Let’s take a look at some notes from around the league as the second wave of free agency starts to heat up:
- After meeting with Russell Okung today, the Steelers are scheduled to meet with free agent tackles Ryan Harris and Chris Hairston later this week, per a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter (we had already heard about the Harris meeting, but the Hairston visit is a new development). Pittsburgh has a void at left tackle that it is seeking to fill, as Kelvin Beachum, who missed most of the 2015 campaign with a torn ACL, looks ready to sign elsewhere.
- The Lions have already had a visit with Okung, and while all reports seem to indicate that it was a positive meeting, Detroit remains in a holding pattern with the talented but oft-injured tackle. As Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes, Detroit may have no other choice but to make a big-time offer for Okung, despite the risks, as the offensive line is in serious need of an upgrade and Okung is far and away the best talent still on the market.
- Darius Slay and Sam Martin are two members of the Lions‘ terrific 2013 draft class that could sign extensions with the club in the coming months, and as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes, Theo Riddick is also open to an extension that would keep him in Detroit for the foreseeable future. No contract talks have taken place yet, but Riddick, who led all running backs with 80 receptions in 2015, could have a bigger role in the running game in 2016, and he could get a nice payday as a result.
- Birkett writes in a separate piece that new Lions GM Bob Quinn has done a nice job of patching holes on his team’s roster while steering clear of overpaying for mediocre talent, a common pitfall for first-time GMs. But Birkett also observes that the Lions are no better right now than they were last year, and Quinn will have to prove that his eye for young talent in the draft matches matches his prudence in free agency.
- Former NFL agent Joel Corry does not believe that the Jets have serious interest in Robert Griffin III, and he believes the team’s “pursuit” of RGIII is simply a leverage play staged for Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s benefit. If the team were to sign Griffin, Corry believes it would be a modest, one-year pact worth between $4MM-$5MM (Twitter link).
- Free agent safety Rashad Johnson was set to meet with the Titans on Friday, but per ESPN’s Josina Anderson, that visit has been pushed back to tomorrow (Twitter link).
- The Raiders appear to be trending upwards, and they have suddenly transformed from a last resort to a desired destination, as Jerry McDonald of InsideBayArea.com writes. Although the team lost out on Malik Jackson, who ultimately signed with the Jaguars, Oakland landed three major free agents–Kelechi Osemele, Bruce Irvin, and Sean Smith–just one year after being spurned by a number of its top free agent targets. As GM Reggie McKenzie said, “It’s good to see people call us and not always have to beg.” McDonald adds that McKenzie is not done spending–the team still has considerable cap space, after all–and the club’s free agent haul, combined with its talented young core, could propel the Raiders back to the playoffs in 2016.