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The last time we heard from Marc Bulger, the Cardinals were debunking reports that they were interested in him.
Now, nearly 10 weeks after he was released, Bulger has found a new home with the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Bulger, 33, was released from the Rams on April 5.
Joe Flacco firmly has the starting job in Baltimore so Bulger is going there strictly as a backup.
The deal will pay him $3.8 million.
For more on the Ravens, check out SB Nation's Baltimore Beatdown.
Cardinals GM Rod Graves has apparently caught wind of Jason Cole's Yahoo! Sports report that the team is considering adding Marc Bulger if the Matt Leinart continues to spiral.
According to Graves, Leinart has played well thus far in OTAs and the team is not considering a move to Bulger.
"We are not actively engaged in discussion with Marc Bulger," Graves said. "If he is interested, we're appreciative but right now, we're focused on the guys that we have here. Matt has done a great job so far but so has Derek Anderson and our young guys (rookies Max Hall and John Skelton). I've learned to never say never. Who knows what may happen? (Coach) Ken (Whisenhunt) hasn't made any final decisions on who will be the starter at quarterback. Right now, we're not looking outside of our group. That's not our focus."
Ah, the ol' "never say never" qualifier.
Here's the deal. The Cardinals have a young quarterback who hasn't played a lot and Graves likely understands that adding pressure to said young quarterback isn't the way to approach things in May. Bulger will be there for a while and he's capable of running the Cardinals system with little warm-up time. So now's not the time to be applying pressure to Leinart. While we're not doubting what Graves has to say, that reality should be pointed out.
The Cardinals have had a tremendous amount of success with a guy coming from an incredibly similar background as Kurt Warner so this is certainly a possible marriage to keep an eye on.
Matt Leinart has the near impossible task of replacing a potential future Hall of Famer in Kurt Warner. Leinart, a first round pick, apparently hasn't been impressing the Cardinals coaches in recent OTAs.
According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the Cardinals may even consider a change at the position with a player St. Louis fans may remember.
Don't be surprised if the Arizona Cardinals make a run at former St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger sometime in July. According to a team source, the Cardinals coaching staff hasn't been terribly impressed with the work of any of the quarterbacks on the roster, including veterans Matt Leinartand Derek Anderson, this offseason as the team tries to replace retired Kurt Warner.
The best case scenario in the instance the Cardinals do indeed make the move would Bulger having a similar career path to Warner, who also revived his career in Arizona after a stint in St. Louis.
As Cole points out, Bulger's familiarity with the system, it could be a seamless transition into the Arizona offense.
At the start of free agency, agent Drew Rosenhaus said his client Terrell Owens was in "active discussions" with at least three teams (one of which we know was the Bengals). The weeks passed by and nothing came of those discussions until ESPN's John Clayton reported T.O.'s next stop "could" be Oakland. Like all the other rumors surrounding the Raiders, the team denied the reports.
Two months later and there have been no hard developments on the T.O. front. A few rumors popped up once again the other day suggesting T.O. could be headed for the Raiders.
Not so, says Raiders coach Tom Cable.
"We really haven't had any discussion about that," Cable said. "We've got a good, young receiving corps, it's never been a point of conversation."
It's hard to believe ESPN's John Clayton and others that have linked T.O. to the Raiders are just making it up but that's what Cable appears to insinuating.
Unfortunately for Cable, he's not the final decision-maker in Oakland so it's possible he's as out-of-the-loop as anyone.
The Patriots on Tuesday released veteran cornerback Shawn Springs. Considering retirement at one point this offseason, it's unclear what Springs' next move is. Here's what SB Nation Pats Pulpit had to say:
Springs, a veteran in his 14th season, was signed by the Patriots to a three year contract last offseason. While Springs seemed to come on strong late in the season, he was on the books for more than $3 million this year, part of a deal that could have reached as much as $13 million. By releasing Springs, the Patriots will save nearly $2 million.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots haven't ruled out re-signing him at some point before the season.
On Tuesday the Patriots lined up with Leigh Bodden at one corner spot and four others -- Darius Butler, Devin McCourty, Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite -- battling for the other spot.
Springs' release comes right before the announcement that the Patriots signed sixth round pick Ted Larsen.
Springs, 35, is a 13-year veteran who has also spent time with the Seahawks and Redskins.
Restricted free agent Elvis Dumervil skipped Denver’s off-season conditioning program while he tries to work out a new contract with the team. While he’s still not there, he doesn’t want to miss anymore time on the field. Dumervil signed a waiver allowing him to participate in the Denver Broncos’ passing camp this week.
“I didn’t have to, but at the end of the day I’m going to be a Bronco in 2010 and I wanted to come out and support the organization and teammates and get acclimated with the new guys.”
Elvis says he and the team are working on a few “tweaks” on the final contract but he hopes to have it settled soon.
With the switch to the 3-4 defense, the Redskins will require some players that have, you know, played in that defense before. For that, they've signed Vonnie Holliday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Holliday spent 2009 in Denver's 3-4 defense and the previous four years in Miami.
He'll play defensive end in Washington.
At age 34, he can't be considered more than a one-year stop-gap assuming he makes the team.
The Patriots traded a third and fifth round pick to the Raiders for DE Derrick Burgess last season. He was in the final year of his contract and the Pats let him hit the open market.
Nearly two months later and they're bringing him back.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Burgess and the Patriots agreed on a one-year deal.
Burgess appeared in all 16 games for the Pats, starting six and recorded five sacks.
As reported, Pacman Jones signed a contract with the Bengals. According to a report, it's a two-year deal. SB Nation's Cincy Jungle takes a look at the key part of the contract:
According to a source, the Bengals inserted language in the contract to protect themselves in case he gets into trouble off the field. The team wanted a two-year deal instead of a one-year contract because they are willing to take a chance other teams are not.
When you're dealing with someone who has repeatedly been in trouble with the law and suspended for said transgressions, this is a necessity.
Cincy Jungle takes a look at how he fits in with the Bengals.
He will compete for playing time in a defensive back rotation in Mike Zimmer's secondary. I emphasize Mike Zimmer intentionally. When he says "we won't let this kid mess with our chemistry," I believe him. And there's no reason you shouldn't believe him too.
The Bengals have added to their secondary again. On the same day they signed Pacman Jones, the Bengals reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract with S Gibril Wilson.
SB Nation's Cincy Jungle doesn't expect him to have a huge role.
While the Chris Crockers, Roy Williams and Chinedum Ndukwes of the world are expected to earn the biggest chunks of playing time, the addition of Wilson, previously of the Miami Dolphins, gives Mike Zimmer even more depth to work with.
Wilson was released from the Dolphins one year after signing a five-year, $27.5 million contract.
SB Nation's Bengals community, Cincy Jungle, has reacted to the news that Pacman Jones will reportedly sign with the team. The overall feeling of Bengals fans is probably what most of us are thinking:
What in the world are they doing?
Even though Bengals fans are confident that the team can sign most players with troubled pasts and turn them into a positive (read Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott and even Chris Henry last year), many (read mostly every breathing Bengals fan) isn't on board with the signing -- especially considering that the last time Jones played a regular season football game was December 28, 2008. Or 493 days.
As Cincy Jungle goes on to explain, the Bengals secondary could use some depth. That's why it's not surprising to hear they're taking a hard look at free agent S Gibril Wilson as well as scooping up Pacman.
It should be noted that the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy reports that there is no deal "at the moment" but it is expected to happen.
Back in March, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the Lions would sign free agent CB Pacman Jones. Of course, that signing never happened.
Now, PFT reports Pacman will sign with the Bengals.
Pacman was in Cincinnati working out with the Bengals today so this one might be a little more concrete.
The timing of the signing could've been a little better. The Bengals just had a player arrested on Tuesday morning.
And now Pacman is in town.
On the same day a Bengals player was arrested, the club is working out a player known best for his arrests.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, citing a league source, that Pacman Jones is working out with the Bengals today.
Pacman said recently that his agent had been in contact with the Bengals and coach Marvin Lewis confirmed those conversations. At the time, he made it sound like it was nothing more than conversations.
It's unclear at this time how interested the Bengals might be in Pacman. It's possible they're gearing up to sign him while it's also possible they're doing some due diligence in the instance they have a player go down.
Pacman was connected to the Lions early in the free agent process but there hasn't been much after that.
SB Nation's Cincy Jungle is on top of this story. Head there to check it out.
The Redskins are familiar with Joey Galloway. They faced him twice a year while he was with the Cowboys from 2000-2004.
Now he's joining their team.
Galloway, the 8th overall pick in the 1995 draft, signed a one-year contract with the Redskins on Wednesday.
He and GM Bruce Allen were together with the Bucs a few years ago.
Galloway is a 15-year NFL veteran. He spent a few games with the Patriots in 2009 racking up a whopping seven receptions for 67 yards.
The Bears acquired safety Chris Harris via trade from the Panthers on Tuesday. With Harris in the fold, there was no room for safety Kevin Payne.
The Bears announced Payne has been traded to the Rams.
The compensation is an undisclosed pick in 2011.
Just two years ago the Jets signed G Alan Faneca to a five-year, $40 million contract with $21 million guaranteed. He lasted two years in New York before they released him last week.
Faneca has found a new home but for considerably less money.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Faneca signed with the Cardinals. The contract is for $2.5 million over one year.
Quite a dropoff in pay.
Faneca is 33 years old and should help the Cardinals line significantly. This is an important signing because the Cardinals need to do whatever they can to give Matt Leinart a chance to succeed.
Panthers S Chris Harris tweeted earlier today that he had been traded to the Bears. The move has been confirmed. The Bears gave up LB Jamar Williams in exchange.
"It hasn't been official," Harris told the Tribune. "But I will be with the Bears soon. It's about to happen and I am excited, man. This is great."
The Bears drafted a safety, Major Wright, last weekend.
They were also tied to Antrel Rolle at the start of free agency so it's known they've been looking for safety help.
The Rams are the only team that has invited former Eagles RB Brian Westbrook to camp. Westbrook took a step towards signing with them as he passed his physical over the weekend.
According to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, he “might very well” sign with St. Louis soon as a solid No. 2 option after Stephen Jackson.
For more Rams updates keep an eye on Turf Show Times.
The Packers made Jeremy Thompson a fourth round in the 2008 draft. Unfortunately, his career plans have been derailed.
Thompson suffered a neck injury in practice at the end of the 2009 season.
On Monday, he announced his time in the NFL had come to an end.
“I have consulted with a number of physicians, and due to my medical condition my intention is to retire from football,” Thompson said.
Thompson is just 24 years old.
The Bucs were reportedly shopping defensive lineman Chris Hovan over draft weekend. With no takers, he will be released, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Hovan's release is no surprise once you look at the Bucs draft.
With their first two picks, they took DT Gerald McCoy and DT Brian Price. The writing was on the wall for Hovan ever since that point.
Hovan, 31, is a 10-year veteran. He was the Vikings first round pick back in 2000.
Another defensive tackle that was reportedly being shopped, Ryan Sims, will remain with the team for now.
In 2007 the Patriots signed former Ravens LB Adalius Thomas for five years to the tune of $35 million. Thomas, who excelled with the Ravens, was expected to be a pass rushing force with the Patriots.
The results weren't what both sides expected. Thomas had just 14.5 sacks over the next three years.
The Pats ended the Adalius Thomas experiment on Monday releasing the ten year veteran. SB Nation's Pats Pulpit takes a look at what went wrong.
I'm not sure where it exactly went wrong with Thomas and the Patriots, but it was obvious he didn't want to play in New England, and his performance on the field reflected that. Could Adalius Thomas have been used better? Probably. But the bottom line is, despite all the money the Patriots dished out for Thomas, Thomas was not a fit, and turned into a locker room cancer, something the Patriots hadn't had in a long time.
Thomas is getting up there in age but he should still draw significant interest on the open market.
Rex Ryan made him a star when both were with the Ravens. Now that Ryan's with the Jets, it's possible he could come calling.
As expected, the Jaguars will part ways with former Pro Bowl DT John Henderson. The Jags spent their first two picks in the draft on DT Tyson Alualu and DT D'Anthony Smith so the writing was on the wall.
Henderson was the Jaguars 2002 first round pick and played in all but four games for them.
Henderson, 31, is a two-time Pro Bowl selection. He's no spring-chicken but there should be some interest in him on the open market.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the move was made with contract money in mind, saying that New York will have to eat $5.25 million of Faneca's guaranteed money, keeping in mind that eventually the team will have to sign Antonio Cromartie and Braylong Edwards or Santonio Holmes to contract extensions.
The Jets had signed Faneca to a five-year, $40 million contract, with $21 million in guarantees, in 2008, making him the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
It's still somewhat puzzling. They probably won't be able to afford both Holmes and Edwards, and they aren't saving that much after factoring in the guaranteed money. I do have faith in Callahan to develop a young guy, though.
The Rams are making plenty of moves at the 2010 NFL draft but they haven't forgotten about free agency.
According to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, Brian Westbrook is taking a physical in St. Louis today.
Westbrook was of course with the Eagles before a pair of concussions caused his release.
If healthy, Westbrook can still be successful in the right scheme.
The Jets are planning to release guard Alan Faneca on Monday, according to a report.
Faneca, 33, was reported to be on the trading block for weeks, but the Jets couldn’t find any takers. He was scheduled to make $7.5 million this season, of which $5.25 million is guaranteed.
That trade chatter gained some momentum when the Jets spent a second round pick on offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse.
The move also comes just two seasons after Faneca signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Jets. He spent his entire career prior to that with the Steelers.
So what do Jets fans think of the move? SB Nation's Jets community, Gang Green Nation, weighs in:
What worries me the most, though, is what the Jets are losing. I understand he is in decline, but it's also no accident D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold have played their best football since he arrived in 2008. He may not be a great pass blocker, but he is very valuable in the run game. Ducasse has virtually no experience pulling, which Faneca has made into an art form.
Last week a report surfaced that the Giants would entertain trade offers for DE Osi Umenyiora if they were able to land DE Jason Pierre-Paul in the draft.
Well, the Giants drafted Pierre-Paul, but they won't be trading Umenyiora, according to Giants GM Jerry Reese.
"We're not trading Osi," Reese said. "You don't even have to ask that question. I know that's the question on everybody's mind. ... We're excited about having the defensive ends we have."
Hmm...If I were the Giants GM -- and I was interested in trading Umenyiora -- the first thing I would do is publicly declare that he's staying with the team in order to maintain leverage in any trade talks.
ESPN first reported that Redskins QB Donovan McNabb had lobbied team officials to sign his former teammate (and former enemy) Terrell Owens. Once they actually spoke with the Redskins quarterback, they're coming away with a different story.
"I never said that to anyone about T.O. It's just not true," McNabb said in a phone conversation with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "I'm in a new place, trying to get comfortable, not start anything or push for anything. I am very happy with the receivers I have."
ESPN's report said the two recently talked about a reunion at a "Pros vs. Joes" taping.
Mike Shanahan has already said the organization decided "not to go in that direction" when asked about Owens.
With the report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Steelers are expecting to learn Roger Goodell's punishment for Ben Roethlisberger's on Wednesday -- and with rumors pointing to a four-game suspension -- it would make sense for the Steelers to go out and get a veteran quarterback who knows the system and could help out while Big Ben is away. On Tuesday, they did just that.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Pittsburgh has traded for Byron Leftwich, sending a seventh round draft pick to Tampa Bay in exchange. This gives the Steelers some insurance at the QB position, and now means the Bucs have 12 picks in this weekend's draft, tied for the most in the league with the Patriots.
Leftwich spent the 2008-09 season in Pittsburgh, throwing for two touchdowns on 21-of-36 passing while appearing in five games. Last year, withe the Buccaneers, the seven-year pro started three games and threw for four touchdowns.
For more reaction and all things Steelers, visit Behind The Steel Curtain.
After weeks of waiting, the Jets finally appear to have their man: defensive end/outside linebacker Jason Taylor has reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Jets, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
The free-agent Taylor had been linked with the Jets for several weeks now, but had been waiting for the Dolphins to make an offer first, despite them telling him they would not make a decision until after draft. The 35 year-old Taylor had wanted to end his career as a Dolphin -- and especially didn't want to be seen leaving the franchise for such a bitter division rival -- but his apparent lack of a future in South Florida more or less forced his hand. Taylor's agent confirmed that his client has signed a one-year deal worth up to $4 million with incentives with the Jets.
Taylor figures to line up as an outside linebacker in the Jets' 3-4 scheme, for a unit surprisingly bereft of pass-rushers given its status as the top-ranked defensive unit in the league last season. SB Nation's Gang Green Nation applauded the move, and hopes fans can move past the fact that Taylor used to don Miami's uniform:
I'm very happy about this, it opens up a lot of options for us, it gives us a legitimate pass rusher opposite Pace. Let's give the guy a clean slate, he is now a Jet, and as far as I'm concerned that's negates everything he has said while playing up to the Miami media. [...] All that anyone should care about is getting to that 2010 Superbowl, and in my personal opinion and you can take it for what you will, Jason Taylor get's us a step closer.
Taylor's signing certainly makes outside linebacker less of a pressing priority for the Jets in the draft, and should free them to draft the best available player.
For more on the Jets, check out SB Nation's Gang Green Nation.
Torry Holt spent the first ten years of his career in St. Louis. In year 11, he moved onto the Jaguars. Now, in year 12, he'll be a Patriot.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, the Patriots agreed to a one-year deal with the veteran receiver.
Holt adds a veteran presence at receiver, where the Patriots have Randy Moss atop the depth chart, with second-year players Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate projected to have expanded roles as Wes Welker recovers from torn ligaments in his left knee.
A reunion may be in order in the upcoming NFL season.
