It was a busy day one around the NFL, as literally hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts were signed at a record pace in day one of free agency.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) March 9, 2017
Locally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took some important steps to filling some needs and improve on last year’s 9-7 finish. The DeSean Jackson to Tampa rumors finally came to fruition, as the speedy wideout, formerly of the Washington Redskins, signed with the Bucs. The deal is for three years and $33.5 million, including $20 million in guarantees, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Jackson give the Bucs the deep threat they lack to pair with workhorse all pro receiver Mike Evans.
The Bucs weren’t finished there, as they bolstered their interior defensive line, signing defensive lineman Chris Baker, also of the Washington Redskins. Baker, a fifth year veteran out of Hampton, will likely start at the defensive tackle spot next to all pro Gerald McCoy. Baker’s deal is reported to be over six million per year over three years.
A former Buc, backup quarterback Mike Glennon signed a deal that would make him the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears. On the same day the Bears cut longtime starter Jay Cutler, they signed Glennon to a three-year deal worth $43.5 million. The deal includes $18.5 million in guarantees.
Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars made a couple of moves that should bolster their defense significantly. The Jaguars signed Houston Texans’ cornerback A.J. Bouye to a 5 year, $67.5 million deal. Bouye, who is only 25 years old, had a breakout 2016 season, where he had interceptions in both of the Texans’ playoff game. The Jaguars also signed defensive tackle Calais Campbell of the Arizona Cardinals. Despite a late push by the Denver Broncos, Campbell signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the Jaguars that includes $30 million guaranteed.
The Jaguars may not be done yet. They have reached an agreement with Dallas Cowboys’ safety Barry Church. Although the deal is not finalized, it’s reported to be somewhere in the neighborhood of four-years, $26 million.
BROWNS: We’re prepared to take Brock Osweiler for…
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 9, 2017
In the most bizarre deal of the day, the Houston Texans traded quarterback Brock Osweiler, a second and sixth round pick to the Cleveland Browns for only a fourth round pick. The Texans were looking for a partner to help them get rid of the quarterback’s $16 million guaranteed contract. Cleveland will take on Osweiler’s contract, and they are talking to several teams who are interested in the signal caller. The Browns, meanwhile, are reported to be interested in New England Patriots’ backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. With two picks each in the first and second round, the Browns have the ammunition to pull off a deal if the Patriots are interested.
A couple of veteran offensive linemen found new homes on Thursday. Russell Okung, formerly the left tackle of the Denver Broncos, signed a four-year, $53 million contract with $13.25 million guaranteed to play for the Los Angeles Chargers. Meanwhile, Andrew Whitworth has a deal in place with Los Angeles’ other team, the Rams. Whitworth is leaving Cincinnati after 12 seasons with the Bengals. Whitworth is reportedly signing a three-year deal worth $36 million.
In a deal that proves it’s not always about the money, safety Tony Jefferson said no to a bigger deal from the Cleveland Browns and yes to a chance to compete for the AFC North title, when he agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Jefferson going to the Ravens takes away what many believed to be the top safety choice on the market, and will force the Buccaneers took look elsewhere to help them improve at safety.
Elsewhere, Alshon Jeffery inked a one year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles worth $14 million. Jeffrey played under the franchise tag last season and had his second disappointing season in a row, dealing with injuries and a four game suspension for PEDs. Jeffery will instantly become a number one receiver for the Eagles who lacked anything close to a true number one receiver in Carson Wentz‘s first season in the league.
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