NFL free agency: Latest signings as teams, players continue to reach deals on Friday

NFL free agency is off and running.

The new league year began Wednesday afternoon, and official word on many agreements between teams and players are still coming.

USA TODAY Sports will be tracking and breaking down all the biggest signings and moves throughout the day, so bookmark and refresh this page for the latest news and analysis.

Gurley joins Falcons after being released by Rams

Todd Gurley has signed with the Atlanta Falcons. 

The team announced the signing on Twitter with a nod to fans' desire to bring Gurley to the team, a day after the Los Angeles Rams released the three-time All-Pro running back.

That move came roughly two years after the Rams had signed the University of Georgia product to massive contract extension. Had Gurley remained on the Rams' roster another day, he would have been owed a $10.5 million bonus. 

Instead, Gurley signs a one-year deal with the Falcons, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation. 

Between 2015-2018, his first three years in the league, Gurley averaged 1,136 rushing yards per season and scored 46 touchdowns. He made three Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2017 and 2018, the year he helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl. 

Cowboys add an ex-Packer to shore up secondary

Mike McCarthy is bringing on a familiar figure to help stabilize the Dallas Cowboys' secondary.

Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who played for the Cowboys coach from 2014-18 on the Green Bay Packers, is signing with Dallas, according to SportsTrust Advisors, the agency that represents him.

According to NFL Network's Jane Slater, the deal is for one year and $4 million, including $2.5 million guaranteed.

Clinton-Dix, 27, played for the Chicago Bears last year but spent the bulk of his career under McCarthy after being drafted in the first round by the Packers in 2014 out of Alabama. He was traded to the Washington Redskins in the 2018 season, during which McCarthy was later fired, and signed a one-year deal with the Bears last March.

QB switches to new NFC East team

Colt McCoy will be seeing his former teammates twice next season.

The former Washington Redskins quarterback is signing with the New York Giants on a one-year deal worth $2.25 million, a person with knowledge of the move told the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official.

In New York, McCoy will serve as the backup to second-year quarterback Daniel Jones. 

McCoy started in one game last year and had been with the Redskins since 2014.

Browns solidify D-line with ex-Bengals DT

Andrew Billings is switching sides in the Battle of Ohio.

The former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle agreed to a deal with the Browns, his agents at SportsTrust Advisors announced Thursday on Twitter.

Billings, 25, received a one-year contract worth $3.5 million fully guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the agreement confirmed.

“Excited for this next chapter @Browns!” Billings, listed as 6-foot-1 and 328 pounds, tweeted after the deal had been announced.

The Browns had been seeking an interior defensive lineman who could create a formidable rotation with starters Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi.

In 2016, the Bengals drafted Billings in the fourth round (No. 122 overall) out of Baylor University.

Billings started 37 of the 47 games in which he appeared with the Bengals the past three seasons. He compiled 80 tackles, including 3.5 sacks.

– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal

Bengals bring on another ex-Vikings CB

The Cincinnati Bengals aren't done in NFL free agency as the club is set to add slot corner Mackensie Alexander from the Minnesota Vikings, a person with knowledge of the deal told the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on conidtion of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.

Alexander and the Bengals agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract. 

NFL Network was the first to report the deal. 

The move reunites Alexander with a former Vikings teammate. On Tuesday, the Bengals agreed to terms with Minnesota free-agent CB Trae Waynes on a three-year, $42 million deal. 

The acquisition of Alexander fills the void left by cornerback Darqueze Dennard, who agreed to a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. 

Alexander primarily lines up in the slot. He was at slot corner for 468 snaps last season in Minnesota. The fifth-year corner has 103 tackles, 21 pass deflections and two interceptions in his career.

– Tyler Dragon, Cincinnati Enquirer

CB Slay headed to NFC East

Darius Slay got his wish.

The Detroit Lions traded Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday for a pair of draft choices, one day after the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback took to Twitter to say he hoped the team's signing of Desmond Trufant "speeds up" his trade out of town.

Slay received a three-year, $50 million extension with the Eagles as part of the deal, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

The Lions get third- and fifth-round picks in April's draft, where they now have nine selections overall and four of the draft's first 85 picks. Along with No. 85, they own the third pick in the first round and picks 35 in Round 2 and 67 in Round 3.

