Although there naturally were plenty of fireworks on Day 1 of free agency Thursday, there was no shortage of spillover on Friday, with some teams turning their attention to resigning and restructuring some of their own in addition to grabbing more players off the open market. Additionally, the perpetually active Super Bowl champs consumated a major trade that's been rumored to be in the works for some time, and some teams burned the midnight oil Thursday and inked a handful of late-night deals. Here's a more in-depth look at how the NFL landscape was altered over the last 18 hours or so:
Terrelle Pryor signs one-year, $8 million contract with Redskins- Like several other deals that have already been inked in the early going, Pryor's contact is one that would have been impossible to envison a year ago at this time. One of the more nomadic players in the NFL in terms of position during his first four seasons, the 27-year-old finally gave up the ghost in terms of his quarterback aspirations and fully embraced the role of wide receiver. The results rendered the 2011 supplemental draft pick and former Buckeye one of the pleasant surprises of the 2016 season. Pryor saw a whopping 140 targets in Cleveland, parlaying them into 77 receptions, 1,007 yards and four touchdowns, including 15 catches of over 20 yards. DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both left the Nation's Capital in Day 1 of free agency and created a 214-target void in the process, which likely played a major role in Pryor's decision to gamble on a big season by only signing a one-year deal. Kirk Cousins also signed his franchise tender Friday, which significantly increases the probability that Pryor will have the prolific passer throwing him the ball. While Jamison Crowder (67 receptions, 847 yards, seven touchdowns in 2016), 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson and the tight end duo of Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis (110 combined receptions last season) will all see their fair share of targets, Cousins put up a whopping 606 pass attempts last season, meaning that Pryor should see no shortage of opportunities as the No. 1 receiver.
Brandin Cooks traded to Patriots- New England keeps collecting trophies and yet somehow finding trade partners who seem eager to facilitate their continued success. This time around it's the Saints, who also shipped a fourth-rounder to the Patriots in exchange for their first-and-third-round picks. In Cooks, the Pats snag a speedster who compiled 162 receptions (33 of over 20 yards) for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons alone while playing in 32 of a possible 32 games. Cooks is certainly a different type of weapon than Tom Brady has at his disposal in his current receiving corps, but the question of whether the 23-year-old will be capable of as big an impact while playing the majority of his games on grass surfaces and in harsh elements late in the season will persist until the 2017 campaign plays out. Notably, Cooks averaged 13.1 yards on his 34 catches outside a dome last season, a figure that represented a 3.5-yard drop from the 16.6 YPC he posted in controlled conditions.
Markus Wheaton signs multi-year deal with Bears- Wheaton heads to the Windy City after four so-so seasons in Pittsburgh. The 26-year-old slots in as the third receiver in a new-look Chicago offense that will feature Mike Glennon at quarterback and a duo of Kevin White and Cameron Meredith as the top two wideouts. It's a role that he appears much better suited for than the No. 2 job he often manned with the Steelers, one that he filled with only average results. The 2013 third-round pick's skill set doesn't really stand out in any one area, but he could be reasonably productive in an offense that furnished slot receiver Eddie Royal with 93 targets over just 18 games in the last two seasons.
Kirk Cousins officially signs Redskins' franchise tender of $24 million- Cousins is now eligible to participate in OTAs and it looks increasingly likely that he'll remain in Washington for 2017, as the team has reportedly expressed an interest in hanging on to him for the coming season. His return would bode well for new acquisition Terrelle Pryor, as well as the rest of the Redskins' productive pass-catchers, a group that includes Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis.
Russell Shepard signs three-year contract with Panthers- Shepard shed his special teams-only label in 2016, as multiple injuries at the receiver position in Tampa allowed him to see a career-high 40 targets and parlay them into 23 receptions for 341 yards and two touchdowns. He retained his spot as special teams captain as well, and his impressive overall body of work reportedly caught the eye of at least six teams leading up to free agency. The Panthers won the bidding war, and Shepard thus projects as the third wideout behind Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess heading into OTAs. The 26-year-old proved serviceable his tenure at wideout last season and tallied 1,286 rushing/receiving yards and 10 touchdowns over four college campaigns at LSU, hinting at some decent play-making ability.
Martellus Bennett signs three-year, $18.45 million contract with Packers- Fresh off a Super Bowl win, Bennett quickly found a new home with another storied franchise in the Packers, which had a void to fill after they couldn't come to terms with last year's top tight end in Jared Cook. The 30-year-old Bennett should be a more than adequate replacement, considering he's tallied no less than 53 receptions in any of his last five seasons. That stretch includes an average of 14.8 red-zone targets per campaign and 26 touchdowns, numbers that should be very reachable once again in 2017 within the pass-happy Packers offense. Aaron Rodgers targeted Cook on 10 occasions in the red zone over 10 games last season and fellow tight end Richard Rodgers another six times, providing a glimpse at his willingness to pepper the position with throws near the goal line.
