The Latest: Colts add linebacker Barkevious Mingo
The Latest on NFL free agency (all times Eastern):
Former New England linebacker Barkevious Mingo has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
Mingo’s deal is worth $2.5 million, his agent confirmed.
The move comes one day after Colts general manager Chris Ballard traded tight end Dwayne Allen and a sixth-round draft pick to New England for the Patriots’ fourth-round pick. The Colts confirmed that deal earlier in the afternoon.
Indy was in desperate need of linebackers. After outside linebacker Robert Mathis retired, the Colts’ top two outside linebackers — Erik Walden and Trent Cole — both became free agents. Ballard also released inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson last month.
Mingo was Cleveland’s first-round draft pick in 2013, No. 6 overall. He has 72 tackles in his career including four in 2016, his only season with the Patriots.
— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.
After landing three defensive starters in the opening minutes of free agency, the Jacksonville Jaguars added a backup later in the day.
According to a person familiar with the deal, the Jaguars have agreed to terms with Buffalo linebacker Lerentee McCray on a one-year deal worth up to $3.5 million. The deal includes $1 million guaranteed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Jaguars won’t announce any deals until players formally sign Friday.
McCray played just 163 snaps as a backup last season. He is expected to play behind Paul Posluszny, Telvin Smith and Myles Jack in 2017 while being a key member on special teams.
— Mark Long reporting from Jacksonville, Florida.
SportsTrust Advisors, the agency representing Eddie Lacy, said on Twitter that the free agent running back will visit with the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers over the next four days.
Lacy played with the Packers the last four seasons after being drafted out of Alabama in the second round in 2013.
He ran for 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons in the league. Lacy’s 2016 season was cut short in October by an ankle injury.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are holding on to reserve quarterback Landry Jones.
The team re-signed Jones to a two-year deal on Thursday that will keep him as the primary backup behind Ben Roethlisberger.
Jones, who turns 28 next month, completed 53 of 86 passes for 558 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions while filling in for Roethlisberger last season.
Roethlisberger hinted following a loss to New England in the AFC Championship that he’s not 100 percent certain he’ll return in 2017. While the team is under the impression Roethlisberger will be back for a 14th season, Jones has proven he can be capable under center if not exactly franchise quarterback material.
Pittsburgh also released running back Karlos Williams.
— Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh.
The agent for Duron Harmon says the safety has agreed to a new four-year deal with the Patriots.
Andy Simms confirmed the new pact Thursday. It rewards one of the youngest members of a Patriots secondary.
Harmon, 25, appeared in all 16 games of the regular season, registering 29 tackles and an interception in support of starting safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.
The former Rutgers standout also had a strong postseason, appearing in all three games and grabbing an interception in the win over Houston.
— Kyle Hightower, reporting from Boston.
The San Francisco 49ers have added a top receiver and help for the defense on the first day of free agency.
A person familiar with the deals says San Francisco will sign receiver Pierre Garcon and linebacker Malcolm Smith to five-year contracts. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been signed.
Garcon will be reunited with coach Kyle Shanahan, who was his offensive coordinator in Washington in 2013 when he set career highs with 113 catches for 1,346 yards. Garcon is coming off his second career 1,000-yard season, having caught 79 passes for 1,041 yards last season in Washington with three TDs.
His deal is worth $47.5 million with $20 million guaranteed and $16 million paid in the first year.
Garcon will catch passes from new quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has also agreed to a deal with San Francisco, according to another person familiar with the deal.
Smith got a deal worth $26.5 million with $13 million guaranteed to move from Oakland to San Francisco. Smith has history with San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was a defensive assistant in Seattle from 2011-13. Smith had the game-sealing interception in the 2013 NFC title game for the Seahawks against San Francisco.
