Keeping a post pinned here to liveblog free agency as it pertains to the Minnesota Vikings, with particular attention paid to positions of need (most of them).
Feel free to comment on your reactions. Each individual Vikings signing will also have its own post as the time comes.
3:02 PM – DE/DT/NT Arthur Jones formerly of the Baltimore Ravens signs with the Colts for about $6M per year, per Adam Schefter
3:03 PM – CB Nolan Carroll formerly of the Miami Dolphins, linked by some to the Minnesota Vikings, is visiting Buffalo per Jason LaCanfora
3:03 PM – DE Michael Johnson, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals and linked by some to the Minnesota Vikings signed with Tampa Bay for a deal worth about $8.5M per year per Adam Schefter. Some would say this looks bad for Spielman, signing Griffen to an identical deal, but it would have taken more to bring Johnson in had they not signed Griffen because TB was the highest bidder and also because MN has income tax.
3:07 PM – NT/UT Earl Mitchell, formerly of the Houston Texans is signing a four-year, $16M deal with the Miami Dolphins. They’re also signing OT Branden Albert.
3:08 PM – OG Shawn Lauvao formerly of the Cleveland Browns has signed a deal with the Washington Redskins, 4yr, $17M according to Adam Schefter. He’s a free agent guard I’m happy to avoid.
3:10 PM – Buccaneers are signing everyone. In addition to DE Michael Johnson, they have signed tight end Brandon Myers to a two-year deal. The Vikings are not expected to need a TE, but after releasing John Carlson, it is possible.
3:13 PM – The Oakland Raiders have signed OT/OG Rodger Saffold formerly of the Rams to a five-year $42.5M deal with $21M guaranteed, per Schefter. He could have been an OG for quite a few teams, but the Raiders need an LT and they are functionally paying him LT money. It would have been nice, though evidently impossible, to sign him as an OG instead of Charlie Johnson.
3:16 PM – Several teams have inquired about the availability of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. “Teams inquiring about Jordy Nelson” doesn’t mean GB “are shopping” Jordy, or even that they’re open (though they’re smart and probably are). It would be nice to see him leave the division.
3:18 PM – The Arizona Cardinals have signed receiver/kick returner/running back/athlete Dexter McCluster to a three-year, $4.5M deal, which is a nice contract for a player who has never put it all together but is still very useful. He could have been a nice backup RB to Adrian Peterson in Norv’s scheme.
3:20 PM – This happened before the start of free agency, but it’s worth indicating that the Cleveland Browns have signed a $6M/yr deal (frontloaded so that the first year is $10M) with Karlos Dansby. They have also signed Donte Whitner. They and the Raiders are rumored to be frontrunners for a trade with cornerback Darrelle Revis. Mike Pettine was Revis’ DC in New York.
3:22 PM – OT Eugene Monroe and the Baltimore Ravens have quickly come from “far apart” to finalizing a deal, it seems. The Ravens have an offer on the table for multiple years and Monroe’s camp seems happy. All of this per multiple tweets from Schefter and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
3:24 PM – Jared Veldheer signed with the Arizona Cardinals for a 5-year, $35M deal.
3:25 PM – There are reports that Saffold will be played at OG for the Raiders, but I doubt it and haven’t found a lot of (non-snarky) confirmation of that from credible sources. That would be insane, we’ll see.
3:26 PM – The Pittsburgh Steelers have made it official that they’re releasing 3-4 OLB Lamarr Woodley. If you’ll remember, Mike Zimmer and the Cincinnati Bengals signed 3-4 OLB James Harrison to a 4-3 squad to play as a subpackage player. There’s an outside chance (it’s a very outside chance) that the Vikings would consider this strategy given weakness at LB, even with radically different skill sets that are asked of the two positions.
3:28 PM – Lamarr Houston has signed with the Chicago Bears in a five-year deal. The Bears earlier were trying to shop Julius Peppers to a trade.
3:29 PM – DT Clinton McDonald will sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was unlikely that the Vikings would have been interested in him; he’s a bit more of an under-tackle.
3:31 PM – Jared Allen to the Broncos is a heavy favorite rumor. PFT is reporting that Allen is asking for too much money and has “no suitors”—in some ways I doubt the “no suitors” bit, but I’m not surprised the deal is getting hung up
3:33 PM – The only team in connection with recently cut TE of the Houston Texans Owen Daniels has been the Ravens, who are considering it because of previous coaching history with him.
3:34 PM – There have been absolutely no rumors connecting Darrelle Revis to the Minnesota Vikings.
3:34 PM – The Atlanta Falcons are hosting OG Jon Asamoah and are expected to sign him. He would have been a good pickup for the Vikings, but there have been no rumors I know of connecting them to any of the free agent/open market offensive guards (and definitely not Geoff Schwartz, who has indicated himself publicly and through leaks from his agent that he will not sign in Minnesota).
3:37 PM – The Atlanta Falcons are expected to finalize a deal with OG Jon Asamoah and are also expected to strike a deal with NT Paul Soliai. That’s too bad; Soliai would have been an interesting, if aged, NT option. Right now they are still potentially connected to former Chargers NT Cam Thomas, and briefly though not as substantially Oakland Raiders NT Pat Sims. They were connected to DT/DE/NT Arthur Jones for a moment before he signed as well.
3:39 PM – In more certain terms, the Atlanta Falcons have actually signed former Dolphins NT Paul Soliai.
3:41 PM – LB/Pass Rusher O’Brien Schofield, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, has signed with the New York Giants.
3:42 PM – Darren Wolfson of ESPN1500 is reporting that the Soliai price was simply too high for the Vikings, but they did begin negotiations of some sort.
3:44 PM – The Soliai deal is reportedly five years, $33 million, which is $6.6M for a two-down DT. I can see why the Vikings avoided that, although I would not have been upset at that deal. Perhaps they had to offer more to overcome tax/environment barriers. Anything more than that would have bothered me a lot. This year, Soliai will be owed $11M, and he has $14M guaranteed overall.
3:47 PM – The Atlanta Falcons have also announced signing former Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson who was honestly a significantly better 3-4 DE than 4-3 DT. This doesn’t impact the Vikings.
3:48 PM – The Jaguars announced on their official twitter account that they signed former Denver Broncos OG Zane Beadles to a deal. It is five years and $30M ($6M/yr) While the Vikings need an upgrade at OG, I worry that Beadles was going to get paid more than his talent. I think Beadles oversigned, so that’s OK with me – he was a better draft prospect than he was an NFL guard.
3:50 PM – The New York Giants have announced the terms of the their deal with safety Stevie Brown, perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league. It’s a one-year, $4M deal. My guess is teams were very scared of injury with him.
3:53 PM – The Colts are expected to re-sign CB Vontae Davis. This takes another good-but-not-great CB off the market, and his price may be more appropriate for gauging the value of other CBs than the Sam Shields deal with the Packers, which has low guaranteed money but a high base salary at the back end. The terms of the deal may be very important for the Vikings.
