Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

12 Mar 2013

Tuesday Free Agency Thread (LATEST: Wheeler to MIA)

Here's an open thread for all of Tuesday's free-agent signings and releases.

- According to Jay Glazer, Tony Gonzalez has agreed to return to the Falcons for another season and they are working out the contract right now.
- The Vikings have re-upped WR Jerome Simpson to a one-year deal, hoping once again that he will be able to turn his impressive physical tools into production. Hey, Jacoby Jones kept getting chances too.
- Houston released WR Kevin Walter.
- Steelers and LB Larry Foote agree to multi-year deal.
- Minnesota released CB Antoine Winfield.

3:30 p.m. ET

- Philadelphia will release CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
- Seattle will release RB Leon Washington.
- Cincinnati re-signs DE Robert Geathers to reported three-year, $9.5 million deal.
- St. Louis re-signs DE William Hayes.
- Giants reportedly sign CB Aaron Ross to one-year deal.
- Titans release S Jordan Babineaux and OL Mitch Petrus.
- Vikings reportedly re-sign OT Phil Loadholt to multi-year contract.

4:00 p.m. ET

- Bears will sign TE Martellus Bennett tonight.
- Bills release QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
- Lions re-sign DB Amari Spievey and "WR" Kassim Osgood to one-year deals.
- Dolphins wrap up worst-kept secret in NFL world, agree to terms with WR Mike Wallace pending a physical. Reportedly a five-year, $60 million deal, with $30 million of the deal guaranteed.
- Chiefs have agreement with TE Anthony Fasano on four-year deal.
- Titans have agreement in principle with OL Andy Levitre on six-year, $48 million deal.
- Browns reach agreement in principle with DE Paul Kruger on five-year deal, reportedly worth five years, $40 million. $20 million of which is guaranteed.
- Broncos reportedly sign OL Louis Vazquez to four-year, $23.5 million deal.
- Chargers reach agreement on three-year deal with TE John Phillips.
- Tennessee reached agreement in principle on four-year deal with TE Delanie Walker. Reportedly worth $17.5 million with $8.6 million guaranteed.

5:00 p.m. ET
- Kansas City reportedly agrees to three-year deal with QB Chase Daniel.
- Indianapolis agrees to terms with OL Gosder Cherilus, OL Donald Thomas, LB Erik Walden, and CB Greg Toler.

5:40 p.m. ET
- Miami reportedly agrees to terms with LB Dannell Ellerbe on five-year, $35 million deal.
- Miami re-signs S Chris Clemons to one-year deal.
- Minnesota re-signs S Jamarca Sanford to a two-year deal.

6:40 p.m. ET
- Chicago agrees to a five-year deal with OT Jermon Bushrod.
- St. Louis agrees to a five-year deal with TE Jared Cook. Deal reportedly worth a maximum of $38.5 million, with $19 million guaranteed.
- Minnesota re-signs FB Jerome Felton to three-year deal.
- Miami releases LB Karlos Dansby.
- Kansas City signs DL Mike DeVito to three-year deal. Reported terms: $12.6 mil total, $6.2 mil guaranteed.

7:30 p.m. ET
- Ravens sign DL Chris Canty to a three-year deal worth $8 million.
- Eagles sign FB/TE James Casey to three-year, $14.5 million deal.
- Raiders release WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, DB Michael Huff, and DL Dave Tollefson.

9:00 p.m. ET
- Eagles sign DT Isaac Sopoaga to three-year deal worth reported $12 million, $5 million of which is guaranteed.
- Eagles sign LB Jason Phillips, S Pat Chung and CB Bradley Fletcher.
- Broncos re-sign DT Kevin Vickerson.
- Colts re-sign CB Darius Butler.
- Dolphins sign LB Phillip Wheeler to a reported five-year, $26 million contract.
- Browns sign DL Desmond Bryant to a reported five-year, $34 million deal.
- Vikings re-sign LB Erin Henderson to two-year deal.

10:30 p.m. ET
- Falcons re-sign OL Sam Baker to six-year deal.
- Dolphins released LB Kevin Burnett.
- Redskins re-sign DL Kedric Golston to three-year, $5.2 million contract.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 12 Mar 2013

52 comments, Last at 13 Mar 2013, 1:49pm by Steve in WI


by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 2:37pm

Any NFC North fans have a perspective on how much Winfield has left in the tank?

by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 4:27pm

He's still a qaulity DB, especially on the inside.

by BywaterBrat :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 4:37pm

Yup, could see him play a significant role for a few more years in a big nickel package a la Antrell Rolle

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 11:31pm

The report from the Vikings is that they didn't think he could stay in a full-time position and offered him a more limited role for less pay, but he turned it down. He was scheduled to earn $6 million, but he's 35. I think he still has value, just not *that* much value.

by coboney :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 2:48pm

Kevin Walter is gone in Houston? Its only like 3 years after everyone else realized he wasn't a viable weapon.

