The FA wire: More big names finding new homes
--- WR Eric Moulds has the Buffalo Bills' permission to seek a trade, the latest step for the veteran receiver who asked for his release after repeatedly rejecting the team's demands to take a pay cut. "We are shopping Eric," Moulds' personal adviser, Greg Johnson, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Obviously, we would much rather have Eric released. But if we can work out a trade, we will. But if not, we're back to Square 1 and Eric won't play for the Bills. He doesn't want to play for them, and he will not play for them." Johnson said several teams already have expressed interest in Moulds since the Bills granted their permission on Friday. Moulds, a 10-year veteran and the Bills' senior player, has two years left on his contract, but was scheduled to count about $10.8 million against the salary cap next year. The Bills deem that figure too expensive but have failed in their bid to have the receiver restructure his contract. Moulds, who is scheduled to make $7.1 million next season, has rejected the Bills' demands, believing there are other teams willing to match the salary. Buffalo would save about $5.5 million in salary cap space by releasing Moulds. The Bills have been active in the first week of free agency, signing nine free agents including four of their own players. Among the players signed include two receivers, Andre' Davis, a four-year NFL veteran who played for New England last season, and Josh Reed, who spent the past four seasons in Buffalo. The Bills, however, could use additional cap space to address their most immediate need in bolstering their offensive line. Moulds was Buffalo's first-round pick in the 1996 draft and has been a full-time starter since his third season. In 154 games, he has 675 catches for 9,096 yards and 48 touchdowns. Only Andre Reed has more catches (941) and yards (13,095) among Bills receivers. --- K Adam Vinatieri, who spent his first 10 NFL seasons kicking for the New England Patriots, has agreed in principle to join the Colts as an unrestricted free agent. ESPN.com has reported that it's a multiyear agreement that is expected to average $2.5 million over the first three seasons and includes a $3.5 million signing bonus. --- With Vinatieri out the door, the Patriots brought in former Vikings and Bears kicker Paul Edinger for a visit. --- DE John Abraham has agreed to a six-year, $45 million deal to join the Atlanta Falcons, pending NFL approval of a three-way trade that sent him to Atlanta. Abraham will receive about $18 million guaranteed from the contract, including $15.5 million in reporting and signing bonuses this year. "He's elated," said Abraham's agent, Rich Rosa. "He's very happy; he's got the long-term deal he's always wanted." Abraham may finally have been traded to the team he was hoping, but not in the trade route that was expected. The Falcons, Broncos and Jets swung a three-way trade in order to make the deal happen. If the deal is approved by the NFL, then the Falcons have traded their first-round pick, No. 15 overall, to Denver, who traded their first-rounder (No. 29) and two additional picks to Atlanta. Atlanta then sends the 29th pick of the draft to the Jets for Abraham. The Jets receive a draft pick two slots higher in the first round than the Seahawks were able to offer. --- QB Brian Griese has signed a five-year deal with the Bears as Chicago finally made its first major free-agent addition of 2006. Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but Griese has been the team's top choice as a backup to starter Rex Grossman since Tampa Bay released him instead of paying a $2.6 million bonus. Griese opened last season 5-1 as the Buccaneers starter, but suffered a torn ACL and MCL on Oct. 16 that landed him on injured reserve. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder is expected to be ready by training camp. Griese has started 72 games over the course of his eight-year career and is clearly the most accomplished quarterback on the roster. He's completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 16,344 yards with 103 touchdowns and 78 interceptions and an 84.8 passer rating. --- FB Tony Richardson has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Richardson has played all 11 of his seasons in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs. He earned Pro Bowl berths in 2003 and 2004 and has played in 163 games with 96 starts. Richardson helped pave the way for RBs Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes as they ran into the NFL and Chiefs record books. Johnson earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2005 as he led the AFC in rushing with 1,750 yards and 20 TDs and had a team-record 10 100-yard rushing games. In 2003, Holmes set an NFL record with 27 rushing TDs and ran for 1,615 yards in 2002. Holmes was named to the Pro Bowl 3 straight seasons (2001-03). Richardson has been in the backfield for 4 of the top 5 single-season rushing performances in Kansas City history and 3 of the top 4 single-game