3:54 PM – Former Patriots and Giants TE Jake Ballard announced on Twitter that he’s back with the Arizona Cardinals.
3:56 PM – OC/OG Evan Dietrich-Smith, formerly of the Packers, is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facility (along with former Chicago Bears QB Josh McCown, who will also visit Houston and Buffalo).
3:57 PM – Former Packers TE Jermichael Finley is visiting the Seattle Seahawks, per Ian Rapaport.
3:58 PM – Excellent slot cornerback (though with an injury history) and former Seahawk Walter Thurmond III is visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars to hook up with his old DC – no word on a deal yet. He would be a top slot CB target for Minnesota, if they’re interested. Hopefully this isn’t a done deal.
4:00 PM – Former Saints S Malcolm Jenkins signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a 3-year, $16.25M deal, per Schefter.
4:03 PM – The Vontae Davis-to-Colts deal is worth $39M over four years, with over half ($20M) guaranteed. $9.75M is a bit pricey, but with the new cap in place, may be an appropriate market for all of these CBs in the same tier. Expect Verner to go for a little more.
4:06 PM – The Jaguars have traded QB Blaine Gabbert to the San Francisco 49ers for a 6th-round pick. QB coach Geep Chryst has his work cut out for him.
4:08 PM – The Denver Broncos have signed former Browns SS T.J. Ward. Tom Heckert drafted Ward in Cleveland and is the Director of Pro Personnel in Denver.
4:09 PM – The San Francisco 49ers have signed former Colts safety Antoine Bethea to a four-year $24M deal.
4:10 PM – The Dallas Cowboys have officially cut edge rusher DeMarcus Ware.
4:12 PM – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut kicker Lawrence Tynes, which is probably going to be interesting from a legal perspective; his previous NFI designation was a big sticking point with the team, as he contracted MRSA but could not receive the compensation normally reserved for those players who have to stop playing as a result of a football injury. His MRSA strain might have been different than the other MRSA strains contracted by Buccaneers players.
4:14 PM – The New York Giants will be signing RB Rashad Jennings, tightening the market for Toby Gerhart, who is in the toughest RB market in a long time. It will be difficult for him to find the starting position he wants (and probably deserves).
4:17 PM – The Whitner-to-Cleveland deal is evidently worth $7 million a year, which is a great deal. He is younger than many think at 28 years old.
4:20 PM – The Philadelphia Eagles have cut safety Patrick Chung, evidently to make room for S Malcolm Jenkins.
4:23 PM – The New York Giants have signed former Chiefs OG Geoff Schwartz. He played in Minnesota for one year and was very good, certainly better than Fusco or Johnson. While Fusco has paid back the faith the Vikings showed him, Johnson has not. It’s too bad that they couldn’t bring back Schwartz.
4:32 PM – The Oakland Raiders are signing RB Darren McFadden to a one-year, $4M deal as the market continue to narrow for former Vikings RB Toby Gerhart.
4:33 PM – The Baltimore Ravens have officially announced their deal with OT Eugene Monroe.
4:48 PM – S Jairus Byrd will be visiting New Orleans
4:50 PM – CB Will Blackmon, who has the ability to play in the slot (but has not taken many such snaps) has decided to stay with the Jacksonville Jaguars on a two-year deal.
4:54 PM – Former Seahawks WR Golden Tate will be visiting Detroit. Hopefully he doesn’t sign there, as he is a healthy poor man’s Percy Harvin who really came into his own this year. He’s the perfect horizontal field-stretcher to complement Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush/Joique Bell and will cause havoc on opposing offenses.
5:01 PM – Former Bears CB Charles Tillman is visiting Tampa Bay. Despite his age and injury, I would like him out of the division.
5:02 PM – The Oakland Raiders are looking at former Jets OT Austin Howard, someone who has really turned a corner in his career.
5:06 PM – The Cardinals have signed DL Frostee Rucker to a two-year, $2M deal.
5:13 PM – The numbers for Bears DE Lamarr Houston are out—$35 million total (five years), $14.9 million guaranteed, $4.95 million signing bonus. $3 million roster bonus. That low signing bonus likely also means frontloaded guarantees, ensuring that he’ll be easy to cut down the road.
5:17 PM – The Chicago Bears have signed former Steelers safety Ryan Mundy to a two-year deal.
5:18 PM – Former Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Ware has been getting calls from at least six 2013 playoff teams.
5:20 PM – The Miami Dolphins have former Seattle Seahawks OT Breno Giacomini on their radar. While he would be an upgrade for them at either OT or OG, that is mostly a testament to how bad things have gotten on the MIA OL.
5:21 PM – Former Colts ILB Kavell Conner is visiting the San Diego Chargers
5:26 PM – Tony Gonzales was officially cut by the Atlanta Falcons, only because he had not officially filed his retirement papers and was due a bonus on Wednesday.
5:30 PM – The Indianapolis Colts have re-signed RB Ahmad Bradshaw.
5:30 PM – The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell.
5:35 PM – Former Lions defensive end will be visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars.
5:40 PM – The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a two-year deal for $6.5M with C/OG Joe Hawley. He was a lone bright spot on their line and could have been better than Charlie Johnson at guard, but I doubt it. Vikings don’t lose much with him off the market.
5:42 PM – Teams have contacted former Browns center Alex Mack, but nothing has materialized yet.
5:52 PM – Cincinnati Bengals Restricted Free Agent receiver Andrew Hawkins has an offer sheet from the Cleveland Browns on the table, reported to be multiple years. The Bengals have matching rights should Hawkins accept, meaning that if Hawkins likes the deal that the Browns are offering, and Cincinnati offers the exact same deal, he must stay with Cincinnati.
*********VIKINGS UPDATE: PER USA TODAY’S TOM PELISSERO, THEY HAVE AGREED TO A DEAL WITH BACKUP OL JOE BERGER.
I’m a big fan of Joe Berger, who has performed extremely well when asked to play in any of the interior roles. One of the more underrated backups on the team who seemed to get better as time went on. He’s old, but it will be good to have him for one or two more years.
6:02 PM – Cornerback Eric Wright has signed a deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
6:10 PM – The Bengals decided not to match the Browns‘ offer sheet, so Hawkins will reportedly become a Cleveland Brown.
6:13 PM – The Bears are terminating Julius Pepper’s contract.
6:21 PM – The Dallas Cowboys are cutting Miles Austin, who was always perhaps overrated to begin with.
6:27 PM – It looks like former Tennessee CB Alterraun Verner will still announce where he’s going today, but still no clue as to where. He’s been linked to the Vikings, but with diminishing cap space, that looks unlikely.
6:28 PM – The Saints have decided not to release running back Darren Sproles and have decided to shop him as a result of all of the interested Sproles has been generating. Sproles has been connected to Minnesota because of the Norv Turner connection, but with the additional likely cost of some picks, that seems even less likely.
6:38 PM – The Broncos signed T.J. Ward to an amazing deal, worth $23M over 4 years, with $14M guaranteed. Denver practically robbed Ward’s agent with that deal, paying just under $6M a year for the top FA safety.
