Adam Caplan's Free Agency News Blog 2.0

Track the very latest free agency developments in real-time as Adam pours what he hears into this free Scout.com exclusive. Refresh frequently for updates, including the very latest on the Corey Dillon situation...

 UPDATED WEDNESDAY 8:45 PM EST

  • Free agent RB Chris Brown (Tennessee Titans) is expected to spend part of Thursday with the Buffalo Bills then he's scheduled to visit the Detroit Lions. 
     
    Detroit already had a visit with free agent RB T.J. Duckett (Washington Redskins) earlier this week who had a visit with the New York Jets on Wednesday. The visit with the Jets is kind of strange because they seemingly have the first three spots on the depth chart already tied up. The Jets also had a visit from free agent FB Darian Barnes (Miami Dolphins) on Wednesday.  
     
  • The Green Bay Packers released veteran FB William Henderson on Wednesday and had a visit from free agent FB Justin Griffith (Atlanta Falcons) who is clearly the top player at his position that remains unsigned.  
     
  • The Houston Texans, who are hurting for talent at in the interior of their defensive line, had free agent DT James Reed (Kansas City Chiefs) in for a visit on Wednesday. The club signed free agent LB Danny Clark (New Orleans Saints) Wednesday who will get a chance to back up second-year MLB DeMeco Ryans. 
     
  • The Miami Dolphins lost RB Travis Minor to the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday but they had a visit with free agent RB LaBrandon Toefield (Jacksonville Jaguars) and also had a visit from free agent S Cameron Worrell (Chicago Bears). 
     
  • The Seattle Seahawks had a visit from free agent S Deon Grant (Jacksonville Jaguars) on Wednesday.  
     
  • The Tennessee Titans, hurting at the receiver position, had free agent WR Donte' Stallworth (Philadelphia Eagles) in for a visit on Wednesday. Stallworth visited the New England Patriots earlier this week and is expected to visit the Miami Dolphins to end the week. 
     
    Tennessee also had a visit from free agent CB Jamar Fletcher (Detroit Lions). As scout.com first reported earlier Wednesday, free agent CB Nick Harper (Indianapolis Colts) has a visit coming on Thursday.

 
UPDATED WEDNESDAY 12:35 PM EST

  • scout.com has confirmed free agent RB Corey Dillon will be visiting with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday.

  • As first reported by scout.com and Ravensinsider, the Baltimore Ravens have had trade discussions with the Buffalo Bills about RB Willis McGahee. While the Ravens would like to re-sign RB Jamal Lewis, next to no progress has been made this week (a short-term deal is on the table) which has forced the team to look at other options such as free agent RBs Chris Brown (Tennessee Titans) and Corey Dillon (New England Patriots).  
     
    League sources indicate that the Ravens are giving Lewis 24 hours to make a decision either to take their offer or they're planning to move on possibly to McGahee who is being shopped heavily.  
     
    McGahee is on the final year of his contract and any team that would trade for him likely would require him to agree to an extension before a deal would be completed.  
     
    Lewis, as first noted by Ravensinsider.com, is in the process of setting up a visit with the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland RB Reuben Droughns has a roster bonus due on March 15 according to theobr.com's John Taylor and he's coming off of a disappointing 2006 season. 
     
  • It was a surprise to some in the NFL that free agent TE Daniel Graham wound up signing with the Denver Broncos and not the Seattle Seahawks. While Graham is from the Colorado area, an increased pass catching role is what was very important to him (as scout.com pointed out several times in recent months) and it's questionable whether he'll have any more of one with Denver than he had with the New England Patriots. Denver is very high on second-year TE Tony Scheffler who scored four times in his final three games last season and he averaged 18.2 yards per catch in 2006. Still, the contract offer from Denver was too hard to pass up which makes him the highest paid player at his position in the league. Graham has become one of the NFL's best blocking tight ends and he gives Denver perhaps the best one-two punch at the position in the league. 
     
     
  • The Philadelphia Eagles have been quiet so far in free agency save for re-signing a few of their key players but look for things to heat up for the club soon. 
     
    Philadelphia could look to sign a bigger running back to compliment RB Brian Westbrook and they may also look at signing a nickel cornerback. Other positions that could be filled are depth at wide receiver and strong side linebacker. The team had some interest in free agent OLB Tully Banta-Cain but he never visited Philadelphia according to his agent James Sims before Banta-Cain signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Scout.com has confirmed free agent CB Nick Harper (Indianapolis Colts) has his first visit coming up at the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee could have a starting job available depending on the outcome of CB Adam "Pacman" Jones's legal situation.

