NFL free agency: Latest rumors, buzz
NFL free agency doesn't officially open until 4 p.m. ET, but the rumor mill is churning away. Find all the latest buzz from around the league below.
Tuesday, March 11
1:45 p.m. ET
• Baltimore could be a landing spot for WR Steve Smith if he's cut by Carolina, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
1:20 p.m. ET
• The Bears are facing "little competition" in their pursuit of Raiders DE LaMarr Houston, reports Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider.
11:20 a.m. ET
• Ravens and OT Eugene Monroe are very close to a new deal, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network.
Monday, March 10
• Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun believes the tackle market will shake out like this: the Rams' Rodger Saffold is expected to sign with the Raiders, but he's still in talks with the Buccaneers; the Raiders' Jared Veldheer is expected to sign with the Cardinals; the Bengals' Anthony Collins will sign with the Bucs, "provided that he doesn't re-sign with the Bengals." Chiefs OT Branden Albert is expected to sign with the Dolphins.
• Upgrading the secondary appears to be a priority in Washington. The Redskins have expressed interest in Pats CB Aqib Talib and Panthers S Mike Mitchell, reports Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Washington has also expressed interest in Bills S Jairus Byrd. "Talks not at a serious point yet, though," Jones writes.
Sunday, March 9
• There's currently "no market" for free-agent running backs, according to ProFootballTalk. Among the notable names on the market: Knowshon Moreno, Darren McFadden, Donald Brown, Rashad Jennings, Ben Tate, LeGarrette Blount and Ahmad Bradshaw.
• People inside the Patriots organization are making "a strong push" to keep WR Julian Edelman, says Mike Giardi of Comcast SportsNet New England.
• The Redskins are interested in Bengals OT Anthony Collins, Patriots CB Aqib Talib and Panthers S Mike Mitchell, writes Mike Jones of the Washington Post.
• The Lions have inquired about Browns S T.J. Ward, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Saturday, March 8
• The Bucs cut former first-round pick Davin Joseph, wiping $6 million off their books. The guard missed all of the 2012 season after knee surgery. Only one qualifying guard graded lower than him last season by Pro Football Focus' metrics. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was the first to report the news.
• If the Miami Dolphins don't have any luck in their pursuit of Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe, the Miami Herald says they're also interested in also interested in Rodger Saffold and Jared Veldheer.
• Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean wouldn't be surprised if the Titans made a run at either Ben Tate or Donald Brown.
• Would the New York Giants be interested in having Devin Hester as their return man? Giants beat writer Mike Graziano isn’t totally selling the idea of Hester coming to New York but he’s not buying either.
Friday, March 7
• DeMarcus Ware may not want to take a pay cut in Dallas as he "believes he can get a payday in free agency," according to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.
• Despite getting the transition tag, C Alex Mack intends to test free agency (via Brent Sobleski of USA Today): "“We’ll see what happens. It’s tough to know. I don’t know how teams feel about me. I still have an opportunity to meet with coaches and experience free agency. That’s the goal. I like Cleveland; I know it. I like these new coaches. But there are other opportunities out there."
• No deal is imminent between the Raiders and OT Jared Veldheer, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. "He’s going to take his decision into the weekend, weigh his options and the market."
• Michael Bennett intends to test free agency, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Thursday, March 6
• Will Matt Cassel land in Houston? The Texans' interest in the QB is "real," reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. "New Texans coach Bill O'Brien was an assistant with the Patriots during Cassel's final two seasons in New England," details Kevin Patra at NFL.com. "Interest in the veteran might indicate the Texans aren't sold on taking a quarterback No. 1 overall in the 2014 NFL draft and would rather develop one taken in the later rounds while using Cassel as the bridge to that future." CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora also expects Cassel to land with the Texans.
• Despite speculation, the Eagles aren't actively shopping DeSean Jackson and they have no intention of parting with the wideout this offseason, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Jackson isn’t close to being cut, and even if he was one misstep away from forcing the Eagles to move him, they most certainly wouldn’t release him without getting something in return. ... [A]fter talking with almost a dozen sources from around the league, it’s clear the Eagles aren’t interested in dealing the 27-year-old Jackson – not by a long shot."
