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BC-FBN--Free Agency-The Latest

March 13, 2019
By The Associated Press

The Latest on NFL free agency Wednesday (all times EDT):

12:10 p.m.

Linebacker Preston Brown got a three-year extension from the Bengals, who signed him last year from Buffalo.

He was durable during his time with the Bills, but hurt his right ankle in the season opener with Cincinnati and missed the next two games. Brown returned and played in six more before a knee injury ended his season.

The Bengals have re-signed two of their potential free agents: Brown and right tackle Bobby Hart.

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11:30 a.m.

The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms on a new five-year contract with kicker Wil Lutz.

Lutz made 28 of 30 field goal attempts and 52 of 53 extra points in 2018, his third year with the Saints.

Lutz’s 93.3 percent field-goal accuracy ranked fifth in the NFL last season. He made a club-record 26 consecutive attempts. His streak of 36 games in a row with a field goal, the second-longest string in NFL history, ended when he didn’t have an attempt in the final regular-season game.

Lutz ranked third in the league with 64 touchbacks on kickoffs.

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11:15 a.m.

A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with guards James Carpenter and Jamon Brown.

Carpenter’s four-year deal is worth $21 million. Brown’s three-year deal is worth $18.75 million.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday morning because the signings won’t be official until the NFL’s new year begins at 4 p.m. EDT.

On Tuesday, quarterback Matt Ryan agreed to restructure his contract to clear salary cap room. With $8.75 million of his 2019 base salary to be paid as a signing bonus, the team cleared $7 million in cap space, more than doubling available funds for free agency and the NFL draft.

Guard was the Falcons’ most glaring need. Carpenter and Brown may move into starting jobs at left guard and right guard, respectively. The Falcons lost Andy Levitre, Ben Garland and Zane Beadles to free agency.

Brown, whose 26th birthday is Friday, was released by the Rams last season before signing with the Giants, where he was an immediate starter. Carpenter was limited by a shoulder injury to 10 games with the Jets last season.

— Reporting by Charles Odum

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11:05 a.m.

With the NFL’s “legal tampering” period ending at 4 p.m. Wednesday, the flurry of agreements reached the last two days will become official.

That includes megatrades involving star receivers Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr., and signings of free agents who have become very rich men.

Aside from the laudatory words that will flow like the dollars heading to the players, here’s what fans will hear when things become official:

—Oakland has acquired Brown from Pittsburgh for third- and fifth-round draft picks.

—Cleveland gets Beckham from the New York Giants for first- and second-round draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. The Browns also obtain edge rusher Olivier Vernon from New York for guard Kevin Zeitler.

—Running back Le’Veon Bell, who sat out last season in a contract dispute with the Steelers, joins the New York Jets. Also heading to the Jets are linebacker C.J. Mosley and receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Bellamy.

—2018 Super Bowl-winning quarterback Nick Foles leaves Philadelphia for Jacksonville.

—The Raiders also add left tackle Trent Brown, who leaves the Super Bowl champion Patriots, and safety Lamarcus Joyner.

—Safety Landon Collins stays within the NFC East, moving from the Giants to the Redskins.

—Green Bay, not usually a major player in free agency, signs edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, linebacker Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner.

—Tennessee gets edge rusher Cameron Wake, late of Miami, and guard Rodger Saffold, who leaves the Rams.

—The Texans bolster their secondary with safety Tashaun Gipson.

— Seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs leaves Baltimore for Arizona.

—WR DeSean Jackson returns to Philadelphia, leaving Tampa Bay.

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10:25 a.m.

A person familiar with the deal says the Cleveland Browns and free agent tight end Demetrius Harris have agreed to a two-year contract.

Harris, who backed up Pro Bowler Travis Kelce in Kansas City, will be added to the roster when the NFL free agency signing period begins at 4 p.m. Wednesday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because teams are not permitted to announce any moves until later.

In Cleveland, Harris will be reunited with Browns general manager John Dorsey, who signed him in 2013 with the Chiefs.

The 27-year-old Harris didn’t play football in college and began his pro career on the practice squad.

Harris has 57 career catches for 605 yards in four seasons. He had 13 receptions for 164 yards and three touchdowns last season.

The Browns had an opening at tight end after releasing Darren Fells on Monday.

—Reporting by Tom Withers

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