Jairus Byrd DB BUF 24 Hrs
The Browns did not inquire about free agent FS Jairus Byrd on the first day of the NFL's negotiating period.
The dots connect Byrd to the Browns due to his ties to coach Mike Pettine, but to this point Cleveland hasn't shown substantive interest. The Rams did contact Byrd on Saturday, though they are in far worse cap condition than the Browns. There's still plenty of time for Cleveland to enter the Byrd bidding.
Lamarr Houston DL OAK 1 Day
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Packers are "among those interested" in free agent DE Lamarr Houston.
Houston would be a huge get for GM Ted Thompson, who is trying to get quicker and more athletic on the defensive line. Houston is listed at 6-foot-3, 300, but after watching his 2013 tape we believe he was closer to the 275-280 pound range, at least in his contract year. The Raiders have been surprisingly lukewarm on keeping him. Houston is Rotoworld's No. 2 free agent defensive end left on the market, behind Michael Johnson and ahead of Michael Bennett.
Jah Reid BAL 1 Day
Ravens G/T Jah Reid was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of battery in Key West, Fla. early Sunday morning.
Reid, 25, was booked at 3:14 AM. No other details are known, but that makes three Ravens to be arrested the past month. Reid joins WR Deonte Thompson and Ray Rice. The 2011 third-rounder played just 23 offensive snaps in 2013.
Shelley Smith STL 1 Day
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports four teams expressed interest in free agent OG Shelley Smith on Saturday.
Smith has appeared in 25 games, starting eight, the past two seasons. He played 371 offensive snaps in 2013 and received glowing reviews for his run-blocking. Smith is a strong pulling guard who would make sense for teams that implement zone-blocking schemes. The Rams don't appear to have much interest in re-signing Smith, even though they need a ton of help up front.
Ryan Mallett QB NE 1 Day
The Houston Chronicle reports the Texans "won't be trading for" QB Ryan Mallett.
Beat writer John McClain is on top of everything Texans. While the dots connect between Mallett and Houston coach Bill O'Brien, Mallett still means a lot to the Patriots as Tom Brady's backup. The Texans have numerous holes to fill and aren't going to deal significant draft pick compensation for a quarterback who has attempted just four career passes and remains an unknown throughout the league. McClain thinks Cleveland's Brian Hoyer would make a better trade target. Like Mallett, Hoyer has history with O'Brien from their New England days.
Henry Melton DL CHI 2 Days
ESPN Chicago confirms free agent DT Henry Melton will test the open market.
Per reporter Michael C. Wright, Melton already has "multiple suitors." Free agency's top defensive tackle, Melton is likely going to command more money than the cash-strapped Bears can afford. He's coming off October ACL surgery, but is one of the best three-techniques in the game when healthy.
Ryan Mundy DB NYG 2 Days
The Bears have expressed interest in free agent S Ryan Mundy.
Mundy is a third safety/special teams type and wouldn't cure Chicago's deep safety woes alongside Chris Conte. Bears GM Phil Emery is also said to have reached out to the player reps for free agent S Mike Mitchell.
Ryan Mallett QB NE 2 Days
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com reports the Texans have expressed interest in acquiring Ryan Mallett.
Underhill adds that the level of interest is just "talk" at this point, and it's not clear whether the Patriots would consider trading Mallett. Entering the final year on his rookie contract, Mallett will almost certainly test free agency after this season so New England could be inclined to get something of value for him now. Mallett has a history with Texans HC Bill O'Brien, who was the Patriots offensive coordinator in 2011. Trading for Mallett would allow the Texans to address a position other than quarterback with the first overall pick.
T. J. Ward DB CLE 2 Days
The Lions have inquired about free agent SS T.J. Ward.
Ward's market seemed to be rather slow on day one of the negotiating period, but we still expect him to land a sizable long-term deal. He's a 27-year-old tone setter in the secondary. Ward would replace Louis Delmas in Detroit.
Alterraun Verner DB TEN 2 Days
The Giants have "inquired" about free agent CB Alterraun Verner.
Verner's market is red hot as of late Saturday, and his price tag rose when the Packers unexpectedly handed Sam Shields a deal worth $9.75 million per year. Verner is going to command more than that. The Giants look to be actively trying to upgrade their defense in free agency, also pursuing DL Arthur Jones.