  • According to Nashville City Paper's Terry McCormick, free agent RB Dominic Rhodes (Indianapolis Colts) has a visit set up with the Tennessee Titans.

 

UPDATED TUESDAY 7:45 PM EST

Tampa Bay also had TE Jerramy Stevens (Seattle Seahawks) in for a visit on Tuesday. 
 
New Orleans also had free agent TE Eric Johnson (San Francisco 49ers) in for a visit on Tuesday. Johnson, according to a league source, doesn't have other visits set up yet.  

UPDATED TUESDAY 7:00 PM EST

  • According to a league source, free agent TE Mike Seidman (Carolina Panthers) has visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints. Seidman has had injury problems in recent seasons but still has good athleticism. 

  • Free agent RB Chris Brown (Tennessee Titans) has drawn interest from the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns.   Tennessee also has shown interest in re-signing him.

UPDATED TUESDAY 5:00 PM EST

Lewis Deal Still Possible?

League sources indicated to scout.com Tuesday that the Baltimore Ravens still have Jamal Lewis as their top priority to re-sign. If they can't get a deal done with him within 48 hours, the club is expected to turn their attention to other options at running back such as Willis McGahee of the Buffalo Bills as scout.com first noted earlier today.  
 

Nate's Numbers
 
There's been a lot of talk about free agent CB Nate Clements and the contract he signed with the San Francisco 49ers.  
 
Howard Balzer takes a look at the entire contract for the Sports Xchange: 
 
Any way you look at it, cornerback Nate Clements received a monster contract from the San Francisco 49ers. But the reality is, it's not an $80 million deal. 

Breaking down the deal by year, Clements did not receive a signing bonus, but there is a $10 million roster bonus this year, which counts immediately against the salary cap. He will also receive a guaranteed $10 million option bonus in 2008, which for cap purposes will prorate against the cap from 2008 through 2013 at $1.67 million a year. 

Once the option is exercised, the final year of the contract (2014) is voided, wiping out close to $16 million in compensation. Thus, for practical purposes, it is a 7-year, $64.02 million contract, not an 8-year, $80 million deal. In addition, the final two years of the deal carry a combined $19.87 million in salary and workout bonuses. 

His base salaries total $7.5 million for the first three years, before his salary jumps to $6 million in 2010. Clements will also receive a $500,000 off-season workout bonus in each year of the contract. 

Still relatively young, Clements turned 27 this past December. At the end of the 2011 season, he will be 32. 

 YEAR SALARY
BONUS
WORKOUT
CAP
2007
 $600,000  $10.0M (RB)  $500,000  $11.1M
2008  $3,383,334  $10.0M (OB)  $500,000  $5.5M
2009  $3,516,666  NA  $500,000  $5.68M
2010   $6.0M  NA  $500,000  $8.17M
2011  $7.25M  NA  $500,000  $9.42M
2012   $9.0m  NA  $500,000  $11.17M
2013
 $10.77M  NA  $500,000  12.94M
 
Clements will receive $11.1M in 2007; $24,983,334 through 2008; $29M through 2009; $35.5M through 2010 and $43.25M through 2011. 
 

 
UPDATED TUESDAY 12:05 PM EST

A league source has told scout.com's Adam Caplan and Ravensinsider that the Baltimore Ravens are working on a deal to acquire a running back because they haven't been able to re-sign RB Jamal Lewis to this point.

While it's not known what running back they're trying to acquire, it's not a secret that the Buffalo Bills are trying to deal RB Willis McGahee.

There are other backs that could be acquired via trade such as San Diego's Michael Turner who is a restricted free agent. The team placed the highest tender possible on him (first and third-round picks) but San Diego also knows he'll walk next year when he would be an unrestricted free agent.

The Ravens also have had conversations with the representatives of free agent RB Chris Brown and Corey Dillon.


 UPDATED MONDAY 6:45 PM EST

  • Terry McCormick from the Nashville City Paper told scout.com that the Tennessee Titans have interest in re-signing RB Chris Brown.  The veteran back has also received interest from the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, and Philadelphia Eagles.
  • The Houston Texans, looking for depth at linebacker, will have free agent MLB Danny Clark in for a visit on Tuesday.
  • Free agent CB Rod Hood will visit with the New Orleans Saints his agent George Mavrikes confirmed Monday. Hood has visited the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals so far.
  • A league source told scout.com that free agent WR Kelley Washington, who has talked contract with the Miami Dolphins, has also drawn interest from the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. 

