The Latest: Bills reach deals with WRs Brown, Beasley

In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson (30) leaves the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. A person with direct knowledge of discussions has confirmed to The Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills have agreed to sign free agent cornerback Kevin Johnson. The person spoke to The AP on Monday, March 11, 2019, on the condition of anonymity because the signing won't be official until the NFL's new year begins Wednesday. (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)

By The Associated Press

The Latest on NFL free agency (all times EDT):

1:30 p.m.

Two people with direct knowledge of discussions tell The Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills have reached agreements to sign free agent receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity Tuesday because the signings won’t become official until the NFL’s new year begins Wednesday.

Brown is a speedy deep threat who had 42 catches for 715 yards and five touchdowns in his first and only season in Baltimore last year. He spent his first four seasons with Arizona, where he combined for 173 catches for 2,515 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Beasley spent his first seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, where he proved himself as a dependable slot receiver. He had a 65 catches for 672 yards and three touchdowns last year.

The agreements continue the Bills’ objective to upgrade an offense that lacked proven receivers and finished 30th in the NFL in yards gains last season. Buffalo’s two top returning receivers are Zay Jones, who is entering his third season, and Robert Foster, who as an undrafted rookie free agent last year.

Buffalo also announced signing cornerback Kevin Johnson to a one-year contract.

— Reporting by John Wawrow


1:20 p.m.

The agent for DeVante Parker says the Miami Dolphins receiver is close to signing a $13 million, two-year deal with the team that replaces a $9.4 million fifth-year option on his original contract.

The Dolphins had been expected to rescind the option for the underachieving Parker and let him become a free agent. But his agent, Jimmy Gould, says Parker loves Miami, wasn’t interested in testing the market and is eager for a chance to blossom under new Dolphins coach Brian Flores.

Parker was the 14th player taken in the 2015 draft but has been plagued by injuries and has scored just nine touchdowns while making 31 starts in four seasons. Last year he had 24 catches for 309 yards and one score in 11 games.

Parker’s new deal is heavy on incentives. Gould says he expects the agreement to be completed soon.

— Reporting by Steven Wine


12:35 p.m.

The New York Giants have re-signed restricted free agent fullback Eli Penny.

Penny was signed off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad in September and played in 14 games, working mostly as a lead blocker for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley. He had seven carries for 25 yards, and caught eight passes for 50 yards.

Penny played in 16 games for the Cardinals in 2017, scoring three touchdowns.

— Reporting by Tom Canavan


12:25 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers are big spenders in free agency.

On Tuesday, they agreed to deals with pass rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner.

Za’Darius Smith’s agency, SportsTrust Advisors, announced his $66 million, four-year deal with $34.5 million in the first two years.

A person with knowledge of Turner’s contract says the former Broncos lineman got $28 million over four years. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal can’t be official until Wednesday.

— Reporting by Stephen Whyno



The Oakland Raiders have agreed to a four-year contract with free agent safety Lamarcus Joyner.

A person familiar with the deal said Tuesday on condition of anonymity that Joyner will sign the contract after the start of the new league year. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move can’t be finalized until Wednesday.

The Raiders previously made big moves on offense by trading for receiver Antonio Brown and agreeing to a deal with tackle Trent Brown, according to a person familiar with those moves who spoke on condition of anonymity because they hadn’t been announced.

Joyner now will help upgrade a defense that ranked last in the league in yards allowed per play (6.27) and points allowed per game (29.2).

— Reporting by Josh Dubow


11:35 a.m.

Two people with direct knowledge of the deals say the New York Jets have agreed to sign wide receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy, and linebacker Anthony Barr.

The team also will re-sign cornerback Darryl Roberts, according to one of the people — both of whom spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because teams can’t announce deals until the NFL’s new year begins Wednesday afternoon.

General manager Mike Maccagnan has been been busy during the league’s legal tampering period, which began Monday. They also agreed to sign Baltimore middle linebacker C.J. Mosley, who’ll combine with Barr and Avery Williamson to form a revamped and highly paid linebacker corps in New York. The move also cloud the long-term future for 2016 first-rounder Darron Lee, who has been inconsistent.

