Free-agency Thursday: The action continues

The free-agent pool continues to get thinner by the day, but that hasn't prevented the action on the open market from continuing at a steady pace. Here's all the news on signings and cuts, to players switching teams and other rumors swirling as the first week of 2006 free agency nears its end.

--- The 49ers signed WR Jason McAddley to a one-year deal. McAddley (6-2, 200) is entering his fifth NFL season. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent last April after playing two seasons with Arizona (2002-03) and one season with Tennessee (2004). He was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2002 draft out of Alabama. Last season with the 49ers, McAddley played in 12 games with two starts. He caught seven passes for 125 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 122 yards. McAddley also registered 10 special teams tackles.

--- The Niners also signed S Kris Richard (5-11, 190), who is entering his fourth NFL season. Richard signed with the 49ers before the last game of the season (12-27-05) and was active, but did not record any statistics in San Francisco's victory over Houston (1-1-06). Richard was originally a third round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2002 draft. He has played in 39 career games.

--- The Philadelphia Eagles announced they have signed QB Jeff Garcia to a one-year deal. Garcia played in San Francisco from 1999-2003, earning three consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl from 2000-2002. He was with Cleveland in 2004 and Detroit in 2005. " Garcia is a guy who's had a lot of success in the National Football League," said head coach Andy Reid. "He knows how to win football games and he's been to the Pro Bowl multiple times. He's a very smart player and is very familiar with our offensive system. He'll be a great back-up to Donovan." Garcia (6-0, 200) is one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL with 19,076 yards and 126 touchdown passes over the past seven seasons. His quarterback rating (85.8) ranks fourth among active players with 2,700-or-more pass attempts.

--- The Eagles also signed WR Jabar Gaffney, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Houston Texans, who drafted him with the first pick in the second round in 2002. Last year, Gaffney ranked second on the team with a career-high 55 receptions for 492 yards and two touchdowns. "Jabar has good hands and is a precise route runner," said Reid. "He has the ability to line up in the slot. We're excited to add him to the mix at the wide receiver position." Gaffney has played in all 64 games (50 starts) and posted 171 receptions for 2,009 yards and seven touchdowns. He stepped into the starting lineup as a rookie, hauling in 41 receptions for 483 yards and one score. Gaffney posted a career-high 632 yards and 2 TDs on 41 receptions in 2004.

--- Scout.com has learned that the Dallas Cowboys will announce the signing of Terrell Owens, possibly as soon as early next week. Sources close to the Cowboys indicated late Thursday evening that a deal has been reached between Dallas and Owens, but a contract has not yet been signed.

--- The Baltimore Ravens have released four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Peter Boulware, according to an officially-sanctioned NFL bulletin. Parting ways with the franchise's all-time sack king would create $1.3 million in savings against the salary cap this year. Boulware, who has 70 career sacks in nine seasons, was due to earn a $2.1 million salary in 2006. The 49ers could have interest in Boulware because of his previous association with coach Mike Nolan when both were with the Ravens.

--- Scout.com has confirmed that the Detroit Lions have reached a contract agreement with QB Josh McCown. QB Joey Harrington has parted ways with the Lions and some of the teams rumored to be interested in him include the the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.

--- WR Rod Gardner has agreed to a one-year contract with the Packers, according to his agent Joel Segal.

--- According to a league source, it's believed FB William Henderson (Packers) is leaning toward re-signing with the Green Bay Packers. Henderson, according to the source, wanted more than the Minnesota Vikings were willing to pay in a signing bonus. The Packers have plenty of room under the salary cap and the Vikings aren't able to accommodate his demand.

--- The Baltimore Ravens have released offensive tackle Orlando Brown, who still has designs of extending a career interrupted for three years by a serious eye injury.

--- The Jacksonville Jaguars signed unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Stockar McDougle. The seventh-year pro had spent the previous season in Miami after signing a one-year contract as an unrestricted free agent. McDougle, 29, played in seven games starting two last season for the Dolphins. The 6-6, 348-pounder started two games at right tackle. He started all 32 games at right tackle for the Detroit Lions from 2003 to 2004. He has started 56 of his 68 career games with 45 starts at right tackle, eight starts at left tackle and three starts at left guard. The seventh-year offensive tackle was originally the 20th overall selection in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft by the Lions out of Oklahoma.

--- WR Reche Caldwell visited Foxboro to meet with the Patriots.

--- Scout.com has confirmed DE DeQuincy Scott has a visit set up with the Denver Broncos.

--- The Buffalo Bills reached a contract agreement with S Matt Bowen.

--- WR Kelly Campbell is expected to sign with the Dolphins. Campbell would be reunited with new Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who he played with in Minnesota from 2002-04. He was out of football in 2005 for reasons not readily available. In 2004, Campbell caught 19 passes for 364 yards and one touchdown as a backup. He also returned 35 kicks for 760 yards. His 18.6 yards per catch career average ranks as third-best in Vikings history.

--- Blocking TE John Gilmore has rejoined the Chicago Bears with a two-year, $2 million contract that includes $550,000 in guaranteed money.

--- The Chicago Bears signed CB Dante Wesley, who had been with the Carolina Panthers, to a two-year contract.

--- DE Brett Keisel was re-signed by Pittsburgh to a four-year, $13.1 million deal that includes a $3.29 million signing bonus. Keisel has seen increased playing time as a reserve the past two season, but has never started an NFL game. The position is one the Steelers still might look to address in free agency or the draft, but Keisel has shown the ability to produce with three sacks and a forced fumble in the regular season in 2005. "I'm sad my boy Kimo (von Oelhoffen) is not going to be here," Keisel said. "He's one of my mentors. I'm excited about the opportunity, to show what I can do and to stay in Pittsburgh."

--- RB Shawn Bryson has officially re-signed with Detroit. Before free agency opened, he was believed to have agreed on what was reported to be a three-year contract worth $4.5 million. Although he is listed on the depth chart as the backup to Kevin Jones, Bryson has been one of the Lions most valued players since being signed three years ago as an unrestricted free agent, coming off knee surgery in Buffalo. During the past season Bryson rushed 64 times for 306 yards and a touchdown, and he also caught 37 passes for 284 yards. His value goes beyond the numbers, however, because he is capable of filling in as a fullback, is the Lions best receiver out of the backfield and is their best at picking up the blitz. The Lions reached an agreement with Bryson shortly after the NFL reached an agreement on a CBA extension.

--- DL Kenny Peterson re-signed with the Packers. Peterson, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive lineman from Ohio State, re-signed as a restricted free agent. The Packers' third-round choice in the 2003 NFL Draft, Peterson last season posted career highs in tackles (30), solo stops (17), sacks (three), passes defensed (four) and forced fumbles (two). The fourth-year player, who helped the Buckeyes to a national championship in 2002, has played both defensive tackle and defensive end for the Packers.

--- TE Brian Jones, an exclusive rights free agent, signed his one-year tender with Jacksonville. Jones, 24, played in 13 games starting one last season for the Jaguars. The 6-3, 252-pounder caught two passes for 49 yards and finished tied for third on the team with 10 special teams tackles.

--- OG Lewis Kelly re-signed with the Giants. Kelly spent most of last season on the practice squad. He was elevated to the active roster for the season's final three games and played on special teams in a victory over Kansas City on Dec. 17.

--- RB Travis Minor has agreed to a one-year deal to return to Miami. Financial terms were not disclosed.


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