NFL Free-Agent Tracker 2021: Tracking All the Top Signings from Day 1March 13, 2021
NFL Free-Agent Tracker 2021: Tracking All the Top Signings from Day 1
After 2020 free agent Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl in his first year with the team, there will be plenty of eyes on the 2021 free-agency class.
This offseason might not have the most accomplished quarterback of all time, but there are still several big names available to help teams on both sides of the ball.
Pass-rushers represent the strength of the class with Bud Dupree, Yannick Ngakoue, Trey Hendrickson, Carl Lawson and Jadeveon Clowney all available. The Arizona Cardinals already signed three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt after he was released by the Houston Texans.
Offensive tackle Trent Williams could represent a significant upgrade for a lot of organizations this offseason.
There is no shortage of offensive playmakers either, with Kenny Golladay, Will Fuller V, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Hunter Henry among those who could switch teams.
While the quarterback market could move slower—especially with more eyes on trades this offseason—there are still intriguing options between Jameis Winston, Mitchell Trubisky and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Check out the latest signings around the league as this article will be updated throughout free agency.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Headed to Washington
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Washington Football Team reached an agreement on a one-year, $10 million contract that could be worth $12 million with incentives. Schefter noted the veteran is expected to start, although Taylor Heinicke will provide competition.
Kevin Pierre-Louis Joins Texans
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Houston Texans and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis agreed to a two-year contract that is worth up to $8 million. Pierre-Louis has played for the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team and posted a career-best 56 tackles last year in Washington.
Trey Hendrickson Chooses Bengals
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported the Cincinnati Bengals and defensive end Trey Hendrickson agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract. Hendrickson had a breakout season in 2020 for the New Orleans Saints with 13.5 sacks.
Dalvin Tomlinson to the Vikings
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Minnesota Vikings and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson agreed to a two-year, $22 million contract that includes $20 million in total guarantees. Tomlinson played his first four seasons with the New York Giants and posted eight sacks while helping stuff the middle against the run.
Carl Lawson Chooses the Jets
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the New York Jets and defensive end Carl Lawson agreed to terms on a three-year, $45 million contract that features $30 million guaranteed and could be worth up to $47.4 million.
He was one of the most highly regarded pass-rushers available after posting 20 sacks the last four years for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bud Dupree Joins Titans
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Tennessee Titans and linebacker Bud Dupree agreed to a multiyear deal worth $16.5 million. The former Pittsburgh Steelers pass-rusher had 19.5 combined sacks the last two seasons and is in the middle of his prime at 28 years old.
Matt Feiler Heads to Chargers
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported offensive tackle Matt Feiler and the Los Angeles Chargers agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract. Feiler spent the last five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kendall Lamm to Titans
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported offensive tackle Kendall Lamm and the Tennessee Titans agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $8.5 million. Lamm played for the Cleveland Browns the last two years but is familiar with the AFC South as a former member of the Houston Texans.
Jameis Winston Remains with Saints
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the New Orleans Saints and Jameis Winston agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $12 million. This likely means Winston will compete for the starting job after Drew Brees retired.
Cethan Carter Joins Dolphins
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported tight end and fullback Cethan Carter and the Miami Dolphins agreed to a three-year contract. Carter had five catches for the Cincinnati Bengals last season.
Leonard Floyd Going Back to Rams
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Los Angeles Rams and linebacker Leonard Floyd agreed to a four-year deal worth $64 million. Floyd spent the 2020 campaign with the Rams and posted career highs with 55 tackles and 10.5 sacks.
Denico Autry Going to the Titans
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported the Tennessee Titans and defensive tackle Denico Autry agreed to a three-year, $21.5 million contract with $9 million guaranteed. Autry tallied 7.5 sacks in 2020 while playing for the Indianapolis Colts.
Henry Anderson Joins Patriots
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the New England Patriots have agreed to a two-year deal with defensive end Henry Anderson. Anderson appeared in all 16 games for the New York Jets last season and had a career-best seven sacks during the 2018 campaign.
Ronald Darby Joining Broncos
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported cornerback Ronald Darby and the Denver Broncos agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract. The deal features $19.5 million in guaranteed money for the veteran, who has played for the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team.
Carlos Hyde Reunites with Urban Meyer
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Jacksonville Jaguars and running back Carlos Hyde agreed to terms on a two-year, $6 million contract. That means the veteran running back will play for head coach Urban Meyer, much like he did in college at Ohio State.
