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The Jets were uncomfortable with the result of Dont'a Hightower's physical, ESPN.com reports.


The Jets initially offered the 27-year-old linebacker a five-year, $62.5 million contract, but it seems they dropped out of the running after getting the results of his physical. Hightower subsequently re-signed with the Patriots – who surely have a good feel for his injury risk – on a four-year, $43.5 million contract that includes $19 million guaranteed. He did miss at least three games in each of the last three seasons, though never more than four in a single campaign. His shoulder and knee are the mostly likely causes of the Jets' concern, but neither was a big enough problem to prevent the ever-cautious Patriots from offering Hightower a hefty sum.

Adrian Peterson (R, Min)

Adrian Peterson (knee, groin) could be a fit with the Packers, Raiders, Giants, Ravens, Buccaneers or Lions, ESPN.com reports.


Of those teams, the Packers and Raiders have the most glaring need for an early-down bruiser, with Eddie Lacy and Latavius Murray, respectively, departing for other locales in free agency. Minnesota's acquisition of Murray ensures Peterson will join a new team, but the future Hall of Famer may need to reduce his contract demands before any franchise seriously considers signing him.

Geno Smith

Geno Smith (knee) agreed in principle to a contract with the Giants on Friday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. He's expected to take a physical over the weekend and officially sign with the team Monday.


The Giants addressed the depth behind starting quarterback Eli Manning by inking journeyman Josh Johnson to a deal earlier in the day, but it now looks like Smith will be the leading contender for top backup duties. After a tumultuous four-year run with the Jets that included only three appearances over his final two seasons with the team while Ryan Fitzpatrick served as the team's primary signal-caller, Smith should face significantly less pressure to perform in joining New York's other team. Manning has been a picture of durability throughout his tenure with the Giants – having not missed a start due to injury at any point in his career – so it's likely that any action Smith gets this season will come in the second half of blowouts.

Jason Pierre-Paul (groin) re-signed Friday with the Giants on a four-year contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.


Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Pierre-Paul's new contract is expected to pay around $17 million annually, and includes $54 million guaranteed. The Giants had previously slapped the franchise tag on the defensive end in February, but the team was committed to negotiating a longer-term deal with Pierre-Paul after he turned in a stellar bounce-back campaign in 2016 after he missed half of the 2015 season while recovering from a fireworks accident. He notched seven sacks in 12 games to lead the team before suffering a season-ending groin injury in Week 13. It's expected that Pierre-Paul will be back to full strength by the start of training camp, and at just 28 years old, he should have at least a couple years of elite-level production left in him.

Josh Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Giants on Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.


The Giants could look to address their quarterback depth in the 2017 NFL Draft, but as things currently stand, Johnson or Geno Smith looks in line to serve as Eli Manning's top backup. The 30-year-old Johnson brings a mobility to the position that Manning lacks, but he hasn't logged a snap in a regular-season game since the 2013 season. Fortunately for the Giants, Manning is about as durable as it gets, so Johnson's lack of reps the last few seasons shouldn't be a major issue.

DeShawn Shead (knee) re-signed Friday with the Seahawks on a one-year contract, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports.


Shead had also attracted interest from the Bills in free agency, but with the Seahawks submitting a competitive offer, the cornerback agreed to return to the only team he's played with in his career. The 28-year-old's health is somewhat of a question mark heading into training camp, as he sustained a left ACL injury during the Seahawks' divisional playoff loss to the Falcons. If Shead is back at full strength for the start of the season, he'll likely serve in a backup capacity in the secondary.

Luke Willson (T, Sea)

Luke Willson re-signed Friday with the Seahawks on a one-year contract, ESPN.com's Adam Caplan reports.


The 27-year-old has been a fixture in two-tight end sets for much of his four seasons with the Seahawks, but he's rarely made a major splash as a receiver. Willson was targeted a career-low 21 times in 11 appearances in 2016, and he's unlikely to see much more volume during the upcoming campaign so long as Jimmy Graham enjoys relatively sound health.

Derrick Johnson (Achilles) accepted a pay cut to stay with the Chiefs, ESPN's Field Yates reports.


This move frees up approximately $4.25 million in 2017 cap space for a Chiefs team that doesn't have much wiggle room. The pay cut probably wasn't a tough decision for Johnson, who hopes to be ready for training camp despite rupturing his Achilles in Week 14. He suffered the same injury in Week 1 of 2014 and bounced back to play all 16 games in 2015, but he's now two years older and won't have as much time to recover before the start of the season. If healthy, the 34-year-old projects as one of Kansas City's starting inside linebackers – as has been the case every season since he was drafted in the first round in 2005.

Marshawn Lynch

The Raiders hope to lure Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, ESPN.com reports.


Lynch retired prior to the end of his Seattle contract, which means the Seahawks would have to release him or agree to trade him to the Raiders. The 30-year-old Oakland native might consider coming out of retirement for his hometown team, with the recent departure of Latavius Murray leaving the Raiders in search of a power runner. Lynch had four consecutive seasons with more than 1,200 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns from 2011 to 2014, but injuries limited him to seven games and 417 rushing yards (3.8 YPC) in 2015 – ultimately leading to his retirement announcement via Twitter during that season's Super Bowl. While he hasn't publicly stated a desire to resume his career, Lynch could be tempted by the opportunity to help his hometown team continue its recent ascent. He'd join a backfield that's currently headed by a pair of second-year players, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. The Raiders are also rumored to have interest in Adrian Peterson, whose departure from Minnesota was confirmed when the Vikings signed Murray.

