Seahawks say goodbye to two Super Bowl stalwarts: Starters in each of Seattle’s most recent Super Bowl appearances and cornerstone components in the franchise’s defining run this decade, Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman are now on other teams. The Seahawks shipped Bennett to the Eagles, doing so despite possibly receiving a better offer from their Super Bowl XLIX opponent. On Friday, the team released Sherman after seven seasons, and the three-time All-Pro cornerback landed on his feet quickly by signing with the 49ers. The Seahawks set a high price for Earl Thomas but may well keep the safety in the fold.
Browns dominate weekend news cycle: The Browns launched a blitz of roster maneuvers beginning Friday afternoon, when they traded for both Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor. In addition to adding two presumptive Week 1 offensive starters, Cleveland jettisoned its previous Week 1 centerpiece by sending DeShone Kizer to Green Bay for Damarious Randall, with draft choices swapped as well. If that wasn’t enough, John Dorsey kept the Browns-Patriots pipeline flowing by trading Danny Shelton on Saturday morning. All the while, the Browns retained all five of their first- or second-round picks in the upcoming draft. The Browns outmuscled the Ravens, Titans and Jets for Landry and prevented the Broncos or Cardinals from Taylor access.
Rams continue aggressive offseason: While the Browns controlled a 24-hour period’s worth of headlines, the Rams have doing this for weeks. After agreeing to acquire Marcus Peters and trading away Robert Quinn recently, the Rams were back in action this week. They first agreed to ship Alec Ogletree to the Giants for a draft pick then agreed to send the Broncos a fifth-rounder for the rights to Aqib Talib. With the team earlier that day signing Sam Shields, it looks like Los Angeles will have nearly an entirely new cornerback corps next season. The Broncos were also negotiating with the 49ers, but Talib nixed an agreement with San Francisco. That could well have led the 49ers to enter the Sherman race.
Mike Evans breaks ground: The 2014 draft class had notably not seen a first-round pick sign an extension with his team, but the Buccaneers became the trail blazers here. Tampa Bay agreed to terms on a massive re-up with its No. 1 wide receiver. The former Texas A&M standout signed a five-year, $82.5MM deal with the Bucs, and $55MM will come in guarantees. Evans will count $18.25MM toward Tampa Bay’s cap this year.
Tag deadline keeps more off market: Following in the Redskins’ footsteps, the Steelers placed the franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell for a second straight year. No other member of this year’s tag class is a two-timer. However, the Rams made the 11th-hour decision to tag Lamarcus Joyner instead of Sammy Watkins. And the Bears, a year after turning down Kyle Fuller‘s fifth-year option, placed the lesser-used transition tag on the breakout corner. Demarcus Lawrence signed his franchise tender earlier this week as well. Bell and the Steelers could again be set for a lengthy staredown, but Bell continues to express optimism and said he will not partake in a holdout that lasts past Week 1.
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