The Ravens have decided to pick up a $6 million option on cornerback Brandon Carr. Carr ranked as an above average player in the secondary last season for a Ravens defense that was a very good unit. Baltimore has clearly shown this offseason that keeping this secondary together is a big deal.
Minnesota has declined an option on safety Andrew Sendejo. This move clears $5.5 million in cap space for Minnesota and with Sendejo at 31-years old, it’s not too surprising of a move. Especially with the breakout of Anthony Harris last season, he will likely assume that safety spot in Minnesota.
Denver has declined an option on linebacker Brandon Marshall. This deal clears just over $4.8 million in cap space for the Broncos, and considering Marshall’s level of play last season, this is a smart move and is money that could be useful in other parts of the team.
Philadelphia has cleared $3 million in cap space by releasing Stefen Wisniewski. Wisniewski wasn’t too critical to what the Eagles did last season and even when he did play he was less than stellar.
Lions sign four players
Detroit has been busy and that started off by them going out and signing recently released from the Dolphins receiver, Danny Amendola. Amendola will no doubt be in the slot for Detroit and I don’t anticipate him having a huge role, which isn’t a big deal because this is only a one-year deal.
After four seasons of becoming an increased part of the Seahawks defense, Justin Coleman has gotten a four-year deal from Detroit. The deal is for $36 million and it’s unsure how much is guaranteed, either way this feels like pretty good value for Detroit.
Now Lions head coach Matt Patricia coached Trey Flowers when he was in New England, and now he’ll get the chance to coach one of the top defensive ends in the league once again, as the former Patriot has signed a five-year deal with Detroit. Assuming Flowers plays at the same level, this is a great pickup for Detroit and should greatly help out their defense.
Known most for his infamous no catch against the Patriots two seasons ago, now former Steelers tight end Jesse James has went out and signed a deal with the Lions. James isn’t an elite tight end, but he can be a big-play threat from the tight end spot.
Eagles sign Malik Jackson, bring back a familiar face
It didn’t take long for Malik Jackson to find a new home after being released by the Jaguars. He has signed with the Eagles on a three-year deal for $30 million. I don’t love this move for Philadelphia, but we have yet to see how much of the money in this contract will be guaranteed, and with the Eagles fairly thin on cap space, how much of this deal is guaranteed will be a huge deal.
In one of the more headline grabbing moves of the day, the Eagles have traded for DeSean Jackson. In the move they’ll be sending a sixth-round pick back to the Buccaneers. Of course DeSean Jackson played with the Eagles from 2008 to 2013, making the Pro Bowl three times. Jackson has had some issues staying healthy the past couple of seasons, but when he’s been on the field he’s been his same explosive self. He and the team have also agreed to a restructured three-year deal that will guarantee Jackson $13 million. I really like this move for both sides.
In another move for the Eagles, left tackle Jason Peters has restructured his contract. With the Eagles not having a ton of cap space, each dollar helps so this could be very useful.
Buffalo signs a couple players
Buffalo has went out and signed recently released cornerback Kevin Johnson. Johnson ranked poorly last season so this move likely won’t mean much.
Frank Gore has found a way to still be productive all the way until he’s nearly 36-years old and now he will take that production to Buffalo. I really love this move because it’s a cheap move with virtually no risk.
Mitch Morse was ranked in the top half of centers this past season and the Bills have reached out and signed him. We have yet to see the terms of the deal, but just in terms of picking up a very good center, I love this move for Buffalo, but the financials of the deal could change my opinion on that.
The safety market is going crazy
Despite being nothing close to an elite safety, Kenny Vaccaro has gotten a new four-year deal in Tennessee. Now this isn’t a big risk for Tennessee because only $11.5 million is guaranteed, but this is still a little more than you would anticipate a safety of Vaccaro’s caliber getting, but good for Kenny Vaccaro.
