NFL Free Agency has arrived, and a flurry of moves made for some interesting stories in the first wave. Below is a brief wrap of significant moves within the NFC West.
RB James Conner re-signs with Arizona for three years and $21M ($13.5M guaranteed), according to Adam Schefter, as reported by Josh Alper on NBC Sports Pro Football Talk.
Perhaps most significantly, the Arizona Cardinals made a series of re-structures and re-signings to juggle cap space; This includes the re-signing of 2021 trade-addition Zach Ertz to a 3-year deal, while restructuing offensive linemen Justin Pugh and linebacker Devon Kennard to free up space, according to Walter Mitchell from Revenge of the Birds; DeAndre Hopkins also restructured to create $7.1M in cap space, per Field Yates of ESPN.
The Cardinals converted WR Deandre Hopkins $10.65M roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating $7.1M in 2022 cap space, per source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 15, 2022
The Cardinals did lose interior lineman Mason Cole to the Pittsburgh Steelers, per Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports.
Los Angeles Rams
OT Joe Noteboom — 3 year, $40M ($25 guaranteed) — and C Brian Allen — 3 year, $24M — both re-signed with the Super Bowl champs, providing stability along their offensive line at a “hometown discount,” according to Christopher Daniel over at Turf Show Times.
Not all was additive for the Rams, though. Sebastian Joseph-Day will be staying in-state, but will be doing so as a Charger, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic. Known as a run stuffer with pass-rushing upside, he will continue to have the opportunity to play against Russell Wilson two times each season.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners signed former Kansas City Chiefs corner Charvarius Ward for 3 years and $40.5M per the Athletic, who gave the move a C+. However, Kyle Posey over at Niners Nation was far more optimistic, calling Ward a “CB1” and describing him as a tall, physical press-man corner. In a division that currently features guys like DK Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, and Cooper Kupp, we will get plenty of opportunities to see if this move pays off.
They did suffer a couple noteworthy losses in Pro Bowl Guard Laken Tomlinson and defender D.J. Jones, also according to Kyle Posey at Niners Nation. Tomlinson has been the benchmark of reliability; since joining the Niners, he has started an astonishing 80 games for the Bay Area squad over five seasons according to Pro Football Reference. Laken Tomlinson is signing with the New York Jets, D.J. Reed with the Denver Broncos.
Seattle has stayed in-house so far according to Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic, retaining veterans in tight end Will Dissly (contract details here) and safety Quandre Diggs. Al Woods and Sidney Jones will also be back, but Jamarco Jones will not, as he heads to the Music City to play for the Tennessee Titans. This leaves the front office with a good chunk of cap space
Of course, Field Gulls’ own Mookie Alexander highlighted the biggest noteworthy loss, which was the departure of D.J. Reed to the New York Jets, who seemingly have not sucked enough life out of this organization with the Jamal Adams trade or the George Fant signing and had to come back for one of the player who pretty much re-defined what Pete Carroll would consider in an outside corner. He will join former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Wednesday morning the Hawks agreed to terms with their first outside free agent, Artie Burns of the Chicago Bears, who spent the past two seasons with Sean Desai.
Stay tuned for more up-to-date info in the Field Gulls Free Agency Tracker!