7:00 PM – A trade for Revis now seems unlikely. Teams are willing to wait to get the deal they want for Revis.
7:01 PM – Lions are discussing hosting a visit for former Bills TE Scott Chandler.
7:44 PM – Former Dallas Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher will be visiting the Seattle Seahawks, which is one of five teams.
7:45 PM – Underrated former Jaguars guard Uche Nwaneri has scheduled a visit with the Cincinnati Bengals. 4-5 teams are interested, according to Adam Caplan. Nwaneri has been streaky, with some very good years, some years where he was good in the run, but not pass protection and vice versa, which reminds me of Phil Loadholt. The Vikings are a possible destination, as Charlie Johnson has not reportedly signed any deal with the team.
7:55 PM – Toby Gerhart is drawing interest from at least three teams: the 49ers, the Browns and the Jaguars. I doubt he goes to the 49ers, but the other two teams offer him a chance to start.
8:01 PM – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is “back-and-forth” with the Denver Broncos.
8:03 PM – Both the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins are potential targets for CB Corey Graham.
********UPDATE: THE NEAR-CONSENSUS TOP CB ON THE MARKET—ALTERRAUN VERNER, WHO AT SOME POINTS WAS LINKED TO THE VIKINGS—HAS AGREED TO TERMS WITH THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, PERHAPS SIGNALLING THE END OF REVIS’ TENURE THERE
********UPDATE: PROVING THAT NOT ALL HUMANS (OR PERHAPS MOST) ARE THE PROFIT-MAXIMIZING AUTOMATONS WE PRETEND THEM TO BE, ESPECIALLY NEAR FREE AGENCY, ALTERRAUN VERNER EVIDENTLY SIGNED FOR AN AVERAGE OF $6.625M, FOUR YEARS $26.5M, $14M GUARANTEED.
*******UPDATE: TOBY GERHART HAS SIGNED WITH THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
I’m happy for Toby, who doesn’t have a lot of wear, but deserves the chance to prove he can start. His contract is for $10.5M for three years, with 4.5M guaranteed.
8:34 PM – The Saints have signed safety Jairus Byrd to a long-term deal despite very limited cap space. Expect the deal to be backloaded.
8:52 PM – The deal for Jairus Byrd is a six-year, $54M contract with $28M guaranteed. Byrd got exactly what he was looking for with a $9M a year contract, and massive guarantees to boot.
9:00 PM – Just filed to ESPN, Denver is in the lead to sign DE DeMarcus Ware, formerly of Dallas. Jared Allen was considering signing in Denver, and PFT reported that Denver was his only suitor. We’ll see if that plays out.
9:06 PM – The San Francisco 49ers are trading a conditional draft pick for Miami offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Martin was the center of the Dolphins bullying scandal that initially included guard Richie Incognito, but expanded to include aggressors center Mike Pouncey and guard John Jerry as well as additional victims “Player A” (Andrew McDonald, now playing for the Carolina Panthers) and an assistant trainer. The rumor mill was that Martin, who would not play for the Dolphins but whose rights were held by Miami, could be traded to a team with a strong Stanford influence, namely the 49ers and the Colts. This rumor ended up bearing out.
9:31 PM – Evidently, had the Buccaneers signed Rodger Saffold instead of the Raiders, they definitely would have played him at LT. It seems like the Raiders are paying as much as they are for a guard.
9:32 PM – Demarcus Ware is set to visit Denver.
9:34 PM – Jared Allen is currently in talks with the Seattle Seahawks and the Chicago Bears.
9:42 PM – Evidently the Martin trade was not for a conditional pick, but for one of the 49ers’ 11 draft picks in this year’s draft. It will be a very late pick.
10:18 PM – Former Patriots CB Aqib Talib has signed a six-year $57M deal with $26M guaranteed with the Denver Broncos. A big deal ($9.5M) more in line with what people expected Verner to go for. More surprising to me is his guaranteed money, which is just under half the total contract, given his injury and off-field issues. The contract structure may make it so the first two years are big with mostly guarantees and then a weak back end that would be easy to cut, which would change the “goodness” of the deal for Denver.
I considered Talib an outside chance that would go for cheaper (the last half of the season was poor because of that injury), but I was wrong. I don’t think I would have been OK with the Vikings had they signed him for this much, but the structure would have mattered a lot in my consideration.
10:27 PM – Former Colts RB Donald Brown signed with the San Diego Chargers. The deal is for $10.5M, with $4M guaranteed, which is almost identical to Gerhart’s deal with the Jaguars.
11:16 PM – The New York Giants signed RB Peyton Hillis to a two-year, $1.8M deal.
11:19 PM – The Oakland Raiders were looking at RT Austin Howard a few hours ago. They’ve come to terms. His deal is evidently five years, $30M, with $15M guaranteed. $6M seems like a lot for an RT, but right tackle prices specifically have gone up (see the Loadholt contract), and the new cap accelerated the value.
11:25 PM – The New York Jets, in light of losing Austin Howard, are in talks with former Seattle OT Breno Giacomini. It’s a downgrade.
1:17 AM – Isaiah Trufant, former CB for the Jets, has agreed to a four-year deal with the Cleveland Browns
8:59 AM – Eric Decker is visiting the Jets .
9:00 AM – Former Seattle safety Chris Maragos has agreed to a 3-year, $4M deal with $1M guaranteed with the Eagles.
9:03 AM – The Bengals plan to match the offer sheet to receiver Andrew Hawkins despite earlier reports.
9:05 AM – The Dolphins signed former Texans NT/UT Earl Mitchell on a four-year, $16M contract with $9M guaranteed.
9:07 AM – Former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is visiting the Baltimore Ravens.
9:08 AM – Former Dener LB Wesley Woodyard is visiting the Patriots and the Titans.
9:10 AM – If receiver Steve Smith is cut by the Panthers, the Ravens would be interested.
9:12 AM – The Bears have re-signed LB D.J. Williams, who is expected to compete for the starting MLB position with Jon Bostic.
9:14 AM – The Buffalo Bills are hosting CB Nolan Carroll and OG Chris Williams. Both would be interesting additions for the Vikings, but neither would get me too excited would they be signed. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
9:16 AM – Former Panthers receiver Brandon Lafell is visiting with the New England Patriots.
9:17 AM – Former Ravens receiver and return specialist Jacoby Jones is in contact with the New York Giants and is still in contact with the Baltimore Ravens.
9:19 AM – PFT reports that the Panthers are in the hunt for former Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks.
9:23 AM – Darren McFadden evidently turned down “more money” elsewhere, according to his agent who may or may not be lying. If this is true, it may jsut be because McFadden holds a special place in his heart for stealing from the Raiders.