While Hyde may not be expected to be the every-down back, he is not far removed from the 1,070 rushing yards he posted in 2019 on the Houston Texans.
Corey Davis to the Jets
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported wide receiver Corey Davis and the New York Jets agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million deal with $27 million guaranteed. Davis posted a career-best 984 receiving yards and five touchdowns during the 2020 campaign with the Tennessee Titans.
Patriots Land Nelson Agholor
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the New England Patriots and wide receiver Nelson Agholor agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal. Agholor has played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Las Vegas Raiders and is coming off a career-best 2020 campaign that saw him post 896 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches.
Patriots Add Another WR with Kendrick Bourne
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the New England Patriots and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal. Bourne spent the first four years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers and posted a career-best 667 receiving yards in 2020.
Rob Gronkowski Remains with Buccaneers
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported tight end Rob Gronkowski and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal. That means arguably the top tight end in league history will stay with Tom Brady as the pair looks to defend yet another Super Bowl crown.
The five-time Pro Bowler has won four Lombardi Trophies throughout his career and had six catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns in the most recent Super Bowl as Tampa Bay defeated the Kansas City Chiefs.
Corey Linsley Joins Chargers
Albert Breer of The MMQB reported center Corey Linsley agreed to a five-year, $62.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers. The contract features $26 million in guaranteed money.
Linsley was a First Team All-Pro selection last season for the Green Bay Packers and will be tasked with helping protect quarterback Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future.
Yannick Ngakoue Heading to Chargers
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Las Vegas Raiders and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract. The 2017 Pro Bowler split his 2020 season with the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings while tallying eight sacks.
Austin Johnson Stays with Giants
ESPN's Dan Graziano reported defensive tackle Austin Johnson agreed to re-sign with the New York Giants. Johnson appeared in all 16 games with New York during the 2020 season after spending his first five years with the Tennessee Titans.
John Johnson III Joins Browns
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported safety John Johnson III and the Cleveland Browns agreed to a three-year, $33.75 million deal. Johnson played his first four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and will join a different team for the first time in his career.
Joe Thuney Chooses Chiefs
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Kansas City Chiefs and offensive guard Joe Thuney agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract. Thuney won two Super Bowls during his five seasons with the New England Patriots and will provide much-needed protection for Patrick Mahomes after Kansas City struggled to block for its quarterback during the most recent Super Bowl.
Maliek Collins Going to Texans
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Houston Texans and defensive tackle Maliek Collins agreed to a one-year, $6 million contract. Collins previously played for the Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders and will look to help a defensive line that no longer has J.J. Watt.
Deatrich Wise Remains with Patriots
ESPN's Mike Reiss reported defensive end Deatrich Wise agreed to re-sign with the New England Patriots. New England selected Wise with a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, and he has 14 sacks in four years with the AFC East team.
James Hurst Stays with Saints
ESPN's Mike Triplett reported offensive tackle James Hurst agreed to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints for three years. The 2020 campaign was Hurst's first year with the team after he spent the first six seasons of his career with the Baltimore Ravens.
Matt Judon Gets Big Deal with Patriots
The New England Patriots agreed to a four-year deal with pass-rusher Matthew Judon worth $56 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"They chose me," Judon said to veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson to confirm the deal.
The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker will earn $32 million guaranteed in the first two years of the deal.
The 28-year-old has 34.5 sacks over his five-year career in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl selections in each of the past two seasons. He set a career high with 9.5 sacks in 2019.
Jason Verrett Stays with 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers re-signed cornerback Jason Verrett on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Verrett can earn another $1 million next season if he earns a Pro Bowl selection.
The 29-year-old made his only Pro Bowl in 2015, but he has dealt with multiple injuries and appeared in just six regular-season games over the next three seasons. He was close to full strength in 2020 and started all 13 games he played for the 49ers, totaling 60 tackles and two interceptions.
New England Signs Jalen Mills
Jalen Mills was the latest big name to join the New England Patriots, agreeing to a four-year deal worth $24 million, with $9 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The defensive back spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, mostly playing cornerback before excelling as a safety in 2020. He finished last season with a career-high 74 tackles to go with 1.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.
Mills, 26, has started every game he has played over the last four years in Philadelphia and brings more flexibility to the Patriots secondary.
Jaguars Land Roy Robertson-Harris
The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a three-year deal with defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
The contract is reportedly worth $24.4 million in total with $14 million in guarantees.
