11:27 p.m.: Friday was the busiest day of the NFL’s free agency period, with a number of big names reportedly agreeing to deals with various teams.
The New England Patriots further improved their secondary thanks to a reported agreement with former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.
The Baltimore Ravens made headlines by reportedly agreeing to a three-year deal with veteran wide receiver Steve Smith worth $11 million.
Charles Tillman and the Chicago Bears were reported to have reached a one-year agreement. The 33-year old has never played for another team.
A number of high-profile free agents are still on the market, however, including Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jared Allen.
10:51 p.m.: John Wawrow of The Associated Press is reporting that a source said former New England Patriot Brandon Spikes has agreed to a deal with the Buffalo Bills. The deal is reportedly for one year.
Things deteriorated between Spikes and the Patriots last season when he was placed on injured reserve after being late to a team meeting. As soon as the 2014 free agency period opened, Spikes made it clear that he would not be returning to the Patriots.
10:43 p.m.: The New England Patriots are working to reach an agreement on a deal with Julian Edelman, reports CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora.
La Canfora says that the most likely scenario all along has been Edelman returning to the Patriots, in part thanks to dwindling options with other teams.
That being said, La Canfora reports that Edelman is visiting the San Francisco 49ers this weekend and has garnered interest from the Cleveland Browns as well.
10:22 p.m.: According to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, the Dallas Cowboys have a very real interest in veteran Julius Peppers. The Cowboys need help improving their front four, and Peppers could be a huge asset.
8:15 p.m.: The San Diego Chargers have re-signed cornerback Richard Marshall, according to the team. He’s recorded over 500 tackles and 18 interceptions in his career so far.
7:47 p.m.: Antonio Smith, formerly of the Houston Texans, has agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source of NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
7:28 p.m.: The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly agreed to a deal with defensive tackle Vance Walker, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The agreement is for three years and $13 million, with $3.75 million guaranteed.
7:23 p.m.: NFL Network’s Albert Breer says that Hakeem Nick’s agreement with the Indianapolis Colts is for one year and has a base value of $3.5 million, with the potential for more.
CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora is reporting that Nicks could earn another $2 million in incentives.
7:14 p.m.: ESPN’s Josina Anderson is reporting that the following has been filed to ESPN: Brandon Browner has agreed to a deal with the New England Patriots. According to Anderson’s tweet, it’s a three-year deal.
Adam Schefter cites Anderson in his affirmation of an agreement between the Patriots and Browner, reporting a three-year, $17 million deal.
Browner took to Twitter to announce the news. Check out his tweet below.
Today, I am proud to announce that I am a New England Patriot. I am honored that the Patriots are (cont) tl.gd/n91u9j—
Brandon Browner (@bbrowner27) March 14, 2014
7:08 p.m.: The Indianapolis Colts seem to be looking for another weapon for Andrew Luck to utilize next season.
According to a source of NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Colts are closing in on a deal with former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Nicks is only 26 years old and collected almost 5,000 total receiving yards over the course of five seasons with the Giants.
7:00 p.m.: The San Francisco 49ers announced that they’ve agreed to a deal with former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It’s reportedly a one-year deal.
6:55 p.m.: The NFL Network’s Albert Breer has some good news for New England Patriots fans.
According to Breer, the Baltimore Ravens are no longer in the running for former Patriot’s wide receiver Julian Edelman now that they’ve signed Steve Smith. The Ravens had reportedly previously expressed interest in Edelman.
6:40 p.m.: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is a busy man. He’s now reporting that the Tennessee Titans have agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal with former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher. The deal guarantees Oher $9.5 million.
6:26 p.m.: Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald is reporting per a source that former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner is negotiating a deal with the New England Patriots.
According to Howe and his source, Browner doesn’t plan on leaving Foxboro and the Patriots are his priority.
6:19 p.m.: Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome has some high praise for the recently acquired Steve Smith. Newsome said that the Ravens have “…added one of the top competitors in the NFL to the Ravens,” according to the team’s Twitter account.
