Daily 2020 NFL Free-Agent Signings, Trades Grades for Day 2 of Tampering Period
We've learned something over the past couple of days that we already knew: The NFL is a perpetual motion machine.
Monday's first day of the legal tampering period brought with it a frenzy of activity, including a pair of stunning trades involving prominent wide receivers.
You can check out Brad Gagnon's grades for those trades and signings here. As we inch closer to Wednesday's start of the 2020 league year, here's a look at how teams fared on the second day of spending.
Buccaneers Sign QB Tom Brady
Yes, you read that right. And yes, it looks weird—and will look even weirder when we see The Golden Boy wearing a helmet that's more pirate than patriot.
From the moment New England's season ended in that stunning loss to the Tennessee Titans, the future of Tom Brady has been the story of free agency. That story now has an ending—or a new beginning, depending on how you look at it. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Brady will receive $30 million a season to become the starting quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And Chris Godwin will get a new boat for giving up his No. 12 jersey.
There's a lot to unpack here—more than I could hope to get into without turning this into War and Peace. So, we'll focus on what this means for Tampa.
Less-than-stellar receiving options notwithstanding, Brady showed real signs of decline in 2019. He'll be 43 when the season starts—four years older than Peyton Manning was when his wheels fell off on the way to his second Super Bowl win.
Yes, Brady will have a great wideout duo to throw to in Godwin and Mike Evans. But their running back situation is unsettled. So is the offensive line. And the secondary. The Broncos didn't win Super Bowl 50 because of Peyton Manning. They won it in spite of him.
And that took four years.
You can't fault the Buccaneers for pulling this trigger. The fanbase in Tampa is going to be off the chain. The Buccaneers will now be the "it" team of 2020.
But they aren't winning a Super Bowl this year. Or the NFC South. And in a year or two, they will be right back at square one again.
Colts Sign QB Philip Rivers
Well, folks—it came to pass.
Almost from the moment the Los Angeles Chargers announced they were moving on from quarterback Philip Rivers, fans and pundits alike started connecting the dots between the veteran signal-caller and the Indianapolis Colts. Rivers wanted to keep playing, and the Colts had a van filled with cash and aspirations of a quick rebound.
Glove, meet hand.
According to Schefter, the Colts and Rivers came to an agreement that will pay the 38-year-old $25 million in 2020.
It's good work if you can get it—and a near-perfect signing.
If Rivers has anything left, he'll lead a playoff-caliber team with talent on both sides of the ball. If he's the player who looked washed up for much of last year, the Colts are only committed to him for one year. With Jacoby Brissett's contract also up after next season, Indy can hit the reset button.
Boom goes the dynamite—or whatever it is the kids say.
Panthers Sign QB Teddy Bridgewater
The times they are a-changin' in Charlotte.
The Carolina Panthers have made it abundantly clear the Matt Rhule era won't begin with Cam Newton—who was MVP in 2015 and led the team to a Super Bowl in his nine seasons—under center.
The team did so by, according to Schefter, agreeing to terms on a three-year, $63 million contract with Teddy Bridgewater.
For Bridgewater, it's the culmination of a saga that will one day be a Disney movie—from first-round pick to leading the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs to a severe injury to over a year of rehab to a stint as Drew Brees' backup to a 5-0 mark as the starter in New Orleans in 2019, which showed he's healthy and capable of winning games.
It's rather amazing.
For the Panthers, it's a franchise-defining turn of the page. And whether you agree that Newton's time as the team's starter should end, it's hard to debate that getting a proven starter for $21 million per season is one heck of a plan B.
Jets Sign C Connor McGovern
It was no secret that the New York Jets entered free agency looking to upgrade an offensive line that was among the NFL's worst in 2019. But as the legal tampering period got underway Monday, Gang Green found itself on the outside looking in as big names like Jack Conklin came off the board.
The Jets have added help from the second tier, though. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, they agreed to terms with former Broncos center Connor McGovern on a three-year, $27 million pact that includes $18 million in guarantees. A 2016 fifth-round pick of Denver, the 26-year-old McGovern made 31 starts for Denver over the last two years.
At first gander, many Jets fans may be upset that the team missed out on the big names in free agency. But the team has played this pretty well.
New York didn't need one lineman to fill one need. It needed an overhaul. Doing that requires getting value in free agency.
