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Free Agent Roundup: Tate To Giants, Moncrief To Steelers & More
Day 2 of the official free-agent signing period was a bit slower than Day 1, but there was still moves of interest. ...

In New York. ... The surprise trade sending Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, the Giants clearly had a need a wideout. They began to fill that void today.

Golden Tate‘s agents announced on Thursday afternoon that their client has reached a deal with Beckham’s former club. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that it is a four-year, $37.5 million deal that includes $23 million in guaranteed money.

As Profootballtalk.com's Josh Alper notes, Tate split last season between the Lions and Eagles before becoming a free agent. He wound up with 74 catches for 795 yards and four touchdowns, although his production in seven games with Detroit was well ahead of what he did once he got to Philly. He did catch the go-ahead touchdown late in their win over the Bears in the playoffs.

NFL.com's Jeremy Bergman made an interesting point in suggesting that by joining the G-Men just over 24 hours after Beckham's departure, Tate will inevitably see his production with and impact on the Giants compared, rightly or wrongly, to that of OBJ's. But Bergman was quick to add the two are wildly different receivers.

Tate is a yards after the catch master with a knack for big plays starting within five yards of the line of scrimmage; he has never exceeded more than seven touchdowns in a season. Beckham was a highlight-reel freak with field-stretching ability and prowess in the red zone; OBJ hauled in 35 touchdowns in his first three years in the league.

That said, it's not a stretch to suggest that Tate is a better fit for what Eli Manning is right now.

It's no secret that Manning doesn't have the arm strength or downfield accuracy he once had, making Beckham's game-breaking abilities less of a threat as time wore on. The organization's commitment to Manning has necessitated, in the front office's mind, a change in philosophy on offense, prioritizing the running game led by Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley and possession receiving.

And Tate, who turns 31 this summer, caught at least 90 passes in the four full seasons he spent in Detroit and the Giants wouldn’t mind that kind of productivity.

Whether they get it is another question and the answer will likely go a long way toward determining how the team’s fans feel about the post-Beckham plan for the franchise. ...

In Pittsburgh. ... Former Jaguars receiver Donte Moncrief reached agreement on a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers late Wednesday night.

Moncrief signed a one-year contract worth a guaranteed $9.6 million with the Jaguars last March. In 16 games, he caught 48 passes for 668 yards, which were his highest totals since he caught 64 passes for 733 yards in his second season in 2015 -- the last time he played in all 16 games.

Moncrief spent his first four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, who drafted him in the third round (90th overall) in 2014. Moncrief caught 152 passes for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdowns with the Colts. However, he missed seven games in 2016 and four games in 2017 because of injuries and struggled to make much of an impact despite playing opposite T.Y. Hilton.

The Colts did not offer him a second contract, and the Jaguars signed him as a replacement for Allen Robinson, after Robinson opted to sign with the Chicago Bears last year.

In addition to adding Moncrief to help fill their void at wide receiver, they’re also keeping one of their own.

As PFT first reported, Eli Rogers has re-signed for another year with the Steelers.

Rogers only played three games last season after suffering a torn ACL in the 2017 playoffs. In 2016, he caught 48 passes for 594 yards and three touchdowns.

Rogers was suspended for the first game of last season (while he was rehabbing his injury) for violating the league’s substances of abuse policy.

In New Orleans. ... Teddy Bridgewater will indeed run it back with the New Orleans Saints.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Bridgewater was in the Saints' facility all day, finalizing the deal. This after he was believed to have an agreement with the team two days ago -- when he didn't.

Bridgewater instead took a day to visit the Dolphins but he left Miami without a contract and now he'll pick up where he left off: As the heir apparent to Brees.

The actual deal completed today is for one-year deal with a maximum value of $12.5 million.

A first-round pick in 2014 of the Vikings, Bridgewater suffered a serious knee injury days before the start of the 2016 season. He became healthy again in 2017, remained on the bench most of the year, and then signed with the Jets as a free agent. The Jets traded him to the Saints for a third-round pick after the Jets drafted Sam Darnold.

As PFT suggested, Bridgewater likely left money on the table by not joining the Dolphins, but a decision that may have been better for him in the short term may not have been better in the long term, especially if the Dolphins struggle this year -- and/or if they use their first-round pick on a quarterback. ...

In New York. ... For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. In the case, the addition of Le'Veon Bell led to the release of Isaiah Crowell.

Crowell was due $2 million of his $4 million salary for 2019 on Friday. The Jets clear $3 million in cap space and carry $2 million in dead money by making the move now.

Crowell, who signed as a free agent last year, had an up and down season with the Jets. In his first five games, it appeared the Jets had found their next featured back.

In the Monday night season opener at Detroit, Crowell galloped for 102 yards on 10 carries, which included a 62-yard touchdown burst late in the third quarter, the final score of the Jets' remarkable 48-17 win over the Lions. He had three quiet games, then in the Game 5 home win over Denver he created an even bigger explosion by rushing for 219 yards on 15 carries.

Beyond that, there was little else of note, clearing 50 rush yards only once in his last eight games, when he ran 21 times for 98 yards at Tennessee. Ankle, foot and toe injuries bothered him from Week 5 forward and he finally went on injured reserve after Week 13, failing to play in all 16 games in a season for the first time in his career.

We'll be watching for his next destination in coming days. ...