According to ESPN's Ed Werder and Sal Paolantonio, Donovan McNabb wants the Redskins to bring in a familiar name to play wide-out in Washington.
Yes, that T.O.
The same one that has had issues with almost every quarterback he's played with. The same one that called out McNabb for supposedly throwing up during the Super Bowl.
McNabb has apparently been lobbying for the move but the Redskins are undecided at the moment.
Coach Mike Shanahan told ESPN that the Redskins are not actively pursuing Owens. A team source said the Redskins have made upgrading their wide receiver position a high priority, but prefer to avoid bringing Owens to their locker room if another solution can be found.
T.O. and McNabb had a ton of success together. In 21 games spanning two seasons, T.O. averaged nearly 100 yards and a touchdown per game.
The Redskins could use a receiver and T.O. would likely play on a short-term deal like he did with Buffalo.
Last week news came across the wire that the Packers were reportedly interested in RB Brian Westbrook.
While the Packers may remain interested, GM Ted Thompson said there's "nothing imminent" between the two sides.
If Westbrook finds a home this offseason, it'll likely be much later in the process. He's a veteran and, if he had his choice, would probably want to skip a lot of the offseason practices.
The Packers have reportedly been looking for a third-down back to complement Ryan Grant and Westbrook can seemingly fill that hole if healthy.
The running back was released by the Eagles because of some concussion issues that were so serious at one point that he was reportedly contemplating retirement.,
On Thursday evening the Raiders signed former QB Kyle Boller. It was a bit of an odd move considering they already had three mediocre (or worse) quarterbacks on the roster.
Now we find out the reason he was signed, courtesy PFT's Mike Florio.
So why did the Raiders sign quarterback Kyle Boller on Thursday? Though they possibly were considering the move anyway, a specific need arose on Wednesday, when (per a league source) quarterback Bruce Gradkowski tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights.
Apparently, he was bench pressing at the time (and JaMarcus Russell just said, "That's why I don't lift weights"). He'll have surgery on Friday.
He won't be throwing for about a month after the surgery.
It's good timing considering it is the offseason, but you've gotta wonder how he'll respond from the injury. The best spot on the Raiders is the No. 2 quarterback. You know JaMarcus Russell will perform terribly and eventually be benched.
After Maurice Clarett had a federal judge overturn the NFL's rule that a player must be three years removed from high school to be eligible for the NFL Draft, former USC wide receiver Mike Williams followed Clarett and entered the 2004 NFL Draft. Unforuntately, Williams had already hired an agent, making him ineligible for a return to USC by the time the United States Court of Appeals overturned the initial decision. Therefore, Williams was forced to sit out of football in 2004 and wait until the 2005 NFL Draft. Thanks to Matt Millen, Williams was drafted 10th overall by the Detroit Lions and thus kicking off a busted NFL career.
In two seasons with the Lions, Williams caught 37 passes for 449 yards with two touchdowns receiving. He and Josh McCown were traded to the Oakland Raiders during the 2007 NFL Draft, where Williams posted seven receptions for 90 yards receiving in six games. In that sixth game against the Tennessee Titans, Williams dropped a critical fourth quarter pass that would have given the Raiders a first down in the red zone. Instead, the Titans took the turnover on downs, killed the clock and beat the Raiders. Williams was released a few days after that.
Williams signed with the Titans a month later at a reported 271 pounds. Even though he dropped his weight, the Titans eventually released him before the 2008 regular season. Since then, Williams has been unemployed.
Thanks to Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, Williams will get one last opportunity to play in the NFL. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, the Seattle Seahawks signed Williams to an undisclosed contract on Thursday. We can mostly assume that the Carroll-connection is at work here, giving one of his best receivers at USC one final chance to make it in the NFL.
For more reaction and news on the Seattle Seahawks, check out Field Gulls.
The Raiders are adding some depth to an area that needs an infusion of talent. According to the Raiders official Twitter feed, the club signed QB Kyle Boller.
It's hard to say Boller will compete for the starting job but one look at the Raiders depth chart may suggest otherwise:
JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye.
This might put Frye's job in jeopardy.
Boller, 28, was the Ravens first round pick in 2003. He spent 2009 with the Rams.
Being the leading tackler on the Oakland Raiders four-years running probably sounds more impressive than it actually is. Still, middle linebacker Kirk Morrison did enough to re-sign with the Raiders today.
Morrison says he signed the deal Wednesday that will pay him about $2.5 million for next season if he makes the team. The Raiders put only a third-round tender on Morrison. But no team was willing to give up that pick to sign him. Now that Morrison is under contract, the Raiders are able to trade him if they desire.
On Tuesday, Brandon Marshall signed his restricted free agent tender, which cleared the way for the Broncos to trade him to the Dolphins.
On Wednesday, Tony Scheffler signed his tender clearing the way for yet another trade.
Scheffler, like Marshall, hasn't been in good light with Broncos management suggesting to a lot of folks, including SB Nation's Mile High Report, that he could be had in a trade.
My immediate reaction to this was the same as the news for Marshall. If the Broncos are indeed beckoning for Scheffler to sign his tender, it likely means they have found multiple suitors for his services, and are going to be trading him sooner rather than later.
Scheffler was tendered at the second round level and didn't get any bites in restricted free agency so, if the Broncos are going to trade him, it's a good guess that it'll be for less than a second round pick.
Lito Sheppard was released by the New York Jets earlier this off-season after only one season with gang green. Conflicting reports have now surfaced about one potential landing spot for the two-time pro bowler. According to Pro Football Talk, Sheppard will be visiting with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile Tom Kowalski, a Lions reporter for Mlive.com, claims the Lions have no interest in Sheppard:
Contrary to a report that indicated the Detroit Lions were interested in bringing in veteran free agent cornerback Lito Sheppard for an interview, it's not going to happen.
According to a league source, the Lions will not pursue Sheppard.
Unfortunately, we won't know who is correct until Sheppard arrives in Detroit, or signs a contract elsewhere.
Sheppard was a first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002, and earned first team all-pro honors in 2004. He was traded to New York after his starting spot in Philadelphia was taken by Asante Samuel. He became expendable in New York when the Jets traded for Antonio Cromartie.
UPDATE: ESPN's Adam Schefter now reports via twitter that Sheppard will in fact be visiting the Lions.
The Eagles released RB Brian Westbrook on February 23rd after a variety of injuries including a pair of concussions last season. At one point, some thought his career might be over but all indications are that he wants to play.
And that chance to play could come in Green Bay.
According to Tony Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers are expressing interest.
The Packers would likely look at Westbrook in an Ahman Green-type of role.
If the Packers signed Westbrook, it would probably be to fill the role veteran Ahman Green did the second half of last season. Westbrook is an outstanding receiver and often lined up in the slot in Eagles coach Andy Reid's offense, taking advantage of match-ups with slower linebackers. As important to the Packers would be his leadership role on offense.
As Silverstein notes, Westbrook could be the third down back the Packers have lacked in recent years. RB Brandon Jackson is a solid blocker but not a threat to catch passes out of the backfield. If RB Ryan Grant sees more third down carries, then someone will have to step in to shoulder part of the load on first and second down.
Chris Simms is rejoining the Tennessee Titans.
Two seasons after he last played for Tennessee and two weeks after visiting the team for a workout, Simms agreed to a contract with the Titans to serve as their third-string quarterback.
Simms, according to Adam Schefter, has signed a one-year deal with Tennessee to join Vince Young (starter) and Kerry Collins (backup) on the Titans’ depth chart.
The 29-year-old signal caller appeared in three games for the Broncos last season and in one with the Titans in 2008.
He is the son of former Giants great Phil Simms.
Free agent LB and long-time Dolphin Jason Taylor may not have many friends in Miami if this move goes down.
A Taylor associate tells me the [contract with the Jets] is "close to done" and all that's left to discuss are smaller issues, such as how much of the voluntary offseason program the 35-year-old linebacker will be allowed to skip as he comes off minor shoulder surgery.
Taylor visited the Jets and was reportedly told by the Dolphins that they wouldn't look at signing him until after the draft in two weeks.
Taylor is back in Miami contemplating the move, the Sun Sentinel reports, and Taylor's agent says nothing will happen until next week at the earliest.
It's possible a deal has been reached in principle but the Taylor family wants to spend the weekend contemplating a career move they probably never could have imagined until now.
They also could be giving the Dolphins a little extra time to come to their senses and retain a co-captain and potential Hall of Famer who has immense respect within the locker room and among the fan base.
I've been monitoring the action over at SB Nation's Jets site, Gang Green Nation, and suffice to say they'd have a tough time swallowing a former Dolphin like Taylor coming to their team.
The arrival of Donovan McNabb likely spelled the end of Jason Campbell in Washington. Campebll, a restricted free agent, is expected to sign his restricted free agent tender by Monday at the latest, the Washington Post reports.
As of late Thursday night, Campbell had not yet signed the first-round tender he received from the Redskins, two people familiar with the situation said. He does plan to sign the one-year, $3.14-million contract, the sources said, and is expected to do so no later than Monday.
This opens the door for the Redskins to trade him. Without a signed tender, Campbell would have only been available to other teams by signing an offer sheet. Now, the Redskins can deal him for any compensation they feel fit.
There are expected to be a number of teams interested in Campbell, including Buffalo.
The Saints have agreed to terms with DE Alex Brown, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The contract is for two years and worth a reported $6 million.
Brown was released from the Bears last week largely due to the arrival of DE Julius Peppers.
SB Nation's Saints community, Canal Street Chronicles, is pretty jazzed over the Saints biggest move this offseason. They've passed along an interesting tweet from Saints TE Jeremy Shockey.
Welcome Alex Brown to a True Family!!! you will be loved. gators and all.. I cant wait to r work with ya.. much love
Brown is a former Florida Gator -- the rival school of Shockey's Miami Hurricanes.
The Jets have one of the youngest starting quarterbacks in the NFL in Mark Sanchez. Now they're checking out one of the oldest in the league to back him up.
According to Rich Cimini of the NY Daily News, the Jets will host Mark Brunell on a visit on Wednesday.
Brunell hasn't been a bonafide starter in over five years but can provide a solid option as a backup to the young-and-still-learning Sanchez.
The last time the Jets had a nearly 40-year old QB? Brett Favre.
Free agent LB Jason Taylor isn't expected to return to the Dolphins before the draft. While they mull their decision with him, the Jets have apparently been making a "heavy pitch" for his services, according to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald.
Per Darlington, Taylor will visit with the Jets today.
That's no indication that a deal is on the horizon. The thought with Taylor has been that whether it's with the Dolphins or not he wouldn't sign a contract until later in the summer.
Darlington reports the Dolphins "haven't closed the door" on re-signing Taylor but cites sources indicating they would prefer to wait until after the draft to do so.
SB Nations Jets site, Gang Green Nation, does not seem to be a fan of potentially signing Taylor.
I hate this. HATE this. Jason Taylor has always been the anti-Jet. He isn't even that productive anymore. He's old, and going to want a lot of money.
The Jets were expected to visit with free agent kicker Neil Rackers on Tuesday.
As it turns out, they won't get the chance.
Rackers agreed to terms with the Texans on Monday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Texans gave Neil Rackers a two-year, $4.1 million deal that includes $350,000 guaranteed. But he'll have to win job to earn his money.
Incumbent Kris Brown will not be released. Instead there will be a competition between the two to determine the Texans kicker for the 2010 season.
QB Marc Bulger was released by the Rams today.
Bulger, an eight-year starter in St. Louis, was due to make $8.5 million this season.
His release seems to hint that the Rams are strongly considering considering taking Sam Bradford with the first pick in the NFL Draft.
The other quarterbacks on the Rams roster: A.J. Feeley, Keith Null and Mike Riley.
To follow the Rams quarterback situation, check out SB Nation’s Turf Show Times.
Seahawks G Rob Sims has long been rumored to be on the trading block and on Monday those rumors came to fruition.
The Seawhawks shipped Sims off to the Lions.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Lions will give the Seahawks a fifth round pick for Sims' services.
Sims, a restricted free agent, was tendered at the fourth round level. He signed his tender last week and we predicted that likely meant he was being dealt for less than a fourth round pick.
SB Nation's Pride of Detroit is predicting that Sims will be plugged in as the starter at left guard.
No word yet on the compensation, but it looks like the Lions have now found their starting left guard. With Dominic Raiola penciled in at center, Stephen Peterman set to return from injury to start at right guard, and no indication that Jeff Backus or Gosder Cherilus are going anywhere, it looks like the Lions' starting offensive line may now be set.
Former Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers may have a new home soon. After losing Jay Feely to free agency, the Jets are reportedly bringing Rackers in for a visit.
The Jets reportedly will visit with former Cardinals PK Neil Rackers, an unrestricted free agent, on Tuesday. Unless something crazy happens, look for this marriage to happen. Rackers needs a team, the Jets need a reliable kicker and -- how convenient -- the Jets are eligible under the "Final Four/Eight Rule" to sign a UFA because they just lost one (PK Jay Feely).
Nick Folk was signed back in February but, with the interest in Rackers, that might've just been an insurance move.
We passed along a report last week that Kevin Mawae has been talking to the Titans about possibly returning to the team. It doesn't appear at this point that there would be a starting role for him on the team with Eugene Amano set to take over but Mawae has expressed interest in staying in Tennessee.
According to the Tennessean, the talked have "turned serious" between the two sides.
"We are working on it,'' agent Mark Bartelstein said. "Mike knows that Kevin would love to be back and we are just trying to work on something that would make sense for everybody.''
Mawae received a little interest from the Broncos early on in free agency but other than that the market for the 39 year old center has been pretty bare.
[Update: While the deal is still expected to go down, it's not technically final yet. Check out Cincy Jungle for details.]
On Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals retained a key cog in their offensive line by signing free agent guard Bobbie Williams. Adam Schefter tweets:
Big move for the Bengals o-line: Cincinnati reached agreement Saturday with veteran free-agent guard Bobbie Williams.
The 2010 season will be Williams' seventh year in Cincinnati. Our Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle, wrote something on Williams in March that sheds some light on how this signing could impact the team's draft decisions.
On one hand, the Bengals signing Bobbie Williams back could make the idea of drafting a guard in the early rounds rather moot. But that would be going off the suggestion that the Bengals interest in Iupati would be relative to what happens with Williams. Or, do the Bengals want to upgrade left guard? How much of an improvement is Iupati over Nate Livings or Evan Mathis?
For more on Williams' re-signing, be sure to check back with Cincy Jungle.
Every summer, the NFL holds a Supplemental Draft that allows players a chance to get drafted if that player didn't enter the regular NFL Draft. Players like Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither and Broncos defensive tackle Jamal Williams entered the NFL through the Supplemental Draft. Ahmad Brooks was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round in 2006. After two years with Cincinnati, Brooks signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2008 and played in 14 games in 2009.
"We are very happy that Ahmad will be with us going forward," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said in a statement. "He made positive strides last season and showed us what he is capable of. We expect Ahmad to continue to progress in the coming years."
Fooch at Niners Nation likes the contract, writing:
I have to say I think I like this kind of deal. The team got great play from him for a sizable chunk of 2009, but they still don't know what they have in Brooks long term. A 2-year deal allows them to see what else he can bring to the table, and it allows Brooks to really boost up his value. Down the road, the team could potentially extend him further, or Brooks will have the opportunity to test unrestricted free agency. Whatever the dollar amount ends up being, I think this is a win-win contract.
For more updates and reactions on the Brooks signing, or anything San Francisco 49ers related, visit Niners Nation.
Offensive lineman Langston Walker is a California man through and through. He played college football with the California Golden Bears before being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft. After playing five seasons with the Raiders, Walker signed a five-year deal worth $25 million with a $10 million guaranteed with Buffalo.
After only two seasons and a failed attempt to trade the offensive tackle, the Bills released Walker, who started all 32 games he played in the two seasons he played in Buffalo, before the regular season. Oakland elected to bring Walker back midway through last season, even starting two of the final three games of the year as a guard.
On Friday, the Raiders elected to sign Walker back, according to Pro Football Talk's Gregg Rosenthal.
For more reaction, check out SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride.
Damione Lewis, a former first-round pick with the St. Louis Rams, agreed to terms with New England Patriots according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Lewis was a late addition to this year's free-agent crop -- the Panthers released him just before the signing period began last month -- despite the fact that he started all 16 games last season for Carolina. Lewis initially was one of the St. Louis Rams' three first-round picks in 2001.
Schefter figures that the contract's worth will be similar to the $755,000 that Lewis was scheduled to earn this season with the Carolina Panthers, who released Lewis at the same time they dumped quarterback Jake Delhomme in early March.
Lewis will enter his tenth season, having recorded 22.5 quarterback sacks according to NFL.com. According to Mike Reiss, his "his primary value will probably come as an interior rusher". However, National Football Post's Aaron Wilson writes that Lewis will "play defensive end".
Check out Pats Pulpit for more reaction.
During the offseason, the San Diego Chargers were left with a question at running back. What to do with the aging LaDainian Tomlinson and what to do with Darren Sproles, who entered the offseason as perhaps the most coveted restricted free agent running back on the market. You can understand their dilemma, having Marcus Mason as the team's sole running back leading a collection of fullback-type of players.
In early March, the Chargers tendered Sproles the highest tender. Signing with another team would give the Chargers a first and third-round draft pick if San Diego elected not to match. If he signed the one-year tender, Sproles would make $7.2813 million in 2010.
On Friday, ESPN's John Clayton reports that Sproles signed that tender according to a source.
Sproles was the Chargers franchise player last season but the uncapped year prevented him from being a free agent because he didn't have six years of experience. To prevent him from leaving, the Chargers designated him a restricted free agent. Any team that wanted to sign him would have had to surrender a first- and third-round pick.
Check in on Bolts from the Blue for more reaction.
