The Latest: RB Zenner gets extension from Lions

The Latest: RB Zenner gets extension from Lions
5 years 4 months 6 days ago Tuesday, March 12 2019 Mar 12, 2019 March 12, 2019 5:48 PM March 12, 2019 in Sports - AP - Texas

By The Associated Press

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

6:45 p.m.

The Detroit Lions have agreed to a one-year contract extension with running back Zach Zenner.

The Lions announced the move Tuesday, bringing the 27-year-old Zenner back after he rushed for 265 yards on 55 carries in eight games with Detroit last season.

In four seasons, Zenner has played 36 games for the Lions and rushed for 685 yards.

Detroit's running game got a boost in 2018 from rookie Kerryon Johnson before he went down with a knee injury.

Reporting by Noah Trister

5:45 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed quarterback Ryan Griffin to a two-year contract.

The seventh-year pro, who's never taken a snap in a regular-season game, spent the past four seasons as a backup behind Jameis Winston. For most of the past two seasons, he was No. 3 on the depth chart behind Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Griffin entered the NFL in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane. He spent two seasons with the New Orleans Saints before joining the Bucs.

Reporting by Fred Goodall

4:45 p.m.

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman will re-sign with the Cleveland Browns after a bounce-back season. He was set to hit the free-agent market on Wednesday.

Perriman agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $4 million contract with the Browns, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot become official until Wednesday.

A 2015 first-round pick with Baltimore, Perriman signed with the Browns in October and finished with 16 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games.

Perriman's speed helped open up passing space for Baker Mayfield, who set the NFL rookie record with 27 TD passes.

Reporting by Tom Withers

4:35 p.m.

Two people with direct knowledge of discussions tell The Associated Press that the Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold on a four-year deal worth $44 million with $22.5 million guaranteed.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity Tuesday because the signings won't be official until the NFL's new year begins Wednesday. ESPN.com first reported the deal.

The 6-foot-5, 323-pound Saffold has played guard most of the past four seasons and at left guard the past three seasons. He is expected to replace Quinton Spain, who becomes a free agent Wednesday.

The Titans are looking to better protect Marcus Mariota and improve an offensive line that helped allow 47 sacks last season. Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan asked Saffold on Twitter on Monday if he wanted to be best friends. Saffold responded Tuesday afternoon on Twitter, saying he's ready to be best friends now and create something special.

Reporting by Teresa M. Walker

4:15 p.m.

Miami Dolphins receiver DeVante Parker has signed an incentive-laden, two-year deal worth up to $13 million that replaces a $9.4 million fifth-year option on his original contract.

The Dolphins had been expected to rescind the option for 2019 and let Parker 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.

Reporting by Steven Wine

2:55 p.m.

The agent for offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe says the Buffalo Bills have agreed to sign his client to a two-year contract with a potential value of $14.5 million.

Agent Vince Taylor says Nsekhe is guaranteed to earn $7.7 million under the deal agreed to on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Nsekhe is listed at 6-foot-8 and 330 pounds. He has five NFL seasons of experience dating to 2012 with the then-St. Louis Rams. He spent the past four seasons with Washington, where he had 16 starts in 54 games playing behind Trent Williams and Morgan Moses.

Nsekhe also has versatility, having started two games at left guard last season.

In Buffalo, he joins a team that's revamping a patchwork line. The Bills agreed to sign center Mitch Morse on Monday and last month signed lineman Spencer Long to a three-year contract.

2:50 p.m.

The Cincinnati Bengals are keeping right tackle Bobby Hart with a three-year deal.

The Bengals signed Hart as a free agent from the Giants last year as a stopgap measure, trying to improve their horrid line. Hart started all 16 games, but the right side of the line struggled as Cincinnati finished with a third straight losing season.

The offensive line has been a problem since left tackle Andrew Whitworth went to the Rams on a three-year deal in 2017 after the Bengals declined to make a significant offer. Hart and tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher were unrestricted free agents, and the Bengals decided to keep Hart from among the three.

Reporting by Joe Kay

2:30 p.m.

The Denver Broncos are bolstering their secondary after releasing safety Darian Stewart. The Broncos are expected to sign free agent defensive back Kareem Jackson to a three-year, $33 million deal when free agency official begins Wednesday.

The Broncos also are expected to make former Miami Dolphins right tackle Ju'Wuan James the highest paid right tackle in the league. James is expected to sign a four-year, $51 million contract that includes $32 million in guarantees.

Jackson is a hard-hitter who played both cornerback and safety for the Houston Texans the last nine seasons. The 30-year-old DB is coming off his best season as a pro. He posted 87 tackles, broke up 17 passes and forced two fumbles last season, all of which were career bests.

Jackson's deal is expected to include $23 million in guaranteed money.

Reporting by Arnie Stapleton

2:20 p.m.

Anthony Barr is staying in Minnesota after all.

A person with direct knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker has agreed to re-sign with the Vikings on a five-year, $67.5 million contract with $33 million guaranteed and an additional $10 million available through incentives. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Barr first had a verbal agreement to join the New York Jets, but he changed his mind to remain with the team that drafted him ninth overall out of UCLA in 2014.

Reporting by Dave Campbell

2:15 p.m.

After making big splashes in free agency, the Green Bay Packers are cutting ties with veteran linebacker Nick Perry.

General manager Brian Gutekunst announced the move Tuesday after the team agreed to deals with edge rusher Za'Darius Smith, linebacker Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner.

"We want to thank Nick for his contributions to the Green Bay Packers and the community over the last seven seasons," Gutekunst said. "He did a tremendous job on the field, was a great teammate and a true professional."

The 28-year-old Perry spent seven seasons with the Packers and had 228 tackles in 81 games.

Reporting by Stephen Whyno

2:10 p.m.

Veteran linebacker Thomas Davis is signing with the Los Angeles Chargers after spending his entire career with the Carolina Panthers.

Davis announced via Twitter that he is headed to the Chargers after 14 seasons with the Panthers. He was suspended for the first four games of last season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing supplements but posted 79 tackles in 12 games.

Linebacker is a position of need for the Chargers this offseason. The group was beset by injuries late last season and allowed 155 rushing yards in a loss to the Patriots in the AFC divisional round.

Reporting by Joe Reedy

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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