We’re here around the clock and will continue to sprinkle PFF flavor on all of the important happenings as they happen, so bookmark it and keep the auto-refresh working all day. You can also catch up on our analysis from earlier in free agency here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, and Day 8.
Check out our Top 75 Available Free Agents for a peek at the talent still on the market as NFL teams go to work looking at the second wave of free agency.
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18:27 SIGNING! A real good move by the Minnesota Vikings who have secured the services of the extremely underrated Geoff Schwartz for 2012. We figure he’ll go straight into the lineup at right guard where there’s a big hole to fill for the Vikings after losing Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera. Schwartz missed all of 2011, but was superb in 2010 despite being forced to play at guard and tackle. If he can recapture that form there’s no reason why he can’t be looking at possible Pro Bowl births and beyond.
18:05 RE-SIGNING! We question the wisdom of this if he ends up seeing significant playing time, but Ronde Barber is back with the Buccaneers according to the teams website. Barber missed an astonishing 22 tackles in 2011, a stat that played a part in -20.2 grade that was the 2nd lowest of all cornerbacks.
17:50 There’s nothing going on while we figure out where Tim Tebow ends up. Will it be New York? Will it be Jacksonville? Will it ultimately matter? To our own Sam Monson it will. He’s finished writing a piece on Tebow to the Jets that is going to get canned if the trade does. A grumpy man at the best of times, Monson is likely to go on a rampage if that’s the case.
16:40 UNTRADE? The big talk at the moment is whether the Tim Tebow trade to the New York Jets will go through. Essentially it boils down to the Jets not reading the contract of Tebow and realizing they’d have to pay the Broncos a princely $5m on money Tebow has already earned. Oh dear.
16:20 RELEASE! It didn’t take long for that release of Remi Ayodele to be confirmed. He’s gone as the Minnesota Vikings admit what a terrible mistake they made in signing him.
15:44 Jeremy Fowler reports the release of Remi Ayodele by the Vikings is imminent. As Sam Monson puts it, no defensive tackle in the league manages to spend as much time on the ground as the Ayodele who struggled to make any impact in his debut season in Minnesota. He started all bar three games yet managed just 258 snaps.
15:37 Underrated linebacker Chris Chamberlain will be visiting with the New Orleans Saints. Coming off a decent 2011 where he made some plays when he got on the field, Chamberlain would offer an upgrade to a Saints linebacker group that has been amongst the worst in the league for a long time. He earned a +3.6 rating in 2011.
15:23 SIGNING! Scrub that, it now is a done deal. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has signed a three year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals according to Adam Schefter. See below for our thoughts.
15:20 It’s not a done deal yet, but it looks like BenJarvus Green-Ellis may be moving to Cincinnati. An underrated running back, ‘Law Firm’ will not get a chance to show he can be a bigger part of an offense if this proves to be the case. He finished 2011 with our 8th highest grade for running. We like this move for all parties.
14:40 SIGNING! That Buffalo Bills defense just got a little bit scarier. They’ve brought in Mark Anderson to joins with Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams to give them one (if not the) best defensive line in all of football. Anderson was our 13th ranked defensive end on the year and picked up the slack admirably when Andre Carter went down injured. His 45 combined sacks, hits and hurries on 310 pass rushes left him with a pass rushing productivity score of 11.9, a number bettered by only four defensive ends.
14:35 SIGNING! Not content there, the Raiders have brought in Patrick Lee to sure up their cornerback ranks. Lee had struggled to get on the field for Green Bay, being on the field for just 126 plays since the Packers drafted him. Don’t expect much in the way of helping the Oakland defense.
14:30 RE-SIGNING! The Oakland Raiders are bringing back Khalif Barnes, who while not great, wasn’t as bad as we thought he would be in 2011. His -16.1 grade is a clear indication the Raiders need an upgrade at the position, and it’s likely that they’ll give Joe Barksdale every opportunity to win the job, thus making it easier for our writers to use puns inspired from history watching The Wire.
13:57 SIGNING! It’s not all bad news for the New Orleans Saints, because they’ve just landed the best free agent out there according to Jay Glazer. Brodrick Bunkley, our top ranked run defender from 2011, will be terrorizing interiors in the NFC South after landed a five year deal worth up to $25m. It was somewhat surprising the Eagles offloaded Bunkley last year, and he responded by finishing topping our run stop percentage for defensive tackles.
13:35 SIGNING! The Patriots have added to their cornerback ranks by bringing in Will Allen, formerly of the Miami Dolphins. A slot corner specialist, Allen gave up a reception for every 11.6 snaps he was in there (6th best of all slot cornerbacks) and figures to be an upgrade on what the Pats had in 2011 presuming he makes the roster.
13:21 RE-SIGNING! The Bills are bringing back Bryan Scott. Rather surprisingly this news isn’t getting much traction given what else is going on. Scott played predominantly in the Bills sub package defense and wasn’t great; earning a -8.9 grade. The added beef up front for Buffalo with the return of Kyle Williams and signing of Mario Williams, should make life a little easier for a guy who was moved about in the run game.
