Mike Florio talks about some of the current issues in the NFL. Florio believes the Browns may have drafted Richardson too high in last year’s draft due to the frequency of injuries at the RB position. Are Wonderlic scores worth reporting? Florio also takes a look at the current QB draft prospects.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Who’s the best QB prospect available?
The Cincinnati Bengals have mostly been quiet on the first day of free agency. The team hasn’t dipped its toes into the free agency waters as of yet outside of keeping their own free agents with the team.
Mays has appeared in 34 games for the Bengals over the last three seasons since being traded to Cincinnati from San Francisco in 2011. Mays appeared in just eight games and started one game for the Bengals this season before landing on injured reserve due to a dislocated shoulder suffered in October.
Mays has been a mostly inconsistent player since coming out of USC in 2010. After being selected in the second round of the draft by the 49ers, Mays has never been able to take hold of a starting job in the league. He has been a contributor for Cincinnati as a situational defender and special teams player.
The deal with the Bengals could give Mays an opportunity to recoup some value before taking another shot in free agency in the future.
As Richardson struggled for the Colts, Brown thrived. And with the Colts now forced to justify giving up a first-round pick for Richardson, Brown has exited.
Brown has joined the Chargers, as initially reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. A source with knowledge of the deal tells PFT that Brown’s agreed to the three-year contract, with a base value of $10.5 million. Of that amount, $4 million in guaranteed.
It’s roughly the same deal that former Vikings running back Toby Gerhart signed with the Jaguars. And it proves that the market for veteran running backs continues to reside in the same range as the top of the market for kickers.
Early on the first day of free agency, the Broncos added one of the top safeties available in Cleveland’s T.J. Ward.
Now, they have added perhaps the best cornerback in the class.
PFT has confirmed that Talib has a deal in place with Denver.
The 28-year-old Talib was the top cornerback and the No. 4 overall player on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100.
Talib (6-1, 205) has intercepted 23 passes in six NFL seasons. His size and playmaking ability make him especially valuable in a time where bigger cornerbacks are desired to match up against tall and skilled wide receivers.
The Broncos’ agreement with Talib would seem to leave Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s future with Denver in major doubt. Earlier on Tuesday, the Denver Post reported that the club was “closing in on” bringing back Rodgers-Cromartie. However, Talib’s addition would, at the very least, seem to complicate a potential return for Rodgers-Cromartie, an unrestricted free agent who would figure to have other options.
The Broncos get the first in-person crack at former Cowboys defensive end/linebacker DeMarcus Ware. But if the Broncos don’t sign him, there are plenty of other takers.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, more than a dozen teams contacted Ware after the Cowboys cut him on Tuesday. Of those teams, six or seven made the playoffs in 2013.
For now, Ware has committed only to visiting the Broncos.
It’s no coincidence that Jared Allen has expanded his horizons given Denver’s interest in Ware. As one league insider correctly pegged the situation, Allen should have cut a wink-nod deal with the Broncos on Tuesday, before Ware was cut.
With Jared Allen’s asking price seemingly too high for the Denver Broncos, the former Minnesota Vikings defensive end has turned his attentions elsewhere.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Allen is now speaking with the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks.
Both Chicago and Seattle have addressed pass rush needs over the last two days with the Seahawks re-signing Michael Bennett and the Bears adding Lamarr Houston. But Chicago also had to part ways with Julius Peppers and Chris Clemons remains a possibly cap casualty in Seattle as well.
Depending on the price, the Seahawks would likely have to free up additional space – potentially by releasing Clemons – if they elect to sign Allen.
While neither Seattle or Chicago are overflowing with cap space, they clearly still view addressing their pass rush as a priority this offseason.
The door seems to be shut with Allen in Denver as the Broncos have shifted their focus to former Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Despite being 31 years old, Allen is coming off his sixth-straight season with double-digit sacks. Allen posted 11.5 sacks last year for Minnesota.
Tackle Jonathan Martin is indeed returning to the Bay Area. And he’ll play for one of his head coaches at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh.
The 49ers and Dolphins have issued separate statements announcing the trade. The Dolphins describe the compensation as an undisclosed draft pick.
The trade itself hinges on Martin passing a physical, as the 49ers pointed out in their statement announcing the trade.
“We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved,” Dolphins General Manager Dennis Hickey said. “We wish Jonathan well.”
Owner Stephen Ross, we’re told, was fully on board with the decision to cut the cord on the team’s second-round pick in 2012.
The Dolphins deserve credit for not drawing the process out any longer than it’s already lingered. As the franchise moves forward with a new left tackle and new hope — both for the team and for renovations at Sun Life Stadium — it made sense to make a fresh start quickly. The Dolphins could have traded Martin no sooner than today.
UPDATE 11:12 p.m. ET: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Dolphins will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015, if Martin is on the 49ers’ opening-day roster.
The Jaguars have retained of their most experienced players.
The club said Tuesday it had re-signed cornerback Will Blackmon to a two-year deal. The 29-year-old Blackmon is one of the older players on Jacksonville’s roster, which has been retooled since head coach Gus Bradley and G.M. David Caldwell were installed in 2013.
Blackmon played in 15 games for the Jaguars in 2013, starting nine. He helped seal the Jaguars’ first regular season when he stripped Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick of the ball on a blitz and took it in for a touchdown.
Blackmon joined the Jaguars on August 28. He did not play in the NFL in 2012 after stints with the Giants (2010-2011) and Packers (2006-2009). However he has rekindled his NFL career with Jacksonville.
He could find a new home in New York.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets are showing serious interest in Jones-Drew.
