Teams that could sign Le’Veon Bell in free agency

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 10/14/20

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that embattled New York Jets head coach Adam Gase didn’t have a great relationship with running back Le’Veon Bell. In fact, there were rumors surrounding the Jets this past offseason that they were looking to move on from Bell.

This is now once again the case 19 months after the Jets inked Bell to a four-year, $52.5 million contract.

The Jets on Tuesday announced the release of the high-priced veteran after yet another spat with Gase.

On Monday, Bell took to Twitter liking posts from fan accounts recommending that the Jets opt to trade the former All-Pro back.

In response, Gase seemed more upset about the public nature of the supposed trade demands than the actual substance behind them.

Gase was upset about Bell’s social media activity while calling Le’Veon Bell out himself in a public manner. That’s about as cute as it gets. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

In reality, this was just a continuation of Gase showing himself in a bad light. This also adds another layer to major rifts between the head coach and his now-former star players in the Jets’ locker room.

Bell, 28, signed one of the richest contracts for a running back in NFL history back in March of 2019. It came after rumors suggesting that Gase was hellbent on another free-agent ball carrier that spring, Tevin Coleman.

The backdrop here is some major struggles from Bell during his brief stint with the Jets. After sitting out the entire 2018 NFL season with the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a contract stalemate, Le’Veon Bell has recorded 1,363 total yards and four touchdowns at a clip of 4.1 yards per touch in 17 games with the Jets.

All said, the Jets take a $19.06 million dead cap hit by releasing Bell. He earned north of $18 million playing just 17 games with the team.

With everything mentioned above, there’s still a number of teams that will likely have interest in Bell on the free-agent market. He has past experience and would likely come on the cheap.

Washington Football Team signs Le’Veon Bell

Having released Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson during the offseason, Washington is now in need of some help in the backfield. It is averaging just 81 rushing yards per game on the season. Bell’s receiving ability would also help the team’s struggling passing game.

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Kevin Durant: I didn’t ‘want to be the savior’ of the Knicks

Originally posted on Empire Sports Media | By Alder Almo | Last updated 9/10/20

Kevin Durant doubled down on his claim that signing with the New York Knicks was never an option during his free agency last year.

The Knicks were made to believe they had an inside track on Durant and another star free agent of his liking. But as it turned out, it wasn’t the case. Durant discussed his decision to sign with the Nets instead of the Knicks on “The Old Man and the Three Podcast”:

“I never planned on going to the Knicks. That was just the media putting that out there especially when I didn’t sign a three-year deal that previous summer. Once I signed a 1+1, just the noise got louder around me just going to the Knicks for some reason. The Knicks need a savior, you know how that goes. Every time a big free agent is up, the Knicks are going to get him. It just took off. …

“Around February, I was thinking I didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York. I didn’t care about being the king of New York. That never really moved me. I didn’t care about being on Broadway. I just wanted to play ball and go to the crib and chill. I felt like that’s what Brooklyn embodied. …

“Brooklyn was everything I’m about: chill, on the low, all black, we quiet, just focus on basketball. There’s no show when you come to our games. No Madison Square mecca, all of that s–t. We just gonna hoop and build something new in Brooklyn.”

The Brooklyn Nets star accused the media of spreading the rumor during his tumultuous last season with the Golden State Warriors. His former teammate Draymond Green publicly feuded with him, which put a strain in their locker room chemistry. While it was injuries that ultimately caused their downfall in the Finals, it was clear that all the drama that surrounded the Warriors factored in his decision to leave.

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Todd Gurley agrees to one-year deal with Falcons

Todd Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, and the veteran running back wasted no time at all finding a new home.

Gurley has agreed to a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons, ESPN’s Jordan Schultz first reported. The team later announced the move with a hype video on Twitter.

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 3/20/20

Tom Brady officially announces he has signed with Buccaneers

Tom Brady is officially a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

Following days of reports that he had agreed to a deal with the Bucs, Brady shared a photo on Instagram Friday that featured him signing his new contract. The 42-year-old said he is “excited, humble and hungry.”

