Titans coach Mike Munchak joins Mike Florio from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. After a rough season in 2012, Munchak is hoping a healthy Jake Locker and a productive Chris Johnson can help lead a renaissance season in 2013.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Can Tennessee take a step forward in 2013?
Last week, we unveiled our annual PFT Free Agent Hot 100 list.
This week, it’s updated to include all of the various signings.
You can see it right here, and you can bookmark the link.
Actually, you should bookmark the link. Right below your bookmark for the home page of PFT. And below your bookmark of the Rumor Mill.
And above your bookmark of the PFT Team Page for your favorite NFL team.
Thank you. That is all.
Despite his age (31), defensive end Jared Allen deserves consideration at the top of the pass-rusher market. And it’s his insistence to be paid accordingly that could make it hard to find a new home.
Per a league source, the Broncos definitely have interest in the former Chiefs and Vikings standout. However, the concern is that he wants too much money.
With no other serious suitors (for now), Allen has no leverage.
Allen earned every dollar of a six-year, $73 million contract. It’s unclear what he wants now, but it’s apparently more than the Broncos care to pay.
With DeMarcus Ware suddenly available, Ware and Allen could be played against each other by a contending team looking to land a bargain.
The Seahawks, whose defensive line depth has been thinned a little in recent days, are reportedly set to host one of the top interior defensive linemen available in free agency.
Hatcher ranks No. 36 on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100.
Hatcher (6-6, 299) had a strong season for Dallas in 2013, recording a career-best 11 sacks and making the Pro Bowl. He will be 32 in July.
The Giants landed a guard, a linebacker and a running back on the first day of free agency and now they’re turning their attention to their kick return game.
Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that Jacoby Jones is expected to visit with the Giants on Wednesday. Anderson notes that Jones is still talking to the Ravens about remaining in Baltimore, so the visit is contingent on nothing happening with the Ravens that would make a trip to New Jersey moot.
Jones made $4 million in Baltimore last season and returned 31 kickoffs for 892 yards and a touchdown. That score was the fourth career kickoff return touchdown in the regular season — Jones added one in Super Bowl XLVII — to go with four punt return scores. That kind of production was missing for the Giants last season, although it’s unlikely that they’d be willing to pay the same price that the Ravens paid for Jones’ services last season.
With Hakeem Nicks likely leaving the team, Jones could work his way into the receiver rotation for the Giants as well. He has done his best work on special teams throughout his career, though, and that’s likely the leading reason why the Giants and Ravens are interested in his services.
The clock is ticking in Tampa, where the Buccaneers reportedly will cut cornerback Darrelle Revis absent a trade concluded by 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, no resolution is expected on Tuesday night.
A resolution must come on Wednesday, and the options are simple. The Bucs will trade him, or they’ll cut him.
With each passing hour, it becomes harder to trade him. And it becomes more likely that the only teams that would acquire Revis and his $16 million annual contract are those teams that stand no chance of luring him on the open market, where he’s likely to land with a contending team sporting a franchise quarterback.
The Browns are the only team believed to be interested in a trade. The team’s level of interest isn’t known.
In turn, the player’s level of interest in playing for the Browns isn’t known. Presumably, the Browns want him only if he wants to be there. If that’s the only way Revis gets $16 million for 2014, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t want to be there.
Eric Wright will spend another season in San Francisco.
Wright, a cornerback who signed a one-year deal with the 49ers last year, revealed on Instagram that he is signing another contract with the 49ers this year.
When Wright is 100 percent physically and mentally, he has shown flashes of being a very good player. Unfortunately, Wright hasn’t always been 100 percent physically and mentally. Wright has had run-ins with the law, and he lasted just 10 games in Tampa Bay after signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Bucs in 2012.
When the 49ers signed Wright in 2013 they initially put him on the non-football injury list, saying he was “tending to a personal matter.” But Wright was able to get on the field for the 49ers late in the regular season and in the playoffs, and they like his potential. He’s still just 28 years old and should have some good football ahead of him. That football will be played in San Francisco.
Defensive end DeMarcus Ware wasn’t the only longtime member of the Cowboys to part ways with the franchise on Tuesday.
Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reports that wide receiver Miles Austin will also be dropped from the roster. The move will save the Cowboys $5.5 million under the salary cap, but those savings will not come into effect until after June 1 because Austin has been designated as a post-June 1 cut.
Austin’s departure has been expected for some time as he has found it difficult to remain healthy enough to stay on the field because of hamstring injuries. His production hit a new low in 2013 with just 24 catches and 244 yards in 11 games despite the presence of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to keep defenses from keying on Austin.
Terrence Williams filled some of the void left by Austin with 44 catches for 736 yards in his rookie season. He’s likely to move up to the No. 2 receiver spot unless the Cowboys make an unexpected addition to the top end of the receiving corps.
Austin turns 30 in three months and he’s probably going to have to take something at or near the veteran’s minimum for the 2014 season to show that he’s still capable of both being productive and staying on the field.
And now they apparently will trade him.
Sproles joined the Saints in 2011, after six seasons with the Chargers. He turns 31 in June, and the Saints apparently believe his best days are behind him. Fortunately for New Orleans, other teams disagree.
Thus, of all the veterans destined to be cut whose teams are trying to trade them, Sproles is the one, and perhaps only, that actually will be traded.
