A general view of the NFL logo on the field is seen before the game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Keep scrolling for the latest news and rumors from across the league in NFL free agency…
Fletcher Cox released
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 26: Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on December 26, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Another star player is hitting the open market. The Eagles are releasing Fletcher Cox, according to Mike Garafolo. Cox was a four-time All-Pro in 10 seasons in Philly. The Eagles have three draft picks in the top 20, could they now be a landing spot for star Georgia DT Jordan Davis?
Giants release Logan Ryan
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 24: Logan Ryan #23 of the New York Giants celebrates a safety during the first half in the game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on October 24, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
The New York Giants are parting ways with defensive back Logan Ryan, according to a tweet from Ryan himself. The 31-year-old was drafted by the Patriots in 2013 and played four seasons in New England. He was with Joe Judge in New York in 2020 as well. Given the Patriots’ needs in the secondary, he could be a candidate to return.
Za’Darius Smith changes his mind
Za’Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers reacts in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 16, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Za’Darius Smith has become the latest free agent to change course after “agreeing” to a deal. According to Ian Rapoport, Smith is NOT signing with the Ravens. No new team yet, though. Smith is back on the open market.
Patriots signing RB Ty Montgomery
Running back Ty Montgomery #88 of the New Orleans Saints attempts to break a tackle from linebacker Shaq Thompson #54 of the Carolina Panthers during the second half of their game at Bank of America Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
The Patriots are adding a pass-catching running back to their free-agent class. According to Josina Anderson, they’ve agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $4 million with RB Ty Montgomery.
Montgomery, 29 entered the league as a wide receiver, the position he played at Stanford, but by year two was getting more carries than targets. He hasn’t approached his career-high 121 touches in 2016 since that season, and had only 31 total touches in 14 games with the Saints in 2021.
However, Montgomery also has experience as a kick returner. He has 57 career kick returns with an average of 22.4 yards per return. The Patriots will be his fifth team, after the Packers, Jets, Ravens, and Saints.
Montgomery could be the Patriots’ primary choice on kick returns and provide insurance for the recently re-signed James White. Bill Belichick certainly must love his versatility.
Cowboys release La’El Collins
La’el Collins #71 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys could not find a trade partner for tackle La’El Collins, and will release him on Thursday, making him a free agent. Todd Archer reported it first on Twitter. New England was rumored to be exploring a possible trade for Collins, but according to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, there’s “zero” chance they will sign him off the open market.
Falcons add Casey Hayward
The Atlanta Falcons have taken another good veteran cornerback off the market. They’re signing former Chargers and Raiders CB Casey Hayward to a two-year deal worth $11 million, according to Ian Rapoport.
Bills release Cole Beasley
BUFFALO, NEW YORK – JANUARY 15: Cole Beasley #11 of the Buffalo Bills runs the ball against Dont’a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
You’d think the Von Miller signing would lead to some casualties on the Buffalo Bills’ roster. One of them is receiver Cole Beasley, who was released Thursday, according to Mike Garafolo. Beasley certainly seems like a fit for the Patriots as a traditional slot receiver.
Patriots interested in CB Justin Coleman
Justin Coleman #27 of the Miami Dolphins celebrates after recovering a blocked punt and scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Hard Rock Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
The Patriots aren’t done looking at cornerbacks after the signing of Terrance Mitchell. According to Mark Daniels, they’re also showing interest in a former Patriot, cornerback Justin Coleman. This move would certainly make sense, since the Patriots could use a little familiarity along with veteran depth. Coleman played for the Patriots from 2015-16, and also with Matt Patricia in Detroit from 2019-20.
Patriots looking at positions of need
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
According to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus, the Patriots are still looking at free agents at positions of need, and ones easy to predict: wide receivers, cornerbacks, and tackles. They’ve already signed journeyman CB Terrance Mitchell to a one-year deal, but Kyed reports that “their work isn’t done adding veteran players.”
At tackle, they’ve already been reported to be exploring a trade for the Cowboys’ La’El Collins. They’ve also been linked to Allen Robinson at receiver.
Commanders sign OG Andrew Norwell
According to Ian Rapoport, the Washington Commanders are signing veteran guard Andrew Norwell. Details of the deal have yet to be reported.
Dolphins sign former Niners receiver
Trent Sherfield #81 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to a game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and receivers coach Wes Welker are reuniting with a familiar face: former 49ers wideout Trent Sherfield is headed to Miami on a one-year deal, as reported by Tom Pelissero.
Texans re-sign RB Royce Freeman
Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman (right) runs against New England Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty (30) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
According to Ian Rapoport, the Houston Texans are retaining running back Royce Freeman on a one-year deal. Freeman played seven games for the Texans in 2021 after being claimed off waivers.
Jets add to their pass rush
According to Ian Rapoport, the New York Jets agreed to a three-year deal worth $13.5 million with former Texans edge rusher Jacob Martin. The deal includes $6 million guaranteed.
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