Packers add a Roman

The Green Bay Packers and Mark Roman agreed to a three-year contract on Monday. The Packers are hoping the former Cincinnati free safety can improve one of the weakest areas on their defense.<p>

Roman, a fifth-year pro, is expected to sign his new deal today, then start alongside Darren Sharper in the Packers' defensive secondary this season. Green Bay has not shown any interest in re-signing Antuan Edwards, its No. 1 pick in 1999, or cornerback/safety Michael Hawthorne, both of whom are unrestricted free agents.

Roman told the Green Bay News-Chronicle that the Bengals offered him more money, but that he is more content with Green Bay's offer. Roman also visited with the Chicago Bears but did not receive an offer. He is the first free agent from another team to sign with the Packers this off-season.

"(But) I just feel Mark Roman should be in Green Bay," he said. "I feel I'm doing the best thing for me right now. It's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders."

Roman, a fifth-year pro, started all 16 games last season for the first time. He was fifth on the Bengals with 74 tackles, 62 of them solo, last year. A second-round draft pick out of Louisiana State by Cincinnati, Roman will be challenged by Marques Anderson for the starting spot next to Sharper, but it is clear that the Packers are not happy with Anderson's progress in the last two seasons.

Roman first visited with the Packers on March 8. Green Bay also showed interest in Pittsburgh safety Mike Logan, who signed a new, three-year deal with the Steelers on Thursday that reportedly averages a little more than $1 million per year.

Roman, who resides in Baton Rouge, La., in the off-season, played played cornerback in his first three seasons with the Bengals, including eight starts at left cornerback during the 2001 season. He became the full-time starter at free safety last year, and played slot cornerback on passing downs.

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