********UPDATE: EVERSON GRIFFEN’S FIVE YEAR DEAL IS REPORTEDLY WORTH $42.5 MILLION WITH $19.8 MILLION GUARANTEED. HIS 2014 AND 2015 SALARIES ARE FULLY GUARANTEED (BOTH $6.9 MILLION) AND HIS SIGNING BONUS IS $6 MILLION. THIS IS EXTREMELY TEAM-FRIENDLY AND THE TEAM WILL HAVE A LOT OF LEVERAGE TO NEGOTIATE WITH OR EVEN CUT GRIFFEN AFTER THE SECOND SEASON OF THE CONTRACT BECAUSE THE DEAD SPACE WILL BE JUST $3.6 MILLION (THEN $2.4 MILLION, THEN $1.2 MILLION).
9:32 AM – Former Dallas DT Jason Hatcher is visiting the Tennessee Titans.
9:35 AM – The Washington Redskins are hosting OG Bruce Campbell. No word on whether or not he’s bringing his boomstick.
9:39 AM – Walter Thurmond III, my top free agent CB target as of right now, is visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars. Evidently that Gus Bradley connection is extremely strong for former Seahawks. They are also hosting former Lions defensive end Willie Young.
9:42 AM – The Giants officially announce that they have signed safety Stevie Brown and kicker Josh Brown.
9:43 AM- The Steelers have signed safety Will Allen and long snapper Greg Warren to one-year deals.
9:47 AM- The Jaguars have agreed to terms with LB Dekoda Watson.
9:48 AM – Guard Chris Williams agrees to terms with the Buffalo Bills.
9:50 AM – DE Matt Shaughnessy is visiting with the New England Patriots.
9:49 AM – The Jaguars could still bring back DE/LEO Jason Babin.
10:09 AM – Darrelle Revis doesn’t plan on taking a pay cut. The New England Patriots have called and expressed interest.
10:11 AM – The Cleveland Browns are expected to be big contenders for former Houston Texans running back Ben Tate. They have a visit scheduled.
10:15 AM – The Philadelphia Eagles have signed former Texans linebacker Bryan Braman to a two-year, $3.15 million deal, with $1 million guaranteed.
10:24 AM – Ian Rapaport reports that if a team were to trade for Revis and convert his contract this year into a bonus, the cap hit would only be $5.6 million, although I think that means that the rest of his contract would incur an $18.6 to $19.2 million dollar hit, which Rapaport didn’t dig into.
10:36 AM – The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed OG/C Cody Wallace.
10:37 AM – The New Orleans Saints have re-signed running back Pierre Thomas to a two-year deal.
10:43 AM – DE/DT Alex Carrington is drawing strong interest from the St. Louis Rams and the Cleveland Browns. He could do a lot of damage at either spot.
10:46 AM – The New York Giants were interested in Revis, but ultimately decided he was too expensive.
10:48 AM – The New York Jets evidently did not pursue Alterraun Verner that hardly after losing out on Vontae Davis; only a “passing interest” according to Tony Pauline.
10:56 AM – A number of teams are in play for former New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, although the only ones we know (evidently) are the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders.
10:59 AM – The San Francisco 49ers are interested in former Vikings cornerback Chris Cook.
11:02 AM – The Oakland Raiders are interested in more than just former New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and former Denver Broncos LB Wesley Woodyard. They are also interested in former Green Bay Packers DE/DT/NT B.J. Raji and former Chicago Bears DT Henry Melton.
11:11 AM – Jared Allen would rather retire than not see “fair compensation” after averaging 13 sacks.
11:16 AM – Former Bucs OG Davin Joseph is visiting the St. Louis Rams, who have seen a lot of linemen leave.
11:18 AM – The Oakland Raiders are evidently hosting former Giants cornerback Terrell “T2” Thomas.
11:22 AM – Kevin Williams is undecided about taking a backup role with the Minnesota Vikings. We’ll know in a couple of days.
11:25 AM – A big name defensive end, Chris Clemons, was just released from the Seattle Seahawks after recovering from injury. Everyone is immediately connecting him to Jacksonville, because a lot of former Seahawks are signing with the former Seattle DC and current Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley. Chris Clemons has had 58.0 sacks in his career, and averaged just over 11 sacks in between 2010 and 2012, when he was not injured. He is 31 years old.
11:41 AM – If Steve Smith leaves the Carolina Panthers, the Baltimore Ravens are expected to be big players for him.
11:42 AM – Former Giants running back Andre Brown is also visiting the Oakland Raiders today.
11:54 AM – Offensive lineman Bruce Campbell signs with the Washington Redskins with a one-year contract. S-mart deal.
11:58 AM – Golden Tate is getting a tour of the Lions facility. Again, I think this would be a huge problem, because Tate would allow the Lions to attack the field vertically and horizontally with that receiver combination, as well as up the middle or in space with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.
12:14 PM – Former Dallas Cowboys OLB and DE Demarcus Ware just landed in Denver. Would be a big signing. Much better than Dumervil, and with a healthy Von Miller, it should be a lethal pass rush.
12:21 PM – Agent of Panthers receiver Steve Smith says he “will not be back” with Carolina.
12:23 PM – Demarcus Ware will not leave Denver without a deal, per Mike Freeman. This kills the already low chances Jared Allen had of signing with the Broncos.
12:24 PM – Sources tell Alex Marvez and Fox Sports that the Denver Broncos had previously been in hot pursuit of Everson Griffen. They offered a deal averaging $9 million a year, so the Vikings provided small pot-sweeteners to keep him. So suck it Denver, I guess.
12:28 PM – Former Green Bay Packers safety M.D. Jennings signed a one-year deal with the Chicag0 Bears.
12:29 PM – The New York Giants are in “heated discussions” with former Panthers linebacker Jon Beason, per Adam Schefter.
12:32 PM – The Dallas Cowboys signed former Houston Texans defensive tackle Terrell McClain to a three-year deal.
12:33 PM – Former Texans tight end Owen Daniels is visiting the Green Bay Packers.
12:36 PM – The Buccaneers are waiting to hold a presser for their signings because they’re working towards a deal and are close to ones with former Bears quarterback Josh McCown and former Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins.
12:44 PM – The New York Giants have agreed to a deal with linebacker Jon Beason.
12:49 PM – Former Steelers safety Ryan Clark will visit the Washington Redskins.
12:55 PM – Ken Harris, former Vikings defensive end Jared Allen’s agent, has indicated that they are not the source of any of the leaks. Also, the Seahawks have not evidently spoken to Allen despite being nominally in the running.
12:57 PM – The Broncos have signed Demarcus Ware to a very large deal—3 years, $30 million with an astonishing $20 million guaranteed. That’s a lot of money, but should be an incredible pass rush.
********UPDATE: PER IAN RAPAPORT, HENRY MELTON IS VISITING WITH THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS, AND MAY LATER SCHEDULE A VISIT WITH THE DALLAS COWBOYS. BEFORE INJURY DERAILED HIS LAST SEASON, HE WAS BY FAR ONE OF THE BEST UNDERTACKLES IN THE GAME ALONG WITH GENO ATKINS.
