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NFL free agency updates: How the start of the new league year unfolded

Deshaun Watson spoke to reporters last week after a grand jury declined to criminally charge him with sexual harassment and misconduct.Callaghan O'Hare/NYT

The start of the new league year brought some blockbuster deals.

Here’s how the beginning of 2022 NFL free agency unfolded.

Patriots deals

▪ The Patriots re-signed LB Ja’Whaun Bentley to a two-year deal.

▪ The Patriots added WR/RB Ty Montgomery on a two-year deal.

The Patriots signed free agent cornerback Terrance Mitchell to a one-year deal.

Running back James White is returning on a two-year deal.

▪ Special teamer Matthew Slater, 37, is returning to New England on a a one-year, $2.62 million fully guaranteed contract. It will be his 15th NFL season.


▪ Kicker Nick Folk is returning on a two-year deal.

▪ The Patriots agreed to bring back backup QB Brian Hoyer on a two-year deal.

▪ The Patriots are bringing back versatile offensive lineman James Ferentz

Safety Devin McCourty is returning to the Patriots on a one-year deal worth $9 million.

▪ The Patriots are using a second-round tender on receiver Jakobi Meyers.

Who’s leaving?

Cornerback J.C. Jackson is signing a five-year, $82.5 million deal to join the Chargers.

Offensive lineman Ted Karras is signing a three-year, $18 million deal to join the Bengals.

Linebacker Chase Winovich is being traded to the Browns.

Offensive lineman Shaq Mason is being traded to the Buccaneers.

Running back Brandon Bolden is signing a deal with the Raiders.

Running back Jakob Johnson is signing a deal with the Raiders.

Gunner Olszewski agrees to deal with Steelers — 4:53 p.m.

Patriots receiver Gunner Olszewski agreed to a deal to join the Steelers, according to a report.

Olszewski’s primary contributions came on special teams as a punt returner. He earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2020, but his numbers dropped last season. He averaged 11.9 yards per return, with a long of 27.


Olszewski switched positions from defensive back to wide receiver after signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2019, but he never had much of an offensive impact.

The Patriots did not tender Olszewski as a restricted free agent, making him openly available to other teams.

Deshaun Watson appears to be headed to the Browns — 3:50 p.m.

Deshaun Watson, the embattled Texans quarterback who sat out all of last season after being accused by a number of women of sexual impropriety, may have found his new landing spot.

Watson has reportedly cleared the way for Houston to trade him to the Cleveland Browns.

Earlier this week, Browns QB Baker Mayfield requested a trade out of the organization, saying that he thought it was “in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on,” according to ESPN.

Cleveland had denied his trade request, but now it appears they will look to shop him.

Seahawks release Carlos Dunlap — 3:31 p.m.

D.J. Moore signs extension in Carolina — 3:11 p.m.

Moore is sticking around with the Panthers.

Quinton Jefferson returns to Seahawks — 3:08 p.m.

Leighton Vander Esch back to Cowboys — 11:09 a.m.

Logan Ryan seems to say he’s headed to Tampa — 7:32 a.m.

NFL Network reported that former Patriot Logan Ryan is headed to Tampa Bay, and he seemed to confirm with a “#GoBucs” tweet.

More people pull out of Deshaun Watson sweepstakes — 7:30 a.m.

NFL Network reports that the only teams still interested in pursuing Deshaun Watson are the Falcons and the Saints.

Packers trade Davante Adams to Raiders — 7:35 p.m.

Josh McDaniels is stockpiling stars in Las Vegas.

The Raiders brokered a deal to bring Davante Adams in from the Packers for two top picks in this year’s draft, according to ESPN.

Running back Damien Williams heads to Falcons — 6:03 p.m.

Eli Apple back to the Bengals — 6:01 p.m.

Rams sign WR Allen Robinson — 3:50 p.m.

The Rams are bulking out their wide receiver corps by adding Allen Robinson in free agency.

Is Baker out in Cleveland? Hmm ... — 3:41 p.m.

A mess is brewing in Cleveland.


