Day 3 of NFL free agency on Thursday started out slow, but things started heating up in the afternoon with some big deals being announced for some of the top players on the market.
Cornerback Sean Smith, running back Steven Jackson and outside linebacker Connor Barwin all agreed to contracts on Thursday, and all three are heading to new teams in 2013.
We've got the details on which teams landed these stars, along with any known particulars of the deals they agreed to.
Sean Smith, Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs
The former Miami Dolphins cornerback stayed in the AFC, and he'll be one of the men responsible for stopping Peyton Manning and his impressive trio of receivers.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora first broke the news:
The Chiefs have agreed to terms with CB Sean Smith, formerly of the Dolphins— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 14, 2013
Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper reports that Smith agreed to a three-year contract worth $18 million, with $11 million guaranteed.
Considering the contracts teams were handing out last year at the same time to the "top" corners on the market, Kansas City made a savvy deal to acquire one of the best man-to-man cover men in the 2013 free-agent class.
In his four years with the Dolphins, Smith logged five interceptions and broke up 40 passes. He also forced three fumbles last season, and his physical style of play will be a welcome addition to the Chiefs' defense.
Connor Barwin, Outside Linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been busy this week, and the team's latest acquisition is the pass-rushing specialist from the Houston Texans.
Barwin agreed to a six-year deal with the Eagles, first reported by the Houston Chronicle's Tania Ganguli:
The deal is done. Connor Barwin is going to the Eagles. #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 14, 2013
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora then provided an insight into the amount of money Barwin could earn in this deal:
Strong deal for Connor Barwin in Philly - 6 years, $36M, with the chance to earn a max of $40M including guarantees.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 14, 2013
While that's certainly a lot of money, we later found out that only $8 million is guaranteed, per PhiladelphiaEagles.com's Adam Caplan.
Will Barwin be a bust, or will he have a big year in 2013?
Barwin had a down year statistically for the Texans, logging just three sacks. But he busted out with 11.5 sacks in 2011, which is certainly along the lines of what the Eagles will be expecting from him this season.
The beauty of this contract for the Eagles is that if Barwin works out, he's well worth the money. If he fails to produce, the Eagles can cut their losses without fear of long-term salary-cap implications.
Steven Jackson, Running Back, Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons only had one weakness on offense last year.
Michael Turner struggled throughout the season, and the team didn't have much of a running game to speak of, averaging just 87.3 yards a game, which ranked No. 28 in the NFL.
That's not going to be an issue in 2013, as the Falcons agreed to terms with Jackson on a three-year deal, via the team's official Twitter account:
Orlando D. Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution later provided the specifics of this deal:
Jackson has rushed for over 10,000 yards in his nine-year career with the St. Louis Rams, and he rushed for over 1,000 yards last year. He still has a lot to offer, and his ability to pound the rock between the tackles will force teams to cover the entire field.
This is a huge problem for opposing defenses, because the Falcons feature one of the most dynamic passing attacks in the league, with Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and Julio Jones.
Atlanta will be tough to beat in 2013.
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