Free agent roundup: Brian Urlacher, Jonathan Vilma, Ed Reed and more

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With Sean Lee out for the year, Dallas is looking at big names to replace him.

The Dallas Cowboys sustained the first major injury of the 2014 NFL season when during OTAs, middle linebacker Sean Lee suffered a torn ACL. The team is looking into signing a replacement, including big names such as Brian Urlacher and Jonathan Vilma, according to Ed Werder of ESPN.

Urlacher spent the 2013 season working for FOX Sports after he could not come to an agreement with the Chicago Bears. Urlacher played in a dozen games in 2012 and recorded 68 tackles and an interception. Vilma saw brief action in 2013, playing in one game and making a single tackle before going on the shelf with a knee injury before being cut this February by the New Orleans Saints.

Vilma is actively looking for a new team, having reached out to the Miami Dolphins. However, Miami had no interest in signing the vet, opting to stay with the talent already in house.

Finley still looking

Jermichael Finley is one of the most athletic tight ends in football, but coming off a serious neck injury is proving problematic. Despite being cleared medically by a doctor, Finley remains a free agent with the summer approaching.

The Seattle Seahawks expressed some interest in Finley, but NFL insider Ian Rapoport says the team is no longer thinking about signing him. With Seattle out of the mix, it is anybody's guess as to who will pick him up.

Over at SB Nation blog Acme Packing Company, Harsha Sridhar penned an excellent piece arguing for why general manager Ted Thompson and the Packers should bring Finley back.

The position is hardly barren without the veteran, and regardless of whether he is signed, the competition to start at tight end will be one of the team's more heated battles through training camp and the preseason. Should the stars align, however, Ted Thompson would be wise to sign Finley to a new contract: an old friend for a quarterback who will head a team that promises to reach new heights.

Reed looking for chance

Longtime star and free safety Ed Reed endured a tough 2013 campaign, starting with the Houston Texans and ending with the New York Jets. Reed is now a free agent but still feels he can play in the NFL, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.

"I'm definitely preparing to play," said Reed, who has spent the offseason in Atlanta and Louisiana, working out and mentoring younger players. "If I wasn't, you would have heard something by now. The offseason is going great. I'm spending time with my family. I'm not in any rush at all.

"I learned a lot about the [free-agent] process last year and know my worth. I'm taking my time and getting myself all the way back to where I want to be. It will come back down to it, somewhere in-season. I'll probably wind up somewhere or not."

The question is where does Reed fit? It is hard to see him commanding anything more than the veteran's minimum, which would net him $955K. As Reed states, he will likely be viewed as a solid option for a team that sees its starter go down with an injury, either in training camp or during the season.

Winston a fit in Baltimore?

Free-agent offensive tackle Eric Winston is going to be monitored closely by the Ravens, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

Winston played for the Arizona Cardinals last season after spending the 2012 campaign with the Kansas City Chiefs. He also serves as the president of the NFL Players Association. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak coached Winston with the Houston Texans from 2006-11.

Eugene Monroe is holding down the left tackle spot, but there is plenty of uncertainty on the right side. Ricky Wagner is the projected starter at right tackle. Wagner is entering his second season after being a fifth-round pick in 2013, starting in two games during his rookie campaign.

Keisel returning to the Steelers?

Brett Keisel has been a mainstay in Pittsburgh, but is now looking in from the outside as a free agent. However, that might only be a temporary situation, per ESPN's Scott Brown.

During Brown's interview with Steelers tight end Heath Miller, Miller said Keisel is not here "right now," obviously leaving the door open for a return. Pittsburgh does not have a surefire starter at both defensive end spots, with only Cameron Jordan a virtual lock for one of the positions.

Neal Coolong of Behind The Steel Curtain wrote about the lack of depth along Pittsburgh's defensive line and how Keisel could fit in the puzzle.

Keisel, 35, remains in free agency, and the undertone of the offseason has been Keisel could be brought back to provide depth and leadership on a defensive line that's largely been overhauled this offseason. Hood is now in Jacksonville, Al Woods is in Tennessee. Keisel's likely out hunting somewhere while the new Steelers - Tuitt and veteran Cam Thomas - join 2013 rookies Nick Williams and Brian Arnfelt - as the likely main competitors for roster spots along the defensive end depth chart.

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