The Rams’ decision to sign Eric Weddle last week could have a ripple effect on the rest of the league. The Rams had been interested in signing fellow safety Earl Thomas, but will no longer be pursuing him after signing Weddle, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Bob Condotta posted in a follow-up tweet that echoed what he had heard about Thomas and the Rams. Condotta also said the Cowboys, Chiefs, 49ers are “all thought now to be potential bidders for Thomas.” The 49ers have both been heavily linked to Thomas, and the Chiefs nearly traded for him last fall.
Elsewhere in the video Rapoport posted, he broke down the whole safety market. Unlike last year, where the safety market took very long to develop and seemingly nobody got paid, Rapoport expects big contracts to be flying left and right for safeties this time around. He also notes that the Redskins are expected to be interested in Landon Collins, who the Giants recently decided to let walk.
Here’s the latest from around the league on the night before free agency opens:
- In addition to safeties, it should be a very active market for free agent pass-rushers. Premier defensive linemen like Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald are starting to get more than $20MM per year on deals and we should get used to that, writes former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry. “Mack and Donald should soon have company in the $20 million-per-year non-quarterback club”, Corry writes. Corry broke down the market for edge rushers, and has a bunch of interesting tidbits in the article that is well-worth a read. Notably, he thinks Demarcus Lawrence could challenge and surpass the record-setting deals signed by Von Miller and Aaron Donald.
- In case you were yearning for a Chad Kelly update, we’ve got one. The former Ole Miss star was released by the Broncos back in November after he was arrested following an incident after Von Miller’s Halloween party. He’s been out of a job ever since, but he appeared in court again last week. The young quarterback pleaded not guilty to the felony criminal trespassing charges he’s facing, according to Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com. He’ll be back in court in April, but it sounds like he’s fighting the case rather than accepting a plea deal. He’ll likely face discipline from the league if a team decides to give him another chance.
- In case you missed it, despite rumors to the contrary, Dion Lewis is safe in Tennessee.