One of the Lions’ most popular players on and off the field, Slay’s departure had been widely expected after he and the team spent most of the past year at odds.

Slay sat out voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp last spring in a contractual dispute that never was resolved; his fun-loving personality never meshed with third-year Lions coach Matt Patricia, who abhorred his practice of signing and exchanging jerseys after every game, win or loss; and he didn’t hide his displeasure when the Lions traded his good friend Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks last fall.

– Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press

Reports: Chargers jolt defense with CB Harris, DT Joseph

Two former rivals are about become teammates.

The Los Angeles Chargers are signing former Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr., according to multiple reports.

Harris and Chargers Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen sparred both on the field and off it as division rivals in recent years. Now, the two will share the same locker room.

The signing should strengthen a Chargers pass defense that ranked fifth last year with 200.3 passing yards allowed per game.

The Chargers also agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract with defensive tackle Linval Joseph, according to multiple reports.

At 6-4 and 329 pounds, Joseph has long been one of the NFL's best run stuffers. He was released by the Vikings earlier in March in a cost-cutting move.

Falcons add to pass rush with Fowler

The Atlanta Falcons paid up in a big way to bolster their pass rush.

The Falcons agreed to terms with defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr., a person familiar with the deal told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not official yet.

The contract is for three years and worth up to $48 million, according to multiple reports.

The moves reunites Fowler with Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who was the pass rusher's defensive coordinator for one year at Florida.

The Rams found a potential replacement for Fowler in former Chicago Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who the team signed to a one-year deal, according to reports.

Patriots continue to lose starters in free agency

Tom Brady isn't the only player leaving New England.

Defensive tackle Danny Shelton agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Detroit Lions, a person with knowledge of the move told the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract was not official yet.

The Lions and head coach Matt Patricia, who previously served as the Patriots' defensive coordinator, also landed safety Duron Harmon, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Earlier this week, the Lions added former Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins.

Meanwhile, former Patriots starting center Ted Karras and backup linebacker Elandon Roberts i off to the Miami Dolphins, per reports. The Dolphins, led by former Patriots defensive play caller Brian Flores, also reached terms with former New England linebacker Kyle Van Noy on Monday.

Eric Reid out in Carolina

Just one year after giving him a three-year extension, the Carolina Panthers are moving on from Eric Reid.

The safety made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday, saying he was "looking forward to furthering my career" with another organization.

Reid started all 16 games for the Panthers in 2019, recording 130 tackles and four sacks.

Cowboys get help up front after losing two starters

Reinforcements are on their way for the Dallas Cowboys.

The team agreed to a three-year deal with former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, according to multiple reports.

McCoy, 32, is a six-time Pro Bowl selection who has 54 1/2 career sacks.

His addition boosts a defensive line that lost defensive end Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears and defensive tackle Maliek Collins to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Cowboys also are interested in two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, according to NFL Network's Jane Slater.

Brady headed to Tampa

Tom Brady didn't take long to determine his landing spot in the NFL.

The former New England Patriots quarterback agreed in principle to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized and cannot be completed until the start of the league year on Wednesday.

NFL Network was first to report the news.

The deal is believed to be worth roughly $30 million per year, according to NFL Network.

Earlier on Tuesday, NFL Network reported that the Los Angeles Chargers believed they were out of the running for Brady. The six-time Super Bowl champion and three-time MVP would prefer to stay on the East Coast because of "family considerations," according to the report.

Brady, who will turn 43 in August, said on Tuesday he will not return to the Patriots next season and instead look elsewhere in free agency, ending his 20-year run with the organization.

Double the Watt-age in Pittsburgh

The Steelers are going to play host to a family reunion, albeit without the most famous sibling.

Fullback Derek Watt will join brother T.J., an outside linebacker for the Steelers, by signing a three-year deal with Pittsburgh, according to multiple reports.

Derek Watt and T.J. Watt played together at Wisconsin. T.J. Watt has been a Pro Bowl selection for the last two years, totaling 27 1/2 sacks during that time.

Eldest brother J.J. Watt, of course, remains with the Houston Texans.

QB Rivers, Colts agree to one-year deal

The rumor has become reality.