1:12 PM – Former Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher has been visiting with the Seattle Seahawks, but will also visit the Oakland Raiders
********UPDATE: CHRIS TOMASSON REPORTS THAT JEROME SIMPSON IS STILL A POSSIBILITY TO RE-SIGN WITH THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS.
1:18 PM – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed a two-year deal with former Bears quarterback Josh McCown. They are still in the running, despite the Verner signing, to sign former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman
1:20 PM – The New England Patriots are interested in Darrelle Revis, in what would be one of the most AFC East moves of all time.
1:25 PM – Evidently, the Denver Broncos offered the exact same deal they offered to DeMarcus Ware as they did Jared Allen and they just wanted to see which one of them was more available. It was Ware. Allen would have taken the money, however.
1:29 PM – The Raiders or Buccaneers could also be options for Panthers receiver Steve Smith if he’s cut, along with the Ravens.
1:35 PM – Chris Cook still says the chances of re-signing with the Minnesota Vikings is high, and doesn’t know anything about the 49ers interest.
1:37 PM – The Jets want to sign two new receivers in FA and are hosting former Packers receiver James Jones.
1:43 PM – The Dallas Cowboys have signed former Broncos DE Jeremy Mincey to a two-year deal.
1:55 PM – The Oakland Raiders are interested in Texans QB Matt Schaub, who is not a free agent.
2:11 PM – The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially signed Dekoda Watson, who has evidently been told he’ll primarily be a pass-rusher.
2:19 PM – DT Tony McDaniel is still in negotiations with his former team, the Seattle Seahawks. He’s also in negotiations with two other teams, one of which is rumored to be the Buccaneers.
********UPDATE: HENRY MELTON, WHO IS SCHEDULING A VISIT THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS LATER, IS ALSO EVIDENTLY VISITING THE OAKLAND RAIDERS TODAY
2:31 PM – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut Darrelle Revis, according to Mike Garofalo at Fox Sports. Despite misuse last year in Tampa Bay, Revis is absolutely the kind of person that I think it makes sense to move mountains (cap space) to pursue. The best cornerback in the game, with all apologies to Richard Sherman, has already shown he’s made it back from injury and should be able to prevent re-injury with a good athletic staff like the one the Vikings employ.
2:35 PM – The Detroit Lions sign Golden Tate, which I’ve indicated a few times, sucks because it provides a different type of offensive weapon into Detroit. It really will maximize the space concept they have been exploiting.
2:38 PM – The New England Patriots have cut Isaac Sopoaga, putting them at about $19 million in cap space. They were interested in Revis and this could clear room for him.
2:40 PM – The Cleveland Browns are going to release Brandon Weeden on Monday.
2:43 PM – Former Broncos receiver (and former Golden Gopher) Eric Decker is nearing a deal with the New York Jets. They will still look to add a receiver in free agency.
2:49 PM – Or, sure. The Browns didn’t want to wait and they just released quarterback Brandon Weeden. OK, then.
2:51 PM – The Baltimore Ravens have an agreement in principle with WR Jacoby Jones.
3:05 PM – The Philadelphia Eagles are in the mix for former Buccaneer CB Darrelle Revis.
3:25 PM – The Cleveland Browns have released QB Jason Campbell as well.
3:27 PM – Despite re-signing WR Jacoby Jones, the Baltimore Ravens remain interested in former Patriots WR Julian Edelman.
3:28 PM – Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders has been in the Jacksonville facility “all day.” Says he likes it there, per Adam Schefter.
3:43 PM – The Cleveland Browns are evidently creating space for Texans QB Matt Schaub. If they can’t get him, they will be targeting Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman.
3:45 PM – Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders will visit the Buccaneers after his visit with the Jaguars.
3:49 PM – Former Broncos ILB Joe Mays signed a two-year deal for $6 million with the Kansas City Chiefs.
3:52 PM – Former Colts OG Jeff Linkenbach has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
3:58 PM – The Seattle Seahawks are signing former Jacksonville Jaguars WR Taylor Price, who they ranked in the draft one slot below Tate.
4:22 PM – The Seattle Seahawks have come to a deal and re-signed former DT Tony McDaniels.
4:23 PM – The San Diego Chargers have signed tight end David Johnson.
4:36 PM – In the most Cleveland Browns move ever, they leaked their FA board in their most recent presser.
It looks like they’re interested in QB Rex Grossman, CB Darrelle Revis, CB Nolan Carroll, WR Julian Edelman, RB Ben Tate and have bracketed LB Arthur Moats. They were previous interested in CB Alterraun Verner, but he has already signed.
4:53 PM – Bills have signed former Ravens nickel corner Corey Graham, who was a favorite target of mine. It could be worth a little over $19 million over four years given incentives, but it is logged as a $16 million salary.
4:55 PM – The Green Bay Packers have signed edge rusher Mike Neal to a two-year contract. They were competing with the Arizona Cardinals.
4:57 PM – The Tennessee Titans have released OT David Stewart.
4:58 PM – And, just like it was scripted out, former Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons is visiting the Jaguars.
5:03 PM – Former Chiefs linebacker Akeem Jordan is scheduled to visit with the Tennessee Titans.
5:12 PM – The Detroit Lions have re-signed receiver Kris Durham.
5:42 PM – The Kansas City Chiefs have signed former Vikings safety Husain Abdullah, who briefly considered retiring while performing the Muslim pilgrimage required of all devotees.
6:07 PM – Surprised I didn’t mention this before, but:
********UPDATE: CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN IS VISITING THE VIKINGS ON THURSDAY. AS PRIMARILY A SLOT CORNER FOR THE CAROLINA PANTHERS, HE HAS STRUGGLED IN OUTSIDE MAN COVERAGE BUT HAS BEEN VERY RELIABLE IN THE SLOT AND IN RUN SUPPORT. HE IS COMING OFF OF HIS BEST YEAR AND SHOULD BE CHEAP. HE WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT UPGRADE IN THE SLOT OVER JOSH ROBINSON.
6:11 PM – Bills have signed former New York Giants LB Keith Rivers.
6:21 PM – Rush linebacker Matt Shaughnessy is re-signing with the Arizona Cardinals.
6:32 PM – The Jets are evidently talking to Darrelle Revis, which would be hilarious if it panned out.
7:07 PM – The Titans have announced a deal with defensive lineman Al Woods, leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers at a loss for a DE.
7:25 PM – The New England Patriots and former Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis have reached a one-year, $12 million deal, according to Adam Schefter. This is, of course, the funniest thing that could have happened in the AFC East.
********UPDATE: VLADIMIR DUCASSE, WHO HAS PLAYED RIGHT TACKLE, RIGHT GUARD AND LEFT GUARD FOR THE NEW YORK JETS WILL VISIT THE VIKINGS. HE HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT POOR WHEN ASKED TO FILL IN FOR THE JETS, AND WAS VERY POOR WHEN FINALLY ASKED TO START, BENCHED AFTER A FEW GAMES INTO THE SEASON. HOPEFULLY IT IS JUST A DEPTH/TURNAROUND-TYPE SIGNING AS A GAMBLE TO BRING FORTH POTENTIAL INSTEAD OF AN ANSWER AT GUARD.
