Daniel Jones Signed, Saquon Barkley Tagged
NFL Roundup: Franchise Tags, Aaron Rodgers, More Cuts
Just before the franchise tag deadline, the New York Giants took care of their top two free agents, agreeing to a long-term deal with QB Daniel Jones and tagging starting RB Saquon Barkley.
The #Giants and QB Daniel Jones beat the clock on the franchise tag, agreeing to terms on a long-term deal, sources tell me and @RapSheet.
Jones’ agents and the team worked hard to get this deal done in time. Jones has six fourth-quarter comebacks in his career. Make it seven. pic.twitter.com/Nm5IZhRRQa
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 7, 2023
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jones will make at least $160 million over four years with an additional $35 million in incentives.
Jones, the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, is coming off of his best pro season in 2022, thriving under new Head Coach Brian Daboll and Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka to lead the team to a 9-7-1 record and an upset victory in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
While the numbers were not eye-popping, 3,205 yards with 15 touchdowns, Jones provided a steady hand to a Giants offense that reached the playoffs for the first time since 2016, doing so with what was considered a bottom-tier receiving core.
The Jones deal allows for the tagging of Barkley, who returned to form after a couple of down years due to injury, rushing for a career-high 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Barkley joins Josh Jacobs and Tony Pollard as the running backs who received the franchise tag. Eagles RB Miles Sanders now enters unrestricted free agency as the top available RB on the market.
With the Dallas Cowboys tagging Pollard and the Washington Commanders tagging DT Da’Ron Payne, the biggest rivals for the Philadelphia Eagles now have kept their best free agents as they look to close the NFC East gap of a team with 20 players and several key starters set to hit the open market.
Geno Smith parlayed his breakout 2022 season into a long-term deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
Smith, who was named the Comeback Player of the Year, avoided free agency by agreeing on a new contract with the Seahawks, reportedly worth $105 million over three years.
The #Seahawks’ deal with Geno Smith has a base value of $25 million per season (three years, $75 million) with $40 million fully guaranteed at signing, sources say.
Smith will earn $28 million in the first year of the deal. He has $30 million in incentives.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 7, 2023
The finer details of Smith’s extension reveal less value and length than the total money and terms, making the deal more short-term than long-term.
The Seahawks hold the fifth overall pick in April’s NFL Draft and have paid close attention to this year’s quarterbacks class.
Smith, a 2013 Jets second-round pick who led the NFL last year in completion percentage (69.8%), enters his 10th season, third with Seattle.
Last year’s Seahawks-Broncos trade involving Russell Wilson opened the door for Smith to seize the job.
He outlasted Drew Lock in a training camp battle and then posted a 100.9 passer rating in 2023, leading Seattle to the postseason despite gloom preseason predictions for Pete Carroll’s team.
The Packers’ quarterback, who recently emerged from his darkness respite, reportedly talked with the Jets on Tuesday and is open to the idea of playing for Gang Green.
Aaron Rodgers has received permission to speak with the #Jets, source confirms. Some due diligence. https://t.co/QCP6VSoBYE
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2023
I’m told the Jets contingent on the way to California includes team owner Woody Johnson, GM Joe Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, possibly others. https://t.co/yooNauScXw
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) March 7, 2023
Rodgers could make the Jets an instant Super Bowl contender, especially when paired with Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Breece Hall, and an elite defense.
The Eagles are scheduled to take on the Jets at MetLife Stadium during the 2023 season.
After a brief three-season stay with the Miami Dolphins, CB Byron Jones is once again a free agent.
Sources: Dolphins have informed CB Byron Jones that he is being released on March 15 and will have the opportunity to enter free agency. Dolphins will designate him a post-June 1 cut, saving Miami $13.6 million against its salary cap.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2023
Jones was Philadelphia’s top offseason target back in 2020, where they hoped to poach him from the divisional rival Dallas Cowboys.
Ultimately, Jones chose Miami. Philadelphia turned to their backup plan: trading for Darius Slay.
With multiple Pro Bowl seasons for Slay since arriving to Philadelphia, the Eagles certainly do not regret missing out on Jones, especially after missing all of 2022 due to an injury that he says is still affecting him.
The NFC runners-up to the Philadelphia Eagles face slight uncertainty at quarterback heading into 2023, with Brock Purdy’s injury timeline expected to put him right up against the start of the regular season.
Brock Purdy is scheduled for elbow surgery on Friday, reports @jenniferleechan.
If all goes as expected (planned, hoped), it's a six-month recovery/rehab. That would place his full clearance (24 weeks) at Aug. 25. The season opener is Sept. 10.https://t.co/YQ8QTGC8bd
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) March 7, 2023
The not-so “Mr. Irrelevant” Purdy became the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback late in the 2022 season after injuries to both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.
After leading the team to a 5-0 record and then the NFC Championship game, he suffered what was revealed to be a torn UCL in the first quarter of the 31-7 loss.
The Niners will rematch with the Eagles at the Linc in 2023.
A 2023 opponent for the Philadelphia Eagles continues their major roster revamp, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are releasing their starting left tackle, Donovan Smith.
Source: #Bucs are releasing LT Donovan Smith.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 7, 2023
The cap-strapped Bucs team lets go their starting left tackle for eight seasons who played a key role in their Super Bowl victory.
In 2022, Smith’s name was heard often on broadcasts, mostly for committing costly penalties.
Smith joins Leonard Fournette and Cameron Brate as expected roster cuts on a team searching for their post-Tom Brady identity.
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com
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