NFL Free Agency is set to open with the start of the new league year on Wednesday, March 17. But that doesn’t stop teams and players from agreeing ‘in principle’ to deals once the legal tampering period begins on Monday, March 15.
With the salary cap nearly $30-million lower than originally projected pre-Covid, this free agency period is expected to be unlike any other. That only makes it all the more intriguing to see where the six former Cougars who are entering free agency land this offseason.
Here are the six former Cougars who are looking to ink new deals:
Jamaal Williams – RB
Former BYU running back Jamaal Williams was a fourth-round pick by Green Bay in 2017. Williams has been a key player for the Packers’ offense for all four years with the Packers. But after drafting AJ Dillon in 2020 and re-signing Aaron Jones over the weekend, Williams finds himself on the way out of Green Bay. The Cougar and Packer fan-favorite even penned a goodbye to Green Bay via Instagram yesterday.
2020 Team: Green Bay Packers
2021 Team: Jamaal Williams Williams is signing a two-year deal worth up to $7.5 million with the Lions.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 17, 2021
Daniel Sorensen – S
It’s hard to imagine Daniel Sorensen anywhere other than Kansas City, where he has spent the entirety of his seven-year NFL career under Andy Reid. But coming off of a Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay, the Chiefs may look to upgrade the safety position. Sorensen’s versatility, smart play and ability to perform on special teams may land ‘Dirty Dan’ back in Kansas City. However, age, physical limitations and the Chiefs salary cap situation indicate a smaller deal for Sorensen.
2020 Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2021 Team: Daniel Sorensen is finalizing a deal to return to Kansas City on a one-year deal, per Herbie Teope.
#Chiefs are closing in on finalizing a one-year deal to bring back S Daniel Sorensen, source says.
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) March 22, 2021
Kyle Van Noy – LB
This is the second consecutive offseason in which Van Noy, a former second-round pick by the Detroit Lions, finds himself facing free agency. In fact, it was just a season ago that Van Noy was one of the more coveted free agents on the market before he signed a massive four-year, $51 million contract that included $30 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $12 million. But after just one season in South Beach, the Dolphins released Van Noy and he once again searches for a new home.
2020 Team: Miami Dolphins
2021 Team: Kyle Van Noy is making a return to the New England Patriots, per his Twitter.
— Kyle Van Noy (@KVN_03) March 18, 2021
Michael Davis – DB
A former undrafted free agent, Davis found a home in Los Angeles where he has been the Chargers’ starting cornerback for the past three seasons. Like Van Noy, Davis is a free agent for the second straight offseason. Davis returned to LA in 2020 on a one-year, $3.259 million contract before having a career year for the Chargers.
2020 Team: Los Angeles Chargers
2021 Team: Davis is returning to the Chargers on a three-year $25.2 million deal with $15 million guaranteed.
#Chargers are retaining CB Michael Davis on a three-year deal, source says. Big keep for them, as he had interest from a handful of teams.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 15, 2021
Harvey Langi – LB
Another former undrafted free agent, Langi was able to overcome the odds – and a scary car accident – to start nine games in the past two seasons for the New York Jets. Langi had a career year in 2020 with 60 total tackles and a fumble recovery. Despite his high level of play it is unlikely that Langi returns to the Jets, per Connor Hughes.
2020 Team: New York Jets
2021 Team: Harvey Langi has not yet signed a new contract.
Ezekiel Ansah – DE
Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah, a former fifth overall pick, is looking for a new home for a third straight year. Ansah spent the 2020 season with fellow Cougar Fred Warner in San Francisco after signing a one-year deal with the 49ers. Unfortunately, Ansah tore his pectoral muscle in week four of the 2020 season after appearing in just two games. With age and injury concerns it may be difficult for Ansah to find a landing spot for the 2021 season.
2020 Team: San Fransisco 49ers
2021 Team: Ezekiel Ansah has not yet signed a new contract.
The former BYU WR was unable to land a spot on an NFL roster after a unique offseason due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Simon instead spent 2020 training for the 2021 BYU Pro Day. That training seemed to have paid off as Simon ran a blazing 4.34 40-yard dash and caught passes from consensus top pick Zach Wilson. Simon, along with other former Cougars from the class on 2019, hope that Pro Day will help give them a shot at the NFL.
2020 Team: None
2021 Team: Micah Simon has signed with the Carolina Panthers, per Tom Pelissero.
Zach Wilson wasn’t the only standout at BYU pro day last week. Former Cougars WR Micah Simon — undrafted last year after COVID wiped out his pro day — caught passes from Wilson, ran a reported 4.34 40-yard dash … and signed today with the #Panthers, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 30, 2021