12:47 SUSPENSIONS! Not to be outdone Adam Schefter has broken the news that the Saints have been hit hard after the bounty scandal. They’ll have to do without Sean Payton for an entire year, lose their general manager Mickey Loomis for half of it, absorb a $500k and give up their next two second picks. Gregg Williams can expect to miss at least the 2012 season while serving an indefinite suspension. Can the Saints really keep both Payton and Loomis on their staff while serving these suspensions, and is it a foregone conclusion Gregg Williams it out for St Louis?
12:47 TRADE! Some people (Sam Monson) felt that there wouldn’t be a trade market for Tim Tebow. He was wrong. I repeat Sam Monson was wrong. Jay Glazer reports that ‘The Tebow’ has been moved to the New York Jets for the cost of a fourth round pick. That’s the competition that Mark Sanchez needs? Tebow actually managed a better grade with his passing than Sanchez in 2011. I say better, where I should say ‘less worse’; Sanchez scored a -24.3 and Tebow a -22.7. Without knowing how the Jets plan to use Tebow it’s hard to evaluate the move but you have to think that if Sanchez continues his poor play than it won’t be long before Tebowmania starts running wild.
12:30 There’s some activity going on in Cleveland apparently as they have Jonathan Goff likely to come in for a visit according to Adam Caplan. It’s always hard to project how good a player can be when they’re coming off an ACL injury, but Goff had an impressive year with the Giants as a starter in 2010. He had our 3rd highest grade of all middle linebackers in run defense, and while he looked a liability in coverage, as some upside as a base downs linebacker.
11:28 SIGNING! Jeff Saturday has left the fold and the Indianapolis Colts continue their free agency revolution by bringing in center Samson Satele. One of the better free agents available, Satele put a largely disappointing career to one side in 2011 with his best season to date. He had our 5th highest run blocking grade of all centers and finished the season strong, though likely impacted the fee he could command with an arrest earlier in the week.
10:39 This is fast becoming the Denver Broncos free agency live blog rather than a league wide live blog, they seem to be the only team doing anything today. Adding to their long list of visitors is former Bears’ back up and former in-state college QB Caleb Hanie with the Broncos quickly looking to replace Tim Tebow behind Peyton Manning on the depth chart. Hanie was poor in his four starts for the Bears last season deputising for the injured Jay Cutler. However in Hanie’s defense his performance on intermediate throws was better. On deep ball’s (passes aimed 20+ downfield) Hanie was only 1/10 with five interceptions, whilst on intermediate throws he received a +6.1 grade and with a completion percentage just shy of 60%.
10:31 VISIT! If you thought the Broncos were in the market for a tight end, you were right. Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that the Broncos are also hosting former Jets TE Matthew Mulligan is visiting with the team today. We only graded 11 tight ends above +1.0 for their run blocking during the season in 2011 and Mulligan was one of them ranking eighth, around the same level as Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph. Mulligan was on course for a far stronger season, like the Jets, until he saw a dip in form in the last month, grading below -1.5 as a run blocker in three of the Jets final four games. Where ever Mulligan signs he must show better discipline at the line, he false started six times last season.
10:23 VISIT! The Broncos are busy hosting former Colts this week and the one they have in today is TE Jacob Tamme. He was under-utilized in 2011 seeing only 28 targets but during the 2010 season caught the ball on 73.5% of his targets (including post-season). His +8.6 grade as a receiver in 2010 was the fourth highest amongst tight ends that season, topped only by Jason Witten, Kellen Winslow and Antonio Gates. He only scored four touchdowns but clicked immediately with Manning that season and helped fill the hole left by Dallas Clark‘s injury shortened season.
09:59 VISIT! The free agent tour of former Steeler CB William Gay continues as Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that he has completed his visit with the Titans and has left town headed for Denver. Gay was solid last season for the Steelers in a starting role and has also visited with the Cardinals this week. Gay only allowed more than 50 yards in primary coverage last season on four occasions and allowed a catch percentage only just north of 50%.
08:33 VISITS! Courtesy of Mike Reiss of ESPN we learn that the Patriots are hosting a visit from former Eagle DT Trevor Laws. The Patriots add cast-offs on the defensive line and apparently 2012 will be no different. Laws did little to impress in 2011 but at the same time he rarely graded badly last season as well. In his four seasons in Philadelphia Laws has never had a season grade above +1.6 but has never had one below -1.3 either. Laws was firmly in a rotation role in Philadelphia and whilst he never excelled he is the type of capable rotation player the Patriots like.
08:24 The start of another day in free agency and that means another update to our live ranking articles. Our top 75 free agents list has been updated after yesterday’s minimal movement. We’ve also updated our Deal Grader for yesterday’s moves and our free agent tracker is also updated.
05:00 An active day yesterday but what can we expect today? The linebacker market has started to pick up, and there’s still some real quality value out there for some shrewd teams. Let’s see how it goes.