Peter King’s free agency takeaways for all 32 teams

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I was wrong about 2021 free agency when I wrote last week I thought teams wouldn’t have the same fervor out of the box. And many of the 32 teams were typically frenetic. In 2020, 30 deals of players changing teams got done on the first day of the free-agent tampering period; this year, 35 such deals got done early. Teams basically borrowed heavily against future years, and stars got paid. Trent Williams, at $23 million, matched David Bakhtiari atop the tackle market. Joe Thuney got the biggest package for a guard (five years, $80 million) in history. Kenny Golladay matched Tyreek Hill’s $18-million average. In a year when teams had a third the cap room they had in 2020, those are monstrous commitments.

Then, of course, came the Patriots, with their 22 moves in a week: trading for a left tackle; guaranteeing between $9 million and $32 million to seven different free agents; gorging themselves on tight ends; stealing back Kyle Van Noy; and confounding those who never thought Bill Belichick would go on one of the biggest spending sprees in the 28-year history of NFL free agency.

Why’d the Patriots do it? Because they could.

“We had the second or third-most cap room at the start of free agency,” owner Robert Kraft told me Friday. (It was third, at $69 million.) “This year, instead of having 10 or 12 teams competing for most of the top players, there were only two or three. And in my 27 years as owner, I’ve never had to come up with so much capital before.”

Kraft expended about $175 million in guarantees in two days—almost the same as he spent in 1994 to buy the franchise and a dilapidated stadium. But he didn’t sound like a man with buyers’ remorse. He sounded like a man who knew his former quarterback just won the Super Bowl in another city, and like a man who just experienced his first losing season in 20 years.

“It’s like investing in the stock market,” Kraft said. “You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that’s what we did here. We’ll see. Nothing is guaranteed, and I’m very cognizant of that. But we’re not in the business to be in business. We’re in this business to win.”

Make no mistake: New England had to make these very expensive course corrections because Bill Belichick the personnel man badly let down Bill Belichick the coach. In the last six drafts, the Patriots have used first, third, third, fourth, sixth, sixth, seventh and seventh-round picks on tight ends and wide receivers. In 2020, five of those players were gone, and the remaining three caught 38 balls. The Patriots, by virtually any measure, had the worst collection of offense skill players in football. Tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry immediately become TE1 and TE2, while Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, depending on the future of Julian Edelman (35 in May), are likely the top two wideouts.

With so many questions about the strength and efficiency of Cam Newton’s arm, the Patriots immediately become a tight end-dominant offense. Think back 10 years ago, when the Patriots were so tight end-centric. That’s the season Rob Gronkowski and the late Aaron Hernandez combined for 169 catches, 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns, and the season Hernandez played running back in the playoff rout of the Tim Tebow Broncos. Jonnu Smith got used in the backfield by Tennessee offensive coordinator Arthur Smith the same way Josh McDaniels used Hernandez in the 2011 postseason.

Smith, Henry and Bourne will play at age 26 this year; Agholor at 28. You’d think there’s quite a bit of tread left on all their tires. And we haven’t even got to the defense, where Judon and the re-acquired Van Noy should add juice to a pass-rush that’s had one player (Chase Winovich) show promise and a second (Josh Uche) slow to flash his edge speed.

In a boomerang way, this reminds me of 2001, when the Patriots were tight against the cap and signed 23 free agents—for collective bonuses of $2.5 million. Mike Vrabel and David Patten and Otis Smith became valued pieces on the Pats’ first Super Bowl team. But that was a different time and place. Now, Buffalo and Miami make the 2021 AFC East a beast of a division. What Belichick has done with this free-agent roundup is ensure the Patriots can be a factor in the division and the conference. “He went and improved his football team by leaps and bounds,” said the agent for three new Pats, Drew Rosenhaus, on my podcast this week. “I think everybody would agree this roster is incredibly improved from the one that they ended the season with.”

“We’ll see,” Kraft said with some caution. “I do remember we always made fun of the teams that spent a lot in the offseason. So we know nothing is guaranteed, and I’m very cognizant of that.”

