The Patriots have locked up one of their own free agents, coming to terms on a new two-year deal for backup safety and special teams standout Nate Ebner.
Ebner was a sixth-round draft choice in 2012. The former rugby star and Ohio State alum has been a fixture on the teams’ kick coverage units while providing depth as a defensive back.
Ebner was third on the Patriots with 13 special teams tackles last season.
“He’s happy to be back,” said his agent Sean Stellato, who confirmed an agreement had been reached yesterday. “He’s played 1,217 special teams snaps in four years in New England. He’s put up some solid numbers. This was his goal. He wanted to be back. When you look at the definition of a Patriots player, he’s it, from work ethic, to skill set, to how he conducts himself.”
Ware reworks deal
DeMarcus Ware has restructured his contract to stay with the Denver Broncos, who have lost several key players to free agency.
The linebacker had been scheduled to earn a $3 million bonus today and $7 million next season in the final year of the $30 million contract he signed in 2014.
Ware finished second on the team behind Von Miller with 7.5 sacks last season despite missing five games and parts of two others with a bad back.
Ware’s restructuring assures Denver retains one of the league’s top pass rushing duos. The Broncos placed their franchise tag on Miller, the MVP of Super Bowl 50.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed free agent cornerback Jamell Fleming and receiver Rod Streater.
The Chicago Bears agreed to a three-year contract with inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman.
The Bears also agreed to a two-year contract with defensive lineman Mitch Unrein and a one-year deal with receiver and return specialist Marc Mariani.
The Washington Redskins signed punter Tress Way to a five-year contract extension.
Bryant faces ban
Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant faces a one-year suspension for again violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, his agent confirmed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Bryant, suspended by the league for the first four games last season after violating the policy, has appealed the latest suspension, said Thomas Santanello, his agent.
Bryant learned about the possible one-year suspension this week.
“They want to suspend him for a year and right now it’s under appeal,” Santanello told the paper. “I don’t have all the information yet. I can confirm it’s true where it stands right now.”
The Detroit Lions signed free agent safety Rafael Bush.
The Titans have agreed to terms on a new deal to keep defensive tackle Al Woods in Tennessee, pending a physical.