Mike Edwards

AFC Contract Details: Titans, Jeudy, Browns, Brown, Bengals, Broncos, Bills, Jets, Texans

Here are contract details from some of the latest deals agreed to around the league.

  • Calvin Ridley, WR (Titans). Four years, $92MM. In addition to his $20MM signing bonus, Ridley will see his first two base salaries ($4.5MM, $22,5MM) fully guaranteed. If on Tennessee’s roster by Day 5 of the 2025 league year, Ridley will receive a $3.02MM guarantee for his 2026 base salary ($20.24MM), per OverTheCap. If Ridley remains on Tennessee’s roster by Day 5 of the 2026 league year, he will earn a $1MM bonus. This still stands to give the Titans some 2026 flexibility.
  • Jerry Jeudy, WR (Browns). Three years, $52.5MM. The recently traded wideout’s base value, as expected, checks in lower than the initial numbers. The ex-Denver target will see guarantees into his the deal’s third year, with SI.com’s Albert Breer noting $6MM will be guaranteed for 2026. Jeudy received $41MM guaranteed at signing.
  • Curtis Samuel, WR (Bills). Three years, $24MM. The Bills are guaranteeing $5MM of Samuel’s $6.91MM 2025 base salary at signing. The entire ’25 base is guaranteed for injury, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Samuel will be due a $1MM roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2026 league year; his $6.51MM 2026 salary is nonguaranteed.
  • John Simpson, G (Jets). Two years, $12MM. This number is down a bit from the initial $18MM figure, which is the deal’s max value. Simpson will see $6MM guaranteed, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini notes. The Jets used three void years to spread out the cap hits; the fifth-year guard is on New York’s books at $3.2MM in 2024.
  • Folorunso Fatukasi, DT (Texans). One year, $5.2MM. The recent Jacksonville cut will receive $4.6MM guaranteed at signing on his Houston pact, Wilson tweets. The Texans tacked two void years onto the veteran nose tackle’s deal.
  • Trent Brown, T (Bengals). One year, $4.75MM. The veteran tackle will receive $2MM guaranteed, with OverTheCap indicating $1MM will be available in per-game roster bonuses with another $250K in play via a workout bonus. A bonus-laden structure is not new for Brown, who had weight clauses in his most recent two Patriots contracts.
  • Solomon Thomas, DL (Jets). One year, $3MM. The Jets are guaranteeing the former No. 3 overall pick $2.5MM, Cimini adds.
  • Mike Edwards, S (Bills). One year, $2.8MM. The former Tampa Bay and Kansas City safety can earn up to $4MM on his Buffalo deal, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan tweets. He is on the Bills’ cap at $2.8MM.
  • Cody Barton, LB (Broncos). One year, $2.46MM. The Broncos will land the veteran linebacker for more than $1MM cheaper than the Commanders did in 2023. Denver is guaranteeing $2.33MM of the deal, per the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson.
  • Desmond King, CB (Texans). One year, $1.8MM. Veteran slot cornerback/return man’s contract can max out at $2.2MM, Wilson tweets.

Bills Sign S Mike Edwards

After forming one of the longest-running safety tandems of the 21st century, the Bills changed course this month. They released Jordan Poyer and have not re-signed Micah Hyde. The team is moving in a younger direction at the position.

Hosting both Julian Blackmon and Mike Edwards this week, the Bills will commit to the latter. Edwards signed with Buffalo on Wednesday, the team announced. It is a one-year contract; the two-time Super Bowl winner is going into his age-28 season.

Edwards became a Chiefs starter following Bryan Cook‘s season-ending injury. This led to Edwards starting the Chiefs’ final five regular-season games and four playoff contests last year. A Buccaneers role player in their Super Bowl LV win over the Chiefs, Edwards played nearly all of Kansas City’s defensive snaps in its Super Bowl LVIII conquest. The Chiefs already have Justin Reid tied to a veteran contract. With Cook signed for two more seasons, Edwards will follow Juan Thornhill out of Missouri.

Kansas City turned to Edwards following Thornhill’s Cleveland defection, and Cook’s December injury made the move more important. Pro Football Focus did not grade Edwards well last season, slotting him 82nd among safeties, but he gave the Chiefs full-time work after Cook’s setback turned into a season-ender. The former third-round pick made seven tackles and broke up a pass against the 49ers last month.