Darius Butler (head) is re-signing with the Colts on a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Mike Wells reports.


A cornerback throughout his career, Butler spent much of last season at safety, which could be his primary home in 2017. The Colts don't have a clear starting safety alongside Clayton Geathers (neck), who may even get some playing time as a linebacker in sub packages. While the team also appears less than stellar at cornerback, Butler would fill a bigger need at safety.

Evan Smith, who started at center and both guard spots last season, received a $1 million roster bonus Wednesday, essentially guaranteeing his return in 2017, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.


The versatile 30-year-old had been rumored to be a potential salary-cap cut this offseason, but Wednesday's bonus payment put that possibility to rest. Smith will thus play out the final season of his four-year contract with the Bucs in 2017 and is expected to at a minimum serve as a valuable backup along the interior of the offensive line. Smith is even a candidate to compete for the starting center job he'd held in 2014, but Tampa also re-signed Joe Hawley later Wednesday, who held down that role last season when healthy.

Marqueston Huff signed a contract with the Chiefs on Thursday, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports.


The Ravens rescinded their tender on Huff earlier in the week, which officially made the 24-year-old an unrestricted free agent. Huff was primarily a member of Baltimore's special teams units in 2016 and tallied three total tackles. He figures to slot into a similar role in Kansas City given the Chiefs' depth in the secondary.

The Bills matched the Rams' offer sheet on Ryan Groy on Thursday, meaning that the 26-year-old will remain in Buffalo on a two-year contract, ESPN's Mike Rodak reports.


Groy received an offer sheet from the Rams earlier in the week, but the Bills were quick to match it in order to retain the young guard. He played sparingly early in 2016 but came on late in the season, playing 50 or more snaps in each of the last seven weeks.

Justin Coleman signed his exclusive-rights tender with the Patriots on Thursday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.


The Patriots tendered Coleman before the start of free agency last week. Even with Coleman returning to the Patriots, the club's acquisition of Stephon Gilmore complicates his path to seeing regular snaps. Things could change depending whether Malcolm Butler remains with New England, however.

E.J. Manuel (Q, Buf)

EJ Manuel is likely to sign with the Raiders, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.


The ex-Bill hit free agency after his rookie contract ran out this offseason. He had an overall shaky tenure with the Bills as a former first-round selection and ultimately became a full-time backup to Tyrod Taylor in 2015. Manuel has a career 58.3 completion percentage to go with 19 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a 6.4 YPA. Provided that negotiations with the Raiders don't hit a snag, he figures to slot in as Derek Carr's backup over second-year signal caller Connor Cook.

Connor Barwin signed a one-year deal worth up to $6.5 million with the Rams on Thursday, ESPN's Adam Caplan reports.


Barwin's signing addresses a major need for the Rams after the team jettisoned a pair of veteran edge rushers on the first day of free agency. The 30-year-old Barwin is coming off one of his least productive seasons as a pro, racking up 5.0 sacks over 16 games. That said, Barwin hasn't missed a game in six full seasons and he will add a veteran presence to an otherwise young defensive corps.

Jared Cook (T, GB)

Jared Cook has signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, reportedly worth up to $12.2 million, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.


Per the report, the first year of the the soon-to-be 30-year-old's deal is fully guaranteed. Cook, who caught 30 passes (on 51 targets) for 377 yards and a TD in 10 games for the Packers in 2016, figures to have an opportunity to supplant Clive Walford as the Raiders' top pass-catching option at tight end. In any case, he'll provide QB Derek Carr with another weapon on offense to work in tandem with top wideouts Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree.

Morris Claiborne (ribs) is expected to sign with the Jets, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.


Claiborne was previously linked to the Ravens, who instead signed his former teammate and position mate, Brandon Carr. Following the February release of Darrelle Revis, the Jets have a glaring need at cornerback. A deal could be done at some point Thursday afternoon.

Brandon Carr signed a four-year deal with the Ravens on Thursday.


The Ravens were rumored to have interest in Morris Claiborne, who started across from Carr in the Dallas secondary for much of last season. The 30-year-old corner has started all 16 games in each of his nine NFL seasons, and while his availability has been the model of consistency, the quality of his play has been a different story. He was often exploited by No. 1 wideouts during his five-year tenure in Dallas, with his playmaking ability (one interception over the last three seasons) also leaving something to be desired. However, he should provide an upgrade in Baltimore, where the No. 2 and 3 cornerback spots are an annual weakness. Carr should draw easier matchups with his new team, as the other projected starters in the secondary – CB Jimmy Smith and safeties Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson – are all stellar.

Chris Carter signed with the Redskins on Thursday.


A 2011 fifth-round selection, Carter has bounced around the league as a special teams contributor and depth linebacker, recording 26 tackles in 62 regular-season games. He'll likely be buried on the defensive depth chart in Washington, with special teams once again representing his best chance to contribute.