WR Andre Davis
Patriots Insider has learned that free agent WR Andre Davis is visiting with the Buffalo Bills today. The Bills, who have had discussion with WR Eric Moulds about reworking his contract, have two other receivers of their own (Sam Aiken and Josh Reed) headed for free agency and are believed to be looking for another in case negotiations with Moulds fall apart.
Davis, who joined the Patriots August 22, 2005 in a trade with the Cleveland Browns, was released and later resigned by New England. He finished the season with nine receptions for 190 yards leading the team in yards per catch (21.1). The four-year veteran from Virginia Tech has appeared in 48 games with 23 starts in his career.
OT Tom Ashworth
Free agent Tom Ashworth is visiting the New York Jets and is expected to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. Ashworth also has a visit planned with Miami on Sunday. All three teams have concerns over line depth, and Ashworth could address those concerns immediately having experience at both right and left tackle.
Once a starter in New England, Ashworth was slowly pushed out of the starting lineup due to injuries that sidelined him. Rookie Nick Kaczur was sharing the rotation at RT (Ashworth's position) when Matt Light was sidelined with a broken leg. Kaczur moved to the left side and Ashworth assumed the duties at right. With Light's return, Kaczur is expected to move back to the right side, either at tackle or guard where Stephen Neal, also a free agent, may be departing.
Ashworth is looking for a starting role, and it appears he will not be afforded one in New England with the return of Light. The former Colorado Buffalo has 30 starts in 37 games over four seasons with the Patriots.
WR David Givens
Did Cleveland bugger the deal for Patriots receiver David Givens or was it a matter of the receiver's contract demands being too expensive for the aggressive Browns front office?
We're inclined to believe it's the latter.
Still smarting from an unusual situation of having a report prematurely released on their website stating that the team reached a deal with Givens, only to prove that it hadn't, the Browns went in another direction. The team flew in and signed Seattle Seahawk's receiver Joe Jurevicius.
Jurevicius is a solid possession type receiver, the label many have applied to Givens.
Givens is in Miami and by all accounts intends to make a number of stops in his search for a prosperous contract. While Givens and his agent have both said there remains some interest by the Patriots, one source told Patriots Insider, don't expect him back.
One other possible destination for Givens may have evaporated at the same time as Cleveland's. Minnesota re-signed Koren Robinson, who many consider a talented, yet troubled receiver. Robinson made strides in his game last season after getting his walking papers from Seattle the season before.
Although both Minnesota and Cleveland have needs at the wide receiver position, these signings appear to have reduced the need to pursue Givens. Certainly it lessens their need to part with more than the going rate.
Willie coming back? That's one of the rumors we're hearing.
McGinest and his representatives are in discussions with a number of potential suitors at the moment. Among the teams in the mix are the Patriots, McGinest's former team. One source tells us that McGinest's camp is still interested in listening to the Patriots offers but if there's no progress soon, that door may close.
The Patriots released McGinest before the deadline, in part to avoid paying a $3.5 million roster bonus, which both sides knew the team had no intention of paying. In a radio interview, Patriots Vice Chairman and President Jonathan Kraft spoke about the team's desire to resign the veteran leader.
"If you're asking me emotionally do I want to see Willie McGinest on the Patriots, absolutely," Kraft said. "He's a special guy who in a lot of ways embodies everything that has happened to this franchise over the last 12 years."
Vinatieri's future remains in limbo as the former Patriot considers offers and possible destinations other than Foxboro. According to published reports, Vinatier's market price would set the standard for other kicker's deals, but that has not been the case thus far in free agency.
Two of the top names available have already signed, well before Vinatieri has made his "big splash." Ryan Longwell, formerly of the Green Bay Packers was lured away to take up duties with their division rival the Minnesota Vikings. And Tampa Bay Buccaneer Matt Bryant agreed to rejoin coach Jon Gruden's team rather than look for a new home.
Reports coming from Dallas indicate that the Cowboys remain Vinatieri's primary suitor at this point. It is expected that Dallas is in negotiations with the former Patriots kicker. Word coming from Dallas is that the Cowboys were sending Vinatieri's representatives an offer today.
Just how serious those discussion are, can only be speculated at this point. Vinatieri's agent has been keeping a low profile during negotiations.
Vinatieri and Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt are considered the top two kickers on the market.
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