Indianapolis has agreed to terms with long-time Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in free agency, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until the start of the league year on Wednesday. The move that almost certainly ends Jacoby Brissett’s time as the Colts’ starter at the position.

The Colts signed the 38-year-old Rivers to a one-year deal worth $25 million.

Facing uncertainty at the quarterback position for the first time in more than two decades in Indianapolis, Colts owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and Frank Reich made a move at the game’s most important position, a move made just hours after Ballard made an enormous splash by trading his first-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

Bolts bolster O-line with Bulaga

Bryan Bulaga, a pillar of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line for the past decade, moved onto the next chapter of his career Tuesday.

The 31-year-old right tackle reached agreement on a reported three-year, $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, cashing in on one of his finest seasons in 2019.

The deal matches the one former Packers linebacker Blake Martinez got from the New York Giants.

It ends Bulaga’s 10 years with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2010, then watched him develop into a player who might one day be elected to the franchise’s half of fame.

Bulaga was a starter from the beginning, becoming the youngest player in history to start a Super Bowl. In all, he started 111 of his 115 games, returning from a pair of torn ACLs in each knee in 2013 and 2017. Though he never made a Pro Bowl, Bulaga consistently played at a level comparable to the best right tackles in the NFL.

In nine seasons, Bulaga played in four NFC championship games. He developed into a leader on the offensive line, particularly after Pro Bowl guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang had moved on. Though All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari had surpassed Bulaga in league stature, Bakhtiari often deferred to Bulaga in leadership.

– Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press Gazette

Eagles moving on from Jenkins

The Eagles announced that they have decided not to pick up Malcolm Jenkins' contract for 2020, making the safety a free agent, and thus ending the tenure of one of the best safeties in Eagles' history.

Jenkins, known as a leader on the field and a social activist off of it, was due a base salary of $7.6 million this season, but none of that was guaranteed.

He would have counted $10.9 million against the salary cap. By not picking up his contract, the Eagles will save $4.8 million.

Jenkins, 32, was easily one of the best free agent signings by general manager Howie Roseman. Jenkins was signed in 2014 to a three-year deal worth $15.5 million. Two years later, he got a four-year, $35 million extension.

– Martin Frank, Wilmington (Del.) News Journal

Jaguars begin rebuilding with LB Schobert

As expected, starting linebacker Joe Schobert is leaving the Browns.

Schobert agreed Tuesday to join the Jacksonville Jaguars, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to the USA TODAY Network. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until the start of the league year on Wednesday.

Schobert’s decision had been narrowed down to the Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals, the source said, adding the Bengals declined to match the Jaguars’ final offer.

Schobert’s deal with the Jaguars is for five years and worth $53.75 million, NFL Network first reported. He’ll receive an average annual salary of $10.75 million, a $12 million signing bonus and $22.5 million guaranteed.

The Browns didn’t want to pay Schobert the salary of at least $10 million per year his camp expected him to receive on the open market. It became clear the 2017 Pro Bowler would likely sign elsewhere after his agent and new Browns General Manager Andrew Berry met last month to discuss the contractual situation during the NFL scouting combine.

– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal

Reports: Carolina lands Teddy B amid Cam drama

Teddy Bridgewater is getting his shot to be a starting NFL quarterback again.

The former New Orleans Saints signal-caller reached an agreement with the NFC South-rival Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. The contract is expected to be for three years and $60 million, according to multiple reports.

The move follows the Panthers' announcement earlier Tuesday that they would allow incumbent starter Cam Newton to seek a trade. Newton pushed back against the team, saying on Instagram that the team had tried to "manipulate the narrative" and contending that he had "never asked" to be moved.

Bridgewater, 27, is poised to return to a starting role for the first time since he led the Minnesota Vikings in the 2015 season. In August 2016, he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and suffered other structural damage in a non-contact knee injury. He missed the entirety of the season and played in only one game in 2017.

Cowboys lose another starter as DE Quinn links up with Bears

Robert Quinn wreaked havoc to the tune of 11.5 sacks—in just 14 games—last season with the Cowboys.

The lithe defensive end will now be paid accordingly.

