Earlier in the day, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Ed Werder reported that Allen had reached an agreement with Seattle, giving the Seahawks one of the premiere pass rushers of his generation. Allen's agent, Ken Harris, backed reporters off the story, however, saying that the defensive end was still considering several teams.
That said, Allen's visit with the Seahawks on Thursday -- his second of the offseason, and this time with his wife in tow -- reportedly went well.
Whatever contract Allen signs this offseason will likely be the soon-to-be 33-year-old's last. It's hard to imagine a better landing spot for the aging star than Seattle. He would have an excellent chance to earn his first Super Bowl ring next season and thrive in a system that does an excellent job highlighting pure pass rushers.
The Seahawks could use another defensive end after releasing Chris Clemons, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. Allen would likely act as a situational pass rusher with Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett already serving as excellent bookends. After pitching in 11.5 sacks with the Minnesota Vikings last season -- his seventh straight season with at least 11 sacks -- Allen has proven he can still be a force.
The question, then is, is price. Danny Kelly at Field Gulls:
The numbers have obviously not yet been announced, so that will be the interesting thing to watch. The negotiations have taken a few weeks, and for Seattle, it's just a matter of finding a price point that doesn't negatively affect their chances to re-sign their core players like Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Russell Wilson, among others. Though fans certainly fret over this, I'm sure this front office is aware of that conundrum.
DeSean Jackson isn't on the free agent market, but the Philadelphia Eagles have made no secret that they're willing to deal the wide receiver. Jackson is coming off a career season, but he may be too expensive for the Eagles to retain going forward; he's set to cost $12.75 million against the 2014 salary cap. Philadelphia has set an asking price as high as a third-round pick. It appears the New York Jets may be willing to jump. Via NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:
#Jets host Michael Vick Friday & worth noting they are among teams who have inquired about DeSean Jackson via trade. Vick & DeSean are close— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2014
The Jets have cap space to burn, and and as they proved with Riley Cooper, they aren't afraid to spend it in the name of giving Geno Smith some help. Jackson would most certainly do that. He had 82 receptions for 1,332 yards (ninth in the NFL) and nine touchdowns last season. Jackson hauled in a solid 65 percent of his targets.
Rapoport also mentioned the Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers among the teams interested in acquiring Jackson. According to James Dator at Cat Scratch Reader, however, trading for Jackson may not be feasible for relatively cash-strapped teams like Carolina:
On the surface it seems like an ideal situation. The Panthers are in dire need of a top receiver and if the cost is simply a third round pick then Carolina could get a No.1 guy at a position they'd never be able to find one in the draft. It's an idea made complicated by the Pro Bowl, where Cam Newton and Jackson have worked together twice.
One argument against making a deal is money. Jackson wants to be paid like one of the best wide receivers in the league. When he's on the field it's hard to argue against the idea, but it would mean accepting a long-term deal for Greg Hardy is unattainable. A franchise simply can't pay two $10 million defensive ends and a $10 million wide receiver while waiting to give its franchise quarterback one of the biggest raises in NFL history.
The Houston Texans addressed the quarterback position Thursday, though the signing isn't likely to make fans swoon. Fitzpatrick gives the team a veteran presence to mentor the young talent already on the roster, and act as a stopgap solution until a permanent solution is ready to take over.
Battle Red Blog attempted to read the tea leaves in regards to what the signing means as it pertains to the NFL Draft. The answer was hazy:
SB Nation NFL
SB Nation NFL
It is tough to know exactly what this signing means for Houston's plans in the NFL draft, but a two year contract suggests that they want to use Fitzpatrick as a transitional quarterback while they develop someone younger to take over long term. Does Bill O'Brien fancy a developmental quarterback like Blake Bortles, who might have a higher ceiling than any signal caller in this class, long term and want a veteran like Fitzpatrick to guide the ship until he is ready?
BRB also suggested that the signing might mean that head coach Bill O'Brien doesn't like any of the quarterbacks available with the No. 1 overall pick, and signed Fitzpatrick as an excuse to target Kahlil Mack or Jadeveon Clowney at the top of the draft.
Whatever the case, Fitzpatrick's signing is another signal that Matt Schaub will soon be playing elsewhere. NFL.com's Mike Silver reported that the Raiders have a lot of interest in the veteran. The Cleveland Browns have also been mentioned as a destination in trade rumors. A return to Houston does not appear to be an option.
The Miami Dolphins have once again been one of the most active teams in free agency this offseason. Now, they may be readying a move to acquire the top running back on the free agent market. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Knowshon Moreno will visit with the Dolphins on Friday.
As The Phinsider points out, hosting players has worked out well for the Dolphins this offseason:
So far this offseason, if a player has come to Miami for a visit, he has signed a contract. The Dolphins have been rumored to have interest in Moreno over the past few weeks, and a signing would not be overly surprising.
Miami could also be interested in former New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, both of whom are still on the free agent market.
In Moreno, the Dolphins would receive an upgrade over the underwhelming duo of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas in the running game. The running backs combined for 1,115 yards rushing at 3.9 yards per carry last season. Moreno, meanwhile, is coming off a career season during which he gained 1,038 yards at 4.3 YPC. Moreno would also serve as a nice complement in the passing game.
As we noted earlier, Moreno's contract could serve as a symbol of the state of the running back position in the NFL.