NFL free agency is already off and running.
Though deals cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday, many players and teams have already reached pacts with the opening of the negotiating window on Monday. And several more big names could be next in line on Tuesday.
USA TODAY Sports will be tracking and breaking down all the biggest signings and moves throughout the day, so bookmark and refresh this page for the latest news and analysis.
Report: Cardinals land former Bills DT Phillips
The Cardinals have signed free-agent defensive tackle Jordan Phillips to a three-year contract, according to a report by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Phillips, who is 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, comes to the Cardinals from the Buffalo Bills, where he spent the past two seasons. He’s coming off a career-best season in which he posted 9½ sacks, 31 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits.
The deal is worth $30 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Phillips was a second-round pick out of Oklahoma by the Miami Dolphins in 2015. Phillips, 27, has played in all 16 games each of the past three years and in 76 career games, has 113 tackles, 15 sacks and 27 tackles for loss.
– Arizona Republic
Brees back with Saints on two-year, $50 million contract
As one of the NFL’s most decorated quarterbacks prepares to find a new team in free agency, another one extended his long-running relationship with his current organization.
On the same day that Tom Brady announced he would leave the New England Patriots, Drew Brees reached agreement on a two-year, $50 million contract to remain with the New Orleans Saints, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal terms of the agreement.
NFL Network was first to report the deal.
Brees, 41, stated in February that he intended to return for a 20th season in the NFL and made it clear he planned to do so with the Saints.
Giants bring aboard former Packers LB Martinez
GREEN BAY, Wisc. – News that the Green Bay Packers had agreed to terms with free-agent inside linebacker Christian Kirksey before the start of the legal tampering period Monday offered a strong indication that Blake Martinez would be headed elsewhere. That’s what happened just before midnight Central time when Martinez reportedly agreed to a $30 million deal with the New York Giants.
PackersNews.com reported the Packers were interested in keeping Martinez during the NFL scouting combine in February, but not at the price he was looking for – and ultimately received – at $10 million per year over three years.
Martinez was a fourth-round pick out of Stanford in 2016 and grew into a team leader in four seasons with the Packers. He hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year and has made at least 140 total tackles each of the last three seasons.
– Jim Owczarski, Green Bay Press Gazette
Reports: Cowboys re-sign WR Cooper, lose WR Cobb to Texans
The Dallas Cowboys didn’t secure Amari Cooper before he hit the open market, at risk of another team poaching him.
But by Monday night, the receiver got what he’s long said he wanted: He’s staying in Dallas.
The Cowboys agreed to terms on a five-year, $100 million extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The deal confirms that both Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott, who received the exclusive franchise tag from Dallas on Monday, will stay put with new coach Mike McCarthy.
Dallas will lose one of its top targets, however, in slot receiver Randall Cobb, who is joining the Houston Texans on a three-year, $27 million contract, according to multiple reports. Cobb was expected to be a key piece in helping aid the transition to McCarthy given his experience with the coach during their time together in Green Bay.
Report: Raiders bring on QB Mariota
The Las Vegas Raiders found some quarterback clarity — and it doesn’t involve Tom Brady.
The Raiders agreed to a deal with former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, according to NFL Network.
Mariota, 26, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft after a decorated career at Oregon that included a Heisman Trophy win. He was the team’s starter from his rookie campaign until this past October, when Ryan Tannehill took over the role and helped power the team all the way to the AFC championship game. The Titans on Sunday signed Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million contract.
Patriots lose another starting LB
The New England Patriots will have to break in another new starting linebacker in 2020.
After Kyle Van Noy reached a deal with the Miami Dolphins, Jamie Collins was the next to go, agreeing to terms with the Detroit Lions on a three-year, $30 million contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
Collins, 30, will be reunited with Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who previously was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator. After being released by the Browns last March, Collins resurrected his career in his second stint in New England, recording 81 tackles and seven sacks in 2019.
Dolphins continue to remake defense
The Patriots are losing a key part of their 2019 defense.