As for Jacoby Jones - at least he provides return value while you try to give him chances!

by Mike B. In Va :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 4:29pm

...and thus the Bills manage their cap hit.

I wonder how much power Nix actually has right now?

by DEW (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 4:52pm

So Miami snags Wallace to be their #1 *and* re-upped Hartline to be #2, which in turn lets Bess play slot full-time. I suddenly feel better about this whole "forward pass" thing that I hear teams sometimes do.

by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:02pm

They still need a LT, TE, RB, and a pair of corners. So they got a lot holes to fill before you feel good about the team.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:01pm

But DEW is right. I hear forward passes are all the rage. I am sure if we can have some of those it'll make a biiig difference.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:00pm

Titans sign Delanie Walker, just make sure that you hand him the pen to sign or he'll drop it.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:03pm

Vasquez an insurance for Chris Kuper, i suppose... Is he any good?

by Phoenix of Fury :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:11pm

Can't be worse than Manny Ramirez...can he?

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:00pm

Unlikely. However he DID play for the 2012 San Diego Chargers Oline - probably not an All-pro either.

by The Hypno-Toad :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 8:18pm

Is roughly $6 million a year backup/insurance rate for guards these days? I really don't know what guards are making. The only thing I know about him is that he very rarely gets called for penalties. If I heard correctly on my drive home, he's only been flagged once in four years. (Or at least only one penalty called on him was accepted.)

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:08pm

I guess Chase Daniel was tired of holding a clipboard and thinking of the gumbo he was having after the game, and would rather hold a clipboard and think of barbeque?

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:10pm

Maybe he just prefers tornadoes to hurricanes?

by herewegobrowniesherewego (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:28pm

Was also from Big 12 land (Irving TX and U of Missouri.)

by Steve in WI :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 1:49pm

Well, I can't believe his odds of getting a shot at playing are any *lower* in Kansas City, unless you think Brees is more likely to get hurt than Smith.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:11pm

Antione Winfield might be the best player with a long career, and only 3 Pro Bowl appearances, I've seen. The year he had in 2004 (unrecognized by the Pro Bowl, of course) might have been the best season I've ever seen from a corner playing cover-2. Unbelievable tackling, forcing fumbles at critical moments; I'm sure I've never seen it from a guy who often was the smallest player on the field.

Wherever he ends up, I wish him the best, and it would be awesome if he could pull off what Birk did.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 5:25pm

I wonder if Asamugha is worth pursuing for the Lions, considering they haven't had anything resembling a #1 CB for the better part of a decade.

by Harris :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 8:57pm

And if they sign Asomugha, they still won't.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 10:42pm

I think he still has his uses, scheme-dependent. You have to appreciate how truly putrid Detroit's DBs have been for most of my life. It's almost to the level of futility of QB Bears.

by Harris :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 9:33am

Having watched him with increasing horror the past two years, he's still good at jamming at the LOS. IF he can do that, he's okay. But he's lost his speed and agility, and he has absolutely no ball skills at all. I don't even think he's got value in a Cover 2 because he's a lousy tackler. And he's good for pointing at teammates whenever he gets beaten. Really, you want nothing to do with him.

by jonnyblazin :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:27pm

Wow Miami paid a lot for Ellerbe. That definitely hurts the Ravens, but its probably wise they didn't try to match that contract, reports are they weren't close with their offer. Its a lot of money for a guy who's been in the league for 4 years and only played well for parts of last season. He couldn't beat out J. McClain for the ILB starting spot this year and seems to be injured frequently. But he did play great during the SB run.

by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:32pm

I would have loved to keep him, but just like death and taxes another certainty is free agents from Super Bowls champions getting over paid.

by johonny (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:19pm

Dolphins had good inside LBs already. They are basically paying more $ for a guy that is 4 years younger. Karlos Dansby didn't look done last year in Miami and someone will obviously pick him up.

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:36pm

yet another ravens inside linebacker not named ray lewis who doesn't get a 2nd contract. the ravens treat inside backers the way they treat tight ends.

by Leyoz :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:41pm

What does Walden do so well that he get paid 4 million a year?

by Rivers McCown :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 6:45pm

Negotiate, apparently.

by Noah Arkadia :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:02pm


FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by Danny Tuccitto :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:42pm

More precisely, negotiate a bonus based on The Great X of Shame.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 9:20pm

As a Packers fan, I am relieved TT won't be tempted to bring back Walden. Here's Bob McGinn's report card for Walden in 2012:

Erik Walden: Role player with some edge rush ability. For the second straight year he was forced to play too many snaps (863, 70.3%) and wilted somewhat down the stretch. Always plays hard, got better in coverage and finished second to Matthews in pressures with 26½, the exact number he had a year ago. Unselfish and highly motivated. Better chasing running plays than setting a hard edge. On the lean side and will get outmuscled. Headed for unrestricted free agency without an extension. Grade: C-plus.

by jonnyblazin :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:05pm

I wonder if the Ravens try to sign Dansby. He seems to have had a fair bit of success playing ILB in a 3-4, although the Fins switched to a 4-3 last year. I always considered him a really good player, probably better than Ellerbe, but obviously a couple years older.

