NFL roster transactions heat up as free agency and draft approach
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NFL roster transactions heat up as free agency and draft approach

While the NFL season is still months away, teams are starting to get busy. With free agency officially beginning on March 18 and the 2020 draft less than a month away, front offices are looking to boost their rosters heading into the regular season.

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This week began with a flurry of moves, especially on Tuesday. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent player moves.

Josh Norman

Veteran cornerback Josh Norman signed a $1 millon, six-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on Monday.

The 32-year old most recently played for the Washington Redskins, but was benched four years into his five year, $75 million dollar contract. He earned that deal after his career-best 2015; when he as was voted an All-Pro while the Carolina Panthers went 15-1 before losing to the Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50.

In his time with the Redskins Norman snagged seven interceptions and forced eight fumbles; but in 2019 he recorded just one pick in 12 games and cut during the off-season. He is poised to battle with Levi Wallace and Kevin Johnson for playing time across from Tre’Davious White.

Marshal Yanda

13-year NFL veteran offensive lineman announced his retirement on Tuesday.

The Baltimore Ravens drafted Yanda in the third round of the 2007 draft out of Iowa. The guard went on to play his entire career in Baltimore, making eight Pro Bowls and earning All-Pro distinction twice, joining just Larry Allen and Alan Faneca to earn that distinction. Yanda anchored the line of the 2013 Ravens Super Bowl championship and was part of a unit in 2019 that led the NFL in rushing yards .

He will make his retirement official with a press conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

“Thank You Yanda,” teammate Willie Snead tweeted.You set the standard Every Sunday & Everyday off the Field. ‘Forever a Raven.'”

Christian Kirksey

The Cleveland Browns announced on Tuesday the release of linebacker Christian Kirksey after six years with the team.

Kirksey, who is also a former third round pick from Iowa, “has been a vital member of our organization for the last six seasons because of his contributions on and off the field,” said Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry. “These are difficult decisions and, in Christian’s case, more challenging because of how well he has represented our team. We thank him for his dedication and wish him nothing but the best in the next phase of his career.”

Kirksey has endured some tough seasons during his time in Cleveland, going 24-59-1 since he entered the league in 2014. After playing every game in the first four years of his career, Kirksey has suited up just nine times in the previous two seasons. In 2018 Kirksey missed the final seven games of the season with a hamstring injury, and missed nearly all of 2019 after suffering a pectoral injury in the second game of the year. 

In his last full season Kirksey recorded 138 total tackles with six tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks. 

Tahir Whitehead

Tuesday was not good to veteran linebackers, as the Oakland Raiders cut Tahir Whitehead.

Whitehead started all 32 games in his two years in Oakland, leading the team in tackles over that time period. Despite the high volume of tackles, the 30-year-old recorded the most defensive snaps without recording a sack, interception, forced fumble or fumble recovery in 2019. 

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Before his time with the Raiders Whitehead spent six seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he totaled 4 interceptions and almost 400 tackles.

His release frees up $6 million in cap space for the Raiders to work with in free agency, increasing the Raiders total to $53.9 million for 2020.

 

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