Landing a young center who has shown he can play in the NFL for less than $10 million annually is just that.
Bengals Sign CB Trae Waynes
The pod people got Mike Brown too. (It's another Invasion of the Body Snatchers reference. I'm old. Don't judge me.)
On one hand, while making one splash signing in free agency is weird for the Cincinnati Bengals, making two in a day is bizarre. But that's what happened Tuesday when, per Rapoport, the Bengals agreed to sign cornerback Trae Waynes to a three-year, $42 million dollar deal with the 27-year-old set to make $20 million in the first year.
However, making bad decisions on personnel is old hat for Brown—and this qualifies.
Every team in the NFL can use cornerback help, and after losing Darqueze Dennard, the Bengals surely qualify. But while Waynes played well in 2019 for the Minnesota Vikings, not that long ago he was considered a first-round bust. His first five seasons were...not worth a contract of $14 million per season.
Paying huge money after an outlier year is almost always a bungle.
Bengals Sign DT D.J. Reader
On Tuesday, the Cincinnati Bengals spent money in free agency.
As reported by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Bengals will sign nose tackle D.J. Reader to a four-year, $53 million pact that makes the 25-year-old the highest-paid nose tackle in the NFL. Reader tallied 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2019, establishing himself as one of the better young lane-cloggers in the league.
On one hand, it's a bit curious that the Bengals (who run a 4-3 base front) not only made a splash signing but also did it for a 1-technique tackle. However, Cincinnati had the worst run defense in football in 2019, and Reader should provide an immediate and significant boost.
It's a good signing, even if it's a surprising one.
Chargers Sign RT Bryan Bulaga
As the quarterback dominos continue to fall and the openings diminish, the Chargers have become (in theory) one of the better ones left. However, the offensive tackle position loomed over the organization as a glaring weakness—especially with Russell Okung now in Carolina.
Consider that weakness addressed.
On Tuesday, the Chargers agreed to terms on a contract with longtime Green Bay Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga, according toSchefter. The deal is for $30 million over three seasons season, per Rapoport (via NFL.com's Nick Shook).
The signing doesn't address the departure of Okung, a left tackle, but the 30-year-old is a sizable upgrade over Sam Tevi on the strong side.
It's a move that should allay the concerns of any veteran quarterback considering signing with the team (especially if he's 42 and runs like he's 82), and any time you can get a competent tackle for $10 million a season, you've done well.
Cowboys Re-Sign WR Amari Cooper
After the Dallas Cowboys slapped the franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott on Monday, there was little question in the minds of many that Jerry Jones would turn his attention to bringing back Prescott's favorite target.
Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Cowboys agreed to terms late Monday with wide receiver Amari Cooper on a five-year, $100 million contract—a deal that will make Cooper the second-highest-paid wideout in the NFL in terms of average annual salary.
The argument can be made that Cooper was overpaid—he was dinged up much of last season and faded badly in December. But injuries and late swoon aside, Cooper still had 1,189 receiving yards in 2019, and as Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk pointed out, at least one other team (Washington) was just as willing as the Cowboys to write a fat check.
You do what you gotta do.
Titans Sign EDGE Vic Beasley Jr.
The Tennessee Titans had been quiet in free agency after re-upping quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Monday. On Tuesday, though, they made their first venture outside the roster—and in doing so addressed one of the team's biggest needs.
According to Rapoport, the Titans agreed to terms on a one-year pact with edge-rusher Vic Beasley Jr., who led the NFL in sacks in 2016 while with the Atlanta Falcons. The deal contains $9.5 million in guarantees but reportedly could be worth $12 million.
Since his breakout season in 2016, Beasley hasn't come close to approaching that level of success. His highest sack total in the last three seasons was the eight he logged a year ago.
With that said, Beasley did come on strong down the stretch in 2019, he is in the prime of his career, and there's not much risk involved in a one-year, "prove it" deal.
It's hard not to like this move for Tennessee.
Dolphins Sign RB Jordan Howard
In 2019, no team averaged fewer rushing yards per game than the 72.3 the Dolphins posted. One way or another, Miami had to get better at running the ball.
On Tuesday, the team took a step toward doing that. As reported by Schefter, the Dolphins have agreed to terms with four-year veteran Jordan Howard on a deal that will pay the 25-year-old over $5 million per season.
