2024 NFL free agency updates: Tracker for Friday’s biggest buzz, notable contracts

2024 NFL free agency updates: Tracker for Friday’s biggest buzz, notable contracts


NFL free agency might be ramping down from its early week peak, but the action has hardly stopped.

After a flurry of action on Day 1Day 2 and Day 3 of the pre-free agency negotiating window, Thursday featured several notable deals, including a pair of trades: the Washington Commanders sending QB Sam Howell to the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Chargers dealing WR Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears. And while most of the big names have already settled on their destinations, big-money contracts are still materializing, as evidenced by Arik Armstead’s three-year, $51 million pact with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

USA TODAY Sports will have updates on all the latest deals and buzz throughout the day, so check back often for up-to-the-minute news from our staff and around the USA TODAY Network:

The New York Jets have made another move to bolster their offensive line.

Longtime Dallas Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith agreed to terms on a contract with the Jets, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal was for one year and could be worth up to $20 million with incentives.

Smith, 33, received eight Pro Bowl nods and was a first team All-Pro two times in his 13 seasons in Dallas. Though injuries have been a persistent issue — Smith has missed at least three games every season since 2016 and played only two games in 2020 and four in 2022 — his presence and steady play should still provide a nice boost for a Jets offensive line that was in disarray last year. — Jace Evans

Jimmy Garoppolo is on the move again.

The quarterback agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on Friday, according to multiple reports.

Garoppolo, 32, was officially cut by the Raiders on Wednesday after one disappointing season with the team. He signed a three-year, $72.75 million last offseason, but the remainder of his guaranteed money was voided when he was suspended two games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Garoppolo started six games and threw for seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. After coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were fired at midseason, new coach Antonio Pierce benched the veteran in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell.

In Los Angeles, Garoppolo slots in as the backup to Matthew Stafford. The Rams selected Stetson Bennett in the fourth round of last year’s NFL draft, but the Georgia product was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list in September. The team has not provided any details regarding his absence.

“I do think it’s important, as we saw in Green Bay, if we can have a backup quarterback that can help us win a game because losing the Green Bay game could have hurt us [in the playoff hunt],” Rams general manager Les Snead said in January.

Andre Dillard, one of the first big free agent signings made by Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon, had a briefer tenure with the franchise than initially envisioned.

The Titans released Dillard on Friday, parting ways with him short after just one season.

Dillard started 10 games at left tackle in 2023, allowing a league-high 12 sacks despite ranking 66th in the NFL in pass block snaps for a tackle. He allowed multiple sacks in four of his 10 starts, including three apiece in games against the Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns in the first month of the season. He was benched for poor performance twice but returned to the starting lineup because of injuries on the front both times.

Without Dillard, the Titans return potential tackles Nicholas Petit-Frere, Jaelyn Duncan and Dillon Radunz for 2024. Veteran Chris Hubbard is a pending free agent. The Titans own the No. 7 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and most projections favor the Titans to use that pick on an offensive tackle.

– Nick Suss, The Tennessean

The Dallas Cowboys are parting ways with LB Leighton Vander Esch and WR3 Michael Gallup, per ESPN. The departure of Vander Esch, a Pro Bowler in his 2018 rookie season, saves about $2.1 million in 2024. In Gallup’s case, the move saves Dallas from paying a $4 million guarantee that comes due next week.

For Vander Esch, who’s struggled with multiple neck injuries over the years, this could mean the end of his career. He’s never been the same player who was all over the field as a rookie, though has been a steady contributor when healthy enough to play. The Cowboys’ most notable addition this week has been ILB Eric Kendricks.

An 1,100-yard receiver in 2019, injuries and diminished opportunities have depressed Gallup’s production since. He had 34 receptions for a career-low 418 yards in 2023. Martavis Bryant and KaVontae Turpin could be among those competing for reps behind starting WRs CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks in 2024.

The San Francisco 49ers have acquired some All-Pro assistance for their defense.

LB De’Vondre Campbell, formerly of the Packers, agreed to a one-year contract. Campbell, who averaged better than 100 tackles over the past three seasons with the Green Bay Packers will likely start alongside another All-Pro, Fred Warner, until LB Dre Greenlaw is able to return from the torn Achilles tendon he suffered in Super Bowl 58.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are officially clearing the way for Russell Wilson.

The team is trading former starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles in a pick swap, according to multiple reports.

The move comes just five days after Wilson agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran minimum (approximately $1.2 million) to join the Steelers. The Denver Broncos are due to pay the remainder of the $39 million he’s owed for the 2024 season after cutting him this week, ending a tumultuous two-year run.

Pickett, 25, was the Steelers’ 2022 first-round draft pick (No. 20 overall) out of Pitt. He started the last two seasons but struggled piloting an offense that ranked 28th in scoring (17.9 points per game). Pickett was sidelined late in the season by an ankle injury, and the team kept him on the bench down the stretch and into the playoffs, choosing instead to stick with the hot hand in Mason Rudolph.