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Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 3/20/20

Tom Brady expected to sign with Buccaneers

It looks like the Tom Brady sweepstakes are coming to a close. The expectation is that Brady will sign with the Buccaneers, sources told Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter  link). Tampa’s offer is “roughly” $30 million annually, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets, although the duration is unclear.

Rapoport added that the Buccaneers have been confident all day about landing him. It’s not at all unexpected considering Tuesday’s developments, but it still is a wild conclusion to an unpredictable saga. A couple of years ago we got the first reports that Brady could want out of New England, but nobody at the time could’ve predicted it would end with him teaming up with Bruce Arians  in Tampa Bay. It became clear in recent months that Brady leaving was a very real possibility, and earlier this morning the legendary quarterback announced he wouldn’t be back with the Patriots in 2020.

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Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors By Andrew Ortenberg | Last updated 3/17/20

Marcus Mariota agrees to terms with Raiders

Marcus Mariota is indeed heading to Vegas. The Raiders have agreed to terms with the free agent quarterback, reports Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review Journal (via Twitter).

As we passed along earlier tonight, Raiders starter Derek Carr isn’t going anywhere, as Mariota is expected to serve as the backup in 2020. There had been whispers for some time that the organization was eyeing the former second-overall pick, with the front office shifting priorities from a top-tier starter like Tom Brady to a solid backup who could push Carr.

The Titans traded for Ryan Tannehill last offseason, insisting that he was going to be Mariota’s backup. Of course after Mariota struggled to start the year he was quickly benched in favor of Tannehill, who ended up leading Tennessee to the AFC Championship Game and earning a massive extension. In total, Mariota finished the year having completed a career-low 59.4-percent of his passes for 1,203 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions.

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Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors | By Ben Levine | Last updated 3/16/20

Mike Glennon Reportedly Looking for A Contract With AAV Of $14-15 Million

Written by Darin Gantt at Pro Football Focus.com

When free agency begins this week, there will be contracts that make people rub their eyes and wonder if they had one drink too many last night.

And one of them figures to be for Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon.

According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the expectation among sources at the Scouting Combine was that Glennon’s next deal would come in around the $14 million to $15 million per year range.

That sounds ridiculous on its face, primarily because Mike Glennon.

He has five starts since his 2013 rookie season when he was thrown into the fire, and none in the last two seasons. He’s only attempted 11 passes in the last two years while sitting behind Jameis Winston. But his market figures to be strong because he’s available without having to trade anything away or use a draft pick, and the Bears and Jets have already been mentioned as possible destinations.

And while the number causes you to reach for another cup of coffee and might give you flashbacks to Osweilerian excess, it’s really not that out of line.

There are 13 quarterbacks with deals averaging more than $20 million a year, and nine more making $16 million a year or more (taking you down to the Andy Dalton/Alex Smith/Sam Bradford neighborhood).

So while it’s a big number, especially for a Mike Glennon, it’s not out of line for a bottom-third of the league starter. And frankly, if you’re spending that kind of money on a Mike Glennon, that’s probably what the team around him dictates he’s going to be.

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Kevin Durant and the Craziness of Free Agency


Written by Sam Amick at USAToday.com

Know this much about the Kevin Durant free agency sweepstakes that has already unofficially begun: He wouldn’t be taking a single meeting outside of Oklahoma City if he already knew what jersey he planned to wear next season.

If Durant is anything, it’s genuine. Love him or hate him – and really, how in the world could you hate this guy? – the Thunder star it not in the business of being inauthentic.

So on July 1 when the Thunder, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat start to come his way to discuss the prime years of his career, he will be all ears. The man isn’t one to waste anybody’s time.

