The free agency signing frenzy that commenced Tuesday afternoon hardly slowed entering Wednesday, as more of the biggest names on the market found their new destinations for 2014.
Among Wednesday’s most active teams were the Denver Broncos, who signed seven-time Pro Bowl DE DeMarcus Ware to a three-year contract that will earn him $30 million. Ware was the third upgrade the AFC champion Broncos made to their defense over the past 48 hours. Denver also agreed to a $57 million, six-year deal with CB Aqib Talib, as well as signing Pro Bowl safety T.J. Ward to a four-year, $27 million agreement.
Safety Jairus Byrd, who entered this free agent season as perhaps the most sought-after defensive back, signed with the New Orleans Saints late Tuesday evening for $54 million over six seasons. At $9 million per season, the contract was the most lucrative per-year deal to be signed by a free safety through this week’s signings.
While many of the league’s top available defensive backs were quick to find new teams by Tuesday, none were scooped up more swiftly than CB Darrelle Revis, who agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with the New England Patriots a mere four hours following being released by Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers had reportedly sought a trade involving Revis, though released him prior to Wednesday’s 4 pm Eastern Time deadline, which would have left the team on the hook for a $1.5 million roster bonus.
Revis, who played just one season with Tampa Bay, is a five-time Pro Bowler and has been named All-Pro in three of his eight seasons with the New York Jets and Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay also made a significant addition Tuesday, signing QB Josh McCown to a two-year, $10 million contract. McCown, who has served primarily as a backup throughout his 11 NFL seasons, boosted his free agent stock by posting a passer rating of 109.0 while guiding the Chicago Bears to three wins in his five starts last year. According to NFL.com, Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith has already named McCown the team’s starter for 2014. The move for McCown came on the same day the team introduced CB Alterraun Verner, TE Brandon Myers, DE Michael Johnson and DT Clinton McDonald, who agreed to contracts Tuesday.
Wednesday’s activity featured a relatively quiet day for the Rams, who will be without G
The Rams were certainly not alone in bidding adieu to members of last year’s roster among NFC West teams, however. Former Seattle WR Golden Tate agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions, and the Seahawks also released DE Chris Clemons, who has reportedly been pursued by Jacksonville. A potential move to the Jaguars by Clemons could be aided by his familiarity with Jacksonville Head Coach Gus Bradley, who previously served as the defensive coordinator in Seattle.