Free agents

NFL players with state ties could be switching teams

Several players with ties to college football in Oklahoma may be changing teams in the NFL this offseason.

Free agency begins March 9. And some players who are not now unrestricted free agents may be looking at restructuring contracts in light of impending free agency next year.

Here are some notable players that could head to greener pastures.

Former Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones of the Pittsburgh Steelers has completed his four-year rookie contract and is an unrestricted free agent. According to spotrac.com, Jones made $649,805 in 2016.

For the past four years, Jones has been the backup to Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Jones has two wins in four starts over the past two years. Last season, in limited action, he threw four touchdown passes with two interceptions while completing 61.6 percent of his passes.

Subbing for Roethlisberger in a regular season game against the New England Patriots, Jones threw for 281  yards (more than Tom Brady) with one touchdown and one interception in a losing effort. Jones engineered a comeback victory over Cleveland in week 17 even though four of the Steeler’s best offensive players were rested to get ready for the playoffs.

Pittsburgh General Manager Kevin Colbert indicate he would like to resign Jones but he is not against Jones testing the free agent market this spring. A writer for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette wrote that Steeler management thinks that Jones is better than “80 percent of the backup quarterbacks in the league.”

The issue for Jones is whether he wants a big pay raise to stay with the Steelers as a backup or go to a team that doesn’t have an established starter and compete for a starting job.

Last summer, former OU quarterback Sam Bradford was set to start for the Philadelphia Eagles. But when Minnesota Viking quarterback Teddy Bridgewater blew out his knee, Minnesota traded for Bradford and he became their starter.

Bradford, a former No. 1 pick in the first round, had his best year ever in 2016, throwing for nearly 4,000 yards, 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He has one more year on his contract with Minnesota and indications are that the Vikings want to resign him to a long-term contract regardless of the possible return of Bridgewater later this year. Bradford will make $18 million in 2017.

Former OU running back Adrian Peterson, who has been with the Vikings his entire career, could be traded this offseason because of his age and the size of his existing contract. Peterson was injured and out most of last year.

Former OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden was drafted in the first round by Cleveland in 2012. He played for the Browns for two years and then went to Dallas in 2014 and wound up in Houston in 2015. In April last year, he signed a two-year contract with the Texans for $4 million. He backed up Brock Osweiler last season.

Weeden is not a free agent but Houston was disappointed in the highly paid Osweiler and the starting job is up in the air.

Wide receiver Kenny Stills, who played at OU, made only $588,613 on the last year of his rookie contract with Miami.

In 2016, Stills caught 42 passes but averaged 17.3 yards per catch. Reports are that Miami wants to resign him but the question is how much they will pay.

Former Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson of the Arizona Cardinals is an unrestricted free agent who made $1,671,000 last season.

The Cardinals are trying to resign him before the free agency period begins. There are reports that he could make up to $7 million or more per season. Jefferson reportedly would like to stick with Arizona.

Tight end Jermaine Gresham, also from OU, is with the Cardinals. Gresham caught 37 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns last season.

Gresham signed a one-year contract with Arizona last year when he could have gotten more with a lesser team.

Former Sooner defensive tackle Stacy McGee played with the Oakland Raiders and made $559,670 last season. Former OU guard Chris Chester, now with Atlanta, made $2,350,000 last year.

Former OSU defensive end Antonio Smith of the Houston Texans made $985,000 last season.

 

NFL players with local college ties

Buffalo Bills

TU – Tight end Charles Clay

OSU – Safety Gary Shamiel

Miami Dolphins

OU – Defensive end Jordan Philips

OU – Wideout Kenny Stills

OU – Running back Damien Williams

New England

OU – Defensive lineman Geneo Grissom

Cleveland Browns

OU – Linebacker Dominique Alexander

OU – Center Gabe Ikard

OSU – Linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah

Pittsburgh Steelers

OU – Quarterback Landry Jones

Houston Texans

OSU – Defensive end Antonio Smith

OSU – Quarterback Brandon Weeden

Jacksonville Jaguars

OU – Cornerback Aaron Colvin

OU – Guard Nila Kasitati

Tennessee Titans

OU – Running back DeMarco Murray

Denver Broncos

OU – Linebacker Corey Nelson

OSU – Tackle Russell Okung

OU – Tackle Donald Stephenson

Kansas City Chiefs

OU – Kicker James Winchester

OU – Fullback Trey Millard (injured)

Los Angeles Chargers

TU – Safety Dexter McCoil

Oakland Raiders

OU – Defensive tackle Stacy McGee

OSU – Defensive end Jimmy Bean (reserve)

Dallas Cowboys

OSU – Kicker Dan Bailey

OSU – Wideout Dez Bryant

OU – Tight end James Hanna (injured)

OU – Defensive end Charles Tapper (reserve)

New York Giants

OU – Wideout Sterling Shepard

OSU – Cornerback Michael Hunter (reserve)

Philadelphia Eagles

OU – Wideout Dorial Green-Beckham

OU – Tackle Lane Johnson

Washington Redskins

OU – Punter Tress Way

OU – Tackle Trent Williams

Chicago Bears

OU – Defensive back Demontre Hurst

Green Bay Packers

OU – Fullback Aaron Ripkowski

OSU – Guard Lane Taylor

Minnesota Vikings

OU – Quarterback Sam Bradford

OU – Running back Adrian Peterson

Atlanta Falcons

OU – Guard Chris Chester

Carolina Panthers

TU – Wideout Keyarris Garrett

OSU – Cornerback Tyler Patmon

OU – Cornerback Zac Sanchez

OU – Tackle Tyrus Thompson

OU – Tackle Daryl Williams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

OU – Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy

Arizona Cardinals

OU – Tight end Jermaine Gresham

OU – Safety Tony Jefferson

Los Angeles Rams

OSU – Cornerback Kevin Peterson (reserve)

San Francisco 49ers

OU – Tight end Blake Bell