Baker Mayfield has requested a trade from the Browns.

“It’s in the mutual interest of both sides for us to move on,” he told ESPN. “The relationship is too far fine to mend. It’s in the best interests of both sides to move on.”

But ESPN is also reporting the Browns are not going to play along.

La’el Collins is available — 1:55 p.m.

Offensive tackle La’el Collins is being released by the Cowboys, according to reports.

Collins will add flexibility to whichever line he joins.

Patriots sign Ty Montgomery to two-year deal — 1:45 p.m.

The Patriots have made another free-agent acquisition, signing running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery to a two-year deal, according to a league source.

Montgomery entered the league in 2015 as a wide receiver but soon switched his position to running back. He spent three and a half seasons with the Packers — totaling 849 rushing yards and 827 receiving yards during that time — before getting traded to the Ravens in 2018.

Read more here.

Bills release Cole Beasley — 12:06 p.m.

The wide receiver is officially a free agent.

Two weeks ago, Buffalo had granted the 32-year-old permission to seek a trade.

Jets sign DE Jacob Martin — 7:03 a.m.

Martin most recently played for the Texans.

Chris Godwin, Bucs reach deal — 9:40 p.m.

The Buccaneers have come to a deal with Chris Godwin, whom they placed the franchise tag on earlier this month.

It’s a three-year, $60 million deal.

Dolphins sign Raheem Mostert — 8:34 p.m.

Lions officially cut DE Trey Flowers — 7:09 p.m.

Detroit made it official on Wednesday, releasing former New England defensive end Trey Flowers after three seasons. The Lions issued the following statement:

“We speak on behalf of an entire organization in thanking Trey for his contributions to the Detroit Lions over the last three years. He has been an exemplary leader for our team both on and off the field and has helped us set a foundation for the future. Trey is a man of integrity who embodies what it means to serve his community and stand for something larger than yourself. We wish him and his family success as he enters the next stage of his career.”


A lot depends on the market and the money, but with Chase Winovich dealt to Cleveland, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Patriots at least gave Flowers a call. The 28-year-old end had 21 sacks in three-plus seasons with New England.

Von Miller joining Bills — 7:02 p.m.

The Patriots need to hurry up and fortify their offensive line. And fast.

Multiple reports now indicate that Von Miller is set to sign a six-year, $120 million deal to join the Buffalo Bills. The 32-year-old Miller, coming off a Super Bowl title with the Rams, is returning to the AFC. Miller has 115.5 career regular-season sacks, including 9.5 last season when he split time with Denver and the Los Angeles Rams.

McDaniels Raiding the Patriots — 6:03 p.m.

Fullback Jakob Johnson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Raiders, according to ESPN. Johnson is the second New England back to join Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas; Brandon Bolden agreed to a deal with the Raiders earlier this week.

Patriots say ‘Thank you’ to J.C. Jackson — 4:15 p.m.

With the new league year here, the J.C. Jackson signing is official.

Titans cut Julio Jones — 4:03 p.m.

The veteran is out in Tennessee.

Raiders expected to sign Brandon Bolden — 4:02 p.m.

It seems that Brandon Bolden is moving on.


The Patriots running back is reportedly headed to Las Vegas, where he’ll join Josh McDaniels and the Raiders.

Happy new year! — 4:00 p.m.

It’s 4 p.m., which means the new league year has officially begun.

Deals hashed out over the past weeks and days now become official.

Gunner Olszewski will not be tendered by Patriots, will test the market — 3:45 p.m.

Wide receiver Gunner Olszewski will not be tendered a contract by the Patriots ($2.4 million) and will be a free agent at 4 p.m., per a league source.

He could still return to New England on a cheaper deal.

Chandler Jones joining the Raiders — 2:24 p.m.

Looks like Josh McDaniels is leaning on his old Patriots connections.

Outside linebacker Chandler Jones, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2012 and most recently played for the Arizona Cardinals, is headed to Vegas.

The Raiders are also reportedly trading pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Colts.