Kyle Van Noy is signing a four-year, $51 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, According to the NFL Network. This reunites Van Noy with former Patriots linebacker coach/defensive play caller Brian Flores, who is now the Dolphins’ head coach.
Van Noy, 28, is coming off the best season of his career. The outside linebacker finished the 2019 season first on the Patriots in quarterback hits (15), tied for first in forced fumbles and second in sacks (6 1/2) to go with 56 total tackles. He set career highs in sacks, quarterback hits and forced fumbles.
Miami has been aggressive in remaking its defense in free agency. In addition to making Byron Jones the NFL’s top-paid cornerback, the team also zeroed in on former Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson.
– Mark Daniels, Providence Journal
Eagles beef up front four
Fletcher Cox is about to have a little more help.
The Philadelphia Eagles reached a three-year, $39 million pact with nose tackle Javon Hargrave, according to multiple reports.
At 6-2, 305 pounds, the former Pittsburgh Steelers standout commands significant attention in the middle. The Eagles also re-signed defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway on Monday and still have Malik Jackson in the fold.
Bears look to Packers castoff Graham to address TE problem
The Chicago Bears looked to their rival’s discard pile in hopes of helping their passing game.
No, they didn’t make a move for a quarterback. But the Bears signed former Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal that includes $9 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.
Graham, 33, struggled to find his place in Green Bay and was released two years into a three-year deal. But even with diminished production in 2019, his 447 receiving yards and three touchdowns were more than what every tight end on the Bears roster combined to record last year (422 yards, two touchdowns).
Ravens continue to bolster D-line
One day after landing Calais Campbell in a trade, the Baltimore Ravens continued to add to their defensive line on Monday.
The Ravens agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with defensive lineman Michael Brockers, according to multiple reports.
Baltimore now boasts a formidable front line of Campbell, Brockers and Brandon Williams.
Cowboys lose CB Jones to Dolphins
The Dallas Cowboys won’t be keeping all their stars.
On the same day they gave the franchise tag to QB Dak Prescott, the Cowboys lost CB Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins, who made him the highest-paid player at his position in the NFL. Jones agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million deal with $57 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condtion of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
With the signing, Miami now has a formidable cornerback tandem in Jones and Xavien Howard, who was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018. The Cowboys now will be pressed to replace Jones either in free agency or early in the draft, perhaps with the No. 17 overall pick.
Lions pony up for OT Vaitai
The Detroit Lions made their first move of free agency Monday, and in true Bob Quinn fashion it’s help for their offensive line.
The Lions agreed to a five-year, $50 million deal with Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai, SiriusXM NFL radio first reported.
Vaitai started three games for the Eagles last season and has played as Philadelphia’s swing tackle most of the past four seasons.
He started at left tackle in place of an injured Jason Peters during the Eagles’ 2017 run to the Super Bowl.
He’s capable of playing both right tackle and right guard, but immediately becomes the favorite to start on the right side after Rick Wagner’s release.
Wagner, the Lions’ starting right tackle the last three seasons, was cut Friday and signed with the Green Bay Packers on Monday.
– Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
Browns pick up OT Conklin, QB Keenum
The Browns made a huge and much-needed splash on the offensive line Monday by securing right tackle Jack Conklin.
Conkin and the Browns agreed to terms on a three-year, $42 million contract contract, which includes $30 million fully guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed. Conklin will make $20 million in the first year of the deal, Rosenhaus said.
Conklin, 25, started all 57 regular-season games in which he appeared the past four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, who drafted him eighth overall in 2016 out of Michigan State University.
According to multiple reports, the Browns also reached a three-year, $18 million deal with quarterback Case Keenum, who will serve as Baker Mayfield’s backup. Keenum is reunited with head coach Kevin Stefanski, who served as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator in 2017 when Keenum was the starting quarterback.
– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal
Report: Falcons land TE in trade
With Austin Hooper seemingly set to leave, the Atlanta Falcons have found a possible replacement at tight end.
The Falcons will receive tight end Hayden Hurst and a fourth-round pick in 2020 from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick in 2020, according to ESPN.
