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2014 Free Agent News - Around the League - The FA Frenzy Begins

Posted: 2/25/2014 8:47 AM

2014 Free Agent News - Around the League - The FA Frenzy Begins 


I thought I'd start a new free agent thread:

Maurice Jones-Drew may be thinking about homecoming

Posted by Darin Gantt on February 25, 2014, 8:53 AM EST
San Francisco 49ers strong safety Whitner brings down Jacksonville Jaguars running back Jones-Drew in the third quarter during their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in LondonReuters

The 49ers are loaded in the backfield right now, but it’s possible that one big-time back could be looking to join them.

Via Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis posted a photo of himself and Jaguars runningMaurice Jones-Drew onto Instagram, with the caption “Me and Maurice Jones Drew discussing the FUTURE a few nights ago. #San Francisco.’’

While that’s not “hastagtampering,” it is an interesting idea. The 49ers have an expensive veteran in Frank Gore ($6.45 million in salary) in front of several young prospects, and there were suggestions earlier this offseason that Gore could be a salary cap casualty.

But General Manager Trent Baalke took great pains at the Scouting Combine to say that didn’t necessarily have to be the case.

“The simple answer is there’s no reason it can’t be,” Baalke replied when asked if Gore’s numbers were compatible with the cap. “We’re in good shape from the cap’s standpoint, so the decision on that [is] there’s really no decision to be made. We can move forward exactly as is, if that’s what we choose to do.”

Gore handled 75 percent of last year’s offensive snaps, but they have redshirt Marcus Lattimore and Kendall Hunter in reserve, along withLaMichael James.

If they choose to move away from the 30-year-old Gore, the 28-year-old Jones-Drew would likely love to join forces with Davis.

He’s from the Bay Area, and after languishing in mediocrity or worse in Jacksonville, would likely welcome a chance to join a contender.

But that would require several moving parts, and probably moving one high-priced back out. And if the 49ers want to beat Gore’s salary down to a more palatable number, having guys volunteering to take his place probably won’t hurt.

Last edited 3/11/2014 4:14 PM by hobson54

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Posted: 2/25/2014 8:48 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Jerry Jones admits DeMarcus Ware could be a cap casualty

Posted by Mike Florio on February 24, 2014, 10:22 PM EST
jerry-jonesGetty Images

The Cowboys’ salary-cap problems may not be huge, but they could be big enough to claim one of the highest-priced defensive players in the league.

Owner Jerry Jones acknowledged on ESPN’s SportsCenter that defensive endDeMarcus Ware could be cut due to his high salary and cap number.

“There’s no question when you are where we are on the cap, even though we’ve had some new cap space added, and you have a defensive player that’s your highest paid defensive player, and he hasn’t been on the field much the last two years, that has to be considered,” Jones said, via John Machota of the Dallas Morning News.  “You can’t have it all.”

Ware has a cap number of $16 million in 2014, which largely comes from a base salary of $12.25 million.  During the 2013 season, Jones called Ware out for his inability to contribute at a higher level.

“He’s had a tough time getting on the practice field because of various injuries,” Jones said Monday.  “All of that we have to weigh with how much of that has impacted him for the future as well as where he is in his career and with his age.  Those are the ingredients in the stew.  Now we’ve got to stir it up and see where we’re going.  It will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses.”

In other words, unless Ware voluntarily reduces his cap allotment, the team may do it for him.

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Posted: 2/25/2014 8:48 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Brent Grimes “pretty optimistic” about a new contract in Miami

Posted by Michael David Smith on February 24, 2014, 7:02 PM EST
Miami Dolphins v Indianapolis ColtsGetty Images

Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes says his agent and the team have been talking, and Grimes feels good about a deal getting done before he becomes a free agent on March 11.

I’m pretty optimistic,” Grimes told the Miami Herald. “They said they like me here and want to have me back. Hopefully, it happens sooner than later, and I don’t have to worry about it.”

Grimes signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Dolphins last year and earned that money with a strong season in which he started all 16 games. If the Dolphins put the franchise tag on Grimes, they would be guaranteeing him more than double his 2013 salary, as the 2014 cornerback tender will be about $11.3 million, but Grimes said he doesn’t want to be franchised.

