NFL notebook: Kaepernick drawing interest from Broncos, others
The Broncos, Browns and Jets have discussed trading for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, according to multiple reports Thursday.
NFL Network reported Kaepernick is the Broncos' chief target and the Browns “are far more serious” than the Jets about acquiring the 28-year-old quarterback.
The Super Bowl champion Broncos are in the market for a quarterback following Peyton Manning's retirement and Brock Osweiler's departure for Houston.
Blaine Gabbert took over the 49ers' starting quarterback job in November and expects to compete to be the No. 1 again.
Also, the 49ers signed quarterback Thad Lewis to 1-year contract. Lewis is being reunited with his former Eagles coach Chip Kelly
The 28-year-old Lewis joins his sixth team since 2010. He has played in seven career games with six starts, five of those for Buffalo in 2013.
Gradkowski signs with Panthers
The Panthers signed free agent center Gino Gradkowski to a three-year contract and re-signed backup quarterback and special teams standout Joe Webb to a two-year deal.
Gradkowski, a Seton-La Salle graduate and the younger brother of Steelers reserve quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, is expected to back up Ryan Kalil, the team's All-Pro center. He played in 40 games during three seasons (2012-14) for the Baltimore Ravens, starting all 16 in 2013.
Last year he played in three games for the Falcons, starting one.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Gradkowski gives the team depth at center and guard, and “you feel very secure that if something were to happen you can plug him in and not lose everything.”
Webb was second on the Panthers with 12 special teams tackles last year and returned eight kickoffs for 178 yards.
Brady signs new deal, gets $28 million bonus
Tom Brady's two-year contract extension with the Patriots will give him a $28 million signing bonus and adds $41 million to his deal should he play it out.
Although Brady will earn only $1 million in base salary next season and in 2017, the bonuses will increase his cap hit to $14 million in each of those seasons. His base salary for 2018 and 2019 would be $14 million, with cap hits of $22 million each, although Brady, 38, is likely to redo those deals, too, if he is still playing.
Brady, who says he wants to play well into his 40s, has reworked his contract several times during his career, in which New England has won four Super Bowls and he has two NFL MVP awards.
The main reason to reduce Brady's salaries is to decrease how much he will cost New England against the salary cap. But Brady also could face a reinstatement of his four-game suspension in the deflated footballs saga from the 2014 AFC title game. If that happens, he would lose less than $250,000 in salary.
With the extension, Brady now ranks 14th among quarterbacks in guaranteed money. That puts him behind Super Bowl winners Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Joe Flacco. It also trails the likes of Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler, none of whom has ever sniffed a Super Bowl.
Falcons sign WR Sanu, restock defensive line
The Falcons filled a big spot on their offense, reaching terms with former Bengals receiver Mohamed Sanu on a five-year contract.
Sanu will compete with Justin Hardy for the No. 2 receiver role behind All-Pro Julio Jones.
A day after making former Cleveland center Alex Mack the NFL's highest-paid player at his position, the Falcons beefed up their receiving corps with Sanu. The team had a major vacancy after last week's release of Roddy White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who spent his first 11 years in Atlanta.
Sanu's versatility helped the Bengals win the AFC North last year as he caught 33 passes for 394 yards receiving and ran 10 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Cincinnati drafted him in the third round of 2012.
Atlanta also turned its attention to defense, re-signing end Adrian Clayborn to a two-year contract and bringing former Miami end Derrick Shelby aboard with a four-year deal.
Report: Dolphins sign RB Anderson to offer sheet
The Dolphins signed restricted free agent C.J. Anderson to an offer sheet that could lead to him becoming the franchise's next starting tailback.
Anderson, who rushed for 720 yards and five touchdowns in 2015, began a visit with the Dolphins on Thursday, and ESPN is reporting an offer sheet featuring a four-year contract was signed. The Broncos have five days to match that salary.
Anderson, 25, spent his first two NFL seasons playing in Adam Gase's offense in Denver. Gase, now the head coach of the Dolphins, helped Anderson put together a breakout year in 2014, in which he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and scored 10 touchdowns while splitting the workload with other backs.
The Dolphins lost starter Lamar Miller to the Texans on Wednesday.
Report: Jets add RB Robinson, re-sign Powell
Two people familiar with the decisions said the Jets agreed in principle to sign free agent running back Khiry Robinson and re-sign running back Bilal Powell.
The signing comes one day after the Jets landed former Bears running back Matt Forte, who will likely replace the departed Chris Ivory as the starter in the Jets' backfield.
Robinson, coming off a broken leg suffered last November, rushed for 766 yards and eight TDs in three seasons with New Orleans.
Powell set a career high with 47 receptions for 388 yards and two touchdowns last season.
Raiders reach $40 million deal with ex-Chiefs CB Smith
The Raiders added another top free agent to their offseason haul, agreeing to a four-year, $40 million deal with former Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith.
Oakland won a heated competition for Smith, who has allowed opponents to catch fewer than 60 percent of passes for all seven of his NFL seasons and gives the Raiders the starter they needed alongside David Amerson.
Wade, former QB and No. 1 draft pick, dies at 85
Bill Wade, a former No. 1 overall draft pick who played 13 seasons in the NFL and helped the Bears win the 1963 championship, has died. He was 85 years old.
Sharon Wade Kinser, Wade's daughter, said Thursday he died of natural causes Wednesday night at The Meadows senior community in Nashville, Tenn.
The Los Angeles Rams selected the former Vanderbilt quarterback with the top overall pick in the 1952 draft. After serving two years in the Navy, Wade threw for 124 touchdowns and 18,530 yards while playing for the Rams from 1954-60 and for the Chicago Bears from 1961-66.
Around the league
The Buccaneers addressed a need created by Logan Mankins' retirement by signing former Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy to a five-year deal in free agency. … The Bengals signed starting safety George Iloka to a five-year, $30 million deal, the first significant move to try to keep the core of their playoff team intact. … The Lions signed free agent safety Tavon Wilson, who played the past four seasons with the Patriots.