Now let’s dive into the other 31 teams, starting with six deeper looks:

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS. This is one strange franchise, entering its fourth year of the Jon Gruden Experiment. Three years pre-Gruden: 25-24. Three years with Gruden: 19-29, with little evidence that year four will be the breakthrough season. Good Gruden perspective on the ESPN draft podcast the other day from Todd McShay: “I like Jon. Jon is a great coach. But he’s got personnel ADD . . . He’s always plugging in guys and moving guys around.”

In 2019, the Raiders spent $105 million guaranteed on tackle Trent Brown, safety Lamarcus Joyner and wide receiver Tyrell Williams and Antonio Brown; instead of being foundational players, they’re all gone. The Raiders got 16 games out of the oft-injured Trent Brown, paid him $32.7 million, and dumped him to New England last week. Three-fifths of a good offensive line (center Rodney Hudson, guard Gabe Jackson and Brown) vanished last week, traded for third, fifth and fifth-round picks.

The Raiders made one solid signing (wideout John Brown, for one year and $3.75 million) and two curious ones. With a franchise back, Josh Jacobs, in house already, Vegas paid $14.5 million for two seasons of a good back, Kenyan Drake. Also imported: a very curious player, Yannick Ngakoue, who is now on his fourth team in seven months. He talked his way out of Jacksonville, got traded twice in two months (to Minnesota and then Baltimore) and didn’t produce in either place, and got rewarded in a stressed cap period with $13 million a year from the Raiders. With seven years left on Gruden’s deal, I can’t imagine owner Mark Davis thinking of pulling the plug yet. But another disappointing year and Davis has got to start thinking about it.

CHICAGO BEARS. The Bears knew chances were slim that they could get Russell Wilson. And so they could continue to hope and pray that the Seahawks would make a dumb trade and hand them Wilson, or they could be realistic and try to get the best quarterback possible to win 10 games in 2021. That man is Andy Dalton. For those hammering GM Ryan Pace, I get it, I suppose. But the hammering is for something that happened four years ago, when Pace valued Mitchell Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson and made a pick that will haunt the Bears for a generation. The hammering should not be for signing Dalton, the best quarterback Pace could acquire on March 17, 2021. Tell me: Do the Bears have a better chance to win 10 games this year with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles at quarterback, or with Nick Foles and John Doe at quarterback?

ARIZONA CARDINALS. J.J. Watt, A.J. Green and Matt Prater were chosen for the 2013 Pro Bowl. Cute bit of trivia, but in the case of the Cardinals, not sure how good it is that players who were in their collective prime eight years ago are the keys to Arizona’s 2021 free-agent class. Watt will be 32 on opening day, Green 33 and Prater 37, and teamed with the primo center, Rodney Hudson (32 this season), acquired in trade from Las Vegas, the Cardinals seem to be hoping that Watt and Green, in particular, can have one or two golden seasons before they leave the game. It’s certainly not impossible, but Watt and Green first need to prove they can stay on the field. Both played full seasons last year, but Watt’s missed 32 games due to injury in the last five years and Green 29 over the same span. Green needs to get some fire back in his game; when I think of him over the last three or four years, the word “indifferent” comes to mind, not “great.” Maybe that comes from playing in a place, Cincinnati, where you know you’re not going to win.

This class of acquisitions, along with DeAndre Hopkins last year, shows the Cardinals are going for broke right now in a division that’s somewhere between vulnerable and the best division in football. Watt teaming with Chandler Jones and Green with Hopkins could be effective, but with the recent history of both newcomers, nothing is guaranteed. The addition of Hudson, however, should be one of the best acquisitions this month.

CINCINNATI BENGALS. It was worrisome to me that a former Bengal guard still playing very well, Kevin Zeitler, escaped to division rival Baltimore (for the comparative bargain of $7.5 million a year) early in the week, eschewing the Bengals. Worrisome because Cincinnati entered this offseason with its highest priority improving an offensive line that had Joe Burrow running for his life as a rookie last fall, and Zeitler was a plug-and-play guy who, at 31, could steady the ship for the next two or three seasons. Then Burrow got into the act, helping recruit veteran tackle Riley Reiff over a steak Thursday night. “I went away from eating that steak and I was like, ‘I want to block for this guy,’ “ Reiff said after signing for one year and $7.5 million. “Seeing him on the film . . . He’s even better off the field.” Must have been some steak.

Reiff and Jonah Williams likely will man the tackle slots, but the interior line is exceedingly weak; Cincinnati’s line ranked 30th in composite offensive-line grades in 2020. The need is still acute if Burrow is going to have a cleaner pocket than the one that got him injured last season.