Quinn and the Chicago Bears agreed to terms on a five-year, $70 million deal with $30 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because deals cannot be completed until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

In Quinn, the Bears get a player with 80 1/2 career sacks and 145 quarterback hits since the then-St. Louis Rams selected him in the first round of the 2011 draft. Quinn compiled a monster 40 sacks from 2012-14 in St. Louis but then seemed to taper off.

That was the case until he joined Dallas last year, where, opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, Quinn was a force from the right side. 

Quinn’s 11 1/2 sacks in 14 games were in addition to 34 tackles, three pass deflections, two forced fumbles and 22 quarterback hits.

Report: Littleton heads to Las Vegas

The Raiders landed some much-needed support in the middle of their defense.

Former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Cory Littleton agreed to a three year, $36 million contract with the Raiders, according to multiple reports.

The Raiders had been in the market for defensive reinforcements after they we linebacker corps was exploited in coverage. 

A Pro Bowl selection in 2018, Littleton had 134 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks for the Rams last year.

Report: Cardinals land former Bills DT Phillips

The Cardinals have signed free-agent defensive tackle Jordan Phillips to a three-year contract, according to a report by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Phillips, who is 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, comes to the Cardinals from the Buffalo Bills, where he spent the past two seasons. He’s coming off a career-best season in which he posted 9½ sacks, 31 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits.

The deal is worth $30 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Phillips was a second-round pick out of Oklahoma by the Miami Dolphins in 2015. Phillips, 27, has played in all 16 games each of the past three years and in 76 career games, has 113 tackles, 15 sacks and 27 tackles for loss.

– Arizona Republic

Brees back with Saints on two-year, $50 million contract

As one of the NFL's most decorated quarterbacks prepares to find a new team in free agency, another one extended his long-running relationship with his current organization.

On the same day that Tom Brady announced he would leave the New England Patriots, Drew Brees reached agreement on a two-year, $50 million contract to remain with the New Orleans Saints, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal terms of the agreement.

NFL Network was first to report the deal.

Brees, 41, stated in February that he intended to return for a 20th season in the NFL and made it clear he planned to do so with the Saints. 

Giants bring aboard former Packers LB Martinez

GREEN BAY, Wis. – News that the Green Bay Packers had agreed to terms with free-agent inside linebacker Christian Kirksey before the start of the legal tampering period Monday offered a strong indication that Blake Martinez would be headed elsewhere. That's what happened just before midnight Central time when Martinez reportedly agreed to a $30 million deal with the New York Giants.

PackersNews.com reported the Packers were interested in keeping Martinez during the NFL scouting combine in February, but not at the price he was looking for – and ultimately received – at $10 million per year over three years.

Martinez was a fourth-round pick out of Stanford in 2016 and grew into a team leader in four seasons with the Packers. He hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year and has made at least 140 total tackles each of the last three seasons.

– Jim Owczarski, Green Bay Press Gazette

Reports: Cowboys re-sign WR Cooper, lose WR Cobb to Texans

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t secure Amari Cooper before he hit the open market, at risk of another team poaching him.

But by Monday night, the receiver got what he’s long said he wanted: He’s staying in Dallas.

The Cowboys agreed to terms on a five-year, $100 million extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The deal confirms that both Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott, who received the exclusive franchise tag from Dallas on Monday, will stay put with new coach Mike McCarthy.

Dallas will lose one of its top targets, however, in slot receiver Randall Cobb, who is joining the Houston Texans on a three-year, $27 million contract, according to multiple reports. Cobb was expected to be a key piece in helping aid the transition to McCarthy given his experience with the coach during their time together in Green Bay.

Report: Raiders bring on QB Mariota

The Las Vegas Raiders found some quarterback clarity — and it doesn't involve Tom Brady.

The Raiders agreed to a deal with former Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, according to NFL Network.

Mariota, 26, was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft after a decorated career at Oregon that included a Heisman Trophy win. He was the team's starter from his rookie campaign until this past October, when Ryan Tannehill took over the role and helped power the team all the way to the AFC championship game. The Titans on Sunday signed Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million contract.

Patriots lose another starting LB

The New England Patriots will have to break in another new starting linebacker in 2020.