The Titans bid farewell to center Kevin Mawae at the start of free agency. The thinking was that Eugene Amano would be plugged into center as the long-term answer at the position.
However, it appears Mawae could still end up in a Titans uniform in 2010. According to his agent, a return is possible.
Agent Mark Bartelstein talked to Titans General Manager Mike Reinfeldt about that very subject on Friday. They have remained in touch since Mawae hit the market on March 5, but have talked more seriously lately about the eight-time Pro Bowler's return to the Titans.
The Broncos reportedly expressed some interest at one point.
Mawae has said from the start that his preference would be to return to the Titans. It also appeared at one point that he would be willing to leave if it meant he would be in a starting role.
At 39 years old, his starting days may be over but there may not be a better mentor for a young center in the NFL.
Earlier today, Willie Parker sat down with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, and appeared to be open to donning the black and yellow once again.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Parker isn’t ruling out coming back to Pittsburgh and spoke with coach Mike Tomlin this week.
“Nothing dealing with football,” Parker told the Post-Gazette. “Not really dealing with Pittsburgh or anything like that. I respect him as a coach. One thing they always said, they would play the best guys. I guess I wasn’t the best guy.”
Well, so much for that. According to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, the speedy six-year veteran signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins, a team already featuring Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson in its backfield.
The Washington Redskins reached agreement with free agent running back Willie Parker on a one-year deal with a maximum value of $3.1 million, according to a league source.
Parker has been told there will be an open competition for the starting job.
Parker ran for just 389 yards last season as the Steelers finally made it clear that Rashard Mendenhall was their primary back. On a separate note, if this was 2006, ’Skins owner Daniel Snyder would have one heck of a fantasy football team.
The Cardinals let K Neil Rackers enter free agency this offseason allowing a roster spot to open up. They've filled that with veteran K Jay Feely, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
Feely is a nine-year veteran who spent last season with the Jets. He had a solid season converting 30 of 36 field goals but missed two in the AFC Championship game. Those sorts of things usually leave a sour taste in folks mouths.
With Feely no longer an option, the Jets could turn to Neil Rackers.
That would be a straight kicker swap since Rackers was previously with the Cardinals.
ESPN's Adam Schefter predicted there would be one trade made in the NFL on Thursday. No, it wouldn't be Donovan McNabb, he said. Instead it appears the trade he's talking about could involve Seahawks G Rob Sims.
Sims, a restricted free agent, signed his tender today. The scuttlebutt throughout the league today is that it was signed in order to facilitate a trade.
Sims very likely will be dealt before this month's draft, with the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles strongly in the mix, according to sources. Sims, a restricted free agent, signed the tender early this week, and that would have to be a precursor to any trade.
He was tendered at the fourth round level and no one bit so logic would make you think the compensation in any trade would be less than a fourth round pick.
SB Nation's Lions community, Pride of Detroit, is already buzzing over the Lions reported interest in Sims.
The Giants made a couple of roster moves on Thursday and both involve safeties.
First, the Giants signed S Deon Grant. Grant, a nine year veteran, hasn't missed a game in nine years in stints with Seahawks, Jaguars and Panthers.
The Giants already signed S Antrel Rolle this offseason and Grant should supplement Rolle and S Kenny Phillips, who has been injured at times.
SB Nation's Big Blue View calls it a good signing for the Giants.
Classic Reese. Under the radar, useful veteran signing.
Second, with Grant in the fold, the Giants withdrew their restricted free agent tender offered to S C.C. Brown.
Brown, 27, is a five-year veteran who spent his first four years with the Texans. He started seven games for the Giants last year and appeared in all 16.
The Bears were reportedly interested in trading DE Alex Brown, according to various reports. That effort has been unsuccessful so it appears they will instead release the 31-year old defensive end.
With the arrival of Julius Peppers (and his $20 million due in 2010) along with the announcement that Israel Idonije will move from tackle to defensive end, Brown no longer has a place on the Bears.
But that doesn't mean he feels like his game has dropped off.
"I believe I can play four or five more years, I mean good years," he said. "Shoot, over the last four, five years I have been so close to having the magical number everyone looks for as far as sacks (10). As far as what I have been doing, I'm in my prime still."
Brown also understands the NFL is a business and holds no ill will toward the Bears for the move, which should come today.
"I would love to play at Soldier Field again," he said. "I would love to come back and play. To be on the opposite side of the field and see all my friends, that would be pretty weird, but I am sure we would have fun with it."
The Seahawks tendered restricted free agent G Rob Sims at the fourth round level meaning if any team wants him, they'll have to sign him to a new contract and give up a fourth round pick.
The Lions, according to NFLN's Jason La Canfora, are thinking about doing just that.
The Detroit Lions are strongly considering making a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for restricted free-agent guard Rob Sims, according to a league source
Sims is drawing interest from several teams, and could be signed to an offer sheet. He has a fourth-round tender. At this point, a return to Seattle seems unlikely.
La Canfora reports the Bears are interested as well.
If a trade does go down, it'll be the second Seahawk traded as a restricted free agent (Darryl Tapp). The Seahawks also traded for QB Charlie Whitehurst.
The hot topic of conversation this offseason has been the status of the Eagles three quarterbacks -- Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick.
The market on Vick, in the last few weeks, has cooled considerably. According to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, Vick is no longer on the market.
This would seemingly put to rest the Vick talk but I'm not so sure that will happen.
He's due a reasonable salary in 2010, hasn't demonstrated any real value to the Eagles offense and is entering the final year of his contract. Those factors, in my view, would indicate a trade is still likely.
If you're wondering what's going on with the rest of the Eagles quarterbacks, check out SB Nation's rundown on the McNabb talk.
The Titans are planning on entering the 2010 season with Vince Young as the starter. Kerry Collins, 37, will be his backup.
There isn't a third quarterback on the roster at the moment but that spot could go to Chris Simms or Patrick Ramsey, both of whom were brought into Tennessee for visits.
The Tennessean reports both quarterbacks were at Baptist Sports Park on Tuesday.
Both quarterbacks have spent time with the Titans in the past.
Simms played one game in Tennessee in 2008 before catching on with the Broncos in 2009.
Ramsey was signed by the Titans last April before being released in October. He was most recently seen with the Lions as insurance after Matt Stafford went down.
Both players are familiar with the system so it makes sense that one of them would land in Tennessee.
The Chargers were reportedly close to a deal with free agent CB Nathan Vasher over the weekend.
On Monday they made it official.
Vasher is coming from the Bears who originally made him a fourth round pick in the 2004 draft. He had a heck of a start to his career with a Pro Bowl appearance in just his second season.
San Diego makes sense because of his connection to the Turner family.
Ron Turner was in Chicago at the same time as Vasher as a coordinator. Ron's brother, Norv, is the head coach of the Chargers.
He should provide some depth after the Antonio Cromartie. However, he's been oft-injured and, at times, ineffective so relying on him to play full-time may be a risky move.
Vasher will make $4.5 million over two years.
The Steelers let RB Willie Parker hit the open market turning their attention to former first round pick RB Rashard Mendenhall. Reports surfaced over the last few weeks that the Steelers may be open to a return by Parker.
That doesn't appear to be happening, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette spoke to a person close to Parker and reported in his PG+ blog that Parker is so bitter toward the Steelers about his treatment last season that he would rather sit out 2010 than play here again. The source's message might be a bit extreme, but there's no question Parker -- a valuable guy who played a major role on two Super Bowl-winning teams -- couldn't have been happy about being pushed aside for Mendenhall.
I'm not sure this is the best more for Parker. He's turning 30 in November and, as we've learned over the years, that usually means a limited to non-existent market for him.
When Julius Peppers bolted the Panthers for the Bears, he left a void in the pass rushing department for Carolina.
The Panthers are looking to fill that either through free agency or the draft. For the time being, they’ve shown some interest in DE Marques Douglas, according to Charles Chandler of the Charlotte Observer.
Douglas, 33 played last season with the Jets.
Douglas could provide a short-term answer but my guess is that his name is down on the list. He comes with plenty of experience but the problem is that it’s generally been in a 3-4.
If the Panthers pick him up, they could wait a year to address that position in the draft.
Douglas will likely be available after the draft.
The Raiders are in on the Donovan McNabb sweepstakes, according to various reports. But if that doesn't go down, then Sage Rosenfels could be an option for the silver and black, according to Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post.
A team executive told me the Raiders and Vikings are discussing the availability of backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels. Trading Rosenfels would only happen if the Vikings know for certain that Brett Favre is coming back.
Waiting on Favre to make a decision? That's a long wait.
It's becoming clear the Raiders don't want to go into the season with a competition between JaMarcus Russell and Bruce Gradkowski -- and for good reason. Neither are long-term solutions at the position.
Rosenfels has put up some good numbers in the past but he's always had an interception problem. If they go after Rosenfels, then consider Russell's future as a Raider pretty much non-existent.
A report surfaced this morning that the Lions would soon be announcing the arrival of free agent CB Pacman Jones. It apparently came from Pacman's camp because Lions sources tell Tom Kowalski of MLive.com that no deal has been reached.
However, according to a source close to the situation, the team has not reached any agreement with Jones. Another source called it "way off base.''
The Lions GM admitted his interest in Pacman this week at the owners' meetings but indicated the next step in the process would be a sit-down interview. That interview has yet to take place, according to Kowalski.
SB Nation's Pride of Detroit is buzzing over the possibility of signing Pacman. POD agrees with the move -- assuming they can cut the cord whenever they want.
I am definitely on the bandwagon supporting the signing of Jones, because I believe his talent is worth taking the risk on. Obviously there is the possibility of Jones getting into trouble of some sort, but if that does happen then the Lions can simply release him. On the other hand, if nothing happens, the Lions may have found a starting-caliber cornerback and/or returner. To me, character flaws or not, this is a move worth making.
The Bears are shopping DE Alex Brown, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
An NFL source told the Tribune the Bears are working actively to deal Alex Brown. If they cannot find a taker for the nine-year veteran who finished last season as a captain, they could release him. The move of Idonije likely signals the end of Brown's career with the Bears because there simply isn't enough playing time to go around.
Biggs speculates that Brown could have fetched a similar deal to Kyle Vanden Bosch or Aaron Kampmann on the open market.
What makes a trade difficult is that Brown has a high $5.5 million base salary in 2011. So if someone wants to trade for him, and keep him for more than a year, that contract may have to be addressed.
The Bears don't have much leverage here as Brown is the odd man out at defensive end. Teams know they would prefer to trade him or, if it comes down to it, release him.
"That was a tough call", Lovie Smith said. "He's family. He's a friend for life, and to call him and let him know we were going in a different direction. I know you have to do it, but that was personal right there."
Ogunleye was with the Bears since 2004 when he was acquired from the Miami Dolphins, and was a dominant force during his time with the Bears. Ogunleye is coming off a broken leg and he figures to get some interest when he's fully healed.
The last time we heard from Ty Law he said he was open to returning to football and was going to continue to train as if he were playing.
The Broncos reportedly hadn't closed the door on him at the time but we haven't heard much on his status until now.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll recently told Pat Kirwan of NFL.com there's "still a place" for Law on his team.
Law and Carroll are familiar with each other from their time in New England. Law was a cornerback for Carroll's entire tenure with the Patriots.
It's unlikely Law would sign a contract with anyone anytime soon. He's a veteran and would probably prefer to avoid training camp.
On Tuesday evening, we passed along a link to SB Nation’s 49ers community, Niners Nation, that G Chester Pitts had signed with the 49ers.
The two sides had reportedly been in negotiations so it made sense.
However, Niners Nation has offered a clarification indicating the article was not meant to be published.
So, Chester Pitts has not signed with the 49ers. We apologize for the confusion.
The Donovan McNabb trade rumor mill has become its own living, breathing life-form. To keep up with all the speculation and reports, visit our McNabb Trade Watch StoryStream.
The St. Louis Rams have offered the first pick in the second round, 33rd overall, in the upcoming NFL Draft along with free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Donovan McNabb, and according to the Philadelphia inquirer, a deal could be done by the end of the week.
Earlier Wednesday at the owners meetings, Eagles coach Any Reid admitted that Eagles were looking to resolve their crowded quarterback situation. McNabb responded on his blog:
“I was asked to respond to statements made at the NFL owners meetings that the Eagles would entertain offers to trade any of their three QBs,” McNabb wrote. "Here is my response: My position hasn’t changed. I’ve said all along that I would like to win a Super Bowl and finish my career in Philadelphia.
However, the Inquirer reports that McNabb would accept a trade to St. Louis provided the Rams meet him at the airport with a new contract extension.
We mentioned earlier this week that the Patriots were close to signing veteran Tight End Alge Crumpler. The Patriots announced today that the signing was now official, according to Mike Reiss. Coach Bill Belichek had this to say about Crumpler earlier this week.
"We have a lot of respect for him as a player. He’s had an outstanding career."
Crumpler was drafted by Atlanta in the second round of the 2001 draft, and became a four-time pro bowler with the Falcons. However, Crumpler is coming off two relatively unspectacular years with the Tennessee Titans. He is now the only Tight End on the Patriots roster who has any regular season playing experience.
The most buzz around the NFL this offseason has surrounded the Eagles three quarterbacks -- Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick.
According to multiple reports, there is little-to-no market for Vick.
The Eagles apparently want to keep Kolb for the future but that hasn't been confirmed. What has been confirmed is that the Eagles are "entertaining" trade offers for all three quarterbacks, according to Eagles coach Andy Reid.
Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Eagles have apparently lowered their asking price for both McNabb and Kolb.
What's more, the Eagles apparently have lowered their price for either McNabb or Kolb. Once thought to be insistent on a first-round pick, the Eagles now are looking for a "fair" price - a second-round pick or a combination of high picks, a league source with knowledge of the team's thought process said.
One NFC general manager who is not looking for a starting quarterback said yesterday that if he were looking, he would be willing to offer a second-round pick for either McNabb or Kolb.
Fox also reports that despite what Reid says they will have an "aggressive plan of action" to move at least one of the quarterbacks before the start of the season.
On top of all that, all three quarterbacks are entering the final year of their contract so if they want to get something out of them, now's the time.
Adam "Pacman" Jones is trying to work his way back onto an NFL roster...again.
The Detroit Lions have hosted the cornerback for a workout and have at least moderate interest in signing him, according to the Detroit News. Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew confirmed the team's interest.
"I would say nothing's imminent," Mayhew said. "But we're definitely tracking that and gathering more information. And he's a guy that has a skill set that would help us."
Free agent DE Jason Taylor has had a hell of a run with the Dolphins since they made him a third round draft choice in 1997. The way things stand now, that run has quite possibly ended.
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano was asked about Taylor at the NFL owners' meetings in Orlando this week.
“He’s been a super guy for me," Sparano said during an AFC coaches' breakfast. "I enjoyed him. I enjoyed having him on my team. I really did. I enjoyed coaching him."
We don't usually point out grammar in our analysis but the use of the past tense here may be telling to Taylor's future in Miami.
There's little reason for Sparano to lie about this. Though it's been rumored that at least four other teams are interested in Taylor, his preference has always been Miami and I imagine it still is.
As of now, it appears the Dolphins are content to rest on Cameron Wake and Charlie Anderson as their outside linebackers in 2010.
We mentioned on Monday that free agent QB Daunte Culpepper was in Orlando at the NFL owners' meetings. He didn't have any "official" business to conduct but was there to see if he could drum up some interest in a job for the 2010 season.
ESPN's Tim Graham caught up with him and asked if there were any teams in particular he'd like to speak with.
"I would love to talk to Buffalo," Culpepper said. "I don't know if they'd have an open mind, but I'd love to talk to them. I would love to have a chance to compete there. Give me the opportunity. I can be the guy."
SB Nation's Buffalo Rumblings writes Culpepper's interest in Buffalo is more of an indictment on the Bills quarterback situation than Culpepper.
This team, thanks to the pool of mediocrity the team employs at the quarterback position, is now the proverbial promised land for washed-up veteran quarterbacks. Not all of them, mind you. Just the ones desperate enough to, quite literally, solicit themselves.
What does the Buffalo decision maker, GM Buddy Nix, think about this?
"I have no idea. I really don't know. I know that's what we got now, and it's open. Chan's made that clear. We're going to see who comes out. The fact that those are the three guys we got, we like all three of them, all of them got redeeming qualities, but if something else comes available, we might add a fourth to the mix. I don't know."
Head coach Chan Gailey didn't comment on the possibility of acquiring another quarterback but with the new management not tied to any of the quarterbacks on the roster, it wouldn't be surprising to see a free agent brought in (if the draft doesn't yield anything).
Free agent guard Chester Pitts previously wished the Texans would re-sign him to a long-term contract. That never came to fruition so he made visits to the Lions and 49ers at the onset of free agency.
Apparently the visit in San Francisco went well because, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, his reps are still negotiating with the team.
Possibly in an effort to gain some leverage in the negotiations, Pitts said on Tuesday that he would be making a visit to the Seahawks. He also said last week that the Seahawks were one of the teams interested in him.
He will be making the visit on Tuesday and it will extend into Wednesday.
One caveat to signing him is that he's currently injured and won't be ready to participate until around June, according to reports.
In an email interview with the NY Daily News, the agent for Jets RB Leon Washington explained his client's absence from the start of the offseason conditioning program and said other teams are interested in acquiring his services.
"However, we have some interest out there in Leon. Truth of the matter is, if a team is going to give up a second-round pick, it would probably get done closer to the April 15th deadline vs. right now. He will be four weeks further along in his rehab than he is right now. It only makes sense from a business standpoint.”
Normally we're not too concerned with seventh round picks being cut after a year in the system but Demetrius Byrd is a bit different.
