TE Martellus Bennett signs with Packers
Tight end Martellus Bennett wasn’t going to re-sign with the Patriots after his only season with the team.
Now, he has unveiled his landing spot. Bennett signed with the Green Bay Packers yesterday, though terms of the contract weren’t disclosed.
Bennett had 55 receptions for 701 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions. He played every game despite dealing with troubling ankle and shoulder injuries for most of the year, and he added a knee ailment for the playoff run.
Bennett wanted to maximize his value as a free agent, and priced himself out of New England. That idea was stamped Wednesday when the Patriots traded for Colts tight end Dwayne Allen.
Bennett joined cornerback Logan Ryan (Titans), defensive end Jabaal Sheard (Colts) and special teamer Barkevious Mingo (Colts) as Pats free agents who have joined other teams. Defensive end Chris Long also announced he won’t return.
Browns dump RG3
Robert Griffin III was released after one flawed season with the Cleveland Browns, who remain in search of a quarterback to turn around their once-proud franchise. The Browns terminated Griffin’s contract one day before he was due a $750,000 roster bonus.
The expected move also came one day after the Browns acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler in a trade from the Houston Texans, and amid speculation Cleveland is loading up assets to make a strong run at another quarterback, perhaps the Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo.
After he was waived last year by Washington, Griffin signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Browns. His comeback story didn’t last long as Griffin broke his right shoulder while trying to run out of bounds in the season opener at Philadelphia and missed 11 games.
Griffin wasn’t the only departure as the Browns lost wide receiver Terrelle Pryor in free agency to Washington. Pryor was one of Cleveland’s only bright spots last season, catching 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns.
There is still some mystery about who will be throwing passes to Pryor, but Kirk Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, tweeted that the quarterback signed his contract for the exclusive franchise tag. Washington did not immediately confirm that deal, which is worth about $24 million.
Peppers a Panther
After eight years, Julius Peppers is returning home to play for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers agreed to terms on a contract with Peppers, said a source. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
After reaching the deal with Peppers, the Panthers traded defensive end Kony Ealy and a third-round pick (72nd overall) to the Patriots for the second-round pick (No. 64).
The Panthers also signed unrestricted free agent safety Mike Adams to a two-year contract, and free agent wide receiver Russell Shepard to a three-year contract.
The Minnesota Vikings have made another big move to bolster their lagging offensive line, agreeing to terms with former Panthers right tackle Mike Remmers on a five-year contract worth as much as $30 million.
Miami inks Timmons
The Miami Dolphins confirmed the signing of free agent linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Timmons spent the past 10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has started every game since 2011.
The Dolphins signed center-guard Ted Larsen and safety Nate Allen. .?.?.
The Denver Broncos beefed up their offensive line by signing tackle Menelik Watson away from the Oakland Raiders. .?.?.
The Buffalo Bills continued shuffling their backfield by cutting safety Corey Graham. .?.?.
The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms with tight end Phillip Supernaw on a multiyear contract. The Bengals also re-signed cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to a five-year contract.
Bears keep busy
The Chicago Bears finalized contracts with four free agents after a busy first day on the market, starting with a three-year contract for new quarterback Mike Glennon. They also signed safety Quintin Demps from Houston and tight end Dion Sims from Miami to three-year deals, and wide receiver Markus Wheaton from Pittsburgh to a two-year contract. .?.?.
The Detroit Lions signed free agent linebacker Paul Worrilow, who played in 12 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016. .?.?.
The Tennessee Titans signed linebacker/special teamer Daren Bates, safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Brynden Trawick. .?.?.
The Los Angeles Chargers landed former Bronco Russell Okung, the most prominent free-agent left tackle still on the market with a four-year deal. .?.?.
Tight end Rhett Ellison, who can be used as an H-back and fullback, joined the Giants after five seasons with the Vikings.