UPDATED MONDAY 6:00 PM EST

  • The Colts have re-signed LB Rob Morris.
  • QB Kerry Collins has re-signed with Tennessee.
  • DE Kevin Carter has signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

UPDATED MONDAY 4:00 PM EST

According to Aaron Wilson from ravensinsider.com, the Baltmimore Ravens are talking to free agent RB Chris Brown in addition to other free agent RB Corey Dillon. The team still has interest in re-signing RB Jamal Lewis.

In addition, Wilson adds the Ravens are unlikely to get involved in a potential trade for disgruntled Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee. McGahee is entering the final year of his contract, and agent Drew Rosenhaus will likely be seeking a long-term, lucrative contract.

Meanwhile, Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome confirmed that the Ravens are done addressing the outside linebacker position after quickly signing Jarret Johnson to replace All-Pro Adalius Thomas after he joined the New England Patriots.

Because of the decision to sign Johnson to a three-year contract worth $13 million, the Ravens will not be in the hunt for former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter. With the Ravens' tight salary-cap situation, he would have likely been too expensive as he's expected to seek an annual salary in excess of $5 million.

"When AD was doing all of those versatile things and playing all of those positions, Jarret was right there doing many of those same things," Newsome said. "We think Jarret can be an extremely productive player for us at ‘Sam' linebacker."

The Ravens are not inclined toward pursuing free agent offensive tackles after right tackle Tony Pashos signed a five-year, $24 million contract with the Jacksonvillle Jaguars that included a $9 million signing bonus.

The Ravens would likely install left tackle Adam Terry, a 6-foot-8, 330-pound former second-round draft pick, as their right tackle. Terry performed well in pass protection against Porter and Buffalo Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel late in the season, but needs to improve his strength and run blocking.

"If we had to play a regular season game today, Adam Terry would be our starting right tackle," Newsome said.

The Ravens are also likely to look at the draft to address the tackle position because All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden is pondering retirement. While team officials and teammates are hopeful that Ogden will return, most believe it will only be for one more season. The Ravens interviewed Penn State offensive tackle Levi Brown at the NFL scouting combine.

With Ovie Mughelli joining the Atlanta Falcons as the richest fullback in league history with a six-year, $18 million contract that included a $5 million signing bonus, the Ravens could look at former Detroit Lions starter Cory Schlesinger to fill the void or draft a fullback. Schlesinger, 34, is a 12-year veteran with a bruising reputation.

Nicknamed "Sledgehammer," Schlesinger once broke 23 face masks in one season according to the Lions' equipment manager.

"We will address fullback either during free agency or during the draft," Newsome said.

Since free agency began Friday, the Ravens lost four players as Pashos, Mughelli, Thomas and backup nose guard Aubrayo Franklin took advantage of the bullish market. To sign the four homegrown Baltimore free agents, teams spent a total of $37 million in guaranteed money on contracts with a total maximum worth of $85.5 million

The development wasn't a surprise to Newsome, who forecast during the scouting combine how rich the bidding would likely become with the salary cap increasing to $109 million. That's a 27.5 percent increase from the $85.5 million limit from two years ago.

"The numbers that were being talked about during the combine pretty much were the numbers people got during the first days of free agency," Newsome said. "It was what we expected."

 

UPDATED MONDAY 2:20 PM EST

Free agent QB Brad Johnson is in Dallas today visiting with the Cowboys. Scout.com believes that there's a good chance he signs with the team.


UPDATED MONDAY NOON EST

Graham Visits Seattle Today
 
 
Free agent TE Daniel Graham is scheduled to visit with the Seattle Seahawks today. 
 
Graham has already visited with the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders.  
 
Graham, as scout.com noted previously, will be looking to expand his role in the passing game with the team signs him.  
 
Denver would seem to have less of a chance to sign him because of the presence of second-year TE Tony Scheffler who the team is very high on and who started to come on late last season. 
 
While it's believed the New Orleans Saints have some interest in him, a visit hasn't been set up as of Monday morning. 
 
 
Banta-Cain Receiving Plenty of Interest 
 
Free agent OLB Tully Banta-Cain has been receiving plenty of interest from various teams around the NFL but not just from teams that run a 3-4 scheme. 
 
Banta-Cain already visited the St. Louis Rams who run a 4-3 and the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants also have expressed interest in him. 
 
The Eagles, sources say, plan to give second-year pro Chris Gocong a chance to win the SLB job although he didn't play a down during the regular season. He suffered a season-ending injury during the pre-season and was placed on IR before the regular season started. If Philadelphia signs Banta-Cain, that could signal an end of veteran LB Dhani Jones as an Eagle. Jones has two years left on his contract and is set to make almost $5 million in base salary over those two seasons.  
 
The Giants haven't had much stability at SLB in recent years due to injuries at the position. 
 

