New faces in new places, 2021 NFL free agency is here.

While there’s no Tom Brady to be had this offseason, the total bloodletting of NFL veterans due to NFL’s diminished cap space could land some impact players elsewhere this offseason. So far, we’ve seen Mitchell Schwartz, Eric Fisher, Janoris Jenkins, Kenny Vaccaro, Malcolm Butler and Emmanuel Sanders all hit the market, with more releases expected as teams work out their cap situations heading into Wednesday.

NFL FREE AGENCY 2021: Ranking the top 50 players available

Monday marks the start of the NFL’s “legal tampering” period, meaning over the next three days until the official start of NFL free agency, there will be reported deals struck, but nothing official until Wednesday at 4 p.m., the start of the new league year. Franchise tags have already been placed, with the deadlines last Wednesday; some notable names include Jets safety Marcus Maye, Saints DB Marcus Williams and wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Still, a deep free agent class is unfolding: Offensive lineman Joe Thuney, wide receivers Kenny Golladay and JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are all going to make some teams very, very happy this offseason.

Sporting News will be tracking all the latest rumored signings, trades and more below as the ball drops on the new league year this week.

MORE: SN’s latest mock draft | Big board of top 50 prospects

NFL free agency news, updates on signings and trades

7 a.m.Kevin Ziegler signed with the Ravens for three years, $22.5 million (per ESPN)

March 14

4:30 p.m. – The Packers and Aaron Jones agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Jones was expected to hit the open market as the top free-agent running back available, but will instead return to Green Bay’s backfield with second-year riser A.J. Dillon.

NFL free agency rumors

Titans in for a secondary makeover

Date: March 10

Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

It’s more rough news for NFL veterans, as vet defensive backs Kenny Vaccaro and Malcolm Butler both are hitting free agency, per Rapoport. With the salary cap down roughly $16 million heading into 2021, expect more veteran players with big checks to hit the market.

Saints clearing cap space, planning to release notable names

Date:  March 10

Source:  Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

The Saints, who are $31 million over the cap, have released a pair of notable names, with linebacker Kwon Alexander and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders both heading towards free agency. Alexander is recovering from an Achilles injury, while Sanders is entering the twilight of his NFL career. Sanders did have over 700 yards receiving in 2020.

Allen Robinson gets second franchise tag

Date:  March 9

Source:  Adam Schefter, ESPN

Bears standout wideout Allen Robinson catches the franchise tag for the second consecutive season, abruptly ending any talk of him hitting free agency. The idea of a tag-and-trade could still be in the works, but Chicago figures to want to keep Robinson in a Bears uniform long-term.

Kenny Golladay is free agency bound

Date:  March 9

Source:  Tom Pelissero, NFL Network

In something of a surprise, Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay seems to be hitting the market, per Pelissero. Golladay is coming off an injury-shortened 2020 season, but has 1,000-yard seasons in both 2018 and 2019.

Bud Dupree may have a new team in 2021

Date:  March 9

Source:  Adam Schefter, ESPN

Coming off a 8 1/2 sack season, Dupree played out the franchise tag and won’t be getting it again come 2021, per Schefter. Dupree is one of the preeminent pass rushers to hit free agency this year.

Chris Godwin gets the tag

Date:  March 9

Source:  Adam Schefter, ESPN

Arguably the best receiver who was scheduled to hit the market in 2021, Buccaneers wideout Chris Godwin will be getting the franchise tag, per Schefter. Godwin is one of the trio of key free agents for the Bucs this offseason, with defenders Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David both hitting the market, as well.

Dak Prescott isn’t going anywhere

Date:  March 8

Source:  Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

Months of Dallas brass telling the world that Dak Prescott will be the Cowboys quarterback in 2021 seems to be closer to reality, with the franchise tag going to be placed on Prescott. The two sides will have until July 15 to get a long-term deal done.

Washington considering franchise tag on Scherff

Date:  March 8

Source:  Tom Pelissero, NFL Network (NFL Now)

Washington is considering placing the franchise tag on guard Brandon Scherff once again, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Scherff is scheduled to be one of the top two guards available on the free agent market, alongside Patriots guard Joe Thuney.

Lions getting calls for backup QB

Date:  March 7

Source:  Adam Schefter, ESPN

The Lions are receiving calls on backup quarterback  Chase Daniel,  per reports. Daniel could be considered for a mentorship-type role for a new team. Detroit is waiting to make their trade for QB Jared Goff official.

