Ryan Fitzpatrick is out at Buffalo and Paul Kruger is in with the Browns in the first major moves as NFL free agency began Tuesday.
The Bills' starting quarterback was cut 1 ½ years after getting a six-year, $59 million US contract extension. Fitzpatrick struggled after signing the new deal, and the Bills went 6-10 in 2011 and in 2012.
Buffalo has not made the playoffs since 1999, the longest active streak in the NFL. For now, the Bills' No. 1 quarterback is Tarvaris Jackson.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix said, "difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward. Our focus remains on adding another quarterback to our roster and we will continue to explore every option available to us."
Receiver Mike Wallace was the Miami Dolphins' No. 1 off-season target, and they moved quickly Tuesday to seal a deal.
Wallace agreed to a multiyear contract on the first day of NFL free agency.
In four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wallace caught 32 touchdown passes. He gives the Dolphins the speedy deep threat they lacked last season, when their wideouts totalled three touchdowns.
"He has a unique skill set which we believe will be a welcome addition to our offence," general manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement.
Miami reached a $35 million, five-year deal with inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who helped the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl last season. The Dolphins re-signed free safety Chris Clemons to a one-year deal.
Kruger moves on
Kruger helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl, leading the team with nine sacks. The outside linebacker added 2 ½ in the post-season.
But he was too expensive for Baltimore to keep and Kruger moves north in the AFC North to Cleveland, which needs help everywhere. He got a five-year deal for $40 million.
The Ravens also made official their trade of receiver Anquan Boldin, another playoff and Super Bowl standout, to San Francisco for a sixth-round draft pick.
Earlier, Tony Gonzalez changed his mind and decided to return to the Falcons.
The NFL's career leader among tight ends with 1,242 receptions and 103 touchdowns said he was 95 per cent certain he would retire after 2012, but the other 5 per cent won out.
Hours before free agency began Thursday, Gonzalez tweeted:
"The lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up," Gonzalez tweeted.
- Philadelphia released cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who two years ago got a five-year, $60 million contract, $24 million guaranteed, when he left Oakland as a free agent. Asomugha was a flop in Philly, often victimized in single coverage. Asomugha was scheduled to make $15 million next season, with $4 million guaranteed.
Denver ensured that Peyton Manning will be the Broncos' quarterback through at least 2014.The four-time MVP's contract called for a guaranteed salary of $20 million in 2013 and 2014 if he was on the Denver roster Tuesday. The final two years of his contract are worth $19 million each, but are not guaranteed.Coming off multiple neck operations, Manning threw for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns last season and was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He turns 37 on March 24.
The Kansas City Chiefs finally have their new quarterback. The Chiefs officially traded for Alex Smith on Tuesday, the first day of the new league year — and nearly two weeks after the San Francisco 49ers agreed to the deal. All that's left is for Smith to pass a physical and the paperwork to be filed with the league. That business is expected to be finished Wednesday. The 49ers will receive the Chiefs' second-round pick, 34th overall, in this year's draft and a conditional pick in next year's draft, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not disclosed.
The San Francisco 49ers landed another playmaking wide receiver to catch those deep passes from Colin Kaepernick. San Francisco agreed Tuesday to acquire Anquan Boldin from the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens for a sixth-round draft pick. The deal, announced by the team shortly after the start of the free agency period Tuesday, is pending a physical. Boldin expressed surprise at the trade and thanked the Ravens' supporters in a series of posts on Twitter.
Defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, both implicated in the Saints' bounty scandal, agreed to restructure their contracts to remain with New Orleans. The 31-year-old Smith and 30-year-old Vilma, both veteran defensive captains, would have taken up about $23 million combined in salary cap space without the redone deals.
- Minnesota finalized the trade of receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle, released 14-year veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield and re-signed right tackle Phil Loadholt. The Seahawks are sending their first-round and seventh-round draft picks this year plus their third-round selection in 2014 for Harvin.
- Tennessee agreed to terms with Buffalo guard Andy Levitre and San Francisco tight end Delanie Walker. Levitre, one of the top offensive linemen on the market, got a six-year deal worth nearly $47 million. He will replace Steve Hutchinson, who announced his retirement earlier Tuesday. Walker will help replace Jared Cook, who the Titans declined to tag as a franchise player because he wants to be paid more like a receiver. The Titans waived safety Jordan Babineaux and guard Mitch Petrus.
- Pittsburgh re-signed linebacker Larry Foote and wide receiver Plaxico Burress and tendered offers to four restricted free agents: receiver Emmanuel Sanders, running backs Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, all of whom could be starters in 2013, and nose tackle Steve McLendon. Burress should provide depth with the Steelers losing Mike Wallace in free agency, but Burress struggled to get onto the field after returning to the Steelers last November. Foote also came back to Pittsburgh last season and will stay at inside linebacker, where the other starter, James Harrison, was released this week. Foote got a three-year deal.
- Denver agreed to terms with guard Louis Vasquez, late of San Diego. According to STATS, he has allowed just 11 sacks and had one penalty during his time with the Chargers.
- Tight end Martellus Bennett agreed to a four-year contract with the Bears, leaving the Giants after one season. Defensive tackle Henry Melton signed his franchise tag tender at $8.45 million.
- Cincinnati re-signed defensive ends Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry. Geathers enters his 10th season with the Bengals, the longest tenure on the current roster.
"Robert brings us not just fine and consistent play, but leadership and experience," coach Marvin Lewis said. "He's a big part of our success with his own play, and I know our younger guys have talked about how he's made them more effective players."
- The Houston Texans released receiver Kevin Walter, who was due to make $2 million in salary. Walter never became the threat opposite Andre Johnson that the team hoped for. He caught 41 passes for 518 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.
- Carolina cut linebacker James Anderson, a seven-year veteran who set a franchise record in 2011 with 174 tackles.
- San Diego released 11-year veteran tight end Randy McMichael and signed kicker Nick Novak to a four-year contract; the New York Jets cut nose tackle Sione Po'uha and restructured the contract of receiver Santonio Holmes; Arizona re-signed safety Rashad Johnson to a three-year contract; and Tennessee guard Steve Hutchinson retired after 12 seasons.
Indianapolis agreed in principle on contracts with tackle Gosder Cherilus, linebacker Lawrence Sidbury, guard Donald Thomas, cornerback Greg Toler and linebacker Erik Walden. Each of the deals is pending a physical.