The Jets desperate need skill position players. Their leading ball carriers in 2013 were Chris Ivory (833 yards) and Bilal Powell (697). Jones-Drew presumably would become a viable candidate for the starting job.
Jones-Drew has the personality to enhance his football salary with off-field media opportunities in New York; he could lay the foundation to launch a media career by ending his career in the nation’s top media capital.
Tuesday didn’t just mark the start of free agency but the start of trading season in the NFL as well. For the second time today, the San Francisco 49ers have made a trade with a team in the state of Florida.
A source confirmed to PFT that the 49ers have acquired tackle Jonathan Martin from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a conditional draft pick. The trade was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
Martin started seven games for the Dolphins this season before electing to walk away from the team after what he felt to be repeated bullying at the hands of Richie Incognito and other players on Miami’s roster. The fall out from the accusations has been immense as Incognito was suspended, coaches and staff of the Dolphins were let go and Martin never returned to the team.
Now Martin is reunited with Jim Harbaugh, his former head coach at Stanford University. Harbaugh vouched for Martin in the Wells Report and said he believes Martin can still succeed in the league. Therefore it’s not surprising there would be interest from the 49ers to bring Martin to give him a chance at a fresh start.
While Indianapolis also seemed like a possible fit with Andrew Luck and former Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, General Manager Ryan Grigson values toughness in his players, which is a massive mark against Martin at the moment.
The Broncos were denied their veteran pass-rusher of choice because of a faulty fax machine last year.
Now, they have their choice of veterans, but may have a preference.
Ware would fit an immediate need for someone to provide pressure opposite Von Miller, but there are a number of alternatives that make sense.
Other reports suggested Vikings free agent Jared Allen earlier in the day, and then Julius Peppers got released by the Bears. Given his background with John Fox and Jack Del Rio, you could have connected those dots.
But Ware’s the most versatile of the three, and would give the Broncos some flexibility on defense.
Former Bills safety Jairus Byrd wanted $9 million per year. And he got it. Exactly.
According to multiple reports, the Saints have given Byrd a six-year deal with a total value of $54 million. Of the amount, $28 million is guaranteed.
Unknown (for now) is the amount that’s fully guaranteed at the time of signing, and the amount that is guaranteed for injury only.
The structure also will say much about the expected duration of the deal. High salaries and cap numbers in future years make it less likely that all six years of the deal will be completed.
Given the Saints’ current cap crunch, it’s likely that the contract has been loaded up with bigger dollars later in the deal.
Byrd has no connection to any member of the New Orleans coaching staff. However, it’s possible that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan knows what former Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine thinks of Byrd, via Jets coach (and Rob’s twin brother) Rex Ryan, who employed Pettine before he went to Buffalo.
He’ll do so by joining the Jaguars, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
A league source tells PFT that Gerhart’s three-year deal has a base value of $10.5 million, including $4.5 million guaranteed.
The move could mean that the Jaguars have exited the Maurice Jones-Drew business. Given that he has eight years of wear and tear, the money paid to Gerhart is likely money that would have been given to Jones-Drew, if he wanted it.
A second-round pick in 2010, Gerhart has 1,305 career rushing yards, with a 4.7 per-carry average.
If, as it appears, Jones-Drew won’t return, Gerhart and Jordan Todman likely will serve as the top tailbacks in Jacksonville.
As expected, no restricted free agents received a first-round tender, according to the NFL’s official free agency press release.
Recent restricted free agents who have been given first-round tenders were Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz in 2013 and then-Buccaneers defensive end Michael Bennett in 2012. However, this RFA class didn’t have a slam dunk first-round tender candidate, and that held true.
That said, it isn’t a class without some talent. Four restricted free agents received second-round tenders: Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin, Panthers offensive tackle Byron Bell, Lions running back Joique Bell (who also agreed to an extension Tuesday) and Broncos cornerback Chris Harris.
Eleven other restricted free agents were tendered a contract, with the tendering team simply retaining the right to match any offer sheet. Among this group was Bengals slot receiver Andrew Hawkins, who reportedly has drawn an offer sheet from Cleveland.
Falcons cornerback Robert McClain was the only player given an original-round tender. If the Falcons declined to match an offer sheet to McClain, the signing team would give up a seventh-round pick. McClain was a seventh-round selection of Carolina in 2010.
Forty-six players with less than four accrued NFL seasons were not tendered a contract by their 2013 clubs, including offensive guard Danny Watkins, a 2011 first-round pick of Philadelphia who spent last season with Miami.
On a day with few surprises relating to the signing of free agents, here’s a fairly big one.
The Saints have announced that former Bills safety Jairus Byrd has signed a six-year deal.
Byrd, who played in 2013 under the franchise tag in Buffalo, wasn’t expected to draw serious consideration from the Saints, in large part because the Saints have been dealing with salary-cap issues.
But G.M. Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton have found a way to get the deal done. And a defense that got a lot better in 2013 (then again, the bar from 2012 was low) suddenly has gotten even better, with the addition of the No. 12 player on the PFT Free Agent Hot 100.
The Buccaneers didn’t want Darrelle Revis. But they did want a big-name, big-money cornerback.
Free agent cornerback Alterraun Verner, formerly of the Titans, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Buccaneers. It’s a four-year, $26 million deal with $14 million guaranteed, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports.
Verner is the No. 10 player in our Free Agent Hot 100, and he’s a great addition to the Buccaneers and to new coach Lovie Smith’s defense. It’s also a significant surprise: Few people saw this one coming.
Revis will not return to the Bucs, and barring a last-minute trade, he will be released on Wednesday. Now the Bucs have their No. 1 cornerback. And he’ll cost less than half as much as Revis.