UPDATED SUNDAY 7:10 PM

League sources indicate that free agent RB Travis Henry has been drawing interest from the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets in addition to the Denver Broncos.

Denver was said to be talking a contract with Henry on Sunday but he still could visit Oakland on Monday.

 

UPDATED SUNDAY 7:00 PM

McCareins' Future With Jets Uncertain 

While he remains a New York Jet, veteran WR Justin McCareins may not remain on the team for much longer. McCareins is due close to $3 million in salary.  
 
Jerricho Cotchery soundly beat out McCareins for a starting job in training camp last year.  
 
A league source told scout.com that the Philadelphia Eagles had strong interest in signing McCareins had they not acquired WR Terrell Owens in March of 2004 when McCareins hit the free agent market prior to signing with the Jets.


Redskins Looking at Petitgout? 

Our friends at profootballtalk.com have a story that the Washington Redskins are looking at free agent OT Luke Petitgout.

But the interesting part is the team isn't looking at him as a left tackle, rather at left guard to replace Derrick Dockery who signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Left tackle is manned by Chris Samuels so the only open position on the Washington offensive line is at left guard.  
 
League insiders have said for years that Petitgout really should have played right tackle not left but this is the first time we've heard it suggested that he play inside. 
 
As mentioned previously, the guards left in free agency are mid-level players such as Jeno James, Bennie Anderson, and Zach Piller.  
 
 
Johnson Back in the Fold; Lewis Remains Unsigned 
 
According to raveninsider.com's Aaron Wilson, the Baltimore Ravens re-signed DE/OLB Jarret Johnson to a three-year deal. 
 
The pressure will be on the fifth-year pro as he's expected to move to SLB to replace Adalius Thomas who signed with the New England Patriots. 
 
Meanwhile, according to Wilson, there was no apparent advancement Sunday in ongoing negotiations with the agent for former Pro Bowl runner Jamal Lewis, whom Baltimore cut last week rather than pay him a $5 million roster bonus. The prospective deal is likely to be a one-year arrangement laden with incentives.

The Ravens remain focused on trying to sign Lewis rather than explore other free agent options like Corey Dillon and Chris Brown, whose agents have been lobbying Baltimore team officials in case negotiations break down with Lewis. 
 
As scout.com reported previously, Dillon has drawn interest from the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles.

 

UPDATED SUNDAY 2:00 PM

Seattle Up next For Graham  
 
Free agent TE Daniel Graham, who visited the Denver Broncos on Friday and Oakland Raiders on Saturday, is expected to be in Seattle to visits the Seahawks on Sunday or Monday. 
 
League sources believe Seattle offers a very attractive situation with winning and potential role for the veteran tight end. Graham, as pointed out a year ago, would be looking to catch the ball more if he left New England.  

Graham was one of the better catching tight ends in the 2002 draft but quickly came a blocking tight end and seldom was used as a pass catcher.  
 
There could be another potential team where he could choose to visit—New Orleans. 
 
 
Market Quiet For Buckhalter 

Free agent RB Correll Buckhalter could visit the Denver Broncos soon but has yet to set up a visit. Buckhalter is seen as a decent backup for an established starter.  

The oft-injured back is coming off his first season in which he played in all 16 games. Buckhalter missed the 2004 and 2005 seasons due to injury. 
 
 
Stallworth Not Attracting Attention? 
 
As scout.com pointed out earlier this week, league sources indicated that free agent WR Donte' Stallworth might not get signed in the early part of free agency because there's a belief that he wants too much money in signing bonus dollars ($10-$12 million). Sources believe the bonus money will come in much lower ($6-$8 million on a multi-year deal) based on his injury history but as the story goes, it only takes one team to over pay. 
 
As noted previously, Stallworth, when healthy last season, was very productive but hamstring problems limited him to 12 games.  
 
But because there teams with serious wide receiver issues (San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Tennessee Titans), the market for the six-year veteran could start to heat up. 
 
 
Washington has Other Options Than Davis 
 
If the Washington Redskins miss out on signing veteran free agent OL Leonard Davis, league sources believe they could turn to free agent Gs Jeno James and Bennie Anderson (recently released by the Miami Dolphins) or Zach Piller (recently released by the Tennessee Titans). 


Green Going South

Scout.com has learned that long-time Green Bay Packer stalwart RB Ahman Green, is visiting warmer climes. He will be in Houston today, visiting the Texans.
 
 
Fonoti Drawing Interest 
 
Mammoth free agent G Toniu Fonoti has a chance to re-sign with the Miami Dolphins and, according to a league source, has drawn the interest of the Atlanta Falcons.

 

FREE AGENT BLOG 1.0 


The OBR Top Stories