Chargers sign LB Jarret Johnson
nine seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, linebacker Jarret Johnson has
signed a free agent deal with the San Diego Chargers. The
Chargers posted on Twitter that they had come to terms with Johnson on
a four-year contract.
Johnson started every game for the
Ravens the past five seasons, averaging 3.5 sacks per season in that
span. He overtook former defensive end Michael McCrary and
linebacker Jamie Sharper as the franchise's all-time leader in
consecutive starts with his 74th straight start Nov. 20. By season's
end, his streak was up to 82 games.
Johnson is also the
Ravens' leader in consecutive games played with 129. He finished the
2011 regular season with 56 tackles, his fewest since 2006 when he made
35 stops. Johnson's 40 solo tackles were also his fewest since 2006.
Johnson, 30, was the Ravens' fourth-round draft pick in 2003 out of
Last week, the Chargers signed linebacker Demorrio Williams after he
was released by division rival Kansas City
-- Sports Xchange
Take: The Patriots may need linebacker help, but Johnson
their radar, at least not that New England media was able to confirm.
The vastly underrated player should fill an immediate need
the CHargers defense.
Dolphins re-sign NT Soliai
tackle Paul Soliai, thought to be headed out of Miami this year after
playing last season with the Dolphins' franchise tag, instead agreed to
return to the team.
Soliai received a two-year, $12 million deal,
according to the Palm Beach Post and ESPN.com. The Palm Beach Post and
TheDenverChannel.com reported that Soliai was due to travel to Colorado
to visit with the Broncos before canceling the trip when he reached the
agreement with the Dolphins.
The Dolphins and Broncos are both in the running for a far more
high-profile free agent, quarterback Peyton Manning.
to the Palm Beach Post, Soliai's salary-cap figure for this year will
be just above $4 million. However, the newspaper reported that the
signing could affect Miami's ability to pursue Manning, as the team
would have to restructure existing contracts or release players to
clear enough salary-cap space to have enough money for Manning.
28, has spent all five of his pro seasons with the Dolphins since he
was the team's fourth-round draft pick in 2007 out of the University of
He started 14 games in 2010, when he recorded his only two career
sacks, and he started 13 games in 2011. The 6-foot-4,
350-pounder is a large presence in the middle of the line
-- Sports Xchange
Palm Beach Post reported that the Patriots had made contact inquiring
about Soliai. Apparently that was enough motivation for Miami
resign one of their own. Considered a solid run-plugger,
could have fit right in with Vince Wilfork to help the Patriots
interior run defense. Gerard Warren has been part of the
Patriots interior defense the past two seasons, but Warren is headed to
free agency without much promise to return. In 12 games last year,
Warren managed just a dozen total tackles, the lowest output of his 11
Dolphins sign cornerback Marshall
The Miami Dolphins picked up cornerback Richard Marshall on Wednesday.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter the deal is for three years and $16
million. Marshall, 27,
made three interceptions last season in nine starts for the Arizona Cardinals. He played his first five years for the Carolina Panthers.
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound defender made 17 career interceptions and will
add depth to the Dolphins'
-- Sports Xchange
Marshall played at Fresno State, one of the colleges the
Patriots scouted heavily when Pat Hill was coaching there.
Hill and Bill Belichick are pals, dating back to the days
when Hill was on Belichicki's staff in Cleveland.
Marshall was teammates with Logan Mankins and James Sanders, all three played for Hill.
Jets sign Folk, reportedly eye Cotchery
New York Jets re-signed kicker Nick Folk on Wednesday and, as they
search for wide receivers, they might be looking to bring back another
The Jets are reportedly interested in bringing back Jerricho Cotchery,
a source told the New York Daily News. Cotchery
played his first seven seasons for the Jets until he and the team
parted ways last year and he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jets could use some help bolstering their thin wide receiver corps, but
it's questionable just how much production Cotchery could provide.
Cotchery is coming off his least productive season since his
rookie year. He caught just 16 passes for 237 yards and two
touchdowns in 13 games for the Steelers last year. That was a
drop-off from Cotchery's already dwindling production for the Jets in
2010, when he caught 41 passes for 433 yards.
his career, Cotchery has 374 receptions for 4,751 yards and 20
touchdowns. His best seasons came back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
had 82 receptions each year, and gained 961 yards with six touchdowns
in 2006, while he produced 1,130 yards the next season with two
Folk has spent the past two years with the Jets after playing for the
Dallas Cowboys his first three seasons. He
was 19 of 25 on field goals last year and 44 of 44 on extra points, for
101 total points on the season. He also got the Jets' eventually
disappointing season off to a good start with a 50-yard, game-winning
field goal in the final minute of the opener against the Cowboys.