6:00 p.m.: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Shelley Smith, formerly of the St. Louis Rams, has agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.
The 26 year-old guard will at the very least provide some depth to the Dolphins’ offensive line.
5:54 p.m.: ESPNDallas.com’s Todd Archer is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys have shown an interest in former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, citing sources. The Browns released Weeden — their 2012 first-round draft pick — on Wednesday.
The Cowboys currently have Kyle Orton backing up Tony Romo, and haven’t had three quarterbacks on their roster since 2011.
5:45 p.m.: ESPN’s Adam Schefter says on Twitter that NFL teams have spent over half-a-billion dollars in guaranteed money since free agency started this week — $627 million to be exact.
As of tonight, NFL teams have doled out $627M in guaranteed money since free agency started this week.—
Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2014
5:34 p.m.: CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora is specifying that Steve Smith’s deal with the Baltimore Ravens could reach as much as $11 million if an option bonus is exercised.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport has Smith’s deal at almost $12 million over three years, per a source.
No matter how much Smith ends up being paid, it will be must-watch television whenever Smith returns to Carolina to face his former team.
5:18 p.m.: Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com is reporting per a league source that Steve Smih’s deal is worth $10.5 million and includes a $3.5 million signing bonus.
5:12 p.m.: Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith and the Baltimore Ravens have reached an agreement, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, citing a source. Schefter cites a source saying the agreement is for a three-year deal.
Smith was one of the biggest names among available wide receivers. He caught a total of 67 touchdowns and accumulated over 12,000 receiving yards during his career with the Panthers.
4:51 p.m.: The Chicago Bears and Charles “Peanut” Tillman have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The 33 year-old conrerback has played his entire career with the Bears.
4:45 p.m.: According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, Cortland Finnegan’s contract with the Miami Dolphins will be worth around $11 million over two years.
4:22 p.m.: ESPN’s Adam Schefter also says the Miami Dolphins and cornerback Cortland Finnegan have reached an agreement, citing a source.
4:15 p.m.: Evan Dietrich-Smith is trading in his Green Bay green and gold for whatever the heck the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are wearing this season.
The Bucs announced they’ve agreed to terms with the center.
Smith, who played for the Packers in 2009 and 2011-2013, started all 16 games at center for Green Bay last season.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the deal is worth $14.25 million over four seasons.
3:55 p.m.: The Miami Dolphins have made another big move on the secondary front, as they’re “finalizing” a two-year deal with cornerback Cortland Finnegan, a source told NFL Media’s Albert Breer.
The Fins already brought back cornerback Brent Grimes earlier this month.
3:49 p.m.: B.J. Raji also got interest from the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports.
3:47 p.m.: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, arguably the best cornerback left on the free-agency market, is visiting the New York Jets, a team source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
3:39 p.m.: Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar will stay with the St. Louis Rams, the team announced.
3:37 p.m.: Ryan Fitzpatrick, of former Buffalo Bills semi-fame, has been cut by the Tennessee Titans, The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt reports. Fitzpatrick started nine games for the Titans last season, going 3-6 with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
3:35 p.m.: The Green Bay Packers have kept their nose tackle.
B.J. Raji, who started all but two games for the Packers over the last four seasons, has agreed to a one-year deal to return to Green Bay, a source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein.
Raji has spent all five years of his career with the Packers, who picked him ninth overall in the 2009 NFL draft.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says the contract is for $4 million.
3:30 p.m.: Darren Sproles’ deal is for three years and $10.5 million altogether, a source told Pro Football Talk.
3:28 p.m.: NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport is calling Julian Edelman’s trip to the San Francisco 49ers “a feeling out process.” He doesn’t expect a signing anytime soon in any direction.
2:50 p.m.: Emmanuel Sanders is getting attention on the free-agent market, and unsurprisingly, it’s from a team also interested in Julian Edelman.
