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Breaking news on players and teams as the manipulation window opens

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The NFL’s annual spending spree is almost here.

Free agency is scheduled to officially begin Wednesday with the start of the new league year, but the handling window, in which teams can contact player representatives, opens Monday at noon ET. The market could quickly take shape with players making unofficial deals with their suitors. And if last week’s revealing trading was any indicator, a flurry of moves could happen sooner rather than later.

Check back with USA TODAY Spots often throughout Monday and throughout the week for the latest news and rumors on the free agent market and what deals could materialize:

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up with teammate Ryan Jensen #66 before game against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

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Bold NFL Free Agency Predictions

Before the deals start rolling in, it’s time to make some bold predictions.

USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones takes a look at the action and sees some big developments in the works. Among them: The Los Angeles Chargers appear to be big spenders, with New England Patriots star cornerback JC Jackson and former Seattle Seahawks big man Bobby Wagner among their potential targets.

See the full story for a summary of what could happen.

-Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

Is the Tom Brady effect already happening?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their star quarterback back in the saddle. Now is the time to win back your potential free agents.

After Brady announced Sunday that he would reverse course on his retirement and rejoin the Buccaneers for the 2022 NFL season, Tampa Bay turned its attention to a wave of free agents poised to hit the open market.

A big piece is already in place, as Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen signed a three-year deal on Sunday night.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, cornerback Carlton Davis, safety Jordan Whitehead, offensive guard Alex Cappa, running back Leonard Fournette, outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul and defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and William Gholston are among the starters who could go elsewhere if the salary cap is lowered. The buccaneers cannot convince them to join Brady.

-Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

Cardinals keep Zach Ertz in the fold

The Cardinals retained a large part of their offense on Sunday, announcing they agreed to terms before this week’s free agency signing period with tight end Zach Ertz on a three-year contract extension.

According to NFL Media, the deal is worth a total of $31.65 million, including $17.5 million in guaranteed salary.

Ertz’s return could be just the start of a handful of potential moves by the Cardinals to re-sign some of their unrestricted free agents set to hit the market Wednesday as the new NFL league year begins. .

Other top free agents the club could be close to bringing back include running backs James Conner and Chase Edmonds, backup quarterback Colt McCoy and possibly wide receiver Christian Kirk, though he’ll likely get a big payday in the open market.

– Bob McManaman, Central AZ

Bills bring back the speedy receiver

The Buffalo Bills and Isaiah McKenzie have agreed to terms of a two-year deal, keeping the wide receiver off the free agent market.

The deal is worth up to $8 million in total, according to multiple reports, a big improvement after he played the previous two seasons in Buffalo for around $2 million.

Bringing back McKenzie, who can play slots, could be an indication that the Bills will move on from Cole Beasley, who has a higher price tag and would have $7.6 million in the salary cap in 2022.

McKenzie originally joined the Denver Bills in 2018 and began getting significant playing time in 2019. That year he caught 27 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed 8 times for 49 yards, leading the Bills to sign it by 2020.

– Sal Maiorana, Democrat and Rochester Chronicle

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL Free Agency News, Rumors: Tracking the Latest on Players, Teams

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