Folk was 30 of 39 on field goals and 37 of 37 on PATs his
first season with the Jets, for 127 points
-- Sports Xchange
The Jets need help in the receiving corps and Cotchery could
be used for depth, but he isn't going to scare defenses -- at least not
at this poing in his career. Cotchery had the second worst
outing in his career in 2011 playing for the Steelers. He
caught just 16 passes for 237 yards and 2 TDs. His
rookie season (2004) Cotchery managed just six catches for 60 yards.
Jaguars, DT Mosley agree to 3-year deal
Jacksonsville Jaguars reached a three-year, $7.5 million deal with
defensive tackle C.J. Mosley on Wednesday, according to Scout.com.
Mosley's deal has $2 million guaranteed. Scout reports the
deal could be worth up to $10 million if incentives are reached.
made 24 tackles last season in 15 games for the Jaguars. He had one
sack and one forced fumble. Mosley has played for four teams in seven
-- Sports Xchange
The good news is that Mosley didn't make it to the AFC East,
where teams were looking at him to add depth to their defensive line
rotation. In 2011 Mosley started three of the 15 games he appeared in
for a resurgent Jacksonville defense. He had arguably the
best season of his 7-year career last season.
Jaguars sign QB Henne
Quarterback Chad Henne has agreed to a two-year deal with the
Jacksonville Jaguars. Henne
was assumed to be a consideration in Seattle, where the Seattle Times
reported he had a visit scheduled this week. But, he went to
Jacksonville first and signed. He will not be visiting the Seahawks.
entered last season as the starter for the Miami Dolphins. He was
eventually replaced by Matt Moore after totaling four touchdowns and
four interceptions in his first four starts. Jacksonville
also signed Laurent Robinson earlier in the day to be the team's No. 1
-- Sports Xchange
Though Henne will no longer be the top dog in Miami, he may
still affect games in the AFC. Blaine Gabbert was the top
pick of Jacksonville in 2011, but he clearly has plenty to learn.
Henne could compete with Gabbert to make the Jaguars more
competitive in 2012. Jacksonville finished 5-11 last season
and may have trouble improving upon that without better play at the
quarterback position. Henne will give them that. The Jaguars
play all four teams in the AFC East, New England and New York at
Jacksonville, Buffalo and Miami on the road.
Chiefs sign Hillis, lose McClain
Jamaal Charles has a new running mate, as the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a
contract with free agent running back Peyton Hillis. The team
confirmed the deal but did not disclose financial details. According to
ESPN's Adam Schefter, Hillis landed a one-year, $3 million contract.
Chiefs backfield will be missing a part, however, as fullback Le'Ron McClain agreed to a three-year deal with the San Diego Chargers,
Schefter reported. Hillis, who is 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, could wind up
seeing time in the fullback role.
If the Chiefs can get 2010-level production from both Charles and
Hillis in 2012, they'd have a potent running attack.
years ago with the Cleveland Browns, Hillis had 270 carries for 1,177
yards and 11 touchdowns. Hillis, 26, saw his production drop
precipitously in 2011, when he had 161 carries for 587 yards and three
touchdowns. He missed five games with a hamstring injury.
was a disappointing season for Hillis, who was voted by the fans to be
on the cover of EA Sports' "Madden NFL 12" video game. He denied
reports that he considered retiring and pursuing a career with the CIA.
Prior to becoming a free agent, Hillis told the Cleveland Plain
Dealer, "I've always loved this city, and I still do love it, and I
still want to play for the Cleveland Browns. I'm not sure who wants me
there and who doesn't want me there. It's out of my hands at this
point. They've said they might want to re-sign me. If I was this
horrible person, if I wasn't tough and if I was that big of a mental
case, why would they still want to sign me?"
Charles, 25, also
had a big 2010 season, running 230 times for 1,467 yards and five
touchdowns. Last year was a near total loss, though, as he tore the
anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the second game. He
underwent season-ending surgery after compiling just 12 carries for 83
yards and no touchdowns.
McClain, 28, spent one year in Kansas
City after three four years with the Baltimore Ravens. He had 15
carries for 51 yards and one touchdown during his stint with the Chiefs
-- Sports Xchange
Hillis could have landed in any number of places, but playing
for Romeo Crennel in Kansas City will help rehabilitate his career
after the letdown in 2011. Some rumblings connected HIllis to
the AFC East, possibly even New England -- a team which could lose
BenJarvus Green-Elllis. Hilis could have given New England an
added dimension in the ground game that has been missing for since
Corey Dillon came to Foxboro. Kansas City also plays Buffalo,
the entire AFC North (including Cleveland his former team) and Denver
twice. Winning any (or all) of those games would have helped
the Patriots in 2011, and could be a factor in 2012's playoff race.
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Material from the Sports Xchange was used in this report.
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