The Patriots went after Sanders last year before he returned to the Steelers when Pittsburgh matched the Patriots’ offer sheet. Sanders has been rumored to be among the Patriots’ targets again as they wait to see whether Edelman will take their offer or land elsewhere.
2:46 p.m.: NESN’s own Doug Kyed confirms the Patriots have hosted defensive tackle Letroy Guion, although the visit was a few days ago. New England was looking for defensive line help well before the Vince Wilfork news.
2:45 p.m.: Jerome Simpson’s deal with the Minnesota Vikings reportedly is for one year, the same length as his last two contracts with the team.
2:44 p.m.: ESPN’s Adam Caplan says reports of Brandon Spikes signing with the Buffalo Bills are erroneous.
We ask: As erroneous as this Spikes shirt choice?
2:42 p.m.: Kenny Britt could be headed for a reunion with his former head coach.
Britt, who played under Jeff Fisher for the Tennessee Titans in 2009-2010, is visiting Fisher’s new team, the St. Louis Rams, on Friday and Saturday, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Britt has racked up 2,450 yards and 19 touchdowns over five seasons in Tennessee, but his best two years by far were when Fisher was head coach. Britt had more than 700 yards receiving in each of those two seasons, his first two in the NFL, as well as 12 of his touchdowns. Britt has been limited since a knee injury in 2011.
2:40 p.m.: The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson, the team announced. Simpson played the last two seasons in Minnesota after starting his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he played four seasons.
2:30 p.m.: The Patriots have hosted defensive tackle Letroy Guion on a visit, according to reports.
ESPN’s Field Yates confirmed a report from Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Guion has visited New England. Guion also is considering the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, Tomasson says, and Guion will visit the Packers on Sunday unless he has a deal.
Guion has played for the Minnesota Vikings since being taken in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL draft.
The Patriots are looking for defensive line help, especially at tackle if Vince Wilfork leaves.
2:20 p.m.: Julius Peppers hasn’t received a lot of attention at the beginning of free agency, but that might change soon.
ESPN’s Todd Archer reports the Dallas Cowboys are looking at the veteran defensive end, recently cut by the Chicago Bears, as well as former Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton.
The Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator, Rod Marinelli, coached the Chicago defense from 2010 to 2012. Archer says Marinelli might have some idea how to get production out of the two aging defensive standouts, especially as the Cowboys move on without DeMarcus Ware.
Melton is scheduled to visit the Cowboys, while Peppers is just mentioned as getting “interest” from Dallas, according to Archer. Melton also has been linked to the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.
2 p.m.: The Miami Dolphins need help badly on the offensive line. They’ve done their part, reaching out to various free agents, but apparently one of those free agents decided he’d prefer not to be courted in South Florida.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that right tackle Zach Strief has informed the Dolphins he won’t be visiting, with no explanation given.
Strief has played eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
1:25 p.m.: The Eagles, who traded for Darren Sproles yesterday, already have signed the running back to an extension, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Sproles will be in Philadelphia three years altogether.
1:20 p.m.: The news that the Ravens are interested in Edelman isn’t new news, as The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson points out, but it’s interesting to know who’s still involved as Edelman visits the San Francisco 49ers today. Wilson cites sources and says the Ravens and Edelman have had “mutual interest” all along, but not to the point of a visit.
1:10 p.m.: The Baltimore Ravens appear to still be in the mix for Julian Edelman.
The Ravens, who reportedly have been going hard after former Panthers receiver Steve Smith, still have interest in Edelman, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Ravens are still hosting Smith.
The Ravens were among the teams named as early suitors for Edelman.
12:53 p.m.: Here are some numbers on how the Patriots could keep Wilfork. Of course, the speculation that Wilfork’s agent is checking the market could be a moot point if the agent already sniffed around and determined Wilfork can get a better deal elsewhere (hence Wilfork asking to be released).
12:47 p.m.: Yeah, those rough numbers seem right.
12:36 p.m.: All the sources and reporters in the Brandon Browner-to-Washington discussion appear to finally be agreeing: The cornerback’s visit to the Redskins is back on, according to NFL Media’s Albert Breer and Ian Rapoport.
