Free agent TE visits Packers

Free agent tight end Freddie Jones met with the Green Bay Packers on Monday, according reports. Jones, entering his ninth season, had been a starter with the San Diego Chargers and Arizona Cardinals.<p>

The Packers also met Monday with guard Cosey Coleman and safety Trent Gamble. Coleman, a five-year veteran who has played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, signed a multi-year contract with the Cleveland Browns Monday night.

A former University of Tennessee standout and a second-round pick in the 2000 draft, Coleman agreed to a two-year contract with the Browns that, with incentives, can be worth up to $3 million. It includes a signing bonus of $500,000. Coleman, 26, visited with Cleveland officials over the weekend and then met with representatives of the Packers.

The Packers are expected to meet with former Cleveland linebacker Kevin Bentley today. Bentley is expected to visit the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday. Bentley is unattached after the Browns elected not to tender him as a restricted free agent.

Jones ranked eighth among National Football League tight ends with 45 catches, which were good for 426 yards and two touchdowns. But Cardinals coach Dennis Green was not pleased with his blocking and allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Jones' cap salary in '04 was $1.698 million.

Jones, 30, played for San Diego from 1997-2001 and for Arizona the last three seasons.

The Packers are trying to bolster their tight end position this off-season. Green Bay named starter Bubba Franks as a transition player. He'll count $2.095 million against Green Bay's cap. Franks can entertain offers from other teams, but the Packers have the right to retain him by matching any offer. If the Packers do not match, they will receive no compensation.

Backup David Martin is an unrestricted free agent. The other backups include Ben Steele and Sean McHugh, who came to the Packers last year as free agents.

Bentley backed up Dwayne Rudd on the weak side in 2002, started on the strong side in '03 and played behind starters Chaun Thompson and Warrick Holdman last year.

Gamble had reconstructive knee surgery in November 2003 and missed the entire 2004 season. He also has had shoulder injuries since he signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2000 as an undrafted free agent. Gamble was one of Miami's top special teams players in 2003.


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