NFL Roundup: Tony Gonzalez back to Atlanta Falcons, Ryan Fitzpatrick cut by Buffalo Bills, Mike Wallace leaves Pittsburgh Steelers for Miami Dolphins in free-agent frenzy

By Barry Wilner | Associated Press Published:

By Barry Wilner | Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens are paying the price for winning a Super Bowl.

The NFL champions lost two key components of their defense, linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe, as free agency began Tuesday. On Monday, they traded star receiver Anquan Boldin, a key to their title run, to San Francisco -- the team the Ravens beat 34-31 to win the championship.

Kruger went north to division rival Cleveland for a five-year, $40 million deal, while Ellerbe headed south to Miami for $35 million over five years. Steelers receiver Mike Wallace joined Ellerbe in choosing the Dolphins.

The 49ers didn't go untouched, either. After giving up a sixth-round draft pick for Boldin, they saw tight end Delanie Walker leave for Tennessee.

San Francisco also confirmed the trade of backup quarterback Alex Smith to Kansas City, a deal that was known for weeks. The 49ers will receive the Chiefs' second-round pick, 34th overall, in this year's draft and a conditional pick in next year's draft.

The 32-year-old Boldin expressed surprise that he was traded.

"I thought this was the last stop of my career but regardless of the circumstances I came here to win a Championship ... and in February we came home Champions," he said on Twitter.

Wallace will give Miami the speedy receiver it has sought after getting just three touchdown catches from its wideouts last season.

Denver ensured that Peyton Manning will be the Broncos' quarterback through at least 2014.

The four-time MVP's contract called for a guaranteed salary of $20 million in 2013 and 2014 if he was on the Denver roster Tuesday. The final two years of his contract are worth $19 million each, but are not guaranteed.

Coming off multiple neck operations, Manning threw for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns last season and was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He turns 37 on March 24.

Kansas City was busy finding support for Smith on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with tight end Anthony Fasano, a three-year, $12.6 million contract with defensive tackle Mike DeVito, and a three-year deal with Saints backup quarterback Chase Daniel.

Teams also made cuts Tuesday. The biggest were Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo and Nnamdi Asomugha in Philadelphia.

The Bills' starting quarterback was released 11⁄2 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.

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.

Also Tuesday:

n 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.

n 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.

n Pittsburgh re-signed linebacker Larry Foote and wide receiver Plaxico Burress, and tendered offers to four restricted free agents: receiver Emmanuel Sanders, running backs Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, all of whom could be starters in 2013, and nose tackle Steve McLendon.

n Cincinnati re-signed defensive ends Robert Geathers and Wallace Gilberry. Geathers enters his 10th season with the Bengals, the longest tenure on the current roster.

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