NFL Free Agency: Wednesday Recap

NFL Free Agency: Wednesday Recap

This article is part of our NFL Free Agency series.

Below, we'll look at the biggest signings from Tuesday night through Wednesday evening, covering the end of the legal tampering period and the first few hours of the new league year.

But first, here are some of Rotowire's offseason resources to help you stay up to date with everything that's happening:

Monday Free Agency Recap

Tuesday Free Agency Recap 

Free Agent Grid

Franchise Tags

Pro Day Tracker

Coach/Coordinator Directory

2021 Player Projections

Wednesday Signings

Williams isn't an explosive runner, but he's big and strong enough to handle carries between the tackles, while his receiving and blocking skills stack up favorably with a lot of third-down specialists. He's a perfect backup running back, as there's really no situation — first down, short yardage, third down, two-minute drill, etc. — where he's a liability.

Still, I'll consider it a win for D'Andre Swift if Williams is Detroit's only major RB addition this offseason. Let's just hope the Lions' new shot-callers don't have the Quinn/Patricia obsession with veteran RBs. 

     

  •   RB Marlon Mack (knee) re-signs on a one-year, $2 million contract.

Coming back from an Achilles tear, Mack will try to earn some carries behind Jonathan Taylor. There's no question who the lead back is this year, but Mack could still be useful if JT misses time.

   

The contract reportedly can go up to $5.5 million, which still seems like a bargain for a solid starter at WR. Brown missed seven games last season and will turn 31 in April, but he was still respectable when healthy in 2020, averaging 3.7 catches for 50.9 yards per game.

Brown should slide right in as a downfield-receiving replacement for Nelson Agholor, whose two-year contract with the Patriots reportedly is worth $26 million. Agholor had a great second half last season, but hasn't Brown been the better player for the most part? This is a rare steal for Jon Gruden, who has done a good job developing players internally but a terrible job finding capable starters in free agency.

       

Pringle was undrafted, so the Chiefs won't get any compensation if they decline to match an offer sheet. For anyone rostering Pringle in a dynasty league, it's worth noting that the Chiefs are willing to risk losing him, even with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson preparing to hit free agency. They could have spent about $1.3 million more to give Pringle a second-round tender and ensure he'd be back with the team. Now there's a chance he gets an offer from someone else.

    

  • Arizona Cardinals sign WR A.J. Green signs a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million.

Did anybody in the Cardinals organization watch Green play last year?  It wasn't pretty, and it's now been 30 months since he played at a high level. The wideout turns 33 in July.

  • Arizona Cardinals acquire C Rodney Hudson in a trade with Las Vegas.

Hudson turns 32 in July, but he's missed just one game over the past five seasons and only four games the last eight years. With three Pro Bowl nods and 127 regular-season starts, Hudson is widely regarded as one of the better centers in the league. The Cardinals got strong play from OTs D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum last season, so their O-line might finally be a strength now that Hudson is stabilizing the middle.

    

Firkser was set to become a restricted free agent and likely would've received a second-round tender if he hadn't signed this one-year contract first. He could have a huge opportunity ahead after the Titans lost Jonnu Smith (Patriots) and Corey Davis (Jets), though the Team presumably will add some pass-catchers in free agency or the draft. Firkser has been a passing-down specialist to this point in his career, peaking last season with 39/387/1 on 53 targets.

    

Mack is likely signing a one-year deal, while Williams got a record-setting contract that covers his age 33-38 seasons. Not to say he'll continue playing through the end of the deal, but it does suggest the 49ers expect at least three more years of high-quality play. That's actually a reasonable ask on the offensive line, where future Hall of Famers like Marshal Yanda and Jason Peters have maintained Pro Bowl form deep into their 30s. Williams is on that same level, quite possibly headed to Canton.

    

Jackson replaces fellow free agent Ronald Darby, who started 16 games for Washington last season and now heads to Denver on a three-year, $30 million contract. Jackson is getting $40.5 million over three years, so Washington surely is expecting an upgrade. The team also has a chance to improve at safety, with Landon Collins coming back from a torn Achilles and Kamren Curl looking to build on a rookie campaign with 88 tackles and three INTs. The Washington depth chart looks pretty darn good right now, apart from the second and third spots at wide receiver,.

       

Other Notes

  • The reported "four-year, $48 million contract" is more like a two-year, $20 million deal for practical purposes. That's still a big contract for an RB, but Jones could be out as soon as spring 2023.
  • Jackson has 30 PDs and 17 INTs through 45 regular-season games, earning PFF grades of 69.6, 68.2 and 69.3. You could've made a case for a first-round tender, as it's totally possible some team will be willing to give up a second-round pick for Jackson. Of course, that team would also need to give him a contract the Patriots wouldn't match, so the most likely scenario is Jackson staying in New England for another season. The secondary won't be the team's only strength this year.
  • Karras was New England's starting center in 2019 and Miami's starting center in 2020. He can definitely handle a starting job if need be, but he might just be the top interior backup if the Pats can re-sign C David Andrews or acquire someone else that's better than Karras. The other four O-line spots appear in good shape, with Isaiah Wynn (likely LT), Mike Onwenu (LG), Shaq Mason (RG) and Trent Brown (RT). That's a solid O-line, at worst, and a top-five line if all goes according to plan.
  • So do i.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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