There was plenty that went on during NFL free agency on Wednesday with a few significant moves thrown in there. Here is a look at the top stories from Day 2 of the free agency period. There has also been some breaking news on Thursday morning.
Panthers to release Steve Smith: There are reports out that the team will let their all-time leading receiver go on Thursday. Smith has 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns over his 13-year career with Carolina. It is an interesting move however for a team that appeared to be on their way towards a making deep playoff run this season behind their strong defense. Smith is 34 and will garner some attention on the free agent market but the move is surprising to say the least.
Darrelle Revis to Patriots: Everyone knew that Revis would be a hot commodity if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released him. Tampa did that on Wednesday afternoon and by Wednesday night, Revis had agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract with the New England Patriots. New England had to make a move to counter what the Denver Broncos were doing and this move helps their defense try to slow down Peyton Manning and company. It is a one-year deal however so it is likely just a maneuver to stop Denver this season and then figure it out again for the following year. Revis goes back to the AFC East where he started his career with the New York Jets.
DeMarcus Ware to Broncos: The spending spree didn’t end for the Broncos with their signing of Ware to a three-year, $30 million deal. The team wants to give Peyton Manning one more chance at winning that second Super Bowl title and they have done wonders in fixing their defense over the first two days of free agency with the signings of Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib. It is going to be a much different Broncos team on D coming up in 2014 and one that could easily take Denver back to the big game again.
Golden Tate to Lions: Detroit needed a second wide receiver to go alongside Calvin Johnson. The move to sign Tate to a five-year, $31 million deal does that. The Lions love throwing the ball and have had trouble getting Johnson open because there hasn’t been any real threats from the second receiver spot. Tate brings an explosive game to the Motor City and he should get plenty of catches in the Lions’ offense. It is a very good move and one that may help Detroit make a run at the NFC North title.
Eric Decker to Jets: One of Peyton Manning’s favorite weapons last season heads east to be New York’s top receiving threat for Geno Smith. Decker gets a five-year, $36.25 million deal and he will get thrown right into the fire with the Jets and their hopes of challenging in the AFC East. Decker will turn 27 this weekend and while he got a lot of attention in Denver with Manning, the key will be whether or not Decker has the same production with the Jets. It is a bad offense last season so maybe Decker turns things around for the Jets.