Hurst, 26, was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft out of South Carolina but struggled to find a consistent role with the Ravens in his first two seasons. He had 30 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Raiders land former Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski
The Raiders have landed their first free agent in Las Vegas, agreeing to a deal with former Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, per reports. Kwiatkoski seemed to confirm the reports by tweeting out a rendering of the Raiders’ forthcoming Las Vegas stadium.
A fourth-round draft pick out of West Virginia in 2016, Kwiatkoski recorded 76 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks in 2019 while staring eight games. He could be part of a significant linebacker makeover for the Raiders, who earlier in March released Tahir Whitehead.
Browns working toward deal with TE Austin Hooper
The Browns are working toward closing a deal with unrestricted free agent tight end Austin Hooper, a person familiar with the contract negotiation told USA TODAY Network said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because deals cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
It would be their first major acquisition with new general manager Andrew Berry in charge of the roster.
Hooper spent the past four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, who drafted him in the third round (No. 81 overall) in 2016 out of Stanford University.
Hooper, 25, started 10 of the 13 games in which he appeared last season and posted career bests in catches (75), receiving yards (787) and touchdowns (six).
NFL Network reported the Browns and Hooper agreed to contractual terms, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, but the person familiar with the negotiation said the deal hadn’t been finalized just yet.
Hooper also told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “I’m definitely leaning Cleveland. Unless something comes up unexpected, then no question Cleveland is the leader.”
– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal
Dolphins reach deal with Flowers; Lawson up next
The Dolphins jumped into free agency by adding offensive lineman Ereck Flowers on Monday on a three-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because contracts cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.
The deal is for $30 million with $19.95 fully guaranteed, the person said.
The Dolphins also are expected to land former Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson on a three-year deal worth up to $36 million, according to NFL network.
Flowers, 25, and a Miami native, had a career resurgence as a guard with Washington in 2019.
Flowers had been inconsistent as an offensive tackle for the Giants and Jaguars.
Flowers was the 30th-best guard in the NFL in 2019 as ranked by Pro Football Focus. This would make Flowers a slightly above average starter.
Miami has veteran Jesse Davis and second-year player Michael Deiter available to play guard. So this gives the Dolphins some flexibility.
Depending on how the rest of free agency and the NFL Draft go, Davis could play right tackle or guard.
Lawson, 25, recorded a career-high 6 1/2 sacks last season. Miami ranked last in the NFL with just 23 sacks in 2019.
– Joe Schad, Palm Beach Post
49ers sign Arik Armstead to long-term deal
The San Francisco 49ers didn’t end up using the franchise tag on defensive end Arik Armstead, as the team instead locked him up to a long-term deal. Armstead agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the 49ers on Monday, according to multiple reports.
Armstead, 26, more than doubled his previous career sack total by tallying 10 in 2019’s Pro Bowl campaign. The Sacramento native has stated his desire to remain with San Francisco.
The 49ers also re-signed safety Jimmie Ward but could have a difficult time bringing back wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Packers sign ex-Browns LB Christian Kirksey
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers didn’t wait until the formal start of 2020 free agency to sign a player. They have agreed to terms with linebacker Christian Kirksey to a two-year deal, a person with knowledge of the move told the USA TODAY Network on Monday.
Kirksey was released by the Cleveland Browns on March 10 and as a vested veteran, he was free to sign with any team immediately. He visited the Packers on March 12 and PackersNews.com learned he had his physical taken then.
The deal is for a total of $16 million.
Kirksey, who will be 28 by the start of the regular season, will be entering his seventh season. He has played just nine games the last two years and one league linebackers coach told PackersNews.com that he is “good fit” for the Packers but is an injury risk.
Kirksey last played a full season in 2017 for the Browns, but he has been a team captain. He has suffered season-ending muscle injuries the last two years, with a hamstring ending his 2018 season after seven games and a torn pectoral muscle finishing 2019 prematurely.
– Jim Owczarski, PackersNews.com