News: Dockett has signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers that will keep him in the NFC West after playing all of his 10 NFL seasons with Arizona.
Impact: The 33-year-old Dockett sat out all of 2014 with a season-ending knee injury suffered during training camp. He started every game for the Cardinals in 2013, finishing with 46 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks. Now, he will play for promoted defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, named 49ers head coach in January.
News: The stalwart defensive tackle who won two Super Bowls with the Patriots says the front office told him it will not be picking up his option.
Impact: Wilfork will become a free agent next week and says he has "lots of gas left in the tank." He adds that "New England has been and always will be my home." He was drafted out of Miami in 2004. He helped the Patriots to their third Super Bowl title in four years that season with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles and to another one over Seattle in February.
News: Searcy will test free agency next week to find out what he's worth after proving himself as a full-time starter last season. Searcy's decision does not come as a surprise after the fourth-year player took over the starting job in place of Jairus Byrd, who left Buffalo in free agency last spring.
Impact: A person familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press of Searcy's plans on Thursday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because discussions between the Bills and the player have been private. The two sides haven't had contract talks since Buffalo made Searcy an offer two weeks ago, the person said.
News: Soon-to-be free agent Hardy will be allowed to sign a new contract even if he remains on the commissioner's exempt list.
Impact: League spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday in an email to The Associated Press, "There's nothing to prevent a player on the Exempt list without a contract from signing a new one." NFL free agency begins Tuesday. However, Hardy's playing status remains in limbo. He isn't allowed to actually play until removed from the exempt list, which could prevent teams from going after him in free agency.
News: Maualuga agreed to a three-year deal Thursday, allowing the Cincinnati Bengals to keep one of their top linebackers.
Impact: Cincinnati's defense slipped to 22nd in the NFL last season, when Maualuga and linebacker Vontaze Burfict missed significant time because of injuries. After Maualuga returned after missing four games with a pulled hamstring, the run defense improved measurably. Maualuga, a second-round pick in 2009, could have become an unrestricted free agent next week.
News: Authorities say Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger drove off from a business without paying for nearly $20,0000 worth of customization work on his truck, though it could simply be a "misunderstanding."
Impact: Swearinger couldn't immediately be reached for comment and the Texans had no comment. The incident was first reported by TMZ.
News: Jones-Drew announced his retirement Thursday.
Impact: Jones-Drew was paid $2.5 million last season with Oakland but only rushed for 96 yards on 43 carries in 12 games. He ranked second in the NFL with 4,321 yards rushing in a three-year span from 2009-11 for Jacksonville. Jones-Drew, who will turn 30 on March 23, had 1,313 yards in his final three seasons. He finishes with 8,167 yards and 68 touchdowns in 126 games. Jones-Drew also caught 346 passes for 2,944 yards and 11 TDs.
News: The Panthers announced they have signed Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal was announced on Thursday but terms were not immediately known.
Impact: Olsen went to his first Pro Bowl in 2014 after catching 84 passes for 1.008 yards, both new franchise records for a tight end. He finished the regular season third among tight ends in receptions and had six touchdowns. He had three 100-yard receiving games last season, the most ever by a Carolina tight end. Olsen, 26, was acquired in a trade from Chicago in 2011 and has played in 126 consecutive regular season games, the second-longest active streak among tight ends.
News: Palmer says he has restructured his contract to help with the team's salary cap status with the aim of making a good team better come the free agency period. Arizona was 6-0 with Palmer as the starter before he went down with the season-ending knee injury. He says he reworked his deal about a month ago.
Impact: Palmer, recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, says he "is doing great," throwing the ball five days a week, and hopes to be ready for OTAs this summer. Regardless, he says he will be "ready to rock 'n' roll" by training camp.