In each of his first two seasons with the Chicago Bears, Howard topped 1,100 yards on the ground. In his lone season with the Eagles in 2019, he averaged a respectable 4.4 yards per carry.
But Howard also missed six games last season and was relegated to a secondary role by rookie Miles Sanders. The reason was simple: Howard doesn't outrun people off the edge or help in the passing game. He's a between-the-tackles, two-down grinder.
And over $5 million per year is rather steep for that.
Miami's (over)spending spree rolls on.
Jaguars Sign ILB Joe Schobert
Not that long ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars had perhaps the most feared defense in the NFL. But that defense fell off a cliff in 2019—in no small part because Telvin Smith left the team (and football altogether), which decimated the linebacking corps.
Jacksonville made a big effort to fill that hole Tuesday. According to Rapoport, the Jaguars agreed to ink inside linebacker Joe Schobert, who led the Cleveland Browns with 133 tackles last year, to a five-year deal worth $53.8 million.
The 26-year-old is talented, but there's one looming problem: The Jaguars already have an inside linebacker with a fat salary in Myles Jack.
It's not just the matter of a rather curious fit. Schobert has topped 100 tackles in each of the last three seasons. But he's struggled in coverage—something he'll likely be tasked with even more if he kicks outside.
There's been a lot of movement with the Jaguars defense over the past several months. If there's a plan, it's not easy to see.
Jets Sign LT George Fant
There was no question the New York Jets were going to address an offensive line that ranked 30th or worse in run blocking and pass protection last year, according to Football Outsiders. In the lead-up to the opening of the legal tampering period, New York was connected with a number of prominent free-agent linemen.
The Jets may not have gotten their first choice in that regard, but they did make an addition late Monday. According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets agreed to terms on a three-year, $30 million pact with left tackle George Fant. The 27-year-old Fant, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, will get $13.7 million in guaranteed money.
Fant is not elite. But he's made 24 starts (including seven a year ago) and is capable of playing both tackle spots. With a reasonable salary of $10 million per season, it's a decent pickup.
Lions Sign OLB Jamie Collins
It's good to be a former New England Patriot who gets reunited with an old coach in free agency.
One year after signing a minimum deal to return to New England, linebacker Jamie Collins received the second big contract of his playing career. This time, per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, it was a three-year, $30 million agreement to join former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia with the Detroit Lions.
Collins is coming off a great 2019 season in which he racked up 81 tackles, posted a career-high seven sacks and served as a major contributor for one of the NFL's best defenses.
But Collins will also turn 31 in October and struggled to make the same impact with the Cleveland Browns in 2016-18 that he did in his first stint in New England.
The Lions needed to upgrade their pass rush, but there's some risk involved with this agreement.
Redskins Sign CB Kendall Fuller
Who says you can't go home again?
When the Kansas City Chiefs flipped veteran quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in 2018, cornerback Kendall Fuller was one of the pieces the Chiefs got in return. Now, after two years (and a Super Bowl ring) in Kansas City, Fuller is headed back to the nation's capital.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Fuller and the Redskins have agreed on a four-year contract that will pay the 25-year-old $10 million per season. Fuller had 49 tackles and a sack in 2019.
He is capable of playing both inside and on the boundary, though he appears better suited to a role in the slot. He's also shown the ability to be productive—82 tackles in 2018 and four interceptions the year prior.
Add in that he's just now entering the prime of his career, and this is one of the better signings at the cornerback spot so far.
Bills Sign DE Mario Addison
The Buffalo Bills made the postseason last year, but the team had holes to fill in the offseason. After Shaq Lawson bolted for the Miami Dolphins, an edge-rusher sat atop the list.
General manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott addressed that need by looking to a familiar face from their days in Charlotte. Per Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN, the Bills agreed to sign veteran defensive end Mario Addison to a three-year deal.
The good news for the Bills is that Addison has been a consistency machine, posting at least nine sacks in each of the last four seasons. The bad news for the Bills is that Addison is 32 years old—his play could fall off a cliff at any moment.
Still, we haven't seen a sign that said that is coming any time soon, and unless the salary terms on this deal are all kinds of wonky, it was another solid pickup in what’s become a nice free-agency period for the Bills.
