Sproles, Revis and other NFL free agents, find new homes
Darrelle Revis and Darren Sproles found landing spots in the Northeast. Now Steve Smith and James Harrison look for new NFL homes.
Revis’ stay in Tampa Bay was short, and he might not be in New England much longer. After less than a year as a Buccaneer, he was cut Wednesday and officially agreed to terms with the Patriots Thursday – but only on a one-year deal, albeit worth about $12 million.
The 28-year-old shutdown cornerback whose contract impasses have led him from the Jets to the Bucs to the Patriots since last April, was the latest big name on the move. Versatile running back-kick returner Sproles will add some juice to Philadelphia’s already high-energy offense after he was acquired from New Orleans. And someone will grab veteran Smith after the standout wide receiver was released by Carolina.
As for Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year was cut by Cincinnati, where he spent only the 2013 season after being released by Pittsburgh.
Yet another busy period on the third day of NFL free agency in which Tampa Bay cut tackle Donald Penn and signed Anthony Collins to replace him; Oakland signed defensive end Justin Tuck and linebacker LaMarr Woodley; Green Bay re-signed linebacker Mike Neal and tight end Andrew Quarless; and the Jaguars formally signed defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive lineman Ziggy Hood and re-signed defensive end Jason Babin, who led the team with 7½ sacks in 2013.
Revis’ business manager, John Geiger, tweeted: “Now it’s Official.(at)Revis24 has agreed to terms with the New England Patriots!”
Tampa released the three-time All-Pro before he was due a $1.5 million bonus. Revis was cut after efforts to trade him and his $16 million salary failed. New England had a need at the position because Aqib Talib left for Denver. The Patriots have not announced the Revis move.
The Eagles were eager to let the world know about the addition of the 30-year-old Sproles, who figures to be a threat as a receiver, runner, returner and in pass protection against blitzers – all the things he did so well in New Orleans.
“Darren Sproles is an unbelievable offensive weapon,” coach Chip Kelly said. “He can do it all: run, catch, plus he’s a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of those dynamic skills to the return game as well. There is no question we were all excited once we found out we were going to be able to trade for him.”
Sproles had 71 catches for 604 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 220 yards and two scores in 2013.
Smith has been the face of Carolina’s franchise for a decade. But he turns 35 in May and would have cost the Panthers $7 million under this year’s salary cap. The Panthers still owe Smith $3 million.
In other moves
• Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and Tarvaris Jackson agreed to a one-year contract for him to back up quarterback Russell Wilson.
• The New York Giants reached an agreement with fullback Henry Hynoski on a one-year contract worth $1 million, a person with knowledge of the deal said.
• Cleveland signed tight end Jim Dray to a three-year, $5.62 million contract, with $2.25 million in the first season. And the Browns signed Cincinnati slot wide receiver Andrew Hawkins to a four-year offer sheet. The Bengals have five days to match the offer or they’ll lose the elusive and speedy Hawkins to one of their AFC North rivals.
• Rodger Saffold’s bizarre free-agent experience ended back in St. Louis. He re-signed Thursday, one day after he failed a physical to void a five-year, $42.5 million deal with the Raiders.
• Buffalo brought back its top tight end, Scott Chandler, who holds the Bills’ record for tight ends with 32 consecutive games with a catch.
• Minnesota signed cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, a starter on Carolina’s improved defense last year. Munnerlyn got a deal that could pay him $15 million over three years with incentives.
• Tight end Garrett Graham re-signed with the Texans, two days after the team released two-time Pro Bowler Owen Daniels. Graham took over as the starter last season when Daniels was injured and started a career-high 11 games, had 49 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns.
• Washington agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent linebacker Darryl Sharpton, according to a person familiar with the deal.
• Dallas signed linebacker and special teams player Will Herring. The eighth-year pro spent the past three seasons with New Orleans after starting his career with four years in Seattle.
• Linebacker Kavell Conner signed a three-year contract with the Chargers. He is the second former Colts player to sign with the Chargers in the last three days, joining running back Donald Brown.
• Chicago agreed to a three-year contract with defensive end Willie Young and a one-year deal with receiver Domenik Hixon. Young spent four years with Detroit and Hixon had seven catches for 55 yards with Carolina in 2013. He previously played for Denver (2006-07) and the New York Giants (2007-12).