With the new league year and free agency set to begin today at 4 p.m. ET, here are the top rumors from around the NFL for Wednesday, March 9:
It's time for Denver to start working on its Plan B at quarterback. Per NFL Network's Rand Getlin, Brock Osweiler has agreed in principle on a deal with the Texans, leaving Denver without its two contributing quarterbacks from last season. While Colin Kaepernick was floated as a potential replacement if Denver lost Osweiler, now that the Broncos are without any QBs, ESPN's Adam Schefter is hearing that Robert Griffin III is among the list of potential replacement quarterbacks Denver is considering.
With Brock Osweiler off to Houston, RGIII is on Broncos' list of replacement quarterbacks, per source. Could be visiting Denver.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2016
Griffin is a now a free agent after spending the first four years of his career with the Washington Redskins. Kaepernick, on the other hand, is still under contract with San Francisco. The 49ers QB has asked to seek a trade, so Denver could be the opening Chip Kelly needs to unload Kaepernick, if he so chooses.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have come to terms with free agent tight end Ladarius Green on a 4-year, $20 million contract according to Field Yates. The deal includes $4.75 million guaranteed, $20 million max value with a cap hit of just $2.44 million in 2016. Green played with the San Diego Chargers in 2015 and acted as an offensive help, scoring four touchdowns.
The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to terms on a 4-year deal with CB Jeremy Lane according to Ian Rapoport. Lane has spent the first four years of his career with the Seahawks. According to Sheil Kapadia, Lane is the favorite to start at right CB going forward.
According to Adam Schefter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving former Seattle Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy a 5-year, $32.5 million deal. The Bucs were in need of a guard after Logan Mankins retired after 11 seasons in the NFL and seven Pro Bowl appearances. The Bucs are clearly investing in their run game, after also re-signing Doug Martin.
The New York Giants have agreed to a restructured deal for Victor Cruz. According to Art Stapleton, Cruz's 2016 contract will have a base of $1.3 million, playing time incentives up to $5.5 million plus production incentives to recoup rest. Cruz enters his seventh season with the Giants and relayed his excitement for staying with the team on Twitter.
Free agent DE/OLB Dwight Freeney has decided he wants to play one more season, according to Alec Marvez. Freeney had a long, successful career with the Indianapolis Colts and considered calling it quits in 2015, but then the Arizona Cardinals called. He joined the Cardinals last year, mid-season and still produced for the team.
The Chicago Bears made a deal with LB Danny Trevathan totaling $24.5 million over four years, including $12 million guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter. Trevathan will reunite with coach John Fox, who he played three years under while at the Denver Broncos. The linebacker will act as an anchor for the Bears D moving forward.
The Kansas City Chiefs have re-signed ILB Derrick Johnson to a three-year, $21 million contract according to Ed Werder. The long-time Kansas City linebacker, has spent his whole career (11 seasons) at Kansas City and is a four-time Pro Bowler.
The Cincinnati Bengals have re-signed corner Adam Jones to a three-year deal according to Adam Schefter. After being suspended for the entire 2007 season and parts of another for his off-field conduct, the safety vowed to turn it around this season on the field. Jones tweeted his excitement heading back to the Bengals. Jones is the second member of their secondary to re-sign.
The New Orleans Saints signed former Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener on a 5-year, $36 million deal, according to Adam Schefter. Fleener will fill the void of departed Benjamin Watson for the Saints.
The Minnesota Vikings have signed former Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin to a one-year, $3 million contract according to Ian Rapoport.Griffin joins fellow safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo in the Minnesota secondary.
The Browns have lost their second starting O-lineman of the day. Per Schefter and Pat McManamon, tackle Mitchell Schwartz is finalizing a five-year deal with Kansas City. Cleveland pulled its offer to Schwartz earlier in the day, in what may have been a bit of posturing by the organization that appears to have backfired.
