The NFL’s new league year kicked in at 1 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, with some deals becoming official and others still waiting in limbo as teams dealt with restrictions put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The Raiders did add a starting-caliber player on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with cornerback Eli Apple. But there was one cornerback who reportedly turned down the chance to play in Las Vegas.
Harris to the Chargers
Cornerback Chris Harris was a Raiders target in free agency, but instead chose to move from the Broncos to another AFC West rival in the Chargers on a two-year deal.
According to 9News, the Denver NBC affiliate, Harris turned down a three-year offer from the Raiders to go to Los Angeles.
Just talked to Chris Harris. He said 2 yrs "$20 (mill) something," with Chargers. He turned down 3-year offer w/Raiders.
"I liked the Chargers' defense. Bosa, Ingram, Casey Hayward, Derwin James, Desmond King. I like their secondary. I'll fit right in with those boys." #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 18, 2020
“I liked the Chargers’ defense,” Harris told 9News. “I’ll fit right in with those boys.”
Playing nine seasons for the Broncos, the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback has 20 career interceptions and 86 career passes defensed.
Joseph’s new spot
Former Raiders safety Karl Joseph is signing with the Browns on a one-year deal.
A Raiders first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Joseph suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 10 of the 2019 season and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve. He ends his Raiders tenure having played 49 games — starting 41 — with four interceptions and 15 passes defensed.
Foles on the move
The Bears acquired Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles from the Jaguars in exchange for a fourth-round pick. According to ESPN, Foles then restructured his deal to be able to void either one or both of the two remaining years on the contract depending on his performance. But he did not get any more guaranteed money than the $21 million he was already due to receive.
Foles is expected to at least compete with 2017 No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky for the starting role in Chicago. But in four 2019 starts — all losses — Foles had 736 yards with just three touchdowns and two interceptions.
After leading the Eagles to victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Foles also led the Eagles to the playoffs in 2018 with starting QB Carson Wentz injured again. He then signed a four-year contract with the Jaguars last offseason, but got hurt in Jacksonville’s first game and his performance lagged behind that of rookie Gardner Minshew when he returned.
Foles has familiarity with members of the Bears coaching staff. He spent 2016 as the backup in Kansas City when Bears head coach Matt Nagy was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. And Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was the Eagles QBs coach in 2017 when Philadelphia won the Super Bowl, as well as the QBs coach in Jacksonville last year.
Jenkins back to New Orleans
Safety Malcolm Jenkins spent the first five seasons of his career with the Saints after New Orleans drafted him with the 14th overall pick back in 2009 — the same year they won Super Bowl XLIV over the Colts.
Now after six seasons with the Eagles, he’ll be back in the Big Easy on a four-year, $32 million deal.
Jenkins is one of the most consistent and durable safeties in the league, having started all 16 games in each of the last six years. He has 17 career interceptions, including six returned for touchdowns, and 18 career forced fumbles — with four coming last season alone.
Whitworth returns for another
Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth, the oldest active NFL offensive lineman at age 38, is back with the team on a three-year contract.
Whitworth received $12.5 million guaranteed in a deal that’s worth an initial $30 million. But he could receive up to $37 million with incentives, according to NFL Network.
Whitworth’s deal makes a bit of history. It’s the highest-paying contract ever signed by a non-quarterback who’s at least 35.
Since signing with the Rams in 2017 after 11 years in Cincinnati, Whitworth has started 47 of Los Angles’ 48 regular-season games — the only exception being Week 17 in the 2017 season when the team rested many of its starters. That’s the only game Whitworth has missed since the start of the 2014 season.
Whitworth will turn 39 in December.