In the 2009 lead up to the April NFL draft, Demetrius Byrd was projected by most folks to be a mid-round pick. However, just a week before the draft, he was in a major car accident that left him in critical condition. This pretty much ended any thoughts of him being drafted.
Or so we thought.
The Chargers made him a seventh round draft pick -- a project basically -- and hoped he would heal in reasonable time. He was placed on the non-football injury/illness list and didn't play a down in the 2009 season.
The Chargers giving him a contract in 2009 despite the injury was a very classy move.
(Which they kindly pointed out how classy in their press release).
The Raiders brought back a familiar name on Wednesday.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, they re-signed defensive tackle William Joseph.
Joseph was originally the Giants first round pick in the 2003 draft.
By 2008, he had moved onto the Raiders where he was signed and released a handful of times.
If you'll recall, the Raiders released Joseph after trading for Richard Seymour. Then, after Seymour didn't initially show up, the Raiders re-signed him.
After Seymour finally showed, he was released once again only to be re-signed in November.
The 49ers signed OT Barry Sims in the summer of 2008 and allowed him to test the free agency waters over the past few weeks.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Sims is no longer on the market.
The 49ers signed him to a one-year deal worth up to $2.1 million with incentives.
In the NFL, it's often who you know, not what you know. That's on display in St. Louis as the Rams and head coach Steve Spagnuolo picked up two more former Giants today, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
CB Kevin Dockery and TE Darcy Johnson were both Giants players last season and weren't offered restricted free agency tenders.
Spagnuolo of course comes from New York.
Of the five unrestricted free agents the Rams have signed this offseason, three of them are coming from the Giants.
We are nearly three weeks into the NFL's free agency period and Terrell Owens has barely gotten a sniff of attention.
He's had exactly one workout (with the Bengals) since the Bills didn't renew his one-year contract on March 5th.
According to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, three teams are seeking the services of the veteran receiver but he wouldn't identify the teams.
Rosenhaus reiterated several times that Owens is still a "starter," that they would "be patient" and a deal might not come together until "right before training camp" (which some might take as an indication of the level of interest in the free-agent receiver).
The Bengals are no longer an option since they passed on him to begin with.
There are also reports out there that he wants no less than the $6.5 million he played for in Buffalo last season. Not so, says Rosenhaus.
"We've very flexible," he said.
Updating a previous entry, the Broncos are not expected to sign free agent center Kevin Mawae, reports Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
While there are various ways to characterize “interest” an NFL source told me Maewae ain’t happening in Denver. Mawae, the president of the NFL players union, is not only 39 years old, his 289-pound frame is too light for the Broncos’ new power-type blocking system.
The Broncos recently released C Casey Wiegmann because he was a bitter fit for the Broncos old zone-blocking system, not the power scheme they're implementing now.
The Dolphins dropped $25 million on guard Justin Smiley during 2008 free agency. Just two seasons later, they're looking to get rid of him.
According to Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post, Miami is planning to trade him.
The Dolphins have told left guard Justin Smiley not to join the team for the off-season conditioning program because it plans to trade him, according to a source close to the team.
According to the report, the Dolphins informed him of their plans on Saturday and several teams are interested.
Last week the Dolphins signed guard Richie Incognito to a contract but he wasn't expected to push Smiley out of a job.
The Broncos are showing interest in free agent center Kevin Mawae, according to NFLN's Jason La Canfora.
Per the report, the Broncos have been in contact with the 39 year old center.
The Broncos lost center Casey Wiegmann in free agency and, although they want to get younger at the position, Mawae is an option.
Mawae has the option of returning to the Titans as well, in what would likely be a depth role. Despite his age, he made it through 2009 injury free and was voted to another Pro Bowl, but the interest in him has been limited to this point.
It's a strange world when the Ravens are picking up former Lions defensive tackles but that's where we're at on Monday.
The Ravens announced they've agreed to a two-year contract with Redding.
Redding, 29, was originally a third round draft pick by the Lions in 2003. After spending the first six seasons with the Lions, he moved to the Seahawks in 2009.
Last week the Raiders shipped a third round pick to the Browns in exchange for the rights to OLB Kamerion Wimbley. As it turns out, the Raiders weren't the only ones interested.
According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Cardinals were one of the teams in the running acquire him.
The hang-up was that Wimbley is entering the final year of his contract. The Cardinals wouldn't agree to a trade without a contract in place and apparently that was an issue.
SB Nation's Cardinals community, Revenge of the Birds, has a couple of questions in light of the report.
I would've loved this trade if a long term deal could've happened. Two things come to mind - 1st: Why are the Cardinals targeting so many former Browns? 2nd: Was Wimbley the first choice instead of Porter?
The Cardinals signed Joey Porter to a three-year contract after Wimbley was shipped to the Raiders.
The Rams are picking second in the NFL Draft for a reason -- they were downright awful in 2009 (and 2008 and 2007 for that matter).
They're quickly trying to revamp that roster via free agency as the draft looms in just over four weeks.
They worked out CB Kevin Dockery, FB Jason McKie, DE Reggie Hayward, DE Jimmy Wilkerson and former Steelers RB Willie Parker.
Parker was especially encouraged by his visit with the Rams brass, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"Willie enjoyed the visit, enjoyed the coaches and the people he met," said Parker's agent, Douglas Hendrickson. "He liked the possibility of teaming up with Steven Jackson in the backfield."
Parker left the Rams facilities without a contract offer though. He's hoping to team up with Steven Jackson for at least another season.
At age 30, Parker likely doesn't have a lot left to offer to interested teams.
After finally being released by the Miami Dolphins earlier in March, linebacker Joey Porter has signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Porter, who turns 33 on Monday, is an 11-year veteran who has made four Pro Bowl appearances.
We noted earlier in the month that Porter was visiting with the Cardinals, and that he has old friends in Arizona.
This move isn’t surprising at all. A few weeks ago, Porter expressed displeasure with his situation in Miami. He named several teams he’d like to play for and one of those teams was the Cardinals.
I’d be surprised if Porter left without a deal. It’s a homecoming of sorts for him with head coach Ken Whisenhunt and LB Clark Haggans in Arizona. Both players were with Porter in Pittsburgh.
For reactions from Cardinals fans, check out our blog Revenge of the Birds.
TE Alge Crumpler may have a new home soon, and according to ESPN's Mike Reiss, it may be in New England.
"We are closing in on a deal," Crumpler's agent, James "Butch" Williams, said Friday morning.
Williams added that no contract has been signed at this time, which means nothing is official. The Boston Globe and Boston Herald reported an agreement had been reached.
The Patriots need for a tight end came when they released Chris Baker and allowed Benjamin Watson to sign a deal with the Browns.
They have two tight ends on the roster that have no NFL experience.
Crumpler, 32, used to be one of the league's better pass-catches but age has caught up to him. He's still a solid blocker though.
SB Nation's Eagles community, Bleeding Green Nation, recently took a look at all the stories across SB Nation of teams wondering if Shawn Andrews could help their team.
I guess the Shawn Andrews saga hasn't really been a national story, because I'm amazed at how many fans around the NFL actually think he could help their team or that he'll even play again.
BGN lists off the following stories from around SB Nation.
Sounds like the market for free agent linemen has washed up in free agency.
Howard has failed to live up to the large expectations that came with the large contract he signed with Philadelphia in 2006. In four seasons with the Eagles Howard registered double digit sacks only one time. Howard will turn 34 next season.
Curtis has been very productive for the Eagles when healthy, he just can’t seem to stay on the field. Curtis started all 16 games during his first season with the Eagles, and caught 77 passes for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns. However, Curtis has only played in 12 games in the two seasons since, missing all but three last season. He will be 32 this July.
Terrell Owens is still on the free agent market nearly two weeks after the start of free agency. It's unclear if any team other than the Bengals has shown serious interest but his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is doing his job and creating the perception that teams are banging down the door to sign him, according to FOX's John Czarnecki.
But his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is still asking for a minimum of $5 million a season and too many clubs believe that is too much money for a 36-year-old receiver who can bring a locker room turmoil and heartache.
Last season T.O. got a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Bills and put up his worst numbers since an injury plagued 2005 season.
He's definitely up there in age, 36, but can probably still produce in the right system.
The question is: Is he worth the headache?
Most GMs are saying no at this point.
In the week and a half or so of free agency, free agent RB Willie Parker was garnered interest from one team with a workout in Washington D.C.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports there's one more team showing interest.
The Rams will host Parker on a visit Thursday and Friday.
Steven Jackson is definitely the man in St. Louis and Willie Parker could contribute in a limited role.
The speculation early Wednesday was that Chargers QB Charlie Whitehurst wanted to sign with the Seahawks after the Cardinals snagged another free agent, Derek Anderson.
Whitehurst is a restricted free agent and had a third round tender but teams are allowed to work out whatever compensation they want for another trade. And that's what they did here.
SB Nation's Seahawks blog, Field Gulls, weighed in on the details of the trade.
So, we dumped a 2011 third round pick, moved from the 40 overall pick to the 60 overall pick, and dropped ten million dollars over two years to acquire San Diego's third-string quarterback that's heading into his 28-year-old season.
Doesn't sound like anyone wants to defend that trade over at Field Gulls.
That's not even all of it. ESPN's John Clayton reports the Seahawks will give him a new contract worth $5 million per year.
Vasher starred at both safety and cornerback for the Texas Longhorns before being selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL draft.
He was selected as an all-pro in 2005 when he led the NFL with eight interceptions, but has struggled since signing a lucrative contract extension before the 2007 season.
After a standout career at the University of Arkansas, the Eagles selected Andrews with the sixteenth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. After an injury plagued first season, Andrews made three consecutive trips to the pro-bowl from 2005-2007.
In the past two seasons however, Andrews has fought injuries and a well documented case of depression. A recurring back injury forced Andrews to miss the majority of the 2008 season, and the entire 2009 season.
Read more at our Eagles blog, Bleeding Green Nation
The Chargers made QB Charlie Whitehurst a third round pick in 2006. Since then, he's accumulated a whopping two attempts.
But with the first wave of free agency over with, Whitehurst is becoming a hot commodity.
Tendered at the third round level as a restricted free agent, Whitehurst is garnering attention from the Seahawks and Cardinals. News just came through on Wednesday that the Cardinals will sign QB Derek Anderson and that's good timing because Whitehurst wants to be a Seahawk, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network.
For the Seahawks to obtain him, they'll have to sign him to an offer sheet and give up their third round pick to the Chargers.
Derek Anderson was released by the Browns at the start of free agency. He was on the open market for less than two weeks.
According to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, Anderson will be heading to the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have already said they planned on bringing in a veteran quarterback to compete with Matt Leinart so it's very possible Anderson sees plenty of playing time with the Cardinals.
If Leinart, who was a first round pick, can't beat out Anderson, then I wouldn't be surprised to see his time with the Cardinals coming to a close after the season.
When the Broncos released QB Chris Simms, a lot of folks thought he might reunite with his former head coach Mike Shanahan in Washington.
As it turns out, the Redskins went a different route for a backup quarterback signing QB Rex Grossman.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reports it's a one-year contract.
Last season, Grossman played in Houston under now Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
The Bills have made another transaction on Tuesday. After signing LB Andra Davis, the Bills have agreed to terms with free agent DE Dwan Edwards, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
SB Nation's Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings, has the rundown on Edwards.
Edwards, 29, has spent the entirety of his six-year career with the Baltimore Ravens. An excellent run defender, the 6'3", 315-pound Edwards has played defensive end in Baltimore's 3-4 system, contributing 47 tackles, a sack and a defensive touchdown to the league's third-best defense in 2009.
The Bills of course are switching to a 3-4 defense in the upcoming season so any advantage there should be a help.
The Eagles have traded DE/LB Chris Clemons to the Seahawks, according to FOX's Jay Glazer.
In return, the Eagles will receive DE Darryl Tapp in return.
Tapp, 25, has the advantage age versus Clemons, 28, but the Eagles threw in a fourth round pick as well, according to PFT.
Tapp was originally a second round pick by the Seahawks in 2006. A regime change, like the one in Seattle, can change that quickly though.
The Eagles on Tuesday signed restricted free agent RB Mike Bell to an offer sheet. Now, that doesn't mean they immediately own his rights.
He's "restricted" because he falls under the six years of service line. SB Nation's Eagles community, Bleeding Green Nation, breaks down the situation.
Since Bell is a restricted free agent, the Saints now have seven days to match the Eagles' offer. Should they choose not to match, they would receive no compensation because Bell was tendered at the lowest level(right of first refusal). Bell earned about $540k last year, so $1.7 million would be a significant raise for a team already scheduled to pay RB Reggie Bush over $8 million next year & RB Pierre Thomas $1.6 million(they may look to sign him to an even bigger long term deal).
So basically the ball is in the Saints court now. They can match it and keep Bell or let him go.
The Broncos released LB Andra Davis which surprised a few folks around the league because Davis was considered one of the better linebackers on the team.
He wasn't on the open market very long. Andra Davis texted FOX's Josina Anderson the following:
"done deal I'm a Buffalo Bill now."
Davis played well in a 3-4 defense last season and the Bills are making the conversion this season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have come to terms with free agent safety Sean Jones.
Steve Duemig of WDAE is reporting that Jones has signed with the Bucs.
Jones played last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing in 15 games and starting nine. Prior to that he played for the Cleveland Browns from 2004 to 2008.
Jones, 28, is a former second round pick out of the University of Georgia. He recorded 61 tackles and 2 interceptions as an Eagle.
Tye Hill's release from the Falcons may not have been the first sign he was a bust (it definitely wasn't) but it's the final confirmation.
Hill was the 13th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft and some folks had him rated as the No. 1 or No. 2 cornerback in the draft.
Three seasons later and he was being dealt to the Falcons from the Rams for a 7th round pick. Fast forward another year, and the Falcons are releasing him.
The Falcons also announced today the acquisition of free agent safety Matt Giordano, who previously played with the Colts and Packers.
In the summer of 2004, the Chiefs signed undrafted free agent guard Ryan Lilja to compete for a spot on the offensive line. Looking for an open roster spot before September cutdowns, the Chiefs released Lilja hoping to sneak him onto the practice squad.
The Colts ended up signing him and he's forever been "the one that got away" in Kansas City.
Five years later, the Chiefs got him back.
The Chiefs on Tuesday announced they have signed Lilja. Reports are indicating it's a three-year contract.
Lilja played left guard in Indianapolis -- the same position as Brian Waters -- but I suspect he'll be able to crack the starting rotation in Kansas City.
The Ravens' Dwan Edwards is a free agent and now the Bills are taking a peek at him. According to reports, the Bills will host Edwards on a free agent visit.
Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings feels Edwards would be a major upgrade to the Bills defensive line.
One of the youngest prospects on a veteran-laden free agent market, Edwards is a solid, dependable player that would instantly become a starting end in defensive coordinator George Edwards' new 3-4 defense. His run-game capabilities would play well against the pass-rushing abilities of current end prospect Spencer Johnson, and would significantly improve the Bills' depth along the defensive line.
Finding guys that have 3-4 experience are crucial in making the switch. The Bills defense is pretty much designed to be 4-3 players and someone like Edwards would help with not only the immediate talent level of the team, but also in terms of making the switch in schemes.
So with both those players in the fold and JaMarcus Russell under contract, all is good, right?
According to David White of the San Francisco Chronicle, Russell was a no-show today for the start of workouts in Oakland.
The workouts are "voluntary" and players aren't required to attend but showing up to non-mandatory things like this, being around in the offseason and staying in shape is exactly what folks say Russell needs to do.
So far he's off to a horrible start.
The Steelers made LB Larry Foote a fourth round draft choice in 2002. He spent his first seven NFL seasons in the yellow and black before hitting free agency last season and choosing the Lions.
He spent the 2009 season in Detroit, which made sense from his perspective because he's from the Detroit area. But after one lackluster season, Foote has decided to return to the Steelers.
SB Nation's Lions community, Pride of Detroit, recognized some harsh words Foote had for the Lions but wished him luck in the upcoming season.
Three years is a lot more than Foote ever could have hoped for with the Lions, but I will wish him good luck with the Steelers if that is where he does indeed end up.
Foote's second stint with the Steelers will mark his 9th year in the NFL.
[Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports it's a three-year contract worth $9.3 million]
After much speculation, the Bengals have re-signed Safety Roy Williams, according to the National Football Post.
Williams signed with the Bengals before last season but only appeared in four games due to an arm injury. He recorded 30 tackles, one pass deflection and no interceptions.
Williams was drafted in 2002 by Dallas, where he became a five-time pro-bowler. Despite having trouble in coverage, Williams is still considered one of the hardest hitting safeties in football.
First the Vikings pursued him then he took a visit to New York. After heading back to San Diego for the weekend, LaDainian Tomlinson has chosen the Jets.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports it's a two-year contract.
Previous reports had indicated the Jets were willing to give Tomlinson a similar contract to the two-year, $5 million contract Thomas Jones signed with the Chiefs.
At age 31, the big question is whether Tomlinson can produce like Jones. Even without the stats to back it up, Tomlinson can provide a valuable tool in the maturation of second year back Shonn Greene.
UPDATE: Since posting this story, Kevin Acee has tweeted that LT doesn't know where he's headed yet:
LT just told me he doesn't know where he's going yet. That means he hasn't "officially" made up his mind
Ex-Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson seemed to be mulling offers from the Vikings and Jets this weekend. On Sunday, according to a source of Sign On San Diego's Kevin Acee, LT has made his decision.
According to three people with knowledge of the process, Tomlinson has decided to become a New York Jet.
"It's 100 percent," one source said. "Done deal."
Tomlinson is expected to announce the decision today or tomorrow.
However, one source cautioned late Saturday night that a decision has not yet been officialy made.
