NFL free agency roundup: Anthony Collins, Nolan Carroll and more

Sam Greenwood

On Day 3 of free agency, things got going early with Darren Sproles being traded to the Eagles. Philadelphia then stayed active, bolstering the secondary.

The first two days of NFL free agency saw many of the biggest names come land early deals, with men like DeMarcus Ware, Darrelle Revis, Eric Decker and Branden Albert signing massive deals.

While there are a few big fish still out there, teams will mostly turn their attention to some of the best values. There are a bevy of quality players available, but with so many teams spending most of their cap space already, the price tag on most of them will be lowered by simple economics.

Things got going early on Thursday, with the Philadelphia Eagles making a trade for Darren Sproles, then diving into the free agent pool:

Carroll feels the brotherly love

Philadelphia was shaky in the secondary last year, getting by with corners Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. With that in mind, general manager Howie Roseman went out and signed corner Nolan Carroll, per Adam Schefter.

Here is some reaction from Bleeding Green Nation's Brandon Lee Gowton on the move:

Carroll, 27, has the size and length the Eagles like in their cornerbacks. He measures in at about 6-1, 205 lbs. It appears Carroll was brought in to compete with Fletcher and/or Williams for a starting job. At the worst, he provides some much needed depth in the Eagles secondary.

The contract is modest at $5.2 million with potential incentives over two seasons, according to Mike Garafolo. In four years with Miami, Carroll notch five interceptions including three in 2013.

Young joins switches teams in NFC North

He may not be a household name, but over the last couple of weeks Willie Young became one of the best-known sleepers of the 2014 free agent class. The former defensive end for the Lions came out of relative obscurity to sign a three-year, $9 million contract with the Chicago Bears on Thursday.

A former seventh round pick, Young spent his first three years on the bench before becoming a full-time starter on the Detroit defensive line in 2013. He recorded three sacks, but it was some of the lesser-seen numbers produced by Young that got teams interested in his services.

Dane Noble at Windy City Gridiron has more on the signing:

In 2013, Young had 47 tackles, 3 sacks, and 60 total quarterback pressures. Those 60 pressures ranked him 15th in the league for 4-3 defensive ends according to Pro Football Focus.

His numbers might not be All-Pro at this point in his career, but for a guy just getting his feet up under him, this could be a very good signing for Chicago. We will have the Draft coming up in which someone else could be added, but it is safe to assume that Phil Emery found his two starting defensive ends in the first three days of Free Agency. In case you missed it, Lamarr Houston was signed on Tuesday.

The Bears didn't have the signature defense last year that we've become accustomed to, finishing 30th in the NFL in points allowed.

Collins to Tampa

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added to their already impressive collection of free-agent signings this week, inking left tackle Anthony Collins to a five-year deal worth $30 million, according to NFL.com. Collins played for the Cincinnati Bengals the past six seasons, playing both tackle positions.

With Collins in the mix, it appears the Buccaneers are ready to let left tackle Donald Penn walk. Penn, had signed a six-year, $41.7 million deal in 2010 but things have not gone well. At 30 years old, Penn might be on the downside of his career but is durable, playing every game of the past seven season.

During the courting process, Bucs Nation discussed what the ramifications were of a Collins signing:

If the Bucs can't sign Collins, they're likely to stick with Donald Penn as their starting left tackle, unless they can find a better tackle in the draft. Penn was serviceable last season, but he's aging and declining. The Bucs can easily survive with him at left tackle for another year, but they'll need to replace  him at some point in the near future.

Tampa Bay has been very busy this offseason, firing Greg Schiano, hiring Lovie Smith, and changing its uniforms.

Jackson in Seattle

The Seattle Seahawks are gearing up for their title defense in 2014 and have the backup quarterback spot taken care of with the re-signing of Tarvaris Jackson to a fully guaranteed one-year, $1.25 million deal, according to Tom Pelissero.

Jackson was originally a second round pick out of Alabama State in 2006 by the Minnesota Vikings, where he spent the five years of his career before coming to Seattle. Jackson was the starter for the Seahawks in 2011, completing 60.2 percent of his passes while amassing 3.091 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Here is Danny Kelly's take from our Seahawks blog, Field Gulls:

T-Jack he has played in Darrell Bevell's offense for his entire career, and in three game appearances for Seattle in 2013, had a hilariously awesome rating of 140.2 while completing 10 of his 13 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. His preseason line wasn't too shabby either, as he completed 26 of his 36 passes for 357 yards, three touchdowns and a 131.4 passer rating. He stayed true to Pete Carroll's system by not turning the ball over.

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