Mike Adams (S)

Panthers Won’t Re-Sign Mike Adams

On Monday morning, Panthers safety Mike Adams took to Instagram to tell fans that he won’t be returning to the team. However, the veteran hopes to continue playing in the 2019 season. 

This great city and organization showed me nothing but love while I was here!” Adams wrote. “I have a lot more ball left so I plan on playing this year! I just hope the young boys have learned as much from me as I did from them!

Adams, who turns 38 in March, has been a starter for the majority of his career. He’s been first-string for every Panthers game over the last two years and finished out the 2018 season with 75 tackles, six passes defensed, and three interceptions.

However, the Panthers are looking to get younger in the secondary and the advanced metrics indicate that Adams may have lost a step in 2018. Last year, he earned a 51.4 overall score from Pro Football Focus – his lowest since his rookie season in 2006 – and graded out as just the No. 86 overall safety in the NFL out of 93 qualified players.

Adams, and the league’s other free agents, can officially sign with clubs beginning on March 13.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Sign Mike Adams

Mike Adams has found a new home. NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the safety has signed a two-year deal with the Panthers.

Mike Adams (Featured)We learned earlier this week that the soon-to-be 36-year-old wouldn’t be returning to Indy, as the Colts were interested in younger targets. The Panthers apparently weren’t too worried about his age, and for good reason. After bouncing around the NFL, Adams caught on with the Colts in 2014 and proceeded to make a pair of Pro Bowls. He had another strong season in 2016, compiling 79 tackles, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions in 15 games.

Adams will be joining a Panthers safety corps that includes Tre Boston, Kurt Coleman, Colin JonesDean Marlowe, and Travell Dixon.

Adams was named the No. 14 safety on PFR’s positional free agent ranks,

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts Won’t Re-Sign S Mike Adams

The Colts don’t intend to re-sign free agent safety Mike Adams, as Adams himself posted on Instagram that today was his “last day” with Indianapolis. Adams later confirmed to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link) that the Colts intend to pursue younger players on the defensive side of the ball."<strong

[RELATED: Darius Butler Wants To Play Safety]

Adams, 36, later this month, was something of a journeyman before joining the Colts prior to the 2014 campaign, as he’d spent time with 49ers, Browns, and Broncos. But over the past three seasons, Adams has become a legitimately above-average starter, and earned two Pro Bowl nods during that time. In 2016, Adams started 15 games, racked up 79 tackles, and posted two interceptions.

Adams placed as the No. 14 safety on PFR’s positional free agent ranks, and while he won’t be in for a long-term deal given his age, he could make a nice stopgap for a contending team. On the free agent market, he’ll compete with other safeties including Tony Jefferson, Duron Harmon, and Barry Church.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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AFC Notes: Broncos, Colts, Titans, Brady

Following news of Von Miller‘s record-breaking extension with the Broncos, we’ve started hearing reactions from several of the player’s teammates.

Cornerback Chris Harris appeared on NFL Network earlier this week, and the veteran said he believed Miller’s threats of holding out.

“I believe him,” he said (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “You’ve got to take his word for it. It would be hard for me to sit out, missing out on $14 million, but I think Von is serious in what he’s saying. I think he truly, this whole time just talking to him, he hates the franchise tag. I definitely think he won’t sign it.”

Meanwhile, offseason addition Mark Sanchez stated his excitement for Miller’s return

“Happy the deal was done in time for camp,” the quarterback said. “I knew both sides had the same goal and now we can start camp with the whole squad.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC…

  • Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com says safety Mike Adams‘ two-year, $4.3MM contract (with $1.2MM guaranteed) is the best on the Colts. Meanwhile, tight end Dwayne Allen was said to have the team’s worst contract at four years and $29.4MM (with $11.5MM guaranteed).
  • After Delanie WalkerCraig Stevens, and Anthony Fasano, the Titans could keep up to two additional tight ends, writes Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. Phillip Supernaw is currently slotted as the team’s fourth tight end, but Wyatt notes that the team will be eyeing the waiver wire for reinforcement.
  • Meanwhile, Wyatt doesn’t envision undrafted kicker Aldrick Rosas unseating starter Ryan Succop.
  • When it comes to the ‘Deflategate’ fiasco, Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe writes that “the Patriots dug their own grave by behaving like a guilty party from the jump.” The writer notes the hypocrisy of owner Robert Kraft, who initially touted Roger Goodell as commissioner. Quarterback Tom Brady announced yesterday that he wouldn’t be appealing his four-game suspension.