Best NFL free agents by position

Here’s a list of the top NFL free agents still available, as ranked by SN’s Vinnie Iyer:

Quarterbacks

  1. Jameis Winston, Saints
  2. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins
  3. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears
  4. Andy Dalton, Cowboys
  5. Alex Smith, Washington
  6. Tyrod Taylor, Chargers
  7. Jacoby Brissett, Colts

Running backs

  1. Kenyan Drake, Cardinals
  2. Chris Carson, Seahawks
  3. Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers
  4. Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
  5. James Conner, Steelers
  6. Mike Davis, Panthers
  7. James White, Patriots
  8. Le’Veon Bell, Chiefs
  9. Todd Gurley, Falcons
  10. Tevin Coleman, 49ers
  11. Duke Johnson, Texans

Wide receivers

  1. Kenny Golladay, Lions
  2. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
  3. Will Fuller, Texans
  4. Corey Davis, Titans
  5. Marvin Jones Jr., Lions
  6. Curtis Samuel, Panthers
  7. Nelson Agholor, Raiders
  8. Antonio Brown, Buccaneers
  9. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
  10. A.J. Green, Bengals
  11. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
  12. Keelan Cole, Jaguars
  13. Adam Humphries, Titans
  14. Danny Amendola, Lions
  15. Breshad Perriman, Jets
  16. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
  17. Golden Tate, Giants
  18. DeSean Jackson, Eagles

Tight ends

  1. Hunter Henry, Chargers
  2. Jonnu Smith, Titans
  3. Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers
  4. Gerald Everett, Rams
  5. Jared Cook, Saints
  6. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
  7. Tyler Eifert, Jaguars
  8. Josh Hill, Saints

Offensive tackles

  1. Trent Williams, 49ers
  2. Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers
  3. Russell Okung, Panthers
  4. Eric Fisher, Chiefs
  5. Mitchell Schwartz, Chiefs
  6. Cameron Fleming, Giants
  7. Bobby Massie, Bears
  8. Kelvin Beachum, Cardinals
  9. Matt Feiler, Steelers

Guards

  1. Joe Thuney, Patriots
  2. Lane Taylor, Packers
  3. Gabe Jackson, Raiders
  4. James Carpenter, Falcons
  5. Richie Incognito, Raiders

Centers

  1. Corey Linsley, Packers
  2. David Andrews, Patriots
  3. Austin Reiter, Chiefs
  4. Alex Mack, Falcons
  5. Nick Martin, Texans

Defensive tackles

  1. Shelby Harris, Broncos
  2. Dalvin Tomlinson, Giants
  3. Sheldon Rankins, Saints
  4. Ndamukong Suh, Buccaneers
  5. Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys
  6. Jurrell Casey, Broncos
  7. Henry Anderson, Jets

Edge rushers 

  1. Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers
  2. Melvin Ingram, Chargers
  3. Bud Dupree, Steelers
  4. Matthew Judon, Ravens
  5. Yannick Ngakuoe, Ravens
  6. Jadeveon Clowney, Titans
  7. Carl Lawson, Bengals
  8. Leonard Floyd, Rams
  9. Trey Hendrickson, Saints
  10. Haason Reddick, Cardinals
  11. Justin Houston, Colts
  12. Aldon Smith, Cowboys
  13. Romeo Okwara, Lions
  14. Carlos Dunlap, Seahawks
  15. Takk McKinley, Falcons
  16. Adrian Clayborn, Browns

Linebackers

  1. Jayon Brown, Titans
  2. Denzel Perryman, Chargers
  3. K.J. Wright, Seahawks

Cornerbacks

  1. Richard Sherman, 49ers
  2. Troy Hill, Rams
  3. William Jackson III, Bengals
  4. Desmond King II, Titans
  5. Mike Hilton, Steelers
  6. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
  7. Shaquill Griffin, Seahawks
  8. Quinton Dunbar, Seahawks
  9. Xavier Rhodes, Colts
  10. Ronald Darby, Washington
  11. Jason Verrett, 49ers
  12. Mackensie Alexander, Bengals
  13. Brian Poole, Jets
  14. Chidobe Awuzie, Cowboys
  15. Nickell Robey-Coleman, Eagles
  16. Breshaud Breeland, Chiefs
  17. Cameron Sutton, Steelers
  18. K’Waun Williams, 49ers
  19. Gareon Conley, Texans
  20. A.J. Bouye, Broncos
  21. Buster Skrine, Bears
  22. Justin Coleman, Lions

Safeties

  1. Anthony Harris, Vikings
  2. John Johnson III, Rams
  3. Malik Hooker, Colts
  4. Keanu Neal, Falcons
  5. Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers
  6. Xavier Woods, Cowboys
  7. Ricardo Allen, Falcons
  8. Tre Boston, Panthers
  9. Lamarcus Joyner, Raiders

Kickers

  1. Zane Gonzalez, Cardinals
  2. Ryan Succop, Buccaneers
  3. Matt Prater, Lions
  4. Dustin Hopkins, Washington
  5. Stephen Gostkowski, Titans
  6. Cody Parkey, Browns
  7. Randy Bullock, Bengals
  8. Nick Folk, Patriots
  9. Dan Bailey, Vikings

Punters

  1. Kevin Huber, Bengals
  2. Pat O’Donnell, Bears
  3. Jordan Berry, Steelers
  4. Andy Lee, Cardinals
  5. Matt Haack, Dolphins
  6. Thomas Morstead, Saints





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