Free Agent Frenzy, Day 2

It continues to be a wild time in the NFL as deals are coming fast and furiously. Yesterday I looked at the first wave of deals to make headlines, today I’ll dive into some more signings—including some of the big defensive moves.

Chark Becomes a Lion

A day after the Jacksonville Jaguars splashed out big contracts for receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, the team’s former top receiver D.J. Chark signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the Detroit Lions. Chark caught 147 passes for 2,042 yards and 15 touchdowns in four seasons with the Jaguars. He’s coming off an ACL injury that limited him to four games. In Detroit, he’ll team with second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift to form a solid offensive core for quarterback Jared Goff.

Tyrod Taylor Signs With Giants

Veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the New York Giants. He’ll serve as competition with fourth-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Taylor is a veteran who has played with five other teams, most recently starting six games for the Houston Texans in 2021. He’s 26-25-1 as a starter, including going 22-20 as a starter with the Buffalo Bills from 2015 to 2017.

Brady Gets Another Weapon

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a couple of moves on Tuesday, acquiring Patriots’ Guard Shaq Mason for a Fifth-Round Pick and signing wide receiver Russell Gage, who played for the rival Atlanta Falcons. Gage played with the Falcons for four years, catching 168 passes for 1,556 yards and eight touchdowns the past two seasons. With Chris Godwin coming off an injury and Antonio Brown no longer on the roster, Gage provides depth and another passing game weapon for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

Foreman Goes to Carolina

The Carolina Panthers agreed to terms with running back D’Onta Foreman. Last season, filling in for Derrick Henry in Tennessee, Foreman rushed for 566 yards and three touchdowns on 113 carries. The Panthers have Christian McCaffrey and second year back Chuba Hubbard at the position as well, with the Foreman signing sparking belief that one of those backs could be included in a trade package for Deshaun Watson.

Veteran Running Backs Sign

A pair of veteran running backs signed on Tuesday as James White is returning to the New England Patriots while former Washington running back J.D. McKissic signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. White has played all eight seasons of his career in New England, serving primarily as a pass-catching back. He was limited to only three games due to injury in 2021.

McKissic is also a gifted pass-catcher, who rushed for 577 yards and three touchdowns, catching 123 passes for 986 yards and four touchdowns in two years with Washington. He joins a backfield that includes Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, giving Buffalo options and weapons in the backfield.

AFC West Teams Load Up on Defense

With a division loaded on offense, the AFC West struck major deals with marquee defenders to kick off free agency. The Chargers, who traded for Khalil Mack, added a huge piece in the secondary, signing J.C. Jackson on a five-year, $82.5 million deal. Jackson played previously for the New England Patriots. The Chargers also moved to shore up the defensive line, inking defensive tackles Austin Johnson, formerly of the Giants, and Sebastian Joseph-Day, who comes over from the Los Angeles Rams.

The Chargers were far from the only AFC West Team to take swings on defense, as the Kansas City Chiefs inked former Texans’ safety Justin Reid to a three-year deal worth $31.5 million. While Reid bolsters the defense, it wasn’t all good news for the Chiefs, who saw cornerback Charvarius Ward sign with the 49ers. Tyrann Mathieu is also expected to depart in free agency.

In Denver, the Broncos worked to build up the defense after snagging Russell Wilson in trade last week. The Broncos made a splash Tuesday signing former Cowboys’ defensive end Randy Gregory to a five-year, $70 million contract. Gregory is a talented pass rusher who has tallied 15.5 sacks the past three seasons in Dallas. The Broncos also added Defensive Tackle D.J. Jones from the 49ers to help bolster the run defense, and re-signed linebacker Josey Jewell to a two-year deal.

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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