In Philadelphia, Pickett – who grew up Ocean Township, New Jersey, and was a fan of the Eagles – will serve as the backup to Jalen Hurts. Marcus Mariota, who operated in the role last season, signed with the Washington Commanders.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ reshuffling of their pass rush won’t include sending away Josh Sweat.

The former Pro Bowl pass rusher agreed to a revised contract with the team on Friday, according to multiple reports.

The signing of pass-rush specialist Bryce Huff sparked speculation that either Sweat or Haason Reddick could be moved by the team. But the former will remain in place after reworking his deal.

Sweat signed a three-year, $42 million extension in 2021. He is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.

The Carolina Panthers are looking to a former high draft pick to round out their pass rush.

K’Lavon Chaisson signed a one-year deal worth up to $5 million, according to multiple reports.

Chaisson, 24, was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the No. 20 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. But the LSU product never lived up to his lofty draft status, recording just five sacks in four seasons.

In Carolina, however, he could have an opportunity to reboot his career. Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is in need of more edge threats after the Panthers traded star pass rusher Brian Burns to the New York Giants. The team already signed former Minnesota Viking D.J. Wonnum on Thursday but otherwise has little in the way of established production at the position. Jadeveon Clowney, the former No. 1 overall pick who logged 9 ½ sacks last season for the Baltimore Ravens, is expected to visit with the team, according to multiple reports.

While Thursday saw quarterbacks who were starters in 2023 traded to other teams and likely backup roles – Sam Howell (Seattle Seahawks), Desmond Ridder (Arizona Cardinals) – other passers with extensive starting experience, and some as QB2, also remain available.

Among the most notable are Ryan Tannehill, Joshua Dobbs and Jimmy Garoppolo, who was cut this week by the Las Vegas Raiders. Others include longtime reserves Blaine Gabbert, Brian Hoyer, and Kyle Allen plus former Pro Bowlers Carson Wentz and Snoop Huntley,

The Los Angeles Rams continue to remake their defense, one that became wholly unrecognizable – aside from DL Aaron Donald – in the wake of their Super Bowl 56 triumph.

The latest addition is safety Kamren Curl, who’s quietly been a solid player for the Washington Commanders in recent seasons. Per NFL Network, he gets a two-year deal with a max value of $13 million.

Curl had a career-high 115 tackles in 2023. For now, it appears he and Russ Yeast will be the Rams’ new safety tandem.

Though most of the big-ticket free agents have already landed in new homes, more remain unclaimed – including notable linemen like LT Tyron Smith and DEs Chase Young and Jadeveon Clowney. USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon listed out his top 25 remaining free agents as of Friday morning.

The Cleveland Browns lost both of their starting inside linebackers Monday when Anthony Walker Jr. and Sione Takitaki left in free agency. They’ve already replaced one with veteran free agent Jordan Hicks.

Now, the Browns are bringing in another potential replacement. A league source confirmed for the Beacon Journal a report by ESPN that former first-round pick Devin Bush Jr. will sign a deal with the team.

Bush, 25, was originally the 10th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2019 draft out of the University of Michigan. However, after four seasons in Pittsburgh, he spent last season with the Seattle Seahawks. The 5-11, 234-pounder played in 13 games for the Seahawks, starting three. He had 37 tackles and five tackles for loss.

Chris Eastering, Akron Beacon Journal

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Mac Jones made his first public comments since being traded for a sixth-round draft pick by the New England Patriots.

The move came ahead of the 2024 NFL draft, where the Patriots are expected to use their No. 3 overall pick to select one of the top-three quarterbacks on the board. When speaking with media members at an introductory press conference on Thursday, Jones called the break-up with New England a “mutual parting of ways.”

“Obviously, we kind of just decided the mutual parting of ways was the best decision for both of us,” said Jones. “For me, it was just about moving on and getting back home, and I can’t be more excited. And for them, it’s about moving forward and turning the page. So really, that’s kind of what we decided, and I think it’s a great decision.”


Jordy McElroy, The Providence Journal

Certainly, no 240-pound linebacker is any match for The Cheetah, right?

Wrong, at least in the eyes of new Miami Dolphins linebacker Jordyn Brooks, who in his introductory news conference with South Florida reporters Thursday wasn’t shy about discussing his speed.

“I personally think I’m one of the fastest guys in the NFL,” Brooks said.

And just to make sure there was no misunderstanding, he quickly added, “Not linebackers but players. Period.”

When it was pointed out that he’s joining a team that isn’t short on speed – Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert still wear Dolphins colors, of course – Brooks still didn’t back down.

“I’m ready, man,” he said.

For the record, Brooks ran the 40 in 4.54 seconds at the NFL combine. Hill has been clocked in the 4.29 range.

Regardless, it’s a good thing for the Dolphins that Brooks says he’s ready for whatever challenge comes his way. With the loss of defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, Miami’s linebackers should see their share of running backs coming at them in 2024, in addition to usual responsibilities in coverage.


Hal Habib, Palm Beach Post

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