Bills sign CB Vontae Davis to a 1-year, $5 million deal (via Ian Rapoport)
This is a quality signing by the Bills, as Davis will slide in opposite Tre’Davious White in a very solid Bills secondary. This will be Davis’ third team, after he spent most of his career with the Colts. He was one of the better corners in the league in his time in Indianapolis, ending up with two Pro Bowl selections. The Colts released him in November when they determined he needed groin surgery, and Davis took the time to heal up before shopping himself around the league and visiting with 5 different teams. $3.5 million of his $5 million is guaranteed.
Lions place Franchise Tag on DE Ezekiel Ansah (via Tori Petry)
The tag will pay Ansah around $17.5 million next season unless he is able to work out an extension with the Lions before July 16th. “Ziggy” has had an above average career since the Lions made him the 5th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, grading between 75 and 82 in every one of his seasons according to PFF’s metric. He has been boom or bust in recent seasons, showing absolute dominance in some games and disappearing in others. Regardless, the Lions felt he was too valuable to allow to reach free agency. That assessment is likely tied to the perceived dearth of talent at EDGE in both the draft and free agency, and the Lions rightfully feel more comfortable holding onto the pass rusher they drafted 5 years ago. Ansah will be entering his age-29 season next year.
Dolphins listed as possible candidates to trade up and draft a QB (via draftanalyst.com)
According to some insiders, there is a general feeling inside the Dolphins building that suggests Miami could be looking to trade up from 11 to draft one of this years top quarterbacks. The report lists Josh Rosen as the most likely option for Miami, although there has been plenty of talk about their potential interest in Baker Mayfield as well. Coming off a lost year due to an ACL injury, Ryan Tannehill, the current starting QB for the Dolphins, seems to have very little security as the Dolphins starter. He has been serviceable as a starter with healthy, but definitely not good enough to prevent Miami from at least considering going the QB route come draft time.
Dolphins EVP Mike Tannenbaum is close friends with Eagles GM Howie Roseman, and reportedly has interesting in making a draft day splash similar to what the Eagles did to trade up for Carson Wentz two years ago. If Miami does go that route on Draft Day, they will likely attempt to use Jarvis Landry as ammunition in their attempts to trade up, assuming he isn’t already traded by that date.
Bears intend to release QB Mike Glennon at the start of the new league year (via Rich Campbell)
This move was completely as expected after the Bears threw money at Glennon last offseason to be their starter, and he completely flopped and was benched after 4 appearances. He made $18.5 million in the process. This move will save the Bears around $11 million once it becomes official at the start of free agency, and Glennon will likely make his way back to Tampa Bay to back up Jameis Winston again.
Panthers release RB Jonathan Stewart (via Jourdan Rodrigue)
Stewart concludes his career with the Panthers after 10 seasons. He was drafted 13th overall in 2008 and was a consistent and reliable presence in the Carolina backfield during that time. He’s coming off a career worst 3.5 yards per carry (YPC), and will hit the open market as a banged-up, veteran power back. He should resurface on a team looking for a veteran bruiser. This move saves Carolina $3.7 million.
RB Matt Forte announces his retirement from the NFL (via Matt Forte)
Forte was a 2nd round pick back in 2008 and burst onto the scene his rookie year with the Chicago Bears. He played eight seasons in Chicago, with most of his time spent as an every-down back, and was one of the best players at his position in his prime. He toughed it out his last two years with the Jets as a solid contributor despite being banged up most of the time. Forte has had an excellent career to reflect on.
Jets release DE Muhammad Wilkerson (via Adam Schefter)
This release was also completely expected after a lousy finish to a good career with the Jets ends for Wilkerson. Wilkerson was a 1st round pick by the Jets in 2011, and started off his career really strong, earning 2nd team All-Pro honors in 2013 and 2015. Two years ago, the Jets gave him a 5 year, $86 million deal, and since then he has been a shell of himself, both off the field and on. He has shown up late to meetings, shown suspect at best effort on Sundays, and engaged in questionable behavior in the locker room. This move saves the Jets $11 million against the cap, adding to their already large amount of cap space. Wilkerson should be able to find a new home this offseason with relative ease, and will be entering his age-29 season next year.
Giants plan to give CB Eli Apple a clean slate (via NJ Advance Media)
This contradicts multiple reports that said the Giants were actively shopping Apple for trade. Instead, Apple will likely return for a second season in the New York, with a new coaching staff that will not hold any past transgressions against the disgruntled corner.