Jordan Norwood

Extra Points: OBJ, Browns, Cardinals, Lions

Former NFL wide receiver Jordan Norwood has announced his retirement, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Norwood, played in parts of five seasons with the Eagles, Browns, and — most recently — Broncos, totaling 79 receptions, 844 yards, and two touchdowns during that time. Norwood’s most notable NFL time came in Denver, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2015. PFR extends it best wishes to Norwood in retirement.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • While Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t active for tonight’s Giants game against the Cowboys, he’s expected to be a full go when New York faces Detroit in Week 2, per Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). Beckham, of course, suffered an ankle injury during the preseason that forced him to sit out for Week 1. The dynamic wideout’s absence has unsurprisingly affected the Giants’ offensive output thus far, as Big Blue has yet to score a single point against Dallas.
  • Responding to a report that he was “irate” at the Browns‘ decision to release cornerback Joe Haden, head coach Hue Jackson said he works in “lockstep” with Cleveland’s front office, reports Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). The Browns parted ways with Haden just before the season in a move that will cause them to absorb $10.9MM in dead money over the next two year. Playing against his old team as a member of the Steelers today, Haden graded as the NFL’s No. 53 cornerback among 75 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Offensive guard Alex Boone‘s one-year deal with the Cardinals is worth $1.4MM, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). Boone, 30, can also make another $600K via playtime incentives. Additionally, Boone is scheduled to earn $3.4MM as part of his Vikings contract, which does not contain offset language. Boone will begin his Arizona tenure as a backup, but could conceivably start later in the season.
  • The Lions may be on the lookout for a new punter, as Kasey Redfern suffered a “significant” injury during today’s contest, head coach Jim Caldwell told reporters, including Michael Rothstein of Redfern is already an injury replacement, as he’s filling in for incumbent Sam Martin, who was placed on the non-football injury list during final cutdowns.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive 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 offensive position for 2017:


  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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Broncos Re-Sign Jordan Norwood

The Broncos will bring back slot receiver and part-time return man Jordan Norwood on a one-year deal, the veteran wideout announced on his Twitter page (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post).

Norwood will re-join a crowded stable of Broncos backup targets, one that also includes Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler. The Super Bowl champions don’t have much statistical proficiency behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but the Broncos opted to use as many as six receivers regularly under Gary Kubiak last season.

Norwood visited the Jets and Lions during free agency but opted to remain in Denver. The Broncos possessed just $1.65MM in cap space — second-fewest in the league — prior to signing the experienced backup target for an undisclosed amount.

Prior to setting a Super Bowl record with a 61-yard punt return, Norwood saw extensive action in the slot for the Broncos last season, starting five games after missing 2013 and 2014 due to injuries. Norwood caught 22 passes for 207 yards and no scores last season, with the 22 receptions ranking third among Denver receivers.

A former UDFA, Norwood could fill Denver’s return specialist vacancies created by the UFA statuses of Andre Caldwell and Omar Bolden. A soon-to-be-30-year-old receiver, Norwood returned six punts for 51 yards during the regular season.

Prior to joining the Broncos, Norwood spent time with the Eagles and Browns, starting four games with the latter in 2011. Norwood has missed three entire seasons — 2010, 2013 and 2014 — but appears to have an opportunity to contribute for the defending champions, who now have five receivers under contract.

Broncos Rumors: Daniels, RG3, QB, Norwood

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak addressed reporters on Tuesday morning at the NFL owners’ meetings and we have the highlights from his scrum right here, courtesy of Troy Renck of The Denver Post:

  • Kubiak said that he has big plans for tight end Jeff Heuerman and he sees him as a complete tight end, Renck tweets. Of more import to us at PFR, Kubiak says that he hasn’t ruled out bringing Owen Daniels back. Daniels had two years left on his contract but was released by Denver earlier this month. The veteran tight end, who will turn 34 in November, caught 46 balls for 517 yards and three touchdowns during his lone season in Denver.
  • Kubiak said the team is in “no hurry” to add quarterback. “We talk about it everyday. The important thing is to get it right and not rush it,” the coach said (link via Renck).
  • Robert Griffin III is on the “list” of quarterbacks being considered by the team, though they are looking at plenty of options (link). A report on Monday indicated that RG3 could be Cleveland-bound this week.
  • Kubiak said that he talked to Jordan Norwood on Monday and he says it’s a sign of how much the team wants the wide receiver back in the fold (link).
  • The coach wants a fullback on the roster again and the team is looking at options in the draft, Renck tweets. The Broncos wanted to have a fullback in 2015, but that didn’t pan out due to James Casey‘s knee issues.