Robertson-Harris spent the past four seasons with the Chicago Bears, totaling 7.5 sacks across 52 games. He started six of his eight games in 2020 before going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
Andre Roberts Joins Texans
Receiver and returner Andre Roberts will join his seventh NFL team after agreeing to a deal with the Houston Texans, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.
The two-year contract is reportedly worth $2.8 million per year with $3 million guaranteed.
Roberts has earned three straight Pro Bowl selections as a returner and was named first-team All-Pro in 2018. The 33-year-old spent last season with the Buffalo Bills while averaging 9.9 yards per punt return and an NFL-best 30.0 yards per kick return.
Though he made a bigger impact offensively earlier in his career with the Arizona Cardinals, Roberts had just seven catches over the past two years combined.
Houston Signs LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
The Houston Texans bolstered their linebacking corps with the addition of Kamu Grugier-Hill.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the one-year deal is worth up to $3.25 million.
As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network noted, Grugier-Hill was initially drafted by current Texans general manager Nick Caserio in 2016 when he was with the New England Patriots. The linebacker eventually ended up with the Philadelphia Eagles and was on the roster for the team's Super Bowl run in 2017.
Grugier-Hill spent last year with the Miami Dolphins, tallying 28 tackles in 15 games.
Jacksonville Signs Jamal Agnew
Receiver and returner Jamal Agnew agreed to a three-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars worth up to $21 million, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Agnew has been one of the top special teams players in the league during his career with the Detroit Lions. The 25-year-old was named first-team All-Pro returner as a rookie in 2017 and has five total return touchdowns over the past four years.
He finished last season ranked second in the NFL with 12.7 yards per punt return among qualifiers, while his 783 kickoff return yards were third-most in the league.
After beginning his career as a defensive back, Agnew has transitioned to receiver and finished 2020 with 13 catches for 89 yards.
Patriots Land Jonnu Smith
The New England Patriots added tight end Jonnu Smith on a four-year deal reportedly worth $50 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The deal includes $31.25 million fully guaranteed.
Smith spent his first four seasons with the Tennessee Titans and finished 2020 with 41 catches for 448 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, all career highs. He also scored his first rushing touchdown this season.
Adding his ability as a blocker, the 25-year-old was a key part of the Titans offense that finished the year ranked in the top five of the NFL in both total yards and points.
Panthers Sign Cam Erving
The Carolina Panthers have reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with tackle Cameron Erving, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.
The deal is reportedly worth up to $10 million, with $8 million guaranteed.
Erving started five games for the Dallas Cowboys last season and started eight games for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. The 28-year-old has spent time at both tackle spots as well as center during his six-year NFL career.
Lions Re-Sign Romeo Okwara
Romeo Okwara turned a breakout 2020 season into a reported $39 million over three years with the Detroit Lions, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The former undrafted free agent spent the past three years in Detroit after beginning his career with the New York Giants. After an up-and-down 2019, the Notre Dame product thrived last season with 10 sacks, 44 tackles and 18 quarterback hits.
The 25-year-old was a rare bright spot on a defense that ranked dead last in both points and yards allowed last season, and he was rewarded with a new deal.
Davon Godchaux Joins Patriots
Former Miami Dolphins nose tackle Davon Godchaux reportedly signed a two-year deal with the New England Patriots, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The deal could be worth up to $16 million and is fully guaranteed for $9 million.
Godchaux suffered a biceps injury in 2020 that limited his season to just five games, but he started all 32 possible games over the previous two years. The 26-year-old finished 2019 with 75 tackles, third-most on the Dolphins, while adding two sacks and four tackles for loss.
Markus Golden Returns to Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals announced they re-signed linebacker Markus Golden on a two-year deal. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal is worth $9 million.
Golden spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the Cardinals before joining the New York Giants in 2019. He was traded back to Arizona last year and is set to remain with the team going into 2021.
The 30-year-old finished last season with 4.5 sacks but showed his upside in 2019 with 10 sacks and 72 tackles. He also had 12.5 sacks in 2016 during his second year in the league.
The linebacker will now provide a fearsome front along with J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones.
Bucs Retain Shaquil Barrett
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will keep one of the key parts of the Super Bowl roster after re-signing outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the two sides agreed to a four-year deal worth $72 million, including $36 million guaranteed.
Barrett led the NFL with 19.5 sacks in 2019 after joining the Buccaneers from the Denver Broncos. He came through with eight sacks in 2020 but was especially valuable during the playoffs with four sacks in four games.
The 28-year-old tallied eight combined quarterback hits in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl against Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.
