NFL free agents were officially allowed to sign with other teams at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, leading to a flurry of player movement. Some teams were able to re-sign key players before the deadline, but plenty of big names will now be wearing new uniforms.
Perhaps the best free agent to switch teams is Malik Jackson. The defensive tackle was a key part of the championship defense for the Denver Broncos, and he’s headed to a team that has been rebuilding for years. Jackson brings his 45 tackles and five sacks from last year to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will reportedly pay the 26-year-old $42 million guaranteed on a six-year deal potentially worth up to $90 million.
Jackson is just one of a few big names that is leaving the Super Bowl champs. Not only has Peyton Manning retired, but the Broncos have lost his backup. Brock Osweiler is reportedly headed to become the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that linebacker Danny Trevathan is headed to the Chicago Bears.
Texans are giving Brock Osweiler a 4-year, $72 million deal, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2016
According to Schefter, Osweiler isn’t the only big signing for Houston. The Texans have reportedly agreed to a deal with Lamar Miller. Houston was competing with the Dallas Cowboys for the running back, and it seems they’ve found their replacement for Arian Foster, who was released earlier this offseason. Miller’s four-year deal is worth $26 million, with $14 million guaranteed, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Miller is just one of a few running backs that are on the move. Chris Ivory is headed to the Jaguars alongside Jackson. The New York Jets will replace Ivory with Matt Forte, who might be past his prime but has averaged over 1,000 yards per season during his eight-year career.
The Oakland Raiders have more money to spend than almost any NFL team in free agency, and they are using their salary cap space to sure up both sides of the ball. They’ll bring in linebacker Bruce Irvin from the Seattle Seahawks and offensive guard Kelechi Osemele from the Baltimore Ravens.
Kelechi Osemele gets $25.4M fully guaranteed on his 5-year, $58.5M deal with #Raiders. Maxes at $60M with Pro Bowl incentives. Market reset.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2016
Plenty of big names will stay put, some of whom could have gotten more money elsewhere. The New York Giants decided not to place the franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul, and there had been speculation that he would get a multiyear contract elsewhere. Instead, he’ll stay in the Big Apple on a one-year deal worth up to $10.5 million. New York also added Damon Harrison to their defensive line by giving the former Jet $24 million guaranteed.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t franchise Doug Martin, but the running back still isn’t going anywhere. He agreed to a five-year deal worth $35 million to remain in Tampa Bay, following a season that saw him rank No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards.
The Cincinnati Bengals will keep George Iloka on a five-year deal worth $35 million. Iloka will make $18 million over the first three years of the deal.
The likes of Kansas City’s Sean Smith, Miami’s Olivier Vernon, New York's Ryan Fitzpatrick and San Diego’s Eric Weddle remain unsigned.
Since Miami rescinded transition tag, two most serious contenders for Olivier Vernon’s services have been Jaguars & Giants. Fluid, ongoing.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 9, 2016
Other free agent signings include:
Janoris Jenkins (Giants), Alex Mack (Falcons) Marvin Jones (Lions) Mario Williams (Dolphins), Travis Benjamin (Chargers)