Earlier reports today indicated Browner had canceled the visit, while others said it was just delayed. Whatever happened, the visit apparently happening.
12:32 p.m.: In non-player free-agent news — well, not really, but whatever news this is: Marvin Lewis and the Bengals are together for another year.
Cincinnati, a perennial underperformer, was picked by some as a Super Bowl favorite last season but fell in the first round of the playoffs.
Here’s more context on the Lewis situation:
Marvin Lewis is the longest-tenured coach in #Bengals history, entering his 12th year. He has no playoff wins.—
Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 14, 2014
#Bengals defense in years Marvin Lewis didn't have Mike Zimmer: 28th, 19th, 28th, 30th, 27th. Zimmer's now in Minnesota. Good luck.—
Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 14, 2014
12:30 p.m.: It’s almost certain Brandon Spikes is going to be a former Patriot soon.
Spikes visited the Buffalo Bills today.
12:15 p.m.: Adam Schefter has some thoughts on a couple of matters of interest for Patriots fans.
He says the Patriots do want Julian Edelman back, but on their terms, as has been reported. Edelman is doing his due diligence and visiting other teams, including today’s visit with the San Francisco 49ers, and then will determine if he’ll take New England’s offer.
Schefter noted: “The Patriots have been pretty responsible and pretty thoughtful of the marketplace for certain players.”
As for Vince Wilfork, Schefter says Wilfork’s request to be cut was not connected to the Darrelle Revis signing. Wilfork and the Patriots spoke a while ago, Schefter said, and the defensive veteran made it clear he was not taking a pay cut. Now it’s up to New England and Wilfork to decide whether to mend things or for Wilfork to go. Schefter says Wilfork’s agent likely is trying to figure out Wilfork’s value to other teams, as what the Patriots are offering in the restructured deal could be the best contract available.
Wilfork put his opinion out there, and now both sides are seeing how things develop.
12 p.m.: Here’s a little more info on Darrelle Revis’ interest in the Jets: Revis reportedly preferred the Jets once he hit free agency, but Jets general manager John Idzik never bothered reaching out, knowing New York couldn’t afford the cornerback.
11:21 a.m.: Linebacker Daryl Smith has reached a four-year, $16.1 million agreement with the Baltimore Ravens, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Smith played nine seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars before starting 16 games for the Ravens last season.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora says the Ravens have locked up their key free-agent targets so far, with Steve Smith next on the list.
11:15 a.m.: Here’s an update on how the Patriots are doing with cap space:
The NFLPA has the Patriots with $16.889 million in cap space before Revis signing, Wilfork release. Should be $17.889 after.—
Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) March 14, 2014
11:13 a.m.: The Carolina Panthers, still looking to fill wide receiver holes with Steve Smith gone, are sorta kinda interested in Hakeem Nicks, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
While the Panthers were said to be very interested in Nicks yesterday, Florio now suspects the talks are just a way to calm down the fan base after Carolina cut Smith.
11:12 a.m.: Brandon LaFell, who reportedly visited the Patriots on Wednesday, has drawn interest from the New York Jets, according to the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta. He isn’t yet scheduled for a visit, however.
LaFell also is said to be drawing interest from the Carolina Panthers.
11:11 a.m.: Tight end Owen Daniels, who visited the Green Bay Packers, also is visiting the Washington Redskins, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Daniels has played his entire eight-year career with the Houston Texans.
11:10 a.m.: The Patriots are still negotiating with Julian Edelman, according to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe.
11:05 a.m.: How will the New England Patriots-Vince Wilfork situation resolve? Hard to tell, but it won’t be determined anytime soon, as Wilfork is on vacation, NFL Media’s Albert Breer reports.
11 a.m.: ESPN’s Josina Anderson says Wesley Woodyard’s agent has told her the linebacker’s deal with the Tennessee Titans is for four years and $16 million.
