Free Agency Is Now Officially Under Way

Let the games begin.

The new league year is now officially under way as the 4 PM bell sounds, which also means that the free agency period is officially open.

No doubt several free agents are preparing to sign contracts as you read this, even though teams are not allowed to schedule meetings with players until free agency actually begins and they officially become free agents.

Already the Cleveland Browns seem to have replaced linebacker D’Qwell Jackson with Karlos Dansby and safety T.J. Ward with Donte Whitner, which, as one person on Twitter quipped, accomplished the rare feat of getting older via free agency.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals are expected to lose defensive end Michael Johnson. They have also released center Kyle Cook, who started every game last season, which could open the door for guard Mike Pollak, whom they just re-signed, to move over and play the center position.

The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly potentially interested in wide receivers Julian Edelman and Steve Smith, who may be traded or released, and are also considering the recently released Houston Texans tight end, Owen Daniels, after re-signing Dennis Pitta. Former Texans head coach Gary Kubiak is now the Ravens’ offensive coordinator.

The Pittsburgh Steelers? They spent New League Year Eve getting their own house in order, working out a pay cut of $4.25 million with cornerback Ike Taylor and reportedly firming up their first move of free agency, which will be the release of outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley with a post-June 1 designation.

With somewhere between $7-8 million to spend in free agency, and the potential if necessary to create additional cap space, it’s difficult to get a feel on what the Steelers might do, if anything, on opening day.

Certainly, they will look to retain some of their own free agents, but not many of them are likely to draw much interest, and can stand to wait.

They have been linked by some to Tennessee Titans and 2013 Pro Bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner, but the extent of their interest, and whether the Steelers would be willing to pay what he would ask, remain unclear.

Perhaps the biggest news we might get out of today will include reports of scheduled visits in the upcoming days, maybe a modest re-signing or two of Jerricho Cotchery or Jonathan Dwyer; things of that nature. Otherwise it’s been largely quiet out of the South Side. Perhaps because they’re up north, looking at draftee cornerback Darqueze Dennard.

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    Dansby and Whitner are nice additions..though not for long term, which I would think is what Cleveland should be trying to secure.. players for long term

    I could see the Ravens signing Daniels

  • Superdriller316

    Atlanta just cut their FS DeCoud. Is he worth looking at? I read that he’s only a zone guy.

  • T R

    look like everyone gone be gone before Steelers take the top off the pen.. i seen mcluster signed with tennesse titans

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Dansby to the Browns is (sadly) a nice get for them. He was a tackling machine against the run in 2013. More headaches for AFC North rivals.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I would LOVE to see the Steelers land T.J. Ward, but I know that won’t happen.

  • steeltown

    Definitely worth looking at

  • dgh57

    Leave it up to Cleveland to elect to get older on defense!

  • T R

    Same ole Steelers. Aint read one signing by us on twitter… Lets go Steelers, Lets Go.. LOL

  • Alan Felicia

    Ward pretty much occupy the same position as Polamalu and Thomas. You think Ward have enough range to play FS?

  • steelster

    yes, I agree not a good long term plan but at the same time this at least gives them a chance to be a playoff team, which is like winning the super bowl for the browns fan base.

  • joed32

    It’s been like that for as long as I can remeber and that’s forever.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    You should be very thankful as everyone signed in the first couple of days is going to be way overpaid. Remember that’s par for the course, like Wallace last year. Then when things settle down, the prices come down and only then should the Steelers act.

    No guarantees in life, but I bet they just sign a couple of their own for now.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Vontae Davis just got a 4 yr 39 million with 20 Mil guaranteed. Paul Soliai has also signed with the Falcons 5 yr 33 mil deal

  • Kevin Gobleck

    T.J Ward is signing with the Broncos

  • Matt Manzo

    I was high on getting him before, but it sounds like he’s just a SS and I want a true FS.

  • Matt Manzo

    That Davis deal seems insane.

  • steelster

    exactly, why don’t a lot of steeler fans see this they seem to always want the popular overpriced free agent. Please don’t get rid of Colbert love the way he thinks.

  • Matt Manzo

    Ya! How often do they make us laugh?!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Yeah is a complete SS

  • Milliken Steeler

    Yes but, he is 33 years old and he can get football field old…any minute at that age.

  • dgh57

    How often do they make their fans cry? LOL!!

  • Matt Manzo

    I couldn’t imagine what it would be like being a fan of any other team! I’m in the Bay Area and watching the raiders is mind blowing sometimes, and the 9ers are just a bunch of cry babies! Then there’s the Browns and Jaguars!