The Latest: Panthers sign Vikings guard Kalil

March 9, 2017
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The Latest on NFL free agency (all times Eastern):

4:55 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills began addressing their needs at safety by signing free agents Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.

Hyde is the key addition and agreed to sign a five-year deal worth about $30 million, with about $14 million in guarantees, a person with direct knowledge of the contract told The Associated Press. The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not announced the contract’s details.

The Bills also filled their place-kicking vacancy by signing Steven Hauschka and confirmed previously reported agreed to deals to sign fullback Patrick DiMarco and offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse.

Safety was a key need entering free-agency signing period on Wednesday, and especially after Buffalo released veteran starter Aaron Williams earlier in the day.

Hyde has been a four-year starter at Green Bay since being selected in the fifth-round of the 2013 draft. Poyer has four years of NFL experience, and spent the past three-plus seasons in Cleveland.

Hauschka fills the spot left open after veteran Dan Carpenter was released.

– John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.

4:55 p.m.

A person familiar with the situation says the Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent left tackle Matt Kalil from the Minnesota Vikings on a five-year deal worth $55.5 million.

Of that, $25 million is guaranteed.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the move can’t officially be announced until later in the day.

Kalil, who spent five seasons in Minnesota after being selected fourth overall in 2012, will play with older brother Ryan Kalil, Carolina’s two-time All-Pro center.

The 27-year-old Kalil played in all 64 games his first four seasons in Minnesota, but missed 14 in 2016 due to a hip injury that required surgery.

Carolina needed a left tackle with Michael Oher’s career uncertain due to a concussion.

– Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina.

4:56 p.m.

The Eagles have agreed on a one-year deal with right guard Chance Warmack.

The 25-year-old Warmack was the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft out of Alabama. He spent the first four years of his career with the Titans, starting 48 games. Warmack was placed on injured reserve last September with a hand injury. He played under Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland in college.

– Rob Maaddi reporting from Philadelphia.

4:57 p.m.

An agent representing former Detroit guard Larry Warford says the four-year Lions starter has agreed to join the New Orleans Saints in free agency.

Jonathan Feinsod, who confirmed the agreement between his client and New Orleans to The Associated Press on Thursday, says his agency is not immediately disclosing the terms of the deal, which was first reported by NFL Network.

The 25-year-old Warford has played four seasons in the NFL – all with Detroit – starting all 57 games in which he has played following his college career at Kentucky.

New Orleans’ acquisition of the 6-foot-3, 317-pound Warford adds depth to an interior offensive line that could lose 2016 starting right guard Jahri Evans in free agency.

– Brett Martel reporting from New Orleans.

4:39 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed veteran tight end David Johnson to a two-year contract.

The 29-year-old Johnson serves primarily as a blocking tight end behind Ladarius Green and Jesse James. Johnson caught seven passes for 80 yards in 2016. Johnson is most adept in short-yardage and running situations, helping open up holes for Le’Veon Bell.

The Steelers have money to spend under the salary cap this spring but are likely to focus on an edge rusher and linebacker rather than tight end even after Green was limited to just a handful of games due to ankle issues and a concussion.

– Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh.

4:38 p.m.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins have formally announced two trades that happened last month.

The Jaguars traded their 2018 seventh-round pick to Miami in exchange for two-time Pro Bowler and 10th-year left tackle Branden Albert. The Dolphins traded their 2017 seventh-round pick to Jacksonville in Jacksonville for oft-injured tight end Julius Thomas.

Albert has started 118 of 120 career games since originally being selected by Kansas City with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Thomas was acquired by Jacksonville from Denver as an unrestricted free agent in 2015. He totaled 76 receptions for 736 yards and nine touchdowns in 21 games during his two seasons with the Jaguars. In Thomas’ previous two seasons (2013-14) with Denver, he caught 108 passes for 1,277 yards and 24 scores. He was twice named to the Pro Bowl.

– Mark Long reporting from Jacksonville, Florida.

4:35 p.m.

