Although they couldn't make a decision on a pope at the Vatican on Tuesday, there was white smoke everywhere in the NFL during the first day of free agency.
Two teams well under the salary cap made a splash, and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens lost two more linebackers in the wake of Ray Lewis' retirement.
The Miami Dolphins made a big noise on defense to complement an earlier deal with wide receiver Mike Wallace, reaching agreement on a five-year, $35 million contract with former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, the Baltimore Sun reported.
With Ellerbe coming on board, linebacker Karlos Dansby was expendable, and the Dolphins released the 31-year-old veteran to save $8,575,000 against the cap, according to NFL.com. His cap number in 2014 is even higher -- $11,575,000.
The Dolphins also agreed to re-sign unrestricted free agent safety Chris Clemons to a one-year contract.
Ellerbe's reported deal would make him one of the NFL's highest-paid players at his position.
The Dolphins allowed left tackle Jake Long, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, to test free agency.
The Cleveland Browns also got attention by agreeing to terms with linebacker Paul Kruger on a five-year, $40 million deal.
Kruger, who won a Super Bowl with the Ravens last season, will join the Browns' 3-4 defense scheme under first-year coordinator Ray Horton.
Kruger, who had 4 1/2 sacks during the playoffs, was coveted by at least three teams, including the Ravens and Indianapolis Colts. He was the Browns' top priority in free agency. He has just 15.5 career sacks but wasn't always used in a pass-rushing role.
Meanwhile, some big-name veterans decided to stick with their teams.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez said he is close to a new contract that would put him on the field for another run at a Super Bowl ring with the Atlanta Falcons.
The 13-time Pro Bowler is the all-time leading receiver among tight ends and second to Jerry Rice in all-time receptions with 1,242.
To keep playing, Gonzalez turned down several offers from television networks, and he had made commitments to his son Nikko for what he thought would've been his first season home in California.
Through restructured contracts, the New Orleans Saints found a way to retain defensive end Will Smith and inside linebacker Jonathan Vilma. The Saints reduced the salary-cap figures of both players, which combined to total $23.1 million. Terms of the deals weren't immediately available.
The Steelers and wide receiver Plaxico Burress agreed to a non-guaranteed, one-year contract, according to multiple reports.
As for other big names, the Detroit Lions will host free agent visits by safety Glover Quin and running back Reggie Bush, who also reportedly received interest from the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals. And Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is visiting with the Cardinals.
--Three major trades became official: The San Francisco 49ers dealt Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs and confirmed an agreement with Baltimore to acquire wide receiver Anquan Boldin in a trade.
The 49ers will receive an undisclosed pick in the 2013 draft and an undisclosed draft pick in 2014 from the Chiefs for Smith. San Francisco will give up a pick in this year's draft for Boldin.
Also, the Seattle Seahawks acquired wide receiver Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings and gave him a reported six-year, $67 million contract with $25.5 million in guarantees.
--The Seahawks released return specialist Leon Washington to make room for Harvin. Washington posted the news on Twitter, thanking fans for their support during his time in Seattle. His release saves the Seahawks $1.5 million against the salary cap.
--Wide receiver Santonio Holmes agreed to a restructure his contract with the New York Jets. Releasing Holmes would've come with a salary-cap charge of $11.25 million.
Also, the Jets released defensive tackle Siona Pouha, who signed a three-year deal last summer, saving approximately $3.75 million in cap space.
--Longtime starting wide receiver Kevin Walter was released by the Houston Texans, ending his seven-year stint with the franchise.
--The Buffalo Bills released quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was due to receive a $3 million roster bonus and a base salary of $4.25 million in 2013.