Terrence Williams re-signs with Cowboys on four-year contract- Williams opted to stay put with the team that drafted him in 2013 and for which he has been reasonably productive as a No. 2 receiver. For practical purposes, Williams has really been the No. 3 option in the passing game the majority of the time, considering Jason Witten's prolific usage within the Cowboys scheme, and that is likely to persist in 2017. Williams' 594 receiving yards and 13.5 YPC last season were career lows, but he did haul in 72.1 percent of his 61 targets, which placed him at the top of the list among Dallas wideouts. He's shown to be a solid complementary presence alongside Dez Bryant, and another season with Dak Prescott could certainly result in an uptick that would boost his production back up to customary levels.
Dennis Pitta restructures contract to remain with Ravens- Chalk up the veteran tight end as another player that turned in a rather unlikely season in 2016. After suffering right hip dislocations in consecutive seasons, Pitta missed all of the 2015 campaign and seemed on a fast track to retirement. Instead, he made his way back onto the field in 2016 and turned in career highs in receptions (86), targets (121) and yards (729). He was actually the third-most targeted tight end in the NFL, although his near-exclusive use within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage led to an 8.5 YPC. Despite a wealth of young talent behind him at the position, Pitta's production and chemistry with QB Joe Flacco could make him a PPR monster once again in 2017.
LATE THURSDAY DEVELOPMENTS
Matt Barkley signs with Niners- The Niners are in full remodeling mode and Barkley makes for an intriguing addition. After making just 50 pass attempts over his first two NFL seasons and spending the 2015 campaign as an inactive in Arizona, the former USC star showed flashes of his stellar college play during his first extended stretch of opportunity last season in Chicago. Barkley threw for 1,611 yards over seven games, completed 19 passes of over 20 yards and racked up a trio of 300-yard efforts. Fellow free-agent acquisition and former Bears teammate Brian Hoyer appears set to get first crack at the starting QB job, but given the Niners' rebuilding mode, new head coach Kyle Shanahan is likely to enter the regular season with whichever signal-caller acquits himself best over training camp and preseason.
Aldrick Robinson signs two-year, $6 million contract with Niners- Robinson might be a slightly under-the-radar signing for the casual observer, but given his history with new Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan, there may be something to keep an eye on here. Robinson has now been with Shanahan in both Washington and Atlanta, but has always been stuck in situations where there has been impressive depth ahead of him at receiver. The 28-year-old sheds himself of past obstacles to playing time the likes of DeSean Jackson and Julio Jones with the move out west, although he will see another familiar face from his Redskins tenure in Pierre Garcon. Going into his fifth pro season, this may be Robinson's do-or-die opportunity to secure a starting receiver role, as the 49ers currently sport a serviceable yet unspectacular group at the position that will count Garcon as its No. 1 option. Having shown flashes of play-making prowess under Shanahan in Washington – when he posted YPCs of 21.5 and 20.3 and hauled in five receptions of over 40 yards in two seasons– and with 20 catches on 32 targets on his 2016 resume while with the Falcons, Robinson could develop into a fantasy sleeper in 2017 if given the opportunity
Dion Sims signs three-year, $18 million contract with Bears- Despite just 74 career receptions, Sims snagged a solid payday from the tight end-needy Bears, who were absolutely desperate at the position last season when Zach Miller went down with a Lisfranc injury after 10 games. Enter Sims, who filled in adequately over four seasons in Miami when called upon, although he was always behind the likes of Charles Clay and Jordan Cameron on the depth chart. Cameron's season-ending head injury last season provided Sims with the opportunity to bring in a career-high 26 catches, four of which surpassed 20 yards. An imposing figure at 6-foot-4, 271 pounds, he slots in behind Miller on the depth chart for the time being, although with one of the best tight end draft classes in recent memory on the horizon, his pass-catching opportunities could be further marginalized if Chicago opts to invest at the position.
IDP Quick Hits:
Jabaal Sheard signs three-year, $25.5 million contract with Colts- The versatile Sheard has 36 sacks over five pro seasons, making him an ideal fit on a Colts squad that totaled a relatively meager 33 QB takedowns in 2016.
Kony Ealy traded to Patriots- The Patriots' "other" trade of the day Friday netted them Ealy, who helps New England make up for the loss of Sheard and Chris Long. The 25-year-old has been a solid performer for the Panthers over his first three seasons, tallying 76 tackles, 14 sacks, five passes defensed, five forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Lawrence Timmons signs two-year, $12 million contract with Dolphins- Timmons will don aqua and orange after seven seasons in the black and yellow, bringing a diversified skill set with him. He's provided solid IDP value across the stat sheet since his rookie season, and should have no shortage of opportunities to keep racking up the numbers while serving as Miami's middle linebacker.
Mike Adams signs two-year contract with Panthers- A Pro Bowler two of the last three seasons in Indianapolis, Adams has tallied no less than 61 tackles in the last six campaigns. He also has 25 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles on his career ledger, and should be starting alongside fellow Pro Bowler Kurt Coleman in the coming season.