— Josh Dubow reporting from Santa Clara, California
The re-making of the Washington Redskins’ defense continues with the signing of safety D.J. Swearinger, a 25-year-old who spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
Safety was one of Washington’s biggest needs after trying multiple pieces there last year, including veteran Donte Whitner. Swearinger, a 2013 second-round pick of the Houston Texans, thanked the Cardinals for giving him his “third chance” in an Instagram post and the Redskins on Twitter for giving him this opportunity.
Swearinger started 12 games last season for Arizona and had three interceptions and 66 tackles.
The Redskins also signed defensive tackle Terrell McClain and lost defensive end Chris Baker, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
— Stephen Whyno reporting from Washington.
The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed tight end Levine Toilolo and linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, who were unrestricted free agents.
The Falcons also released defensive end Tyson Jackson and confirmed signing free agent defensive end Jack Crawford from Dallas.
Reynolds played in 16 games with three starts and had 23 tackles.
Toilolo, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013, had 13 catches, including two for touchdowns, for a career-high 264 yards in 2016. He started 11 games.
— Charles Odum reporting from Atlanta.
The Chicago Bears have closed the book on the Jay Cutler era as their franchise quarterback, after an unfulfilling eight years that included only one postseason appearance.
The Bears made cutting Cutler their first official move as the NFL free agent market opened, while they were reportedly working toward an agreement to replace him with former Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon.
Cutler’s final year with the Bears ended with a 3-13 record. Thumb and shoulder injuries limited him to five games. There was no guaranteed money left on the contract extension he signed a few days after the 2013 season, making the move to cut the 33-year-old widely expected.
Tampa Bay added a deep threat for Jameis Winston when it agreed to terms with wide receiver DeSean Jackson on a three-year contract.
Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowler known for making big plays, spent the past three seasons with Washington. Before that, he was with the Eagles for six years.
He will fit in a passing game that already has the prolific Mike Evans.
Jackson is one of five players since the 1970 merger with 26 or more career touchdowns of 50-plus yards, joining Jerry Rice (36), Randy Moss (29), Terrell Owens (26) and Steve Smith (26). Only Rice (23) has more than Jackson’s 22 touchdowns of 60-plus yards.
“Desean is exactly the type of dynamic playmaker we have been targeting for our offense,” said Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter. “Desean brings a veteran presence and a big-play mentality that fits in perfectly with our offensive philosophy. He is a tough-minded competitor who has the game-breaking speed and pass-catching ability that stretches the defense and creates matchup problems.”
A person with knowledge of the deals says the Los Angeles Rams have addressed their two biggest needs by agreeing to terms with offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and receiver Robert Woods.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the free-agent contracts hadn’t been announced yet. Whitworth got a three-year deal to leave the Cincinnati Bengals, and Woods got a five-year deal to return home to LA from Buffalo.
Whitworth has spent his entire 11-year career in Cincinnati, making three Pro Bowls. He is likely to replace Greg Robinson as Los Angeles’ starting left tackle on the NFL’s worst offense last season.
Woods was drafted by the Bills in 2013 after a record-setting career at Southern California. He will become Jared Goff’s top target in new coach Sean McVay’s offense.
— Greg Beacham reporting from Los Angeles
The Atlanta Falcons have bolstered their defensive line by signing Dallas defensive end Jack Crawford to a three-year deal.
The contract was announced by Crawford’s agents on Twitter. Crawford has 7 1/2 sacks the last two seasons and will give Atlanta a needed complement to All-Pro edge rusher Vic Beasley.
The 28-year-old Crawford had 3 1/2 sacks for Dallas in 2016.
— Charles Odum reporting from Atlanta.
The Baltimore Ravens have reached agreement with free agent safety Tony Jefferson and running back Danny Woodhead.
Jefferson made 96 tackles for the Arizona Cardinals last season. The 25-year-old has two interceptions over four seasons but is known primarily as a sure tackler and should form a solid 1-2 punch with safety Eric Weddle.
Woodhead played the past four seasons with San Diego after a successful three-year run with the New England Patriots.
The 32-year-old has 267 catches and 15 touchdowns over his career, which began with the New York Jets.
