Some interpreted the LeSean McCoy-for-Kiko Alonso deal as a continuation of the devaluation of running backs in today's NFL. However, the Bills have given McCoy a new contract that speaks strongly to the contrary.
Although already under contract, McCoy was able to extract a new five-year deal out of Buffalo; it's worth a reported $40M with $26.5M guaranteed, probably with $16M fully guaranteed. Those are big numbers for a running back, especially one who already has 1,761 career touches.
Earlier today, we discussed the cornerback market as it relates to the Broncos' December extension of Chris Harris. Since then, news has emerged of two more cornerback contracts. Soon-to-be former Seattle corner Byron Maxwell will reportedly get $63M over six years from Philly, with as much as $25M guaranteed (probably not fully). Brandon Flowers has reportedly agreed to a new four-year, $36M deal to remain in San Diego.
There's no word yet on what Flowers will get in guarantees, but given the state of the market and his willingness to sign before the league calendar flips, we're guessing the figure dwarfs the $10M Chris Harris got from Denver.
Miami is expected to land the biggest fish of free agency in Ndamukong Suh, according to Chris Mortensen. No deal would become official before the new league year starts in 50+ hours from now, so things could easily change, but for now, Suh is expected to get $60M over the first three years of a reported $114M deal.
The Dolphins have cleared out plenty of cap space for a run at Suh by cutting several defensive players, most recently Philip Wheeler. Oakland and San Diego had also been expected to pursue the defensive tackle, along with Chicago and Detroit.
With Derek Newton and Doug Free already back with their old teams, the market for available right tackles is heating up. According to the Journal Sentinel, Packers lineman Bryan Bulaga is seeking $7M-$8M annually, and has drawn interest from Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Washington.
It would appear the Packers raised Demaryius Thomas's price tag by re-signing wide receiver Randall Cobb to a reported four-year, $40M contract. That's a big number on an annual basis, and takes a top wideout off the market.
They're not similar players, as Thomas is a physical freak and outside man-beater, while Cobb is smaller and plays inside. Cobb has just one year of elite production, and was limited by injury to just six games in 2013. Thomas, on the other hand, has been one of the league's top handful of receivers for three years running, and hasn't missed a game since 2011.
Derek Newton seemed a natural fit for Denver at right tackle, given his history with Gary Kubiak. Perhaps the Texans feared the same, as they pushed to re-sign the impending unrestricted free agent.
Houston reportedly gave Newton $10M in guarantees as part of a five-year deal that will prevent him from reaching the open market. It's not clear whether the Broncos would have pursued the 27-year old, but now, they won't get the chance to.
The Broncos will not use a restricted free agent tender on linebacker Steven Johnson, which will make him an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins. An original round tender, the lowest iteration, would have cost $1.542M.
Denver had two other scheduled restricted free agents, but already extended Aaron Brewer and is expected to non-tender corner Tony Carter. They tendered three of their four exclusive rights free agents, and appear to have non-tendered DE John Youboty.
Reggie Wayne hasn't announced whether he's playing in 2015, but he definitely won't be back with the Colts. The 36-year-old wideout is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and the only NFL team he's ever played for said on Friday that he won't be back with them for a 15th season.
It will be natural for folks to envision Wayne reuniting with Peyton Manning in Denver. In theory, his familiarity with Manning would be an easy sell, but assuming he takes Wes Welker's spot on the roster, Denver would be getting even older than they already were last year.
The Broncos will have to revisit the 2012 playoff nightmare against Baltimore at least twice in 2015. San Diego agreed with Jacoby Jones to a two-year deal reportedly worth up to $5.5M.
Jones, who streaked past Rahim Moore for a tying 70-yard touchdown in the final minute of Denver's divisional round loss to the Ravens, was cut by Baltimore last month.
John Youboty is also an ERFA, but his exclusion from the announcement would suggest he's been non-tendered. Denver has yet to have tendered restricted free agents Tony Carter and Steven Johnson; it's not clear whether they will do so with Johnson, and they aren't expected to tender Carter.