********UPDATE: CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN ALSO HAS VISITS SCHEDULED WITH TAMPA BAY AND NEW YORK (JETS) FOR LATER. IT SOUNDS LIKE HE WILL LEAVE MINNESOTA WITHOUT A DEAL IN PLACE AND CONSIDER HIS OPTIONS AFTER ALL THE VISITS.
9:41 PM – After having agreed to a deal with the Oakland Raiders for a hefty sum, Rodger Saffold is returning to the St. Louis Rams on a five-year deal because of a failed physical in Oakland. Naturally, this is nuts.
10:56 PM – Former Denver Broncos receiver and Golden Gopher Eric Decker signs with the New York Jets for 5 years, $36.25 million with $15 million guaranteed, which despite all predictions proves that even in a receiver-needy market teams won’t necessarily overpay receivers people think will be overpaid.
10:58 PM – The New York Jets have also agreed to a deal with defensive lineman Leger Douzable, who is best known for the following:
11:00 PM – The New York Jets earlier agreed to a deal with former Seahawks right tackle Breno Giacomini, who is serviceable sometimes, I guess.
11:25 PM – Former Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner, who is suspended for the first four games of the season, is visiting with three teams. One of them is the Patriots, because parity is a lie.
11:27 PM – The Arizona Cardinals have signed former Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer. Former Steelers OC Bruce Arians is the Cardinals head coach.
12:40 AM – The Oakland Raiders are hosting former Steelers rush LB Lamarr Woodley in addition to the bevy of former Giants, including defensive end Justin Tuck.
2:08 AM – The Jacksonville Jaguars had former Lions defensive end Willie Young and former Steelers defensive end Ziggy Hood for a visit.
2:09 AM – The New York Giants had visits from former Denver Broncos center J.D. Walton (who signed with them), former Cardinals rush linebacker O’Brien Schofield (who signed with them), former Raiders running back Rashad Jennings (who signed with them), former Chiefs offensive guard Geoff Schwartz (who signed with them), former Rams guard Shelley Smith, and former Raiders corner Tracy Porter in the facilities for visits.
2:14 AM – The Tennessee Titans had former Texans ILB Daryl Sharpton visit.
2:16 AM – The Seattle Seahawks had former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, former Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher and former Jaguars receiver Taylor Price all visit.
4:42 AM – Former Cardinals OG Daryn Colledge had had a visit scheduled with the St. Louis Rams before Saffold was re-signed. The domino effect of Oakland functionally trying to play take-backsies is getting a little tragic.
4:58 AM – The Washington Redskins are one of the teams involved in making a trade for Darren Sproles. They of course, do not have a first round pick and may stand to be without very many picks at all in the 2014 NFL Draft.
5:12 AM – The Washington Redskins are hosting former Dallas DE Anthony Spencer.
5:37 AM – The Houston Texans are holding off on cutting quarterback Matt Schaub and may be trying to trade him. John McClain, a Texans beat writer, has been adamant that they wouldn’t even do that.
********UPDATE: SEVERAL HOURS AGO, DARREN WOLFSON REPORTED THAT THE VIKINGS HAVE CALLED ABOUT FORMER ARIZONA GUARD DARYN COLLEDGE, WHO HAD INITIALLY PLANNED A VISIT TO THE ST. LOUIS RAMS BEFORE THE RAMS/RAIDERS/SAFFOLD DEBACLE. LAST YEAR, COLLEDGE HAD A CURIOUS SEASON, WITH A CONSISTENT STRETCH OF GOOD PLAY VERY EARLY IN THE SEASON BEFORE FALLING OFF. THE SAME THING HAPPENED IN 2012, WHERE HE HAD A LONG STRETCH OF VERY GOOD PLAY BOOKENDED BY POOR PLAY. COLLEDGE IS THE KIND OF PLAYER WHO WILL FREQUENTLY PUT IN DOMINATING PERFORMANCES, ONLY TO ALSO HAVE TERRIBLE FILM TO HIS NAME AS WELL. AT 32, IT’S DIFFICULT TO THINK OF COLLEDGE AS A LONG-TERM ANYTHING, BUT ANY CONSISTENT PLAY FROM HIM WOULD BE WORTH WHATEVER CONTRACT HE CAN DEMAND. THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE THAT OAKLAND MAY CONTACT HIM AFTER THE SAFFOLD DEBACLE, BECAUSE OF THE REGGIE MCKENZIE CONNECTION (HE WAS THE DIRECTOR OF PRO PERSONNEL AT GREEN BAY WHEN COLLEDGE WAS DRAFTED).
6:45 AM – OT Anthony Collins is weighing offers from his former team the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers. He is probably one of the most underrated FAs in this class.
6:58 AM – The Carolina Panthers will evidently release Steve Smith after receiving no offers, according to PFT.
7:04 AM – As has been continuously reported, Baltimore is a favorite for Smith once he’s released.
7:17 AM – The top target for the Panthers to replace Steve Smith is former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.
7:22 AM – The Panthers offer to Hakeem Nicks is evidently worth about $4.5 million, which seems shockingly low for a player that was once considered one of the best young talents in the league.
7:23 AM – Should the Ravens sign Steve Smith, Jason Lacanfora reports that there is a very good chance that receiver Julian Edelman stays in New England.
7:24 AM – Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer has been trying to recruit former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, for all the good it will do. Edelman was on the “leaked” FA board above (although now the team is saying that the board was part of the PR department’s planning strategy for video production that was put together using outside reports and not connected in any way to the personnel staff. Maybe).
7:25 AM – Former Saints safety Roman Harper visited division rival Carolina Panthers. The Panthers lost Mike Mitchell, but Harper really isn’t all that good anymore. May not be worth it for them.
7:29 AM – And just like that, former Panthers receiver Steve Smith saw his market expand to include not just the Ravens but the San Diego Chargers and “maybe” Tampa Bay according to Joseph Person. He also said “don’t rule out” the Patriots.
7:49 AM – Former Ravens safety James Ihedigbo will visit the Detroit Lions
7:54 AM – The Philadelphia Eagles have apparently doubled down on speed. They just traded for New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles, who was initially going to be released before the Saints decided to leverage their assets. It’s a good move on the part of both franchises, depending on the compensation. Sproles was complaining earlier about not being released so he could choose his team and negotiate a contract, but the Eagles should at least be a team that he can be happy with. The Washington Redskins were also interested in him, which would have been a good thunder/lightning combo with Alfred Morris.
7:56 AM – The Panthers are reportedly interested in their former receiver Brandon LaFell, too. A lot of receivers are in a “holding pattern” per Ian Rapaport.
8:05 AM – Former Steelers rush linebacker Lamarr Woodley is scheduled to visit with the Tennessee Titans should he leave the Oakland Raiders with no deal.
8:07 AM – Former Texans DE/DT Antonio Smith is visiting the Titans today.
