July 20th, 2024

Kirk Cousins chooses Atlanta, Saquon Barkley goes to Philly on a busy first day of NFL free agency

By Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press on March 11, 2024.

Kirk Cousins is heading to the Falcons. Saquon Barkley is joining the Eagles. Brian Burns is going to the Giants.

The first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period was a free-for-all frenzy with teams making one big move after another, highlighted by Cousins’ decision to leave Minnesota for Atlanta.

The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and the Falcons agreed on a $180 million, four-year deal with $100 million guaranteed and a $50 million signing bonus, according to a person with knowledge of the terms who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be signed until the new league year begins on Wednesday.

Barkley bolted New York for NFC East rival Philadelphia, agreeing on a three-year, $37.75 million deal with $26 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the contract told the AP.

Hours after losing Barkley, the Giants made a splash on the defensive side. They’re sending a 2024 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-rounder to Carolina for Burns, who is getting a five-year contract worth up to $150 million with $87.5 million in guarantees, according to a person with knowledge of the terms.

Barkley, a two-time Pro Bowl running back, joins an all-star offensive cast in Philly and replaces D’Andre Swift, who is heading to the Chicago Bears.

It was a busy day for running backs, who have been undervalued by NFL teams in recent years.

Josh Jacobs, a 2022 All-Pro, is leaving Las Vegas for Green Bay. Tony Pollard is going from Dallas to Tennessee, Austin Ekeler from the Los Angeles Chargers to Washington, Devin Singletary from Houston to the Giants, Gus Edwards from Baltimore to the Chargers, Antonio Gibson from the Commanders to New England and Zack Moss from Indianapolis to Cincinnati.

Like the Giants, the Raiders made a major splash on defense after losing their starting running back. Las Vegas and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins agreed to a four-year, $110 contract with $84.75 million guaranteed, agent David Mulugheta said.

The Raiders also are bringing in quarterback Gardner Minshew, who went 7-6 filling in for Anthony Richardson in Indianapolis last season.

Detroit is getting edge rusher Marcus Davenport and acquiring cornerback Carlton Davis from Tampa Bay in a trade. The Lions also are re-signing guard Graham Glasgow.

The Vikings are adding edge rushers Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel and inside linebacker Blake Cashman.

In addition to Pollard, the Titans are getting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and center Lloyd Cushenberry.

The Packers bolstered their defense by agreeing on a deal with safety Xavier McKinney. Green Bay released Aaron Jones to make way for Jacobs.

Jacksonville, which is acquiring quarterback Mac Jones to back up Trevor Lawrence, is adding wide receiver Gabe Davis, safety Darnell Savage, kick returner Devin Duvernay and cornerback Ronald Darby.

The Commanders, who have the most salary cap space in the league, raided division rival Dallas for defensive end Dorance Armstrong and center Tyler Biadasz. Washington also is bringing in linebacker Frankie Luvu.

Several teams kept some of their top players.

The Browns have agreed to re-sign defensive end Za’Darius Smith and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. The Eagles extended Pro Bowl guard Landon Dickerson’s contract and are signing edge rusher Bryce Huff away from the Jets.

The Seahawks are bringing back tight end Noah Fant. The Jets are re-signing kicker Greg Zuerlein and announced they signed cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who was released by San Francisco last month.

The Patriots are re-signing receiver Kendrick Bourne while bringing quarterback Jacoby Brissett back to the team that drafted him to play behind Tom Brady several years ago. The Bengals are adding safety Geno Stone and they announced they’re re-signing tight end Drew Sample and running back Trayveon Williams.

The Bills are bringing back left tackle Dion Dawkins, edge rusher A.J. Epenesa and defensive back Cam Lewis.

The Colts are giving wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. a new deal and re-signing defensive tackle Grover Stewart and linebacker Zaire Franklin.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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