“Nobody wants to get franchise tag, another one-year deal,” Grimes said.

Grimes wants a long-term deal, and he thinks he’ll have it soon.

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Posted: 2/25/2014 8:49 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


R

eport: Ravens “making progress” with Dennis Pitta

Posted by Darin Gantt on February 24, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
PIttaGetty Images

When it comes to NFL teams dealing with potential free agents, “close” can be a dangerous word.

But there are at least some signs the Ravens are moving in the right direction with tight end Dennis Pitta.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the two sides are “making progress” toward a deal, though nothing is imminent.

They have until the March 3 franchise tag deadline, though tagging Pittacould be problematic in that regard as well.

But for a negotiation that was described as “far apart” within the last week, “making progress” sounds like a good thing.

 
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Report: Sam Shields, Packers in “ongoing” negotiations

Posted by Josh Alper on February 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EST
1c79c948e7847931dadd8979164f9579AP

The 32 NFL teams spend their time in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine analyzing and interviewing prospects to add to their rosters in May.

They also spend time meeting with agents to discuss contracts for their pending free agents ahead of the start of free agency. Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports that the Packers did just that with Drew Rosenhaus, who represents cornerback Sam Shields.

Per Demovsky, no deal is considered imminent but the two sides are engaged in “ongoing” negotiations designed to keep Shields in Green Bay for the long term. Shields was a restricted free agent last year and made $2.023 million after being tendered by the Packers. He intercepted four passes in 14 games, but was forced out of the team’s playoff loss to the 49ers by a knee injury.

That injury isn’t expected to have any lasting impact into next season, which would leave Shields with a clear path to retaining his starting job and place as one of the Packers’ best defenders. General Manager Ted Thompson hasn’t ruled out using the franchise tag on Shields, but the team would surely prefer to avoid the $11 million price tag while Shields likely would prefer a long-term deal to a one-year contract.

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Posted: 2/25/2014 8:51 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Cards' next LT: Albert, Kouandjio? 

February, 25, 2014
FEB 25
7:59
AM ET
By  Tom Carpenter  | ESPN.com
It's widely expected that the  Arizona Cardinals will try to sign  Kansas City Chiefs LT Branden Albert when free agency opens up next month. 
"I’m told the Arizona Cardinals will make a big run at Branden Albert if he hits free agency as expected,"  wrote Tony Pauline  of TFY Draft Insiders. "If they don’t come away with Albert sources say the Cardinals will look offensive tackle in round one."  Furthermore, Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 said he expects Albert to be the Cardinals' " #1 free agent target ," and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter thinks that the  Miami Dolphins could get into the mix, too.  "Don't be surprised if AZ and MIA have at least some level of interest in Chiefs OT Branden Albert, who's not expected to return to KC,"  he tweeted .  As for how much the Cards might offer Albert, ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss thinks they won't be willing to break the bank to protect QB  Carson Palmer .  "My best guess is that the Cardinals won’t pay more than $8 million,"  he wrote . "They paid guard  Daryn Colledge  $5 million last year, and left tackle is a premium position. They might go higher depending on how the rest of free agency pans out, but I wouldn’t expect them to pay Branden Albert much more than that." 
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Posted: 2/25/2014 11:50 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Thanks for all the info 55.
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Posted: 2/25/2014 12:50 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


NT
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Posted: 2/25/2014 12:55 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Nice to hear about the Ravens and Pitta starting to make progress. If the Ravens re~sign Pitta, this just means one less team that'll draft Ebron. Watkins and Ebron are by far my two favorite offensive talents during this years draft. Watkins will be gone top 5 and I'm hopeful that Ebron is there at 18 for the snagging. But reality says Ebron won't be there at 18. He's the highest rated pass catching TE prospect coming out since Vernon Davis of the 49ers. If he falls out of the top 10 I'm praying for a trade up in order to land an explosive pass catching TE with ELITE athletic ability.
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Posted: 2/25/2014 1:14 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Door not closed on Pickett and Raji, but Mike McCarthy’s talking up Josh Boyd

Posted by Josh Alper on February 25, 2014, 11:34 AM EST
0cc2c1a6d33c54a1917d324a3bc019a0AP

The Packers have four defensive linemen among the potential free agents on their roster and coach Mike McCarthy said that it isn’t practical for the team to keep all of them.