Contract Details: Maxwell, Murray, McPhee

Here are some key details on some of the notable contracts agreed to or signed around the NFL this week:

NFC deals:

  • Byron Maxwell, CB (Eagles): Six years, $63MM base value. $25MM fully guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • DeMarco Murray, RB (Eagles): Five years, $40MM base value. $42MM max value. $18MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Albert Breer of the NFL Network).
  • Pernell McPhee, OLB (Bears): Five years, $38.75MM base value. $8.675MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Antrel Rolle, S (Bears): Three years, $11.25MM base value. $4.9MM guaranteed. $3.9MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tom Johnson, DT (Vikings): Three years, $7MM base value. $2.75MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Matt Prater, K (Lions): Two years, $4.55MM base value. Third-year team option for 2017 (Twitter link via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

AFC deals:

Colts Re-Sign Mike Adams

The Colts will keep an important member of their secondary, as Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports reports (via Twitter) that the team has re-signed safety Mike Adams. The pact is for two years, according to Garafolo.

The former undrafted free agent has bounced around since entering the league in 2004, playing for the 49ers, Browns and Broncos prior to joining Indianapolis last offseason. The 33-year-old had one of the best seasons of his career in 2014, establishing or tying career-highs in tackles (87), forced fumbles (two) and interceptions (five). He also earned his first Pro Bowl appearance.

 

AFC FA Rumors: Harvin, Raiders, Adams

The Raiders‘ interest in wide receiver Percy Harvin will be contingent on meeting him and also finding out his price tag, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Even with Harvin’s connection to Bill Musgrave, the Raiders have to inspect the baggage before going any further with him. The latest free agent rumors..

  • Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter) still anticipates the Colts re-signing safety Mike Adams, but no deal is done just yet. Adams, who turns 34 later this month, has said that he wants to retire with the Colts.
  • Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter) suggested that the Raiders are pursuing Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith. Bill Williamson of ESPN.com (via Twitter) believes that the Raiders are the favorites when it comes to him.
  • Linebacker Arthur Moats spoke with the Bengals and Cardinals and seemed set to go to the Falcons before deciding to re-sign with the Steelers, Ross Tucker of NBCSN tweets.
  • The Titans are still working to retain both defensive end Derrick Morgan and kicker Ryan Succop as the clock ticks towards the opening of free agency, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets.
  • McCormick (on Twitter) isn’t sure that the Titans will land him, but he expects them to seriously pursue Jason Worilds.
  • Linebacker Andrew Gachkar has received interest from the Vikings, Panthers, and Raiders, and may end up visiting all three teams later this week, tweets Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. Washington has also talked to Gachkar’s camp, but hasn’t made an offer yet, per Mike Jones of the Washington Post (Twitter link). The 26-year-old had his best season for the Chargers in 2014, playing nearly 400 defensive snaps.

FA Rumors: Pascoe, Jean-Francois, McCourty

The agent for tight end Bear Pascoe tells D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his client will be moving on from the Falcons next month.

“We had a great conversation with the Falcons and it looks like at this point Bear is going to explore some other options for next year and the Falcons are going to do the same,” said Noel LaMontagne, Pascoe’s agent. “The front office and Bear both were really appreciative of everything over the last year, but with coaching changes, there will always be other changes, so Bear is going to see what else is out there for the future.”

