Tue Mar 12 1:04pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Dec. 14, 2014, file photo, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens linebackers C.J. Mosley (57) and Terrell Suggs (55) during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore. With unrestricted free agent linebackers C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and ZaDarius Smith headed elsewhere after the release last week of safety Eric Weddle, the Ravens lost four key contributors while adding much-needed salary cap space. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
NEW YORK (AP) Mike Maccagnan predicted the Jets - with lots of needs and plenty of money - would be very active when free agency kicked off.
He wasn't kidding.
The New York general manager has been wheeling and dealing since the NFL's legal tampering period began Monday, making several moves during a splashy spending spree that has the Jets plugging key roster holes.
Two people with direct knowledge of the deals say the Jets have agreed to sign wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy.
They also agreed to sign Baltimore middle linebacker C.J. Mosley, a four-time Pro Bowl selection. The Jets also had an agreement with Minnesota linebacker Anthony Barr, but he instead opted to return to the Vikings, NFL Network reported.
The team also will re-sign backup cornerback Darryl Roberts, according to one of the people - both of whom spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because teams can't announce deals until the NFL's new year begins Wednesday afternoon.
This all comes after Maccagnan and the Jets swung a deal with Oakland on Saturday to acquire left guard Kelechi Osemele, giving up a fifth-rounder while also getting the Raiders' sixth-round pick.
And New York likely is not done.
The Jets entered free agency with over $82.5 million in salary cap space, and still have the type of cash to remain in the hunt for running back Le'Veon Bell, who was considered a top target to add to new coach Adam Gase's offense.
For now, though, New York's defense has a big-time upgrade with the addition of Mosley, who'll pair with Avery Williamson to comprise a formidable duo.
The 26-year-old Mosley is headed out of Baltimore after the Ravens abandoned hope of matching an eye-popping offer made by the Jets, a reported five years and $85 million, including a whopping $51 million guaranteed.
The Ravens had hoped to keep Mosley, who led the team in tackles twice since being selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. But first-year general manager Eric DeCosta couldn't come up with enough money to keep the five-year veteran.
Instead, Mosley will be in the middle of Gregg Williams' defense in New York.
''The Jets just made such a powerful offer that as an organization it just didn't make sense for us,'' DeCosta told the AP. ''That's no reflection on how we feel about C.J. as a person and as a player in this community.''
Mosley has had at least 100 tackles in every season but 2016, when he missed two games with an injury and finished with 92.
After it appeared Barr would come to the Jets, it was uncertain how Williams would use the four-time Pro Bowl selection and tackling machine. It also clouded the long-term future of 2016 first-rounder Darron Lee, who has been mostly disappointing because of inconsistency. He had a career-high three interceptions last season, but also was suspended for the final four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Lee has one year left on his rookie deal, and it would appear unlikely the Jets will pick up his fifth-year option for 2020 - even without Barr coming to New York.
Crowder, who turns 26 in June, gives second-year quarterback Sam Darnold a playmaking slot receiver to pair with the speedy Robby Anderson and reliable Quincy Enunwa.
Crowder, whose deal is for three years and $28.5 million according to published reports, had 221 catches for 2,628 yards and 14 touchdowns in four seasons with Washington. He was limited to nine games last season because of an ankle injury, but the Jets envision his production to be more like the previous two seasons when he combined for 133 catches, 1,636 yards and 10 TDs.
Bellamy has 76 career catches for 999 yards and five touchdowns, and is also a special teams contributor. He spent the last five years with Chicago.
Roberts has been a key backup and spot starter the last three seasons, with two interceptions and 21 passes defensed with New York.
The battle to be the backup quarterback rages this offseason for the Seattle Seahawks, but Geno Smith is getting a lot of compliments from the coaching staff so far. Head coach Pete Carroll made specific mention of Smith's comfort with handling the huddle and making adjustments at the line, and he compared Smith's savvy to that of longtime backup Tarvaris Jackson. That's high praise from the coach since it's incredibly rare that a backup QB is held in high a regard as Jackson was, but Smith has to win his competition with Paxton Lynch first. Lynch signed with Seattle early in the offseason, but the coaching staff hasn't made any indications about who is winning the job yet. For now, it looks to be a battle that will go on throughout all of training camp.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaron Brown filled a red-zone niche for the team last year, but head coach Pete Carroll seems to already be scheming for him in 2019. Carroll told reporters that he felt the team had "underused" him last season and expects to get more out of his this year. Brown only caught 14 passes last year, five for touchdowns, but he's still incredibly fast. With D.K. Metcalf in the mix, Brown could see more utilization in a dual deep threat type of set, and fantasy owners shouldn't forget that Russell Wilson is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league on deep balls. If Carroll is telling the truth about the team's plans, Brown could be a surprise star in Seattle.
The Seattle Seahawks see big things in wide receiver Tyler Lockett, even if he's not very large. With the retirement of their steady No. 1 receiver Doug Baldwin over the offseason, Seattle will be trying to fill big shoes in the passing game. It all begins with Lockett. Lockett had a breakout season in 2018 as Baldwin dealt with injuries that would eventually end his career, and it looks like the torch can be passed in most ways. Both are small, quick receivers who run excellent routes and have steady hands, so the feel of the offense shouldn't change dramatically. The real question will be how much use Lockett will get, even if he is the go-to guy. Seattle is notorious for spreading the ball around and not letting Russell Wilson do too much of the work, but there's no clear-cut No. 2 receiver behind Lockett, so he will likely see the vast majority of the looks, especially on third down.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver David Moore burst onto the scene in 2018 by making a host of acrobatic, highlight-reel catches to announce his presence. Unfortunately, he slowed down with time, and it turned out that his acrobatics covered up for the fact that he struggled to get open on a consistent basis. His highs have been outstanding and stick in peoples' minds, but he also fades into the background during most games. Entering camp in 2019, Moore will be competing against Jaron Brown and D.K. Metcalf to try to lock up the No. 2 spot in the wide receiver pecking order. His competition is talented, but all three receivers have their warts. If Moore can improve his ability to get separation on a regular basis, he could easily run away from the others (metaphorically speaking).
