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NFL free agency 2018 – Top free agents, franchise tags, trades, latest signings, more

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We’re keeping track of every notable signing throughout March right here, with the most recent deals at the top. Teams can’t officially sign unrestricted free agents until the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, but street free agents — players who were cut this offseason — can sign at any time.

Quick links: Barnwell’s grades | Schefter’s news, notes | Mega guide | Signings by team | Top 100 free agentsInsider

Latest news

Tuesday, March 13

WR Sammy Watkins, LB Anthony Hitchens intend to sign with Chiefs

The Watkins deal is worth $48 million with $30 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Analysis: Breaking down these moves, plus every Chiefs signing


OG Andrew Norwell to sign 5-year deal with Jaguars

Norwell, 26, will become the NFL’s highest-paid guard, averaging $13.3 million in annual salary.

DiRocco: Norwell deal shows Jaguars prioritized run game over Allen Robinson


QB Case Keenum intends to sign with Broncos

Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Denver will reel in the 30-year-old player to be its quarterback of the present and the future when free agency officially opens Wednesday.

Analysis: Breaking down this deal, plus every Broncos signing
Legwold: Broncos pick Keenum to get back to being a playoff contender


WR Allen Robinson, Bears agree on deal

Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson intends to sign with the Bears on a three-year, $42 million deal, barring any last-minute snags, he told ESPN’s Josina Anderson late Monday night.

Analysis: Breaking down the Robinson deal, plus every Bears signing


Monday, March 12

Bengals to acquire LT Cordy Glenn from Bills

Cincinnati has struggled at tackle since veteran Andrew Whitworth signed with the Rams last offseason.

Terrell: Bengals upgrade O-line after dismal 2017 with trade
Rodak: Trades allow Bills to pounce on a top quarterback in draft


DB Bradley McDougald agrees to deal to return to Seahawks

A source confirms to ESPN that the team has agreed to a three-year deal with the versatile safety, one of the team’s 16 unrestricted free agents.

Analysis: Breaking down this deal, plus every Seahawks signing


Bucs agree to re-sign CB Brent Grimes, extend TE Cameron Brate

Brate’s deal is for six years and $41 million with $18 million guaranteed, while Grimes’ deal is for one year deal and $10 million.

Analysis: Breaking down these deals, plus every Bucs signing


Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick requests his release

Dallas seemed to have moved on at corner at the end of last season while Scandrick dealt with a back injury.


Chiefs to release S Ron Parker and LB Tamba Hali

Parker was asked to take a pay cut and declined. He will become a free agent after five seasons in Kansas City. Meanwhile, Hali was the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick in 2006 but had taken on a part-time role last season.


Ravens release DB Lardarius Webb

The Ravens freed up $1.75 million in cap space by releasing Webb, who has played his entire nine-year career in Baltimore.

Analysis: Breaking down every Ravens signing


Dolphins plan to move on from DT Ndamukong Suh

Suh might have been hinting at the upcoming move when he tweeted a video Monday morning in which he said, “There will be some exciting things going on.”


Raiders to release CB Sean Smith

The move saves the Raiders $8.5 million on their salary cap.


Chiefs to re-sign FB Anthony Sherman

Sherman, 29, joined the Chiefs in a 2013 trade with the Arizona Cardinals. He played in all 16 games in each of his five seasons in Kansas City.

Analysis: Breaking down the Sherman deal, plus every Chiefs signing


Cards expected to release RB Adrian Peterson

Peterson, 32, would be owed a $750,000 bonus on Friday, the third day of the league year, if he were still on the team.


K Dustin Hopkins re-signs with Redskins

Hopkins, 27, has spent the past three seasons with the Redskins but missed eight games in 2017 because of a hip injury.

Sunday, March 11

Chargers CB Casey Hayward agrees to 3-year extension

Hayward’s extension is worth $36 million, including $20 million in guaranteed money, his agent, David Mulugheta, told The Associated Press.

Saturday, March 10

Richard Sherman agrees to three-year deal with 49ers

Sherman told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that the deal is worth up to $39.15 million. He’s coming off a torn Achilles tendon in one leg and a bone spur in the other.

Wagoner: Five most memorable moments from the Sherman-49ers rivalry
Wagoner: 49ers send message they’re ready to win now
Reaction: John Lynch, 49ers players welcome Sherman on social media
Analysis: Breaking down every 49ers signing


Browns to trade DT Danny Shelton to Patriots

The 6-foot-2, 335-pound Shelton entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2015 (No. 12 overall), and the Browns will get a conditional pick in return.