• Champ Bailey, released Wednesday by the Broncos, is open to playing safety on a new team, via Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today. "My vision is to still play corner, but I'm a little more open-minded about the season I had last year. I'm a corner at heart. If a situation made sense to play safety, then I would consider it."
Wednesday, March 5
• Aqib Talib wants to be paid like an upper-echelon cornerback, reports Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. "It’s possible the Patriots wanted Talib for a less risky three-year deal, perhaps in the range of $7 million per year, but that’s well shy of Grimes’ mark [four years, $32M; $16M guaranteed]. Since Talib has thoroughly enjoyed his season and a half with the Pats, he might take something of a discount, but it’s got to be close."
• OT Eugene Monroe will be the Dolphins' primary target if he reaches free agency, says the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero. "Monroe is good but not yet elite. So paying him $11.5 million to $12 million per season suggests overpaying. That’s elite tackle money. ... So if the Dolphins can get Monroe for somewhere between $9 million to $11 million per season, they should be pleased."
• In an ideal world, WR James Jones would return to Green Bay, but he's not sure that'll happen, via NFL.com. "I've thought about places that I would like to go play, whether it's in Indy or there's coming back home, San Diego or somewhere. Teams have popped up in my head. I can't say I haven't thought about it, but in a perfect world I'd love to go back [to Green Bay]."
• The Cowboys "definitely" want to keep DE DeMarcus Ware, but not at his current salary ($13M), reports Ian Rapoport.
Tuesday, March 4
• Titans CB Alterraun Verner is unlikely to give the Titans a hometown discount, reports Jim Wyatt at the Tennessean. "I love being here, I love my teammates and I love Tennessee. … From a business standpoint, you don’t know how long you are going to play in this league, so you have to take advantage when you can. … So if they don’t offer me something that shows they value me, I feel like it is a slap in my face."
• The Bills haven't ruled out brining S Jairus Byrd back, GM Doug Whaley told the team's official site. “It’s a negotiation,” Whaley said. “We still have some time to get it done so we’re not closing the door on it. We’re hopeful. We’re optimistic, but we’ll see where it goes from here.”
• There's a "gut" feeling DE Michael Johnson lands in Minnesota, per the team's website.
Monday, March 3
• The Bills are unlikely to keep S Jairus Byrd, reports Jeremy White of WGR 550 in Buffalo. "I'm told that it's unlikely they'll use the tag and that it's unlikely they'll reach an agreement before that time. … The two sides have had productive discussions, and while things could change, it seems at this point that the two sides will split."
• Tackle Eugene Monroe and the Ravens remain "far apart" in negotiations, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. " It's uncertain whether they will designate Monroe as their franchise player, but one source characterized that option as a possibility the team has considered."
• The Jets will "definitely" make a play for Michael Vick when free agency opens, reports Adam Schefter.
• Red Bryant could be an option for the Chiefs, says The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.
• Steve Hauschka won't get the franchise tag from the Seahawks, says USA Today's Tom Pelissero.
Friday, Feb. 28
• The Panthers and DE Greg Hardy are still discussing a long-term deal, says Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. "Hardy is looking for a contract commensurate with his place among the league’s best pass rushers after totaling 26 sacks over the past two seasons," the Observer says.
• Golden Tate says he would like to stay with the Seahawks "because I see this team winning for a long time," via the Seattle Times.
• Will Josh McCown return to Chicago? The Bears "overwhelming desire" is to re-sign the backup QB, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Thursday, Feb. 27
• The Jets haven't "told [Mark] Sanchez he's gone," according Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
• Four to six teams are expected to have interest in Jeremy Maclin if he hits the open market, says ESPN's Adam Caplan on NFL Insiders
• There's been "no real progress" between CB Alterraun Verner and the Titans, says Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
• The Bills are willing to use the franchise tag on safety Jairus Byrd, according to the team's website.
