Analysis

2/22/23

46 min read

2023 NFL Free Agency Buzz: Updates on Player Signings, Restructures, Franchise Tags

The 33rd Team is tracking the latest rumors and buzz surrounding free-agent signings and player cuts.

Trackers:Ā Best AvailableĀ |Ā Signings by Team | Grades

Tuesday, March 28

Bengals Signing TE Irv Smith Jr.

The Cincinnati Bengals are signing tight end Irv Smith Jr. to a one-year deal, NFL Media reported. Smith, who has battled injuries the past two seasons, was a second-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2019 NFL Draft. After playing in every game as a rookie, he since has missed 29 games - including all of the 2021 season - because of injuries.

Smith, who was No. 22 on The 33rd Team's ranking of best available players, made 25 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns in eight games during the 2022 season. He caught a career-high five TD passes in 2020.

The move fills a need for the Bengals, whoĀ lost starting tight end Hayden Hurst in free agency. Hurst parlayed a 52-catch season in Cincinnati into a three-year, $21.7 million contract with the Carolina Panthers.

Monday, March 27

Bills Signing Taylor Rapp

The Buffalo Bills are signing defensive back Taylor Rapp to a one-year deal, ESPN reported. Rapp spent four seasons with Los Angeles Rams' after they selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. During that span, he started 48 games and recorded nine total interceptions as a reliable defender for coach Sean McVay.

Rapp will join an experienced group of safeties that includes stars Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The Bills re-signed Poyer to a two-year deal earlier in the 2023 offseason to keep one of the league's most successful safety duos together.

Rapp will bring the kind of Super Bowl pedigree Buffalo is hoping can rub off on their core group of players. Rapp was a member of the Rams' Super Bowl LVI-winning squad, along with new Bills teammate Von Miller. The Bills have been a perennial favorite of late but have yet to take the next step to Super Bowl glory.


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