NFL Free Agency rumors will continue to circle until free agents can open negotiations with teams on March 7. However, deals can not be made official until March 9.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) March 5, 2017
Former New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall became a free agent when his former team decided to part ways with him last week. Apparently, Marshall and the Patriots have mutual interest as shared by Pro Football Rumors.
In his 12th season, Marshall said he wants to join a contender while the Patriots have been connected to several free agent receivers already. Marshall has not played in a playoff game during his career, and he is familiar with current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels via their time in Denver. The former Jets’ receiver said he wants to join a contending team with a good quarterback, so the Patriots make sense.
Otherwise, the 32-year-old ranked as the 67th receiver by Pro Football Focus. Marshall has a $4.9 million average salary per Spotrac’s calculated market value. He caught 59 balls for 788 receiving yards last season.
— Raiders Report (@raiders_fanly) March 5, 2017
The New England Patriots face rumors with their own free agents too. Tight end Martellus Bennett wants to test the open market, despite New England wanting to keep him.
The Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars could be the top suitors for Bennett during free agency, according to the same Pro Football Rumors article.
Bennett registered 55 catches, 701 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns during his only season with the Patriots. New England also won a Super Bowl in 2016, and they have nearly $60 million in cap space this offseason.
— Saints Report (@saints_fanly) March 4, 2017
Speaking of keeping free agents, the New Orleans Saints want to keep defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Fairley, 29, signed a one-year $3.25 million contract with the Saints last season. He recorded 43 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 43 tackles last season. Fairley finished his only season in New Orleans as PFF’s No. 34 interior defender.
Otherwise, New Orleans is also reported to have some interest in re-signing guard Tim Lelito and corner Sterling Moore, as shared by NFLTradeRumors.co. Moore registered two interceptions and 56 tackles during his only season with the Saints. PFF ranked him as the No. 65 corner in 2016.
.@DreKirkSWAG is a soon to be Free Agent.
— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2017
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans are rumored to have an interest in free agent corner Dre Kirkpatrick, according to Bleacher Report.
Kirkpatrick, 27, recorded 46 total tackles, 10 passes defended and three interceptions for the Cincinnati Bengals last season. The 2012 first-round pick said he had a pretty good year, per ESPN.PFF ranked him as the 57th corner in the NFL last season.
Otherwise, Kirkpatrick could get paid due to the thin corner back market in this year’s free agency class. He made $7.51 million in the fifth year of his rookie contract, per Spotrac.
The Steelers and Titans both need to upgrade their depth and starters at the corner position, so Kirkpatrick makes sense for either team.
— News Headquarter (@newshqtoday) March 3, 2017
Defensive tackle Terrell McClain could also get paid during free agency. The Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks are already in the rumors for the former Dallas Cowboy, per NFLTradeRumors.co.
Two reports connect McClain to the Falcons and Seahawks. He has also been connected to Washington.
Either way, the defensive tackle finished 2016 with 40 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Despite a solid stat line, PFF ranked him as the No. 86 interior defensive lineman.
More rumors should swirl for McClain, Dre Kirkpatrick, Nick Fairley, Martellus Bennett, and Brandon Marshall as we get closer to NFL free agency on March 7. Stay posted for movement and paydays for any of the players mentioned.
[Featured Image by Julio Cortez/AP Images]