The NFL offseason continues, with today marking the deadline for designating franchise players.
Several teams have worked out deals with their own players in the past 24 hours. In Houston, the Texans and running back Arian Foster have agreed to a five-year contract. Per Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, the deal is worth $43.5M with $20.75M guaranteed.
And yesterday, the Seahawks announced that Marshawn Lynch would be back on a four-year, $31M deal with $18M guaranteed, according to Danny O'Neil of The Seattle Times.
I'm guessing Drew Rosenhaus, Howie Roseman and Joe Banner are keeping an eye on those deals, with LeSean McCoy signed only through 2012. Here's a quick look at the three running backs' numbers from last season:
It's easy to make the case that McCoy deserves more than Lynch and could be looking for something in the range of what Foster got.
The other player to keep an eye on is Ray Rice, who received the franchise tag from the Ravens last week.
I wonder if Rosenhaus is just sleeping on a couch at the Novacare Complex? He represents DeSean Jackson, McCoy and Evan Mathis, all of whom could get new contracts in the coming months.
There's news on the Jackson front also. The Bills and wide receiver Stevie Johnson have agreed to a five-year deal that's worth $36.25M with $19.5M guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The guaranteed money is worth taking note of. If Jackson plays under the franchise tag, he'll get $9.4M guaranteed.
Here's how Johnson and Jackson's numbers stack up from last season:
Johnson (6-2, 210) only had four drops, per STATS.com and eight red-zone catches (six for touchdowns). But he only has a two-year track record.
Jackson (5-10, 175) had nine drops last season to go along with two red-zone grabs (one for a touchdown). He's clearly the better downfield threat and has a four-year track record.
With Wes Welker and Dwayne Bowe expected to stay put one way or another, it looks like Vincent Jackson and Marques Colston could be the top free agent wide receivers on the market once free agency begins on March 13.
Also, teams looking to add a wide receiver this offseason might be more likely to at least call the Eagles and ask about Jackson.
EAGLES' ODDS FOR RGIII
I don't know what SI.com's Peter King found out at the combine, but he seems convinced that the Eagles have at least some level of interest in Robert Griffin III. King listed odds to land RGIII in today's Monday Morning Quarterback column. He's got the Redskins as the favorites at 3-1, followed by the Browns (4-1), the Dolphins (5-1) and the Seahawks (10-1).
After them, he's got the Eagles and Chiefs tied at 25-1:
Never eliminate Andy Reid in the quest for a quarterback. He loved RG3 when they met at the combine, as did Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. If Pioli has some Thomas Dimitroff riverboat gambler in him, he just might risk it all to go get Griffin.
JASON JONES A POTENTIAL TARGET?
The Eagles could have interest in Titans defensive lineman Jason Jones, according to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post:
The Titans are interested in retaining Jones, but if Jones hits the open market there is likely to be competition for his services, including from St. Louis, where his former boss Jeff Fisher calls the shots, and from the Philadelphia, where his former defensive line coach Jim Washburn has influence.
Jones (6-5, 276) has 15.5 sacks in four NFL seasons, playing primarily defensive tackle. He turned 27 in January.
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