Yet while that might be enough to keep Thunder general manager Sam Presti up for a few torturous nights, the prospect of Durant returning on a two-year deal (with a player option in the second) to the only franchise he has ever known remains as likely now as it did on the night his latest season ended in that Western Conference Finals Game 7 loss at Oracle Arena. And yes, that’s still the case after the Thunder’s shocking draft night trade on Thursday.

By all accounts, the trade that sent Serge Ibaka to Orlando in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and No. 11 pick Domantas Sabonis was, in essence, Durant approved. He wasn’t hopping on the trade call, of course, but the nature of this situation meant his perspective simply had to be accounted for.

The move, which made the Thunder younger, deeper and far more flexible going into next summer’s free agency when they could have had Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka as unrestricted free agents, was the latest proof that Presti is a master of sustained success. Add in the massive edge the Thunder hold on the financial front –one that I chronicled at great length in this May 10 piece – and their pitch is about as close to perfect as anyone else’s in this bunch.

So the Thunder enter into this stage with respectful optimism, knowing Durant has earned the right to hear out other teams and that, both now and in 2007 when they drafted him during the Seattle SuperSonics days, they’re lucky to have him. There are, in other words, no hard feelings about all these free-agency flirtations.

As for the other suitors whose odds of landing him still seem relatively slim? Those meetings will matter – the key word there being “meetings.” If your team doesn’t have one by now, you shouldn’t be feeling too confident about your place in the Durant race.

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Chopping Block Veteran Free Agents

Written by Jon Benne at SBNation.com

NFL free agency is just under a month away, but teams are already getting a jump on the offseason by releasing veterans. Earlier this week, the Chicago Bears released offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod and the Detroit Lions cut ties with running back Joique Bell. The Cleveland Browns also released defensive lineman Randy Starks and tight end Jim Dray.

None of those cuts came as a surprise. Bushrod, 31, had a disappointing season just three years after signing a $35.9 million deal with more than $22 million in guarantees. Cutting the left tackle saves the Bears $4.3 million off the cap, which they feel is more valuable than keeping Bushrod on the roster. He failed his physical this month, as well, which may have contributed to Chicago’s decision to cut him lose.

Bell broke out for the Lions in 2014, leading the team with 860 rushing yards and scoring seven touchdowns. But he wasn’t able to regain that form this season coming off knee, Achilles and ankle surgeries. Bell played sporadically last year and eventually fell to fourth on Detroit’s depth chart. The Lions will save $2.5 million the cap after cutting him.

Starks and Dray were both in the final years of their contracts and didn’t contribute much on the field in 2015. The Browns freed up nearly $5 million in cap space by terminating their contracts.

Those will hardly be the biggest names let go this offseason, though. Players get released for a host of reasons, whether it’s because of declining play, pure financial motives or a combination of both. Here are our top big-name candidates that could be handed their walking papers sometime over the next month or two.

Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills

Williams is also a certain release candidate after clashing with coaches and proving to be a poor fit in Rex Ryan’s defense. After recording 15 sacks in 2014, that number dropped to five last season. The 31-year-old should have a few prime years left, although he won’t come close to earning his last contract, which was worth $96 million over six years and paid out $24 million in guaranteed money. Williams will likely try to find a team that will play him as a more traditional defensive end.

Possible landing spots: New England, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, Carolina

Prediction on next year: Philadelphia. Williams had his best professional season in 2014, when Jim Schwartz was the Bills defensive coordinator. A reunion in the City of Brotherly Love could give the Eagles defense some real pop.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Foster was done in by yet another injury-riddled season in 2015. He missed most of training camp and the first three games of the regular season while recovering from groin surgery, and then tore his Achilles in Week 7. Foster had a great run in Houston, but a 30-year-old running back on the mend is a tough sell.

If the Texans do keep Foster, it may only be because they don’t have an obvious replacement on the current roster. Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk formed an uninspiring committee last year.

Possible landing spots: Cleveland, New England, Miami, Denver

Prediction on next year: Out of the league. These are tough times to be an older running back, especially one with an extensive history of injuries.