NFL Free Agency officially begins Wednesday, but many of the most anticipated big names have already closed deals.
With the league's "legal payment window," or negotiation period, opening Monday, free agents were able to secure deals from other teams before the league's new year officially begins today. Most of the top players in the market have agreed terms, although a few remained unanswered Wednesday, including offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and linebacker CJ Gardner-Johnson, among others.
Check back every Wednesday for all the important free agent updates:
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The Chiefs found an experienced QB to add to the mix
The Washington Chiefs added a veteran quarterback to the lineup for a potential challenge to Sam Howell.
ESPN's Diana Russini reports that Jacoby Brissett is expected to sign with the team.
Brissett, 30, played 11 games for the Cleveland Browns last season while Deshaun Watson was suspended. He completed 64% of his passes for 2,608 yards and 12 touchdowns with six catches.
In Washington, Brissett could reprise the mandatory veteran backup role he played during his seven-year career.
Rivera said Howell, starting a sophomore in Week 18 in place of the now-defunct Carson Wentz, will go into the postseason as a favorite.
Washington is looking for a backup after Taylor Heinicke decided Tuesday to join the Atlanta Falcons.
The Cowboys parted ways with two-time NFL running back Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott's time with the Dallas Cowboys is over.
The Cowboys will cut Elliott, the first choice. 4 in the 2016 NFL Draft to end his stint with the franchise after seven seasons, according to multiple reports.
According to Over The Cap, Elliott will count $16.7 million toward the Cowboys' 2023 salary cap, with a $10.9 million base salary not guaranteed. Like the post-June 1 deadline, his release would save the team their entire salary.
Elliott has four years left but has opted out of the six-year, $90 million extension he signed with the Cowboys in September 2019.
The 27-year-old is coming off a season in which he rushed for 876 yards and a career-low 3.8 yards per carry. It was the first time in Elliott's career that he rushed for less than 979 yards and averaged less than 4 yards per carry.
However, the Cowboys star made the most of his scoring chances, rushing for 12 touchdowns and scoring in double digits for the fourth time in his career in a single season.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Elliott had more than 1,300 rushing yards in three of his first four seasons, including 1,631 yards as a rookie lead in the NFL in 2016 and 1,434 rushing yards in 2019.
JuJu Smith-Schuster helped the Patriots fill the vacant wide receiver spot
The New England Patriots bring in a household name to improve their receiving corps.
JuJu Smith-Schuster inked a three-year, $33 million deal with the Patriots on Wednesday. He confirmed the news on Twitter.
"Excited for the next chapter in New England!" wrote Smith-Schuster. "I will give everything I have for this organization, thank you for trusting me!"
Smith-Schuster, 26, had the most receptions (78) and receiving yards (933) of any Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver last season. However, after helping the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, he's now on his way to defeating Bill Belichick and co.
His addition helps fill the void left by the departure of standout receiver Jakobi Meyers, who reportedly joined the Las Vegas Raiders on a three-year, $33 million deal. Meyers responded to news of the Smith-Schuster deal by writing, "Cold world lol."
Nelson Agholor, who had 31 receptions for 362 yards in 2022, is also a free agent.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs are preparing for a significant change at wide receiver for the second straight offseason. The team will bring back Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who will play a bigger role with Kadarius Toney and 2022 second-round pick Skyy Moore. Justin Watson and Mecole Hardman, both unsigned.
Lavonte David is back with the Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will eventually bring back another defensive starter who's going elsewhere.
Linebacker Lavonte David signed a one-year deal with the team, Josina Anderson said.
David, 33, has been a mainstay of Tampa Bay's defense for the past 11 years. But the Buccaneers are rebuilding after Tom Brady's retirement, leading many to believe David will end up elsewhere.
Instead, the veteran will be back until at least 2023.
The Buccaneers reportedly agreed cornerback Jamel Dean to a four-year, $52 million deal on Tuesday.
Jordan Poyer will return to the Bills
The Buffalo Bills lost a key defensive starter, but others have produced amazing results.
Safety Jordan Poyer joins the team on a two-year deal.
Poyer, 31, had four interceptions and eight passes defended last season. "I want to go to a state that doesn't cost half my money," he said, fueling speculation that he would let the team run free.
On Monday, the Bills lost quarterback Tremaine Edmunds to the Chicago Bears on a four-year, $72 million deal.
Baker Mayfield has found his landing spot with the Buccaneers
After reviving his late-season career with the Rams, Baker Mayfield is given a chance to take charge of a new team.
Mayfield will reportedly sign a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will have the chance to replace Tom Brady, who announced his retirement in early February, in the starting XI in Tampa. That means Mayfield, 27, will join his fourth team since the start of the 2021 season.
In five games with the Rams, four of which he started, Mayfield completed 63.6% of his passes for 850 yards with four touchdowns against two interceptions.
Mayfield takes on Kyle Trask, the only other player on the roster.
The Eagles parted ways with Pro Bowl CB Darius Slay
The Super Bowl is second in every kickoff return for the past three seasons.
The Philadelphia Eagles are starting Darius Sley, a five-time Pro Bowler who earned an All-Pro selection in 2017 as a member of the Detroit Lions.
Slay, 32, was released by Philadelphia last week to speak with other teams about a potential trade, according to multiple reports, but posted a message on his verified Twitter account on Wednesday that he would not be with the Eagles.
"Nothing but love Philly!" Slay wrote on Wednesday. "Let's see where we go next."
Slay started all but one of his 48 regular-season games as an eagle, recording 166 tackles, 29 passes defended, seven interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and three touchdowns. He has received Pro Bowl nominations in each of the past two seasons.
The Saints bolstered their defensive line with Khalen Saunders
After dealing with their pay situation and internal concerns, the New Orleans Saints moved to add a line of defense.
Linebacker Khalen Saunders is expected to sign with the team, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport.
Saunders, 26, had a career-high 3½ sacks for the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
The Saints will be building a defensive attack after losing two starters from last year to their division rivals. Defenseman David Onyemata joined the Atlanta Falcons while Shy Tuttle joined the Carolina Panthers.
Hayden Hurst joins the Panthers
Another former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback will join the Carolina Panthers.
Hayden Hurst has agreed a three-year contract with the Panthers, according to several media outlets.
Hurst, who turns 30 in August, had 52 catches for 414 yards and two touchdowns last season, his only year with the Bengals. Carolina should be ready even if the team brings back Ian Thomas and Tommy Tremble in the 2021 third round.
Hurst followed former Bengals safety Vonn Bell to Carolina. Former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is also expected to join the team as a backup.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL Free Agent Updates: Get the latest on the top players as the league year officially begins