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NFL free agency: Andy Dalton in contract talks with Bengals, Danieal Manning released by Texans

While DeSean Jackson visits the nation's capital, plenty more is going on around the league.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While everybody waits for DeSean Jackson to decide on a new home, there are hundreds of other prospective NFL players who are trying to find out where they will play next. If anywhere.

Jackson met with the Washington Redskins on Monday, and sources say that the talented wide receiver won't be taking any discounts on a new deal. There are still teams that have the cap room to pay Jackson the $9 or $10 million per season that he wants, but right now the Redskins don't appear to be that team. Washington would have to make some changes in order to free that kind of cap, or get creative with any deal for Jackson.

If Jackson does leave D.C. without a new deal, it still looks like the Oakland Raiders are the favorite to land the former Philadelphia Eagles wideout.

NFL free agency

Here are a few more stories and updates around the league, from players not named Jackson.

Texans release Danieal Manning

As expected, the Houston Texans released safety Danieal Manning on Monday, per Adam Schefter. Manning was scheduled to count as $6 million against the cap this season with a base salary of $4.5 million, but refused to take a pay cut following an injury-shortened 2013 season.

The writing was on the wall when the Texans signed safety Chris Clemons last week to a two-year deal.

Manning, 31, spent the last three years in Houston after spending five years with the Chicago Bears. He signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the Texans back in 2011 and helped them go from 30th in total defense to second during his first season with the team. But Houston suffered major setbacks in 2013 as it fell to 2-14 and fired head coach Gary Kubiak.

Things are slowly changing for the Texans as they try to get back to the playoffs, and they'll save $4.5 million next season by releasing Manning. He played in just six games last season, with 24 tackles and one sack.

Andy Dalton and Bengals are talking 'extension'

Though emotions were high around Cincinnati in January after another playoff loss, one would think it's a little too soon to signal Andy Dalton's career as a failure without hope of getting better. It would make sense that the Bengals would be talking with Dalton and his agent about a contract extension, and on Monday, Dalton told Rich Gannon and Bruce Murray on Sirius XM NFL Radio that such talks were indeed underway.

Despite the fact that Dalton has lost three straight playoff games, it's important to note that it was the first time in franchise history that Cincinnati had made the playoffs in three straight seasons. Dalton, a second-round pick out of TCU in 2011, has started all 48 possible regular season games since he was drafted. He set franchise records last season with 4,293 passing yards and 33 touchdowns.

Unfortunately, Dalton threw two interceptions in a 27-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers in the Wild Card round, despite the fact that the Bengals were at home and San Diego went just 9-7 during the regular season.

However, other players of Dalton's ilk have seemed to get in "contract disputes" with their franchise, only to sign a lucrative deal later on. Players like Joe Flacco (after he won a Super Bowl), Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo all found themselves on new, long-term contracts. Though Dalton has struggled to get past the first round of the playoffs, perhaps Cincinnati isn't in a position right now to be picky.

Doug Martin cleared to resume

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin tweeted on Monday that he was cleared to return from a torn labrum. Martin missed 10 games last season, a disappointing 2013 for both him and the Bucs, and both parties are looking to bounce back stronger in 2014.

Tampa Bay flopped to 4-12 after an 0-8 start, ultimately firing head coach Greg Schiano after two seasons and replacing him with former Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Martin will clearly be a major part of Smith's offensive game plan for next season, as he hopes to regain the incredible form he showed as a rookie.

Martin rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012, but was off to a slow start even before the torn labrum ended his season early. In six games, Martin rushed for 456 yards on just 3.6 yards per carry. After putting up 29.5 receiving yards per game as a rookie, Martin had just 11 receiving yards per game in 2013.

With Martin being cleared before April, he'll have a good shot to shake the rust off before the season begins.

Carlos Rogers visits with Raiders on Monday

It's been a quiet free agency period for Carlos Rogers, but the former top-10 pick is making a visit with a team long after most of the top players have found new homes. The veteran cornerback is set to visit the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

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Rogers, 32, has spent the last three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and if he signs with the Raiders, will be re-joining Tarell Brown; Oakland signed Brown earlier in the offseason, and the duo paired with each other in San Francisco going back to 2011. Does that mean that the team across the Bay is about to have the elite defense that the 49ers have had?


Though the Niners have had a solid secondary under Jim Harbaugh, the safeties far outshined the corners. Pro Football Focus graded Brown as the 32nd-best corner in football last season, while Rogers came out 71st. But the Raiders have nowhere to go but up, as none of their corners finished in the top 60, with first-round rookie D.J. Hayden struggling mightily in his first season.

Another option could be Champ Bailey, and putting Bailey in the same secondary as Charles Woodson, while it wouldn't be as exciting of a proposition as it once was, would be quite interesting nonetheless.

Maurice Jones-Drew contract details

Former Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew signed a three-year deal with the Oakland Raiders last week, and the contract seems to be very team-friendly. The deal for Jones-Drew is worth a total of $7.5 million, but the only true guarantee is the $1.2 million that he's due for the 2014 season.

The Raiders can release him after the year and not be on the hook for any more money.

If Jones-Drew has a great season, however, they can keep him on for $2.4 million in 2015 and then again in 2016 for the same figure. If he doesn't do that well, then Oakland can just part ways with Jones-Drew and that will be the end of that.

Jets host Jacoby Ford

The New York Jets are still looking for more playmakers on offense, and one under-the-radar option is former Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford. The Jets hosted Ford and guard Rich Ohrnberger, per Manish Mehta.

Ford ran a 4.28 40-yard dash at the combine in 2010, and that prompted Oakland to take him in the fourth round. He had three kickoff returns for touchdowns as a rookie, and another one in 2011, but has been nearly nonexistent since. Ford missed all of 2012 with a Lisfranc injury, then returned in 2013 to play minimally on special teams and record 13 catches for 99 yards.

He's one of the quickest players in the NFL, but his size (5'9, 181 pounds) probably has some questioning if he can hold up over a full season.

Ohrnberger was a fourth-round pick in 2009 and has played for the Patriots, Cardinals and Chargers.

Marlon Moore works out for Bucs

While there are still some big-name receivers available on the market, such as Santonio Holmes, Sidney Rice and Miles Austin, it seems like the cheaper options could be getting a closer look before those players. The Buccaneers worked out receiver Marlon Moore, per Aaron Wilson.

Tampa Bay is desperate for receiver help to pair with Vincent Jackson, especially with recent off-field troubles for Mike Williams.

Moore, a former undrafted free agent out of Fresno State, has just 19 catches for 306 yards in four seasons. He played for the 49ers and Dolphins last year, making seven catches for 62 yards.

Soldier Field expansion is 'not realistic'

Though the mayor of Chicago intimated that that the city would be looking into Soldier Field expansion in order to gain a Super Bowl bid, it appears that others in the state are less optimistic.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn told WGWG on Monday that in regard to adding a considerable number of seats to Soldier Field:

"It's just not realistic ... We have serious financial challenges."

Quinn said "It just ain't gonna work" and that would seem to back up statements from Bears chairman George McCaskey and president Ted Phillips that there were no priorities to expand Soldier Field in order to gain a Super Bowl bid.

Chicago's Soldier Field, which opened in 1924 and underwent renovations in 2003, currently has a capacity of 61,500 seats. It is the oldest stadium in the NFL.