Raiders release Carl Nassib — 11:30 a.m.

The defensive end is free to find another team.

Patriots sign CB Terrance Mitchell — 9:26 a.m.

The Patriots are bringing in cornerback Terrance Mitchell on a one-year deal worth $3 million, according to ESPN.

Mitchell is New England’s first external signing of free agency.

He started 13 games for the Houston Texans last season, logging 60 tackles, 10 passes defenses, three forced fumbles, and an interception. Before Houston, Mitchell spent time with the Cowboys, Bears, Chiefs, and Browns. His longest stint was three seasons in Cleveland.

Mitchell, who turns 30 in May, gives the Patriots much-needed depth and experience at cornerback, but they’ll still need additional reinforcements.

Browns sign return man Jakeem Grant — 12:30 a.m.

Panthers signing D’Onta Foreman — 6:33 p.m.

Foreman spent much of last season with the Titans.

Giants signing Tyrod Taylor — 6:16 p.m.

Jets sign safety Jordan Whitehead — 3:34 p.m.

Whitehead most recently played for the Buccaneers.

Former Falcons WR Russell Gage signs with Buccaneers — 2:04 p.m.

LB Josey Jewell staying with Broncos on two-year, $11-million deal — 1:50 p.m.

Falcons re-sign K Younghoe Koo to $24.25 million extension — 1:13 p.m.

The Falcons will hang on to ace kicker Younghoe Koo, who was a restricted free agent.

RB James White returning to the Patriots — 1:07 p.m.

The Patriots re-signed veteran running James White to a two-year, $2.5 million deal that includes $500,000 guaranteed, according to NFL Network.

Read more here.

Former Patriots LB Elandon Roberts returning to Dolphins — 12:59 p.m.

RB J.D. McKissic signing with Bills — 12:42 p.m.

Safety Marcus Williams leaving Saints to join Ravens — 12:32 p.m.

In five seasons with New Orleans, Williams, 26, had 15 interceptions and 320 tackles.

DE Randy Gregory spurns Cowboys and will sign with the Broncos — 12:08 p.m.

Reports earlier Tuesday indicated Gregory was going to stay in Dallas on a a five-year, $70 million deal. But later in the day news broke that he turned the offer down and was headed to Denver. Gregory, 29, matched his career high of six sacks last season in Dallas.

Defensive tackle Maliek Collins returning to Texans — 12:07 p.m.

Rams OT Andrew Whitworth announces his retirement — 12:00 p.m.

OL Connor Williams leaving the Cowboys to sign with the Dolphins — 11:25 a.m.

DL Montravius Adams returning to Steelers — 11:07 a.m.

Packers tender wide receiver Allen Lazard — 11:00 a.m.

Matt Judon is at it again — 10:20 a.m.

This man won’t quit.

Patriots linebacker Matt Judon is taking recruiting into his own hands.

After firing off tweets all day Monday trying to curry favor with free agents, he asked the internet who he should go after on Tuesday.

Cowboys re-sign Malik Hooker — 10:12 a.m.

Titans release Janoris Jenkins — 10:12 a.m.

The cornerback is now available.

Jaguars release linebacker Myles Jack — 10:09 a.m.

Patriots trade Chase Winovich to Browns — 8:40 a.m.

The Patriots got the trade winds blowing early Tuesday, sending edge defender Chase Winovich to the Browns in exchange for inside linebacker Mack Wilson, according to a league source.

Read more here.

D.J. Chark signing with Lions — 8:10 a.m.

Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark is reportedly signing a one-year deal with Detroit.

Nick Folk returning to Patriots — 11:41 p.m.

Veteran kicker Nick Folk has re-signed with the Patriots.

Folk, 37, has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $5 million extension that includes $2.19 million in guaranteed money.

Folk was one of the best kickers in the NFL last season, going 36 for 39 on field-goal attempts and 42 for 47 on extra points.

Folk, Devin McCourty, Brian Hoyer and Matthew Slater — the four oldest players on the New England roster last season — have all been re-upped for at least the 2022 season.