Tomlinson, a nine-year veteran, will be 31 years old next season. His numbers have declined in recent years (5.2 yards per carry in 2006, 4.7 in 2007, 3.8 in 2008, and 3.3 in 2009). After waving goodbye to Thomas Jones, though, the Jets evidently believe he's still a serviceable back.
It shouldn't even need to be mentioned that Tomlinson was the premier back of the 2000s.
For reactions from Jets fans, be sure to check in with our own Gang Green Nation.
Earlier this month, the Panthers released longtime franchise quarterback Jake Delhomme. People cried, and Delhomme hit the market. Now the rumors of the last few days have been validated, as Delhomme has been picked up by the Cleveland Browns. ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news.
Cleveland landed its second QB of the week, this time Jake Delhomme. Browns and Delhomme agree to a two-year deal.
The Browns have already obtained the services of quarterback Seneca Wallace. The order of the team's quarterback depth chart isn't clear yet, but one thing is clear: Brady Quinn's future is unclear. Does that make any sense?
This is worth repeating, from our Browns blog Dawgs By Nature:
There's no way that Quinn would be on the roster, let alone the starter, if Seneca Wallace and Delhomme were also on the roster. With one of the two, you could make the case that they would be a backup. One of them isn't going to be a third stringer though, and if we're exploring options beyond Wallace, then it wouldn't be too surprising to see Quinn follow in the footsteps of Derek Anderson not too long from now.
Here are Delhomme's 2009 stats with the Panthers:
|2009 - Jake Delhomme||11||59.4||178||321||55.5||2015||183.2||6.3||8||18||17||60||5.5||3.5||0||23||187|
To keep up with the latest on the Browns' quarterback situation, you'll want to check back with Dawgs By Nature.
Roy Williams is currently an unrestricted free agent but he's expected to return to Cincinnati, according to Pro Football Talk:
Safety Roy Williams has twice been a free agent, and twice he'll sign with the Bengals. Williams' agent Jordan Woy told the Bengals' team website a deal could be finished by the end of Saturday.
The Bengals said that they wanted to bring back former Cowboys Tank Johnson and Roy Williams and followed through.
The former Cowboy played in just four games last season after fracturing his forearm on November 13.
Free agent QB Jake Delhomme recently visited with Mike Holmgren and the Browns. According to Holmgren, the football czar, Delhomme is still on the Browns radar.
With the trade for Seneca Wallace, what would a Delhomme signing mean for Brady Quinn?
SBNation's Browns community, Dawgs By Nature, weighs in.
There's no way that Quinn would be on the roster, let alone the starter, if Seneca Wallace and Delhomme were also on the roster. With one of the two, you could make the case that they would be a backup. One of them isn't going to be a third stringer though, and if we're exploring options beyond Wallace, then it wouldn't be too surprising to see Quinn follow in the footsteps of Derek Anderson not too long from now.
Even without a Delhomme signing, Quinn is no lock to beat out Seneca Wallace for the job.
The Jets are hosting free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson this weekend and reportedly plan to put the "full court press" on to sign him. Reports are also indicating that the Jets would be willing to pay LT in the same price range as Thomas Jones, who just signed with the Chiefs.
SBNation's Jets community, Gang Green Nation, doesn't understand why the Jets would go for Tomlinson if the money were equal.
I was fine with letting Thomas Jones go. In fact, I probably would have let him go. It's not that hard to find quality young backs. It gave the a chance to get younger and cheaper at the position. What I don't get is letting a locker room leader like Jones go for a guy almost as old, who will cost almost as much, and isn't half as productive.
I tend to agree. Jones is one year older but is coming off two consecutive seasons of over four yards per carry. LT hasn't done that in the last two years.
The Green Bay Packers possess one of the most dangerous pass defenses in the NFL, and on Friday, the team ensured its secondary would remain a threat. Free safety Nick Collins has agreed to a three-year, $23.4 million deal. Pro Football Talk notes:
Collins has 13 interceptions over the last two seasons, second on the team behind the 16 picks by Charles Woodson since 2008.
Over the past two seasons, the pair have combined for nearly an interception per game. Pretty remarkable. Here are Collins' 2009 stats:
|2009 - Nick Collins||16||1||1||6||110||0||38||9||47|
For all things Green Bay, check out our Packers blog, Acme Packing Company.
Larry Johnson, who at one point was arguably the premiere running back in the NFL, has signed a three-year deal with the Redskins. Adam Schefter confirms:
Filed to ESPN: There's a new running back in Washington. Redskins reached agreement with RB Larry Johnson on a three-year deal.
Our own Joel Thorman noted earlier this week that Johnson, who will be 31 in November, doesn't appear to have a lot to offer. In 2009, a disgruntled Johnson managed a dismal 2.7 yards per carry for the Chiefs. After a mid-season trade to the Bengals, however, he averaged 4.4 YPC as a situational back.
Be sure to check back with our Redskins blog, Hogs Haven, for more on Johnson's acquisition.
Center Casey Wiegmann played for the Chiefs from 2001-2007 on one of the better offensive lines in NFL history. In 2008, he went to the rival Broncos for a two year stint.
As it turns out, he's coming back home.
According to J.B. Bauersfeld of WIBW in Topeka, KS, Wiegmann signed a one year deal with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are running a similar zone blocking scheme that the Broncos are getting away from so his transition to the Chiefs makes sense.
He's 37 years old and assuming he makes the team, would likely replace incumbent Rudy Niswanger.
Ask and ye shall receive. Hours after our Chargers blog, Bolts From The Blue, made their case for the Chargers to sign a cornerback, Adam Schefter has tweeted that San Diego has come to terms with Donald Strickland:
Filed to ESPN: CB Donald Strickland reached agreement with the Chargers on a two-year deal.
The Jets and Chargers have now essentially swapped cornerbacks. The Jets picked up Antonio Cromartie last week in a trade with San Diego. The Chargers will be Strickland's fifth team. He has also spent time in Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Here's how Strickland's stats from last season with the Jets look:
The Browns have continued to add to their stable of former Patriots/Jets, as they signed tight end Ben Watson to a three-year, $12 million deal, according to the Cleveland Plains-Dealer.
Watson not only provides the Browns with a player head coach Eric Mangini is presumably comfortable with, but also an athletically gifted tight end -- something the team has been lacking since trading away Kellen Winslow last offseason. While Watson's physical talent hasn't always translated into production in the passing game, it's certainly possible that in a system that more prominently features the tight end that he could have a late-career breakout of sorts.
For more on the Browns, check out SB Nation's Dawgs By Nature.
The Broncos surprised quite a few folks on Thursday releasing starting linebacker Andra Davis. Mike Klis of the Denver Post called it the "most stunning transaction of the offseason" for the Broncos.
Davis seemingly had a good season accumulating 90 tackles and 3.5 sacks for Denver.
So what went wrong? John Bena of SBNation's Broncos community, Mile High Report, weighs in:
So what cost Davis his job with the Broncos? Flexibility, likely. That is the calling card of the Josh McDaniels way - players that can play multiple positions in multiple situations. That means, when at all possible, your linebackers cannot be 2-down players. Davis was a liability on 3rd Down, and as the season went on he became a liability in the run game. McDaniels wants players that can play 3-downs. That limits the vulnerability that the Broncos defense would face if team go no-huddle - limiting substitution ability.
Being able to play multiple positions and fill several needs is a hallmark of the Patriot Way.
According to SI’s Peter King, New Orleans and Philadelphia could be on LaDainian Tomlinson’s list of free agent visits.
Looks like Tomlinson may (and I underline may) visit Philadelphia and New Orleans after the Jets. Imagine LT, Pierre Thomas and Bush.
That may (and I underline may) be a pretty dangerous running back trio.
It was only a matter of time, right?
According to ESPN's John Clayton, the next stop for T.O. "could" be the Oakland Raiders.
Frankly, I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner. T.O. has a high profile, declining skills and plays a sexy position. Add that up and it usually equals the Raiders.
The Raiders already released WR Javon Walker this week two years after signing him to a six-year, $55 million contract.
If T.O. is looking for one final payday, then Oakland should be the stop.
With the Redskins looking to transition to a 3-4 defense under new head coach Mike Shanahan, Washington is looking to bolster its reserve of big bodies in the defensive trenches. And according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, one option the Washington brass has been considering is a trade for former first-round pick Adam Carriker of the Rams.
Carriker missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury, but he has enough versatility to move between 4-3 tackle and end, which would make him an ideal 3-4 end. The former Nebraska standout has reportedly fallen out of favor in St. Louis and is widely considered available on the trade market, although La Canfora did not specify what the potential price would be in terms of draft picks.
For Washington, the signing of former Panther Maake Kemoeatu helps address the need along the defensive line, although Albert Haynesworth’s insistence that he not play nose tackle has complicated the picture. Carriker’s pedigree and good size for an end could make him ideal for the team’s new scheme, a point which new Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has apparently made.
In Cleveland, Fargas would help replace the recently cut Jamal Lewis, while platooning with one of last season’s few offensive bright spots, Jerome Harrison.
In Philadelphia, Fargas would replace some of the versatility that was lost when the Easgles released Brian Westbrook.
The Raiders drafted Fargas in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. In seven years in Oakland Fargas has totaled 3369 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Eagles made an interesting free agency move today, according to SBNation's Bleeding Green Nation.
The Eagles made a minor, yet interesting move today with the signing of WR Chad Hall. Hall hasn't played football for a couple years, but that's because he was fulfilling a 2 year commitment in United States Air Force. He was a second lieutenant at Hill Air Force Base in Salt Lake City.
And he was actually a very productive player as the only player in the country to lead his team in rushing, receiving and all-purpose yards.
Hall is likely a long shot to make the team next year, but if he did I'd be willing to bet he'd have a lot of fans. Not only has he served our country in the armed forces, he sounds like an all around good guy.
Free agent QB Jake Delhomme has been on the market for just a few days and already has at least four visits lined up, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
He's starting in Cleveland visiting the Browns today. Per the Plain-Dealer, he's interested in the Browns as a starter but not necessarily as a backup because he has better opportunities for backup work elsewhere.
He's also scheduled to meet with the Saints on Friday and Saturday. After that he's got visits with the Packers and Broncos.
The question becomes how many of these visits will he actually make?
My best guess is that it's down to Cleveland or New Orleans. In Cleveland, he could potentially have the opportunity to be a starter, which he would obviously take. In New Orleans, he has the opportunity to be a backup on the defending Super Bowl champions.
Cleveland or New Orleans? Tough decision...
As many of you know, the Lions sprung right into free agency inking high priced deals within the first 24 hours of free agency.
SBNation’s Pride of Detroit has some details on how the Lions coaches went about acquiring Nate Burleson and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Burleson (via DetroitLions.com)
“I got a call a little after nine, just relaxing at the house,” said Burleson. “(I) got a call and Scott was in Seattle. I was like, ‘What’s going on? Is this really happening right now? Is this how people do things?’”
“(Linehan) said ‘Do you want to go to dinner, sit down and talk?’” said Burleson. "I called my dad and said, ‘I need you here.’ He’s probably my biggest fan, so we went to dinner, sat down and – to be honest – he didn’t need to sell me.
Vanden Bosch (via the Detroit News)
He was Vanden Bosch’s defensive coordinator in Tennessee from 2005-08 and thought so highly of his talents — and ability to instantly help the beleaguered Lions defensive front — he waited outside Vanden Bosch’s gated community in Nashville with a bottle of Opus One wine, three stuffed Lions animals — for Vanden Bosch’s three small children — and a serious sales pitch as free agency opened at midnight Friday.
And quite frankly, does a receiver that’s recorded two 1,000-yard seasons deserve a $28 million contract over four years? Is this another deal where the Bengals are risking their necks for a guy that could prove to bite them?
Kirkendall wonders whether Terrell Owens might have been a better signing because you wouldn’t have to commit to him for so long.
He also questions if Bryant has demonstrated the ability to live up to that contract. Take out Bryant’s career year in 2008, and his average season comes out to a ho-hum 41 receptions for 634 yards.
Hardly worth $28 million.
While Kirkendall admits he’s a risky signing, he also acknowledges that this is an improvement for the Bengals.
I’m willing to be patient on Bryant though and see what he does on the field and reserve judgment until then. If he improves on his career year from 2008, then we’ll be euphoric because the results will only push the Bengals that much closer to the playoffs.
Free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson has been visiting the Vikings over the last day. After originally expressing interest in being a starter someplace, Tomlinson is reportedly content with a backup role.
With the loss of Chester Taylor, Minnesota makes sense.
However, if he gets out of Minnesota without a contract, he’ll visit the Jets, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Jets, like the Vikings, are in need of a veteran and are a contender so it makes sense.
Thomas Jones, who took the bulk of the carries in 2009, is gone and LT, along with Shonn Greene, could fill the void.
WR Derrick Mason spent the 2009 offseason pondering retirement before re-signing with the Ravens for one season.
This year he didn’t take as long to make his decision.
The Ravens today brought Mason back on a two-year contract, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley.
Mason’s been one of the more underrated players in the last decade. He’s quietly put up eight 1,000 yard receiving seasons in the last decade, which is impressive when you consider the Ravens offensive philosophy over that time.
Now he’s paired with WR Anquan Boldin who was acquired in a trade last weekend.
The NFL’s free agency period is nearly one week over and here are the early winners and losers, including a couple of teams that are in a wait and see mode.
The Chargers didn’t make a big splash in unrestricted free agency like some other teams but they did take advantage of restricted free agency.
The Chargers were able to retain five key players in restricted free agency including LT Marcus McNeil, LB Shawne Merriman, WR Vincent Jackson, RB Darren Sproles and WR Malcolm Floyd.
Instead of dropping $50 million into free agency, the Chargers spent less than $15 million retaining key players.
The Redskins made their usual foray into free agency dropping over $130 million in contracts….wait a minute! The Redskins didn’t make high-risk moves in free agency and instead took a gander at a couple of veteran offensive linemen.
The Redskins didn’t do anything splashy in free agency by any means but their restraint could go a long way in determining the future success of the franchise.
WAIT AND SEE
The Bears are the new Redskins signing over $100 million in free agent contracts. The high profile names are DE Julius Peppers, RB Chester Taylor and TE Brandon Manumaleuna.
Each of these players has demonstrated that they’re capable of producing in big-time fashion. Peppers has averaged over ten sacks for his career, Taylor should complement RB Matt Forte very nicely and Manumaleuna is one of the best blockers in the business.
However, with bold moves come giant risks.
It’s just as possible Peppers reverts back to his 2007 form when he recorded just two sacks or Taylor’s age (30) catches up to him quicker than you think.
Bottomline, this is a major boom or bust free agent class for the Bears.
The Lions, like the Bears, moved swiftly into the free agent market inking WR Nate Burleson to a big deal, trading for DE Corey Williams and making a midnight signing at the home of DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.
The Lions, like any team with the second pick in the draft, needed help all over the place.
All three of those players are definitely upgrades at their respective positions (at least on paper) but it remains to be seen whether they’ll live up to their big money contracts.
Burleson has flashed some potential when given the opportunity. He went over 1,000 yards in 15 starts back in 2004 but the Lions gave him $25 million. That’s definitely a risky move.
Vanden Bosch knows head coach Jim Schwartz very well from their time in Tennessee. In fact, Schwartz’s scheme helped him sack the quarterback 31 times from 2005-07. However, Vanden Bosch is no spring chicken at age 31 and has just eight sacks in the last two seasons.
Again, like the Bears this has a chance to be a solid class but there’s a lot of risk involved.
Talk about a rough weekend for the Cardinals.
Before free agency started, they lost their quarterback, which is bad enough. But once the clock hit midnight, the Cards saw S Antrel Rolle, LB Karlos Dansby and WR Anquan Boldin leave town.
They got some value in return for Boldin, who was in the final year of his contract, but the loss of Rolle and Dansby will hurt because it’s not like that defense was a powerhouse to begin with.
Ken Whisenhunt comes from the Steelers where free agency seemingly doesn’t exist but you figured they would’ve kept at least one of those three players.
New York Jets
I’m perplexed by the trade for Antonio Cromartie.
Not only did they give up a lot of value in a second or third round pick but Cromartie has a few issues that will make his situation in New York difficult.
First, he’s got seven kids in five states. Is that against the law? No. But definitely irresponsible, which brings me to the second point.
The Jets had to front him $500,000 (!) because he seemingly couldn’t afford his bills, like child support. Is this the type of character and (ir)responsibility you want on your team?
Finally, Cromartie is entering the final year of his contract which means after just one year the Jets are going to have to decide whether to retain him via a long-term contract and presumably quite a bit of money as well considering he’s in a high-profile position.
Bottomline, the negatives outweigh the positives on this one.
Kevin Faulk has been with the Patriots for 11 consecutive seasons.
Now we can make that 12 consecutive.
The Patriots today announced the return of Faulk. According to beat writer Mike Reiss, the contract is for one year.
Faulk’s been very consistent for the Patriots since 1999 when they made him a second round pick. He’s good for a few hundred yards rushing and a few hundred receiving every season.
The Cleveland Browns are still making moves at quarterback. Free agent Jake Delhomme is scheduled to visit the team Thursday according to Adam Schefter.
The Bengals filled a major hole today by signing Wide Receiver Antonio Bryant to a four year contract, according to Patrick Broughman.
The Bengals have been looking for someone they could line up opposite Chad Ochocinco since they cut Laveraneus Coles earlier this off-season.
This will be Bryant’s fifth team since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2002. Bryant played for Tampa Bay last season where he caught 39 passes for 600 and four touchdowns while playing in 13 games.
Marlin Jackson started his foray into free agency with a visit to the Ravens earlier this week.
(Side note: He showed up in a stretch limo, which was strange)
No deal was struck with the Ravens at which point he moved onto Philadelphia where he just signed with the Eagles, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
According to SI's Ross Tucker,Jackson will switch positions, too.