Let’s round up a few more Wednesday updates on 2015’s prospective free agents:

  • After been released by the Colts earlier this week, defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois is seeking a new home for the 2015 season, and a pair of potential suitors has already surfaced. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Jean-Francois has visits lined up with Washington and the 49ers this week. Jean-Francois has a history with the Niners, having spent the first four years of his NFL career in San Francisco.
  • Asked about the possibility of being franchised by the Patriots, safety Devin McCourty wasn’t sure if that’s the team’s plan, but said being tagged wouldn’t be the worst thing (Twitter link via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald). “The franchise tag is player-friendly now,” McCourty said (Twitter link via Phil Perry of CSNNE.com). “It’s a good number.”
  • After some confusion about his contract status, Lions defensive end George Johnson is being considered a restricted free agent by both the NFL and NFLPA, says Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). As such, there’s a very good chance Johnson returns to Detroit.
  • Appearing on PFT Live today, veteran safety Mike Adams said he’d like to retire as a Colt (Twitter link). Adams, who is eligible for free agency, turns 34 next month, so there’s a chance his next contract will be his last.
  • As we heard this morning, the Dolphins are working to get a deal done with tight end Charles Clay. If he remains unsigned when the free agent period arrives though, Clay’s market will be “very strong,” tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com.
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk takes a look at a few clubs to watch in free agency, identifying the Falcons, Buccaneers, Raiders, Jaguars, and Bills as the teams poised to spend big.

Combine Pressers: Colts, Bengals, Falcons

The last of today’s head coach and general manager press conferences with the media are in the books, so let’s check in on the highlights for the noteworthy sessions that we haven’t already covered. Here’s the latest, with all links going to Twitter accounts for reporters on the scene in Indianapolis:

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano:

  • The team will take a look at all its options at the safety position, which may be an area of need. Grigson indicated that the Colts would like to re-sign Mike Adams, who “never played like he was long in the tooth.”
  • Both Pagano and Grigson stressed the importance of improving the team’s running game. Asked about the possibility of adding a workhorse back, Pagano said he’d love to have a player like that, but added that the club could get the production it needs with a committee approach.
  • Expect the Colts to always be on the lookout for pass rushers. Grigson said today that even if he had 12 pass rushers, he’d want a 13th.
  • Veteran wideout Reggie Wayne hasn’t yet informed the team if he wants to play in 2015. As Grigson notes, everyone knows what he means to the organization, so if Wayne does continue his career, it will almost certainly happen in Indianapolis — for now, he doesn’t have a contract for next season.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis:

  • According to Lewis, there have been no discussions yet about his contract, which is set to expire after the 2015 season.
  • Lewis didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement for Jermaine Gresham when he was asked today if there’s a place on the Bengals for the free-agent-to-be going forward. The veteran tight end is considered likely to land elsewhere this offseason.
  • According to Lewis, the Bengals have made a conscious effort to draft high-character plays in recent years. The head coach acknowledged that in some cases he can’t “fix” a player with off-field issues, and he doesn’t want to waste his time dealing with the distractions.
  • Lewis confirmed that he has spoken to veteran defensive back Terence Newman, who wants to continue his playing career. It’s not clear yet if there will be a spot in Cincinnati for Newman, who will turn 37 in September.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff:

  • We covered Dimitroff’s presser earlier this afternoon, but the GM also spoke to local media off to the side, and addressed a few more topics. Among them: Dimitroff said the Falcons would like to get a deal done quickly with kicker Matt Bryant, who is eligible for free agency.
  • We heard this morning that the Falcons haven’t opened negotiations yet on a contract extension for Julio Jones, but Dimitroff was adamant today the club wants to keep the standout receiver in Atlanta for years to come.
  • Both Dimitroff and Quinn are high on running back Devonta Freeman, whom the GM thinks could be a full-time back in Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme.
  • According to Dimitroff, Quinn’s philosophy is that you don’t have to pay a huge amount for a pass rusher. The GM added that he believes the free agent class has some depth at that spot, and it’s worth noting that Quinn’s defense in Seattle frequently rotated part-time specialists in and out as a way of pressuring the quarterback.
  • Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford should be scheme fits for the Falcons’ new system, per Quinn.