With some of the top unrestricted free agent running backs already off the market, attention has turned to restricted free agent C.J. Anderson. Per Mike Florio, the Patriots, 49ers, Chicago Bears and Dolphins have all expressed interest in trying to sign the RB away from Denver. Because he is a restricted free agent, the Broncos would have five days to match any offer sheet for Anderson.
Schefter is reporting that quarterback Matt Schaub is re-uniting with Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta as Ryan's backup. As Schefter notes, the best years of Schaub's career came under the direction of Shanahan while the two worked together in Houston.
Keeping Mark Barron was key to the Los Angeles Rams' offseason plans, and they did just that today. Schefter tweeted that the Rams reached an agreement with their linebacker before the start of free agency to keep him from hitting the market. Rapoport has learned from sources the deal is worth $45 million over five years.
With Iloka in the fold, Yahoo's Charles Robinson is reporting the Bengals have no interest in re-signing safety Reggie Nelson. ESPN's Vaughn McClure floated the Falcons as a possible landing spot for the 10-year veteran, while Robinson expects the Vikings and the Buccaneers to come into play for Nelson. The Vikings were also rumored to be interested in Iloka earlier in the week, but their four-year commitment to Andrew Sendejo made them a somewhat less likely player for free-agent safeties.
The free-agent running back dominoes are falling fast and furiously in the early stages of free agency. Doug Martin was the first to go, signing a five-year deal to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Next went Matt Forte to the New York Jets, per Schefter, in a move that could affect Bilal Powell's future with the team. Miller became the next free-agent RB to sign, inking a four-year, $26 million deal with the Texans, per Schefter.
Now that Janoris Jenkins has come off the market, signing with the Giants, Rapoport has heard that the Oakland Raiders have turned their attention to former Kansas City Chiefs corner Sean Smith. The Raiders have been ultra-active so far in the early stages of free agency, adding Kelechi Osemele and Bruce Irvin during the legal tampering period. Despite the attention from the Raiders, Rapoport isn't ready to rule out a return to Kansas City for Smith. ESPN's Phil Sheridan also listed Smith as a likely target for the Philadelphia Eagles now that they have a void in their secondary.
Could Mike Wallace be headed back to the AFC North? NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala has heard the Baltimore Ravens are "looking seriously" at the receiver. Wallace was cut by the Vikings just one season after they sent a fifth-round pick to the Dolphins for him. Baltimore has created $10 million in cap space by restructuring Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda and quarterback Joe Flacco's deals over the last two weeks, allowing it to become a player on the open market. Kinkhabwala also has heard that the Ravens are in the market for another tight end. The Ravens have already agreed in principle with free-agent Ben Watson on a two-year deal, but Nick Boyle's 10-game suspension and Crockett Gillmore's offseason surgery have left Baltimore with just second-year TE Maxx Williams and the newly signed Watson at the position.
The Dallas Cowboys were intent on re-signing linebacker Rolando McClain, and it appears they have followed through on their plans. Getlin has heard from sources that the Cowboys and their inside linebacker have agreed on a deal that would keep him in Dallas. McClain will play in 2016 under a one-year, $5 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. McClain has been an integral part of Dallas' defense since joining the Cowboys in 2014, but off-the-field incidents, including a failed drug test in 2015, were expected to limit his options on the open market.
The Cincinnati Bengals also made re-signing their own free agents a top priority this offseason, with mixed results. With Marvin Jones leaving to replace Calvin Johnson for the Detroit Lions, the Bengals' roster could look pretty different after the first day of free agency. George Iloka and the Bengals have agreed upon a five-year, 30-million dollar deal, sources told ESPN, making him just the second of Cincinnati's 14 free agents to re-sign.
Sanu had garnered interest from the New England Patriots, among others, before landing with the Falcons.
The Atlanta Falcons boosted their offensive line with the signing of Alex Mack in the early stages of free agency, according to Adam Schefter. Mack opted out of a five-year contract with the Cleveland Browns to become a free agent this offseason. Ian Rapoport reports Mack's new contract will be for five years.
Click here for a complete recap of Adam Schefter's coverage of free agency.