NFL free agency: Cardinals cut Tyrann Mathieu; Nate Solder goes to Giants; Browns’ Joe Thomas retires
With the NFL free agency period starting at 1 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, here is some of the latest news from around the league.
— Julius Peppers isn’t done playing football just yet.
The 38-year-old free agent re-signed with the Panthers on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year contract.
The deal is for $5 million, with $2.5 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the team does not release financial terms of contracts.
Peppers is entering his 17th NFL season, including his 10th with the Panthers. A nine-time Pro bowl selection, he returned to Carolina last season and had a productive season with 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
— Cleveland Browns star left tackle Joe Thomas has retired after 11 seasons in the NFL, ending a career in which he exemplified durability, dependability and dominance.
A 10-time Pro Bowler, Thomas announced his decision Wednesday after spending several months contemplating whether to come back following a season-ending injury.
Thomas never missed a snap before tearing his left triceps during an Oct. 22 game against Tennessee. His streak of 10,363 consecutive plays is believed to be the longest run in pro football history.
— The Arizona Cardinals released safety Tyrann Mathieu on Wednesday after the two sides couldn’t rework his contract.
Mathieu was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year officially begins at 1 p.m. Pacific time. By cutting him, Arizona will save close to $5 million in cap space.
Mathieu became a star in the Arizona secondary after being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft following a troubled college career at LSU. He was an All-Pro in 2015, when he had five interceptions and 17 passes defensed.
— The New York Giants have an agreement with offensive tackle Nate Solder, according to a person familiar with the deal.
NFL Network reported the Giants will give the former New England Patriots left tackle a four-year, $62-million deal.
The 29-year-old Solder was considered the top offensive lineman available in free agency. He will be the NFL’s highest-paid lineman.
— A person familiar with the negotiations says the Browns are expected to sign free agent running back Carlos Hyde.
NFL Network reported the Browns will give Hyde a three-year, $15-million deal.
The 27-year-old Hyde, who played at Ohio State, spent the past four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He has rushed for 2,729 yards, averaged 4.2 yards per carry and scored 21 touchdowns.
Hyde will offset the probable loss of Isaiah Crowell, who is expected to sign with the New York Jets.
The Browns also are exploring a long-term contract with running back Duke Johnson, their best offensive player last season.
— The Baltimore Ravens have released wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, freeing up an estimated $5 million in salary cap on the first day of free agency.
Baltimore signed Maclin as a free agent in June, hopeful the accomplished pass catcher would be a primary target for quarterback Joe Flacco. But Maclin missed two games with a shoulder injury, two more with knee issues, and finished with only 40 catches for 440 yards and three touchdowns.
— Two people with direct knowledge the decision confirm to The Associated Press the Buffalo Bills have agreed to sign free agent defensive end Trent Murphy to a three-year contract.
Murphy spent the past four seasons in Washington after being selected in the second round of the 2014 draft. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he is best known for his pass-rushing ability. He had 15 sacks in 47 games, including nine in 2016.
Murphy missed all of last season after tearing two ligaments in his left knee in a preseason game against Baltimore. Had he not been injured, Murphy would have missed the first four games of the season serving an NFL suspension for violating the NFL’s performance enhancers policy.
— The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to a contract with free-agent cornerback D.J. Hayden, a person familiar with negotiations said. Hayden is expected to sign a three-year deal Thursday.
SiriusXM Sports says the contract is worth $19 million and includes $9.5 million guaranteed.
The 27-year-old Hayden is expected to replace nickel cornerback Aaron Colvin, who reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the Houston Texans on Tuesday. Hayden has played in 61 games with Oakland (2013-16) and Detroit (2017), totaling 223 tackles, 35 pass breakups, three interceptions and 1 1/2 sacks.
A person familiar with negotiations says Jacksonville also agreed to a contract with free-agent safety Don Carey, reuniting him with the Jaguars after spending the last seven years in Detroit. Carey is expected to be a core special teams player for the Jaguars, who are looking to upgrade those units.
— The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms on a deal keeping right guard Josh Kline off the free agent market.
The Titans announced the deal Wednesday, hours before the league’s new year begins.
General manager Jon Robinson claimed Kline off waivers from New England in September 2016. Kline has started 30 games at right guard for Tennessee on a line that allowed the third-fewest sacks (63) and blocked for the third-most rushing yards (4,020) in the NFL.
— The Philadelphia Eagles and linebacker Nigel Bradham have agreed on a five-year contract.
The deal announced Wednesday is reportedly worth $40 million. Bradham was a key member on defense for the Super Bowl champions.
He became the quarterback on defense after Jordan Hicks was injured and finished third on Philadelphia’s defense with 85 tackles. He added one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble returned for a touchdown.
12:55 p.m.: This article was updated with news about Trent Murphy and Don Carey.
11:40 a.m.: This article was updated with news about Joe Thomas, Jeremy Maclin and Julius Peppers.
11:15 a.m.: This article was updated with news about Tyrann Mathieu.
10:20 a.m.: This article was updated with news about D.J. Hayden.
9:30 a.m.: This article was updated with news about Nate Solder.
This article was originally published at 9:10 a.m.
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