New Eagles DB Marlin Jackson just told us he will be playing FS in Philly. Macho Harris just got some competition.
Jackson, 26, is a former 2005 first round pick by the Colts.
It’s been nearly a week of free agency and Larry Johnson’s name hasn’t been mentioned once.
Until now that is.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, LJ will visit the Redskins, who already have a LJ-esque back in Clinton Portis. The common link there is Mike Shanahan, who was the coach of the Broncos when LJ repeatedly lit them up for over 100 yards.
According to NFLN’s Jason La Canfora, LJ is also visiting the Chiefs biggest rival, the Raiders.
With LJ’s age and wear and tear, he doesn’t have a lot to offer any teams.
A day after releasing high-priced, disappointing backup Derek Anderson, the Browns reportedly are in talks to trade high-priced disappointing starter Brady Quinn, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter says the Browns have offered Quinn to other teams and are looking to acquire another quarterback through free-agency, a trade or next month’s draft.
Holmgren traded for former Seattle backup Seneca Wallace earlier this week. Wallace believes he will be the team’s starter this season.
Free agent DE/LB Greg Ellis spent the first 11 years of his career with the Cowboys after they made him a first round pick in 1998. Last year he ventured out into free agency and signed with the Raiders.
(Side note: Declining player with a big name signing with the Raiders at the end of his career? Shocking!)
Now Ellis, who was released by the Raiders this week, says he’d be open to returning to the Cowboys in a limited role.
Williams said Ellis is open to coming off the bench, something that bothered the outside linebacker at the end of his tenure in Dallas.
The Cowboys utilized Anthony Spencer in place of Ellis and that doesn’t appear to be changing so his return would be in a limited role.
There’s no word yet if the Cowboys are interested.
The Redskins are still alive in free agency.
On Wednesday, Maake Kemoeatu signed a two year contract with the Redskins.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a $7 million deal.
Kemoeatu has done well for himself considering he was originally an undrafted free agent. He played for the Ravens from 2002-05 before signing on with the Panthers in 2006.
In training camp last year, Kemoeatu tore his achilles ending his season before it started.
He’s 31 years old.
The Browns released QB Derek Anderson on Tuesday afternoon days before he was due a $2 million roster bonus. On the market for less than 24 hours, Anderson is already drawing interest from around the NFL.
According to ESPN’s James Walker, he has two visits set up this week.
First is the Seahawks on Thursday. The Seahawks have reportedly talked to the Eagles about acquiring Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb and Matt Hasslebeck is no spring chicken so Seattle appears to be a real possibility for Anderson.
Second will be the Cardinals on Friday. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said yesterday the team will not hand the starting job to Matt Leinart and a veteran is expected to come in to challenge for the starting job.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Cardinals are the likely landing spot.
Even though Anderson has posted terrible stats in the last two seasons, there’s definitely going to be a head coach that thinks he can be the one to bring him back to his 2007 Pro Bowl form.
Free agent RB LaDainian Tomlinson will visit with the Vikings on Thursday and if a contract can be worked out, he could be sharing a backfield with Adrian Peterson, according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
During his visit, the two sides are expected to talk money and playing time. It’s unclear exactly what kind of contract LT is looking for but rest assured he won’t be getting starter money in Minnesota.
While Tomlinson would like to remain a starter, that job might not be available to him — at least with a competitive team. Tomlinson never has won a Super Bowl ring and, much like with Brett Favre this past season, he could be attracted by the opportunity to join a franchise that is expected to make another run at the title in 2010.
LT looks to essentially replace RB Chester Taylor who bolted in free agency for the Bears.
But Bryant left the facility without a contract in place and apparently nowhere near a deal with the Bengals.
“En route (at) Natti land!!” Owens tweeted. “i’ll let u guys know how the mtg went! Cn’t go 2 bad considering the pursuit of tht Lombardi shiny thing!!”
With no deal in place with Bryant, Ochocinco may get his wish and unite with No. 81.
The Titans bolstered their defense on Tuesday with the arrival of former Eagles LB Will Witherspoon.
The contract runs three years for a total value of $11 million and $5 million guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Witherspoon was originally a third round draft pick by the Panthers in 2002. He was a key part in the Panthers 2003 Super Bowl run posting a career-high 16 tackles in the game. In 2006, he signed a $33 million contract with the Rams before being shipped off to the Eagles in a 2009 trade.
Last week the Dolphins let nose tackle Jason Ferguson slip to free agency despite not having a replacement ready to go in-house.
A day later it became clear why he was released. The NFL announced he was suspended for the first eight games of the season due to a violation of the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
This was the second suspension of its kind for Ferguson with the other coming a decade earlier.
Despite that suspension, the Dolphins re-signed Ferguson today.
It’s certainly a strange move to say the least. He’ll be available for all of the offseason work so it gives the Dolphins another body but at age 35, is it worth it?
Jamal Williams hopped on a plane yesterday to take a physical with the Denver Broncos and it doesn’t appear he’ll be leaving anytime soon.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Williams signed a three year contract with the Broncos.
Williams, 34, played his entire career with the San Diego Chargers after being drafted in 1998.
The length of the contract is interesting considering Williams’ age and the fact that he was injured last season. More than likely, the Broncos can get out of it at an earlier date if things don’t go well.
3-4 nose tackles are hard to come by so even if he's playing limited snaps this is a solid move for the Broncos.
This is the second free agency move for the Broncos today after signing former New England Patriots DE Jarvis Green.
[Update 6:02 PM: Schefter has the contract numbers....three years with a max value of $22 million and $7 million guaranteed.]
According to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed free agent running back Thomas Jones to a 2-year deal worth $5 million.
Filed to ESPN: Thomas Jones signs in Kansas City: two years, $5 million… Jones deal is for $3 million this year, $2 million next year and another $500,000 in incentives.
Jones ran for 1,402 yards last season as a member of the New York Jets. It remains to be seen how Jones’ presence will affect Jamaal Charles, who is coming off a breakout 2009 campaign.
Ladainian Tomlinson will visit with the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday about filling the void left by the recently departed Chester Taylor, according to Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated.
The former NFL MVP spent the first nine years of his career with the San Diego Chargers, where he rushed for 12,490 yards and 138 touchdowns.
Tomlinson, who will be 31 years old when the season begins, would serve as a back-up to Minnesota’s Pro-Bowl running back Adrian Peterson.
Tomlinson’s versatility and sure-handedness would help alleviate two of the biggest holes in Peterson’s game; his propensity to fumble, and his inability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Look for the Arizona Cardinals to be one of the major players to bid for, and eventually land, former Browns QB Derek Anderson.
The Cardinals have been poking around veteran quarterbacks since Kurt Warner retired. It’s expected that Matt Leinart will be the starter in Arizona but his lack of experience is apparently making the Cards a little uneasy.
Anderson is coming off of a three year, $24 million contract with the Browns and he won’t get anywhere near that in Arizona.
For now, Leinart remains the starter but the Cardinals have demonstrated that they’re not afraid to make a switch even if he is their bonus baby.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Green will receive $4.5 million in the first year and $7.5 by year two.
Green crossed paths with Broncos coach Josh McDaniels in New England. The Patriots made Green, 31, a fourth round pick in the 2002 draft.
He’s played his entire career in New England at the end position in the 3-4 defense. He has 28 sacks on his career.
To no one’s surprise the Browns have released QB Derek Anderson. This move has been expected for some time for a couple of reasons.
First, Anderson had a $2 million roster bonus due on March 19th and there was no way the Browns were going to pay that.
Second, Anderson has been absolutely terrible since a fluky 2007 season. In the last two seasons, he’s completed less than 50% of his passes for 12 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
The Browns traded for QB Seneca Wallace yesterday and, according to reports, he fits the profile of the west coast offense better than Anderson (or Brady Quinn, actually). It’s been expected that the Browns will revert to a version of the west coast offense since the arrival of football czar Mike Holmgren.
Holmgren has indicated that he’d like to pick a quarterback before the start of training camp so as of now it’s between Quinn, Wallace or a drafted quarterback.
The Chiefs were scheduled to host a visit with free agent RB Thomas Jones yesterday. According to the Chiefs GM, who appeared on local Kansas City radio Tuesday morning, Jones is still in the building.
When visits run as long as this it could be an indication that they’re working on a deal.
The Chiefs are also scheduled to host a visit with former Raiders RB Justin Fargas today.
Elsewhere in the land of the NFL, Terrell Owens visit to Cincinnati appears to be delayed. Antonio Bryant was scheduled to meet with the Bengals today and, according to beat writer Joe Reedy, the visit is running a little longer than expected.
Assuming Bryant isn't signed, T.O.’s will likely visit on Wednesday.
Like Jones with the Chiefs, Bryant’s long visit with the Bengals could indicate a signing around the corner.
For six seasons, Jim Sorgi has been the backup to Peyton Manning. He has never started a game and never attempted more than 61 passes in a season.
The Colts released Sorgi, which was a little strange because the backup quarterback job in Indianapolis has been the easiest job in the NFL since 1998.
Now he’s got a new job. But he’s still backing up a Manning.
The Giants signed Sorgi to a one-year contract today.
Eli of course hasn’t missed a game in five seasons.
With the departure of backup running back Chester Taylor, the Vikings are reportedly looking at a much bigger name to be Adrian Peterson’s understudy: former MVP LaDainian Tomlinson. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tomlinson and Minnesota have begun talks, although no deal is expected to be forthcoming. Tomlinson is reportedly also in contact with several other unnamed teams.
If Tomlinson does join the Vikings and essentially agrees to become Adrian Peterson’s caddy, it would mark quite the reversal from just this past fall, when LT declared that he, rather than Peterson, was the best running back in football (of course, Chris Johnson had something to say about that as well). All in all, it’s another slightly depressing reminder of how precipitously NFL running backs seem to age.
For more on the Vikings, check out SB Nation’s Daily Norseman.
The Cardinals have been looking for veteran quarterbacks to either back up Matt Leinart or compete for the starting job since Kurt Warner has retired. David Carr was reportedly a candidate and now we’ve got the name of another:
Whitehurst, 27, was supposed to draw some interest in free agency. He’s young, has good size (6’4", 227 pounds) and was a good prospect coming out of college.
The Chargers drafted him in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Shortly thereafter, Bodden’s agent, Alvin Keels, took to his Twitter account to dispute the report.
“Reports of Leigh Bodden re-signing with the Patriots are not true and premature at best.”
While Keels said no deal was official, he did indicate that something would be coming soon.
“Leigh is still evaluating his options. Leigh has always indicated his desire to return to New England, but nothing is official and probably will not be until [Tuesday] at the earliest.”
So it sounds like Bodden should be a Patriot sometime in the near future.
The Eagles on Tuesday signed WR Jason Avant to a five year deal.
They also traded a player with five year remaining on a contract.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Eagles shipped off Reggie Brown to the Bucs in exchange for a 2011 sixth round pick.
To be honest, I think a sixth round pick in the next year’s draft is about as bad as it gets for a player. That’s an incredibly low level of compensation.
Reggie Brown showed a lot of promise in his second year in the league with over 800 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. Those tallies quickly dropped off year to year ending with just nine catches for 155 yards and no touchdowns in 2009.
Brown’s under contract through 2014 at over $10 million in base salary.
The Bucs let WR Antonio Bryant hit free agency over the weekend and it doesn’t look like he’s coming back. so there’s definitely a need at the position.
The Seahawks traded Wallace to the Browns, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
No word on what the compensation is yet.
Wallace has been on the Sehawks active roster for five years — four of them with Holmgren.
I’d be curious to see how he fits into the Browns quarterback plans. Reports indicate the Browns will likely release Derek Anderson and the organization isn’t sure of Brady Quinn.
And this also ends the dream of Troy Smith who said today he would “crawl” from Baltimore to Cleveland to make it happen.
A few weeks ago, Chad Ochocinco started telling folks via Twitter that the Bengals were going to sign Terrell Owens. Of course, no one in the organization felt that way….until now.
The Bengals are bringing in T.O. on a visit Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
This is coming right on the heels of a report that the Bengals were also bringing in Antonio Bryant. Certainly they’re not looking at bringing in both players. As far as contracts go, it’s always better to have options which the team would in this case.
T.O. is 36 years old and coming off of a one year, $6.5 million contract in Buffalo.
There’s an interesting development in the case of Jamal Williams.
The 33-year old nose tackle is apparently visiting the Broncos Monday evening. The word is he’s taking a physical and that’s about it, the Denver Post reports.
Williams does have a major connection here in Denver, though. Wayne Nunnely, the Broncos’ defensive line coach, was Williams’ position coach in San Diego from 1998-2008.
Williams spent 12 years in San Diego but there’s been some question how much he has left in the tank. The Broncos also just signed Justin Bannan to a five year contract to play nose tackle.
Sounds like Josh McDaniels is fitting right into the AFC West.
The signings of Allen and Clark give the Steelers much needed depth at the safety position, especially if Troy Polamalu struggles to stay healthy again in 2010.
After four seasons in a Dan Snyder-induced stupor in Washington, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El is returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team with which he began his career.
The deal is for three years, and although the terms have not been disclosed, they are likely no where near the 7-year $31 million deal Snyder gave Randle El prior to the 2006 season, given that he did not even catch a single touchdown pass last season.
Randle El, a college quarterback at the University of Indiana, spent his first four seasons with Pittsburgh before signing with Washington, and is likely best known for his touchdown pass on a reverse in the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL win.
Almost two years ago to the day, the Raiders signed WR Javon Walker to a six-year, $55 million contract much to the amusement of the rest of the league.
Today they cut Walker, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
That’s $16 million guaranteed for one touchdown over two seasons.
The Raiders also released DE Greg Ellis just nine months after signing him to a three year contract.
Ellis started off hot in Oakland producing three sacks in his first two games but fizzled out ending the season with just five sacks.
That’s nine years worth of contracts for $65 million that resulted in 15 receptions and five sacks.
The Bengals have reportedly tossed around the idea of signing Terrell Owens or Brandon Marshall. Now we’ve got one more name to throw into the mix.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bengals will bring in Antonio Bryant for a visit.
He’s one of the few talented receivers remaining on the market. He’s been fairly inconsistent in his career. He’s shown high level talent (1,248 yards in 2008) and then levels of mediocrity (600 yards receiving in 2009).
Bryant turns 29 on Tuesday. He played the 2009 season under the franchise tag with the Bucs.
Bryant’s got a history of clashing with head coaches so it’ll be interesting how he fits into the Bengals locker room.
The Chiefs received a major boost when veteran WR Chris Chambers came to them via the waiver wire in the middle of the 2009 season. Considered a priority in the offseason, the Chiefs let him hit the open market.
Luckily for the Chiefs, he wasn’t there very long.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Chiefs re-signed Chambers to a three year contract. The total value could reach $15 million and there is $5.9 million guaranteed.
Chambers was virtually the only deep threat for the Chiefs last season so this should benefit Matt Cassel greatly.
As expected, former Giants defensive tackle Fred Robbins has come to terms to join the St. Louis Rams, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Robbins’ deal with the Rams is for three-years, and is potentially worth $12 million.
The signing of Robbins marks another former Giant joining Rams head coach, and former Giants defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo in St. Louis. While there has been speculation that the Rams may be shoring up their defensive line in anticipation of passing one of the draft’s premier defensive lineman, either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, and drafting quarterback Sam Bradford instead, such talk is certainly premature. The 33-year old Robbins figures to be little more than a stop-gap for the Rams, and could just as easily be coming in to St. Louis to act as a mentor to either Suh or McCoy rather than as a replacement.
For more on the Rams, check out SB Nation’s Turf Show Times.
The Steelers are rarely players in free agency so it’s no surprise that members of the coaching staff and front office had a weekend retreat up in the mountains over the weekend.
However, they quickly got back to work today by signing former Bucs safety Will Allen.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it’s a three year deal.
The Steelers void at safety occurred when they let Ryan Clark walk in free agency. Clark is currently visiting the Dolphins in Miami.
Allen, 27, was a 2004 fourth round draft pick by the Bucs.
The Eagles put into the contract for QB Michael Vick a $1.5 million option bonus due Tuesday, March 9th. That’s the reason a lot of folks looked to that day as the deadline to trade him.
According to Philly.com, the Eagles will pick up the option, although that doesn’t mean his future is secure in Philadelphia.
This does not mean that the quarterback will definitely be back for next season, nor does it mean that the Eagles are on the hook for the rest of the $3.75 million he would make next season. Right now it means that Vick will not be released.
Philly.com calls the “likeliest scenario” one in which the Eagles trade him.
How much is Vick going for these days? According to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, it could cost a second round pick.
That does seem like a lot (and it is) but Vick’s contract calls for only $3.75 million in 2010 which is peanuts compared to other starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
The Dolphins officially released Joey Porter on the first day of free agency. He may not be out of a job very long.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Porter will visit the Cardinals on Thursday.
This move isn’t surprising at all. A few weeks ago, Porter expressed displeasure with his situation in Miami. He named several teams he’d like to play for and one of those teams was the Cardinals.
I’d be surprised if Porter left without a deal. It’s a homecoming of sorts for him with head coach Ken Whisenhunt and LB Clark Haggans in Arizona. Both players were with Porter in Pittsburgh.
The Bengals have been connected to quite a few receivers this offseason including Terrell Owens, Antonio Bryant and Chris Chambers. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, we can now include Broncos WR Brandon Marshall in that group.
Schefter reports the Bengals have had internal discussions regarding a potential trade for the receiver.
Marshall spent Sunday in Seattle, where the Seahawks have been the front-runner for his services. But NFL sources said the Bengals have contemplated, and will continue contemplating, pursuing Marshall. Terrell Owens and Antonio Bryant are among the other players being considered.
