NFL Free Agency 2019: Examining Effect of Biggest Deals from Day 2

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

After sitting out the 2017 season, Le'Veon Bell has agreed to a deal with the New York Jets.
After sitting out the 2017 season, Le'Veon Bell has agreed to a deal with the New York Jets.Don Wright/Associated Press

The official start of free agency begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern Time, but there has been an incredible amount of action during the NFL's legal tampering period.

Big names, big contracts and a huge trade were featured Tuesday during Day 2. While free-agent deals between players and new teams can't be signed until Wednesday, some top players have agreed to deals that they will presumably sign shortly.

Players can change their minds until they put their signature on a contract, and that's what happened on Day 2 with linebacker Anthony Barr of the Minnesota Vikings. He had agreed to a deal with the New York Jets Monday but changed his mind.

Barr will sign a five-year, $67.5 million deal with the Vikings, with $33 million in guarantees, per Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.

While the Barr reversal was a big deal, it wasn't close to the biggest of Day 2, with Le'Veon Bell deciding to sign with the New York Jets.

Bell held out from the Pittsburgh Steelers throughout the 2018 season, but he came to terms with the Jets by agreeing to a four-year, $52.5 million deal, per ESPN Insider Adam Schefter.

Bell, largely considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL prior to his holdout, gives the Jets a superstar at the running back position. 

Bell gained 1,291 rushing yards in 2017 and he is a two-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. He is also a superb receiver.

The Steelers had placed the franchise tag on Bell in 2018, but he refused to report and did not get paid any of the $14.5 million salary he would have been entitled to as a result.


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In terms of the biggest news of the day, the Bell signing received competition from the New York Giants' decision to trade Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns.

While this is not a free-agent signing, it did have ramifications in free agency because Cleveland wide receiver Breshad Perriman decided to leave the Browns and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly after the trade was announced. 

Perriman agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with Tampa Bay, per Schefter and Chris Mortensen.

The Giants decided to send Beckham to the Browns for a first-round draft pick (No. 19), a third-round pick and safety Jabrill Peppers, per Schefter.

Beckham is one of the game's most spectacular receivers, and he is known for his dramatic, eye-catching plays and his ability to run away from coverage. He caught 77 passes for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns with the Giants last season, but he has had issues with consistency.

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The Kansas City Chiefs' decision to trade defensive end Dee Ford to the San Francisco 49ers is nearly as big as the Beckham trade to Cleveland, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated

The Chiefs will get a 2020 second-round draft choice for Ford, and the pass rusher has been given a franchise tag to prevent him from becoming a free agent. Ford had 13.0 sacks with the Chiefs last season.

Defensive end Cameron Wake of the Miami Dolphins has agreed to a three-year, $23 million deal with the Tennessee Titans, per Schefter.

Wake had 6.0 sacks for the Dolphins last season, and he accumulated 98 sacks during his career with the Dolphins. The 37-year-old pass rusher ranks second in team history to Jason Taylor in sacks (131).

The Chicago Bears made a move to upgrade their kickoff return game and the wide receiver position by agreeing to a deal with speedster Cordarrelle Patterson of the New England Patriots. Patterson will sign a two-year, $10 million deal, per Schefter.

Patterson took on a "slash" role for the Patriots in 2018, as he carried the ball out of the backfield 42 times for 228 yards. He also caught 21 passes for 247 yards and three TDs, and he had 663 yards in kickoff returns, including a touchdown against the Bears.

After losing out when Barr decided to return to the Vikings, the Jets and defensive end Henry Anderson came to an agreement on a three-year, $25.2 million deal, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Anderson had a team-high 7.0 sacks for the Jets last season.

The first two days of free agency negotiations have resulted in a slew of new contract agreements, and more are likely to be at hand Wednesday.