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The Wolf Sports Newsletter: March 12, 2024

NFL free agency is underway with the legal tampering period, and the new league year officially begins tomorrow at 4:00 PM ET.


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Big QB movement


The Falcons went all-out to sign veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins, adding the former Redskins and Vikings quarterback on a four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed. Cousins’ wife Julie is from the Atlanta area, where they reportedly spend a lot of time during the offseason. Cousins was thought by many to be the top overall free agent this offseason, and the Falcons will quickly become a trendy Super Bowl pick.


The Vikings pivoted to former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold, reportedly agreeing to a one-year deal. Minnesota is also thought to be in the mix to draft a quarterback next month.


After being cut by the Broncos, Russell Wilson signed with the Steelers on the eve of free agency. With Denver having to still pay around $38 million, Pittsburgh gets a major discount for the former Super Bowl winning quarterback ($1.2 million salary), who will compete with Kenny Pickett for the starting job this summer. The Steelers will go on the road to face the Broncos this season.


And the Patriots are trading away former first-round pick Mac Jones to the Jaguars for a sixth-round pick.


NFL free agency moves


With the legal tampering period window opened yesterday, a flurry of moves—which cannot become official until the start of the league year tomorrow—have been made.


  • Raiders land star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins on four-year, $110 million deal.
  • The Eagles are signing star running back Saquon Barkley to a three-year, $33.75 million deal; and pass rusher Bryce Huff to a three-year, $51.1 million deal.



  • In a stunner, former Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is headed to the Packers for four years, $48 million; Green Bay also landed star safety Xavier McKinney on a four-year, $68 million deal.
  • The Vikings are signing pass rusher Jonathan Greenard to a four-year, $76 million contract.
  • The Panthers are signing guard Robert Hunt to a massive five-year, $100 million contract.
  • The Jaguars have agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with wide receiver Gabe Davis.
  • Running back Tony Pollard has agreed to sign with the Titans for three years, $24 million.
  • Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is headed to the Titans on a three-year deal.
  • The 49ers land pass rusher Leonard Floyd on a two-year, $20 million agreement.
  • The Bears are signing running back D’Andre Swift to a three-year, $24 million deal.
  • The Rams are adding guard Jonah Jackson with a three-year, $51 million deal.
  • Commanders get linebacker Frankie Luvu on three-year, $39 million contract, Austin Ekeler on two-year deal.
  • The Seahawks brought back defensive lineman Leonard Williams with a three-year, $64.5 million deal.


More landing spots include:


  • S Darnell Savage ➡️ Jaguars
  • S Geno Stone ➡️ Bengals
  • LB Kenneth Murray Jr. ➡️ Titans
  • DE Dorance Armstrong ➡️ Commanders
  • John Simpson ➡️ Jets
  • C Tyler Biadasz ➡️ Commanders
  • C Lloyd Cushenberry ➡️ Titans
  • CB Sean Murphy-Bunting ➡️ Cardinals
  • G Damien Lewis ➡️ Panthers
  • LB Azeez Al-Shaair ➡️ Texans
  • LB Jordyn Brooks ➡️ Dolphins
  • LB Jordan Hicks ➡️ Browns
  • DE Denico Autry ➡️ Texans
  • LB Andrew Van Ginkle ➡️ Vikings
  • QB Jacoby Brissett ➡️ Patriots
  • QB Gardner Minshew ➡️ Raiders
  • QB Tyrod Taylor ➡️ Jets
  • DE Marcus Davenport ➡️ Lions
  • RB Zack Moss ➡️ Bengals
  • RB Gus Edwards ➡️ Chargers
  • RB Devin Singletary ➡️ Giants
  • RB Antonio Gibson ➡️ Patriots
  • LB Mack Wilson Sr. ➡️ Cardinals
  • LB Anthony Walker ➡️ Dolphins
  • DL Javon Kinlaw ➡️ Jets
  • DE Yetur Gross-Matos ➡️ 49ers
  • C Aaron Brewer ➡️ Dolphins
  • CB Darious Williams ➡️ Rams
  • CB Jeff Okudah ➡️ Texans
  • S Brandon Jones ➡️ Broncos
  • WR Devin Duvernay ➡️ Jaguars
  • TE Will Dissly ➡️ Chargers
  • TE Colby Parkinson ➡️ Rams
  • DL Justin Jones ➡️ Cardinals
  • OL Jermaine Eluemunor ➡️ Giants
  • G Nick Allegretti ➡️ Commanders


To at least soften the blow of losing Barkley and McKinney, the Giants acquired star defensive end Brian Burns from the Panthers for a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick. Burns also received a five-year, $150 million extension to help facilitate the trade. And to think less than two years ago the Panthers reportedly could have had two first-round picks from the Rams for Burns…



Two champions call it a career


Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox has retired from the NFL after 12 seasons, all in Philadelphia. Cox recorded 70 sacks in his career, was a First-team All-Pro in 2018 and a three-time Second-team All-Pro, was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s, and won Super Bowl LII with the Eagles. With Jason Kelce also recently retired, things are going to look a lot different for Philly in 2024.


Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler officially retired from the NFLhe told KRPC 2. Butler played seven seasons in the league, won two titles with New England, and of course had one of the most memorable plays in history with the game-sealing interception at the goal line to help the Patriots beat the Seahawks in perhaps the greatest Super Bowl of all-time.



Big contract extensions


Before the start of free agency, several players signed new contracts with their current teams.


  • The Chiefs signed All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones to a five-year, $158.75 million contract, with the $31.75 million per year setting an NFL record for defensive tackles.
  • Quarterback Baker Mayfield re-signed with the Buccaneers on a three-year, $100 million deal.
  • The Ravens signed star defensive tackle Justin Madubuike to a four-year, $98 million deal.
  • The Bears signed star cornerback Jaylon Johnson to a four-year, $76 million contract.
  • The Colts signed wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. to a three-year, $70 million deal.
  • The Rams extended guard Kevin Dotson on a three-year, $49 million contract.
  • Tight end Dalton Schultz re-upped with the Texans for three years, $36 million; while tight end Hunter Henry remained with the Pats for three years, $27 million.
  • The Patriots re-signed receiver Kendrick Bourne to a three-year deal.
  • Linebacker Drue Tranquill is staying with the defending champs, signing a three-year extension with the Chiefs.


Bills make major cuts


Due to salary cap constraints, the Bills had what amounted to a Red Wedding of roster cuts last week. Buffalo released All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White (not yet official), All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer, center Mitch Morse, defensive back Siran Neal, running back Nyheim Hines, and former All-Pro returner Deonte Harty. Meanwhile, they restructured quarterback Josh Allen, tight end Dawson Knox’s deal, and pass rusher Von Miller’s humungous contract to save more cap space.



In positive news for the Bills, they extended stalwart left tackle and bodyguard Dion Dawkins through 2027, which he had some fun with on X while joking that he was onto the next chapter of his career.



More moves


The Packers released dynamic running back Aaron Jones after signing Josh Jacobs and All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari after he battled injury in recent years.



The Bengals released longtime running back Joe Mixon after signing Zack Moss.


The 49ers will reportedly release defensive tackle Arik Armstead after the two sides could not agree to a restructured deal.


The Eagles extended guard Landon Dickerson for four years, $84 million—the biggest ever deal for a guard. They also brought back defensive end Brandon Graham for a 15th and likely final season. And defensive end Josh Sweat is available for tradeaccording to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.


The Bears signed former All-Pro safety Kevin Byard to a two-year, $15 million deal.


The Lions acquired cornerback Carlton Davis from the Bucs.


✍️ Veteran tight end signings: Washington added Zach Ertz, and the Dolphins signed Jonnu Smith.


↔️ The Bills traded offensive lineman Ryan Bates to the Bears for a fifth-round pick.


✂️ Among the cuts made last week, in many cases due to the salary cap:


  • Broncos: S Justin Simmons
  • Seahawks: S Jamal Adams, S Quandre Diggs, TE Will Dissly
  • Steelers: WR Allen Robinson
  • Chargers: LB Eric Kendricks
  • Dolphins: LB Jerome Baker
  • Jaguars: CB Darious Williams, S Rayshawn Jenkins
  • Panthers: TE Hayden Hurst
  • Jets: TE C.J. Uzomah


Franchised players


️ Ahead of last Tuesday’s deadline, several players were officially tagged for the 2024 season.


  • Jaguars EDGE Josh Allen
  • Panthers EDGE Brian Burns (traded to Giants)
  • Patriots S Kyle Dugger (transition tag)
  • Bengals WR Tee Higgins (requested trade)
  • Bears CB Jaylon Johnson (signed long-term contract)
  • Ravens DT Justin Madubuike (signed long-term contract)
  • Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr. (signed long-term contract)
  • Chiefs CB L’Jarius Snead (permission to seek trade)
  • Buccaneers S Antoine Winfield Jr.


Displeased with a lack of negotiation on a long-term deal, Bengals receiver Tee Higgins has requested a trade.



More NFL news


Texans defensive end Dylan Horton announced that he had Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but is now in remission.



Compensation draft choices for the 2024 NFL Draft were announced by the league. The 49ers and Rams are tied for the most, with five each.



️ According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bears have shifted their new stadium plans from Arlington Heights to instead plan to build it south of Soldier Field.



Battery charges against Colts tight end Andrew Ogletree have been dismissed “with prejudice.”


Other Sports Updates


The NHL trade deadline was highlighted by the defending champion Golden Knights acquiring forward Tomas Hertl.



Jake Paul will fight the legendary boxer Mike Tyson on Netflix on Saturday, July 20.



⚾️ Reds legend Joey Votto has signed a non-roster invite deal with his hometown Blue Jays.


FOX announced a slate of Friday college football primetime games from the Big Ten, Big 12, and Mountain West conferences this fall—with many unhappy that it will compete with high school football.


Dartmouth men’s basketball voted to unionize, becoming the first Division I NCAA team to do so.


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