Per Schefter, the Bengals are still determining how serious they are about Marshall.
If the other options listed above don’t work out, it’s possible they could make a run at Marshall, who the Broncos reportedly won’t trade for less than a first round pick.
Cincinnati beat writer Joe Reedy suggests the reports regarding Marshall and the Bengals are a smoke screen meant to drive up the price. He does say, however, that Marshall would be a possibility only as a last resort.
Broncos WR Brandon Marshall, a restricted free agent, visited this weekend the Seahawks, who are reportedly tossing around the idea of working out a trade for the Pro Bowl receiver.
Marshall returned from his trip to the northwest and told ESPN’s Mike Tirico that the visit was great.
Marshall also said he’s “still open to returning” to the Broncos.
Uh, Brandon? The decision isn’t yours. As Richard Seymour learned last year, your team can do anything they want with you.
Marshall also predicts the decision could last all the way to the NFL draft in April.
The Broncos placed just a first round tender on Marshall suggesting he’s available via trade. Since then, reports have emerged that the Broncos will accept nothing less than a first round pick to get a deal done.
The Philadelphia Eagles dove into free agency and kept one of their own inking WR Jason Avant to a five year deal. Financial details of the deal weren’t released.
Avant, 26, has become a solid possession receiver for the Eagles since they made him a fourth round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. In four seasons he’s caught 37 passes on third down, 32 of which have gone for a first down.
Last season he set career highs in catches (41), yards (587) and touchdowns (3).
Avant, in his fourth year, was playing under a restricted free agent tag at the second round level. Had he not signed a long-term deal, he would have made just over $1.7 million in 2010.
David Carr, a quarterback who played in nine games over the past two seasons for the Giants (and attempted just 45 passes), has agreed to a two-year deal with the 49ers, where he is expected to backup starter Alex Smith.
Carr visited San Francisco on Friday and Saturday, but left town before he signed a deal. The Bakersfield, Cali. native will be entering his ninth NFL season.
Perhaps keeping in mind that they face Peyton Manning and the Colts at least twice each season, the Jaguars bolstered their defensive line and pass rush on Sunday when they signed defensive end Aaron Kampman. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Kampman, who was moved to OLB in 2009 when Green Bay switched to a 3-4 defense, has spent all eight years in the NFL with the Packers. He recorded at least 9.5 sacks in three of the last four seasons, including 2006, when he totaled 15.5, a career-high. Last year, Kampman was limited to just nine games (and 3.5 sacks) after suffering a knee injury in late November.
Our Jaguars blog, Big Cat Country, is glad the team at least trying to improve the dfensive line, but remains cautiously optimistic about a 30-year old coming off a knee injury.
The Jaguars look to bolster a pass rush that ranked as the NFL's worst in 2009 and one of the worst of all time in terms of sacks. Kampman's production will be dependent on his ability to rehab his knee back to full health. At 30 years old, that is easier said than done. Regardless, Kampman is a proven talent in the NFL and has the ability, when healthy, to earn a sack total greater than the entire Jaguar team did in 2008.
Via Pro Football Talk, we learn that linebacker Scott Fujita left the Super Bowl champion Saints to sign with the Browns.
Fujita, 30, was an unrestricted free agent. He started at outside linebacker the last four seasons, including last season, when the Saints won the Super Bowl. The Saints did not believe he would leave them because of his strong ties to the New Orleans community.
Indeed, the signing comes as a surprise. In New Orleans, he played for a Super Bowl champion and was beloved by his community. Exact terms haven't been disclosed yet, but we do know that it's a multi-year deal.
Our Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings, has noted a report that linebacker Joey Porter will meet with the team on Tuesday:
In an interview with Sirius satellite radio today Sal Cappaccio broke the news that Dolphins linebackerwill be in Buffalo on Tuesday for a free agent visit.
Porter, an 11-year veteran, asked the Dolphins to trade him in February. The Dolphins eventually released him. Buffalo Rumblings points out that Porter could fit well with the Bills.
He has 92 career sacks and has played in the 3-4 his entire career.
The Bills have no linebackers on their roster that have played in a 3-4 alignment and Porter would add experience to the outside linebacker position. He would also bring a pass-rushing presence and an aggressive attitude that are both sorely lacking on the Bills' squad. Porter is familiar with new Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards, who was the linebackers coach in Miami until leaving following the 2009 season.
We'll update as we learn more. Until then, check out Buffalo Rumblings for all things Bills.
On Saturday, Jets safety Kerry Rhodes was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for two draft picks. Adam Schefter reports:
Filed to ESPN: Arizona trades a fourth-round pick this year and a seventh next year for Jets S Kerry Rhodes.
Rhodes replaces Antrel Rolle, who was traded to the Giants on Friday. It's surprising to see the Jets trade Rhodes, given general manager Mike Tannenbaum's previous comments:
Despite New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes' run-ins with the coaches last season, especially secondary coach Dennis Thurman, he's going to be back.
According to Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, the Jets intend to retain Rhodes.
Wide receiver Terrell Owens was released by the Bills in February after a one-year experiment. Once the NFL's free agency period kicked off Friday, rumors abounded that the Bengals wanted him. Carson Palmer has added validity to these rumors.
"I’d love to," texted Palmer when asked about the possibility of throwing to Owens. "His past doesn’t bother me at all. If any qb can deal with extravagant wrs, it’s me."
Palmer has already corresponded with Antonio Bryant and says he’s willing to reach out to Owens as they go through the free-agent process. Bryant, 29, is seen as the best young receiver left on the unrestricted free agent market and is two years removed from an 83-catch season.
Our Bengals blog, Cincy Jungle, has already weighed in on the possibility of acquiring Antonio Bryant:
One player I keep stumbling upon is Antonio Bryant. While Bryant was injured last season, his 2008-09 season was incredibly productive (83 catches, 1200-plus yards, seven touchdowns). Considering the Bengals distinct lack of depth at the wide receiver position, couple with Bryant's ability to play well with a decent quarterback (Jeff Garcia was his quarterback for the majority of the season), it would be worth seeing if he could play well with Carson Palmer.
Antonio Bryant. The blogger wants him. The quarterback wants him. Who else matters? Make it happen!
On Friday, the Houston Texans locked up quarterback Matt Schaub's second-favorite passing target. Wide receiver Kevin Walter agreed to a $21.5 million deal, $8 million of which is guaranteed. The signing is somewhat surprising given that Walter was expected by many to sign elsewhere.
A huge move for general manager Rick Smith because in the first few hours of free agency it appeared Walter was headed to the Baltimore Ravens.
"It's for five years and I'm ecstatic," said Walters in an interview Friday with FOX 26 Sports. "It means a lot to get it done with Houston.
Walter is a seven-year veteran. He's spent his last four years in Houston.
For more on Walter and all things Texan, head on over to our Texans blog, Battle Red Blog.
Antrel Rolle also now the highest paid safety in NFL history.
Welcome to the uncapped year.
On Thursday, rumors started flying that Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby was being courted by the Dolphins. And on Friday night, it looks as though Dansby is indeed moving to Miami. Adam Schefter tweets:
Filed to ESPN: Miami reached agreement with linebacker Karlos Dansby on a 5-year, $43 million deal, including $22 million guaranteed.
Dansby had spent his entire six-year career in Arizona. In case you don't recognize the name, Dansby was the one who stripped Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and returned the ball for a win in the playoffs.
For more, check in with our Dolphins blog, The Phinsider.
Late Friday afternoon, the New England Patriots officially lost the Anquan Boldin sweepstakes. However, they're not leaving the day empty-handed, as they managed to sign nose tackle Vince Wilfork to a five-year deal.
Pats DT Vince Wilfork reaches agreement with NE on five-year, $40 million deal that includes $18 million signing bonus, $25 milion gtd.
Wilfork, considered to be one of the best nose tackles in the NFL, earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2007. He's spent all of his six-year career with the Patriots.
If you're a Patriots fan, you'll want to check out our blog Pats Pulpit.
On Friday, the Denver Broncos made a move to improve their defensive line by signing defensive lineman Justin Bannan to a five-year deal. Monetary specifics aren't available just yet.
Bannan, an eight-year veteran, played most recently for the Baltimore Ravens. This is a homecoming for Bannan, as the Denver Post reports.
“He’s excited about it,” said Tom Mills, Bannan’s Boulder-based agent. “He played college here [for Colorado] and really enjoyed his visit with the team today. He just felt like this was the right fit.”
To get an idea of how this impacts the 2010 Denver Broncos, head on over to our own Mile High Report.
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Anquan Boldin to Baltimore is a done deal.
Here are the details:
Done deal: Arizona trades WR Anquan Boldin and a 2010 fifth-round pick to Baltimore for Ravens 2010 third- and fourth-round picks.
Boldin gives the Ravens a star receiver that can stretch the field while the Cardinals shed the $3 million due to Boldin next season.
Schefter is also reporting that Baltimore has signed Boldin to a contract extension.
Well, that didn't take long: Anquan Boldin agrees to a new four-year, $28 million contract with the Ravens.
According to Aaron Wilson, only $10 million of the contract is guaranteed.
As expected, free agent cornerback Dunta Robinson has signed with the Atlanta Falcons. This from Adam Schefter:
Filed to ESPN: Free-agent CB Dunta Robinson and Falcons agree to a six-year contract.
It is unclear how much the contract will pay Robinson, who spent the first six years of his NFL career with the Houston Texans.
Anquan Boldin's name has popped up a lot Friday, as the Cardinals are reportedly looking to trade the wide receiver. As we enter Friday evening, the Ravens appear to many to be the most likely candidate to acquire Boldin's services. However, Joel Thorman at our Chiefs blog, Arrowhead Pride, points out that the Chiefs may hold an advantage over the Ravens.
ESPN's Adam Schefter originally reported the Ravens and Chiefs as the contenders to acquire him. Looks like he was right.
If this deal comes down to draft picks, then the Chiefs can offer the best package. The Chiefs have higher picks than the Ravens in both the second and third round, including an extra second rounder from the Atlanta Falcons.
Also -- and this is important -- the team that retains Boldin's rights will also likely have to be prepared to sign him to a long-term deal in the $8 million per year neighborhood.
The Chiefs certainly have the cash to do that.
The Giants may have found the answer for their hole at safety: coveted free agent Antrel Rolle. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Rolle is in New York for a physical, which is usually a sign that a deal is imminent. The Dolphins and Cardinals are rumored to still be in the picture, however.
Ever since former first-rounder Kenny Phillips went out with a degenerative knee condition at the beginning of last season, the Giants have been reeling in the defensive secondary. Rolle would go a long ways toward solidifying the safety position, albeit at a steep price.
Anquan Boldin’s days as a Cardinal may be winding down. Two reports are out there indicating the Cardinals are “close” to trading Boldin.
Who’s interested? That’s where it gets tricky.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Ravens are the leader but the Chiefs are still in the mix.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times — a beat writer for the Ravens — the Patriots are the leader in the clubhouse for Boldin after the Ravens tried to pursue him.
It was previously reported that the Cardinals were seeking a third round pick to part with Boldin but the presence of at a minimum two teams vying for his services could increase the asking price.
The Cleveland Browns have finally come to terms with Josh Cribbs, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Per Florio, it’s a three extension that exceeds $18 million.
Most recently, reports indicated that both sides had the “framework” of a contract in place but were haggling over guaranteed money.
The Browns reportedly wanted that number around $5 million while Cribbs was pursuing $10 million. In the end, a compromise was struck for approximately $7 million guaranteed.
The extension has been a long time coming. Cribbs signed a long-term deal early on in his career before he really took off in the NFL. He claims he was promised an extension by the previous regime and went public when those promises weren’t kept.
The Chicago Bears have continued their free agency splurge, signing former Vikings running back Chester Taylor to a four-year worth worth $12.5 million, according to ESPN Chicago. Taylor will reportedly receive $7 in guarantees as part of his contract.
It’s not immediately clear what role Taylor will have on the team. Brad Biggs of National Football Post reports, somewhat surprisingly, that Taylor “should be the starting running back” for the Bears. This would make sense given that Taylor’s pass-catching ability fits in well with what new Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz likes to do with his running backs, but that is one of incumbent Matt Forte’s strengths as well.
For more on the Bears, check out SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron.
The Seattle Seahawks are “strongly considering” signing restricted free-agent wideout Brandon Marshall, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Schefter reports that Marshall is expected to be in Seattle on Saturday to try and strike a deal.
If the Seahawks sign Marshall, the Broncos have seven days to match the offer. If Denver lets Marshall walk, they will receive the No. 6 overall draft pick from the Seahawks – a pretty steep price for one of the league’s best receivers.
Julius Peppers to the Bears is all but official at this point, with the announcement expected to be made by the team Friday afternoon. There are no specifics on the contract yet, but Adam Schefter tweets that it is expected to pay Peppers about $40 million through the deal’s first three years.
For more on this, and the other signings the Bears have made, head to SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron.
Things got a bit...emotional at the Panthers' press conference announcing the release of long-time quarterback Jake Delhomme. According to the AP, GM Marty Hurney called the decision to part ways with Delhomme one of the toughest he has ever made, choking up at one point, while head coach John Fox was unable to restrain the tears while taking questions from reporters.
While this type of sentimentality is rare in professional sports nowadays, it's also, sadly, a reminder that letting one's emotions get in the way of business decisions is not good for business. Fox and Huerney obviously share quite amount of regard for Delhomme, who led the team to its only Super Bowl berth, but in recent years they seem to have let those feelings get in the way of making a sober assessment of Delhomme when his abilities were clearly waning.
In an era when loyalty between player and team is largely an obsolete concept, it's unfortunate to see such a glaring example of why this is so.
Defensive end Aaron Kampman is on his way to Philly to visit with the Eagles, according to Jay Glazer. The Eagles have been looking to land a big time DE — they reportedly offered Julius Peppers a deal, but it now appears that he’ll be signing with the Bears.
Kampman is an eight-year vet, two-time Pro Bowler who has spent his entire career with Green Bay. He played in just nine games last season due to injury.
The chase for Julius Peppers has apparently narrowed to three teams. According to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, the Bears, Pats, and Eagles have all submitted offers to Peppers, as he decides between them.
With Peppers visiting Chicago on Friday, the Bears seem to remain the favorite to land the soon-to-be-former Panthers defensive end. Indeed, ESPN's indomitable Adam Schefter says that "barring an unexpected breakdown", that Peppers and Chicago will have a deal completed by Friday afternoon.
The 30-year old Peppers recorded 10.5 sacks last season for the Panthers, and is the premier free agent on the market during this uncapped year. He is reportedly looking for a deal in the $15 million/year range.
|2009 - Julius Peppers||14||10.5||52.5||2||13||0||36||6||42|
The midnight recruiting trip Lions coach Jim Schwartz made to Kyle Vanden Bosch’s home paid off: The defensive end signed a four-year deal with the Lions on Friday.
For more on this signing, including reaction from our blogs, head over to the Vanden Bosch storystream.
The Eagles have re-signed fullback Leonard Weaver to a three-year deal worth $10 million, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network.
The deal, of which more than half is guaranteed money, represents the biggest deal in league history for a fullback. Weaver established himself as a dependable short-yardage option for the Eagles last season, particularly after Brian Westbrook went out due to concussions. With the the Eagles moving on without Westbrook in 2010, Weaver figures to be in the mix for carries along with second-year back LeSean McCoy.
|2009 - Leonard Weaver||15||70||323||21.5||4.6||41||2||15||140||9.3||9.3||59||2|
With the Rams poised to take Sam Bradford with the first overall pick, and Marc Bulger in the twilight of his injury-plagued career, St. Louis went after a veteran QB Friday.
According to National Football Post, the Rams are close to signing A.J. Feeley, a 32-year-old vet who you likely know from his time in Philly and Miami. He spent last season as a back-up in Carolina.
Feeley could serve as a nice stop-gap before the Rams throw Bradford to the wolves, after which he’d likely be the team’s second string QB. Bulger is still technically on the roster, but if they’re signing Feeley and drafting Bradford, all signs would point towards the door for Bulger. Also currently on the QB depth chart is Kyle Boller, who saw some action last season.
3:27 ET UPDATE: According to Adam Schefter, this deal is done. It's a two-year contract worth $6 million.
First, it was rumored that Bears TE Greg Olsen would seek a trade after the hiring of Mike Martz because his offense isn’t tight end-friendly. Then it was reported that he indeed directed his agent to seek a trade. Then it was reported that he is not on the trade block.
Now ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports he is very likely on the trade block.
With free-agent TE Brandon Manumaleuna agreeing to a five-year deal in Chicago, it frees the Bears to trade TE Greg Olsen.
So what’s going on here?
The Bears aren’t likely to keep both Manumaleuna and Olsen so expect the latter to be leaving. It’s possible the original reports of him seeking a trade came from sources that were aware of the Bears intention to pursue Manumaleuna. And it’s also possible that the denials of him seeking a trade came from folks in the organization who had no clue about Manumaleuna.
Just another lesson during free agency – you can’t believe anyone.
Adam Schefter is reporting that the Colts have re-signed linebacker Gary Brackett.
Filed to ESPN: Colts and Gary Brackett agreed to a five-year contract.
The fourth year linebacker out of Rutgers played in 14 games for the Colts last season, recording 99 total tackles. We’ll have detailed terms when they become available.
Detroit signed a nice compliment to Calvin Johnson early Friday morning, bringing in WR Nate Burleson on a five-year deal worth $25 million, with $11 million guaranteed.
Burleson caught 63 passes for 812 yards and three TDs with Seattle last season. The move reunites the 28-year-old with his former offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan.
Last year on the night of free agency, Jets head coach Rex Ryan went to LB Bart Scott’s house to recruit him to the Jets.
It ended up working (along with $48 million).
