The Saints and record-setting quarterback Drew Brees have agreed on a two-year, $50-million contract, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
Brees has said repeatedly that he is taking his career decision one year at a time. His new contract gives the 41-year-old, 19-year veteran the leverage to decide after this season whether he wants to continue playing.
Brees missed five games with a throwing hand injury that required surgery but was still productive last season while leading New Orleans to a third straight playoff appearance. Brees’ 74.3% completion rate ranked second in NFL history behind only his 2018 record of 74.4%.
He also passed for 27 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions and was selected to a fourth straight Pro Bowl, the 13th of his career.
Brees is the NFL’s all-time leader in completions with 6,867, yards passing with 77,416, and touchdowns with 547. His career touchdowns mark is most vulnerable, just six ahead of 20-year veteran Tom Brady.
Brees began his career with the Chargers, who drafted him out of Purdue in 2001. He joined the Saints as a free agent in 2006 on the heels of a career-threatening throwing shoulder injury.
Panthers look to trade Cam Newton
The Panthers are parting ways with Cam Newton.
Carolina general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday via Twitter the team is giving the 31-year-old quarterback permission to seek a trade — although the former league MVP responded by saying he never requested one.
“Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy,” Hurney said. “We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”
Newton was quick to respond to the Panthers on social media, saying he didn’t ask for the trade.
“Stop the word play!!” Newton tweeted. “I never asked for it!! There is no dodging this one; I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys!! Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this: You forced me into this.”
Newton has battled shoulder and foot injuries the last two seasons and lost his last eight starts for the Panthers.
A former No. 1 overall pick, Newton made the Pro Bowl three times and was the NFL’s MVP in 2015 when he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. He holds most of the franchise’s passing records and has run for more touchdowns than any QB in league history.
Panthers owner David Tepper, who has been noncommittal on Newton’s future with the team ever since last season, released what amounted to a goodbye statement Tuesday on Twitter saying “I wish him all of the best.”
“He’s one of the all-time greats in Panthers history,” Tepper said. “If you ask any of our fans for their most memorable moments, I’m willing to bet that most of them will include Cam — electrifying plays, giving away footballs after touchdowns, fun celebrations and big wins. His competitive and drive and rare. Off the field, you can’t measure Cam’s contributions. He has touched the lives of youths throughout the Carolinas and the Atlanta.”
Emmanuel Ogbah to sign with Dolphins
A person familiar with the negotiations says defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.
The person confirmed the deal on condition of anonymity because the NFL signing period doesn’t begin until Wednesday.
Ogbah had 5 1/2 sacks last year for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. He also spent three years with the Cleveland Browns and has 18 sacks in four seasons.
The Dolphins are using free agency to shore up a pass rush that ranked last in the NFL with 23 sacks in 2019. On Monday they agreed to terms with linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive end Shaq Lawson, who each had a career-high 6 1/2 sacks last year.
Packers sign Kirksey and Wagner
The Green Bay Packers have announced the signings of ex-Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey and ex-Detroit Lions offensive tackle Rick Wagner, who had both been released by their former teams last week.
Kirksey’s agent, Brian Mackler, had confirmed Monday that Kirksey had agreed to terms with the Packers.
The 30-year-old Wagner spent the past three seasons with Detroit after playing four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He has made 87 starts. He made 12 starts last season but dealt with knee problems late in the year.
Kirksey, 27, had 148 tackles in 2016 and 138 more in 2017 for the Browns but played just nine games because of a hamstring injury in 2018 and appeared in only two games last year before going on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle.
Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine previously worked with Kirksey as the Browns’ head coach from 2014-15.
Bucs to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took another step toward retaining some of the key pieces of an improved defense by agreeing to re-sign linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul to a two-year, $27-million contract.
The deal comes on the heels of the Bucs placing the franchise tag on NFL sack leader Shaquil Barrett, whose salary leaps from $4 million in 2019 to nearly $16 million for the upcoming season.
Pierre-Paul has 21 sacks since being acquired in a trade from the New York Giants two years ago. He had 8 in 10 games last season after recovering from a neck injury suffered in an offseason automobile accident.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection has 79½ career sacks in 10 NFL seasons.
Jamie Collins goes to the Lions
Former Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins has agreed to a new three-year deal with the Detroit Lions. Collins’ agent, David Canter, confirmed the pact on Twitter.
Collins, who spent his first three seasons in New England, was traded to Cleveland in 2016. He was cut by the Browns in March 2019 and re-signed by the Patriots. He was a standout for New England last season with a career-high seven sacks and three interceptions.
In Detroit he will be reunited with Lions coach Matt Patricia, who was defensive coordinator during Collins’ first stint in New England.
Addison and Klein to sign with Bills
People familiar with the decisions have confirmed to the Associated Press that defensive end Mario Addison and linebacker A.J. Klein have agreed to sign with the Buffalo Bills.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deals aren’t official until the NFL’s signing period opens Wednesday. ESPN.com first reported Addison’s deal, while SiriusXM first reported Klein reaching an agreement.
The additions shore up positions of immediate need for Buffalo, and come at the same time the Bills made a major splash by agreeing to acquire receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.
Giants shore up defense
The New York Giants are using free agency to shore up a defense that was among the worst in the NFL.
New York (4-12) placed a franchise tag on defensive tackle Leonard Williams on Monday and over the last 24 hours it has reached contract agreements with Packers middle linebacker Blake Martinez and Panthers cornerback James Bradberry. The Giants also reached an agreement with veteran blocking tight end Levine Toilolo.
The franchise tag on Williams will cost the Giants at least $17 million if he stays. And the team would receive two first-round draft picks from any team signing him.
The Giants will pay Bradberry $45 million over three years, while Martinez gets roughly $30 million over three years. The Giants had $73 million in cap space entering free agency.
Eagles re-sign Nate Sudfeld
The Philadelphia Eagles have brought back quarterback Nate Sudfeld on a one-year contract.
Sudfeld was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Sudfeld was the No. 3 quarterback last season behind Carson Wentz and Josh McCown.
Sudfeld was Wentz’s backup last season until he broke his left wrist in the preseason opener. Sudfeld was active for five games but did not take any snaps.