The Denver Broncos have signed a former Dallas Cowboys player in free agency. It wasn’t Tony Romo as so many fans were anticipating, but guard Ronald Leary.
Although the Broncos have been mentioned as a prime landing spot should the Cowboys part ways with Romo, Denver GM John Elway is happy with the two young QBs he has in Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
What he’s trying to do is fortify his offensive line, the primary culprit in Denver’s slide from Super Bowl champ to missing the playoffs last season.
Leary will fly to Denver on Friday to sign his four-year, $35 million deal that includes $20 million guaranteed. He’s expected to slide in at left guard with Max Garcia moving over to battle it out with Michael Schofield on the right side.
With the emergence of La’el Collins and several big contracts along one of the top lines in the NFL, the Cowboys couldn’t afford to keep Leary, who turns 28 next month.
— Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.
The Buffalo Bills began addressing their needs at safety by signing free agents Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.
Hyde is the key addition and agreed to sign a five-year deal worth about $30 million, with about $14 million in guarantees, a person with direct knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not announced the contract’s details.
The Bills also filled their place-kicking vacancy by signing Steven Hauschka and confirmed previously reported agreed to deals to sign fullback Patrick DiMarco and offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse.
Safety was a key need entering free-agency signing period on Wednesday, and especially after Buffalo released veteran starter Aaron Williams earlier in the day.
Hyde has been a four-year starter at Green Bay since being selected in the fifth-round of the 2013 draft. Poyer has four years of NFL experience, and spent the past three-plus seasons in Cleveland.
Hauschka fills the spot left open after veteran Dan Carpenter was released.
— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.
A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent left tackle Matt Kalil from the Minnesota Vikings on a five-year deal worth $55.5 million.
Of that, $25 million is guaranteed.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the move can’t officially be announced until later in the day.
Kalil, who spent five seasons in Minnesota after being selected fourth overall in 2012, will play with older brother Ryan Kalil, Carolina’s two-time All-Pro center.
The 27-year-old Kalil played in all 64 games his first four seasons in Minnesota, but missed 14 in 2016 due to a hip injury that required surgery.
Carolina needed a left tackle with Michael Oher’s career uncertain due to a concussion.
— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to a person familiar with the deal, the Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms on a five-year, $67.5 million contract with Houston cornerback A.J. Bouye.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Jaguars won’t announce any deals until players formally sign Friday.
Bouye, whose deal includes $26 million guaranteed, was one of the most sought-after free agents on the market. Paired opposite budding star Jalen Ramsey, Bouye should give the Jaguars one of the best cover tandems in the league.
— Mark Long reporting from Jacksonville, Florida.
The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to terms with Chicago wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on a one-year contract.
Jeffery was considered the top receiver available in free agency, but he couldn’t secure a long-term deal to remain in Chicago or from another team. The Eagles agreed to a three-year deal with wideout Torrey Smith earlier Thursday.
Jeffery is coming off two down seasons, and he missed 11 games due to injury and suspension. His last standout season came in 2014, when he had 1,133 yards receiving and 10 TDs. Jeffery went to the Pro Bowl in 2013 after catching 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven TDs.
— Rob Maaddi reporting from Philadelphia.
A person familiar with the trade says the Cleveland Browns have acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans.
Cleveland sent a fourth-round selection to Houston for Osweiler, a 2018 second-round pick and a sixth rounder, said the person who spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams have not announced the deal.
Osweiler’s massive contract this season made him difficult to move without adding the draft picks.
Cleveland has been searching for a franchise quarterback, but Osweiler failed to fill that role for the Texans. The Browns do have a roster decision to make in the next few days on Robert Griffin III, and Osweiler gives them a temporary option.
The Browns own the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft after going 1-15 last season.
Osweiler went 8-6 in 14 starts for Houston last season. The Texans are in the market to upgrade the position in free agency and through a trade or a free agent, including possibly Tony Romo.
— Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.