TENNESSEE TITANS. GM Jon Robinson needs something to go right, and that something had better be Bud Dupree. In 2020, Robinson tried to fix a dormant pass rush by spending $21 million on Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney. In 13 games between them, Beasley and Clowney combined for zero sacks; they’re gone. As disastrous: Tennessee’s first-round pick, Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson, played three snaps in his rookie year, which featured a DUI, a positive COVID test and a terrible attitude. Tennessee traded him to Miami for a seventh-round pick last week and he lasted three days with the Dolphins before getting fired there. Still, Wilson’s awful impact echoes in Nashville: In a tight cap time, Wilson’s $4.48-million dead-cap number on the Titans’ salary cap is a reminder that lousy decisions can have enduring consequences.

Dupree, 28, was on his way to Shaq Barrett money territory when he tore his ACL on Dec. 2 for the Steelers. Confident that the knee will be fine, Robinson signed Dupree to a five-year, $82-million deal, and hopes he can pick up on his disruptive pace of the last two seasons (19.5 sacks in 27 games). “I’m going to go out there and play with my hair on fire,” Dupree said upon signing with Tennessee. If that leads to sacking the quarterback, get the matches ready.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS. Common question over the past six days: The Colts have $35 million in cap room, so why aren’t they spending it? It’s pretty simple. Before opening day 2022, the Colts will already have two big salaries—Carson Wentz and DeForest Buckner—taking up $38 million in cap room. And it’s likely by then that three more current Colts will join them: guard Quenton Nelson, tackle Braden Smith and linebacker Darius Leonard, at a combined average of about $47 million a year. The Colts, then, will have five players taking up about 45 percent of their cap, or 45 percent of their average-salary compensation. Because the Colts are a pretty consistent “cash to cap” team—they don’t dish out a bunch of huge signing bonuses in any particular year, but rather try to keep cash spending in line with the cap most years.

The Colts will have to trust GM Chris Ballard to find a productive receiver with some explosion—I would aim for a low-cost option like Demarcus Robinson, or draft one, or wait till the post-June 1 cuts disgorge a good player who could be had cheap for one year.

And quick hits on 25 teams:

• KANSAS CITY probably overpaid for Joe Thuney, but KC has a better line today with Thuney and Kyle Long than the team had at the Super Bowl this year. The player they wanted but didn’t get is center Rodney Hudson, who got traded by the Raiders to Arizona. Hudson wanted to be released, not traded. And if he’d been released, I’m pretty sure he’d have been snapping to Patrick Mahomes this year. KC was ready to pay Hudson more than Arizona did.

• If this is the way it falls . . . I don’t understand PITTSBURGH choosing JuJu Smith-Schuster, a good player at a plentiful position, over Steven Nelson, the steady cornerback who’d played more snaps than any corner on the roster over the past two years. Not sure if Nelson will be dealt, but if he is, the Steelers are weakening a position that’s traditionally a weak spot.

• WASHINGTON inking Ryan Fitzpatrick is a bridge to the future, of course. But WFT won a bad division last year with a cobbled-together QB situation, and the division doesn’t look markedly improved, except for the return of Dak Prescott. Almost as important: William Jackson III’s importing from Cincinnati to shore up a mediocre corner position.

• Keep the band together. That’s the mantra in TAMPA BAY, where so much money has been pushed into 2023 and ’24 to try to win now. Football is a game of momentum, and of surviving injuries, and you rarely stay the same from one year to the next. Shaq Barrett had five sacks after Columbus Day in 2020, then got hot in the playoffs. I don’t know what it all means, but I’m not sure the Bucs pick up where they left off, even with O.J. Howard added to that great receiving corps. History says we just don’t know.

• CLEVELAND and PHILADELPHIA got excellent safeties—John Johnson (the Rams’ defensive signal-caller, and still just 25) goes to Cleveland and ex-Viking Anthony Harris is manna from heaven for a needy Eagle secondary.

• THE NY GIANTS paid too much for Kenny Golladay, a receiver I like, but $18 million in this financial climate? For a receiver who didn’t find big money till day six of free-agency? The Giants will have three players not named Daniel Jones or Saquon Barkley account for about $60 million of their 2022 cap. Not good. But a player like Golladay is borderline essential to the development of Jones, so I understand the push to get him. He’s going to have to produce very big (something like 90 catches, 1,300 yards, 10 TDs) for the deal to be worth it.

