Cardinals trade receiver Boldin to Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a talented pass catcher to their roster: three-time Pro Bowl standout Anquan Boldin.
Baltimore obtained Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals on Friday for a third- and fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft. The 29-year-old Boldin has amassed at least 1,000 yards receiving in five of his seven seasons, including 1,024 yards on 84 catches last season.
Boldin received a new four-year, $28 million deal with Baltimore in which $10 million is guaranteed. He was to set to earn $3 million next season, the last of the four-year, $22.5 million deal he signed with Arizona after the 2005 season.
"The Ravens just got better," coach John Harbaugh said. "Anquan is a significant addition for us. He fits the personality of our team with the hard-nosed, physical way he plays. We love the way he competes. Our fans will enjoy watching him compete and his teammates will be excited to have him with us."
Julius Peppers joined the Chicago Bears in the biggest move by a team that showed it's intent on contending again after missing the playoffs the past three seasons.
The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end and top free agent prize agreed to a six-year deal worth potentially $91.5 million.
Agent Carl Carey said a record $42 million is guaranteed, with Peppers earning $20 million in the first year. The deal includes incentives for sacks, making the Pro Bowl and winning Defensive Player of the Year.
"It's one thing to play football in this league and make a living, but it's a totally different thing to come to a place with a rich tradition like the Bears," Peppers said.
Josh Cribbs found another kind of pay dirt.
Like some of his long, winding touchdown returns, the Pro Bowler finally navigated his way to a new three-year contract from the Cleveland Browns, ending two seasons of threats, broken promises and back-and-forth negotiations.
The Browns restructured the final three years of the six-year, $6.67 million deal Cribbs signed in 2006. He will receive $7.5 million in guaranteed money, and if he reaches incentives, the 26-year-old could make as much as $20 million, according to reports.
Indianapolis linebacker Gary Brackett signed a five-year deal hours after he officially became an unrestricted agent. The deal is reportedly worth $33 million, including a $12 million signing bonus.
The Miami Dolphins released two linebackers and began courting a third, Karlos Dansby.
One of big prizes on this year's market, Dansby visited the Dolphins in the opening hours of NFL free agency. It was unclear whether he planned to visit other teams.
The Dolphins terminated the contracts of disgruntled outside linebacker Joey Porter, inside linebacker Akin Ayodele and free safety Gibril Wilson.
The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a three-year contract, reportedly worth $11 million, including $6.5 million guaranteed, with All-Pro fullback Leonard Weaver.
The Eagles also released linebacker Will Witherspoon.
A person familiar with the negotiations says the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Dunta Robinson, who had 13 interceptions in the last six seasons with Houston.
Robinson, from Athens, Ga., about an hour from Atlanta, was the 10th overall draft pick in 2004. He had six interceptions as a rookie.
The New York Jets released running back Thomas Jones, as expected, but didn't rule out a return of the leader of the NFL's top rushing offense.
Jones was due a $3 million roster bonus and a $2.8 million base salary.
Jets safety Kerry Rhodes, whose future with the team was uncertain, will receive his $2 million roster bonus next week and remain in New York.
Corey Williams is back at his favorite position, back in his favorite division and might get a chance to achieve one of his career goals.
The veteran defensive tackle was traded from Cleveland to Detroit in a deal that also involved a pair of late-round draft picks.
The Lions also agreed to a four-year deal with defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch.
That deal reportedly is $26 million with $10 million due in the first year for the 31-year-old defensive end.
Acknowledging he was "blindsided" by his release, Carolinla quarterback Jake Delhomme vowed his career wasn't over in an emotional day that marked the end of an era and left his former bosses in tears, too.
It was something hardly anyone could've anticipated a year earlier, when the Panthers gave the only quarterback to lead the franchise to the Super Bowl a lucrative contract extension. But after one miserable season, the 35-year-old Delhomme was sent packing despite still being owed more than $12.5 million in guaranteed money.
The New England Patriots re-signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, keeping their top pass rusher in the fold for another three years.
Banta-Cain played for the Patriots' last two Super Bowl teams in 2004 and '05, before going to San Francisco as an unrestricted free agent in 2007. After two seasons, the 49ers released him and he re-signed with New England.
The Oakland Raiders re-signed free agent offensive lineman Khalif Barnes to a one-year contract.
A person with knowledge of the negotiation says Vikings running back Chester Taylor agreed to a four-year, $12.5 million contract with division rival Chicago that includes $7 million in guaranteed money.