According to a person familiar with the deal, the Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms on a five-year, $67.5 million contract with Houston cornerback A.J. Bouye.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Jaguars won’t announce any deals until players formally sign Friday.

Bouye, whose deal includes $26 million guaranteed, was one of the most sought-after free agents on the market. Paired opposite budding star Jalen Ramsey, Bouye should give the Jaguars one of the best cover tandems in the league.

– Mark Long reporting from Jacksonville, Florida.

4:36 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans are kicking off free agency by keeping a pair of their own free agents off the market.

The Titans announced have agreed to terms on multi-year deals with defensive lineman Karl Klug and linebacker Nate Palmer.

Originally a fifth-round pick out of Iowa, Klug has spent all six seasons with Tennessee and has 20 sacks, 61 quarterback pressures and 152 tackles. He played 14 games last season before snapping a streak of 94 consecutive games played when he hurt his Achilles tendon in a win at Kansas City.

The Titans claimed Palmer off waivers last April after three seasons and 24 games played with Green Bay, and the former sixth-round draft pick out of Illinois State in 2013 played 14 games leading Tennessee with 12 special teams tackles last season.

– Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

4:37 p.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to terms with Chicago wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on a one-year contract.

Jeffery was considered the top receiver available in free agency, but he couldn’t secure a long-term deal to remain in Chicago or from another team. The Eagles agreed to a three-year deal with wideout Torrey Smith earlier Thursday.

Jeffery is coming off two down seasons, and he missed 11 games due to injury and suspension. His last standout season came in 2014, when he had 1,133 yards receiving and 10 TDs. Jeffery went to the Pro Bowl in 2013 after catching 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven TDs.

– Rob Maaddi reporting from Philadelphia.

The New York Jets have released running back Khiry Robinson, who broke his right leg at the end of last season for the third time in a 13-month span.

The team announced the move shortly after the NFL’s free agency period began Thursday.

Robinson, who spent his first three NFL seasons with New Orleans, first broke his leg during the 2015 season while with the Saints. He signed with the Jets last March and reinjured the leg against Philadelphia in the preseason. Robinson was waived/injured on Sep. 4, but then was re-signed Dec. 7.

He rushed for 22 yards against New England in Week 16 before breaking the leg again.

In four pro seasons, Robinson has rushed for 788 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry.

– Dennis Waszak reporting from New York.

4:20 p.m.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sounds ready for a change.

He tweeted a video from what looked like his workout room at home not long after news of the Brock Osweiler trade to Cleveland broke.

”Hey everyone. I just wanted to come to tell you it’s been a crazy 48 hours here. Me and my family felt the outpouring of support and love from all of you. It’s been overwhelming and it doesn’t go unnoticed. I want to say thank you and we have a lot of think about going forward but we’ll see what happens. Until then I’m just going to keep listening to Bob Dylan.”

He was listening to ”Times They are a Changing.”

Romo could land in Houston, Denver or elsewhere as a free agent, or be dealt in a trade.

4:15 p.m.

A person familiar with the trade says the Cleveland Browns have acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans.

Cleveland sent a fourth-round selection to Houston for Osweiler, a 2018 second-round pick and a sixth rounder, said the person who spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams have not announced the deal.

Osweiler’s massive contract this season made him difficult to move without adding the draft picks.

Cleveland has been searching for a franchise quarterback, but Osweiler failed to fill that role for the Texans. The Browns do have a roster decision to make in the next few days on Robert Griffin III, and Osweiler gives them a temporary option.

The Browns own the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft after going 1-15 last season.

Osweiler went 8-6 in 14 starts for Houston last season. The Texans are in the market to upgrade the position in free agency and through a trade or a free agent, including possibly Tony Romo.

– Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.

3:50 p.m.

A person familiar with the negotiations says the New York Jets are re-signing versatile offensive lineman Ben Ijalana to a two-year contract.

The deal is worth a maximum of $11 million, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet announced the move Thursday.

