NFL free agency: Eric Decker, Jets agree to terms
Bucs cut Revis, Broncos sign Ware, Cowboys release Austin, Browns cut Weeden
The New York Jets have agreed to terms with former Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker, considered by many the top free agent at his position.
Decker spent all day Wednesday at the Jets' facility and had dinner with a contingent of team officials, including coach Rex Ryan. He gives quarterback Geno Smith and the offence a sorely needed playmaker and No. 1-type wide receiver.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Decker, who'll be 27 on Saturday, set career highs last season catching passes from Peyton Manning with 87 catches and 1,288 yards receiving to go along with 11 touchdowns. He had 85 receptions for 1,064 yards and a career-best 13 TDs in 2012.
Getting a top receiver was a priority as the Jets headed into free agency.
Also Wednesday, the Jets agreed to terms with former Seattle Seahawks right tackle Breno Giacomini, quickly finding a replacement for Austin Howard.
The Jets re-signed backup defensive lineman Leger Douzable to a one-year deal, too.
Giacomini missed seven games with a knee injury last season for Seattle, but was back in time for the Seahawks' run to their Super Bowl title against Denver. The 6-foot-7, 318-pound Giacomini will replace Howard, who signed with Oakland as a free agent after starting every game the last two seasons. Giacomini was a fifth-round pick in 2008 of Green Bay, where he spent three seasons before spending the last three with Seattle.
Douzable signed with New York as a free agent last off-season and had 20 tackles and a career-high 1 1/2 sacks.
Bucs part ways with Darrelle Revis
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have parted ways with cornerbackDarrelleRevis, releasing the five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Wednesday after being unable to trade him and his $16 million US annual salary.
The move saved the Bucs a $1.5 million bonus that Revis would have been due if he remained on the roster. It also freed additional space under the salary cap, which the team intends to use to continue an overhaul of the roster under new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht.
Revis was obtained in a pre-draft trade from the New York Jets last spring, a deal that cost the Bucs a first-round draft in 2013, as well as a fourth-rounder this year. If Revis had remained on Tampa Bay's roster at 4 p.m. Wednesday, he would have been due the bonus and the 2014 pick the Bucs sent to the Jets would have become a third-rounder.
Revis was recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee when he joined the Bucs and was given a six-year, $96 million contract. Despite not being 100 per cent physically, he appeared in all 16 games and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl last season, when he had two interceptions, a sack and two forced fumbles.
The two-time All-Pro's release came less than an hour after the Bucs confirmed free agent quarterback Josh McCown had agreed to terms of a two-year contract, a move that reunites him with Smith.
Broncos, Ware agree to 3-year deal: report
The Denver Broncos kept their free agency focus on defence as they agreed to a three-year deal with pass rusher DeMarcus Ware, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has yet to be announced and is pending a physical.
The deal with Ware is worth $30 million, with $20 million guaranteed.
Ware was let go Tuesday by Dallas in a salary-cap move. He had a franchise-record 117 sacks for the Cowboys since being drafted in the first round in 2005. He had a career-low six sacks last season and missed games for the first time in his career because of a thigh injury.
The 31-year-old Ware will play opposite of Von Miller.
Denver is on quite a spending spree so far in free agency, agreeing to deals with safety T.J. Ward, cornerback Aqib Talib and Ware for a combined $110 million. The Broncos are trying to upgrade the talent on the roster, not knowing how long Peyton Manning will be running the offence.
The team is coming off a 43-8 loss to Seattle in the Super Bowl last month.
Browns release QB Brandon Weeden
The Browns have released quarterback Brandon Weeden as the first-round pick in 2012, never panned out in Cleveland as the Browns went through a pair of coaching changes in his short time with the team.
He made 20 starts, but lost his job early last season after he got hurt and Brian Hoyer came off the bench and led the Browns to two victories. Weeden was re-inserted as the starter when Hoyer suffered a season-ending injury, but the 30-year-old lost his job again, this time to Jason Campbell.
Weeden passed for 5,116 yards and went 5-15 as a starter in two seasons. His release was expected with the Browns likely to take a quarterback in May's draft.
Cowboys release Austin as of June 1
Dallas released wide receiver Miles Austin, designating it as a June 1 cut.
By releasing the eight-year veteran, the Cowboys will save about $5.5 million in salary cap space, money they likely will use to sign this year's draft picks.
Austin joined Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2006. He was a reserve receiver and a kick return specialist for three seasons, but in 2009 became a regular. He set a Cowboys record with 250 yards receiving in his first start, an NFL record. Austin finished that season with 1,320 yards and made the Pro Bowl.
In 2010, he started all 16 games for the only time in his career and made his second Pro Bowl.
But injuries have plagued him since, and he started only eight times and missed five games in 2013 because of recurring hamstring problems.
Bills sign OG Chris Willilams
The Buffalo Bills have signed free-agent offensive guard Chris Williams to a four-year contract.
The team announced the move Wednesday, a day after the NFL's signing period opened and a few hours after Williams visited the Bills' facility.
Williams has six years of NFL experience after going to Chicago with the 14th pick in the 2008 draft. Williams spent three-plus seasons with the Bears before being cut, and the past year and a half with the St. Louis Rams.
Overall, he's had 54 starts in 69 games.
"We’re excited about this start to free agency and our plans moving forward," Bills GM Doug Whaley said in a statement. "With the signing of Chris Williams, I am particularly excited about the direction our offensive line is moving in because we wanted to address this position and we feel like we filled the need with a very good player.”
Williams is expected to compete for the starting left guard spot to fill what had been an unsettled position last year.
Colin Brown opened the season as the starter, before being cut and replaced by Doug Legursky.
Saints re-sign RB Pierre Thomas
The Saints have agreed to terms with running back Pierre Thomas on a two-year contract extension.
Thomas has played only in New Orleans, where he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007. Since then, he has become one of the team's more versatile running back, averaging 821 yards from scrimmage per season.
Last season, Thomas was the Saints' leading rusher with 549 yards. His 513 receiving yards also were the most for a running back. And his five combined touchdowns were tied for second-most on the team.
He was scheduled to make $2.5 million in base salary in the final year of a contract signed before the 2011 season.
Jaguars agree to deal with LB Watson
The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to contract terms with free agent linebacker Dekoda Watson.
Watson visited with general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley on Tuesday and was expected to sign the deal Wednesday after a physical.
A seventh-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2010, Watson had 106 tackles and three sacks in four years with the Buccaneers. He started six of 60 games, playing mostly on special teams. But he's expected to compete for a starting job with the rebuilding Jaguars.
Watson is the latest addition for Jacksonville, which has signed free agents defensive end Red Bryant, guard Zane Beadles and running back Toby Gerhart. Jacksonville also re-signed quarterback Chad Henne and cornerback Will Blackmon.
Browns sign CB Trufant
The Browns have agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Isaiah Trufant, who has connections to new Cleveland coach Mike Pettine.
Trufant's agent, Doug Hendrickson, announced his client's agreement Wednesday on Twitter. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
The Browns have not made any free-agent announcements. On Tuesday, they agreed to terms with strong safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Karlos Dansby on multiyear deals. The players must pass physicals before the deal is official.
Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden posted a photo on Twitter of himself on a plane with wide receiver Josh Gordon, linebacker Jabaal Sheard and their new teammates.
The 31-year-old Trufant played 16 games last season in a backup role with the Jets. He played in New York for three seasons under Pettine, who was the team's defensive coordinator under Rex Ryan, and also was a special teams standout.