2015 NFL League Year Begins Tuesday: Besides Free Agency, What Does it Mean? from The Mothership
On Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CDT, the 2015 NFL league year will officially begin.
For the Kansas City Chiefs and the rest of the NFL, that means a few things—most notably, the start of free agency.
Most fans are keenly aware of free agency as many signings have already been leaked and made public, but that's not the only thing that happens on Tuesday.
Below is a list of all of the important deadlines and dates that come with the start of the new league year:
2015 NFL Free Agency Questions and Answers from The Mothership
Q. What is the difference between a Restricted Free Agent and an Unrestricted Free Agent?
A. In the 2015 League Year, players with three accrued seasons become Restricted Free Agents when their contracts expire at the conclusion of the 2014 League Year. Unrestricted Free Agents have completed four or more accrued seasons. An Unrestricted Free Agent is free to sign with any club with no draft choice compensation owed to his old club.
Q. What constitutes an "Accrued Season"?
A. Six or more regular-season games on a club's active/inactive, reserved/injured or reserve/physically unable to perform lists.
The New Chiefs Download Podcast: Chris Ballard, Mike Borganzi and Brett Veach from The Mothership
You don't get to hear from them much, but their work behind the scenes is critical.
"We work as a group," Chiefs director of player personnel Chris Ballard told us. "I work with both college and pro, and I work right under John Dorsey, and we work together as a group on acquiring players both from the college, draft and also from the NFL."
Ballard, along with assistant director Mike Borganzi and pro and college personnel analyst Brett Veach, joined the new Chiefs Download Podcast to give a rare look into what their everyday life is like as well as how they made it to the National Football League.
DE Mike DeVito agrees to salary cut to stay with Chiefs from Chiefs Digest
While the Chiefs have not announced the transaction, ProFootballTalk.com reports DeVito's new deal reduced his cap number to $2.9 million and cleared an estimated $2.5 million in cap space.
DeVito, who turns 31 in June, took a pay cut from his previous 2015 base salary of $3.75 million with the restructure.
He will now earn "$870k, converting $300,000 to a signing bonus, $30,000 to a workout bonus, and a $18,750 per game active bonus," according to spotrac.com.
Don't underestimate what the loss of Mike DeVito meant to the Kansas City Chiefs and their run defense last season. The Chiefs were one of the league's worst teams in the league in stopping the run after losing DeVito and inside linebacker Derrick Johnson for the season in the season opener, both with a torn Achilles tendon.
Maclin is a coup for Chiefs, but not if O-line keeps failing Alex Smith from FS Kansas City
Don't get us wrong: Signing Jeremy Maclin is a public relations and football coup, exactly how a general manager should want to start a workweek.
The trouble for John Dorsey, the man moving the chess pieces for the Kansas City Chiefs, is that it's a two-pronged deal when Alex Smith is your man under center: One, it's having sure-handed targets to throw to -- and targets who can make things happen after the catch on their own, of which Maclin, the speedy former Mizzou star, is almost the prototype; and two, it's a line capable of giving him time to find the target in the first place.
As of Monday midafternoon, point one has fewer questions. But point two suddenly finds itself with more.
Notice the pattern here? So far, at least, the Chiefs aren't paying their offensive linemen as other teams are willing to do.
Maybe that makes sense. The Chiefs are probably better off sinking their dollars into Justin Houston, Jeremy Maclin and Alex Smith instead of offensive linemen.
If that's the philosophy, the Chiefs have to hit the offensive line hard in the draft most years, but particularly this year. The Chiefs are expecting to have 11 draft selections, the four extras coming as compensatory picks for net losses in free agency last year.
Chiefs tender exclusive rights free agents Josh Martin, Junior Hemingway from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs recently tendered exclusive rights free-agent offers to outside linebacker/defensive end Josh Martin and wide receiver Junior Hemingway, sources confirmed with ChiefsDigest.com.
The Chiefs have not officially announced the transactions.
Raiders to sign C Rodney Hudson from ESPN
Oakland's addition of Hudson likely signals the end of center Stefen Wisniewski's tenure with the team.
Wisniewski, the nephew of former Raiders star offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski, is scheduled to become a free agent when the new league year begins Tuesday.
