(The Sports Xchange) – The urgency will be ramped up beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday as the NFL’s 2017 year officially begins and unrestricted free agents are able to be signed and trades are able to be completed.

Deals could begin being negotiated at noon ET Tuesday, with it supposedly against the rules for agreements to be reached. Everyone knows the folly of that, especially when deals are announced only moments after the clock strikes 4.

The question is, who will be the first. Will it be Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson landing in Tampa Bay?


There is intrigue surrounding many players, although the quarterbacks, as usual, take center stage.

Will Houston or Denver swing a trade for Dallas quarterback Tony Romo? Or will they wait until he becomes a free agent?

gettyimages 183485188 Free Agency Primer: Where Will Romo Land?

Tony Romo against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 6, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

“It is implied that we will work in the best way we can for the mutual interest of Tony and the Cowboys,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told Dallas reporters in Indianapolis this past weekend. “That was just implied. That’s important here. Now we’ve got to abide by every league rule. We can’t have agreements without it being within the boundaries of the NFL.

“But when you’ve got a situation like we got, we’ll do the do-right rule. That’s it. Very important. We do the do-right rule. We have that kind of relationship.”

Most believe that includes Romo agreeing not to sign with the division-rival Redskins if Kirk Cousins is traded to San Francisco.

Jones added, “What I’m really saying is that I do not know how, what we will end up with — whether it will be a trade, whether it will be a release, whether it will be neither. I do not know at this time. All scenarios have been well-considered and thought out. Now we’ve just got to see where the reality is.

“He’s considering options. Obviously, we all know that he’s going to have the opportunity to look at whatever situation, if there are situations. He’s going to have an opportunity to look at it. He gets to say and control this situation every bit as much as we do.”

One quarterback that could move quickly is Tampa Bay free agent Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers have reportedly offered Glennon in the range of $7-$8 million to stay, but that is Jameis Winston’s team and Glennon wants the opportunity to start. The Bears are where many believe he will end up, and Glennon signed with agent David Dunn just in time for the beginning of the 52-hour negotiating period.

– Free-agent Whispers

The big story circulating Tuesday were reports that the Los Angeles Rams are trying to trade cornerback Trumaine Johnson. Johnson was franchised for the second straight year and Monday signed the $16.74 million tender … Running back Adrian Peterson is supposedly interested in signing with the Patriots for a less-than-market deal. Of course, there might not be much of a market for a back that turns 32 on March 21 … Speedy wide receiver Torrey Smith was added to the market Tuesday when he was released by the 49ers, and San Francisco also released safety Antoine Bethea. San Diego set free guard/tackle D.J. Fluker, cornerback Brandon Flowers and wide receiver Stevie Johnson … Baltimore released safety Kendrick Lewis and cornerback Shareece Wright … Cleveland wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has supposedly garnered interest from the Giants, 49ers, Titans, Eagles and Steelers, although reports in Pittsburgh say the Steelers aren’t interested.

The Cowboys, according to espn.com, restructured the contract of linebacker Sean Lee to free up more than $5 million in salary-cap space. Previously, the Cowboys did new deals with tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick … Dallas and Philadelphia are said to have interest in wide receiver Kenny Britt (Rams), while Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon could be headed to the Rams or 49ers … Redskins defensive end Chris Baker is talking to Denver, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay, while the Broncos are also intrigued by Chargers running back Danny Woodhead … Denver is trying to re-sign tackle Russell Okung, but teams reportedly interested are the Jets, Chargers, Vikings and Giants.

Arizona re-signed tight end Jermaine Gresham to a four-year contract … The Panthers were busy Tuesday re-signing defensive end Charles Johnson, safety Colin Jones and running back Fozzy Whittaker to two-year contracts. … The Bucs look like they will re-sign running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

Following is our top 25 available free agents, and a position-by-position list of the best players available.

*Indicates player that has been released. Age is in parentheses.


1. OLB Nick Perry, Green Bay (27 in April)

2. CB A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August)

3. WR DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December)

4. DT Dontari Poe, Kansas City (27 in August)

5. G Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati (27 on March 8)

6. LB Dont’a Hightower, New England (27 on March 12)

7. QB Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay (28 in December)

8. NT Brandon Williams, Baltimore (28)

9. DE/DT Calais Campbell, Arizona (31 in September)

10. WR Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27)

11. T Rick Wagner, Baltimore (28 in October)

12. WR Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June)

13. OLB Erik Walden, Indianapolis (32 in August)

14. CB Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September)

15. CB Logan Ryan, New England (26)

16. CB Marcus Cooper, Arizona (27)

17. S Tony Jefferson, Arizona (25)

18. WR Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August)

19. G T.J. Lang, Green Bay (injury; 30 in September)

20. TE Jack Doyle, Indianapolis (27 in May)

21. S Barry Church, Dallas (29)

22. TE Martellus Bennett, New England (30 on March 10)

23. T Matt Kalil, Minnesota (28 in July)

24. T Riley Reiff, Detroit (29 in December)

25. G Larry Warford, Detroit (G; 26 in June)


Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay (28 in December)

Brian Hoyer, Chicago (32 in October)

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (30 in November)

Ryan Fitzpatrick, N.Y. Jets (35 in November)

Geno Smith, N.Y. Jets (27 in October)

*Josh McCown, Cleveland (38 in July)

Matt Schaub, Atlanta (36 in June)

Matt McGloin, Oakland (28 in December)

EJ Manuel, Buffalo (27 on March 19)

Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco (28 in October)

Mark Sanchez, Dallas (31 in November)


DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December)

Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27)

Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June)

*Brandon Marshall, N.Y. Jets (33 on March 23)