10:45 a.m.: Wesley Woodyard will not be joining the Patriots, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Anderson says the linebacker told her he is signing with the Tennessee Titans.
10:40 a.m.: The Brandon Browner saga continues.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk now says Browner will be going to Washington to meet with the Redskins. He says the visit, originally scheduled for Thursday, was merely moved to Friday because Browner’s visit with the Patriots took longer than expected.
The Saints and Raiders continue to be in the mix for Browner, Florio says.
NFL Media’s Albert Breer, however, says the trip was called off at one point. But now Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, says Browner will go this morning, Breer says.
10:25 a.m.: The Patriots’ strategy with Julian Edelman appears to be to wait until the rest of the market dries up and then hope he takes their original offer. It’s risky, but New England doesn’t appear to be willing — or able — to give the slot receiver much more than what they offered before free agency opened.
Edelman didn’t like the offer — or that the Patriots wanted an answer before free agency started — and decided to hit the open market. The question now is if other teams will be willing to give him more. Giardi reports Edelman has had “ongoing conversations” with three teams.
Edelman has been linked to the Cleveland Browns, who likely filled their wide receiver needs with an offer sheet to Andrew Hawkins, and the Baltimore Ravens. Edelman also is visiting the San Francisco 49ers today.
The Patriots were thought to have an edge on other teams since Edelman was so productive in their system, whereas his talent might not play out to the same results with other teams. While Edelman was the Patriots’ most productive receiver last season, the team has been looking at other options and appears ready to fill that role elsewhere if needed.
9:40 a.m.: The Darrelle Revis deal is sweet to New England fans for a lot of reasons, but one of the best parts is that the team stole arguably the best cornerback in the NFL away from its rival.
Not only did the Patriots nab Revis, a former New York Jet, but they also kept Revis from returning to the Jets, the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta reports.
Mehta says Revis wanted to go back to the Jets badly (and Rex Ryan wanted him), but with New York’s messy financial situation, there was no way that could happen. That’s when the Patriots stepped up.
9:35 a.m.: All that leaking last night might not have scuttled the chances of Brandon Browner landing with the Patriots.
Browner did not go to Washington to meet with the Redskins, who think he’s close to signing with the Patriots, according to NFL Media’s Albert Breer. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport also reports Browner has canceled his meeting with the Redskins, citing a source.
9:20 a.m.: The Seattle Seahawks are looking at defensive tackle Henry Melton, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Melton has played all four of his NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears.
9:18 a.m.: The New York Jets are still looking for a new tight end.
Brandon Pettigrew, who was getting serious attention from Gang Green on Thursday, has decided to stay with the Detroit Lions instead, according to reports. Pettigrew has agreed to terms on a four-year, $16 million deal ($8 million guaranteed) with the Lions, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Pettigrew, who’s played five seasons in Detroit, is known as just as good of a blocking tight end as a catching one.
9:10 a.m.: Brandon Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, who had a pretty stellar way of telling journalists to get their facts right last night, is going to keep talking with the New England Patriots today while Browner visits the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Schaffer also will talk with the Oakland Raiders.
Meanwhile, Schefter wants to know what we’ve all been asking:
Dying to know whether Peter Schaffer's hockey team won or lost.—
Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2014
9 a.m. ET: The free agency tumult has calmed a bit, but a few big names remain on the market.
The Patriots once again are in the thick of the chatter, with what looked like a sure signing of cornerback Brandon Browner on Thursday (possibly to play safety) turning instead into Browner’s agent scolding journalists for being irresponsible and spreading false information. (He just wants to play hockey — honestly, that’s what he said.)
New England also is waiting to see what happens with wide receiver Julian Edelman, who reportedly is checking out the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.
Other than that, it’s just the usual wondering of where all the chips will land, including newly released wide receiver Steve Smith finding a new home after 13 years with the Carolina Panthers (he’s visiting the Baltimore Ravens today).
Swing through yesterday’s NFL free agency live blog to catch up, then keep it here for all the details today.