Everyone expected a free agency flurry when the NFL's year began on Thursday. Predicting what happened with Brock Osweiler was beyond anyone's projections.
One year after signing a four-year deal with Houston, then losing the starting job to Tom Savage late in the season before returning and winning a playoff game, Osweiler is headed to Cleveland. The Texans basically took whatever deal they could get to rid themselves of a $16 million payout to the quarterback in 2017. The Browns and Texans are also swapping fourth- and sixth-round picks in 2017, and Cleveland gets a 2018 second-rounder.
Far more predictable was Chicago releasing Jay Cutler, who had no guaranteed money left on his contract. Cutler led the Bears to the 2010 NFC championship game, but otherwise struggled in Chicago.
Yet another QB to be on the move is the Cowboys' Tony Romo, who could be headed to East Texas to replace Osweiler now that the Texans have room to pay him. Whether Dallas releases its longtime quarterback or works out a trade will soon be known.
As for the Texans-Browns stunner, it's possible Cleveland, which owns the top pick in April's draft, will be moving Osweiler, too. But the Browns had plenty of cap room to absorb the financial hit and load up with more draft picks.
"We're really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade," said Sashi Brown, Cleveland's executive vice president of football operations. "Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team."
Cleveland added to the offensive line guard Kevin Zeitler, late of division rival Cincinnati, and center J.C. Tretter from Green Bay. Joel Bitonio got a five-year extension — so much for the Browns' needs at guard.
Among the busiest teams were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles, each getting a dangerous receiver for its young passer.
Tampa acquired DeSean Jackson to team with Mike Evans as targets for Jameis Winston. The Buccaneers also added defensive tackle Chris Baker, late of Washington.
Philadelphia signed perhaps the most covered wideout available in Alshon Jeffery from Chicago, and agreed terms with Torrey Smith, who was cut by San Francisco. Carson Wentz now has two more downfield threats than in his rookie season.
Philly also grabbed guard Chance Warmack and released DE Connor Barwin.
—Miami finalized a trade of guard Branden Albert to Jacksonville for tight end Julius Thomas, then added TE Anthony Fasano. The Dolphins gave safety Reshad Jones a $60 million, five-year contract extension.
—Jacksonville bolstered its defense when it agreed to terms with Houston cornerback A.J. Bouye , Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell and Dallas safety Barry Church on deals totaling more than $150 million. Also, they re-signed WR Bryan Walters and released DT Sen'Derrick Marks.
—The Jets made cornerback Darrelle Revis' release official. Revis, 31, had been scheduled to make $15 million, including a $2 million roster bonus, this season. The Jets still owe him $6 million as part of the $39 million in guarantees in the five-year, $70 million deal he signed in 2015.
He's now free to sign elsewhere — but he'll have to find a team willing to bring him in despite being a shell of his former shutdown self. Revis is also facing four felony counts, including aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men on Feb. 12 in Pittsburgh. A pre-trial hearing will be held on March 15.
—Buffalo released veteran safety Aaron Williams, who's plagued by neck problems, and agreed to terms with fullback Patrick DiMarco, kicker Stephen Hauschka, safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, and guard Vladimir Ducasse.
—San Francisco was as busy as anyone, agreeing to deals with receivers Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin, QB Brian Hoyer, TE Logan Paulsen, kicker Robbie Gould, linebacker Malcolm Smith — the MVP of the 2014 Super Bowl — and FB Kyle Juszczyk.
—The Panthers broke from their traditionally conservative free agency spending and gave left tackle Matt Kalil a five-year deal worth $55.5 million.
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