Ravens Sign Kevin Zeitler
The Baltimore Ravens have strengthened their offensive line by signing guard Kevin Zeitler to a three-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The deal is reportedly worth $22 million with $16 million fully guaranteed.
Zeitler spent the past two seasons with the New York Giants before being released ahead of free agency.
The 31-year-old started every game last year with New York and has only missed one start in the past six years, spanning time with the Giants, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.
Kyle Juszczyk Stays with 49ers
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the San Francisco 49ers reached an agreement with Kyle Juszczyk on a five-year, $27 million contract.
The versatile fullback has made each of the last five Pro Bowls by opening up lanes for the rushing attack and making plays in the passing game. He finished the 2020 campaign with 202 receiving yards, 64 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.
Packers Bring Back Aaron Jones
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Aaron Jones' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the running back re-signed with the Green Bay Packers for four years and $48 million with a $13 million signing bonus.
Jones helped lead the Packers to the NFC Championship Game last season behind 1,104 rushing yards, 355 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns. He also ran for more than 1,000 yards during the 2019 campaign.
Look for Jones to perhaps split backfield duties a bit more with AJ Dillon during the length of this contract. Green Bay selected Dillon with a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, and he impressed at times during his rookie season.
Lions Add Josh Hill
The Detroit Lions announced the signing of free-agent tight end Josh Hill, who spent the first eight years of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints.
Hill reunites with new Lions head coach Dan Campbell, who spent the past five seasons as the Saints' associate head coach and tight ends coach.
The 30-year-old Idaho native, who caught 15 touchdowns in 117 games with New Orleans, will compete for reserve snaps behind starter T.J. Hockenson for Detroit in 2021.
Cam Newton Returns to Patriots
Cam Newton only threw eight touchdown passes across 15 appearances during his first season with the New England Patriots, but the 2015 NFL MVP is heading back for a second year with the Pats.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported it's another one-year contract for Newton, who can earn a maximum of $13.6 million if he hits all of the incentive benchmarks.
The former Carolina Panthers star is penciled back in as the Patriots' starter for 2021, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the team adds some competition via free agency and the draft.
That said, Newton could be in line for a bounce-back year after an offseason where he can work to regain his rhythm as a pocket passer after two straight injury-plagued years at the end of his Panthers tenure led him to focus on rehab rather than on-field work.
Upgrading the playmakers around him would also go a long way to help the Pats' offense, which ranked 27th in points per game (20.4) in 2020.
Cowboys Lock Down Dak Prescott
One of the biggest stories of last offseason was set to become a major story this year, but the Cowboys ended all speculation by re-signing their franchise quarterback on a four-year deal.
Dak Prescott will reportedly make $160 million on the new contract with $126 million guaranteed, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. He will also have a no-trade clause and no-tag clause.
The 27-year-old played last season on the franchise tag and appeared set to do so again until a new deal was reached before the deadline.
An ankle injury limited Prescott to just five games in 2020, but he was on an incredible pace with 371.2 passing yards per game one year after totaling 4,902 passing yards for the season. The next task for the two-time Pro Bowler is getting the Cowboys back to the playoffs after the team fell short in each of the last two years.
Cardinals Sign J.J. Watt
J.J. Watt ended weeks worth of speculation about his future when he announced himself that he was joining the Arizona Cardinals.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the veteran signed a two-year deal worth $31 million with $23 million guaranteed.
Watt asked for his release in February after 10 years with the Houston Texans, earning three Defensive Player of the Year awards with five first-team All-Pro selections in this stretch. Injuries slowed him down in recent seasons but he played all 16 games in 2020, finishing with 52 tackles, five sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Stephen Weatherly Signs with Vikings
Defensive end Stephen Weatherly returned to the Minnesota Vikings on a one-year deal after being released by the Carolina Panthers.
The deal will be worth $2.5 million, according to Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com.
The 26-year-old spent his first four seasons in Minnesota before joining Carolina as a free agent last offseason. He started nine games but didn't record a sack and was placed on injured reserve due to a finger injury.
Weatherly had six sacks combined in 2018-19 with the Vikings.
Lions Add WR Tyrell Williams
The Detroit Lions added some needed depth at receiver by signing veteran Tyrell Williams.
Field Yates of ESPN provided the contract details, noting the wideout will have $2 million guaranteed and can make up to $6.2 million through incentives.
Williams missed all of 2020 with a shoulder injury and was cut by the Las Vegas Raiders in February. He caught 42 passes in his first year with the team in 2019, adding 651 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
The 29-year-old is best known for his four seasons with the Chargers, peaking in 2016 with 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns on 69 catches.