The Bears have informed free agent Matt Forte they won't be re-signing him.
"Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end," Forte wrote. "I was informed earlier this week from the GM that they will not be attempting to re-sign me in free agency." The writing has been on the wall for months. Forte's agent tried to engage in extension talks during the season, but was shot down by GM Ryan Pace. Chicago will move forward with Jeremy Langford and a younger group. Forte turned 30 in December and has been connected to the Patriots as a potential match.
Panthers DE Kony Ealy became the first player in Super Bowl history to record multiple sacks and an interception and tied the single-game sack record with three.
If the Panthers somehow managed to pull off the win, Ealy would've had a very strong case for MVP honors. He was the Panthers' answer to Von Miller, as both pass rushers dominated off the edge. Ealy, the 2014 second-rounder, has been slow to develop, but his SB50 performance and Jared Allen's likely retirement has Ealy looking like a projected starter in 2016.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Matt Vensel expects the Vikings to release at least one of LT Matt Kalil or RT Phil Loadholt.
Kalil was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft and is set to count $11.096 million against the cap after the Vikings exercised his fifth-year option last offseason. Minnesota can clear the entire $11.096 million off the salary cap by releasing Kalil. He's started all 64 games since entering the NFL, but Kalil has been horrific in pass protection. He may eventually have to play the right side. Kalil received above-average run-blocking marks from PFF.
The Bucs are expected to retain LG Logan Mankins.
Mankins didn't rule out the possibility of retiring at season's end, but he has $7 million reasons to play out the final year of his contract. Turning 34 in March, Mankins remained one of the top interior offensive linemen in the league last season. Pro Football Focus graded Mankins 12th among 82 qualified guards in run blocking and 16th in pass protection with zero sacks allowed.
Packers re-signed DL Letroy Guion to a three-year, $11.25 million contract.
Guion, 29 in June, was looking for a long-term deal last offseason after he had a productive 2014 as the Packers' nose tackle, but he got in some hot water with the law and had to settle for another one-year pact. Guion's charges were later dropped, and he answered with another strong year. Guion can play all across the Packers' 3-4 front. If free agent NT B.J. Raji is re-signed, Guion will likely stay in a rotational role as a 3-4 end.
The Bucs are fully expected to bring back Vincent Jackson.
A poor free agent wide receiver market can't hurt V-Jax's case to stay in Tampa Bay, where he is owed a $9.78 million base salary, all of which would come off the salary cap books were Jackson released. The Bucs are flush with cap space already, however, and they're very unlikely to find a better option across from Mike Evans this offseason. Jackson turned 33 last month.
The Tampa Bay Times reports free agent Doug Martin is looking to "hit the jackpot" after finishing No. 2 in the NFL in rushing, and will hit the open market.
Bucs GM Jason Licht claims Martin and the team have a "mutual" desire to stay together, but beat writer Rick Stroud reports they "aren't really that close in reaching an agreement." Martin is expected to ask for $8 million per year, or what DeMarco Murray received from the Eagles last offseason. "We'll have to see how it goes," Licht conceded. 27 years old and not much of an asset in the passing game, Martin is a candidate to get overpaid should he hit the market in March.
Justin Tuck will sign a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Giants.
It's only right. Tuck spent nine of his 11 seasons with the Giants, and was instrumental in each of their 2000s Super Bowl titles. Tuck generated only six sacks in 20 games with the Raiders.