Latest buzz about best players, teams


NFL free agency doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, but many of the top players on the market have already been talked about.

The league doesn’t mark the start of its league year until 4 p.m. ET tomorrow, and Monday’s opening of a “negotiating period” or “legal disruption window” means a flood of unofficial deals between marquee players and owners. QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Las Vegas Raiders), TD Javon Hargrave (San Francisco 49ers), OT Mike McClinchey (Denver Broncos) and LB Tremaine Edmonds (Chicago Bears) are among the big names to hit deals.

More is sure to follow on Tuesday, so check back often with USA TODAY Sports throughout the day for all the latest updates:

The New Orleans Saints found a way to bring back a top target for Derek Carr.

Wide receiver Michael Thomas has agreed to a restructured one-year, $10 million contract with the team, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Thomas, who had already renegotiated his contract in January, was under contract until 2024. But the three-time Pro Bowl selection was pressured by both sides on Friday to guarantee his 2024 roster bonus of $31.755 million. to a new contract.

Thomas, 30, has played in just 10 games over the past three years due to injury. He appeared in three games in 2022 and had 16 catches before a foot ailment sidelined him for the year.

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– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

The Miami Dolphins are at it again with their backfield from a season ago.

Running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson both return to Miami and play again under coach Mike McDaniel, who played in San Francisco in 2021 when McDaniel was the offensive coordinator.

Mostert agreed to a two-year deal, his agent Brett Tessler announced on social media on Tuesday. According to ESPN, Mostert’s contract could reach up to $7.6 million. Before incentives, the contract is worth $5.6 million with $2.2 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network.

According to ESPN, Wilson will sign a two-year contract that could reach up to $8.2 million.

The familiarity Mostard and Wilson provided in McDaniel’s offense helped the Dolphins to a 9-8 record last season before suffering a divisional-round playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Mostert, who turns 31 next month, led the Dolphins with 891 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He had 202 yards receiving with 31 catches and two touchdowns.

Wilson, acquired from the 49ers at the trade deadline last season, had 84 carries for 392 yards and three touchdowns while catching 12 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown in eight games for Miami last season.

– Safit Deen

The Dallas Cowboys keep a key member of their secondary.

Safety Donovan Wilson agreed to a three-year contract worth $24 million.

Wilson, 28, led the Cowboys with 107 tackles last season while also adding five sacks, both figures being career bests. His return promises defensive coordinator Dan Quinn a downfield tackle, while fellow safeties Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker take on more expanded coverage roles.

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– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

The wide receiver market has been slow to act, but the top pass catcher is now off the board.

Meyers agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal, with $21 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports.

The move is the latest move by coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. On Monday, the Raiders agreed to a three-year contract with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Meyers joins Davante Adams, Hunter Renfro and Darren Waller among Las Vegas’ pass catchers.

His departure leaves a significant hole for New England, which now does not return any wide receiver who had more than 35 catches or 550 receiving yards.

– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

More changes are coming for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The team is trading offensive guard Shaq Mason to the Houston Texans in a late-round pick swap, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports.

Reports surfaced Monday that the Buccaneers will try to trade or release Mason, who has a $9.576 million cap hit.

He became the second starting offensive lineman the team sent this offseason after left tackle Donovan Smith was cut.

In Houston, Mason could provide much-needed stability on the interior for a team that has a new starter in 2023.

– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

The Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback scheme may be coming into focus.

Taylor Heinicke has agreed to a two-year deal worth $14 million, according to multiple reports.

His arrival further cements second-year signal-caller Desmond Ridder as the starter. The Falcons own the No. 8 pick and could select a quarterback, though the top three or four passers are expected to go by then.

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Commanders coach Ron Rivera left the door open for Heinicke, who started nine games for Washington, to return. Rivera said, however, that Sam Howell will have the lead for the starting position entering the offseason program.

– Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

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