In Oakland. ... Wide receiver Jordy Nelson's time with the Oakland Raiders lasted just one season. The Raiders on Thursday released Nelson.

Nelson's departure comes less than three months from when Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the wide receiver would be back for 2019 shortly after the team gave Nelson a $3.6 million bonus for salary-cap purposes.

Nelson joined the Raiders last year on a two-year deal following his release from the Green Bay Packers, where he enjoyed a nine-season run.

He struggled in Oakland, however, as the Raiders offense couldn't find ways to utilize Nelson's skill set as an accomplished route runner. That said, Nelson came on strong at the end of last season. He had 38 catches over the last five weeks of 2018, third most in the NFL over that time.

Overall, Nelson appeared in 15 games with 14 starts, totaling 63 catches for 739 yards and three touchdowns.

NFL.com's Herbie Teope believes the 6-3, 217-pound Nelson, who turns 34 on May 31, might draw attention on the market from teams in need of a savvy veteran with proven production. Before signing with the Raiders last year, he drew interest from the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks.

The Raiders also released AJ McCarron, who was due a $3 million roster bonus tomorrow, so the timing of the move is easy to understand for a team that needs cash for the other moves they’ve been making in free agency. And with that, the team moves on from a player Jon Gruden traded for before the 2018 season.

McCarron appeared in two games for the Raiders last season. He was 1-of-3 for eight yards.

The trade to Oakland came after McCarron was beaten out for the starting job in Buffalo by Nathan Peterman. Peterman’s run as the starter lasted one half before Josh Allen took over and Peterman eventually wound up on the Raiders practice squad after getting cut.

Now Peterman and Derek Carr are the only quarterbacks on the roster. ...

In San Francisco. ... The 49ers have signed Jordan Matthews, the team announced Thursday.

The receiver spent four of his five NFL seasons in Philadelphia. He was with the Bills in 2017. Matthews, 26, has 270 catches for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career.

In 2018, he made 20 receptions for 300 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games with three starts for the Eagles.

In San Francisco, he'll join a receiving corps with a serious need for veteran experience with Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and Richie James currently at the top of the depth chart.

In New England. ... The Patriots added a pair of wideouts on Thursday, landing free agents Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris, both of whom signed one-year deals.

Ellington worked his way around the New England tree with stops in Houston and Detroit last season, now he gets a turn with the Pats. The 27-year old had a combined 31 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown in 2018. Primarily a slot receiver, Ellington has been praised for his work ethic and intelligence but has struggled with hamstring and back injuries in recent years.

If he can stay healthy, he'd have the potential to be a great fit in the Pats offense. ...

Harris is a 6-3, 201 pound receiver that spent his first three seasons with the Redskins. He started seven games with the team last season, while bringing in 28 receptions for 304 yards. The potential addition of Harris would provide a much needed outside player who could be a crucial target in the red zone.

The Patriots were busy Thursday. In addition to Ellington, Harris and a couple of defensive players, the team also signed tight end Matt LaCosse.

LaCosse visited the team on Thursday along with wide receivers Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris. Ellington and Harris also signed with the team and safety Terrance Brooks is headed to New England as well.

LaCosse caught 24 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown in 15 games for the Broncos last season. The Patriots released Dwayne Allen before the start of free agency.

In Dallas. ... The Cowboys are keeping Tavon Austin, a source told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. They've agreed to a deal.

As the Dallas Morning News recently noted, Austin only caught eight passes last year for the Cowboys, but he converted them into 140 yards and two touchdowns. Recently departed Cole Beasley averaged 57 catches per season over the last four years. Austin, who turns 29 this week, has only caught 21 over the last two seasons. However, he did finish with a career-high 58 receptions for 509 yards and three touchdowns in 2016.

If he can take care of the football and stay healthy, Austin is an intriguing option to fill the void left by Beasley's departure for Buffalo.

In Arizona. ... Kevin White, a former first-round pick of the Bears, will sign with the Cardinals, a source told Rapoport.

White visited the Cardinals today and will attempt to restart his career there -- although one could argue he's really trying to start it since it never really got off the ground. The main reason for that were injuries: He sat out his entire 2015 rookie season due to a fractured shin, while fibula and shoulder injuries limited him to only five games over the next two years.

White was finally fully healthy in 2018, but limited to a mere 170 offensive snaps (he finished with four passes for 92 yards) while appearing nine games under a new coaching staff. It is the only season in his four seasons that he didn’t spend time on the physically unable to perform list or injured reserve.

Now we'll see if he can get rolling in Kliff Kingsbury's offense. ...

In Atlanta. ... The Falcons added some running back depth, signing running back Kenjon Barner on a one-year deal. Barner gives them a backup option behind Devonta Freeman and some return ability.

He'll compete with Ito Smith for that backup role. ...

The Falcons have also added a tight end with experience playing for tight end coach Mike Mularkey. The team announced that they have reached agreement on a two-year deal with Luke Stocker.

Stocker joined the Titans late in 2017, which was Mularkey’s final year as the head coach in Tennessee. Stocker was a member of the Buccaneers for the first six years of his career and the Buccaneers released him during his seventh year with the club. He remained with the Titans in 2018 and caught 15 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns while making 11 starts.

Austin Hooper is the top tight end in Atlanta and Stocker will likely be vying for snaps as a blocker in a complementary role. Eric Saubert, Alex Gray and Jaeden Graham are the other tight ends currently on the roster in Atlanta.