Chiefs move on from Mathieu, sign former Texans safety Justin Reid — 10:38 p.m.

It appears the Chiefs are moving on from Tyrann Mathieu.

Ex-NE special teamer Keion Crossen lands with Miami — 7:41 p.m.

Keion Crossen, a seventh-round pick of the Patriots in 2018 who has become a quality special teamer, has agreed on a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Dolphins. The 25-year-old Crossen, who reportedly negotiated his own deal, has also played for the Giants and Texans.

Report: Cowboys, DE DeMarcus Lawrence agree on new contract — 7:01 p.m.

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys have reached an agreement on a three-year deal worth $30 million, fully guaranteed. The 29-year-old Lawrence has 48.5 career sacks in eight seasons in Dallas.

Steelers reportedly give RT Chukwuma Okorafor a new three-year deal — 6:45 p.m.

Right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor is set to sign a three-year, $29.25 million deal -- including $20.5 million in first two years -- with the Steelers, per ESPN.

Deshaun Watson reportedly set to meet with Panthers, Saints — 6:22 p.m.

According to multiple reports, quarterback Deshaun Watson will meet in Houston Monday night with reps from Carolina and New Orleans. One place where we know Watson won’t be headed is Indianapolis; ESPN is reporting that the Texans turned down a request from the Colts to speak with Watson. (Could Jimmy Garoppolo be a possibility for Indy?)

Ex-Pats OT Marcus Cannon reportedly cut by Houston — 5:58 p.m.

Marcus Cannon, a former New England draft pick who spent nine seasons with the Patriots, has reportedly been cut loose by the Texans. The 33-year-old won three rings with New England, and given the Patriots’ tackle spot, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see New England show some interest in the veteran.

Jags keep spending, add TE Evan Engram — 5:51 p.m.

Tight end Evan Engram is set to sign a one-year, $9 million deal with the Jaguars that could go to $10 million with incentives, according to ESPN.

What J.C. Jackson’s deal with the Chargers means for New England — 5:47 p.m.

Jackson got the pay day he was looking for — five years, $82.5 million — and that price tag was one the Patriots were not willing to afford. Instead, Jackson will head out to the loaded AFC West and team up with safety Derwin James in the Chargers’ secondary.

The Patriots could have kept Jackson via the franchise tag, a one-year, $17.2 million deal, but they elected not to use it. The two parties also could have agreed to a multiyear extension, but couldn’t agree to terms.

The pressure is now on the Patriots to make a move addressing Jackson’s departure. They desperately need to add a cornerback, either through free agency or the draft.

J.C. Jackson signing with Los Angeles Chargers — 4:58 p.m.

Jackson is departing the Patriots for a five-year $82.5 million deal.

In four seasons with the Patriots, the cornerback appeared in 62 games and recorded 25 interceptions, including a career high of nine in 2020. He is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he snagged eight interceptions — including his first career pick-6 — and a league-high 23 passes defensed.

The 26-year-old Jackson, who has 56 career passes defensed, is tied with Everson Walls and Lester Hayes for the most interceptions in a player’s first four seasons in the NFL. Jackson is one of the top deep-ball coverage corners in the league.

The Patriots elected not to tag Jackson last week, a move that would have cost New England just north of $17 million for one season.

QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Cedrick Wilson joining the Dolphins — 4:41 p.m.

Miami will be the sixth team for Bridgewater in the last six seasons.

Wilson, who spent the last three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, will sign a three-year deal with Miami, according to ESPN.

QB Colt McCoy sticking with Cardinals — 4:10 p.m.

The veteran quarterback is signing a two-year deal to serve as Kyler Murray’s backup in Arizona.

Rams hold on to center Brian Allen — 4:08 p.m.

Allen will stay with the Super Bowl champs in Los Angeles on a three-year, $24 million deal.

TE Mo Alie-Cox staying with Colts — 3:53p.m.

NFL Network reports the three-year deal is for $18 million.

LB De’Vondre Campbell returning to Packers — 3:41 p.m.

