For most NFL fans, the beginning of the free agency period is one of the most exciting times of the offseason. It is a time when fans get to see some of the league’s top players make big moves to new cities and new teams. Bengals fans rarely expect to see any big news from the team unless it involves a big name free agent leaving town for more money, or a better position on the depth chart.
Still, as Bengals fans, it is interesting to see how the rest of the NFL changes while we sit back and hope that the Bengals have the good sense to re-sign their most important free agents. With the free agency legal tampering period underway, we are recapping the biggest and most interesting moves that have occurred around the NFL so far. The official start of free agency, when teams can sign unrestricted free agents, kicks off at 12:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 9.
The Bengals’ moves so far have been extending a tender to guard/center T.J. Johnson and re-signing Brandon LaFell to two-year, $10 million deal. Here’s what the rest of the league has been up to.
WR Brandon Marshall signs with Giants
WOW. @BMarshall is teaming up with @OBJ_3: https://t.co/ZJE9QpBynQ (via @RapSheet) pic.twitter.com/tpQxGMfP7u— NFL (@NFL) March 8, 2017
After being cut by the New York Jets, Marshall elected to stay in New York. But, he upgraded his quarterback situation, going from the Jets’ unstable situation to Eli Manning and the Giants. The deal is $12 million for 2 years.
QB Tyrod Taylor restructures contract with Bills
#Bills restructure Tyrod Taylor's contract to reduce cap number from $16M to just under $10M this yr. [BN] Blitz: https://t.co/GqaapxeWV0— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) March 8, 2017
There was a time when Taylor was thought of as nothing more than a backup quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. But, he earned a starting job with the Bills in 2015 and played so well, the Bills extended him through 2021 for $92 million. But, the contract was a burden on the Bills’ salary cap, so Taylor agreed to restructure the numbers to allow the team more room for signing other free agents.
Ravens release OLB Elvis Dumervil
NEWS ALERT: Baltimore Ravens are releasing veteran DE Elvis Dumervil.— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 8, 2017
(via @89SteveSmith) pic.twitter.com/OB4JZmmhcC
It has been four years since the Denver Broncos forgot how to work a fax machine and allowed Dumervil to become a free agent in one of the most infamous blunders in the history of NFL free agency. He went to three Pro Bowls in his four years with the team, but he became a cap casualty in 2017. The Ravens will be saving $6 million in cap space as a result of parting ways with the defensive end.
Redskins re-sign TE Vernon Davis
Vernon Davis says he has signed a 3-year deal to remain with the Redskins. https://t.co/zjvRqhn1Ix pic.twitter.com/vjAJeH1pnZ— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 8, 2017
A two-time Pro Bowler who enjoyed an illustrious career with the San Francisco 49ers from 2006-2015, Davis is still among the best tight ends in the NFL, even at 33-years-old. Washington still has to figure out their long-term quarterback situation, regardless of the rumors surrounding a trade for Kirk Cousins. But, with both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon likely moving on in free agency, Davis’ presence will be a blessing for any quarterback they put behind center.
Lions agree on deal with former Ravens RT Rick Wagner
The #Lions and OT Ricky Wagner have agreed in principle on a contract, source said. It will eclipse $9M per year, setting a new market.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 8, 2017
The Detroit Lions are planning to make Rick Wagner the highest paid right tackle in the NFL, fitting for one of today’s best young offensive tackles. Bengals fans will be glad that he is moving out of the division, but may have wanted to see him come to Cincinnati to assist the Bengals’ struggling offensive line. This deal if not yet official, but is expected to be signed when free agency officially kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Cowboys expected to release Tony Romo
BREAKING: The Cowboys will release Tony Romo on Thursday, sources told @AdamSchefter and @ToddArcher. pic.twitter.com/RD0vv7ekat— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 8, 2017
Although no move has been officially made, it is being reported by multiple sources that the Cowboys will release their 36-year-old, four time Pro Bowl quarterback. Although technically still a ‘rumor’, the news has been repeated by virtually every major news source and seems set in stone.
It is a situation that resembles the Indianapolis Colts releasing Peyton Manning at 34-years-old in 2011. He is expected to be courted by multiple teams offering substantial amounts of money. The Broncos and Texans are expected to be two of his most likely suitors and places he’d like to play.
More NFL free agency news and rumors
Dolphins re-sign WR Kenny Stills on a four-year, $32 million deal with $20 million guaranteed
Ravens expected to sign safety Tony Jefferson, who was offered more money from Browns
Browns offering more money to Tony Jefferson than any other team
Ravens expected to sign former Chargers running back Danny Woodhead
Ravens re-signing backup QB Ryan Mallett
Patriots pulled off a trade for tight end Dwayne Allen
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk plans to sign with the 49ers
Barry Church poised to sign four-year deal with the Jaguars
Brian Hoyer signing with 49ers
Colts hope to re-sign Darius Butler and Robert Turbin
Mike Glennon to the Bears is “all but done”
Raiders could still bring back Latavius Murray
Pierre Garcon expected to reunite with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco
Lions signing former Falcons linebacker Paul Worrilow
Colts to trade TE Dwayne Allen, sixth-rounder to Pats for fourth-rounder
Former Cardinals DE Calais Campbell expected to sign with the Jaguars