The legal tampering period opened at noon today, which means that teams are now allowed to admit that they were talking to free agents, as opposed to pretending that they don't ignore the rules. Let's kick off with the in-house updates.
It's not a surprise, but Mehta's been in the ear of the Jets the entire process, so New York seems to think they have to out-pay the Patriots to gain Revis' service. We all knew that, but it's nice to have that out in the open.
Looking at the market, the Texans signed cornerback Kareem Jackson (a possible top 10 corner) for an average of $8.5 million per season (APY), which means that Revis will be paid a lot more than that. Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman received ~$14 million APY, which is a fair point for Revis to ask.
Those two players also received roughly 70% of their contract as guaranteed for injury, which is why Jerod Mayo hasn't restructured yet, and will have their annual contract guaranteed if they're on the roster on the 5th day of the league year- which is why the Patriots let Vince Wilfork go.
Look for New England to put a similar offer on the table. Injury protected, but guaranteed if Revis is on the roster after the start of the league year, good for ~$14 million APY, for four years.
Source says as of now he does not expect the #Redskins to be involved in pursuit of S Devin McCourty. Could that change? We'll see...— John Keim (@john_keim) March 7, 2015
Byron Maxwell and Devin McCourty looks like an either/or situation for #Eagles. I'm not sure they can make the best offer to both.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 7, 2015
A source has confirmed to me that the Colts have reached out to Devin McCourty today during legal tampering. They have money and have a need— Patrick Shankhour (@CLNS_Patrick) March 7, 2015
The Eagles are extremely interested in McCourty, but the aforementioned contract for Kareem Jackson might have been a blessing in disguise for New England. If Jackson commands $8.5 million APY, the understanding is that free agent Byron Maxwell, a top two cornerback on the market along with Brandon Flowers (who reports show are expected to stay in San Diego), will command well over $10 million.
Philadelphia has a whole free agency plan they need to work on to retool their whole team and it's unlikely that they'll want to lock up over $20 million in just two members of their secondary when they have so many other holes to fill. So while the Eagles really want McCourty, there's a chance that Jackson has pushed the cornerback market to a point where the safety position takes a hit.
Also, it's nice to know that Washington is not interested in McCourty. Just for fun.
And it was inevitable that the Colts would reach out to McCourty because they have such a need at pretty much every single spot on defense, outside of one of their cornerback spots. The Eagles and the Colts offer the two most likely Super Bowl competitor landing spots for McCourty, which means it might come down to these two teams and New England.
Former #Colts WR Reggie Wayne may not be retired just yet. Hearing he’s open to playing one more year — for a contender.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2015
This would be a total Bill Belichick move to bring in Wayne for a test drive. He doesn't have much to offer on offense as he's no better than a WR3 or WR4- and a player like Brian Hartline would offer more upside. He also doesn't play on special teams, so that's hard for New England to swallow with a depth player.
But it would make sense for Belichick to bring him in for camp, right?
While this isn't for the Patriots directly, it impacts the shape of the AFC East. If the league generally expects Suh to go to Miami, then that's worth something.
And that means that New England absolutely needs to address their interior line this off-season, since adding Suh to Miami means that the AFC East has three of the best defensive lines in the entire league. Having to face Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and possibly Jerry Hughes with the Bills, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson with the Jets, and then Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Suh with the Dolphins would be a complete gauntlet.
The Patriots had a need to fix their interior line regardless of the Suh news, but this would reinforce the need.