Campbell cashed in after recording 145 tackles last year, signing a five-year deal worth $50 million to stay in Green Bay, according to Sports Illustrated.

Jaguars signing WR Christian Kirk — 3:14 p.m.

The deal for the former Arizona Cardinal is for four years and $84 million, according to ESPN.

Bills add OL Rodger Saffold — 2:45 p.m.

The 13-year veteran spent the last three seasons with the Titans. Saffold also played for the Rams for nine seasons.

Safety Terrence Brooks re-signing with Texans — 2:44 p.m.

Brooks is heading back to Houston, according to multiple reports. The deal is $2 million for one year.

DT BJ Hill returning to Bengals — 2:42 p.m.

Hill, 26, had a career-high 50 tackles and 5.5 sacks for Cincinnati in 2021.

Eagles signing Panthers LB Haason Reddick — 2:38 p.m.

The Eagles have agreed to a deal with Carolina pass rusher Haason Reddick, according to NFL Network.

Jets will re-sign wide receiver Braxton Berrios — 2:21 p.m.

The Jets are re-signing wide receiver Braxton Berrios to a two-year, $12 million deal, according to ESPN. The slot receiver had 46 receptions for the Jets in 2021.

Patriots reportedly bring back Matthew Slater — 2:19 p.m.

Retirement seemed to be on the table for Matthew Slater, who said at the end of the season he needed to spend time discussing his future with his family before making a final decision. But the 10-time Pro Bowler has decided to return to the field for his 15th NFL season, signing a one-year, $2.62 million fully guaranteed contract, according to Jim McBride.

Slater, who turns 37 in September, played a team-high 80 percent of the special teams snaps last season. He earned second-team All-Pro honors.

By bringing back both Slater and McCourty, the Patriots have retained two of their most important leaders in the locker room. Both are longtime captains.

Patriots’ Ted Karras signing with the Bengals — 1:42 p.m.

Karras, who started 13 games at left guard last season, played an important role in stabilizing New England’s offensive line after a rocky start. He would have been a valuable piece moving forward, given his ability to also serve as a backup center, but the Bengals offered him a better contract: three years for $18 million, a league source confirmed.

Improving their offensive line was a high priority for the Bengals this offseason, as quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times last season. Cincinnati is also signing guard Alex Cappa, who started 17 games for the Buccaneers last season.

The Patriots already have a natural replacement for Karras on their roster. Michael Onwenu will likely slide in at left guard, alongside tackle Isaiah Wynn. The right side of the line remains in flux, with tackle Trent Brown still an unrestricted free agent.

Looks like Matt Judon is doing some recruiting — 1:25 p.m.

Matt Judon is taking free agency into his own hands.

The Patriots linebacker jumped on Twitter on Monday afternoon to hit up a couple of his peers in the NFL. First up was Bobby Wagner, the 31-year-old linebacker who was released by the Seahawks last week.

“Call me,” Judon said in a message to Wagner.

Next, Judon tweeted at free agent receiver Allen Robinson, most recently with the Bears.

“What you doing,” Judon asked.

Steelers to sign QB Mitch Trubisky — 12:54 p.m.

Do we finally know who will replace Big Ben?

The Steelers are signing 27-year-old Mitch Trubisky, the former No. 2 overall pick, to a two-year deal.

Panthers release cornerback A.J. Bouye — 12:35 p.m.

Cardinals extend RB James Conner — 12:26 p.m.

Conner will stick around in Arizona on a three-year deal.

Browns releasing Jarvis Landry — 12:18 p.m.

The Patriots are in need of receivers. Would he be a good fit?

Chase Edmonds heads to Miami — 12:11 p.m.

The Dolphins are signing Edmonds to a two-year deal.

Tom Brady loses a starting guard — 12:01 p.m.

ESPN reports Bucs free agent Alex Cappa will sign a four-year deal to protect Joe Burrow in Cincinnati.

Dolphins re-sign Emmanuel Ogbah — 11:50 a.m.

Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @k8tmac. Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney. Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang. Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride. Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.