NFL notes: Patriots sign WR Smith-Schuster to 3-year deal
The New England Patriots made their first big pickup of free agency Wednesday, adding free agent wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster confirmed the move in a post on Twitter saying he was "Excited for my next chapter in New England!"
"I will give this organization everything I have, thank you for believing in me!" he wrote.
A person with knowledge of the deal said it is for three years and could be worth as much as $33 million. They spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because it hasn't been announced.
Smith-Schuster also expressed thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he won a Super Bowl last season after spending his first five NFL seasons in Pittsburgh.
"Thank you to Kansas City for the giving me the opportunity to come in and contribute to a Super Bowl, the most unforgettable experience of my life," he wrote.
Smith-Schuster's addition to the Patriots roster comes a day after they lost Jakobi Meyers after he agreed to a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. Meyers, who received a three-year, $33 million deal from Las Vegas, was New England's leading receiver each of the past three seasons.
A Pro Bowler in 2018 with Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster's injury limited him to just five games his final season there in 2021. He went to Kansas City looking for a fresh start and finished with 78 receptions for 933 yards and three touchdowns last season.
In other NFL news:
• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed on an $8.5 million, one-year contract with quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland in 2018, joins his third team since last July. He gets an opportunity to compete with Kyle Trask to replace Tom Brady, who retired after three seasons with the Buccaneers. Mayfield was 1-5 as a starter last season in Carolina before he was released. He joined the Los Angeles Rams and went 1-3 in four starts.
• The Philadelphia Eagles have informed five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay that he will be released. Slay posted a goodbye on Twitter: “Nothing but love Philly!! Lets see where we heading next.” The move opens up $17.5 million of salary cap space and pushes about $13 million of Slay's cap hit to 2024 for a post-June 1 release.
• The Dallas Cowboys released running back Ezekiel Elliott, ending a seven-season run for a two-time rushing champion who never regained the form of his dominant early years. The move will save Dallas about $11 million under the salary cap this season. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the decision was mutual to let the 27-year-old Elliott pursue another team in free agency.