8:08 AM – The Browns are making a “strong push” per Michael Girardi for Julian Edelman because …
8:08 AM – The Browns expect receiver Andrew Hawkins to have his offer matched by the Bengals. As a restricted free agent, a matching offer from the original team must be accepted.
8:09 AM – Speculation from several unnamed GMs to Adam Schefter peg Darren Sproles’ compensation at a 5th-round pick.
8:12 AM – PFT reports that it is in fact a 5th-round pick for Darren Sproles from the Eagles to the Saints.
8:14 AM – The Tennessee Titans are hosting former Raiders nose tackle Pat Sims. I was high on Pat Sims as an underrated and cheap option at nose tackle because I didn’t think the chances of getting Linval Joseph at a good deal were high. I was wrong and that’s awesome. Titans can have Sims.
8:15 AM – Former New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski is in talks with his 2013 team as well as the Detroit Lions.
8:20 AM – Former Seattle Seahawks CB Brandon Browner is visiting the Redskins tonight. The Patriots are still interested in him.
********UPDATE: A TARGET REPEATEDLY MENTIONED FOR THE VIKINGS, FORMER MIAMI DOLPHINS CORNERBACK NOLAN CARROLL, HAS SIGNED WITH THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES. I’M OK WITH THIS; HE WAS GOOD-NOT-GREAT AND A LITTLE DISAPPOINTING BEFORE THAT AND WITHOUT A LOT OF VERSATILITY. HIS CONTRACT WITH PHILADELPHIA IS PROBABLY FINE, BUT THERE ARE MORE USEFUL CORNERS AVAILABLE LIKELY FOR THE SAME PRICE.
8:58 AM – My favorite nickel target at the moment, Walter Thurmond, has finished his visit with the Jaguars and is spending time with his former team in Seattle. He has visits with the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers scheduled. It does not seem like the Minnesota Vikings are on his shortlist, which is too bad.
9:01 AM – The Washington Redskins have been revealed to be another team interested in former Dallas Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher along with Seattle, Oakland and Tennessee. There is reportedly one more team interested.
9:11 AM – The Detroit Lions have signed former San Diego Charger and Miami Dolphin defensive tackle Vaughn Martin.
9:13 AM – Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson re-signs with the Seattle Seahawks for one year.
9:21 AM – The Detroit Lions are hosting former Washington Redskins linebacker Darryl Tapp.
9:25 AM – Former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars, proving that the Vikings West have a South affiliate.
9:36 AM – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced a deal with former Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins.
9:37 AM – The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms with former Pittsburgh Steelers DE/DT Ziggy Hood.
9:52 AM – So one of the reasons the Panthers may have found it difficult to trade Steve Smith was that he restricted their search to five teams instead of entertaining all suitors. Those teams were made public by Joseph Person, providing us with a handy list of teams who have any reasonable chance of signing him: the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots.
10:33 AM – Former Cowboys center Phil Costa is visiting the Colts.
10:34 AM – Former Bills defensive end/tackle Alex Carrington is visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are very interested.
10:34 AM – The Giants are interested in former Panthers receiver and return specialist Ted Ginn, Jr.
10:41 AM – Former Lions defensive end Willie Young has signed with the Chicago Bears. He’s no Everson Griffen, but he is far more talented than his current statistics indicate. I would not be surprised if he ends up as a solid starter for their team. The Bears got him for ridiculously cheap, although two salary totals are being bandied about ($9M per Tom Pelissero and $10.85M per Alex Marvez, both indicating 3-year deals). The second might have come from the agent, so the first may be closer to average cap hit. Regardless, a really, really good deal. UPDATE: Marvez corrected himself, so the deal is way good for the Bears.
10:51 AM – The Darrelle Revis contract is interesting—it is not, as originally reported, simply a one-year deal for $12 million. Instead, the Patriots have a one-year 2015 option for $20 million. If the Patriots declined the option, they would not be able to franchise. So, that’s where Revis’ negotiating leverage went. Smart.
10:54 AM – The Ravens have “emerged” (or re-established) their place in the lead for the services of former Panthers receiver Steve Smith. Expect them to sign a deal today.
11:01 AM – The Chicago Bears have signed former Panthers receiver Domenik Hixon.
11:22 AM – The Carolina Panthers have re-signed quarterback Derek Anderson, who is best known for defending the indefensible act of smiling.
11:24 AM – The San Diego Chargers have signed former Colts ILB Kavell Conner to a three-year deal.
11:28 AM – Tight end Garrett Graham re-signs with the Houston Texans.
11:29 AM – Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders left Jacksonville without a deal and is visiting Tampa Bay.
11:52 AM – Former Bengals receiver Andrew Hawkins signed his offer sheet from the Browns. There was speculation that the Bengals were going to match, but they did not like the deal because of the specific cap implications, evidently. $10.8M for the first two years, $13.8M over four. Cap hit in year one is $5.8M and $5M in year two. Hawkins is an athletic talent along the lines of Dexter McCluster, but has done a much better (but not complete) job of integrating that into the specific requirements of his position. Could be a big signing for the Browns.
11:56 AM – Former Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks is visiting the Colts with the Chargers and Panthers in play.
12:12 PM – If former Chiefs linebacker Akeem Jordan doesn’t sign with the Tennessee Titans, the Washington Redskins have shown interest.
12:15 PM – The Carolina Panthers may have read the tea leaves on former Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks, and have renewed their interest in re-signing Brandon Lafell as Nicks visits the Colts.
********UPDATE: CHARLIE JOHNSON HAS BEEN TALKING TO FIVE TEAMS, INCLUDING THE VIKINGS, WHICH IS NOT AS DISAPPOINTING AS IT SOUNDS—IF THE VIKINGS COMMIT TO HIM AS A DEPTH OPTION, HE WOULD BE A GREAT BACKUP. BUT IF OTHER TEAMS ARE OFFERING HIM A CHANCE TO START, I THINK THE VIKINGS SHOULD EXIT THE TALKS.
********UPDATE: FORMER BEARS DEFENSIVE TACKLE HENRY MELTON ALLEGEDLY BIT A BAR OWNER IN GRAPEVINE, TEXAS AT 2 AM. MELTON IS STILL YOUNG AND CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST THREE-TECHNIQUES IN THE GAME, BEHIND PLAYERS LIKE GENO ATKINS. DESPITE HIS INJURY, HE WOULD BE A GOOD GET, AND WAS TALKING TO THE VIKINGS AMONG OTHER TEAMS. WHILE I HAVE BEEN TO GRAPEVINE AND UNDERSTAND THIS BEHAVIOR, IT’S AN ODD ENOUGH OCCURRENCE THAT IT COULD REALLY TAKE HIM OUT OF DISCUSSIONS WITH TEAMS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT VALUE MINIMIZING DISTRACTIONS LIKE THE VIKINGS. MORE OPTIMISTICALLY, IT WOULD REDUCE HIS PRICE WHILE HE DEALS WITH THIS BIZARRE ALLEGATION.
