6 Key Stories: 7/31/16 – 8/7/16

The Nick Foles sweepstakes comes to an end. After agreeing to lower his guaranteed 2016 base salary in order to secure his release from the Rams, Nick Foles surveyed his options in free agency before ultimately landing with the Chiefs, reuniting with head coach Andy Reid, the man who drafted Foles in 2012. Nick Foles (vertical)Foles’ deal contains an option for 2017 that can be worth up to $16MM via escalators/incentives, but Kansas City management stated that Foles’ addition has no impact on Alex Smith‘s status with the club. The Bills, Vikings, and Cowboys were thought to be among the other contenders for Foles after he hit the open market.

The Cowboys need a backup QB. Foles is off the table, but Dallas still needs to find a new No. 2 quarterback after Kellen Moore suffered a broken leg last week. Rookie Dak Prescott is next up on the depth chart, but the Cowboys are likely aiming to add a a veteran rather than count on a first-year player. The Buccaneers aren’t shopping Mike Glennon, but the Browns could be willing to part with Josh McCown for the right price. Meanwhile, Josh Freeman and his agent reportedly reached out to the Cowboys, while Jimmy Clausen could be another option for the club.

Cardinals lock up their core. Any retirement talk surrounding Arizona’s two most high-profile veterans will have to wait, as the Cardinals announced one-year extensions for quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald last week. Palmer is now signed through the 2018 season, while Fitzgerald will be in the desert through the 2017 campaign. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cards also reached agreement with All Pro defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, signing the hybrid defender to a five-year, $62.5MM deal.Dwight Freeney (vertical)

Veterans find new homes. With training camp getting underway, a cavalcade of experienced players landed new deals, with Dwight Freeney (Falcons), Reggie Bush (Bills), and Jahri Evans (Seahawks) among the more high-profile names that found destinations last week. Receivers James Jones (Chargers) and Lance Moore (Falcons), defensive back Leon Hall (Giants), fullback John Kuhn (Saints), and linebacker Brandon Spikes (Bills) also inked contracts over the past week.

Young players go down. The Bengals appear to have lost first-round cornerback William Jackson III for a some time (and possibly the entire season) after the University of Houston alum tore his pectoral last week, while another AFC North defensive back — the Steelers’ Senquez Golson — could also potentially miss the year following a Lisfranc injury. Elsewhere in the division, Ravens third-round linebacker Bronson Kaufusi is done for the year after breaking his ankle, while in the NFC, Bears center Hroniss Grasu is likely lost for the season given that he suffered a torn ACL.

Trades on the horizon? The NFL never sees the level of trade activity as, say, MLB, but it wouldn’t be surprising to a few deals take place as clubs approach final cutdowns later this month and into September. Offensive guard Ronald Leary, for one, has requested a trade from the Cowboys, and the Saints have been expressing interest in acquiring him for months. Meanwhile, teams around the league are keeping an eye on the Dolphins’ defensive ends with an eye towards a trade.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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