performances. He was part of a Chiefs offense in 2005 that led the NFL in total offense at 387.0 yards per game and also led the NFL in 2004 at 418.4 yards per game. --- OT Tony Boselli, the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-ever college draft choice, will sign a one-day contract with the team in order to retire as a Jaguar. Boselli, 33, played seven seasons for the Jaguars until leaving Jacksonville after being selected by the Houston Texans in the 2002 expansion draft. His time with the Texans was cut short because of injury. The Jaguars will honor Boselli at halftime of a regular season home game this season. The date and more details will be determined after the NFL announces the 2006 schedule, which is expected to be in April. "Tony Boselli was the original Jaguar, and we'll be excited to recognize him and welcome him back to Alltel Stadium this fall," said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. "We are proud of Tony's contributions on the field for this organization, and we're proud of his contributions off the field for this community. We welcome the opportunity to have Jaguars fans thank Tony for what he has meant to Jacksonville and the Jaguars." Boselli, who has returned with his family to the Jacksonville area, was the second player drafted overall in the 1995 college draft following an All-America career at Southern California. He started a then-team-record 90 of the 91 Jaguars games in which he played from 1995-2001 and was named to the Pro Bowl five times. Widely considered the best offensive tackle in the game, Boselli allowed only 15.5 sacks in seven seasons and was named second team on the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1990s. --- The Jaguars also announced they have signed defensive tackle John Henderson to a contract extension. "We are very happy to get big John extended," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. "He has been a monster in the middle for us. He is central to us in our effort to build a dominant defense and a championship team." Henderson was the ninth overall pick in the 2002 draft, the highest drafted defensive lineman ever by the Jaguars. He has not missed a game in his career, starting 60 of 64 games, and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2004. Henderson has 18.5 sacks in four seasons along with 337 tackles (259 solo), three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. The 18.5 sacks rank sixth in team history. Henderson, 6-7 and 328 pounds, anchored the Jaguars' sixth-ranked defense in 2005 as he registered 83 tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss and 20 quarterback pressures. Henderson played a major role in the Jaguars' 12-4 regular season record in 2005, the second-best mark in team history. The Jaguars' defense allowed only 290.9 yards per game and a NFL-low four rushing touchdowns. Henderson started all 16 games in 2004 and tallied a career-high 98 tackles and tied for the team-lead with 5.5 sacks. --- A league source with knowledge of the situation told scout.com Tuesday the St. Louis Rams have entered the picture for the services of UFA RB Sammy Morris (Miami). The Seattle Seahawks are expected to resume talks again later this week and the Miami Dolphins also are said to be interested in re-signing him. --- Former Colts QB Tom Arth signed a 2-year contract with Green Bay. He's a talented prospect who spent the year on Indianapolis' practice squad, but Peyton Manning liked him so much that he has been with the Colts for three years. He worked for the team breaking down film for Peyton. --- ORT Jon Runyan's agent Ben Dogra told scout.com Tuesday evening that Runyan arrived in the New York area and will meet with New York Jets officials on Wednesday. No other visits have been set up. --- WR/KR Tim Dwight has signed a 4-year deal with the New York Jets. --- S Kevin McCadam has sighed with the Carolina Panthers. McCadam, 27, has played in 54 games with six starts for the Falcons during his four-year career, and has also appeared in four postseason contests. --- OG Stephen Neal is scheduled to take a free agent visit to the Houston Texans, who are looking for a right guard, the position where Neal has been a Patriots starter for the last two seasons. Neal already has visited with the Vikings and Bills. --- Former 49ers fullback Fred Beasley is expected to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are looking for a backup fullback for Mike Alstott. --- The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with LB Anthony Simmons and S Omar Stoutmire. Simmons is entering his eighth NFL season. A No. 1 pick out of Clemson by Seattle in 1998, he sat out the 2005 season due to an injured wrist but played for the Seahawks until 2004. He had 123 tackles in 2001 to lead the team, and posted a career-high 147 stops in 2000. In his career, Simmons has also recorded 10 sacks and nine interceptions. Stoutmire played in 10 games last season for the Washington Redskins, notching 10 tackles (nine solo). He added 11 stops on special teams. In 2004, he saw action on special teams with the New York Giants in one game before suffering a season-ending knee injury. From 2002-03, he started 32 games at free safety for the Giants, posting a career-high 109 stops in 2003 and 99 in 2002. He has five career interceptions. --- The Arizona Cardinals announced that the team has matched the Buffalo Bills offer sheet with restricted free agent guard Reggie Wells. By matching the offer sheet, the Cardinals have agreed with Wells on a five-year contract. In accordance with club policy, terms were not disclosed. --- The Cincinnati Bengals have signed free agent WR-KR Antonio Chatman to a two-year contract. Chatman (5-9, 185) is a fourth-year NFL player who spent the last three seasons with Green Bay, seeing action in all 51 Packers games (including three in postseason). He had no receptions as a first-year player in 2003, but had 22 receptions for 246 yards in 2004 before more than doubling those numbers last season at 49 for 549. He ranked second on the Packers last season in both catches and receiving yards, and he was tied for second in touchdowns (5). He has 110 career punt returns for an 8.2-yard average, including an 85-yard TD vs. Chicago last season, which was the NFL's longest of the year. He also has 66 career kickoff returns for a 22.1 average. Last season, he averaged a career-high 8.5 yards on 45 punt returns and 18.2 yards on 5 kickoff returns. --- Former Vikings C Melvin Fowler signed with the Buffalo Bills, who are finally beginning to address their offensive line needs. Fowler is a four-year NFL veteran who had nine starts in 11 games with Minnesota. The signing comes after he visited with team officials earlier in the day at the Bills headquarters in Orchard Park. Fowler, who also played guard in college, is expected to compete for Buffalo's starting job at center since the team did not re-sign veteran Trey Teague earlier this month. The Bills have one other center in fourth-round pick Duke Preston, who saw time mostly as a reserve right guard and on special teams as a rookie last season. Fowler becomes the 10th free agent the Bills have added -- including re-signing four of their own -- since the NFL's free-agency period began March 11. --- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they have re-signed TE Dave Moore, a veteran of 14 years in the NFL, including 12 with the Buccaneers. He has played in 207 career games with 106 starts, and last season became the only active tight end with 200 career games played. His 12 years spent with the Buccaneers (1992-01, 2004-05) ranks tied for the longest tenure in team history along with T Paul Gruber (1988-99). He also ranks second in team history with 177 games played as a Buccaneer. Moore, who also spent time with the Miami Dolphins (1992) and Buffalo Bills (2002-03), has totaled 206 career receptions for 2,019 yards and 28 touchdowns. --- OT Lew Dawson (failed physical) was cut by Cleveland. --- DT Amon Gordon was cut by Cleveland. --- LS Jody Littleton was cut by Cleveland. --- DE Jarret Johnson signed his tender offer with Baltimore. --- OG Brian Rimpf re-signed with Baltimore. --- OT Barrett Brooks, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Pittsburgh. --- WR Cole Magner (released by Falcons 9/4, from Ravens practice squad 9/20) was added to Atlanta's roster. --- TE John Gilmore, an unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year deal to return to Chicago. --- WR Eddie Berlin re-signed with Chicago. --- LB John Leake was cut by Green Bay. --- DT Cedric Killings, a former 49er, re-signed with Washington. --- WR Andre Johnson likes the demeanor of new coach Gary Kubiak, and said he didn't even think it was Kubiak's voice the first time he called the Texans receiver. "I remember the first time he called me I thought someone was playing on my phone,"Johnson said. "I was like, ‘Stop (messing) with me. This isn't Gary Kubiak.' He's a real down-to-earth guy. I'm really looking forward to playing for a guy with such enthusiasm and such a love for the game." --- WR Kevin Walter signed a four-year, $6.4 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent with the Houston Texans that Cincinnati decided not to match. Walter and his wife traveled to Houston and had dinner Saturday night with Texans coach Gary Kubiak and other staff members. The Bengals did not match and will replace Walter on the roster with former Green Bay wide receiver Antonio Chatman, who signed last week. Cincinnati will also receive a seventh-round pick from Houston as compensation. --- OT Brad Lekkerkerker, an exclusive rights free agent, has re-signed with Oakland. --- WR Lee Mays, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Pittsburgh. --- DE Israel Idonije, a restricted free agent, received an offer sheet from Buffalo. Bears have until March 24 to match. --- CB Jacques Reeves, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Dallas. --- DB Torrie Cox (not tendered as RFA by Buccaneers 3/10) re-signed with Tampa Bay.
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