Barr was the No. 9 overall pick of Minnesota in 2014. He had 13 1/2 sacks in five seasons, including three last year, with the Vikings.

Crowder, who turns 26 in June, gives second-year quarterback Sam Darnold a playmaking slot receiver. The speedy Crowder had 221 catches for 2,628 yards and 14 touchdowns in four seasons with Washington.

Bellamy has 76 career catches for 999 yards and five touchdowns, and is also a special teams contributor. He spent the last five years with Chicago.

Roberts has been a key backup and spot starter the last three seasons.

— Reporting by Dennis Waszak Jr. and Dave Ginsburg


11:20 a.m.

The Atlanta Falcons have gained some much-needed salary cap room by restructuring quarterback Matt Ryan’s contract. The Falcons confirmed that $8.75 million of Ryan’s 2019 base salary will be paid as a signing bonus.

The adjustment to Ryan’s contract was first reported by ESPN.

The move creates $7 million in cap space, leaving the team with approximately $13.5 million in cap space. Ryan signed a five-year, $150 million extension in 2018.

Even after Tuesday’s move, the Falcons still rank only 27th in the NFL in available cap room, according to Spotrac.

— Reporting by Charles Odum


11:15 a.m.

A person with knowledge of the move says the Green Bay Packers have agreed to sign former Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos to a $37 million, four-year deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal cannot become official until Wednesday.

The Packers continue to improve their defense after missing the playoffs. Amos, 25, started all 16 games for the Bears last season and had two interceptions.

Earlier in the day, Green Bay agreed to sign linebacker Preston Smith to a $52 million, four-year contract with $16 million guaranteed, a sourced told the AP. Smith, 26, leaves the Washington Redskins and is expected to improve Green Bay’s pass rush. Smith had four sacks and 53 tackles in 2018, and has 24 1-2 during his four-year career since Washington drafted him in the second round in 2015.

— Reporting by Stephen Whyno


11 a.m.

Four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker C.J. Mosley is headed out of Baltimore after the Ravens abandoned hope of matching an offer made by the New York Jets.

The Ravens hoped to keep Mosley, an unrestricted free agent who led the team in tackles twice since being selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. But first-year general manager Eric DeCosta couldn’t come up with enough money to keep the five-year veteran, who was an AP second-team All-Pro in 2014 and 2015-18. Mosley has had at least 100 tackles in every season but 2016, when he missed two games with an injury and finished with 92.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, DeCosta said, “We stretched our budget, and we thought we made a compelling offer to him.”

It wasn’t good enough after the Jets reportedly offered $85 million over five years.

DeCosta said, “The Jets just made such a powerful offer that as an organization it just didn’t make sense for us. That’s no reflection on how we feel about C.J. as a person and as a player in this community.”

The deal does not become official until Wednesday, when the NFL formally begins a new year.

— Reporting by Dave Ginsburg


10:30 a.m.

The Browns beefed up their defensive line before NFL free agency opened.

Vikings tackle Sheldon Richardson agreed Tuesday to a three-year, $39 million contract with Cleveland, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Richardson, who has played with three other teams since 2013 and been suspended twice by the NFL, will receive $21.5 million guaranteed, said the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because league rules prohibit teams from announcing signings until 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

ESPN was first to report Richardson’s agreement.

Richardson’s imminent signing addresses a major need for the Browns, who wanted to upgrade their interior pass rush and give help to Pro Bowler Myles Garrett. It’s the second move up front in the last week by general manager John Dorsey, who acquired edge rusher Olivier Vernon in a trade with the New York Giants.

Richardson spent last season with Minnesota, where he had 49 tackles and 4 ½ sacks in 16 games. The 28-year-old was the No. 13 overall pick by the Jets in 2013.

In six seasons, Richardson has 23 ½ sacks and 195 tackles in 87 games. Richardson was the AP’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 with the Jets.

While talented, Richardson has also run into some trouble.

He was suspended for the first four games in 2015 season for violating the substance-abuse policy for testing positive for marijuana. The league also suspended him for the first game in 2016 under its personal-conduct policy after he tried to outrun police in St. Louis, driving his Bentley at 143 mph before being stopped.

— Reporting by Tom Withers


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