NFL Network first reported the new deal for Ijalana, who could be the starter at left tackle this season.

Ijalana played both right and left tackle last season for New York, finishing the year on the left side for the final eight after Ryan Clady was injured. The Jets did not pick up the option for Clady, making him a free agent, and they opted instead to bring back Ijalana, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Ijalana has spent the last four seasons with the Jets, who claimed him off waivers from Indianapolis in 2013.

A second-round pick out of Villanova in 2011, Ijalana has played in 23 games with 13 starts – all last season.

– Dennis Waszak Jr. reporting from New York.

3:15 p.m.

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a deal with free-agent tight end Logan Paulsen.

A person familiar with the contract says Paulsen will join the 49ers officially Thursday after 4 p.m. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been signed. CSN Bay Area first reported the deal.

Paulsen is more of a blocking tight end who has 82 career catches in six seasons with Washington and Chicago. He has ties to new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, having spent four years in Washington when Shanahan was offensive coordinator.

The 49ers agreed to deals on Wednesday with quarterback Brian Hoyer and Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk, a second person familiar with the deals said on condition of anonymity because they also had not been signed.

– Josh Dubow reporting from Santa Clara, California.

2:55 p.m.

Safety Antoine Bethea, released by San Francisco this week, has agreed to a three-year contract with Arizona.

The Cardinals also brought back center A.Q. Shipley on a two-year deal.

Bethea is a three-time Pro Bowl player (2007, 2009, 2014) and an 11-year NFL veteran who spent his first eight seasons with the Colts (2006-13). He has nine 100-plus tackle seasons, including a team-leading 135 tackles in 2016. Bethea won a Super Bowl with the Colts.

Shipley played 28 games (19 starts) the past two seasons with the Cardinals after signings as a free agent in 2015. He also has played for Indianapolis and Baltimore.

12:35 p.m.

The Chiefs are declining their option on backup quarterback Nick Foles.

The move was widely expected because Kansas City is hard against the salary cap, and letting Foles go saves $6.75 million. But it also means that Tyler Bray – who has never played a regular season game – becomes the backup to Alex Smith.

Foles won the only game he started for the Chiefs last season, when Smith had a concussion. Other teams will almost certainly show interest in Foles as a backup or even a starter.

The Chiefs could also bring him back on a less expensive deal.

– David Skretta reporting from Kansas City, Missouri.

12:19 p.m.

Aaron Williams’ bid to resume his career in Buffalo following a second serious neck injury is over after the Bills released the starting safety.

The Bills provided no reason for the move in a one-sentence statement. Williams and his family have indicated he would like to continue playing.

Williams had two seasons left on his contract and was scheduled to make a $3.6 million base salary this season.

The sixth-year player’s season ended last year when he was sidelined by a blindside hit to the head by Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry in October. In 2015, Williams’ season was cut short after being hurt attempting to make a diving headfirst tackle. Surgeons shaved two of his disks to alleviate nerve damage.

– John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.

12:04 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to contract extensions with backup quarterback Matt Schaub and defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw.

The NFC champions have focused on retaining players in the offseason.

”Courtney proved to be versatile in our defensive scheme and he will continue to play several roles along our defensive line,” general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. ”We know the value of having an experienced backup at quarterback.”

Schaub spent his first three seasons in Atlanta, before being traded to the Houston Texans in the 2007 offseason. He returned to Atlanta last season as a backup to Matt Ryan.

Upshaw, a star at Alabama, was signed by Atlanta during the 2016 offseason and was converted to defensive tackle after playing outside linebacker during his time with Baltimore.

11:50 a.m.

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed wide receiver Torrey Smith to a three-year contract.

Smith was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week.

The 28-year-old Smith caught 53 passes for 930 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons with the 49ers. He never became the deep threat that he was with Baltimore, where he helped the Ravens beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl following the 2012 season.

Smith had just 20 catches for 267 yards last season before missing the final three games with a concussion.

In six seasons, Smith has 266 catches for 4,521 yards and 37 touchdowns.

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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