For his career, Edwards has made 28 starts and snagged nine interceptions. That counts his pick of Tua Tagovailoa in the playoffs and his two-pick-six game against the Falcons in 2021. The Bills still have Damar Hamlin under contract for one more season, but the team did not use the recovered defender much on defense — undoubtedly leading to Joe Flacco‘s Comeback Player of the Year win — last season. This signing points to Edwards and Rapp becoming a lower-cost safety tandem following the standout run Hyde and Poyer put together. Though, an early- or mid-round draft choice would also make sense given what Buffalo lost here.

This will keep Blackmon on the market. A four-year Colts starter, Blackmon likely set a higher price compared to Edwards. Blackmon joins the likes of Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Eddie Jackson as safety starters still available.

Bills, Colts Interested In S Mike Edwards; S Julian Blackmon Visits Buffalo

Just ahead of free agency, the Bills disbanded one of the 21st century’s top safety duos by cutting Jordan Poyer. Micah Hyde remains unsigned, but after seven years of the Poyer-Hyde tandem, the Bills have shifted in a different direction.

With both players going into their age-33 season, it is understandable the Bills viewed another year with this successful duo as a bridge too far. The Dolphins have since added Poyer on a lower-cost contract. The Bills are still looking for answers to fill the veterans’ spots. Two options — on what quickly became a crowded safety market — have emerged.

The Bills scheduled meetings with Julian Blackmon and Mike Edwards, according to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz and the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson. Buffalo looks to have one box checked at the position, re-signing Taylor Rapp, but another starter-caliber solution will be necessary for the four-time reigning AFC East winners.

Colts GM Chris Ballard authorized third contracts for Kenny Moore and Grover Stewart this offseason, re-signing Tyquan Lewis and Taven Bryan as well. One of the few players from PFR’s top 50 free agents still available, Blackmon could still be in the team’s plans. But the former second-round pick is gauging his options on a market that became saturated with experienced safety starters.

In addition to Hyde, the Seahawks and Broncos made Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Justin Simmons available. The Saints cut Marcus Maye, while the Bears released Eddie Jackson. These players’ availability makes Blackmon, Edwards, Hyde and other UFAs’ quest to land notable contracts more difficult.

Blackmon is just 25, however, and should be a starter somewhere next season. Kamren Curl‘s underwhelming Rams contract did reveal a divide between what the Packers gave Xavier McKinney and the lower ceiling for the rest of the market this offseason. No other safety collected more than $7.5MM per year. It is safe to assume Blackmon, despite being a four-year Colts starter who played across the secondary in Gus Bradley‘s scheme, will land midlevel money at best — perhaps on a short-term deal as a way to improve his stock for another free agency run.

Edwards spent last season with the Chiefs, being thrust into a starting role following Bryan Cook‘s season-ending injury in early December. The former Buccaneers safety, who has now started in two Super Bowls, joined the Chiefs on a low-cost deal last year. He intercepted two passes — the second during Kansas City’s playoff run — and recovered two fumbles, returning one 97 yards during Week 18. Edwards, 27, played 97% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps in Super Bowl LVIII.

The Colts also met with Edwards, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. He would seem to profile as a lower-cost solution for Indianapolis, which has been busy retaining defenders this month. Blackmon departing would leave a hole at safety — on a defense already needing more help at outside corner.

Chiefs, S Mike Edwards Agree To Terms

Juan Thornhill departed for Cleveland earlier this week, but Kansas City will add another former Super Bowl contributor in his place. Mike Edwards will join the defending champions’ secondary, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Edwards played out his rookie contract with the Buccaneers this past season, starting 12 games. The Chiefs have added both he and Drue Tranquill as defensive role players Friday. Like Tranquill, the Chiefs will pick up Edwards at a low rate. The fifth-year safety will sign a one-year deal worth $3MM, Rapoport tweets, adding the contract can max out at $5MM.

Among a glut of Bucs second-day secondary draftees in recent years, Edwards has both worked as a starter and a regular off-the-bench contributor in Tampa. Joining the likes of Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Antoine Winfield Jr. as second- or third-round DBs to come through Tampa since 2018, Edwards — a 2019 third-rounder out of Kentucky — played often for the Bucs during their Tom Brady-era surge.