That could lead to an opening for Josh Boyd. The 2013 fifth-round pick played sparingly as a rookie, but McCarthy said that he thinks Boyd is big enough to play the nose (where he could replace Ryan Pickett) and flexible enough to play elsewhere on the line.

“I don’t want Josh to bulk up,” McCarthy said, via Bob McGinn of theMilwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think Josh definitely has the flexibility. He’s shown he can play the nose. He needs to take a huge step, and I think he’ll be one of those players that does in his second year.”

Pickett is joined by B.J. RajiJohnny Jolly and C.J. Wilson as impending free agents. McGinn thinks Jolly might be done because of the cervical disc injury he suffered last season and reports that there’s been “tepid” unofficial interest in Raji during the combine. Raji turned down an offer from the Packers last year that was believed to be worth around $8 million per year and then turned in a largely uninspired season on the Packers line.

That could lead him back to Green Bay on a lesser deal and McCarthy said that Pickett’s return has “not yet” been ruled out, but it seems that Boyd will be in position to grab a larger role however the rest of the line shakes out.

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Posted: 2/25/2014 1:17 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Nicks goes with Roc Nation and CAA

Posted by Mike Florio on February 25, 2014, 11:13 AM EST
NicksGetty Images

As of last week, it appeared that Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks would have the same arrangement as Giants receiverVictor Cruz for representation.  For off-field work, it would be Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.  For on-field representation, the agency would be CAA.

That’s still the case, with a twist.

NFLPA records show that one of Nicks’ agents is Tom Condon of CAA.  The other is Kim Miale, the in-house agent who works for Jay Z’s firm.

(We first noticed that news of Miale’s involvement on the Twitter page of Adam Caplan of ESPN.  We’ve confirmed that, indeed, Miale is one of the new agents for Nicks.)

This development a potentially important question:  How involved was Jay Z in the recruitment of Nicks to sign with Miale?  Because Jay Z isn’t certified by the NFLPA to represent players, he can have only minimal involvement in the efforts of another NFLPA-certified agent to recruit players.  The NFLPA cleared Miale in connection with the possibility that the “runner rule” was violated by the recruitment of Jets quarterbackGeno Smith.  In so doing, the NFLPA also clarified the rule to significantly limit a non-certified agent’s role in meeting with, talking to, and persuading a potential client to sign with a given NFLPA-certified agent.

It’s possible that Condon suggested that Miale’s name also appear on the “Standard Representation Agreement,” given that she works for the firm that will be handling Nicks’ off-field interests.  Regardless, it’s highly likely that Condon will be taking the lead on the negotiation of the contract.

Miale negotiated the Geno Smith contract, a cookie-cutter, slotted, second-round deal that entailed few terms for negotiation.  The Nicks contract will be more complicated, requiring a thorough understanding of the current market for receivers, a sense as to where the market is heading, and a plan for addressing any concerns arising from Nicks’ subpar 2013 season with the Giants.

Miale, a fairly new agent with no other active clients than Smith, will learn a lot from the process.  Which will make her better equipped to recruit future clients to Roc Nation Sports without needing Jay Z to do something NFLPA rules still prevent him from doing — serving as a closer.

Then again, if a player really wants to be represented by Jay Z and his firm, a closer may not be needed.

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Posted: 2/25/2014 8:01 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Jason LaCanfora tweeted that he's hearing several calls have been made to the Bucs inquiring about Revis' availability. I can see Tampa making a deal to get rid of that contract.