The Eagles are bringing back running back Darren Sproles for one more season. After playing in just six games last year, it looked like Sproles might be done in the NFL, but the Eagles decided to bring Sproles back to an already crowded backfield that features Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, and Miles Sanders. Clement might be in the most trouble from the Sproles signing, but overall it's looking more and more like this is a running back committee that fantasy owners should stay away from. This move does almost guarantee that either Josh Adams or Wendell Smallwood are cut before the season opens.
Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco threw three interceptions during practice Saturday, July 20.
Fantasy Spin: Flacco is on track to be the starting quarterback this season and will look to post better numbers than he did last season. He will have a decent receiving corps to work with this season but likely will only be a low-end No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Jason Pierre-Paul (neck) likely will open training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list.
Denver Broncos TE Troy Fumagalli (hip) is considered day-to-day because of a hip injury.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill could be on his way out of KC, according to Mike Florio. Hill has been cleared of his suspension, but the team is not close to an extension with Hill. The Chiefs have some depth at wide receiver, so losing Hill would not be the end of the world. There's a possibility of a tag-and-trade next offseason, but Hill will likely remain in Kansas City this upcoming season. The two sides may continue to talk extension, but it doesn't sound like either side is close at all.
Buffalo Bills FS Kurt Coleman is expected to battle with Siran Neal and Jaquan Neal for defensive snaps as the team's third safety. SS Micah Hyde and FS Jordan Poyer will remain the starters.
With the onslaught of new talent brought in by the Oakland Raiders this offseason, running back Jalen Richard could find more success despite being further down the list of the teams top offensive weapons. Richard will primarily work once again as a pass-catching back, limiting his playing time to third downs and spelling off rookie Josh Jacobs. In 2018, Richard finished seventh among running backs in receptions (68) and targets (81) while picking up 607 receiving yards in the process. With the more dynamic players on the offense creating more space for him to maneuver, he could be the right change-of-pace back the team needs in certain scenarios especially with his proven chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. Richard is a player to watch as a potential handcuff to Jacobs, and could find value in PPR leagues if he finds more work in the red zone.
Joining the new offensive formula for the Oakland Raiders this season, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow hopes to be a part of it in a big way in 2019. The fifth-round rookie has his eyes on the job for the teams starting slot receiver, sandwiched on the field between fellow newcomers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. Battling Ryan Grant and JJ Nelson for the position, Renfrow has a dynamic skill set that forced GM Mike Mayock to trade up for him at this years draft. His 510 frame, reliable hands, and excellent route-running abilities give him the proper skill set, but hell have to prove hes the right man for the job during training camp and the preseason. Renfrow is a name to watch out for in the buildup to the regular season and is solely on the dynasty league radar until we know more about his role going forward.
Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray was impressive during offseason workouts, and he is getting ready for his first training camp with practice starting July 25. He is expected to get the starting nod in Week 1 ahead of veteran journeyman Brett Hundley, and he has impressed early on. "I was impressed with how smart he is, how determined he is. His future is extremely bright," future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said after the rookie's minicamp showing. Murray is already moving up the pre-draft cheat sheets, and he is considered a borderline low-end QB1 or top-end QB2 in most fantasy formats, while having considerably higher value in long-term dynasty formats.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been impressed by the quick learning by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray and his familiarity with the offense. "I know him running (Oklahoma head coach) Lincoln Riley's offense is very similar to what Coach Kliff (Kingsbury) runs," Fitzgerald says, "but on the first day he's calling audibles and getting us in plays that are favorable to the offense. So I was really impressed by his ability to take a leadership position first day at the offense." Fitzgerald also remarked that the Arizona offense will be much faster in tempo, with players expected to process pre-snap adjustments considerably faster. Fitzgerald is getting a little long in the tooth, but the up-tempo style should keep him rather productive heading into 2019. He's a reliable WR3/4 or flex fantasy option in most formats.
Denver Broncos RB Khalfani Muhammad had a 'solid' practice Friday, July 19, capping the session with a long catch on a wheel route, according to Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate (hip) said he has been medically cleared and will be 100 percent for training camp.
Fantasy Spin: Brate likely will be sharing playing time with O.J. Howard but could still have a decent role in the passing game. He has a chance to be a No. 2 tight end in some fantasy leagues in 2019.
Free-agent RB Darren Sproles (Eagles) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Friday, July 19. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Free-agent RB David Williams (Jaguars) officially signed with the Denver Broncos Friday, July 19. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The Denver Broncos have signed running back David Williams, who the team originally drafted in 2018 before letting go. Williams was a Jaguar last season, but carried the ball just eight times for 36 yards with Jacksonville. It's hard to imagine a situation where Williams has fantasy value in a Broncos backfield that already has Royce Freeman and Phillip, but stranger things have happened. He's not draftable in any format, but a good training camp could put him in the mix for some of Devontae Booker's snaps as the number-three back.
Free-agent DE/LB Connor Barwin (Eagles) told Sirius XM NFL Radio during an interview Friday, July 17, that he has spoken with general manager Howie Roseman about re-signing. Barwin indicated the Eagles want to take a look at their younger players for a few weeks in training camp first but suggested the two sides will reconvene after that.