Edwards has three pick-sixes over the past two seasons, notching two of them in one game. Those end zone dashes helped the Bucs run away from the Falcons in a September 2021 matchup. Edwards, who is entering his age-27 season, tallied a career-high 82 tackles last season and totaled eight INTs over the past three years. While Pro Football Focus rated Edwards as a top-10 safety during his 2020 season as a rotational cog alongside Winfield and Jordan Whitehead, the advanced metrics site slotted him as a bottom-10 player at the position in 2022.

Thornhill had started four seasons with the Chiefs, but the Browns gave the former second-round pick a three-year, $21MM deal. Kansas City back-line starters for three seasons, Thornhill and Tyrann Mathieu have now departed. The Chiefs got by with 2022 pickup Justin Reid, however, and will likely increase second-round pick Bryan Cook‘s responsibilities next season. Cook played 32% of Kansas City’s defensive snaps as a rookie. He will likely be the favorite to start alongside Reid, but Edwards should supply some insurance and a quality backup if that scenario comes to pass.

At $10.5MM per year, Reid is the Chiefs’ highest-paid defensive back. Regularly passing on high- or even mid-tier cornerback payments, the Chiefs are also saving money in their secondary via the Cook pick and this Edwards accord.

Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards To Rejoin Buccaneers

Like country singer Vince Gill in 1993, Antonio Brown is getting one more last chance. When the Buccaneers receiver joined the team last season, head coach Bruce Arians told him that “there will be no second chances,” so Brown’s recent suspension for misrepresenting his vaccination status theoretically put his roster spot in jeopardy.

Indeed, Arians said earlier this month that no decision had been made with respect to Brown’s future with the team. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Brown will rejoin the Bucs on Monday (the club’s contest against the Saints tonight marks the final game of his three-game ban).

Suspended players are allowed to attend meetings and work out in their team’s facility, and Brown has been doing just that. Arians’ comments notwithstanding, it would have been surprising to see Tampa Bay cut Brown given how productive he has been while on the field — 29 catches for 418 yards and four TDs through five games in 2021 — though it was at least somewhat possible that the Bucs would refrain from activating him as soon as he was eligible. We previously heard that the club wanted to ensure that Brown is focused on football and adhering to the league’s rules prior to activation, and apparently Arians has been satisfied with Brown’s behavior over the last several weeks.

The seven-time Pro Bowler was also dealing with an ankle injury that had been keeping him on the sidelines even before the suspension, but Rapoport says that the rehab has gone well and that Brown is ready to play. His next opportunity to do so will be against the Panthers next Sunday.

Safety Mike Edwards, who was suspended three games for his own COVID-19 protocol violations, will also rejoin the team on Monday.

Latest On Buccaneers’ WR Antonio Brown

Questions have arisen over Antonio Brown‘s future with the Buccaneers after comments made by head coach Bruce Arians. Brown and safety Mike Edwards recently received a three-game ban following a report indicating that Brown had acquired a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that when asked if Brown and Edwards will remain on the team after their suspension is over, Arians answered, We’ll address their future at that time,” fueling speculation that there may be reason to doubt their current job safety. When asked to clarify his comments, Arians doubled down, stating, “Nothing’s been decided, no.”

The four-time First-team All-Pro has had his share of controversies over an eleven-year career in the NFL. When Brown was signed to a free agent deal with the Buccaneers, Arians commented that, despite entering the NFL midway through the 2020 season, he didn’t anticipate any issues with Brown having to deal with the COVID-19 protocols. Arians also indicated that Tampa Bay wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of Brown were he to return to his controversial behavior, saying, “He’s been a model citizen, if and when he’s not, we’ll move on.”

The star wide receiver has been impressive this year in the five games he’s played, totaling 42 catches for 418 yards and 4 touchdowns. Brown’s decision to accept his suspension without an appeal was an easy one, as he was expected to miss two more games anyway with an ankle injury, and he was lucky for a shorter suspension, considering the league was looking into a suspension around 6-8 games.

It will be interesting to see how Arians and the Buccaneers proceed with handling Brown and Edwards. Arians was one of the more vocal and proud coaches in his team’s efforts to get to 100% vaccination status. Both Brown and Edwards have since been vaccinated, but the damage may already be done.

NFL Mulled 6-8 Game Ban For Antonio Brown

Earlier this week, the NFL hit Antonio BrownMike Edwards, and free agent defensive back John Franklin III with three-game bans for violating COVID-19 protocols. Initially, however, the league was considering six-to-eight game suspensions for those players (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). 

