Day 1 of NFL moves highlighted by offensive linemen
By Howard Balzer, Sports Xchange
Flush with a salary cap that increased $10 million to $133 million, NFL teams reacted with a frenzy when the bell rung at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, signaling the start of the 2014 league year.
Emboldened by the three-day negotiating period that began Saturday, agreements came fast and furious, with offensive linemen leading the storm. Within an hour, more than 25 players switched teams. By the time things slowed Tuesday night, some 70 players were involved in transactions.
Five linemen combined to receive a reported $95 million in guarantees. Heading the list was tackle Branden Albert, who moved from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Miami Dolphins for $46 million over five years with $25 million guaranteed. Tackle/guard Rodger Saffold went from the St. Louis Rams to the Oakland Raiders for $42.5 million over five years with $21 million guaranteed, and tackle Jared Veldheer left Oakland for the Arizona Cardinals for $35 million over five years with $17 million guaranteed.
The Baltimore Ravens re-signed tackle Eugene Monroe for $37.5 million over five years with $19 million guaranteed, while guard Zane Beadles left the Denver Broncos for the Jacksonville Jaguars, getting a five-year, $30 million deal with $13 million guaranteed.
Pass rushers were also in demand. After defensive end Michael Bennett re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Monday, the Chicago Bears turned their attention to Oakland’s Lamarr Houston, signing him for $35 million over five years with $15 million guaranteed. Later Tuesday evening, the Bears terminated the contract of defensive end Julius Peppers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were close to an agreement with former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, but no contract terms were available.
The following is a capsule look at significant moves made by teams Tuesday:
Arizona Cardinals — Signed tackle Jared Veldheer (Oakland); re-signed defensive end Frostee Rucker, tight end Jake Ballard; released guard Daryn Colledge.
Atlanta Falcons — Signed defensive tackles Paul Soliai (Miami), Tyson Jackson (Kansas City), guard Jon Asamoah (Kansas City); re-signed center/guard Joe Hawley.
Baltimore Ravens — Re-signed tackle Eugene Monroe.
Buffalo Bills — Re-signed kicker Dan Carpenter; released quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Chicago Bears — Signed defensive end Lamarr Houston (Oakland), safety Ryan Mundy (N.Y. Giants), linebacker Jordan Senn (Carolina); re-signed linebacker D.J. Williams; released defensive end Julius Peppers.
Cincinnati Bengals — Re-signed wide receiver Brandon Tate; released center Kyle Cook.
Cleveland Browns — Signed linebacker Karlos Dansby (Arizona), safety Donte Whitner (San Francisco).
Dallas Cowboys — Released defensive end/linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
Denver Broncos — Signed safety T.J. Ward (Cleveland); re-signed wide receiver Andre Caldwell.
Detroit Lions — Re-signed wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, running back Joique Bell.
Houston Texans — Released tight end Owen Daniels, cornerback Brice McCain.
Indianapolis Colts — Signed defensive end Arthur Jones (Baltimore); re-signed cornerback Vontae Davis, safety Sergio Brown.
Jacksonville Jaguars — Signed guard Zane Beadles (Denver); released running back Justin Forsett; re-signed cornerback Will Blackmon.
Miami Dolphins — Signed tackle Branden Albert (Kansas City), defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (Houston).
Minnesota Vikings — Signed defensive tackle Linval Joseph (N.Y. Giants); re-signed center Joe Berger.
New York Giants — Signed linebacker O’Brien Schofield (Seattle), running back Rashad Jennings (Oakland), guard Geoff Schwartz (Kansas City); re-signed safety Stevie Brown, kicker Josh Brown, cornerback Trumaine McBride, running back Peyton Hillis.
New York Jets — Re-signed kicker Nick Folk (franchise player agreed to long-term contract).
Oakland Raiders — Signed tackle/guard Rodger Saffold; re-signed running back Darren McFadden.
Philadelphia Eagles — Signed safety Malcolm Jenkins (New Orleans); re-signed punter Donnie Jones; released safety Patrick Chung.
Pittsburgh Steelers — Signed safety Mike Mitchell (Carolina).
San Francisco 49ers — Signed safety Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis); acquired quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; re-signed cornerback Eric Wright; released cornerback Carlos Rogers.
Seattle Seahawks — Re-signed tight end Anthony McCoy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Signed defensive end Michael Johnson (Cincinnati), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (Seattle), tight end Brandon Myers (New York Giants); re-signed cornerback Danny Gorrer, tackle Jamon Meredith; released kicker Lawrence Tynes.
Tennessee Titans — Signed wide receiver Dexter McCluster (Kansas City); re-signed running back Leon Washington; released wide receiver Kevin Walter.
Washington Redskins — Signed guard Shawn Lauvao (Cleveland), wide receiver Andre Roberts (Arizona), linebacker Adam Hayward (Tampa Bay); re-signed wide receiver Santana Moss, linebacker Perry Riley.