This year, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz made his way to DE Kyle Vanden Bosch’s home shortly after midnight with the goal of recruiting him to play for the Lions.
Schwartz and Vanden Bosch are linked through their time together with the Titans so this marriage has been predicted in the weeks leading up to free agency.
The teams most often linked with free agent DE Julius Peppers have been the Redskins, Seahawks and Bears.
As it turns out, the Bears are in the driver’s seat.
According to multiple reports, Peppers will visit the Bears on Friday. Though no contract has been signed, various reports have indicated that the Bears will not let Peppers leave without a contract agreement.
Bears coach Lovie Smith actually made his way to Charlotte on Thursday night and plans on flying back with Peppers on Friday.
The Bears have reportedly been given the green light to spend some serious cash in free agency this season since this is their draft with no first or second round draft picks.
The Bears are also hosting FB Brandon Manumaleuna
Antrel Rolle can now add the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants as potential suitors to go along with the Chicago Bears.
According to The Sun-Sentinel Rolle has an offer from the Dolphins and a planned visit to the Giants:
Dolphins offered the safety a five-year contract under the $8 million per year Rolle is seeking. The New York Giants are expected to offer that much when Rolle is expected to visit Friday morning.
While the team has made no official word of the move yet, "several GMs told FOXSports.com that they are hearing Delhomme will be released and is likely to hit the market as early as Friday."
It would seem the Matt Moore era is upon us.
A potentially big trade is on the horizon, according to FOX’s Jay Glazer.
The Chargers are “on the verge” of sending CB Antonio Cromartie to the Jets. In return the Jets will give up a high 2011 draft pick — either a second or third rounder.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the deal is done.
Rumors have been swirling this week that the Jets and Chargers were talking about a trade for Cromartie so it’s not completely out of nowhere.
Assuming the report comes to fruition, the Jets will have a scary tandem of corners. Darrelle Revis is considered by many to be the best defensive back in the NFL. Cromartie has been slowed in recent years but demonstrated his ceiling with ten interceptions in just his second season in the league.
Guess this puts to rest the talk of teaming Revis up with Nnamdi Asomugha?
The Cardinals released Antrel Rolle Thursday afternoon making him free to speak to all 32 NFL teams. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the Bears would be an “intriguing option” for his next team.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears are very involved in Rolle.
A deal for free-agent safety Antrel Rolle could be in place within the next few hours, and source with knowledge of the situation told the Tribune that the Bears are actively involved in negotiations at this hour.
According to various reports, the Bears, along with the Giants and Dolphins, are showing the most interest. The Cardinals are also interested in re-signing him.
Rolle had reportedly been seeking an $8 million per year average which would be more than 30% higher than the average pay of the top five safeties.
Early indications are that QB Chad Pennington will return to the Miami Dolphins for a third season, according to Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post.
A deal isn’t yet in place and Pennington is set to become a free agent at midnight, but "barring something crazy" he will be back in Miami, the source said.
But Pennington wants to return to Miami, the source said, and the Dolphins have been interested in bringing him back.
Pennington hurt his shoulder (again) in Week 3, which ended his 2009 season.
Chad Henne will man the starting role and if Pennington is willing, he could provide some veteran leadership.
It’s unlikely anyone could count on Pennington to be the opening day starter at this point. His age (34) and track record clearly indicate he’s injury prone and things like injuries usually don’t get better with age.
Early Thursday evening, the National Footabll Post reported that Karlos Dansby was on his way to Miami. The report suggested that he was headed there to potentially sign with the Dolphins.
Not so, says Jeff Darlington of the Miami-Herald.
Quadruple confirmation for anyone still doubting the Dansby situation: He IS NOT on his way to South Florida tonight. For any reason.
He means business.
Along with the Dolphins, reports indicate the Giants will be in the running for Dansby’s services.
It looks like the crown jewel of the free agent cornerback market may not be available for long. Though free agency doesn’t technically start until 12 AM (EST) Friday — scheduled unrestricted free agents can’t talk to other teams — it’s believed that CB Dunta Robinson will land in Atlanta.
“All indications are that Dunta Robinson will end up with the Falcons,” said Steve Wyche of NFL Network.
I was thinking that the top-rated cornerback in free agency would want to test the waters first and gauge what surely would be a good crowd of possible suitors.
Then one of my esteemed SB Nation colleagues reminded me that Robinson is from Athens, GA, which appears to be the link to Atlanta. Still, I’m surprised — if this report is accurate — that Robinson isn’t interested in a bidding war for his services.
We’ll keep an eye on this story because there are quite a few rumors floating around in the hours running up to the start of free agency.
Laveranues Coles' time with the Cincinnati Bengals lasted just one year -- the team cut him on Thursday.
The Bengals singed Coles in 2009 to a four-year, $28-million contract, but his play on the field never reflected those numbers. He ended last season with just 43 receptions for 514 yards in 16 games, including nine games with two or fewer catches.
Coles, who is now an unrestricted free agent, was due to make $4.65 million in 2010, and also would have earned a bonus of $100,000 if he participated in the offseason conditioning program.
So it's back to the drawing board for the Bengals, who are hoping to find a solid No. 2 receiver to play opposite Chad Ochocinco. While fans are hoping for Brandon Marshall, it's best they not hold their breath.
... the Broncos made a first-round tender on him worth $2.521 million. Denver would match an offer and then would negotiate to trade him. The last time the Bengals traded out of the first round was 1989, and they haven't traded a draft pick for a player since 1998 when they acquired Colts quarterback Paul Justin for a fifth-round pick.
More likely: Kevin Walter, of the Houston Texans.
Soon-to-be free agent Karlos Dansby has been rumored to be a target of the Dolphins for some time now so it’s no surprise to hear that Dansby is flying to Miami tonight.
According to the National Football Post, Dansby is making his way south but his intent when down there isn’t clear.
The word the National Football Post picked up this afternoon is that the linebacker, who will become a free agent in a little less than eight hours, is boarding a plane for the Miami area in, well, a little less than eight hours.
That would be a convenient trip with the Miami Dolphins long rumored to be one of the leading candidates for Dansby’s services.
“Convenient” is right….if Dansby flies to Miami and quickly signs with the Dolphins then I think it’s safe to assume that there’s been some tampering going on.
Dansby is reportedly seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 million guaranteed. The Dolphins have publicly expressed an interest in adding some help at inside linebacker.
With new general manager Bruce Allen taking over, changes were expected in Washington. And unsurprisingly, that means that a number of high profile Redskins will be playing elsewhere next year. Today, five of the teams stars were released. Today, the Skins sent five on their way:
While each of those players has been productive over the years, the only one that’s likely to be missed is Rock Cartwright, a longstanding fan favorite. Each of the others arrived in Washington highly paid, but battled injuries and inconsistency throughout their time in Washington.
After initially indicating that they would allow Darren Sproles to test the free agent market, the San Diego Chargers went in the opposite direction Thursday and placed a first-and-third tender on their speedy running back / kick returner.
The move guarantees Sproles a salary of $7.27 million if he stays with the Chargers, unless the club can sign him to a long-term deal. He made $6.62 million last season as the Chargers’ franchise player and is entitled to a 10 percent raise.
The Chargers also decided to release 12-year San Diego veteran DT Jamal Williams.
Sources also said Williams, a Pro Bowl nose tackle who had been with the Chargers for 12 seasons, would be released. Williams, who will be 34 next month, would have been owed a $1 million roster bonus and was scheduled to earn $5 million in 2010. He played in only one game last season due to a triceps injury suffered in the season opener.
It’s unclear if Sproles will be given the chance to start, as the Chargers have been actively shopping for a running back to replace LaDainian Tomlinson. But given the amount of money that San Diego will be paying Sproles to stay, it would only make sense to give him a chance.
The Jets cut cornerback Lito Sheppard on Thursday after just one season with New York. The 28-year-old vet played in 11 games last year and was due a large roster bonus this month.
Sheppard is now a fre agent and able to sign on wherever he pleases.
The Houston Texans aren’t messing around when it comes to some of their key players. LB DeMeco Ryans and TE Owen Daniels each received the highest possible tender – first and third round picks, according to John McClain of the Houston-Chronicle.
Tendering both are no-brainers since they’re seen as long-term members of the team.
Ryans is just 25 years old and has already been to two Pro Bowls, as well as being selected rookie of the year. He’s an every-down linebacker for the Texans so he’s a prime candidate for a long-term deal.
Daniels, like Ryans, is young and talented. However, he’s threatened to sit out of voluntary workouts in the past regarding issues with a long-term contract. Daniels tore his ACL last November so his bargaining power in that regard is considerably lower.
The Texans also tendered Bernard Pollard at the first round level. No one’s coming after him at that price but the Texans could consider signing him to a long-term deal this offseason.
As expected, the Jets have applied the first and third round tender on WR Braylon Edwards.
The move was expected with team officials having already said this would be the case.
Edwards came to the Jets via trade on October 7th and provided a spark several times throughout the season — most notably a long, long touchdown catch in the Jets playoff loss to the Colts.
No one will make an offer for Edwards at that price and this will buy the Jets some time to determine what kind of long-term deal they want to work out with him.
It’s a strange situation because the Raiders could have offered him a second round tender for almost the same cost.
“It’s clear that the Raiders are hoping they can pick up a third-round pick for Morrison rather than assign him the second-round tender,” writes Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
So, it’s pretty obvious that they want someone to bite. What happens when no teams come at them with an offer sheet? Then they’re left with a guy who knows he was being shopped. Only the Raiders.
There have been reports floating around in recent weeks that virtually every player on Oakland’s roster is available via trade.
Sounds like the Carolina Panthers know they want to keep QB Matt Moore and LB Thomas Davis on the roster. Both players were tendered at the highest level meaning it would cost a first and third round pick to get ’em.
Will that happen? Not a chance.
Moore’s tender is the interesting one here. Jake Delhomme has been playing poorly (and injured) for over a year now and Moore won four of five games down the stretch for the Panthers last year.
Delhomme still has some money due to him but it’s becoming clear that the Panthers see Moore as more than just a backup.
Davis, 26, was the Panthers first round pick in 2005.
When the Broncos offered a first round tender to WR Brandon Marshall, it was assumed by many that it was an invitation to other NFL teams to give their best offer for Marshall.
When they tendered Elvis Dumervil, there was no question: They want to keep him.
Tendered at the highest level, Dumervil would cost a first and third round pick and a new contract to any team that signs him.
Quite the price to pay even for the NFL’s sack leader.
The Broncos also offered TE Tony Scheffler a second round tender. Like Marshall, many believe this is an invitation for teams to give up their best offer for Scheffler.
The Vikings appear intent on keeping DE Ray Edwards in purple. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they have offered him a first round tender.
Edwards is one of the less heralded members of the Vikings all-world defensive line and played a key role in the Vikings run to the NFC Championship game last season.
In two playoff games, Edwards had four sacks, including three against the Cowboys in a 34-3 victory.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Edwards had just one sack on the Vikings four losses last season and 7.5 in their 12 wins.
Edwards, 25, was the Vikings fourth round draft pick in 2006.
The Tennessee Titans are set on keeping a couple of key restricted free agents by offering tenders.
RB LenDale White received a second round tender, which means any team would have to sign him to an offer sheet and give up a second round pick to acquire his services. That’s highly unlikely.
TE Bo Scaife received a first round tender. His situation is a bit unique because he was the franchise player last season. According to the rules of restricted free agency, he must be offered a tender that is 110% above his 2009 salary.
That means Scaife is playing for about $4.9 million in 2010.
The Titans also offered a first round tender to LB Stephen Tulloch and a second round tender to DT Kevin Vickerson.
The Baltimore Ravens are busy offering tenders to key players according to reports. Here’s the rundown so far:
1st round tender - CB Fabian Washington, FB Le’Ron McClain, T Jared Gaither
2nd round tender – S Dawan Landry, P Sam Koch, K Billy Cundiff
Low tender - QB John Beck, OT Tony Moll, LB Prescott Burgess
The Jets have placed a second round tender on RB Leon Washington, according to agent Alvin Keels.
This is an interesting tender because it could suggest some movement with Washington. No one is interested in trading a second round pick for a 28 year old running back coming off injury but the low tender suggests the Jets would be willing to listen to other offers.
Keels projects Washington’s chances of returning to New York as “50/50” because of the low tender.
Utilizing these tenders is kind of like a chess game. If you put a first and third round tender on someone, teams are more likely to back off. However, if you put a second round tender on someone…well, there’s a lot better chance of seeing some activity.
Washington, 27, has been in the league since the Jets made him a fourth round pick in 2006. That draft pick famously came from the Chiefs when they acquired Herm Edwards from the Jets.
Herm for Leon Washington? I’d take it.
In an expected move, the Dolphins placed a first round tender on running back Ronnie Brown today.
Brown’s tender is worth $3,969,239, which is 110 percent of his 2009 salary. If another team wishes to sign Brown and the Dolphins do not match the offer, Miami will receive that team’s first round draft pick.
The Dolphins and Brown had a mutual option for 2010 at $5 million dollars, which as the Miami Herald points out, Miami smartly chose not to exercise.
The Dolphins opted not to exercise the option for obvious reasons. They have a running back coming off a significant foot injury who is not yet able to run and cut at the start of free agency. Why would they elect to pay a $5 million contract when they can use the $3.97 million tender and save themselves approximately $1 million?
Given that he is coming off of an injury, Brown will almost certainly be back in a Dolphins’ uniform next season.
In addition to tendering Brown, the Dolphins also put a second round tender on tight end Anthony Fasano worth $1,176,000.
Jason Campbell had a first round tender placed on him by the Redskins Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The tender is for 110% of last year's base salary, which will amount to over $3.1 million.
This now means that if another team wants the quarterback, they would have to surrender a first round pick to the Skins in order to sign Campbell, assuming the Skins opted not to match the other team's offer. If no offer is made, then Campbell will earn $3.14 million from Washington in 2010, a raise from last season's salary of $2.857 million. That's not at all confusing, right?
The move is somewhat puzzling, considering the Redskins could have simply opted for a tender matching the round in which he was drafted (the first round), meaning a smaller salary, but considering that most of the teams rumored to be interested in Campbell are drafting high, it is unlikely he will be going anywhere.
The news was not very surprising, and Campbell said earlier today that he was not really worried about it.
"I'm really not worried about it," Campbell said today in a phone interview. "I'm just letting my agent handle it." [...]
"It will just drive you crazy if you sit around and worry about it all the time. Yeah, you can understand why a lot of guys are frustrated. But I'm just looking at it like I'm going to just keep working hard in the offseason, get myself ready for the season and go out and just try to have a great year."
The Broncos have only placed a first-round tender on restricted free agent Brandon Marshall, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, perhaps clearing the way for the mercurial receiver to head out of town.
With a first-round tender, the Broncos have the right to match any offer another team makes for Marshall, and would receive that team’s first-round pick as compensation should Denver decline to match the offer.
The fact that Denver did not give Marshall the highest tender — a first and third-round pick — would seem to indicate that they are still more or less looking to trade him. While first and third-round picks would be a prohibitively high price for a team to pay for a talent even of Marshall’s caliber, a first-round pick would be a much more palatable one. For a team picking late in the first-round, like the Ravens or Jets, acquiring Marshall for a late first-rounder might be too much to pass up. So by only placing the first-round tender on Marshall the Broncos are basically trying to induce one of those late first-round teams with holes at wide receiver to sign Marshall long-term, and get back a first-rounder in return.
It’s believed that the Patriots will cut ties with LB Adalius Thomas at the onset of free agency. Thomas, 32, has fallen out of favor with the Patriots after signing a big money deal just three seasons ago.
Now Thomas wants to become a member of the Patriots arch-rivals — the New York Jets.
Jets LB Bart Scott said Thomas “made it public” during Super Bowl week that he wanted to join his former coach Rex Ryan.
“It’s funny,” Scott said. “I was hanging with Adalius Thomas for Super Bowl weekend. We’re buddies from back in the day. He made it public that he’s expressed in interest in joining Rex. I think some of his better years of his career have been a part of the Ravens’ defense and under Rex Ryan’s tutelage. It’ll be exciting.”
Thomas put up some of his best numbers while with Ryan’s defense in Baltimore. I suspect the Jets, who are limited in what they can do in free agency, would be interested in adding a pass rusher, one of their top needs.
The New Orleans Saints will place a first and third round tender on restricted free agent, according to Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune. The Saints were thought to have been working on a long-term deal with the 26 year old guard.
Clearly, the Saints aren’t planning to let Evans get away. They have slowly but surely been working on a long-term extension with the 26-year-old, who has started every game since being drafted in the fourth round out of Bloomsburg in 2006. But no deal is imminent, with no real time pressure to get things done.
The Saints also offered the lowest tender to RB Mike Bell, who came into the league as an undrafted free agent with the Broncos in 2006. That means the Saints have a right to match any offer he receives but will not receive compensation if he leaves.
The Saints have now offered tenders to 15 of their 18 restricted free agents. The others — defensive end Jeff Charleston, cornerback Leigh Torrence and fullback Kyle Eckel — appear unlikely to receive a tender.
No, free agency has yet to commence in the NFL but that doesn't mean some teams aren't already taking advantage. Facing a salary cap-less year for the first time in nearly two decades, the NFL is making it easier on teams to retain key talent and the Chargers are taking advantage.
This week the Chargers will, according to reports, offer a first and third round tender to the following:
Three of those players could (and probably would) make an argument that they should be the highest paid player in the NFL at their position.
In a normal year, it might take over $50 million in guaranteed money to keep all those players. But with the rules governing the uncapped year, it will cost about $13 million to hang onto all of these players in 2010 (even if they aren't happy about it).
At worst, the Chargers will receive a first and third round pick for each of these players that they lose. At best, they're keeping young talent on the cheap.
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