Kansas City Chiefs News: How Jeremy Maclin Helps The Chiefs In 2015 from The International Business Times
Maclin should jump into the "Z" receiver role in Reid's offense, a position reserved for the top threat. The 26-year-old was often the second option to DeSean Jackson during Reid's time in Philadelphia, but can now expect to be Kansas City's top target. Maclin is listed at just 6'0 and 198 pounds, but he's shifty, fast and sure-handed. He's also capable of burning cornerbacks with the ninth-best yards after catch (489) in 2014. Last season, Maclin showed great explosiveness in Chip Kelly's Eagles offense, affirming a complete recovery from an ACL injury that kept him out all of 2013.
Maclin's addition comes with a hefty price tag. His contract is worth $1 million more per-year than Randall Cobb's reported deal with the Green Bay Packers. Cobb was largely considered the most coveted free-agent receiver, with Maclin a relatively close second. Multiple teams were reportedly interested in adding Maclin, but may have been scared off by his asking price.
Chiefs could be swapping one bad receiver contract for another from ProFootballTalk
But it's unclear whether Maclin's deal will rival Bowe's. No numbers on Maclin's deal have leaked yet (which is rarely a good sign for the value of a contract), but there's talk that the total package could be in the range of $11 million per year. Without more regarding guarantees and structure, it's hard to know precisely what the player will get.
Mike DeVito takes a pay cut to stay in Kansas City from ProFootballTalk
Per a league source, DeVito agreed to reduced his $3.75 million base salary and $250,000 workout bonus to a base salary of $870,000 (fully guaranteed) and a signing bonus of $300,000. He also has a $30,000 workout bonus, which gives him as a practical matter $1.2 million guaranteed.
Darrelle Revis News: Patriots Decline Option; Jets, Chiefs Interested In Signing CB? from The International Business Times
An ESPN report last month suggested that the Buffalo Bills would also be interested in signing Revis should he become available, but there has not been a re-surfacing of the rumors. CBS' Jason La Canfora tweeted Sunday that the Kansas City Chiefs want Revis as well, although their cap situation, especially now after signing receiver Jeremy Maclin, might make the move tough to pull off. La Canfora tweeted Monday that the deciding factor for who gets Revis might come down to guaranteed money.
Why the NFL Off-Season Has Gone Crazy from The Wall Street Journal
Already, word has leaked out that former Detroit Lions superstar Ndamukong Suh has agreed to take a six-year, $114 million offer from the Miami Dolphins, who can sign him on Tuesday. Jeremy Maclin, the Philadelphia Eagles' star receiver, will get $11 million a year with the Kansas City Chiefs. The New England Patriots held off the Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars to re-sign safety Devin McCourty to a five-year deal worth $47 million.
The action has been so fast and furious that the NFL reminded teams of one catch: Although they were allowed to start negotiating with players on Saturday, they aren't supposed to have any deals done before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The league circulated a memo detailing the things teams are allowed to do before free agency begins, which includes "engage in an oral exchange of positions." Teams instead engaged in striking deals with players, and the world immediately found out about them.
Birds bring back defensive end Graham from the Daily Local News
The Eagles have inquired about safety Ron Parker, who the Kansas City Chiefs apparently will be unable to re-sign after agreeing to terms on a contract with Jeremy Maclin that averages $11 million.
Parker (6-0, 200) has the size and versatility the Eagles appreciate as he was productive starting at safety in 11 games, and at cornerback in four games.
2. Jeremy Maclin to Kansas City Chiefs. If the Chiefs did nothing else this offseason, they had to acquire a real receiving threat at WR. Dwayne Bowe was their top WR, and he was 55th in receiving yards and tied for dead last in TD catches(with 0). Maclin might have been overperforming in a walk year, but he should immediately give Alex Smith a target to use vertically while they can now use their 1st and 2nd round picks on other pressing needs.
Tribeca: Tony Gonzalez film, Spike Lee doc among sports programming from The Los Angeles Times
"Play It Forward," a documentary about the sure-handed former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez and his close relationship with his older brother, Chris, whose own football dreams were never realized, is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
The world premiere of director Andrea Nevins' film will kick off Tribeca's ESPN Sports Film Festival section on April 16, organizers announced Monday.
Nevins' film chronicles a pivotal year for Gonzalez, who was first inspired to pick up a pigskin by his elder brother and ended up playing 17 seasons of pro football for the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.