1:39 PM – New England Patriots nose tackle and face-of-the-franchise Vince Wilfork has asked to be released. He’s coming off of an injury, but is still one of the best to play the game. New England reportedly asked him to restructure but the talks didn’t go far. Wilfork is due $7.5 million this year, which he would be forfeiting by being released. The prorated signing bonus on his contract means, however, that his cap hit is $11.6 million and that the Patriots would incur a $3.6 million dead space penalty by cutting him (netting $3.9 million in new space).
1:42 PM – The Bengals have cut linebacker James Harrison. He signed with the Bengals from the Steelers in what many considered to be an odd move, given his seemingly perfect fit for a 3-4 system. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer made it work and made him an extremely effective subpackage player who did more than rush the passer. There is a small but extant chance the Vikings pursue him.
1:45 PM – This should surprise no one, but the Denver Broncos went after cornerback Darrelle Revis when he was cut by the Buccaneers.
1:46 PM – Surprising no one, the Buccaneers cut offensive tackle Donald Penn, who was due $6.75 million and had a cap hit of $8.1 million. The writing was on the wall when they signed Anthony Collins. Cutting Penn only incurred a $1.4 million cap hit, and both Oakland and Washington may be interested.
1:52 PM – Defensive end/LEO Jason Babin re-signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’re developing a good rotation.
1:54 PM – The Green Bay Packers have re-signed rush linebacker Mike Neal and tight end Andrew Quarless. Quarless was supposedly generating interest around the NFL (as was Neal), but both stayed at home. Despite being a division rival, they don’t seem like extraordinarily impactful signings, although I suppose every successful move they make is technically bad.
1:57 PM – The Cleveland Browns have signed former Arizona Cardinals blocking tight end Jim Dray.
2:00 PM – Former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck has agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the Oakland Raiders. Former Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and former Steelers rush linebacker Lamarr Woodley are in the building as well and may be signed soon.
2:03 PM – The Baltimore Ravens have re-signed safety Jeromey Miles
2:04 PM – The Washington Redskins have signed versatile cornerback Tracy Porter.
2:05 PM – James Ihedigbo left the Detroit Lions without a contract, but only because of his pregnant wife. May still get a deal done with them.
2:06 PM – The Washington Redskins have signed former Texans ILB Darryl Sharpton to a one-year, $2 million deal.
2:09 PM – The Washington Redskins have signed former Bengals defensive end Clifton Geathers to a deal.
********UPDATE: NOT REALLY AN UPDATE, BUT PEOPLE ARE ASKING—FORMER PANTHERS CORNERBACK CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN IS STILL AT WINTER PARK AND FORMER BEARS UNDERTACKLE HENRY MELTON WILL ARRIVE SOON. THERE HAS BEEN NO UPDATE TO MUNNERLYN’S PLAN TO VISIT THE NEW YORK JETS OR THE TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AFTER THE MINNESOTA VISIT.
2:21 PM – Former Cowboys DT Jason Hatcher is going to Tennessee after visiting the Oakland facility.
2:33 PM – Former Dolphins CB Nolan Carroll signed for a great deal with the Eagles, evidently. Two years, $3.65 million with up to $900,000 in incentives for 2015. The first year salary of $750,000 is fully guaranteed. That is an insanely good contract structure and easy to work around. Unless the Vikings sign one of the remaining CBs (besides Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) to a similar contract, they’ll have lost by comparison. Easily would have been very happy to sign Carroll for that money.
2:38 PM – Former Denver CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie might want to fire his agent, as he turned down a six-year, $54 million contract. If he’s asking for more than that, I would caution the Vikings against him. He had an absolutely stellar season with the Broncos despite their poor overall defense, but was terrible with the Eagles the year before and not that great in 2011. And his 2010 with the Cardinals was abysmal.
2:55 PM – The Arizona Cardinals will host former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who was cut.
2:58 PM – Former Oakland Raiders DT Vance Walker will visit the Green Bay Packers.
3:11 PM – The Miami Dolphins are interested in former San Francisco CB Tarrell Brown.
3:12 PM – Former Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew is going to sign with the New York Jets.
3:13 PM – The Jaguars still have a good chance of signing former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
********UPDATE: THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS HAVE RE-SIGNED DT FRED EVANS TO A ONE-YEAR DEAL. DESPITE EVAN’S AGE, I’M IN FAVOR OF THE MOVE; EVANS PROVIDED GOOD DEPTH AS A NOSE TACKLE, EVEN IF HE WAS A LITTLE AGGRESSIVE IN PURSUIT. HE WAS BETTER THAN THE STARTER LETROY GUION, BUT I’M NOT SURE HE’S STARTER QUALITY. I DOUBT IT HAS ANY BEARING ON THE HENRY MELTON BUSINESS, AS THE VIKINGS HAVE CARRIED A NUMBER OF DEFENSIVE TACKLES IN THE SEASON. EVANS HAS MOSTLY PLAYED 1-TECH, BUT CAN ALSO PLAY 3-TECH.
3:33 PM – The New York Giants have re-signed fullback Henry Hynoski after he visited the Detroit Lions facility.
4:13 PM – Former 49ers running back Anthony Dixon will be visiting the Bills.
4:14 PM – The San Diego Chargers have agreed to a deal with former Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.
4:17 PM – The Tennessee Titans have bafflingly agreed to a 2-year, $8 million deal with Charlie Whitehurst, I guess because they really hate Ryan Fitzpatrick. This understandable, but a rash response.
4:20 PM – The Chicago Bears have re-signed tight end Dante Rosario.
4:20 PM – The Arizona Cardinals have signed former Patriots tight end Jake Ballard.
4:36 PM – The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed rush linebacker Matt Shaughnessy and former Panthers receiver Ted Ginn, Jr.
4:37 PM – The Arizona Cardinals cut edge rusher Dontay Moch in order to secure the Shaughnessy (two-year) and Ginn (three-year) deals.
4:39 PM – The Buffalo Bills have re-signed tight end Scott Chandler.
4:46 PM – Former Saints linebacker Will Herring will join the Dallas Cowboys
********UPDATE: DESPITE A RUMOR TO THE CONTRARY (PERHAPS BECAUSE OF A MISINTERPRETED TWEET), THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT FORMER PANTHERS CORNER CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN HAS CANCELED HIS TRIP TO TAMPA BAY. IF YOU BELIEVE THIS, EITHER CALM DOWN OR ACCEPT THAT YOUR OPTIMISM IS BLIND.
********UPDATE: HAHAHA, IGNORE THAT. FORMER PANTHERS CORNERBACK CAPTAIN MUNNERLYN HAS SIGNED A THREE-YEAR DEAL WITH THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS, PER IAN RAPAPORT.
********UPDATE: MUNNERLYN STORY HERE.
5:45 PM – The Washington Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher to a four-year $27.5 million deal.
5:46 PM – The Oakland Raiders have signed a two-year deal with former Steelers rush linebacker Lamarr Woodley.
5:46 PM – The Washington Redskins are hosting former Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer.