Free-agency Friday: More 49ers targets fall
--- The San Diego Chargers have signed unrestricted free agent tight end Aaron Shea, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, to a three-year contract. Shea had been targeted as a possible free-agent addition by the 49ers, who are looking for some veteran help at tight end. The 6-3, 248-pound Shea is entering his seventh season in the league. Last year, he caught 18 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown while playing in 12 games for the Browns. He started four games for Cleveland last season. Shea was drafted by Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL Draft with the 110th overall selection. His career totals include 97 catches for 851 yards and seven touchdowns. He's played in 65 career games with 30 starts. --- The St. Louis Rams have signed free agent QB Gus Frerotte to a three-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It was believed the 49ers might have outside interest in Frerotte after was released earlier this week by Miami after the Dolphins traded for Daunte Culpepper. "Gus will be our backup quarterback," St. Louis coach Scott Linehan said. "Having coached him for the past three years, he has great knowledge of our system. He was 12-6 as a starter for me as offensive coordinator, and he'll be a great asset for (starting QB) Marc (Bulger), as well as our team, because of his background and experience. --- The Atlanta Falcons announced that they have agreed to terms with safety Lawyer Milloy on a three-year contract. "We are excited to have a player and person the caliber of Lawyer Milloy as a member of this organization," said head coach Jim Mora. "He brings a strong, veteran presence to our secondary and he's a proven winner." Milloy, 6-0, 190 pounds, is a four-time Pro Bowler who has started 149 of 155 games since being drafted in the second round of the 1996 draft by the New England Patriots. He has been a part of two Super Bowl teams (1996 and 2001) as a member of the New England Patriots, which includes a Super Bowl XXXVI 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams. In his 10-year career, Milloy has tallied 22 interceptions, 15 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 70 passes defensed, in addition to tallying an average of 103 tackles per season. He has surpassed the 100-tackle plateau in eight of his 10 seasons. In 2005, Milloy registered 106 tackles, one interception, one sack and one fumble recovery for the Buffalo Bills. Milloy started 106 of 112 games for the New England Patriots from 1996-2002. From 2003-2005, he started all 43 games played for the Buffalo Bills. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003. --- The Seahawks' hopes of keeping All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson will be decided by an arbitration process that will delay the Sunday deadline for the team to match an offer to Hutchinson by the Minnesota Vikings. The NFL Players Association said Friday that the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract. That would mean that Seattle does not have to match that clause to keep Hutchinson, who is designated as their transition player. The clause in question would guarantee Hutchinson the entire contract sum if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman. The special master will determine during a Saturday telephone conference call if the labor agreement gives him jurisdiction in the case. The league claims it does. Hutchinson signed a $49 million, seven-year offer sheet with Minnesota last Sunday. It included $16 million guaranteed. The Seahawks believe that is all they have to match. But a ruling against the NFC champions would require them to also match a provision in the offer that states if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman at any time after the first year of the contract, the final six years of the deal becomes guaranteed. Such a provision is likely a deal breaker. All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones is highest-paid offensive linemen, and would remain so even if the Seahawks matched the Hutchinson offer. Jones, a six-time Pro Bowler, received $54.5 million – with up to $20 million in a signing bonus and incentives – over seven years to remain a Seahawk last April. --- G Toniu Fonoti has signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Buccaneers and has passed their team physical. Fonoti had agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Raiders earlier in the week but failed to pass Oakland's physical. --- The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms on a two-year contract with running back Michael Bennett, who had been with the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints also agreed to terms with linebacker Anthony Simmons, who had been with the Seattle Seahawks, and safety Omar Stoutmire, who had been with the Washington Redskins. New Orleans also released G Kendyl Jacox. --- In a move that has been anticipated for quite some time, Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey has been traded to the New York Jets for their sixth-round selection in the upcoming draft. Ramsey was the team's first-round selection in 2002. He started in 24 games, including the season opener in 2005 after which he lost the starting job to Mark Brunell. After that, it was widely believed that he would be traded. --- A source who has spoken to the agent of Miami RB Sammy Morris says that Morris is very optimistic about his recent visit to Seattle. However, he said they weren't expecting any indication of whether or not he would get an offer until the Steve Hutchinson situation was settled. Morris is getting some interest from the Dolphins about re-signing. --- The Pittsburgh Steelers signed cornerback Deshea Townsend to a four-year contract worth $8 million. The deal includes a signing bonus of just over $2 million. Townsend was in New England talking to the Patriots when he said "the Steelers stepped up." They came through with a surprising offer, even though the Steelers have two high draft picks waiting to compete for the right cornerback job behind Townsend. Townsend started along with restricted free agent Ike Taylore last season and was told he'd have a chance to compete for his starting job at right corner in 2006. --- Disgruntled Jets defensive end John Abraham is close to being traded to either the Atlanta Falcons or Seattle Seahawks, scout.com is reporting. The Jets allowed Abraham, their franchise player, to shop himself around to other teams, and the Falcons and Seahawks have emerged as the front-runners to land his services. He has agreed to a contract with the Falcons, but the Jets and Atlanta haven't been able to come to terms on a trade. The Jets want the Falcons first round pick (#15), and Atlanta doesn't seem to want to give it up. The Seahawks, on the other hand, haven't agreed on a contract with Abraham, but are willing to give the Jets their first round pick (31st overall). Abraham should be a member of one of these two teams in the next day or two. --- The Green Bay Packers signed linebacker Tracy White, who had been with the Jacksonville Jaguars and waived linebacker John Leake. --- The Kansas City Chiefs signed RB Quentin Griffin to a one-year deal. --- The Raiders re-signed S Derrick Gibson and G Corey Hulsey. --- The Miami Dolphins signed defensive back Renaldo Hill to a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent from the Oakland Raiders. The Dolphins also re-signed running back Travis Minor and tight end Alex Holmes, both to one-year contracts. --- TE Darnell Dinkins is joining the Cleveland Browns after agreeing in principle on a three-year contract worth $2.1 million, including a $200,000 signing bonus. The contract includes incentive clauses that could raise the total value of the deal. Dinkins, 29, is a strong blocking tight end and a special-teams --- The Browns also have waived offensive lineman Lewis Dawson, defensive lineman Amon Gordon and long snapper Jody Littleton. --- The Buffalo Bills have agreed to terms with WR Josh Reed and restricted free agent LB Mario Haggan. --- The Detroit Lions have signed RB Arlen Harris to a one-year deal. Harris (5-10, 212) has played in 46 games (three starts) during his first three seasons in the NFL. He spent those three seasons in St. Louis where he played for Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the Rams head coach at the time. In his three seasons, Harris has recorded 118 rushing attempts for 339 yards with five touchdowns and has caught 23 passes for 180 yards. He has also returned seven punts for 36 yards and 99 kickoffs for 2,147. --- The Denver Broncos signed DE Kenard Lang to a three-year contract. Lang (6-foot-3, 257 pounds) is entering his 10th NFL season and joins the Broncos after playing the last four years with Cleveland. Selected by Washington in the first round (17th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft, Lang spent his first five professional seasons with the Redskins before signing with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent in 2002. In 138 career regular-season games (101 starts), Lang has totaled 528 tackles (374 solo), 44 sacks (280.5 yds.) and three interceptions (85 yds.). The 31-year-old also has recorded 35 career pass breakups, 12 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in regular-season action. --- The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed long snapper/tight end Kendall Gammon. --- The Baltimore Ravens re-signed RB Musa Smith and also re-signed Jarrett Johnson. --- The Dallas Cowboys released offensive lineman Jacob Rogers, a 2004 second-round pick who was a big disappointment in Dallas and never played an offensive snap in his two years with the Cowboys. An All-American left tackle for Southern California, Rogers was selected by Dallas with the 52nd pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He missed last season after going against the team's advice and undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee. He also missed his entire rookie season after undergoing shoulder surgery. --- The Bills have tendered an offer sheet to Arizona Cardinals restricted free agent OL Reggie Wells.
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