Texans Sign WR Randall Cobb
There's an old movie called Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which aliens replace people with doppelgangers who look exactly the same but act a little…off.
Someone needs to check Bill O' Brien's garage for a spacecraft.
Over the past two days. O'Brien has used his power as both head coach and general manager of the Houston Texans to make one bizarre personnel move after another. The latest was the decision, per James Jones of NFL Network to "replace" the departed DeAndre Hopkins with veteran wideout Randall Cobb, who agreed to sign for $18.8 million guaranteed on a three-year deal worth $27 million.
Yes, Cobb had his best season since 2015 last year with the Dallas Cowboys, averaging a career-high 15.1 yards per catch. But Cobb also has just one 1,000-yard season over nine years in the NFL—and that was in 2014.
Overpaying a slot receiver who will turn 30 in August isn't going fix the fiasco that was the DeAndre Hopkins trade.
It's going to compound it.
Giants Sign ILB Blake Martinez
The New York Giants have become notorious in recent years for essentially ignoring the inside linebacker position. They haven't used a first-round draft pick on a linebacker since 1984.
It doesn't look likely that the Giants will do so in 2020, either—because the team just made a big-time free-agent signing instead.
As Alex Wilson of Empire Sports Media reported, the Giants have agreed to terms on a three-year, $30 million contract with inside linebacker Blake Martinez. He's been one of the most productive players at his position over the past several years, and only Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks had more tackles in 2019 than the 155 Martinez tallied.
At first glance, $10 million per season seems like a bargain for such a productive tackler. And the Giants can't really be accused of overpaying. But Martinez had his struggles in coverage over the past two years, and that's a skill set that has become increasingly important for players at his position.
49ers Re-Sign DB Jimmie Ward
The San Francisco 49ers have been busy over the first two days of the legal tampering period. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead got $17 million per season to stay, while fellow lineman DeForest Buckner was sent to the Indianapolis Colts in a deal that netted the Niners a top-15 pick in the 2020 draft.
Those moves continued Tuesday. According to Rapoport, the 49ers have also agreed to bring back the team's longest-tenured defensive player in Jimmie Ward, who received $28.5 million over three years.
Ward has an injury history and won't blow up the box score, but raw stats don't begin to tell the story with the seventh-year pro. Ward is capable of playing at a high level all over the back end—and that versatility is highly sought after nowadays.
Ward was one of San Fran's more important free agents. Getting him back at less than $10 million per season was a coup for general manager John Lynch.
Cardinals Sign DT Jordan Phillips
The Arizona Cardinals aren't playing around in the second year of the Kliff Kingsbury era. One day after making a blockbuster trade to land one of the NFL's best wide receivers in DeAndre Hopkins, general manager Steve Keim cracked open the checkbook to strengthen the front seven.
Per Schefter, the Cardinals agreed to terms Tuesday on a three-year, $30 million deal with defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Once considered a bust, the 27-year-old broke out in a big way in 2019, piling up career highs in tackles (31) and sacks (9.5). The latter ranked second in the league among defensive tackles.
There's always a measure of risk involved in handing a player big money based on one huge season. But $10 million per season isn't exorbitant for a potential difference-maker in the trenches, and the deal isn't especially long.
So far, so good in the Valley of the Sun.
Saints Re-Sign QB Drew Brees
What an unexpected development—said no one ever.
On the same day Tom Brady stunned the NFL by saying goodbye to the New England Patriots on social media, the New Orleans Saints made sure fans in the Big Easy won't have to do the same with Drew Brees.
As Rapoport reported, Brees agreed to ink a two-year extension that will pay the 41-year-old $25 million per season.
It's hard to credit Saints general manager Mickey Loomis too much here—this was all Brees. But that doesn't change the fact that this is the biggest steal of free agency so far.
It's not just that the Saints can now gear up for at least one more run at the Super Bowl. It's that Brees took a deal that was substantially less than his market value to allow the team to add pieces around him.
We now live in a world in which Drew Brees makes significantly less per season than Ryan Tannehill.
Dolphins Sign DE Emmanuel Ogbah
The Miami Dolphins entered free agency with the most cap space of any team. Apparently, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier is a big believer in the old adage that "you can't take it with you."
