FA Rumors: Norman, Dolphins, Eagles, Chiefs

As players like Olivier Vernon and Malik Jackson signed huge, long-term contracts earlier this month, players like Broncos pass rusher Von Miller and Panthers cornerback Josh Norman were forced to watch, unable to land lucrative new mega-deals of their own. As Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) details, Miller and Norman have been frustrated by the franchise tag system, which prevents star players from cashing in like some lesser free agents have.

In Norman’s case, fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins got a five-year, $62.5MM as an unrestricted free agent, but according to David Newton of ESPN.com, the Panthers haven’t gone to that $12.5MM-per-year range in their extension talks with Norman. If the Carolina corner had been able to reach the open market himself, he likely would’ve surpassed easily, so it’s not a surprise that Miller and Norman would like to see the franchise tag system go away, according to Cole.

Here’s more on free agency:

  • The Dolphins signed Isaiah Pead today, but they continue to seek running back help, and worked out former Buccaneers back Bobby Rainey, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rainey ran for nearly 1,000 total yards in 2013 and 2014, but had just five carries last season.
  • After paying a visit to Pittsburgh, free agent offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski met with the Eagles today, a source tells Rapoport (Twitter link). Wisniewski is arguably the top center still on the board, though he’d be unlikely to start in the middle if he were to sign with Philadelphia.
  • The Chiefs hosted free agent safety Jeron Johnson for a visit on Wednesday, a source tells Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). After serving as a backup DB and a special-teamer for several years in Seattle, Johnson signed with Washington last year and appeared poised to get the opportunity to player more. However, things didn’t work out in D.C., and Johnson was cut earlier this month.
  • In addition to having hosted Johnson, the Chiefs are bringing in another defender, linebacker Andy Mulumba, for a visit, per Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette (Twitter link). Mulumba, who has played 22 games for the Packers during the last three seasons, also visited the Patriots, according to Hodkiewicz.
  • Free agent defensive lineman Jack Crawford is paying a visit to the Jets, a source tells Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). Crawford, who visited Pittsburgh this week, picked up four sacks as a part-timer in Dallas in 2015
  • Todd Archer of ESPN.com explains how recently-signed free agent defensive end Benson Mayowa can opt out of his deal with the Cowboys after two seasons and hit the open market again in 2018.
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