And on the fifth day of free agency, the NFL rested. Except for the New England Patriots.
After a wild opening sprint to the NFL league year, most teams took a day off on Saturday. Owners and coaches head down to Phoenix for the NFL Annual Meeting on Sunday, so the break in the action will be short-lived. And the Patriots made sure we had something to write about.
Cornerback Aqib Talib is back with the team on a one-year, $5 million contract, according to NFL.com's Albert Breer. Talib had a five-year contract offer from the Patriots and three other interested teams, but Breer notes that Talib chose instead to "bet on himself." These short-term, low-cost contracts are the story of this offseason.
Talib hopes that he'll play well in 2013, show that he's a good citizen and earn a big contract next time around. The Patriots also announced the signings of cornerback Kyle Arrington and safety Adrian Wilson, as well as the not-too-surprising release of wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
Lloyd's 74 receptions and 911 receiving yards are nothing to sneeze at, but he didn't quite seem to fit in with the Patriots. It's possible the team brings him back at a lower rate. If offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and company are tired of him, Lloyd might not have a big market out there.
Top available free agentsTake a look at the best remaining free agents and see where they might land.
If Lloyd doesn't return, the Patriots will have an entirely new wide receiver group next season. Danny Amendola and Donald Jones already are in place. Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders might be next, but he's still waiting to see if the Patriots will tender him an offer sheet.
Here's what else we learned on Day 5:
1. Elvis Dumervil fired his agent on Saturday, a day after the fax heard 'round the NFL world. A return to the Denver Broncos remains possible, but things are poised to get interesting in the days ahead.
The Baltimore Ravens reportedly would like to meet with Dumervil next week; the Tennessee Titans and Patriots also made an inquiry. Dumervil reportedly would like to stay in Denver. It's unclear how quickly Dumervil will move in the market even though he wasted little time in finding a new agent. We're sure his phone has been ringing off the hook. Things could come together in the next few days at the NFL Annual Meeting starting on Sunday.
2. The Cleveland Browns might not be done shopping. Cornerback Brent Grimes, who visited the Miami Dolphins on Friday, will meet with Browns general manager Michael Lombardi and company. Grimes and Joe Haden would make a terrific cornerback tandem.
3. Some folks thought Darrelle Revis' $1 million roster bonus, earned Saturday, would be a soft deadline for the New York Jets to trade him. That never made any sense. In a deal as complicated and costly as a potential Revis trade, what's $1 million? I still have my doubts any team will give up what the Jets want for Revis in compensation, much less what Revis wants in a new contract.
4. There was no movement on Saturday on veterans Jake Long and Ed Reed. Both men are weighing offers from their "home" teams after visits elsewhere. At least they are getting interest. Promising tackles Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith still are unsigned. There's a line of thinking that Smith and Vollmer are waiting for Long to sign. The loser in the Long sweepstakes could look to Vollmer or Smith.
Even though Vollmer and Smith are better suited at right tackle, the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams have options at left tackle should they miss out on Long. Both teams might sign Vollmer or Smith for their natural side. The two men top our best remaining free agents list.
5. Besides the Patriots, the New York Giants also were fairly busy on Saturday. They picked up former Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers and ex-Dallas Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor. Well-traveled wide receiver Louis Murphy also landed with Big Blue.
Look for action to pick up on Sunday, and especially Monday, as agents and club personnel arrive in Phoenix. Until then, thanks for reading.