One day after a flurry of signings, including agreeing to make Byron Jones the NFL's highest-paid cornerback, the Dolphins kept right on going. Per Schefter, the Dolphins agreed to sign defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah to a two-year, $15 million contract.
Half of that money is guaranteed.
The Dolphins have taken a chainsaw to the league's worst pass rush, as Ogbah tied a career high with 5.5 sacks a year ago in 10 games for the Kansas City Chiefs. The 26-year-old has been better known over his first four seasons as an edge-setter against the run than someone who gets after the quarterback.
Still, the Dolphins got a quality player for a reasonable amount of money, and Ogbah can hit free agency again at 28.
That makes this something of a win-win.
Bears Sign EDGE Robert Quinn
After a disappointing 2019 season, there was no shortage of speculation this offseason that the Chicago Bears would make a splash in free agency by adding a veteran quarterback to compete with or replace Mitchell Trubisky.
Well, the Bears made a splash Tuesday, all right. It was just not what people expected.
According to Rapoport, the Bears agreed to sign veteran edge-rusher Robert Quinn to a five-year, $70 million contract that includes $30 million guaranteed. The 29-year-old paced the Cowboys with 11.5 sacks in his lone season in Dallas in 2019.
In theory, pairing Quinn with Khalil Mack could give Chicago one of the most feared one-two punches on the edge in the league. There was a time when an argument could be made that Quinn was the best pass-rusher in football.
But that time was 2013. Since 2014, Quinn has just one season with double-digit sacks. He's missed time in four of the last five seasons, including two games a year ago. And the Bears now have tied up close to 20 percent of their cap space in two pass-rushers—one of whom will turn 30 in May.
Raiders Sign ILB Cory Littleton
The Las Vegas Raiders had one of the weakest linebacker corps in the NFL in 2019. They appear hell-bent on changing that in 2020.
One day after bringing in Nick Kwiatkoski, the Raiders signed arguably the No. 1 off-ball linebacker in the free-agent class. According to Rapoport, the Raiders have agreed to bring in Cory Littleton on a three-year, $36 million deal.
The 26-year-old Littleton, who posted a career-high 134 tackles last year, has paced the Rams in stops in each of the last two seasons. He's also shown a nose for the big play, adding 7.5 sacks, five interceptions, a pair of forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries over that span.
Littleton is superior to Blake Martinez and Joe Schobert in pass coverage and one of the better all-around off-ball linebackers in the game. After C.J. Mosley and Kwon Alexander got massive contracts in 2019, the Raiders got outstanding value in landing Littleton for $12 million per season.
S Eric Murray Signs with Texans
Bill O'Brien has been on quite the roll. First, he traded wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for 10 cents on the dollar. Then, he signed Randall (giggle) Cobb as Hopkins' replacement. Then, he handedalmost $7 million a season over three years to a journeyman safety with 15 career starts in four seasons. Maybe he's just trolling us.
QB AJ McCarron Signs with Texans
Aone-year, $4 million deal is modest even by backup quarterback standards, but McCarron is also a fairly weak Plan B under center. If this deal sets the stage for Bill O'Brien trading Deshaun Watson for a bag of magic beans, then I officially give up.
ILB A.J. Klein Signs with Bills
Klein is a hard-nosed seven-year veteran who made 15 starts in each of the past two seasons for the New Orleans Saints. But$6 million a season is a fairly hefty salary for a player whose limited range confined him mostly to a two-down role in the Big Easy.
ILB Tyler Matakevich Signs with Bills
A reserve linebacker and special teams maven, Matakevich got$9 million over two years to join the Bills. It's a relatively hefty sum to spend on a player who likely won't see too many defensive snaps, but the Bills have the wiggle room under the cap to spend big on special teams.
DT Nick Williams Signs with Lions
A journeyman for most of his career, Williams saw the most extensive playing time in 2019 with the Chicago Bears and responded with his first six sacks in the NFL. Bringing in the 30-year-old on a modesttwo-year pact has the potential to be a sneaky-good signing by the Lions.
QB Chase Daniel Signs with Lions
Signing a longtime backup quarterback to athree-year pact worth about $13 million doesn't usually elicit cheers from an NFL fanbase. However, after watching David Blough make multiple starts for the Lions in 2019, fans of the team may well have scheduled a parade in Daniel's honor.
