2021 NFL Free-Agent Primer

The NFL free agency period begins with the new league year on Wednesday, March 17, though teams can begin negotiating with free agents as early as today at noon ET. 2021 will be one of the quieter free agent off-seasons for former Alabama players in the NFL, particularly with Cam Robinson getting a franchise tag from Jacksonville, thus taking him off the market.

Most sought-after free agents are likely to be Dalvin Tomlinson and Kenyan Drake, who are both ranked near the top of their positions. Tomlinson is coming off his rookie contract in New York, while Drake, a potential free agent last year, played 2020 in Arizona on a transition player tag.

Here’s a run-down of 2021 free agents, which will be updated as players sign 2021 deals.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Ryan Anderson
  • 2020 Team:  Washington Football Team
  • 2021 Team: New York Giants
  • Notes: Anderson has signed a 1-year deal for the veteran salary benefit ($1,127,500), with $137,500 guaranteed.
Kenyan Drake
  • 2020 Team:  Arizona Cardinals
  • 2021 Team: Las Vegas Raiders
  • Notes: Drake signed a 2-year deal which, with incentives, could reach $14 million in total value..
D.J. Fluker
Reuben Foster
  • 2020 Team:  Washington Football Team (spent entire season on Injured Reserve)
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Foster has spent two seasons on injured reserve after suffering a severe knee injury at a mini-camp. Washington likely won’t re-sign him.
Kareem Jackson
  • 2020 Team:  Denver Broncos
  • 2021 Team: Denver Broncos
  • Notes: Denver declined its option on Jackson’s 2021 salary, thus making him a last-minute free agent. Denver brought Jackson back on a 1-year, $5 million contract.
Dre Kirkpatrick
  • 2020 Team:  Arizona Cardinals
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes:
AJ McCarron
  • 2020 Team:  Houston Texans
  • 2021 Team: Atlanta Falcons
  • Notes: McCarron signed a 1-year deal with the Falcons.
Reggie Ragland
Cam Robinson
  • 2020 Team:  Jacksonville Jaguars
  • 2021 Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Notes: Jacksonville placed a 2021 franchise tag on Robinson, worth $13,754,000.
Damion Square
Dalvin Tomlinson
  • 2020 Team:  New York Giants
  • 2021 Team: Minnesota Vikings
  • Notes: Tomlinson has agreed to a 2-year, $22 million contract with Minnesota.
DeAndrew White
  • 2020 Team:  Baltimore Ravens (spent entire season on Injured Reserve)
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: White suffered a season-ending injury while in camp with the Ravens and did not play
T.J. Yeldon
  • 2020 Team:  Buffalo Bills
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes:

Restricted Free Agents

Tony Brown
  • 2020 Team:  Cincinnati Bengals
  • 2021 Team: Cincinnati Bengals
  • Notes: Ian Rapoport reports that Cincinnati has re-signed Brown.
Robert Foster
  • 2020 Team:  Washington Football Team
  • 2021 Team: Miami Dolphins
  • Notes: Foster’s agency reports that Foster has signed with Miami.
Cam Sims
  • 2020 Team:  Washington Football Team
  • 2021 Team: Washington Football Team
  • Notes: Sims has received a tender offer with Washington, and will remain with the team.
Levi Wallace
  • 2020 Team:  Buffalo Bills
  • 2021 Team: Buffalo Bills
  • Notes: Though he was not tendered an RFA offer, the Bills re-signed Wallace as soon as the league year opened. Deal is a 1-year contract for $1.75 million. Wallace will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

J.C. Hassenaeur
  • 2020 Team:  Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 2021 Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Notes: Pittsburgh re-signed Hassenauer to a one-year contract shortly before the beginning of free agency.

Street Free Agents

The following are players who were free to sign with other teams prior to the beginning of free agency due to expired contracts or early releases.

Mark Barron
  • 2020 Team:  Denver Broncos (did not play)
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Barron signed with Denver in camp last season, but spent time on short-term IR. He was released in-season without appearing in a game.
James Carpenter
  • 2020 Team:  Atlanta Falcons
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Carpenter was a cap casualty last week in Atlanta.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  • 2020 Team:  Did not play
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Clinton-Dix was released by Dallas at the end of training camp and chose to not sign elsewhere (his 2020 salary was guaranteed). He recently visited with the Las Vegas Raiders, indicating that he’s still interested in playing.
Marcell Dareus
  • 2020 Team:  Did not play
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Dareus was released by Jacksonville after the 2019 season and didn’t pursue any opportunities in 2020. He’s listed here since he hasn’t announced his retirement.
Mark Ingram
  • 2020 Team:  Baltimore Ravens
  • 2021 Team: Houston Texans
  • Notes: Ingram was released by the Ravens at the end of the season and was free to sign elsewhere prior to the beginning of free agency. He will be signing an incentive-laden one-year deal worth up to $3,000,000 with Houston.
Bo Scarbrough
  • 2020 Team:  Seattle Seahawks
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Scarbrough was injured in his only appearance with Seattle in 2020, and was not signed to a futures deal. He is still rehabbing his injury and likely won’t sign with anyone until close to training camp.
Chance Warmack
  • 2020 Team:  Seattle Seahawks (did not play)
  • 2021 Team: unsigned
  • Notes: Warmack last played in 2018, but signed with Seattle in the 2020 off-season. He took a COVID-19 opt-out for the 2020 season, and was released after the end of the season.

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