Kenny Stills, Miami (25 in April)

*Torrey Smith, San Francisco (28)

Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August)

Kenny Britt, L.A. Rams (29 in September)

Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 on March 17)

Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October)

Ted Ginn Jr., Carolina (32 in April)

Robert Woods, Buffalo (25 in April)

Terrance Williams, Dallas (28 in September)

Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh (26)

Kendall Wright, Tennessee (28 in November)

*Victor Cruz, N.Y. Giants (31 in November)

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay (34)


Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (32 on March 21)

LeGarrette Blount, New England (31 in December)

Latavius Murray, Oakland (27)

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (27 June)

Darren McFadden, Dallas (30 in August)

*Rashad Jennings, N.Y. Giants (32 on March 26)

Christine Michael, Green Bay (27 in November)

Benny Cunningham, L.A. Rams (27 in July)

Danny Woodhead, L.A. Chargers (32)

*James Starks, Green Bay (31)

DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh (34 in April)

Tim Hightower, New Orleans (31 in May)

Chris Johnson, Arizona (32 in September)

*Jamaal Charles, Kansas City (31 in December)

Kyle Juszczyk, Baltimore (FB; 26 in April)

*Mike Tolbert, Carolina (FB; 32 in November)


Jack Doyle, Indianapolis (27 in May)

Martellus Bennett, New England (30 on March 10)

Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April)

Dion Sims, Miami (26)

Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August)

Vernon Davis, Washington (33)


Rick Wagner, Baltimore (28 in October)

Russell Okung, Denver (29 in October)

Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati (36 in December)

Matt Kalil, Minnesota (28 in July)

Riley Reiff, Detroit (29 in December)

Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville (G; 26 in November))

Kelvin Beachum, Jacksonville (28 in June)

Andre Smith, Minnesota (30)

Ryan Clady, N.Y. Jets (31 in September)

*Breno Giacomini, N.Y. Jets (32 in September)

Menelik Watson, Oakland (29 in December)

Gosder Cherilus, Tampa Bay (33 in June)


Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati (G; 27 on March 8)

T.J. Lang, Green Bay (G; 30 in September)

Larry Warford, Detroit (G; 26 in June)

Ronald Leary, Dallas (G; 28 in April)

JC Tretter, Green Bay (C; 26)

*Nick Mangold, N.Y. Jets (C; 33)

*D.J. Fluker, San Diego (T; 26 on March 13)

Chris Chester, Atlanta (G; 34)

Chance Warmack, Tennessee (G; 26 in September)

Ted Larsen, Chicago (G/C; 30 in June)

Joe Hawley, Tampa Bay (C; 29 in October)

Jermon Bushrod, Miami (G/T; 33 in August)

*Brandon Fusco, Minnesota (G; 29 in July)


Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September)

Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May)

*Mario Williams, Miami (32)

Damion Square, L.A. Chargers (DT; 28)

Chris Baker, Washington (30 in October)

Chris Long, New England (32 on March 28)


Dontari Poe, Kansas City (27 in August)

Brandon Williams, Baltimore (28)

Bennie Logan, Philadelphia (28 in December)

Nick Fairley, New Orleans (29)

Alan Branch, New England (33 in December)

Johnathan Hankins, N.Y. Giants (25 on March 30)

Domata Peko, Cincinnati (33 in November)

Vince Wilfork, Houston (possibly retiring; 36 in November)

Jonathan Babineaux, Atlanta (36 in October)

Karl Klug, Tennessee (29 on March 31)

Tyrunn Walker, Detroit (27 on March 18)


Nick Perry, Green Bay (27 in April)

Erik Walden, Indianapolis (32 in August)

John Simon, Houston (27 in October)

DeMarcus Ware, Denver (35 in July)

Julius Peppers, Green Bay (37)

Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo (34 in May)

Courtney Upshaw, Atlanta (28 in December)


Dont’a Hightower, New England (27 on March 12)

Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh (31 in May)

Malcolm Smith, Oakland (28 in July)

Kevin Minter, Arizona (27 in December)

Akeem Dent, Houston (30 in September)

*D’Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis (34 in September)

Manti Te’o, L.A. Chargers (26)


A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August)

Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September)

Logan Ryan, New England (26)

Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May)

Marcus Cooper, Arizona (27)

Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati (28 in October)

Prince Amukamara, Jacksonville (28 in June)

Morris Claiborne, Dallas (27)

*Nickell Robey-Coleman, Buffalo (25)

Nolan Carroll, Philadelphia (30)

Captain Munnerlyn, Minnesota (29 in April)

*Leodis McKelvin, Philadelphia (32 in September)

*Sam Shields, Green Bay (30 in December))

*Justin Gilbert, Pittsburgh (26 in November)


Tony Jefferson, Arizona (25)

Barry Church, Dallas (29)

T.J. McDonald, L.A. Rams (26)

Chris Conte, Tampa Bay (28)

Quintin Demps, Houston (32 in June)

Duron Harmon, New England (26)

Micah Hyde, Green Bay (27 in December)

Jahleel Addae, L.A. Chargers (27, $2.55M)


Phil Dawson, San Francisco (K; 42)

Greg Zuerlein, L.A. Rams (K; 30 in December)

Nick Novak, Houston (K; 36 in August)

Shane Lechler, Houston (P; 41 in August)

*Dan Carpenter, Buffalo (K; 32 in November)

*Nick Folk, N.Y. Jets (33 in November)

Steven Hauschka, Seattle (K; 32 in June)

Robbie Gould, N.Y. Giants (K; 36 in December)

Jeff Locke, Minnesota (P; 28 in September)


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