Tuesday Free Agency Recap: Ekeler Serious, Waller Gone, Raiders Redundant

Tuesday Free Agency Recap: Ekeler Serious, Waller Gone, Raiders Redundant

This article is part of our NFL Free Agency series.

Tuesday marked Day 2 of the legal tampering period, which ends at 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday with the official start of free agency. We still don't have official word on an Aaron Rodgers trade, but it was at least a much more interesting day than Monday thanks to the Darren Waller trade and a slew of RB signings. More than ever, it seems teams want multiple talented running backs, except for the Chargers who seem ok with having none at all.

The big news from Tuesday is sorted below by position, starting with the spots we care about most for fantasy (QB, RB, WR, TE). Deals that appear particularly impactful for fantasy are in bold for all you skimmers (I count myself as one of those).

QB News & Signings

  • Not sure if this is really QB news, but Aaron Rodgers apparently wants the Jets to sign any wide receiver or tight end they can find with AARP membership or multiple busted appendages (see: tweet below). 
    • The Jets already have Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore and Corey Davis, though the latter figures to be released (the Jets should be decent and do it now, rather than making Davis wait and costing him money/opportunities).
  • Taylor Heinicke is signing a two-year, $14 million deal with Atlanta, including $6.3 million guaranteed. I'm not a big fan of spending big on depth when you're not realistically in a place to compete for a deep playoff run, but the numbers are fair for a high-quality backup like Heinicke.
  • Sam Darnold's one-year contract with the 49ers (announced Monday) has a $4.5 million base value, including $3.5 million guaranteed, plus up to $7 million in incentives. Not exactly a vote of confidence in Trey Lance, huh?
  • Andy Dalton is headed to Carolina on a two-year, $11 million deal. Again, I'd rather see a rebuilding team put the money toward blockers or receivers for its incoming rookie QB. What I want doesn't matter.
  • The Colts released Matt Ryan, who was brutal last year. He can still get a backup job but might also consider retirement.

RB News & Signings

  • The Chargers have granted Austin Ekeler permission to seek a trade, with the two sides failing to make progress toward a new contract.
  • Raheem Mostert re-signed with Miami for two years and $5.6 million, including $2.2 million guaranteed. For practical purposes, it probably functions more like a one-year deal for $2.2-3 million while allowing Miami to push some of the cap hit back to 2024 with the addition of a second season.
  • Jeff Wilson also re-signed with the Dolphins for two years, getting a maximum value of $8.2 million (though his deal will probably be revealed as no stronger than Mostert's once we have more details).
  • Rashaad Penny (ankle) is signing with the Eagles, which has Miles Sanders saying goodbye to the Philadelphia faithful.
    • Penny's contract looks like a steal for Philadelphia if he can manage to play just half the season or so.
    • The Eagles also re-signed Boston Scott, reportedly for one year and $2 million.
  • David Montgomery is headed to Detroit on a three-year, $18 million contract.
    • This presumably sends Jamaal Williams elsewhere, with Cincinnati and Buffalo rumored so far. And it's bad news for D'Andre Swift's receiving projection in particular.
  • Samaje Perine signed with Denver for two years and up to $7.5 million, including $3 million guaranteed. He'll probably get a lot of the passing-down work, which isn't the best news for Javonte Williams (ACL) investors. It's also not the worst news if this is all the Broncos do for RB depth.
  • Travis Homer is joining the Bears for two years and up $3.5 million. He was known for his pass blocking in Seattle and had a hard time staying healthy even in a not-that-large role (he did also play quite a bit of special teams, a la Perine).
    • This combined with the Montgomery departure bodes well for Khalil Herbert. Just remember that the Bears still have a ton of draft picks and cap space and Herbert hasn't shown much besides pure running ability. If the team wants someone who run, block and catch... they'll need to add a third guy to join Herbert and Homer.


WR News & Signings

  • Jakobi Meyers is reuniting with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas on a three-year, $33 million contract that has $16.5 million guaranteed at signing.
    • His $5 million base salary for 2024 becomes guaranteed the same day he receives the roster bonus, so Meyers should see at least $21.5 million over two seasons unless he completely tanks this year. Of course, players do sometimes fall off hard or fall out of a team's good graces, so it's not truly "$21 million guaranteed" the way some are reporting (likely at the behest of Meyers' agent, who in turn will provide future scoops to these reporters #AllInTheGame).
    • The Raiders have a lot of useful pass catchers, but I'm not sure any of them could crack 4.55 in a 40-yard dash if they had to run today, nor do I see much reason to keep Meyers and Hunter Renfrow on the same roster. Meyers does have a bunch of experience playing outside, but he's better in the slot and a team only needs so many possession targets (WR Davante Adams and TE Darren Waller figure to combine for 250-plus targets if they stay relatively healthy).
  • Michael Thomas is staying with the Saints on a one-year, $10 million restructured contract that can reach up to $15 million if he hits all his incentives.
    • My hopes for Rashid Shaheed's volume take a hit, but he should still be the No. 3 at least after his lovely rookie season.
  • The Jets are signing Allen Lazard to four-year, $44 million deal. Doesn't seem like they need him, but the Rodgers wants what the Rodgers wants, right?
  • Noah Brown is signing a one-year contract with Houston. The 2017 seventh-round pick looks the part of a No. 1 receiver, but his 555 yards last year were more than half his career total and he didn't do much after Michael Gallup got healthy. Browns is 27 and could land anywhere between second and fifth on the depth chart depending on what else Houston does this offseason. He can be ignored, for now, in all but the deepest of formats.


