The 2017 NFL free agency wheel is turning, with a number of USC football alums finding new homes while others await their offseason fate.
Last week marked the beginning of NFL free agency in 2017 and, as expected, it brought a flurry of moves for players around the league.
Former USC players in the NFL were right in the thick of things whether moving on, moving up or dropping from pro rosters.
Miami Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron opted to retire from football rather than testing the waters of free agency and there are others who may choose to begin life after football as well.
Here’s a look at who has signed and who is still on the market:
Free Agents Signed:
- Matt Barkley — Barkley spent 2016 with the Chicago Bears and will now call San Francisco home after signing a two-year deal with the 49ers. Barkley started six games for the Bears, throwing for 1,611 yards, eight touchdowns and 14 interceptions. It wasn’t a standout stretch, but Chicago’s problems went far beyond the QB and Barkley acquitted himself well considering the circumstances. However, with Brian Hoyer also signed to the 49ers roster, Barkley is projected to be a back up once more in 2017.
- Rhett Ellison — After spending five years with Minnesota, the team that drafted him, Ellison signed with the team he’d hoped would draft him, the New York Giants. The deal with the Giants is for four years and worth $18 million. And it seems like a perfect fit. As Jordan Raanan of ESPN explains, New York needs blockers at both the tight end and fullback positions. Ellison can and does play in both spots.
- Khaled Holmes — Another Trojan moving to New York, Holmes signed a reserve/future deal with the Giants. He was out of the league last year after being released by the Colts and cut by the Bears before the season.
- Matt Kalil — It’ll be a family reunion in Carolina after Kalil signed with the Panthers, joining his brother older Ryan. Kalil’s new deal is worth a whopping $55.5 million over five years and included a $12 million signing bonus. Injury issues have limited Kalil’s play with the Minnesota Vikings over the last couple of years, but he reached the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2012, so the Panthers are banking on the now-healthy Kalil to live up to his first round potential.
- Malcolm Smith — Smith is trading in the silver and black of Oakland, but he’s not travelling very far for his new colors. The linebacker signed a five-year, $26.5-million contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Smith started 30 games for the Raiders on the inside and is pegged to start at the WILL for San Francisco.
- Robert Woods — With four years in Buffalo under his belt, Woods is coming home to Los Angeles and the Coliseum with the Rams. The newest LA receiver will make $39 million over five years and should be a featured part of the Rams offense in 2017 with Kenny Britt off to Cleveland.
Free Agents Available:
- Reggie Bush — Bush signed a one-year deal with the Bills for 2016, so he’s back on the market this year.
- T.J. McDonald — McDonald is not expected to stay in Los Angeles, having hit free agency this year.
- Michael Morgan — Morgan is on the free agent market but could end up re-signing with Seattle. Bleacher Report’s Doug Farrar offers the Seahawks, Falcons and Chargers as potential suitors.
- Nickel Robey-Coleman —After being released by the Bills, Robey-Coleman has plenty of potential landing spots, including Minnesota, Miami, Pittsburgh, Tennessee or Los Angeles with the Chargers.
- Frostee Rucker — Rucker signed a one-year extension with the Cardinals last year, but he’s up for free agency and it’s not clear if he’ll re-sign in Arizona.
- Mark Sanchez — Sanchez is a free agent with as unclear a future as any quarterback out there. The big question is whether or not Dallas will offer him a new deal to continue as a back up to Dak Prescott.
- Shareece Wright — Wright was released from Baltimore after one season with the Ravens and there’s been limited chatter on where he might land..