On Wednesday, hours before the 4 p.m. official opening of free agency, Arizona released safety Tyrann Mathieu when it couldn’t rework his deal. On Tuesday, the Cardinals let running back Adrian Peterson go.
The 38-year-old Peppers, who contemplated retirement after 17 pro seasons, remains with the Panthers for $5 million, with $2.5 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the team does not release financial terms of contracts.
Cleveland, meanwhile, did nothing more than listen to one of its greatest players, tackle Joe Thomas, announce his retirement. The Browns save his $10.3 million salary for 2018 and a $3 million bonus but lose their best player and leader in the expansion era (1999-present), a 10-time Pro Bowler.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but the right one for me and my family,” Thomas said. “Playing in the NFL has taken a toll on my body and I can no longer physically compete at the level I need to.”
Mathieu was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year officially begins. By cutting him, Arizona will save close to $5 million in cap space.
Mathieu became a star in the Arizona secondary after being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft following a troubled college career at LSU. He was an All-Pro in 2015, when he had five interceptions and 17 passes defensed.
But he also has been plagued by injuries and only last season did Mathieu appear in all 16 games.
Baltimore frees up an estimated $5 million in salary cap space by releasing Maclin, who signed on as a free agent in June. But Maclin missed two games with a shoulder injury, two more with knee issues, and finished with only 40 catches for 440 yards and three touchdowns. The 84 receptions he had over the past two seasons (2016 with Kansas City) are three fewer than he had with the Chiefs in 2015.
New York agreed with offensive tackle Nate Solder, late of the Patriots, to become its starter on the left side. Solder, 29, will get a four-year contract worth about $62 million.
The Giants can move 2015 first-round draft pick Ereck Flowers to the right side as they rebuild a line that has struggled for years.