Baltimore chased this endeavor early in free agency by agreeing to sign wide receiver Ryan Grant to a four-year, $29 million contract with $14.5 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Grant then failed his physical Thursday, which voided his contract and put him back on the market, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
But they also let quality linebacker Preston Brown slip to free agency. Linebackers who aren’t pass-rushers usually have a slow market, but Buffalo approached the danger zone here with a team leader and a guy with plenty of versatility after playing in multiple schemes. He wound up signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to Ryan Talbot of NYUP.com.
The Brown mold isn’t hard to fill, though. With guys like Navorro Bowman and Brian Cushing on the market, bringing on a veteran to compete for playing time shouldn’t prove too difficult.
It appears the Lions finally have their man after a dramatic ordeal with running back Frank Gore, who left the club without a contract this week despite reportedly being close to a deal.
When healthy, Mathieu has been considered one of most dynamic defenders in the NFL.
He has a reputation for having a nose for the football and plays with a reckless abandon that helped shape who he was as a safety.
The 5-foot-9 Mathieu became known as one of the best nickel defenders in the league, preferring to play in the box, where he felt he could make an impact on every play, rather than roaming the secondary.
However, Mathieu’s promising career in Arizona was marred by injuries.
Mathieu, 25, finished three of his five seasons on injured reserve thanks to two major knee injuries — a torn ACL and LCL in 2013 and a torn ACL in 2015.
Mathieu’s 2015 knee injury derailed the best season of his career.