TE News & Signings

  • The Raiders traded Darren Waller to the Giants in exchange for the pick acquired in the Kadarius Toney trade a few months ago (No. 100 overall in the 2023 Draft).
    • This is good news for Waller's fantasy value, as Daniel Jones is no worse than Jimmy Garoppolo (possibly even better) and doesn't have a legit No. 1 WR. The trade gives Waller a chance to lead his team in targets for the first time since 2020. Daniel Bellinger, meanwhile, is relegated to the No. 2 TE job after a respectable rookie campaign. 


O-Line News & Signings

  • C Garrett Bradbury is re-signing with Minnesota for three years and $15.75 million. He's been disappointing for a first-round pick, but he's married to a friend of a friend of one of my ex-girlfriends so that's kind of cool I guess.
    • Bradbury was PFF's No. 11 graded center last year, after ranking 25th or worse each of his first three seasons. Just note that he turns 28 in June, so additional progress is a shaky proposition.
  • The 49ers also re-signed their starting center, Jake Brendel, for four years.
    • Brendel graded 20th out of 36 centers last year; his first time with enough snaps to qualify for PFF's grading. He turns 31 in September and had made only three NFL starts before 2022.
  • The Chiefs reportedly are interested in trading for LT Laremy Tunsil even after agreeing to a four-year, $80 million deal with Jawaan Taylor. I'd be surprised if it happens, but it's not totally out of the question given that LT Orlando Brown is a free agent (and expected to leave) while RT Andrew Wylie has already left for the Commanders. 
    • KC probably has the best or second-best interior line in the league, so they can get by fine with Taylor and either a rookie addition or cheap signing at the tackle spots. But adding Tunsil would essentially ensure the Chiefs have a top-3 line again.
  • The Texans traded for former Bucs G Shaq Mason and released G A.J. Cann. That's an upgrade, but it does seem like they are obsessed with these minor upgrades rather than pursuing impact players... especially when it comes to special teams and non-premium positions. Houston GM Nick Caserio is a con artist, but at least it's the McNair family on the losing end of his hustle (plus the 47 remaining Texans fans).
  • Chargers RT Trey Pipkins is sticking around on a three-year contract.
  • The Titans signed C/G Daniel Brunskill, formerly of the Niners. He started 40 games his first three seasons but mostly came off the bench last year (two starts).
  • The Falcons re-signed RT Kaleb McGary to a three-year, $37.5 million deal. He's a first-round pick who mostly disappointed but then broke out to an extent last year.

IDP News & Signings

  • S Donovan Wilson, the Cowboys' leading tackler in 2022, is re-signing on a three-year, $24 million contract.
  • The Browns reached terms with DT Dalvin Tomlinson late Monday night, reportedly giving him four years and $57 million with a bit less than half guaranteed. He's not a dominant player, but Tomlinson nonetheless is a huge upgrade for a team that didn't have any starting-caliber DTs last year.
  • The Seahawks reached terms with DL Dre'Mont Jones, formerly a Bronco, on a three-year, $51 million contract. He can play multiple line positions, though he's mostly known as an interior rusher, logging 22 sacks through four seasons (at least 3.5 each year). Jones is listed at 280 pounds and thus makes sense as a 3-4 end, though he can also line up off the edge if needed.
  • LB Kyzir White, formerly a Charger and then Eagle, is signing a two-year contract with Arizona for a max value of $11 million. He'll thus stick with Jonathan Gannon, who was Philly's DC the past two years.
  • CB Emmanuel Moseley (ACL) is signing a one-year, $6 million deal with Detroit. He tore his ACL in Week 5 last year, ending a solid run of play in which he had 33 PDs and 33 starts over 44 games for the 49ers from 2019-22.
    • The Lions added former Steelers CB Cameron Sutton on a three-year, $33 million deal Monday. Fellow CBs Amani Oruwariye and Mike Hughes are free agents, while 2020 top-five pick Jeff Okudah was benched down the stretch last year after seemingly enjoying a breakout of sorts in the first half of the season.
  • Former 49ers LB Azeez Al-Shaair is signing with Tennessee, where he'll replace the recently departed David Long (Miami, still alive).
  • Additionally, the Titans poached DE Arden Key from the division-rival Jags with a three-year, $24 million deal.
  • CB Byron Murphy is leaving the Cardinals to sign with Minnesota on a two-year, $22 million contract.
  • CB James Bradberry re-signed with the Eagles for three years and $37.5 million. That seems pretty cheap for a quality starting corner, especially one with his track record, though he turns 30 this summer and had some rough moments down the stretch last year.
  • CB Stephon Gilmore was traded from Indianapolis to Dallas after his bounce-back 2022.
  • DL Charles Omenihu is leaving the Niners for the Chiefs on a two-year, $20 million deal.
  • The Colts are giving edge rusher Samson Ebukam a three-year deal worth up to $27 million. He previously played for the Rams and Niners, notching either 4.5 or 5.0 sacks each of the last four years. 
  • LB Leighton Vander Esch is re-signing with Dallas for two years and $8 million. Some have suggested this could end the Cowboys' pursuit of Bobby Wagner.

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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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