• The reunion of ace cornerback Kyle Fuller and Vic Fangio, his former Bears defensive coordinator, was a no-brainer for DENVER.

• I don’t fault cap-crushed teams that didn’t spend borrow from the future in the first week—ATLANTA, NEW ORLEANS, DALLAS. I applaud the patient. History says patience is almost invariably the best policy in free agency.

• BALTIMORE getting Kevin Zeitler for 46 percent of the cost of Joe Thuney is a great signing.

• BUFFALO did what smart, good teams do in free agency: sign their own very productive players (tackle Darryl Williams, tackling machine Matt Milano) to reasonable deals. They’ll average $10 million over the next seven years, combined.

• I liked CAROLINA doing a one-year prove-it deal with Haason Reddick, a good rush bookend for Brian Burns. I didn’t like importing two subpar offensive linemen, Cam Erving and Pat Elflein, for a total of $14 million guaranteed. Just not worth it.

• HOUSTON didn’t get appreciably better in a flurry of about 93 (actually, 31) moves—one of which was signing Tyrod Taylor, who might actually have to play quarterback for the Texans this year.

• Nice job by the LA CHARGERS, rebuilding two-fifths of the offensive line (Corey LinsleyMatt Feiler) for $19.5 million a year.

• The LA RAMS, with no money to spend, jettisoned Michael Brockers (to Detroit in trade) and kept pass-rusher Leonard Floyd. Seems like a good swap.

• MIAMI mostly sat out the process, but I find it curious, paying Kyle Van Noy $1.07 million a game in 2020 ($15.025 million for 14 games played) and then whacking him—and sending him back to the Patriots for future torment.

• MINNESOTA made one of my favorite signings: defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson for $11 million a year.

• Man, $23 million a year in very tight cap times is a lot for any player, even a top left tackle like Trent Williams. SAN FRANCISCO had better get greatness out of Williams, PFF’s seventh-rated tackle in 2020, for the next five or six years.

• SEATTLE needs to get Carlos Dunlap back.

• Corey DavisKeelan ColeCarl Lawson and Lamarcus Joyner make the NY JETS better, and they’d better, for about $60 million guaranteed.

• Not sure JACKSONVILLE is a lot better either after its 17 moves (so far), though I loved what Urban Meyer said about this insane process that requires teams—if they want to be competitive in the market—to spend millions on players they’ve never met. “That was awful,” Meyer said, “and I don’t believe it should be that way. Not when you’re making organizational decisions. I’m not sure how that rule came about, but to me that’s not good business.”

• DETROIT cut a lot of people and signed a lot of people. No idea if the Lions are any better than the team that underachieved consistently under Matt Patricia.

• Hard to knock GREEN BAY’s lone foray into free agency. Aaron Jones is probably worth $9.5 million a year in this interchangeable world of running backs after 3,017 scrimmage yards and 30 touchdowns over the past two years.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl: Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule, and more


The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl will take place over the course of two days at Allegiant Stadium–home of the Las Vegas Raiders–in Paradise, Nevada. The excitement begins on Thursday, February 2 as NFL fan-favorites compete in a brand-new skills challenge featuring the following events: Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball, Lightning Round, Longest Drive, Precision Passion, and Best Catch.

Sunday, February 5 will feature the following: the Best Catch Finale, Gridiron Gauntlet, Kick Tack Toe, Move the Chains, and three seven-on-seven non-contact Flag football games between the league’s best players.

See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl as well as answers to all of your frequently asked questions.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who are the coaches for the 2023 Pro Bowl?

AFC Coaches:

  • Peyton Manning – Head Coach
  • Ray Lewis – Defensive Coordinator
  • Diana Flores – Offensive Coordinator

NFC Coaches:

  • Eli Manning – Head Coach
  • Demarcus Ware – Defensive Coordinator
  • Vanita Krouch – Offensive Coordinator

How will the 2023 Pro Bowl be different from previous editions of the event?

Rather than the traditional tackle football game, this year’s Pro Bowl will debut a skills competition and a non-contact flag football game.

How will scoring work?