FA Rumors: Chargers, Jeffery, Steelers, Bears

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco says that he views Chris Watt as the team’s starting center, but he will not rule out making a move to improve at the position,’s Eric D. Williams writes. Although Telesco didn’t mention them by name, it sounds possible that the Bolts could consider free agent centers Stefen Wisniewski or Manny Ramirez. As of this writing, the Chargers have less than $14MM in cap space for 2016, per ESPN and

Here’s more on free agency from around the league:

  • Bears head coach John Fox and Jets owner Woody Johnson each discussed their franchised players on Monday, and the differences in their comments were noticeable. As Jeff Dickerson of details, Fox said on ESPN’s NFL Live that the Bears are actively working on a longer-term deal for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
  • Meanwhile, Johnson said he won’t be “disappointed” if defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson remains in New York going forward, and was evasive when asked whether the Jets have made him a fair extension offer. “I’m not going to characterize the offer,” Johnson said, per Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin. “If we made him an offer, he didn’t accept it. Fair is a subjective thing. It’s got to be acceptable to him and to us.” While Wilkerson technically remains a free agent, Jeffery recently signed his franchise tender, taking him off the market.
  • Could the Steelers add a cornerback in free agency? Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound optimistic about the idea, as Jeremy Fowler of writes. “I don’t know that there is one that’s viable at this juncture in free agency,” the Steelers coach said. “We are comfortable with the guys that we have from that perspective.”
  • The Broncos continue to have interest in re-signing receiver and return man Jordan Norwood, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Renck adds that free agent special-teamer Omar Bolden is set to visit John Fox and the Bears this week.
  • The Giants were the biggest spenders of this year’s free agent period, signing Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, and Damon Harrison to mega-deals early in the new league year. Jason Fitzgerald of examines New York’s free agent decisions and wonders whether the club will come to regret its big moves.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

FA Rumors: Fitzpatrick, Steelers, Norwood

Only five players on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents remain unsigned, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (No. 19) is the highest-rated player of that group. The Jets and Fitzpatrick have been at an impasse since free agency opened, with Fitzpatrick seeking a sizable raise and New York offering a more modest deal.

Speaking today to reporters, including Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link), Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said that Fitzpatrick remains a “very good fit” for the team, adding that the goal is to eventually re-sign him. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN (Twitter links), Maccagnan declined to put a time frame on those talks, suggesting there’s no real deadline. The GM also confirmed that the Jets’ visit with Robert Griffin III was “due diligence,” and that the club remains focused on getting something done with Fitzpatrick.

As we wait to see if the two sides can reach an agreement, let’s check in on a few other free agent updates from across the NFL…

  • The Steelers are hosting free agent linebackers Spencer Paysinger and Mike Morgan for visits today, according to Jeremy Fowler of Neither player projects as a probable starter, so Pittsburgh is presumably looking to fill out its depth chart after losing Sean Spence to the Titans. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes (via Twitter) that the Dolphins would like to bring back Paysinger, but he wants to see if he can get more than the minimum salary from another club.
  • Free agent wide receiver Jordan Norwood ended his visit with the Lions today without a deal in place, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. According to Birkett, Norwood – who also met with the Jets – has a visit with another team set up for next week, and has yet to make a decision.
  • Offensive tackle Andre Smith, who signed with the Vikings, said today that his agent told him he would have a visit with the Cardinals, but that trip never happened (Twitter link via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press).

NFC North Notes: H. Smith, Lions, Packers

It looks like a matter of when, not if, standout safety Harrison Smith will sign an extension with the Vikings, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Wolfson hears that talks between the two sides are expected to pick up before the end of the month.

Smith, 27, is entering the final year of his contract and is coming off his first Pro Bowl season. So far this offseason, most of the new deals signed by noteworthy safeties – including Malcolm Jenkins, Tashaun Gipson, Rodney McLeod, and George Iloka – have ranged from $6-9MM per year, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Smith exceed all of those when he eventually re-ups with the Vikings.

