The NFL is open for business. Kind of.
As of noon Monday, teams are allowed to talk to soon-to-be free agents on expiring deals, but contracts cannot be made official until March 13 at 4 p.m. ET. If you’re on Twitter, you’ll see that rumours turn to reported signings pretty quickly in this league.
So, before we dig into some enticing NFL rumours, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the bigger reported signings… and they’re coming in fast:
• Just like everyone predicted from the beginning, Nick Foles will be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback. The Blake Bortles era is over.
• Veteran running back Frank Gore is coming back for more — this time, he’s set to suit up with the Bills on a one-year deal.
• Former Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson is expected to land with the Eagles — great news for Philly’s defensive line, coming on the heels of the team also re-signing Jason Peters for 2019.
• Raiders will make left tackle Trent Brown the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman.
• The Lions are picking up former Patriots by the handful, agreeing to terms with Trey Flowers just a few hours after signing Danny Amendola.
• Former Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander is set to suit up for the 49ers for the next four years.
• Ex-Giant Landon Collins will get a huge payday from division-rival Washington.
And, now for some rumours… we’ll see how long these last.
Chiefs listening to offers for Dee Ford
The Kansas City Chiefs released veteran linebacker Justin Houston on Sunday, and now they’re reportedly considering parting ways with another veteran on defence in Dee Ford. Rumours of the Chiefs possibly shopping Ford, on whom they placed the franchise tag, have been out there for a little while now. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport named the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers as possible suitors, and both clubs make sense in terms of roster needs, but could pose challenges financially.
NBC Sports’ Peter King wrote about Ford in Monday’s Football Morning in America column and suggested the possibility of the Chiefs choosing to replace Ford via the draft (it’s a really strong defensive class this year) and spend their money on one of the many big-name safeties available in free agency.
“You know what this is, at least in part? It’s the Patriot Effect,” wrote King. “You see New England let go of valuable vets every year and still win. I do believe there is some of that in play with teams dangling their franchise guys.”
DeSean Jackson eyeing Eagles homecoming
UPDATE: The homecoming is happening.
Reports of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and DeSean Jackson ending their rollercoaster relationship were confirmed by Jackson himself earlier on Monday, with the wide receiver posting to social media that the union just “didn’t work out.”
— Desean Jackson (@DeSeanJackson11) March 11, 2019
The Buccaneers don’t have much cap flexibility these days, and Jackson had previously expressed unhappiness in Tampa, so parting ways with the wide receiver (and his $10-million cap hit) makes sense for both parties.
As for that “next destination” Jackson mentioned… rumour has it, he’s eyeing the Philadelphia Eagles. According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine and Tim McManus, Jackson wants to land in Philadelphia, where he played the first six seasons of his NFL career.
Odell on the market…?
Antonio Brown has been dominating the headlines all off-season, but it might be time to talk about another superstar wide receiver who could potentially be moved: Odell Beckham Jr. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the New York Giants receiver reportedly “remains on the market.”
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 11, 2019
We’ll probably be hearing a lot of the “listening to offers” vs. “shopping” debate on this one.
Everybody loves C.J. Mosley
And they should. He’s a high-impact defensive player in his prime, who knows how to step up in big moments (just ask the Cleveland Browns). So far, the running list of interested parties includes Washington, the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Eagles, and those very same Browns — now that could certainly prove interesting.
There’s tons of chatter on NFL Twitter right now, with most of it speculating how much he’ll earn — or rather, how much more he’ll earn than his newly claimed peer Kwon Alexander. Here’s what various insiders are saying:
Will Earl Thomas’ Dallas dream come true?
Landon Collins’ lucrative six-year deal puts Earl Thomas’ quest to become the league’s highest-paid safety in doubt, but his proven track record will surely garner a hefty payday. The depth of safeties in this free-agent class — Andrew Sendejo has just been added to that list after the Minnesota Vikings declined his option — is also working against him.
Thomas has long been linked to the Dallas Cowboys (remember when he openly told them to “come get” him?) but it’s been very much up in the air whether that relationship will come to fruition, and NFL Network’s Jane Slater expressed plenty of doubt about Thomas being able to land the paycheque he wants with Dallas.
Plenty of interest in Brandon Marshall
The Denver Broncos chose not to exercise the option on linebacker Brandon Marshall’s contract, setting him free on the free-agent market.
Injuries limited Marshall’s starts to 11 games in 2016 and seven in 2018, but at 29 he’s still got plenty left in the tank.
Much Love for Broncos country! Still not over yet, but being injured 2 out of the last 3 years after the Super Bowl killed me! But that’s life. I’ll land on my feet as I always do.
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshh) February 15, 2019
Gronk undecided on future
He’s not a free agent, but we’ll still include this Gronk update (or lack thereof) in this roundup.