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New to Giants, Golden Tate believes team can be competitive

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The New England Patriots aren\’t known for big signings, but this one certainly was huge and paid off tremendously. Since signing Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal in 2017, with $40 million being guaranteed, the Patriots have captured two AFC championships and won Super Bowl LIII.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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The Jaguars have made several big free agent signings in recent years, but Jackson helped lay the first foundation for a Jacksonville defense that led the team to the 2018 AFC Championship. In 2016, Jackson signed a six-year, $85.5 million deal with $42 million guaranteed. 

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

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This contract will turn a decade old next year, but it\’s still just sitting outside the top 10 for the most lucrative deals in NFL free agency history. That\’s what happens when a future Hall of Famer reaches free agency during his prime. In 2010, Peppers signed a six-year, $91.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears; $42 million was guaranteed.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

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The Washington Redskins know a thing or two about signing free agents. Their latest big deal this week brings in a rival\’s best defender and a former Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Collins\’ six-year, $84 million deal, including $44.5 million guaranteed, became official on Wednesday.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

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After signing Johnson to a massive deal last year, it\’s hard to believe the Jets still have money in the bank to bring in more big names this offseason. The Jets added Johnson on a five-year, $72.5 million deal last March; $45 million was guaranteed.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

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Seven years ago, Williams owned the most lucrative contract for a defensive player in NFL history. The defensive end signed this huge deal following his massive rookie contract after going No. 1 in the 2006 NFL Draft. Williams signed a six-year, $100 million deal, including $49.5 million guaranteed, with the Bills in 2012.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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A Super Bowl MVP trophy certainly means something in free agency. Nick Foles definitely cashed in this week with a four-year, $88 million deal, which includes $50 million guaranteed. Foles\’ deal also has incentives. If all of them are hit, he could earn $102 million over the duration of his contract.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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After making the All-Pro team in 2015, the Carolina Panthers placed the franchise tag on Norman. But unable to reach a long-term agreement, the Panthers released him in March 2016, which was well before the tender deadline. Norman didn\’t stay unemployed for long. Two days later he signed a five-year, $75 million deal, which included $50 million guaranteed, with Washington.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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The Jets lost Anthony Barr at the last moment this week, but they still landed fellow free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley. The four-time Pro Bowler signed a five-year, $85 million contract to move to the Big Apple, with $51 million of his contract being guaranteed.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Like many of the players on this list, Vernon will not finish this deal with the team he signed it with originally. The Giants packaged him as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade to the Cleveland Browns. But three years ago, Vernon became a rich man. He signed a four-year, $85 million deal with $52.5 million guaranteed to join the Giants.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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The biggest contract to date this offseason, Flowers signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the Lions; $56 million is guaranteed. See, free agents are more than willing to move to Detroit for the right price.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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Timing is everything. Without Manning for the 2011 season, the Indianapolis Colts finished with the worst record in the league and then held the No. 1 pick to draft Andrew Luck. Still, things worked out for Manning. A career-threatening neck injury wasn\’t enough to deter the Broncos from making him practically a $100 million man. In March 2012, Manning signed a five-year, $96 million deal with $58 million guaranteed. He went on to lead Denver to two AFC championships and the Super Bowl 50 title.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Suh is poised to play for his third team in three years this fall, but at one point he was the most feared defender in the NFL. Following a pair of All-Pro seasons, the Lions elected to let Suh test free agency. He cashed in, becoming the highest-paid defender in the league with a six-year, $114 million deal, which included $60 million guaranteed. Suh hasn\’t been the same since then, though, and he played only half of that deal in Miami.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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The Vikings and Cousins made history last year agreeing to the NFL\’s first fully guaranteed contract. In a league where deals with 100 percent guarantee are avoidable, it\’s hard to fathom a team wanting to offer that kind of contract, but the Vikings really wanted Cousins. Or they just didn\’t want Case Keenum. Or Sam Bradford. Or Teddy Bridgewater. Cousins\’ contract was a three-year deal worth $84 million.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

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Biggest NFL free agent contracts of all time

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