After Kyle Van Noy reached a deal with the Miami Dolphins, Jamie Collins was the next to go, agreeing to terms with the Detroit Lions on a three-year, $30 million contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

Collins, 30, will be reunited with Lions head coach Matt Patricia, who previously was the Patriots' defensive coordinator. After being released by the Browns last March, Collins resurrected his career in his second stint in New England, recording 81 tackles and seven sacks in 2019.

Dolphins continue to remake defense

The Patriots are losing a key part of their 2019 defense.

Kyle Van Noy is signing a four-year, $51 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, According to the NFL Network. This reunites Van Noy with former Patriots linebacker coach/defensive play caller Brian Flores, who is now the Dolphins' head coach.

Van Noy, 28, is coming off the best season of his career. The outside linebacker finished the 2019 season first on the Patriots in quarterback hits (15), tied for first in forced fumbles and second in sacks (6 1/2) to go with 56 total tackles. He set career highs in sacks, quarterback hits and forced fumbles.

Miami has been aggressive in remaking its defense in free agency. In addition to making Byron Jones the NFL's top-paid cornerback, the team also zeroed in on former Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson.

– Mark Daniels, Providence Journal

Eagles beef up front four

Fletcher Cox is about to have a little more help.

The Philadelphia Eagles reached a three-year, $39 million pact with nose tackle Javon Hargrave, according to multiple reports.

At 6-2, 305 pounds, the former Pittsburgh Steelers standout commands significant attention in the middle. The Eagles also re-signed defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway on Monday and still have Malik Jackson in the fold.

Bears look to Packers castoff Graham to address TE problem

The Chicago Bears looked to their rival's discard pile in hopes of helping their passing game.

No, they didn't make a move for a quarterback. But the Bears signed former Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal that includes $9 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.

Graham, 33, struggled to find his place in Green Bay and was released two years into a three-year deal. But even with diminished production in 2019, his 447 receiving yards and three touchdowns were more than what every tight end on the Bears roster combined to record last year (422 yards, two touchdowns).

Ravens continue to bolster D-line

One day after landing Calais Campbell in a trade, the Baltimore Ravens continued to add to their defensive line on Monday.

The Ravens agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with defensive lineman Michael Brockers, according to multiple reports.

Baltimore now boasts a formidable front line of Campbell, Brockers and Brandon Williams. 

Cowboys lose CB Jones to Dolphins

The Dallas Cowboys won't be keeping all their stars.

On the same day they gave the franchise tag to QB Dak Prescott, the Cowboys lost CB Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins, who made him the highest-paid player at his position in the NFL. Jones agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million deal with $57 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condtion of anonymity because the deal cannot be completed until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

With the signing, Miami now has a formidable cornerback tandem in Jones and Xavien Howard, who was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018. The Cowboys now will be pressed to replace Jones either in free agency or early in the draft, perhaps with the No. 17 overall pick.

Lions pony up for OT Vaitai

The Detroit Lions made their first move of free agency Monday, and in true Bob Quinn fashion it's help for their offensive line.

The Lions agreed to a five-year, $50 million deal with Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai, SiriusXM NFL radio first reported.

Vaitai started three games for the Eagles last season and has played as Philadelphia's swing tackle most of the past four seasons.

He started at left tackle in place of an injured Jason Peters during the Eagles' 2017 run to the Super Bowl.

He's capable of playing both right tackle and right guard, but immediately becomes the favorite to start on the right side after Rick Wagner's release.

Wagner, the Lions' starting right tackle the last three seasons, was cut Friday and signed with the Green Bay Packers on Monday.

– Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press

Browns pick up OT Conklin, QB Keenum

The Browns made a huge and much-needed splash on the offensive line Monday by securing right tackle Jack Conklin.

Conkin and the Browns agreed to terms on a three-year, $42 million contract contract, which includes $30 million fully guaranteed, agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed. Conklin will make $20 million in the first year of the deal, Rosenhaus said.

Conklin, 25, started all 57 regular-season games in which he appeared the past four seasons with the Tennessee Titans, who drafted him eighth overall in 2016 out of Michigan State University.

According to multiple reports, the Browns also reached a three-year, $18 million deal with quarterback Case Keenum, who will serve as Baker Mayfield's backup. Keenum is reunited with head coach Kevin Stefanski, who served as the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator in 2017 when Keenum was the starting quarterback.

– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal

Report: Falcons land TE in trade

With Austin Hooper seemingly set to leave, the Atlanta Falcons have found a possible replacement at tight end. 

The Falcons will receive tight end Hayden Hurst and a fourth-round pick in 2020 from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick in 2020, according to ESPN.

Hurst, 26, was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft out of South Carolina but struggled to find a consistent role with the Ravens in his first two seasons. He had 30 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns last season.

Raiders land former Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski

The Raiders have landed their first free agent in Las Vegas, agreeing to a deal with former Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, per reports. Kwiatkoski seemed to confirm the reports by tweeting out a rendering of the Raiders' forthcoming Las Vegas stadium.

A fourth-round draft pick out of West Virginia in 2016, Kwiatkoski recorded 76 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks in 2019 while staring eight games. He could be part of a significant linebacker makeover for the Raiders, who earlier in March released Tahir Whitehead.

Browns working toward deal with TE Austin Hooper

The Browns are working toward closing a deal with unrestricted free agent tight end Austin Hooper, a person familiar with the contract negotiation told USA TODAY Network said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because deals cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

It would be their first major acquisition with new general manager Andrew Berry in charge of the roster.

Hooper spent the past four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, who drafted him in the third round (No. 81 overall) in 2016 out of Stanford University.

Hooper, 25, started 10 of the 13 games in which he appeared last season and posted career bests in catches (75), receiving yards (787) and touchdowns (six).

NFL Network reported the Browns and Hooper agreed to contractual terms, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, but the person familiar with the negotiation said the deal hadn’t been finalized just yet.

Hooper also told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “I’m definitely leaning Cleveland. Unless something comes up unexpected, then no question Cleveland is the leader.”

– Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal

Dolphins reach deal with Flowers; Lawson up next

The Dolphins jumped into free agency by adding offensive lineman Ereck Flowers on Monday on a three-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because contracts cannot become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

The deal is for $30 million with $19.95 fully guaranteed, the person said.

The Dolphins also are expected to land former Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson on a three-year deal worth up to $36 million, according to NFL network.

Flowers, 25, and a Miami native, had a career resurgence as a guard with Washington in 2019.

Flowers had been inconsistent as an offensive tackle for the Giants and Jaguars.

Flowers was the 30th-best guard in the NFL in 2019 as ranked by Pro Football Focus. This would make Flowers a slightly above average starter.

Miami has veteran Jesse Davis and second-year player Michael Deiter available to play guard. So this gives the Dolphins some flexibility.

Depending on how the rest of free agency and the NFL Draft go, Davis could play right tackle or guard.

Lawson, 25, recorded a career-high 6 1/2 sacks last season. Miami ranked last in the NFL with just 23 sacks in 2019.

– Joe Schad, Palm Beach Post

49ers sign Arik Armstead to long-term deal

The San Francisco 49ers didn't end up using the franchise tag on defensive end Arik Armstead, as the team instead locked him up to a long-term deal. Armstead agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the 49ers on Monday, according to multiple reports.

Armstead, 26, more than doubled his previous career sack total by tallying 10 in 2019's Pro Bowl campaign. The Sacramento native has stated his desire to remain with San Francisco.

The 49ers also re-signed safety Jimmie Ward but could have a difficult time bringing back wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Packers sign ex-Browns LB Christian Kirksey

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers didn’t wait until the formal start of 2020 free agency to sign a player. They have agreed to terms with linebacker Christian Kirksey to a two-year deal, a person with knowledge of the move told the USA TODAY Network on Monday. 

Kirksey was released by the Cleveland Browns on March 10 and as a vested veteran, he was free to sign with any team immediately. He visited the Packers on March 12 and PackersNews.com learned he had his physical taken then.

The deal is for a total of $16 million.

Kirksey, who will be 28 by the start of the regular season, will be entering his seventh season. He has played just nine games the last two years and one league linebackers coach told PackersNews.com that he is “good fit” for the Packers but is an injury risk.

Kirksey last played a full season in 2017 for the Browns, but he has been a team captain. He has suffered season-ending muscle injuries the last two years, with a hamstring ending his 2018 season after seven games and a torn pectoral muscle finishing 2019 prematurely.

– Jim Owczarski, PackersNews.com

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