranteed at signing, according to a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Hurst joined the Bengals on a one-year deal after stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons. He caught 52 passes on 68 targets for 414 yards and two touchdowns, finishing 25th in DYAR and DVOA among tight ends.
3:09 p.m. EST: Houston Texans Sign Jets DT Sheldon Rankins to One-Year Deal
The Houston Texans have signed former New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to a one-year deal worth $10.5 million, according to a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
Rankins spent the last two seasons with the JEts, starting 15 games in 2022. He finished the season with 43 tackles,10 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and 18 total pressures.
2:57 p.m. EST: San Francisco 49ers Sign Former First-Round DE Clelin Ferrell
The San Francisco 49ers have signed former Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell to a one-year deal, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Ferrell was drafted by the Oakland Raiders fourth overall in 2019. He started 30 of his 43 games played over four seasons, with four of those starts coming in the last two seasons. Ferrell finished his 2022 season with 2.0 sacks and 22 pressures. Las Vegas did not pick up Ferrell's fifth-year option in 2022, making him a free agent.
2:19 p.m. EST: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Re-Sign LB Lavonte David to One-Year Contract
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are bringing back linebacker Lavonte David on a one-year deal with $7 million in guaranteed money, according to a report from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
David has spent the last 11 seasons in Tampa Bay after being drafted by the Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL draft. In 2022, David recorded 124 tackles, his most since 2015. He finished the year with 10 tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and five pass breakups.
1:27 p.m. EST: Buffalo Bills Will Bring Back S Jordan Poyer on Two-Year Deal
The Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer has agreed to return to the Buffalo Bills on a two-year deal, according to a report from The Athletic's Joe Buscaglia.
Check out our full write-up of the Poyer deal.
1:00 p.m. EST: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Confirms 2023 Return, States "Intention" to Play for Jets
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced that he intends to return for the 2023 season and his "intention" is to play for the New York Jets during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show.
Check out our full write-up of the Rodgers news.
11:50 a.m. EST: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign QB Baker Mayfield
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield to a one-year, deal worth up to $8.5 million, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Check out our full write-up of the Mayfield deal.
11:19 a.m. EST: New Orleans Saints Sign DT Khalen Saunders
The New Orleans Saints are expected to sign former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, according to a report from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Saunders appeared in all 16 games in 2022, playing more than 10 games for just the second time in his four-year career. As a rotational interior defensive lineman, Saunders finished the season with 3.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, and 48 tackles.
10:51 a.m. EST: Philadelphia Eagles Release CB Darius Slay
The Philadelphia Eagles are set to release cornerback Darius Slay, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Slay spent the last three seasons with the Eagles. In 2022, Slay led the Eagles with 14 passes defended while recording three interceptions. Slay allowed a 49.2% completion percentage, second-lowest of his career.
Releasing Slay with a post-June 1 designation frees up $13 million in cap for 2023.
Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next..
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) March 15, 2023
9:40 a.m. EST: Dallas Cowboys to Release RB Ezekiel Elliott
The Dallas Cowboys are set to release running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr.
The Cowboys signed Elliott fourth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, eventually signing him to a six-year, $90 million extension in 2019. Elliott ranks third in Cowboys history in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Over the last three seasons, Elliott has finished 20th, 11th, and 22nd in rushing DYAR. Dallas previously placed the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard, tying him to a one-year deal worth $10.1 million.
Elliott will be given a post-June 1 release. This creates $10.9 million in cap space upon release, with a $5.8 million dead cap hit in 2023. He is free to sign with another team before June 1, but he will functionally remain on Dallas' books until then.
8:40 a.m. EST: Pittsburgh Steelers Sign Commanders LB Cole Holcomb to Three-Year Deal
The Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to a three-year contract with Washington Commanders linebacker Cole Holcomb, according to a report from NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
Holcomb finished fifth on the Commanders with 69 tackles despite appearing in just seven games. Holcomb was placed on injured reserve for a foot injury and eventually underwent season-ending surgery.
8:18 a.m. EST: Indianapolis Colts Bring Back WR Ashton Dulin
The Indianapolis Colts have agreed to bring back wide receiver Ashton Dulin, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter. t;
Dulin appeared in 12 games for the Colts in 2022, catching 15 passes on 22 targets for 207 yards and a touchdown. He also played 187 snaps on special teams for Indianapolis, accounting for 41.2% of the Colts' special teams snaps.
6 comments, Last at 19 Mar 2023, 1:54am
#1 by Pat // Mar 15, 2023 - 2:54pm
Releasing Slay with a post-June 1 designation frees up $13 million in cap for 2023.
17.5M, not $13M. 17M in straight salary, 0.5M in workout bonus. But it's a post-June 1 designation so it does exactly nothing to Philly's cap right now.
I'm actually guessing that some of the announced contracts might have shenanigans in them to delay cap hits until after June 1. Hurts's extension likely won't happen until then, either.
#2 by Pat // Mar 15, 2023 - 11:48pm
Christ, and now Slay's not being released, but his deal is being reworked or something. Clearly this means a lower overall salary for Slay (if they were fine with a 17.5M salary this year, they'd just option it to lower the cap value), so the cap savings will be larger than the 12.3M from a restructure.
But with them bringing back Cox, Graham, Slay, and now Bradberry as well, it's clear they're going "eff it" and trying to eke out an additional year.
Really not thrilled with that decision, and yes I know everyone will say "negadelphian" but it's really not. Just recognizing that soo many things had to go right last year for that run. Things that are unlikely to happen again, which means the risk for a second try doesn't seem like a great decision for me.
#3 by fyo // Mar 16, 2023 - 7:25am
The blurb beneath "4:34 p.m. EST: Miami Dolphins Re-Sign RB Myles Gaskin" is about some guy named "Bryan". Bryan isn't mentioned anywhere else, but I'm assuming we're talking Taven Bryan (DT) who signed with the Colts.