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:32pm

Dansby always had a bit of an overstated reputation based on playing on the defense that Kurt Warner took to the playoffs and Super Bowl (much like Ellerbe has a good reputation for looking great standing behind Haloti Ngata). He was the best free agent linebacker in a weak class of free agent linebackers a couple of years ago, which also got him some press.

That said, he's still a good linebacker who should catch on somewhere. He's worth more than the veteran minimum.

by AnonymousQ (not verified) :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 11:33am

DJ Williams is a solid LB that I can see in Balt for the right price. I think Balt isn't going to sign anyone for a few days and wait for prices to go dwn and players to panic and accept deals.

I can't believe how many players they are letting go... Bouldin, Ellerbee, Kruger(expected), Pollard with McKinney, Reed and C Willams all pending...

by Dan :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:07pm

Bennett is a big upgrade for the Bears at TE. Bushrod is a bit of an upgrade at LT, and he lets them get big upgrades at RT (Webb) and RG (Carimi). If they can find a decent LG, they make a strong push to have an averageish offensive line.

by maxnote :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:18pm

Three cheers for averageish!

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:29pm

Bennett would be a big upgrade at any position on the offensive line of scrimmage not occupied by Brandon Marshall.

by Roch Bear :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 10:22pm

Average is quite a reach for the Bears OL. Bennett is supposed to be a good blocker. This could be a major upgrade for the offense. It may also mean not enough cap left to overpay Urlacher.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 10:44pm

Chicago has a competent lineman now?



by Steve in WI :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 1:44pm

I'm surprised but thrilled that they got both. Honestly, the bar is set so low for the Bears acquiring and evaluating talent that as long as these guys turn out to be average, I'm happy. Maybe we'll find out they overpaid for Bushrod, but it seems impossible that he'll be anything but a significant upgrade.

I'm glad to see that they addressed both positions in free agency, because I think that this opens them up a bit more in the draft. They still need another TE and more help on the O-line, but now I wouldn't be absolutely furious if they took someone else in the first round depending on who it is.

As far as Urlacher goes, I was all for bringing him back for another year if it could be done at the right price, but if it has to be a multi-year deal and if it's going to keep the Bears from making the right moves elsewhere, then he needs to go. I heard something on the radio yesterday (and I don't remember if this was something his agent had reportedly said or if it was just idle speculation) about a 3-year deal. I can't possibly believe Urlacher will still be an NFL starter in the 2015 season.

by Theo :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:55pm

Larry Foote a multiyear deal?
He was one of the weaker spots of the Steelers Defense last year.

by Jerry :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 11:11pm

I haven't looked at details yet, but I imagine it's about pushing money into subsequent years. Right now, they don't have a better ILB.

by Sifter :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 11:26pm

I'm guessing they are waiting for Sean Spence to take that job. Foote should be just a placeholder. A multi-year placeholder though, apparently...

by Jerry :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 2:52am

They like Spence, but his knee injury was apparently very serious, so his future is very much up in the air.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 9:56pm

Am I the only person who likes the look of the front five the Browns have put together? However, I'm not sure who they were bidding against for Bryant's services that drove them to $7 million a year.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 10:03pm

I didn't realize DHB was in danger of being released. I don't follow the Raiders, but I thought he was improving.

by AnonymousQ (not verified) :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 11:35am

Improving yes, but not for $8M/yr

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 4:42am

He was - but not as much as his salary was improving. They didnt get anything they couldn't get from the other WRs. Huff going is a shame, but I can understand why he might want to go to a real defense rather than be the first guy to get his hands on the RB every down.
Wheeler and Bryant - precisely the sort of players that FA over-rewards. They weren't anything special, just bright spots on an abysmally poor unit. Usually its the Raiders signing those guys.
Looks like the Raiders are actually beginning to be run properly. It isn't pretty in the near-term, but I'd trade another 4-12 season for true contention down the line. Especially as they may as well do it now, while Manning is in the division.

by MehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 9:49am

They go 2-14, they get Bridgewater next year. That would turn them around fast.

by AnonymousQ (not verified) :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 11:40am

Just looking at the Raider draft picks of the last ten years, it's amazing they have been as good as they have been. When Huff (solid, but not great) is the best 1st round draft pick....

by Mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 03/13/2013 - 11:55am

Aso was pretty damn good.