CB Jalen Mills Re-Signs with Eagles
If the Eagles are bringing back the oft-injured Mills on a one-year deal to help stabilize one of the NFL's weakest secondaries, that's fine. If ESPN's Josina Anderson is correct and Mills is the team's in-house replacement for free-agent safety Malcolm Jenkins, then that is…um…not.
ILB Kevin Pierre-Louis Signs with Redskins
It's hard to find too much fault with any one-year deal, and Pierre-Louis did make three starts last year for the Chicago Bears. But a Redskins team in dire need of help inside has so far re-upped Jon Bostic and brought in a career reserve and special teamer.
ILB Thomas Davis Signs with Redskins
Um…never mind. The Redskins continued overhauling their inside linebacker corps byreuniting Davis and new Washington coach Ron Rivera in a deal that had been rumored for some time. Davis is probably the best inside linebacker on the team as things stand today. But he's also 36 years old.
CB Darqueze Dennard Signs with Jaguars
Not long after dealing veteran corner A.J. Bouye to the Denver Broncos, the Jaguars addressed the cornerback position bybringing in Dennard. The 2014 first-round pick showed flashes over six seasons in Cincinnati, but he's had trouble staying healthy, hasn't logged an interception since 2017 (and just three in his career) and has mostly played in the slot to date.
S Jeff Heath Signs with Raiders
Per ESPN's Todd Archer, after seven years in Dallas, Heath will join the Raiders after agreeing to terms on a two-year, $8 million contract. The 28-year-old box safety isn't a worldbeater, but Heath is a capable veteran presence who should add some stability on the back end of the Las Vegas defense.
TE Jason Witten Signs With Raiders
As Archer tweeted, Heath wasn't the only Cowboy who is Vegas-bound. With Darren Waller the no-doubt No. 1 tight end for the Raiders, Witten isn't going to have a huge impact on the field, but bringing in the future Hall of Famer on aone-year deal provides Waller with about as good a mentor as a player at that position could ask for.
Jets Re-Sign OG Alex Lewis
According toBrian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets brought back the 27-year-old Lewis on a three-year pact worth $18.6 million with $6 million guaranteed, Lewis was a 12-game starter for one of the worst offensive lines in the league in 2019, so this smacks of a "devil you know is better than the devil you don't"-type signing. The price is reasonable enough.
Eagles Re-Sign S Rodney McLeod
AsJosh Alper reported for Pro Football Talk, the 29-year-old McLeod will be back for a fifth season with the Eagles after agreeing to a two-year, $12 million deal. McLeod is not a great safety by any stretch, but he's a capable starter who knows the defense. With Malcolm Jenkinsreportedly leaving, Philly was wise to keep him around.
Panthers Re-Sign S Tre Boston
Apparently, $6 million a season is the going rate to keep a decent NFL starter from leaving town—just like McLeod, that's what Boston got from the Panthers. Per Schefter,it's a front-loaded deal, and given all the other tectonic shifts at Bank of America Stadium, a little stability in the secondary isn't a bad thing.
Raiders Sign DE Carl Nassib
According toCharean Williams of Pro Football Talk, the 26-year-old Nassib parlayed 12.5 sacks over two seasons in Tampa into a free-agent deal in Las Vegas. The key here is what the Raiders paid to add Nassib, but assuming it wasn't a ridiculous amount, he's a good addition as depth on a defensive front that needs it.
Bills Sign DT Vernon Butler
Were it not for the fact that the Buffalo Bills already have a quarterback in Josh Allen, it wouldn't be unreasonable to theorize that Cam Newton could be headed there. The Charlotte-to-Buffalo pipeline just keeps going.
The latest player to swap out Carolina blue for Buffalo, well, blue is defensive tackle Vernon Butler. Fresh off a career year that saw the 6'4", 330-pounder set career highs in tackles (32), sacks (six) and forced fumbles (three), the 25-year-old has agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth a maximum of $18 million dollars with $9.3 million in guarantees, per Rapoport.
For a team that lost Jordan Phillips earlier in the day, it was something of a best-case scenario. The team was able to fill that void with a player of similar age and talent level for less money than Phillips received.
It's a long way to Week 1. But two days into free agency, the Bills look like the favorites in the AFC East.