[RELATED: NFL Suspends Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards]

An eight-game ban would have trickled into the playoffs for Brown and Edwards. Thanks to NFLPA negotiations, both players will have a chance to return in a few weeks. According to Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, it’s not a given that Brown will be activated straight away, and Pelissero hears that’s legitimate. The team first wants to ensure that Brown is focused on football and adhering to the league’s rules. Beyond that, there’s also a non-trivial chance that the players could be facing legal entanglements, since falsifying vaccination cards is a federal crime.

Brown, 33, has been productive on the field, but he’s missed time thanks to a lingering ankle injury and time on the COVID list. Before the suspension, Brown was on pace for another 1,000-yard season with 29 grabs for 418 yards and two touchdowns in five games. Now, he’ll finish shy of that mark for a third straight year.

If the Bucs welcome Brown back immediately after the suspension, he’ll retake the field on Dec. 26th against the Panthers.

NFL Suspends Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards

Not long after a report surfaced indicating Antonio Brown acquired a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, the NFL is suspending the All-Pro talent. The league handed Brown a three-game suspension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The NFL also suspended Bucs safety Mike Edwards for COVID-19 protocol violations, per Rapoport. Brown denied using a fake vaccination card, but the NFL determined he did, in fact, do so. Neither player is appealing; both will be out until at least Week 16. The league did not fine the Buccaneers.

This further mars Brown’s first full Bucs season. Tampa Bay gave the All-Decade wideout an opportunity after a turbulent 2019 and an eight-game 2020 suspension, with Tom Brady leading the charge to bring the mercurial superstar into the fold. While Brown has been productive on the field, he has run into myriad issues that have kept him out of games this season. He missed a game while on the COVID-19 list, has missed several due to a troublesome ankle injury and will now be down until late December because of his second NFL ban in just more than a year.

When Brown landed on the COVID list in September, he was treated as a vaccinated player, returning after eight days. Unvaccinated players who test positive must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. The wideout’s lawyer nevertheless released a statement Thursday indicating his client is vaccinated (via Rapoport, on Twitter). Making a fake vaccination card or using one is a felony. Brown’s 2020 suspension stemmed partially from felony burglary conveyance and misdemeanor battery charges.

Brown’s ban also surfaced after Bucs HC Bruce Arians said the team did its due diligence regarding Brown’s vaccination status, via ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine. Arians called the matter a non-story last month, and a Bucs statement read a team investigation did not reveal any irregularities (Twitter link). Arians said in early September the Bucs were a fully vaccinated team, but the November report contradicted that status. Given Arians’ initial hesitancy regarding a reunion with Brown last year, this is obviously not a good look for the 12th-year wide receiver or the team.

Brown, 33, was set to miss at least two more games because of the ankle injury he has battled for much of the season. The timing of this suspension does not stand to hurt the Bucs much, though it may affect Brown’s post-2021 future with the franchise. Brown re-signed with the Bucs on a one-year deal in May. The former Steelers dynamo was on pace for another 1,000-yard season, having caught 29 passes for 418 yards and two touchdowns in five games. But he will finish shy of that mark for a third straight year.

A former third-round Bucs pick, Edwards has worked as a backup safety for most of his career. The third-year cover man did post a rare two-pick-six game in Tampa Bay’s first meeting with Atlanta. He will miss the Bucs’ rematch with the Falcons, along with games against the Bills and Saints. Edwards has played in all 11 Bucs games this season.

The NFL also suspended free agent defensive back John Franklin III, who was with Tampa Bay this offseason. The Bucs waived him in August. Franklin also received a three-game ban.

Buccaneers Sign Rookie Mike Edwards

The Buccaneers have signed third-round safety Mike Edwards to his rookie deal, according to a team announcement. Per the terms of his slot, the four-year pact should be worth $3.34MM with an $822K signing bonus. 

Taken with the No. 99 overall pick, Edwards could be in line for a starting role at safety this year. Even if he doesn’t make the first-string squad, he figures to see a decent amount of playing time in the secondary.

At Kentucky, Edwards proved his effectiveness at multiple positions. In total, he racked up 318 tackles, the second-highest total in school history among defensive backs. He also had a nose for the football with the Wildcats, notching ten career interceptions, including two pick-sixes.

With Edwards signed, the Bucs have just two unsigned picks left in first-round linebacker Devin White and third-round cornerback Jamel Dean.