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Wednesday morning NFL free agent/trade roundup: Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly set to become next Jets QB

03.11.15 at 11:40 am ET
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Ryan Fitzpatrick will reportedly be the next quarterback of the Jets (    Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Ryan Fitzpatrick reportedly will be the next quarterback of the Jets (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The NFL new league year got started with a bang on Tuesday with a number of big trades and free agent signings. Things continued on Wednesday morning with more moves being made across the league.

Here’s a quick roundup of the moves made late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning:

— According to Pro Football Talk, it is expected the Texans will sign quarterback Brian Hoyer. Once that happens they are expected to trade Ryan Fitzpatrick to the Jets, making him New York’s next quarterback. Fitzpatrick is in his 11th year in the league, most recently playing for Houston last year, playing in 12 games. He threw 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

[UPDATE, 12:10: ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the trade is a go with the Jets and New York will send a late-round pick back to Houston.]

— Jacksonville signed tight end Julius Thomas. Thomas spent last season in Denver, but signed a five-year, $46 million deal to move to North Florida.

— The Jaguars also announced they have signed Jared Odrick, formally of the Dolphins. Odrick is a quality pass rusher, a former first round pick.

— Running back Frank Gore has officially signed with the Colts, after deciding to back out of an agreement to sign with the Eagles. It is a $12 million deal over three years, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

— San Francisco will cut wide receiver Stevie Johnson, according to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson.

— According to Fox Sports 1’s Mike Garafalo, former Chargers running back Ryan Matthews is expected to sign with the Eagles.

— Former Boston College standout Mark Herzlich has re-signed with the Giants. It’s a two-year deal.

For more Patriots/NFL free agent news, visit

Read More: Brian Hoyer, Jared Odrick, Julius Thomas, NFL free agency 2015

Patriots personnel chief Nick Caserio spotted at Rutgers pro day

03.11.15 at 11:33 am ET
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While Bill Belichick is spending his day at Louisville, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio was spotted in attendance at Rutgers pro day on Wednesday, hanging out with Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels (brother of Josh).

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Patriots re-sign WR Brian Tyms

03.11.15 at 11:07 am ET
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Brian Tyms

Brian Tyms

After declining to tender wide receiver Brian Tyms on Tuesday, Tyms will be back with the Patriots after all.

New England signed Tyms on Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire.

The 26-year-old caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown last season. He will compete in training camp with fellow wide outs Aaron Dobson and newcomer Brandon Gibson for a spot on the final 53-man roster.

Tyms played for the Browns in 2013 before joining the Patriots last season.

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Read More: Brian Tyms, NFL free agency 2015,

Bill Belichick spotted at Louisville pro day

03.11.15 at 11:05 am ET
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Bill Belichick is out on the scouting trail this month. He’s been spotted at Auburn and Clemson over the last couple of weeks, and on Wednesday morning, cameras caught him at Louisville pro day.

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New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta on D&C: Jets getting Darrelle Revis wasn’t all about money

03.11.15 at 9:57 am ET
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NYDN cover 3-11-15

There’s celebrating in New York with Darrelle Revis deciding to accept an offer to return to the Jets.

New York Daily News Jets columnist Manish Mehta joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to talk about Darrelle Revis‘ return to New York and the state of the Jets overall. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

For Jets fans, getting Revis back is the biggest bright spot they’ve had in a while. Mehta noted that they probably haven’t been happier since 2010, when the Jets were in the AFC championship game.

“It’s a pretty positive outlook so far for this new Jet regime. They’ve done a lot of good things, at least on paper, for this first part of free agency,” he said. “And obviously getting Darrelle Revis is at the top of that list.”

And while acquiring the star cornerback certainly makes the team better, the primary need for New York undeniably is the quarterback position. Mehta said, though, that after QB, the biggest roster issue that needed to be addressed was in the defensive secondary. Revis definitely helps solve that problem.

“They didn’t have any cornerbacks of any consequence,” Mehta said. “And the guy that they were hoping would take the next step in Dee Milliner suffered a season-ending injury. They let Darrelle Revis go a couple years ago, they let Antonio Cromartie walk last year, and it was glaring and Rex Ryan had to alter a lot of things schematically to try and cover up for the holes that they had in that secondary.