Julius Peppers wasn’t a free agent at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday. He now is.
The Bears have terminated Peppers’ contract, a six-year, $84 million contract signed by the former Panthers defensive end in 2010.
“We appreciate Julius’ contributions to the Bears over the last four years,” G.M. Phil Emery said. “He was a leader on our defense starting every game since coming to Chicago. His accomplishments over his NFL career place him among the best defensive ends over the past 20 years. The Chicagoland community has benefited greatly from his quiet generosity. We wish him the best.”
Peppers made $53.5 million in four seasons. The move avoids $14 million in total compensation for 2014, along with $16.5 million for 2015.
The second overall pick in the 2002 draft instantly becomes a free agent. It’s unlikely that he’ll be offered anything close to $14 million for 2014.
Who’s up for a little in-state restricted free agency intrigue?
According to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, the offer sheet is for four years.
The Bengals will have seven days to match the offer. The Bengals tendered the 28-year-old Hawkins at the right-of-first-refusal level in restricted free agency, meaning they will not receive any draft pick compensation if the receiver departs.
The 5-foot-7, 180-pound Hawkins has hauled in 86 passes for 995 yards and four TDs in three seasons with Cincinnati. His quickness makes him a challenging player to deal with in space, and the Browns would likely use him as their primary slot receiver.
A University of Toledo product, Hawkins played for the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and appeared on the reality show “Fourth And Long” before joining the Bengals.
Now, he appears in line for a nice pay bump, whether it’s in Cleveland or Cincinnati.
Free-agent quarterback Mike Vick can sign with any team at any time. Chance are he won’t be signing with any team any time soon.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Vick plans to be patient in his search for a new job. He realizes that this is likely his last chance to find a starting job, so he’s looking for the right fit.
In this regard, a very real concern becomes the possibility that his new team would acquire a quarterback in the first round of the draft after signing Vick. Vick could, in theory, go from being penciled in as the starter until May, at which time a hot-shot rookie acquires the inside track to the job.
For that reason, it’s possible Vick will wait until after the draft to make a decision. If a team in need of a quarterback doesn’t get the guy it wants, Vick becomes an instant fallback option.
At a time when teams like the Vikings and Jaguars possibly have signed their fallback options pre-emptively, Vick’s best move could be to wait and see where the top quarterbacks get drafted before committing to a team for 2014.
Vick also could decide to wait and see whether a starter gets injured, during offseason workouts or, if he chooses to let it play out into the late summer, training camp and the preseason.
Either way, a quick decision isn’t expected — unless Vick gets firm assurances that he can trust regarding what his role will be for the coming season.
Now that the Cowboys have cut defensive end DeMarcus Ware, he’ll have plenty of options.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Ware intends to be very selective about his next destination, but also to move quickly. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that six playoff teams already have called.
Ware spent the first eight years of his career in a 3-4 defense, playing outside linebacker. Last year, he moved to defensive end in a 4-3.
The 31-year-old pass rusher was due to earn $12.75 million in 2014. He’ll have to decide whether he wants to max out his earnings, or whether he hopes to position himself for the possibility of getting to the playoffs and maybe winning a game or two — something that hasn’t happened much during his time in Texas.
The Raiders are bringing back Darren McFadden for 2014.
The club and McFadden have reached a one-year, $4 million contract, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.
According to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com, $2.25 million of McFadden’s compensation is in “unlikely to be earned incentives.”
With Rashad Jennings likely departing in free agency, McFadden would likely be the clear-cut starting back entering 2014. Latavius Murray, Kory Sheets, and Jeremy Stewart are the other backs on the Raiders’ roster. It’s also possible Oakland could add a back, what with McFadden signed through 2014.
The Buccaneers made a big early splash in free agency by landing defensive end Michael Johnson and now they have their eyes on one of Johnson’s teammates in Cincinnati.
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that tackle Anthony Collins will visit with the team. Collins has been linked to the Bucs for several days and is the top left tackle left on the market after the other big names landed new homes or re-signed with their teams as free agency opened.
If Collins does land in Tampa, it could spell the end of Donald Penn’s time with the team. Penn struggled as a pass blocker last season and his release would clear more than $7 million in cap space for the Buccaneers to devote elsewhere. Penn’s departure would also guarantee a very different offensive line next season with guard Davin Joseph already given his walking papers.
Collins, who came in at No. 50 on PFT‘s Hot 100 list of free agents, has played both tackle spots in Cincinnati, but did some of his best work on the left side of the line late last season. He’s started 25 games over the course of his six years with the Bengals and his departure would likely mean that Andrew Whitworth will move back to tackle after ending last season at guard.
San Francisco will swap departed safety Donte Whitner for a slightly less expensive alternative.
Shortly after Whitner signed with the Browns for $7 million a year, the 49ers have signed safety Antoine Bethea to a four-year contract that’s worth between $5 million and $6 million a year, according to several reports.
“Indy it’s been real,” Bethea wrote on Twitter. “Fans and city showed me nothing but love my eight years there and greeted me w/ open arms Appreciate all the support! Glad to be a Niner!! Going to the Bay!”
The 29-year-old Bethea has spent his entire eight-year NFL career in Indianapolis and has started all 16 games for six consecutive seasons. Bethea is the No. 39 player in our Free Agent Hot 100.