The Chicago Bears boosted their defense, agreeing to a four-year contract with Super Bowl champion linebacker Danny Trevathan.
The Bears announced the move Wednesday, shortly after the opening of free agency.
The 25-year-old Trevathan was the leading tackler on the league's No. 1 defense and helped Denver win the championship last season. He is leaving the Broncos for a team that won just six games but showed improvement in its first year under coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace.
Trevathan also knows Fox well, having played for him in Denver. And the Bears will be counting on his familiarity, not to mention his ability, to help them become a contender after missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years.
>>Forte To Jets
It didn't take long for the Jets to find a replacement for Chris Ivory. According to ESPN.com, the Jets have agreed to a deal with Matt Forte that will send the former Bears running back to New York.
The move comes just hours after Ivory, the Jets leading running back from 2015, agreed to terms on a deal with the Jaguars. Neither deal will become official until the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Terms of Forte's deal haven't been disclosed.
If the 30-year-old Forte can stay healthy, he should be an instant upgrade over Ivory because of his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Forte has caught at least 44 passes during each of his eight seasons in the NFL, including 2014, when he caught a ridiculous 102 passes.
The Jets love to utilize their backs in the passing game, so Forte should fit right in with New York's offense. Last year, Bilal Powell and Ivory combined to catch 77 passes. Powell is a free agent though, and combined with Ivory's departure, the addition of Forte was a move the Jets absolutely had to make.
Although Forte missed three games in 2015, he still put up 1,285 total yards (898 rushing, 389 receiving).
Several teams were interested in Forte, including the Dolphins, Texans and Packers, but they were all outbid by the Jets.
>>Ditka's New TV Deal Means Less Travel, No 'Countdown'
Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka is departing as a regular analyst on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" and will take up a new role as a contributor to the network's "SportsCenter" shows.
ESPN made the announcement Wednesday. Talks on a new contract began last season and resulted in a two-year deal.
The 76-year-old Ditka has said that traveling each weekend to the network's Bristol, Conn., studios from his homes in Chicago in Florida became too wearying. Instead, he'll contribute more from remote studios near his homes.
"The work of being an analyst is not hard," Ditka told the Chicago Tribune in a 2013 interview. "The hard part is getting there. If I had a way to get there instantly, on a private plane or something, it would be different. Going through the airports kind of gets old."
ESPN has said former NFL quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who has announced his retirement will be added to "Countdown" as an analyst.
>>QB Osweiler To Texans
The Houston Texans have agreed to a deal in principle with former Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, confirms CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. NFL Network's Rand Getlin. first reported the news.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Osweiler's deal is for four years and $72 million.
The Broncos reportedly had a three-year, $45 million deal on the table for Osweiler. Clearly, it wasn't enough and now the defending Super Bowl champs go from having two viable options to none.
>>Giants Sign Vernon, Jenkins; Cruz Takes Pay Cut
The Giants continued to make it rain big-time money in free agency and continued to revamp their defense by signing defensive end Olivier Vernon to a huge deal on Wednesday. Jason La Canfora reports it's a record deal for a defensive player in years 1-3.
According to multiple reports, Vernon, who had his franchise tag rescinded on Wednesday by the Dolphins, got a silly contract from the Giants, totaling $85 million over five years.
Vernon has only 29 sacks in his career (or if you prefer, 23.5 less than the number of guaranteed millions he's getting in this deal). Of those 29, though, he had 5.5 during the final seven-game stretch of 2015 when he was lighting it up for the Dolphins.
Janoris Jenkins wasn't given the franchise tag by the Los Angeles Rams but he should be happy about it because he just got paid in free agency.
The former Rams cornerback will reportedly land with the New York Giants. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN the deal will be worth $62.5 million over five years while Mike Garafolo reports the deal will contain a whopping $29 million guaranteed.
That's $12.5 million per year and $5.8 million guaranteed per year on the contract, which would make him the second-highest paid in terms of guarantee per year (not counting former teammate Trumaine Johnson on a one-year, franchise-tag deal), behind only Darrelle Revis, who shares the same agents, Schwartz and Feinsod.
New York also re-signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, salvaging a relationship with a player they badly need to play at top form to help their pass rush.
Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was told by the team this week that he'd be released if he didn't accept a paycut, will be staying in New York this season after agreeing to a deal on Wednesday that will cut his 2016 base pay by over $6 million.
Under terms of his original five-year, $43 million extension that he signed before the 2013 season, Cruz was scheduled to make a $7.9 million base salary in 2016. However, that number's been trimmed down to $1.3, according to the Bergen Record.
That's a paycut of $6.6 million.
The good news for Cruz is that he can earn most of that money back. With playing time incentives included, Cruz can earn a total of $5.5 million in 2016 if he stays healthy, which has been easier said than done for Cruz lately.
It's been almost two years since the Giants receiver has been able to show off his salsa dance on the field. Cruz has been battling various leg injuries and hasn't played since Week 6 in 2014 when he tore patellar tendon in his right knee.