• The Panthers have not asked WR Steve Smith to take a pay cut, says Darin Gantt of ProFootball Talk. Smith will count $7M against the cap in 2014.
• DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys have had no dialogue, despite Jerry Jones' comment that Ware could be cut, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
• Jared Allen could be a target of the Buccaneers in free agency, says Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
Wednesday, Feb. 26
• Several teams have contacted the Buccaneers about CB Darrelle Revis, and many believe he "could be dealt by the start of the league year," says Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first reported the Revis talks. "Revis [who counts $16M against the cap in 2014] got no guaranteed money," says La Canfora, "so he could be traded or released without cap or cash ramifications (no cap acceleration) and thus Tampa could conceivably get assets in return for him, and then use his cap and cash savings to address several other positions."
• Mark Sanchez has a "20 to 30 percent chance" of returning to the Jets, according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.
• The Dolphins plan to pursue Ravens OT Eugene Monroe and Chiefs OT Branden Albert, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "The Dolphins like both, and would be happy to land either. ... The Dolphins prefer to sign a high-end left tackle and fill the other tackle spot through free agency or the draft, possibly with Notre Dame’s Zack Martin with the 19th pick in the first round."
• A "healthy market" is forming for Packers TE Jermichael Finley, says CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. Finley suffered a season-ending neck injury, but he hopes to receive medical clearance soon.
Tuesday, Feb. 25
• Terrell Owens said "there's no doubt I can still play." Owens, 40, last played for the Seahawks in the 2012 preseason.
• Colin Kaepernick's extension could put him among the top 10 QBs in terms of yearly average. "[I]t sounds like $15-16 million is the floor for an average salary," said the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami.
• Chiefs LT Branden Albert is expected to draw interested from the Dolphins, as well as the Cardinals and Buccaneers, says Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Chiefs have also not ruled out re-signing Albert.
• Could the Cowboys release DeMarcus Ware? Jerry Jones left the door open Monday, saying that the Cowboys would consider cutting Ware if he's unwilling to restructure his deal.
Monday, Feb. 24
• The Ravens and TE Dennis Pitta are "making progress" toward a new deal, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
• Brent Grimes is "optimistic but not certain" that he'll re-sign with the Dolphins, according to the Miami Herald.
• Contract talks between Green Bay and CB Sam Shields "heated up" over the weekend, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
• Arizona is expected to make a run at Chiefs LT Branden Albert, per TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.
• The Jets are seen as a "legitimate possible landing spot" for Michael Vick, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. The Daily News' Manish Mehta reported earlier that a Vick-Jets marriage was "unlikely."
• James Jones could have a new home this fall with reports stating that the Packers are prepared to let him walk (via Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
• Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have begun negotiations on a long-term deal, says Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
• The Seahawks plan to release DE Red Bryant, per Alex Marvez of FOX Sports.
• Marvin Lewis and the Bengals are open to an extension for QB Andy Dalton.
• A new deal could be coming for Lions DT Ndamukong Suh. "I think this will get done on the eve of free agency or the eve of the start of the new league year, which is when free agency starts," Lions GM Martin Mayhew told ESPN.
• The Bills are prepared to hit Jairus Byrd with the franchise tag if they can't reach a long-term deal, says Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Friday, Feb. 21
• Per Ian Rapoport, of NFL Network, the Browns are a real threat to sign Jairus Byrd away from Buffalo.
• The Seahawks plan to release Sidney Rice, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Coming off a season cut short by a torn ACL, Rice was poised to carry a cap charge of $9.7M. Rice had 97 catches and 12 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seahawks.
• Michael Bennett will not be receiving the franchise tag, per GM John Schneider. Seattle is confident, however, that it can re-sign Bennett, who led the Super Bowl champs with 8.5 sacks last year.
• The Bears want to re-sign DT Henry Melton, said GM Phil Emery, but it will -- not surprisingly -- come down to price.
• OT Branden Albert and the Chiefs remain in talks, and no decision has been made about Albert's future in Kansas City, insisted GM John Dorsey.
• Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean says the Titans have no plans to re-sign Kenny Britt.unlikely to receive the franchise tag