McManamon: How Browns’ depth chart looks after trades

Friday, March 9

DT Justin Ellis agrees to three-year deal with Raiders

Oakland Oakland has agreed to a three-year contract worth more than $15 million to keep Ellis off the market.


Browns deal QB Deshone Kizer to Packers for CB Damarious Randall

The teams will also swap picks in the fourth and fifth rounds, a source told ESPN. The move comes on the same day the Browns acquired Jarvis Landry from Miami and Tyrod Taylor from Buffalo.

Graziano: All the NFL quarterback market dominoes after the Browns’ trades
McManamon: Best part of Browns adding three players — They keep all their draft picks in first two rounds


Browns get QB Tyrod Taylor in trade with Bills

Cleveland has agreed to trade the 65th overall draft pick to Buffalo for Taylor, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move means the Bills are back in the market for a quarterback.

Barnwell: The new Browns? Making sense of a trade bonanza


49ers moving on from veteran pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil

San Francisco is parting ways with the 34-year-old, who led the team with 6.5 sacks last season and has 105.5 in an 11-year career that also included stints in Denver and Baltimore.


Browns trading two draft picks to Dolphins for WR Jarvis Landry

The Browns are also working on a new contract for Landry, and a deal is expected to get done, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.


Bucs give WR Mike Evans huge contract extension

It is a five-year, $82.5 million extension that includes $55 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Laine: Buccaneers reward durable, productive Evans with new deal


Bengals decline to pick up option on veteran CB Adam Jones

The 34-year-old veteran is coming off a tumultuous season that ended with his being placed on injured reserve after injuring his groin in December.

Terrell: With young corners on the rise, Jones’ departure from Bengals seemed inevitable


Eagles trade WR Torrey Smith to Panthers for CB Daryl Worley

The rare player-for-player deal, Philadelphia is currently projected to be about $14 million over the cap and needs to shed salary before March 14. Smith will make a base salary of $5 million this season, while Worley is scheduled to make $650,000.

McManus: Trade shows Super Bowl Eagles are turning the page
Newton: Trade for Smith gives Panthers needed experience, speed at WR


Seahawks release CB Richard Sherman

Sherman made it abundantly clear he wants “to go to a contender,” even if that contender might be the team that is letting him go.


Titans backup QB Matt Cassel is a cap casualty

Tennessee is releasing quarterback Matt Cassel, safety Da’Norris Searcy and receiver Eric Weems. The moves save the Titans $7.7 million in salary-cap space.

Thursday, March 8

Broncos trade CB Aqib Talib to Rams for 2018 fifth-round pick

Talib wanted to play for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips in L.A. or for Bill Belichick in New England, sources told Schefter. This helped dictate the trade to the Rams.

Gonzalez: Rams’ entertainment value has only soared with their recent additions
Legwold: Trade means book almost closed on Broncos’ 2014 spending spree


QB Ryan Fitzpatrick returns to Buccaneers on one-year deal

The 35-year-old backup stepped in for Jameis Winston in four games last season, winning two of his three starts.


Titans cutting ties with RB DeMarco Murray

Murray has been Tennessee’s lead back the past two seasons, including in 2016, when he was the AFC’s leading rusher.


CB Sam Shields signs with Rams after year out of NFL

Los Angeles announced it signed Shields, who didn’t play last season after the Packers released him in February 2017.


WR Marquise Goodwin agrees to three-year extension with 49ers

A source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson the new contract is worth $20.3 million and includes $10 million in guaranteed money.


Texans agree to re-sign punter Shane Lechler

The Texans have re-signed the veteran to a one-year deal, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday. Lechler averaged 48.9 yards per punt for the Texans in 2017, which ranked second in the league.

Wednesday, March 7

Bengals reach deal with DT Chris Baker

Baker has agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with Cincinnati, according to a source. He was cut by the Buccaneers in February, just one season into a three-year, $15.75 million contract that he signed last March.

Reaction to every Bengals signing

More coverage

The Kirk Cousins sweepstakes:

Players who were franchised

Teams had two weeks to place the franchise tag on one pending free agent, and five used it. Read more about how the tag works here.

Rams tag S Lamarcus Joyner

Los Angeles tagged Joyner on the last day for teams to use the designation. The decision means that wide receiver Sammy Watkins will be an unrestricted free agent. Read more.

