BIRMINGHAM, March 12, 2014 — After the confetti falls at the end of the Super Bowl each year, NFL junkies are immediately counting the days until next season. The NFL draft is the next best thing to hearing the first word of teams reporting for fall camp.
This year the NFL draft is not until the second week of May. Lucky for the hardcore NFL addicts, March 11 was the official signing day for free agents in the NFL. For those who missed the action, here are the most of the noteworthy signings.
Denver Broncos: The Dallas Cowboys have decided to part ways with former first round draft pick Demarcus Ware. Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that Ware has signed a three-year, $30 million deal with a $20 million guaranteed to play in Denver.
San Francisco 49ers: Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin has re-signed for two more years with the 49ers. The deal is for $12 million with $9 million of that guaranteed.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ike Taylor, a 12-year veteran cornerback, had his salary cut to $2.75 million, down from $7 million, as he signed one more year with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is most likely his last year before retiring as a Steeler. Taylor has been with the Steelers his entire career, playing in three Super Bowls as a Steeler and winning twice. The Steelers’ secondary will also benefit in 2014 as Free-Safety Mike Mitchell from the Carolina Panthers signed a five-year, $25 million deal to play in Pittsburgh.
Indianapolis Colts: Defensive End, Arthur Jones has left the Baltimore Ravens to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. The deal is for five years, $30 million. Cornerback Vontae Davis has re-signed with the Colts for four years, $39 million. Former Cleveland Brown Linebacker, D’Qwell Jackson signed a four-year, $22 million deal with a $1 million signing bonus with the Colts. Jackson is guaranteed $11 million. The Colts also re-signed running back Ahmad Bradshaw to a one-year deal and they also resigned Punter Pat McAfee to a five-year deal worth $14.5 million in total salary and $5 million guaranteed. Legendary kicker Adam Vinatieri, 41, re-signed with the Colts for two more years. Vinatieri is 41 years old.
New York Football Giants / Minnesota Vikings: Running back Peyton Hillis re-signed with the Giants for two years, $1.8 million. Rashad Jennings left the Oakland Raiders and signed with the Giants. However, former Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph has reached an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings for a five-year, $31.5 million deal. The Vikings also reached a five-year, $42.5 million deal with defensive end Everson Griffin, $20 million of which is guaranteed. Quarterback Matt Cassel reached an agreement with the Vikes for a two-year, $10 million deal.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Offensive guard, Zane Beadles will no longer be with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Beadles signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the deal is for five years, $30 million. Jacksonville also reached a two-year deal worth $8 million with quarterback Chad Henne. Henne is guaranteed $4.5 million his first year. QB Blaine Gabbert was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth round draft pick. The Jags also signed defensive lineman, Red Bryant to a four-year, $17 million deal. The Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, recently released Bryant and the Jaguars were able to capitalize on his availability.
Arizona Cardinals: Ten-year veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby is leaving the Arizona Cardinals to play for the Cleveland Browns. His deal is for four years and $24 million. The Cardinals are also losing wide receiver Andre Roberts who will become a new target for quarterback RGIII for the Washington Redskins. Offensive lineman Jared Veldheer has left the Raiders to join the Cardinals for a five-year, $35 million deal. Tight end John Carlson has signed with the Cards on a two-year, $4.65 million deal. Carlson was previously with the Minnesota Vikings.
Tennessee Titans: Wide receiver and kick return Specialist, Dexter McCluster has signed with the Tennessee Titans for three years and $12 million. McCluster was formerly a standout player for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans also reached a three-year, $9.6 million agreement with defensive end Ropati Pitoitua. The deal includes a $2.175 million signing bonus.
Oakland Raiders: Running Back, Darren McFadden re-signed with the Oakland Raiders for a one-year, $4 million deal. Left tackle Rodger Saffold also signed a deal with the Raiders. Saffold leaves the St. Louis Rams for a five-year, $42.5 million dollar deal with the Raiders. Defensive end Lamarr Houston is leaving the Raiders to play for the Chicago Bears. His deal is for five-years and $35 million.
Miami Dolphins: Offensive tackle Branden Albert signed a five-year, $46 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. Albert, a former Kansas City Chief, is guaranteed $25 million. The Dolphins have retained cornerback Brent Grimes. Grimes resigned a deal for four years, $32 million. The Pro Bowler is guaranteed $16 million.
The Rest: Safety Malcolm Jenkins has left the New Orleans Saints for the Philadelphia Eagles for a three-year, $16.25 million deal. The Green Bay Packers re-signed cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year, $39 million deal. Shields will receive a $12.5 million signing bonus. The Baltimore Ravens have come to an agreement with left tackle, Eugene Monroe for five years and $37.5 million. Monroe is guaranteed $19 million. Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward is moving on from Cleveland to play for the Denver Broncos. He signed for four years and $23 million with $14 million guaranteed. Previously with the Cincinnati Bengals, defensive end Michael Johnson has signed a five-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worth $43.75 million with $24 million guaranteed. Safety Aaron Williams re-signed with the Buffalo Bills for four years and $26 million. Williams can earn up to $1.25 million in incentives from the Bills.