Landon Collins was not franchise tagged by the Giants, which is something that people thought could happen and now he has gotten paid. He has agreed to a six-year, $84 million deal with the Redskins. Now that $84 million number is misleading because only $45 million of it is guaranteed. That’s still a pretty good pay day for someone who is immensely talented, but was only ranked as the #39 safety in the league last season by Pro Football Focus. The good thing for Collins in this deal is that with it only being barely over half guaranteed, he likely won’t see the end of this deal and if he is able to produce in Washington he should get to hit free agency again in a few years.
Jaguars find a quarterback
We’re all well aware of what Nick Foles did two seasons ago in leading the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl victory and then leading the Eagles to the playoffs this season after they seemed dead in the water. The deal that Foles is signing with the Jaguars is for four-years, $88 million guaranteed with $50.1 million being guaranteed.
You can debate the warrants of Foles as a franchise quarterback in this league, but the Jaguars were in the AFC title game two seasons ago with Blake Bortles as the quarterback and you can’t debate that Foles is not an upgrade from Bortles.
Kwon Alexander signs with San Francisco
I don’t like this deal. Alexander has often been hurt and when he has played he hasn’t really played that well besides being seemingly a very talented player. The deal is for four-years with $27 million guaranteed.
The 49ers were in a good spot to improve their team this offseason but I don’t think this is a great start to that.
The Bears are busy
Chicago has been busy today. They started with Eddie Goldman converting his roster bonus into a signing bonus, clearing some cap space. This is a really nice under-the-radar move because Goldman was one of the better players at his position last season and he’s already cheap enough and now he will barely count towards their cap this season.
Jordan Howard has been rumored in talks to be traded by the Bears and the speculation should heat up even more by them going out and signing Mike Davis. Davis had a breakout season last year in Seattle and now he’ll be going into an offense where they like to run the ball just like they did in Seattle, so this seems to be a good fit.
The Bears have also signed cornerback Buster Skrine. Skrine is not a highly-rated player, but this is a cheap move and it will give the Bears some depth in the secondary.
Kansas City is spending on their defense
It’s been well-documented that the Chiefs were terrible on defense a year ago and it probably cost them a chance at playing for the Super Bowl. Well they have taken a step toward trying to improve their secondary by going out and signing safety Tyrann Mathieu to a three-year deal for $42 million. We have yet to see how much of this is guaranteed, but I love this move because of the level that Mathieu has played at and on top of that he’s very versatile so they could fit him into their defense in a number of different ways.
Colts bringing in Devin Funchess
Andrew Luck clearly showed this past season that he is back and with the draft they had last craft cycle, they are entering a championship window and one spot that was a spot for them to look at upgrading this offseason was getting Andrew Luck another weapon. They’ve done that by signing former Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess to a one-year deal.
I love this move because Funchess ranked pretty well and there’s no long-term financial commitment on the Colts’ side with it only being a one-year deal. Indianapolis also came into the offseason with the most cap space in the league, so they still have room to go out and make some bigger moves.
Denver improves their secondary
The Houston Texans were seemingly not interested in bringing back defensive back Kareem Jackson, despite his good season last year, and now the Broncos have taken advantage of that by going out and signing him to a three-year deal, with $23 million guaranteed.
Denver wasn’t very good in the secondary last season so this is a very nice pickup.
Raiders keep spending
With the Rams having already improved in the safety department by adding Eric Weddle, so it was obvious that LaMarcus Joyner was no longer going to be a part of the Rams and now the Raiders have went out and signed him. I really like this move because Joyner is a very solid player and the Raiders had a lot of cap space entering free agency and now they have finally addressed the defensive side of the ball. And keep in mind they still have three first-round picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Oakland also went out and made former Patriot tackle Trent Brown to a record deal that involves four-years and $36.25 million guaranteed. I don’t like this move nearly as much as the Joyner one. That’s not to say that Brown isn’t a good player because he is, I just don’t believe that he is worth any sort of record-setting deal.
Top Photo: Gregory Payan/Associated Press