The NFL market is moving quickly and early this year, well before the start of free agency. After the Pittsburgh Steelers awarded Antonio Brown with a record-setting deal yesterday, the Kansas City Chiefs are set to hand Eric Berry a massive contract as well, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Sources: The #Chiefs & S Eric Berry are finalizing a 6-year deal worth $78M. It makes him the highest paid safety in the @NFL. Well-deserved— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2017
And with that, the top players at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ top two positions come off the market. Not that the Bucs were ever likely to target top-of-the-market free agents, they haven’t done that ever under Jason Licht, but these deals will have a knock-on effect, narrowing the market for the second tier.
Tony Jefferson is now the top safety on the market, but this move may make him a lot more expensive than the Bucs are comfortable with. Similarly, they’re a lot more likely to look at players like Pierre Garcon than Alshon Jeffery, who’s now the best wide receiver left.
Antonio Brown’s $17 million per year deal is also noteworthy for the Bucs because that sets the market for Mike Evans, who the Bucs will sign to a long-term extension sooner or later.
In other news, Kirk Cousins is off the market, which I think is good news for Mike Glennon. Maybe.
The @Redskins have placed the Exclusive Franchise Tag on @KirkCousins8— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) February 28, 2017