Here’s more from around the NFC North:

  • Free agent wide receiver and return man Jordan Norwood is paying a visit to the Lions today, per Mike Klis of 9NEWS (Twitter link). Norwood, who visited the Jets earlier this week, appeared in 11 regular-season games for the Broncos last season, amassing 22 receptions and 11 returns — he also set a new record for the longest punt return in a Super Bowl (61 yards).
  • With Russell Okung headed to Denver, the Lions may have to address the left tackle position via trade or in the draft, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Riley Reiff is currently penciled in as the starter, but some in the organization feel he’s better suited to play right tackle, and he’s only under contract for one more season anyway.
  • Rob Demovsky of offers one reason why Packers GM Ted Thompson may be mostly avoiding free agency in 2016, suggesting that Green Bay will need plenty of cap space a year from now for potential free agents like David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, and others.

Extra Points: Chancellor, Cardinals, Draft, Jets

Four-time Pro Bowl Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor hasn’t been shy about voicing his disenchantment with his current contract, going so far as to sit out all of last summer and then the first two games of the season in an effort to land a better one. Though that gambit backfired, he’s in no hurry to leave Seattle. Chancellor took to Instagram on Wednesday and posted a picture with the message: “I’m not going anywhere.” The 27-year-old also wrote, “Seattle is my Second home. I don’t plan on going anywhere unless some higher power places me elsewhere.” Chancellor has two years remaining on his deal.

More from around the NFL as we wrap up Wednesday…

  • The right side of the Cardinals’ offensive line will consist of newly signed Evan Mathis (guard) and D.J. Humphries (tackle), while A.Q. Shipley is the current starter at center, according to general manager Steve Keim (Twitter link via Darren Urban of the team’s website).
  • On the other side of the ball, newly acquired pass rusher Chandler Jones will shift from defensive end – where he played in New England – to outside linebacker for the Cardinals, per Keim. The deal to land Jones took about three days to execute, the GM added (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). It’s worth mentioning that defensive ends cost more to franchise tag than linebackers ($15.701MM to $14.129MM this year), which could impact Jones – who will be a free agent next offseason.
  • Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple has lined up visits with more than 16 teams, including the Rams, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars, per Rand Getlin of (on Twitter).
  • Baylor defensive tackle Andrew Billings has met with the Buccaneers, Steelers, 49ers and Lions, he told James Palmer of NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • Receiver/returner Jordan Norwood will join linebacker Courtney Upshaw in visiting the Jets on Thursday, reports Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link). Norwood, 29, has played sporadically with three different teams since entering the league in 2009. He spent last season with the champion Broncos, amassing 22 receptions and 11 returns, and set the record for the longest Super Bowl punt return (61 yards).

Broncos To Open Talks With Brock Osweiler

The Broncos will meet with representatives for the majority of their own unrestricted free agents this week at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. The “most significant” of those discussions involves quarterback Brock Osweiler, with whom the Broncos have yet to open negotiations about a new contract, says Klis.

In addition to talking to Osweiler’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, the Broncos will also speak to Joby Branion and Jack Scharf, the reps for Von Miller and Malik Jackson, respectively. Per Klis, there haven’t been many discussions so far with Branion, since it’s becoming a foregone conclusion the Broncos will use their franchise tag on Miller. However, negotiations with Scharf about Jackson have gotten somewhat serious.

[RELATED: Broncos attempting to re-sign Malik Jackson]

While Osweiler, Miller, and Jackson represent the top tier of Denver free agents, the team will make time at this week’s combine to meet with the agents for other free-agents-to-be. Klis expects the Broncos to be the most serious about attempting to lock up wide receiver Jordan Norwood, linebacker Danny Trevathan, and offensive tackle Ryan Harris.

Here are a few more brief Broncos items:

  • The Broncos have nothing going on right now in talks with free agents Harris, David Bruton, and Omar Boldentweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Renck says that all three players have earned the right to start, suggesting they may have to look elsewhere for that opportunity.
  • Offensive guard Evan Mathis told Renck (Twitter link) that he would be open to playing for the Broncos in 2016 if he decides to continue his career.
  • The Broncos completed a little offseason work on Monday by picking up former first-round defensive lineman Phil Taylor and re-signing blocking tight end Richard Gordon.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor Moves: Monday