Darrelle Revis is still obviously an elite player at a position of need, and I think he’s got a lot of good, quality play left in him at least for the next two to three years,” he added.

The Patriots and Jets were the two biggest parties jockeying for Revis on their rosters, and while the Pats didn’t have all the money in the world to throw at the cornerback, their rival had much more pliability in terms of finance. That doesn’t mean the Jets were willing to go overboard, Mehta said, but it affected the outcome for sure.

“They spent a pretty good amount of money here,” he said. “We’re talking about essentially 39 fully guaranteed million dollars that he’s going to get, and I don’t think they would have spent [$]20 million a year as opposed to [$]16 million a year, but I think everybody involved knew that the Patriots were not going to be able to get to where the Jets could get because of the financial flexibility that the Jets had.

“So I know the Jets were very confident going into free agency that they would have a very good chance of getting Darrelle Revis because they knew what the target number would be for Revis, and they knew they could pay it, and it’s no surprise that the Patriots had a number that wasn’t anywhere close to what Darrelle Revis signed for, so if you were a betting man yesterday when you woke up, you probably should have bet on the Jets to get Revis.”

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Manish Mehta, New York Jets, NFL free agency 2015

Report: Brandon Browner has visits scheduled with 2 teams

03.11.15 at 8:21 am ET
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Brandon Browner

Brandon Browner

Cornerback Brandon Browner, who became a free agent after the Patriots elected not to pick up his option, was in New Orleans on Wednesday morning visiting with the Saints, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter also tweeted that Browner was scheduled to fly to Washington next and meet with team brass there.

Browner was slated to earn a base salary of $1.9 million in 2015 had the Patriots picked up a roster bonus of $2 million. The team picks up $4.8 million in salary cap space with the move.

In his lone season in New England, Browner played in nine games (he was suspended for the first four by the league) and combined with Darrelle Revis to give the Patriots an impressive defensive backfield.

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Exploring ways Patriots can replace Darrelle Revis

03.11.15 at 12:03 am ET
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Replacing Darrelle Revis will be a difficult task. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Replacing Darrelle Revis will be a difficult task. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Just over a month after winning a Super Bowl and being on top of the football world, the Patriots took a major hit when it was learned All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis will now be a member of the New York Jets after the Patriots didn’t pick up his $20 million team option for 2015 and then couldn’t come to an agreement on a new contract.

The star of the Patriots defense is now a member of the team that drafted him, which so happens to be the Patriots’ division rival.

With free agency officially getting started Tuesday afternoon, following a three-day legal tampering period over the weekend, the Patriots seem to be a bit behind in finding ways to replace Revis. (Yes, Revis is one of the best cornerbacks in the game, and not one player can replace him, but the Patriots need to find another No. 1 cornerback somehow.)

Here is an early look at the Patriots’ options when it comes to replacing Revis:

NFL free agents

With the Patriots just entering the market for a cornerback, they are undoubtedly behind. Top cornerbacks Byron Maxwell, Kareem Jackson and Brandon Flowers are now already off the market, and the Patriots are left with mostly second-tier corners to choose from. Some names still available include: Antonio Cromartie, Rashean Mathis, Tramon Williams, Chris Culliver and the player the Patriots didn’t pick up a 2015 option on in Brandon Browner.

Everyone in New England is familiar with Cromartie. As a member of the Jets when he had some choice words to say about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The nine-year pro played in Arizona last season and finished the year with three interceptions. He’s not the same player as he once was like in 2007 when he had 10 interceptions with the Chargers. Given his age, and history with Brady and the Patriots, this doesn’t seem like a good fit.

Culliver is an intriguing player, having played his first four seasons in the league with the 49ers. He missed the entire 2013 with a torn ACL, but bounced back last season playing in 14 games and finishing with four interceptions. The 26-year-old could be a fit in New England. Mathis may be the biggest name of a cornerback available, but he’s 34 years old and with the Patriots not going over the top for Revis at age 30, it’s unlikely they would break the bank for Mathis. Williams presents a solid option coming off of spending eight years in Green Bay, recording at least three interceptions in six of his last seven seasons. He’s also been incredibly durable, only missing one game over the course of his eight year career.

Given the names still available, it would seem the best choices from that group would be Culliver and Williams.

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Read More: Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, NFL free agency 2015,
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