Free agent G Travelle Wharton has no plans to retire at this time.
Eagles re-signed S Nate Allen to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Allen, the No. 37 overall pick in 2010, was a horrific bust through his first three seasons. But he showed enough improvement last season that the Eagles are going to give him another chance. He'll likely compete with a draft pick to be a third safety behind Malcolm Jenkins and Earl Wolff.
Saints re-signed RT Zach Strief to a five-year, $20.5 million contract.
Strief, who gets $8.5 million guaranteed, was our No. 2 tackle still available behind only Donald Penn. The 30-year-old veteran is coming off his best NFL season, as he started 15 games for the Saints while allowing just four sacks and five quarterback hits. The re-signing is excellent news for Drew Brees, as the 6'7/320 Strief has emerged as an elite pass blocker. He'll bookend with exciting left tackle prospect Terron Armstead.
Beat writer Dan Graziano says it seemed clear that Hakeem Nicks "chief motivation" last season "was to stay healthy so that he could cash in as a free agent."
The Colts are hoping that Nicks' effectiveness was sapped by his mind, not an accumulation of lower-body injuries. He posted a 56-896-0 line, reportedly frustrating coaches with his inability to get open and make plays. The other concern is that 26-year-old Nicks is now operating on a one-year deal once again, leaving Graziano to wonder if he'll tip-toe through another season. There are a lot of yellow flags here despite Nicks' natural talent and the presence of Andrew Luck.
The Broncos have exercised their 2014 option on Wes Welker's contract.
Welker collected a $3 million roster bonus last week, part of his $8 million in total possible compensation for 2014. He's locked and loaded as Peyton Manning's slot receiver once again, with a touch more upside thanks to Eric Decker's departure. Welker will be a 33-year-old unrestricted free agent in March of 2015, at which point we'd expect newly acquired Emmanuel Sanders to kick inside.
SI's Peter King says it's "more likely than not" that the NFL will expand to 14 playoff teams for the 2015 season.
At this point, it's merely a matter of when the expansion will take place, not if it will happen. Under the new format, only one team in each conference would get a bye and there would be six games on Wild Card Weekend (two seed vs. seven seed, three vs. six, four vs. five). At least one of those games would be on Monday night. The one seed would host the lowest remaining seed in the Divisional Round, just like they do now.
Nate Irving currently tops the Broncos depth chart at middle linebacker.
The Broncos have spent wildly to upgrade their defense, but they didn't get in on three-down middle linebackers like D'Qwell Jackson, Karlos Dansby, Jon Beason or Daryl Smith. So they're left with Irving, who has performed better as a strong-side linebacker than a "Mike" in his career. For now, he only has to beat out Steven Johnson and likely a draft pick to win the gig.
ESPN Cleveland says the Browns' concerns about Ben Tate's durability led to a team-friendly two-year deal.
Tate has missed 24 games in his four-year career, battling ankle, hamstring, foot and rib issues. So he had to watch as far less talented backs such as Donald Brown and Toby Gerhart inked deals worth $10.5 million over three years. Tate got two years and "up to" $7 million. If healthy, he'll be a strong bet to outperform that contract as an ideal one-cut, downhill fit for the Shanny & Son zone-blocking scheme.