Some may say that the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period was a bit of a snoozer, but there was plenty of action throughout the day. Only Orlando Brown and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson remain from the top 10 of PFN’s Top 100 Free Agents list. But as we begin to inch closer to Wednesday, the free agency rumors will kick into high gear.
We’re covering the latest NFL free agency rumors and news throughout the next few weeks. Bookmark this page, as we’ll be adding everything you need to know as news and rumors unfold.
Latest NFL Free Agency Rumors and News
‘Nothing Happened’ With Aaron Rodgers
After PFN Senior Analyst Trey Wingo reported he heard that “Rodgers to the Jets is done” on Monday afternoon, the big-name NFL Insiders scrambled to try and confirm but could not. Ian Rapoport told NFL Total Access, “The most important thing you could possibly know about Aaron Rodgers today is that nothing happened.”
Adam Schefter told Hanna Storm, “I think in the end, my sense is ultimately it will come down to whether he wants to play elsewhere, which would be really the New York Jets, or whether he wants to retire. To me, those are the two most logical options and the two most likely scenarios here. But again, we have not heard from Aaron Rodgers himself.”
The Pat McAfee Show often has Rodgers on Tuesdays. It wouldn’t be surprising at all for the 39-year-old to break the news on the show.
Is Chauncey Gardner-Johnson a Cincinnati Bengal?
The versatile potential of a safety tandem consisting of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Dax Hill would be incredible. Both players have the ability to play on the back end and are known for their aggressiveness as players in the run game.
Gardner-Johnson had posted a “Thank You Philly” video on March 8, possibly signifying that his short time there was over. But the Eagles have already lost Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards. It’s possible safety Marcus Epps tries to pursue Gardner-Johnson to remain in Philadelphia.
Dre’Mont Jones Joins Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks’ defensive front needed a pass rusher with the versatility to play anywhere from the 2i to 5-technique, and that’s exactly what they landed with Dre’Mont Jones. The former Broncos defensive tackle/end will average $17 million per year over three seasons, making him the 10th-highest-paid interior player in the league, on par with Arik Armstead.
DeMeco Ryans Adds Defensive Leader in Safety Jimmie Ward
Jimmie Ward has the ability to put on any hat you need him to. He’s spent most of his later years as a more traditional safety but moved down into the slot for the 49ers in 2022. When DeMeco Ryans moved onto Houston, we should have seen a move like this coming.
Coaches often want to bring in veteran free agents to help with the schematic transition. Sometimes those veterans are well past their prime and come strictly to play a mentorship role. With minuscule sanctioned practice time with the current CBA, having someone like Ward to help young players like Jalen Pitre and Derek Stingley Jr. get up to speed is imperative.
Ward’s two-year, $13 million deal is a bargain for Houston.
Eric Kendricks Returns Home
The former Vikings linebacker was born in Clovis, California. He went to high school in Fresno and spent his college days at UCLA. In an emotional Instagram post, Eric Kendricks announced his return to Los Angeles to play for the Chargers. The 31-year-old former All-Pro joins a defense that has desperately needed high-end linebacker play since Brandon Staley arrived in 2021.
For just $13.25 million over two seasons, it appears the linebacker either took a hometown discount or the league believes he’s lost more than just a few steps.
New York Gets… Giant… Steal in Bobby Okereke
The New York Giants’ linebacking corps has been in shambles over the past few seasons now. Bobby Okereke was a fantastic player in Gus Bradley’s scheme, and he flashed beside Shaquille Leonard in Matt Eberflus’ defense as well. Four years, $40 million feels like a steal for the 26-year-old.
Jamel Dean Stays in Tampa Bay
No matter what happens with the rest of the Buccaneers’ roster, we can at least expect good cornerback play. Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean aren’t necessarily seen as two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, but they are outstanding fits for the Cover 3-heavy defense.
Browns Finally Address Defensive Interior
They’ll need more help than one man can give them, but it’s refreshing to see Cleveland go out and get a player as talented as Dalvin Tomlinson for their interior. Tomlinson’s four-year, $57 million deal has $27.5 million in guarantees, giving the Browns flexibility with his contract going forward.
Will Jets Add Allen Lazard To Lure Aaron Rodgers?
It sure looks like they’re trying to! According to Adam Schefter, the Jets are working on acquiring Allen Lazard. Schefter also reports that one other team is also interested.
While this may look like an attempt to swoon Rodgers to New York further, signing Lazard would help in a few different ways for the Jets. Aside from his ability as a pass catcher, he is one of the premier blockers in the entire league, which will help spring Breece Hall on even more big-time runs.
Falcons Sign Taylor Heinicke as Veteran Backup
Per Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, the Falcons acquired former Washington Commanders QB Taylor Heinicke as a veteran option to add to the QB room. While developing Desmond Ridder is the primary focus for Arthur Smith and the Falcons, adding Heinicke is a nice move to solidify the QB room.
The New England to Las Vegas Pipeline Is Alive!
Jakobi Meyers agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth $33 million to join the Las Vegas Raiders, with $21 million guaranteed. Meyers’ fit in Las Vegas should be seamless, given his experience with Josh McDaniels while with the Patriots.
Buccaneers Trade Shaq Mason After One Season
The Houston Texans are starting to build a little something this offseason. The Buccaneers needed the cap relief, and the Texans get to add a solid player on the front line for whichever rookie QB they end up drafting. Shaq Mason will also help the run game.
Cowboys Make Retaining Donovan Wilson Priority No. 1
Donovan Wilson, Jayron Kearse, and Malik Hooker combined to play over 3,000 snaps for the Cowboys’ defense in 2022. Keeping that trio together was a massive emphasis for Dallas’ front office to begin free agency. According to Mike Garafolo, they retain Wilson on a three-year deal worth up to $24 million, with $13.5 million fully guaranteed.
Could Randall Cobb Follow Aaron Rodgers to New York?
Ian Rapoport didn’t report that Randall Cobb would follow Rodgers to the Jets. It felt more like pontification than anything. However, the 32-year-old receiver has a great relationship with the 39-year-old QB and could be looking to end his career on a high note with a Jets team that looks primed to compete in the AFC next season.
Lamar Fires Back at $200 Million Guaranteed Report
On Adam Schefter’s podcast, Schefter said that Lamar Jackson was, in fact, offered $200 million in guaranteed money through injury guarantees and other springing guarantees. Jackson fired back on Twitter, saying that the guaranteed deal was a three-year, $133 million deal.
Raiders Trade Darren Waller to Giants
Free agency may be a bit slow through the two days of legal tampering, but the NFL trade market is beginning to look like the NBA. Darren Waller has struggled to stay healthy as a pro, but he’s immensely talented.
The Giants were short for weapons to supplement Daniel Jones. In an underwhelming receiver class in free agency and the NFL draft, adding a weapon like Waller for the 100th pick in the draft is good value for New York.