According to the NFL, points will be calculated in the following way:

  • The winning conference of each skill competition earns three points towards their team’s overall score, with 24 total points available across the eight skills events.
  • The winning conference from each of the first two Flag football games on Sunday will earn six points for their team, for a total of 12 available points.
  • Points from the skills competitions and first two Flag games will be added together and will be the score at the beginning of the third and final Flag game, which will determine the winning conference for The Pro Bowl Games.

How to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl:

  • Where: Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada
  • When: Thursday, February 2 (7:00 PM ET) and Sunday, February 5 (3:00 PM ET)
  • TV Channel: ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

What teams are playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs marking the first time since 2017 that both top seeds qualified for the Super Bowl.

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

Super Bowl food 2023: Appetizer, entrée, and dessert ideas for Super Bowl LVII inspired by the Eagles and Chiefs

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As the countdown continues toward Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are getting their game plans set. But while they go over their plays, the rest of America goes over their menus in preparation for the big day. When it comes to the Super Bowl, everything is always the best — the best teams, the best performers and, of course, the best food.

But how can you impress your party in the kitchen while showing support for your favorite team? Let’s take a look at some iconic food from each of the Super Bowl team cities to prepare for Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl LVII: Date, location, how to watch

Philadelphia Super Bowl food


Why have plain old fries when you could have crabfries? That’s exactly what Pete Ciarrocchi, the CEO of the legendary Philadelphia restaurant Chickie and Pete’s, said one day when creating this intriguing concoction.

While the name may be misleading, crabfries do not contain any actual crab, but rather a blend of spices and Old Bay seasoning that allow the dish to take on a subtle seafood flavor. Topped with a creamy, cheesy dipping sauce, the crinkle-cut fries are sure to take your taste buds to the next level.

Cheesesteak sloppy joes

It simply isn’t Philly without a cheesesteak. Keep it casual in your kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday with Katie Lee Biegel’s Philly Cheesesteak sloppy joes, an easy way to rep the Birds.

Can’t get enough of the cheesesteak? Bring some more Philly specials to the table with this cheesesteak dip, the perfect way to amp up your appetizer game and leave party guests feeling like they just took a trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski predicts Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII

Water ice

Is the action of the game heating up? Cool down with a classic Philly treat, water ice. First originating in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 1984, the icy dessert is now sold in over 600 stores nationwide. The original Rita’s Water Ice shop, however, still remains open for business.

You can even show a little extra passion for the Birds by whipping up this green apple variation, sure to leave you refreshed and ready for the Lombardi.

Kansas City Super Bowl food

Cheese slippers

If you’re looking for a classy, yet authentic appetizer to bring to the table, there’s no better fit than the cheese slipper. This ciabatta loaf baked with melty cheeses and topped with seasonal vegetables and herbs has Kansas City natives hooked.

While the bread is typically baked to perfection by local shops, test your own skill level with this gourmet slipper bread recipe that you can complete with the mouth-watering toppings of your choice.

RELATED: How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs been to, won?

BBQ burnt ends

It’s rare to hear the words Kansas City without barbeque following short after. If you’re looking to impress your guests with your Super Bowl food spread, get out to the grill and start showing off.

While many cities in America know how to cook up some excellent BBQ, the combination of the sweet flavors and mouth-watering sauce has made Kansas City a hub for barbeque lovers for decades.

BBQ burnt ends, while a bit time-consuming, are  well worth a little elbow grease. The dish is also one of the few in Kansas City with a distinct origin story. The meal first found its creation at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, a legendary African American restaurant in KC. Bryant originally made the burnt ends from the trimmings of pork belly, but since then, BBQ lovers have made incredible bites out of many styles of meat.

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, try fixing up some classic Kansas City sides to pair with your entrée to perfection.

RELATED: What to know about Rihanna, the Super Bowl LVII halftime performer

Chiefs chocolate chip cookies

While there is no specific dessert that defines the Heart of America, you can still show your Kansas City pride with these ever-colorful Chiefs chocolate chip cookies.

Make sure to have your food dye handy, because the red and yellow hue of these cookies are sure to show everyone whose side you are on.

Or, if you’re feeling artistic, design an eye-catching Chiefs jersey out of the fan-favorite rice krispie treats. Whether you make Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, you’ll have the tastiest Super Bowl jerseys around.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs:

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