Steelers franchise RB Le’Veon Bell

Pittsburgh tagged Bell for the second consecutive year. The Steelers had increased last year’s long-term contract offer, but Bell adjusted his contractual floor to $14.5 million per year to align with his running back tag. He said he won’t play for a contract that averages less annually. Read more.

Cowboys tag DE DeMarcus Lawrence

The defensive end will count $17.143 million against the 2018 cap when free agency begins. The two parties will have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. If they don’t, Lawrence will play the season on the tag. Read more from Todd Archer.

Lions franchise DE Ezekiel Ansah

The Lions designated Ansah as their franchise player for 2018. When healthy, the defensive end is worth all $17.143 million he’ll earn with the tag. But would a long-term deal make sense for the Lions? Read more from Michael Rothstein.

Dolphins tag WR Jarvis Landry

Miami used its nonexclusive franchise tag on the wide receiver, who informed the team that he will sign it until both can work out a trade with another team if all parties agree on compensation. The Ravens and Bears are among at least five teams to talk with Landry’s agent about a potential trade, though no deal is imminent, according to a source.

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Sources — Las Vegas Raiders under investigation over unauthorized locker room access

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After a week when Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders received heavy fines for violating sideline COVID-19 protocols, the team is now under an NFL investigation for another protocol-related violation – allowing unauthorized locker room access, league sources tell ESPN.

The alleged violation occurred after Monday night’s win over the New Orleans Saints, when an unauthorized team employee entered the Raiders’ locker room without the credentials to do so, according to sources.

The NFL will continue to enforce this limitation and will impose discipline for violations, according to a source. The league, with the help of state and federal committees as well as the NFLPA, has established strict thresholds regarding access — meant to curb and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This season, only 40 employees in each organization are allowed to be in the locker room, based on the NFL policy distributed to all teams. The list of employees allowed in the locker room, aside from the players, are the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, the equipment staff, the general manager, one member of team security and one member of the team’s public relations/communications department.

The league believes there’s evidence that a non-credentialed person eluded the security checkpoints to enter the Raiders’ locker room Monday night, according to sources, and is now closely studying the incident and determining whether discipline is warranted.

The NFL already fined Gruden $100,000 and the Raiders $250,000 because Gruden was not consistently wearing his mask while on the sideline Monday night. Gruden, when asked after the game why he wasn’t always wearing his mask, responded that he was “doing my best.”

“I’ve had the virus,” Gruden said. “I’m doing my best. I’m very sensitive about it. … I’m calling plays. I just want to communicate in these situations, and if I get fined, I’ll have to pay the fine. But I’m very sensitive about that and I apologize.”

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Green Bay Packers consider Davante Adams a game-time decision for Sunday night game

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The Green Bay Packers will give star wide receiver Davante Adams up until game time Sunday night to recover from his hamstring injury and prove that he can play against the New Orleans Saints, a team source tells ESPN.

Adams is officially listed as doubtful, and the source told ESPN that it’s “unlikely” he will play. But the source also said that if Adams can prove he can run full speed in pregame warm-ups on Sunday night, the Packers would allow him to play.

The Pro Bowl receiver did not practice Friday, marking the third straight day he worked with the rehab group. Adams tied a franchise record in Week 1 with 14 catches against the Minnesota Vikings and had three catches last Sunday against the Detroit Lions before suffering the injury.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur has stopped short of ruling out Adams completely, saying Friday that Green Bay “will give him the rest of the week to see where he’s at.”

It was during Adams’ absence last season that running back Aaron Jones emerged. In the first game without Adams, Jones had four touchdowns in a win at the Dallas Cowboys and totaled 182 total yards from scrimmage. Against the Lions last week, Jones set a personal best with 236 total yards.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.

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Las Vegas Raiders expect Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs to face New England Patriots

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While the Las Vegas Raiders have listed tight end Darren Waller (knee) and running back Josh Jacobs (hip) as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, both are expected to play, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Waller had 12 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints on Monday and drew praise from Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Waller has 18 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown on the season.

In other injury news:

  • It doesn’t sound overly encouraging but Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, is not expected to have his final status decided until about 90 minutes before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, a source tells Schefter. “It’s nip and tuck, up in the air,” one Falcons’ source said Saturday.

  • Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown is nursing a “pretty significant knee bruise” that hasn’t responded as well or as quickly as the team had hoped, a source tells Schefter. It is a painful injury, and Brown easily could wind up missing more time with the slow-healing nature of it.

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