The Green Bay Packers hosted their first free agent visit on Tuesday. And now, safety Mike Adams is on his way to New England.
"It went great," agent Peter Schaffer just told Packer Report. "He's on his way to the Patriots right now. He was very impressed with the organization, the people, the coaches, the facility, and he's now on his way to New England."
Asked if that means Adams was not extended a contract offer, Schaffer said: "I never negotiate publicly."
Adams, to be certain, is not the missing link the Packers' defense needs. What he'd bring to the table, according to our experts in Cleveland, would be a safety adept at covering receivers in the slot. Plus, he's played in 3-4 defenses in Cleveland and San Francisco, which is a huge plus as the Packers make that transition.
But, at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, he doesn't have the clout the player he'd presumably be battling for a starting job, Atari Bigby, possesses.
Adams, who turns 28 this month, was an undrafted free agent out of Delaware who made the 49ers' roster as a rookie in 2004, then started 18 games over the next two seasons. He played in 15 games with no starts after signing with Cleveland in 2007 and made five starts in 14 games in 2008. He has seven career interceptions, including two last season and four in 2005.
For sake of comparison, Bigby, who turns 28 in September, was an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida in 2005. He has six interceptions in three-plus seasons, including five in 2007 and a game-sealing interception to beat Minnesota in the 2008 opener. (He played in just one game in 2005). The defense suffered without Bigby last season, when he missed nine games with hamstring and ankle problems.
Bigby, at 5-11 and 213, is a physical tackler, but he has no experience in a 3-4, and the safeties will play a key role in organizing the secondary. Bigby is a restricted free agent who was given the $1.5 million second-year tender, meaning the Packers would receive a second-round pick if they elected to not match an offer. That high tender and Bigby's lack of a lengthy resume probably will scare away other teams.
New England, meanwhile, re-signed its own free agent safety, James Sanders, to a three-year, $9 million deal a couple days ago. The free safety was a fourth-round pick in 2005 and the Patriots' leading tackler in the secondary, so Adams likely would be vying for backup playing time behind Sanders and 2007 first-round pick Brandon Meriweather.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.