NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — One day into the early negotiating period and free agency is really starting to ramp up. The Titans, who were active Monday when they franchise tagged Derrick Henry and re-signed presumed starting right tackle Dennis Kelly following Jack Conklin’s departure, turned their attention towards players they can bring to Tennessee on Tuesday.
VIC BEASLEY (One-Year, $12 Million)
The early free agency prize for Tennessee appears to be pass rusher Vic Beasley. The NFL’s sack champion in 2016 with the Falcons is expected to sign a one-year deal worth 12 million bucks.
Beasley fills a need for the Titans, who have talked all offseason about their need to impact opposing quarterbacks more than they did last season. The 27 year old has tremendous upside as evidenced by his 15.5 sack campaign in ’16. But he was unable to build off that season, recording just 10 sacks total in 2017-18.
Beasley rebounded to sack the quarterback eight times and make a career-high 42 tackles last season, but was still shown the door by Dan Quinn and the Falcons in Atlanta. Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel are counting on him to fit in and make a big impact opposite Harold Landry in the Titans’ 3-4 defensive scheme next year.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
TOM BRADY (Expected To Sign With Buccaneers)
The biggest question of free agency was what will Tom Brady do? The greatest quarterback of all-time stunned the football world Tuesday morning when he officially notified the Patriots and their fans in a post on social media that he was ready for the next chapter in his life and career and would not be returning.
Multiple reports later in the day link Brady to the Buccaneers, and a deal is expected to get done Wednesday. The 42 year old QB would join Mike Evans and a host of good receiving options under a head coach in Bruce Arians that has helped develop and coach some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks over his career. It may be a surprising landing spot, but there is some definite upside to the choice.
The Bucs finished 7-9 last season with Jameis Winston throwing 30 interceptions. Brady has thrown just 25 since 2015. He will make them better right away. Maybe even a contender in the NFC? And don’t forget Super Bowl LV next February is in Tampa.
PHILLIP RIVERS (Agrees To One-Year, $25 Million Contract With Colts)
Phillip Rivers is also on the move. The 38 year old gunslinger is expected to sign a one-year $25 million contact with the Colts after playing his entire career in California with the Chargers.
The eight-time Pro Bowler will take over as the starter for Jacoby Brissett indoors in Indianapolis. Rivers had one of the worst years of his career last season, but still figures to be an upgrade over Brissett who was thrown into the job when Andrew Luck abruptly retired last summer.
DREW BREES (Signed Two-Year, $50 Million Contract To Stay With Saints)
It’s official. The NFL’s all-time leading passer is staying in New Orleans. Drew Brees officially signing his two-year, $50 million contract offer from the Saints Tuesday.
Brees wants to make one more run at a Super Bowl before he retires.
CAM NEWTON (Expected To Be Traded)
The Cam Newton era in Carolina and finishes with a wild twist, as the team announced that it had agreed to trade Newton on Tuesday. That prompted the former MVP to respond that it wasn’t his decision causing a stir among Panthers’ fans.
Matt Rhule is the new coach in Carolina and it’s clear the team is moving on. The only questions now are how healthy is Newton, who was hard to watch at times last season, and where will he be headed?
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER (Agrees To Three-Year, $60 Million Contract With Panthers)
It didn’t take long for the Panthers to find Newton’s replacement. The team has agreed to terms with former Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater. The deal is reportedly for three years and worth $60 million.
Bridgewater started his career in Minnesota as a starting quarterback before a freak and gruesome leg injury during a practice in 2016. He worked his way to get back on the field, and played well last season when he had to replace an injured Brees in New Orleans.
Now he gets his chance to prove he can be a starting quarterback again in this league.