And no, not a deal with the Jets.
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Posted: 2/25/2014 8:55 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Thomas DeCoud maybe on the chopping block as well.
He'd be great for our defense.

http://nfltraderumors.co/report-falcons-expected-r elease-s-thomas-decoud/

*The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.*

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Posted: 2/25/2014 9:06 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 



BlindsideBrick wrote: Jason LaCanfora tweeted that he's hearing several calls have been made to the Bucs inquiring about Revis' availability. I can see Tampa making a deal to get rid of that contract.

And no, not a deal with the Jets.
Jason LaConfora makes up the majority of his news.  He was called out by the Rams two weeks ago for making up that the Rams may cut Sam Bradford.  Rams officials called him out for making up that tweet and it turned out he did.  I have no respect for anything he says.

Another "expert" because he's in the media but makes up news...rolleyesrolleyes
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Posted: 2/26/2014 6:47 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


I think 51 posted this on another thread, but Atl had said they're going to release Safety Thomas Decoud. Decoud is 6'2 200lbs and is 28 (will be 29 in March). In 2012 he made the pro bowl with 75 tackles and 6 ints. He had a down year last year with 65 tackles and 0 ints, but as the pass rush disappeared, so did the coverage. Atl is doing this to prevent paying his $3 mill signin bonus. The guy has missed 1 start the last 5 seasons. May be a starting caliber player who can big time produce at a decent price.
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Posted: 2/26/2014 7:26 AM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 




---------------------------------------------
--- Jetman55 wrote:


BlindsideBrick wrote: Jason LaCanfora tweeted that he's hearing several calls have been made to the Bucs inquiring about Revis' availability. I can see Tampa making a deal to get rid of that contract.

And no, not a deal with the Jets.
Jason LaConfora makes up the majority of his news.  He was called out by the Rams two weeks ago for making up that the Rams may cut Sam Bradford.  Rams officials called him out for making up that tweet and it turned out he did.  I have no respect for anything he says.

Another "expert" because he's in the media but makes up news...rolleyesrolleyes

---------------------------------------------

Oh snap, in Sirius they just the Miami dolphins have issued a public statement saying Jason Laconfora tweet that they intend to release Martin is completely false, made up, and their is no source within the Miami organization reporting these details to Mr. Laconfora. The Miami Dolphins are working through this process with the NFL and will let the process work its course.

He and Mehta should both be unemployed.
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Posted: 2/26/2014 5:34 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Riley Cooper resigned by Eagles Maclin to hit the market.
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Posted: 2/26/2014 5:43 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


Funny stat - the entire NFC west combine to have $14 mill in cap space...Oakland is $65 mill under the cap.
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Posted: 2/26/2014 5:51 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 



Jetman55 wrote: Riley Cooper resigned by Eagles Maclin to hit the market.
http://profootballtalk.nbcspor...h-riley-cooper/



They still may get Maclin on a one year deal. If he hits the open market, we have a shot.
Not on my Watch    
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Posted: 2/26/2014 6:21 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 




---------------------------------------------
--- football51 wrote:


Jetman55 wrote: Riley Cooper resigned by Eagles Maclin to hit the market.
profootballtalk.nbcspor...h-riley-cooper/



They still may get Maclin on a one year deal. If he hits the open market, we have a shot.

---------------------------------------------

Awwwww, just saw that Maclin set to resign. Jackson already talking to Titans And Browns at MLB.
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Posted: 2/26/2014 7:43 PM

Re: 2014 Free Agent News - Around the League 


CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports seven teams reached out to free agent ILB D'Qwell Jackson following his release from the Browns on Wednesday.

This is probably a bit agent-driven, but NFL Network's Jeff Darlington, who is a high school pal of Jackson's, also confirmed that Jackson was drawing heavy interest. Darlington reports Jackson, 30, will start his tour Thursday. He's going to have plenty of suitors and can play in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes.

ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim hears the team likes free agent FS Mike Mitchell.

The Redskins have holes at both safety spots. Mitchell can play either one. He's coming off a career-year and will look to cash in after playing on a one-year, $1 million deal in Carolina. It's also quite possible he was a product of the Panthers' fearsome front seven. Mitchell is a big-time hitter on the back end and does his best work as a blitzer and in coverage.
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