Teams also made cuts Tuesday. The biggest were Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo and Nnamdi Asomugha in Philadelphia.
The Bills’ starting quarterback was released 1 1/2 years after getting a six-year, $59 million contract extension. Fitzpatrick struggled after signing the new deal, and the Bills went 6-10 in 2011 and in 2012.
Buffalo has not made the playoffs since 1999, the longest active streak in the NFL. For now, the Bills’ No. 1 quarterback is Tarvaris Jackson.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix said: “Difficult decisions often have to be made and so we are moving forward. Our focus remains on adding another quarterback to our roster and we will continue to explore every option available to us.”
Philadelphia released cornerback Asomugha, who two years ago got a five-year, $60 million contract with $24 million guaranteed when he left Oakland as a free agent. Asomugha was a flop in Philly, often victimized in single coverage.
Asomugha was scheduled to make $15 million next season, with $4 million guaranteed.
Earlier, Tony Gonzalez changed his mind and decided to return to the Falcons.
The NFL’s career leader among tight ends with 1,242 receptions and 103 touchdowns said he was 95 percent certain he would retire after 2012, but the other 5 percent won out.
Hours before free agency began Tuesday, Gonzalez tweeted:
“The lure of being on such a great team and organization, along with unbelievable fan support was too good to pass up.”
_Defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, both implicated in the Saints’ bounty scandal, agreed to restructure their contracts to remain with New Orleans.
The 31-year-old Smith and 30-year-old Vilma, both veteran defensive captains, would have taken up about $23 million combined in salary cap space without the redone deals.
_Minnesota finalized the trade of receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle, released 14-year veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield and re-signed right tackle Phil Loadholt. The Seahawks are sending their first-round and seventh-round draft picks this year plus their third-round selection in 2014 to the Vikings for Harvin.
_Tennessee agreed to terms with Buffalo guard Andy Levitre and Walker. Levitre, one of the top offensive linemen on the market, got a six-year deal worth nearly $47 million. He will replace Steve Hutchinson, who announced his retirement earlier Tuesday. Walker will help replace Jared Cook, whom the Titans declined to tag as a franchise player because he wants to be paid more like a receiver.