News and notes around the league including player visits, player signings and a Troy Brown update. Is this the end for Brown?
Updated 03/12/2008Patriots News: WR Troy Brown is unlikely to return to the Patriots for a 16th season as New England reportedly told the team's all-time receptions leader that he was not in their plans for the 2008 season. A source told the Boston Globe earlier this month that Brown still feels he can play. The former Pro Bowler played in just one game last season after missing all of training camp and the first 11 weeks of the year on the physically unable to perform list following offseason knee surgery. He returned six punts for 55 yards in his only action of the year against the Dolphins on Dec. 23, and was active but did not play in the Patriots playoff win over the Jaguars.
S Raymond Ventrone, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with New England. Terms were not disclosed.
Patriots Player Interest (See Rumor Mill)LB Chaun Thompson has not visited any teams, and the Browns hope to iron out a two-year deal with the unrestricted free agent in the coming days, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
NT Grady Jackson is widely assumed likely to sign with Atlanta at some point, it hasn't reached out to its former starter, who was cut last season and signed by Jacksonville, where current coach Mike Smith served as defensive coordinator.
CB Ty Law has had conversations with Bill Belichick about a possible return to the Patriots after his release by the Chiefs, but the former All-Pro defensive back is also in talks for a return to another one of his former teams, the New York Jets. Law may be looking to sign sooner rather than later, and the Jets have been very a very aggressive suitor, as they've been throughout the entire free agent season.
"I'd say we're definitely on good terms," Law told the Boston Globe of Belichick, who he once called a liar in past contract negotiations. "He did express his interest in me coming there and I expressed mine, but I don't know if it's something that can get handled soon enough."
LB Takeo Spikes met with San Francisco on Wednesday, his first team visit since being released by Philadelphia last week.
Around The League: QB David Carr was signed to serve as Eli Manning's backup. Upgrading from Jared Lorenzen and Anthony Wright was considered one of the team's main priorities this offseason. After a disappointing year with Carolina, Carr is reunited with Giants quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, who was his offensive coordinator for four years in Houston.
"David Carr is a talented player who came out as the number one pick in the draft," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "He is a smart and athletic player who has put up some big passing game numbers. We look forward to working with him on the fundamentals of the game. We do have some technical things to work on, but we are anxious to work with him in our program. If we can place him in a positive environment, perhaps he can reclaim some of the things that people saw to draft him in the first round."
"He has a strong skill set for the position and he has a history with Chris Palmer," general manager Jerry Reese said. "He is here to compete for a job, and I am looking forward to seeing him compete."
QB Joey Harrington re-signed with the Falcons. He was released last week to save the team from the $2.5 million Harrington was due to earn next season, but was brought back at a reduced price. Chris Redman and D.J. Shockley are the only other quarterbacks on the roster, although the team is expected to add at least one in the draft. Harrington's one-year deal is worth $1 million. He received a $300,000 signing bonus.
QB Quinn Gray visited Green Bay, which is looking for capable backups to new starter Aaron Rogers. An unrestricted free agent from Jacksonville, Gray has played in just 11 games in six seasons. He was 2-2 as a starter in place of injured David Garrard last season.
WR D.J. Hackett visited Washington on Wednesday, Tampa Bay on Thursday and was to meet with Carolina on Friday, according to his agent Kevin Robinson. A high ankle sprain kept him out of 10 games last season for the Seahawks. In the six games he did start, he caught 32 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns. He also had six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's first-round playoff win over the Redskins. However, injury concerns may have scared some teams off. Hackett missed two games in 2006 and three in 2005. According to sources close to the situation, the Panthers had shown some early interest in Hackett but it suddenly increased on Tuesday after Jarrett's arrest and the fact that divisional rival Tampa Bay was suddenly interested in him.
WR Bryant Johnson's agent, Joel Segal, said his client is in talks with three teams, believed to be Buffalo, Washington and Tampa Bay. The Bills are the only team he is known to have visited.
LB Keyaron Fox signed a one-year, $605,000 deal with Pittsburgh. Fox (6-3, 235) was originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech. He spent all four of his years in Kansas City, playing primarily on special teams and as a backup linebacker. In 2007, he posted 21 tackles, including a season-best 10 against the New York Jets in Week 17. Fox enjoyed his best season in Kansas City in 2006 when he collected 52 tackles while playing in all 16 games, making four starts in place of the injured Derrick Johnson.
CB Chris Carr, who can also serve as a kick returner, met with Carolina early this week. Carr is a non-compensation restricted free agent, so any team that signs him will not owe the Raiders a draft pick.
S Keith Davis' two-year deal with Miami is worth $3.5 million. Reduced primarily to special teams duty for Dallas, Davis will compete for a starting secondary job with Yeremiah Bell in Miami.
WR Drew Carter, an unrestricted free agent from Carolina, has agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Raiders. Carter caught a career-hight 38 passes for 517 yards and four touchdowns last season.
WR Justin McCareins has agreed to return to Tennessee. A fourth-round pick by the Titans in 2001, he had a career-high 47 catches for Tennessee in 2003. He caught just 42 passes with 13 starts over the past two seasons with the Jets.
DE Michael Strahan has not made up his mind about returning for next season or retiring, he told Newsday. "I can't say I don't love to play and don't love to see the guys," Strahan said at a promotional appearance Wednesday. "But when I see guys like (Brett) Favre and (Warren) Sapp and (Chiefs) guard Will Shields, all these guys who are players from my era, say, 'Enough's enough' ... Sometimes, you wake up and your body is hurting and you're thinking, 'Man, maybe enough is enough.' You think about it."
QB Jake Delhomme is expected to begin throwing a real football either later this month or early next month. He is recovering from elbow surgery that forced him out of 13 games last season.
CB Samari Rolle confirmed that he has restructured his contract because of his battle with epilepsy.
Rolle re-worked his contract around his playing time and conditions related to the illness.
Diagnosed last season, Rolle missed 10 games in 2007 because of seizures but returned to the field once doctors figured out the right medication to control them.
"Basically, if I play, I'm under the original conditions of my contract," Rolle said.
Rolle is now scheduled to make $1.4 million this season, but it is believed he could make a total of $3.9 million if he reaches his playing time incentives.
He has three years left remaining on his deal.
WLB Rocky McIntosh, who tore an ACL in the Dec. 16 victory over the New York Giants, is expected back in July.
CB Carlos Rogers continues to rehab from reconstructive knee surgery. Rogers, who tore an ACL and an MCL last Oct. 28 at New England, isn't due back until after the start of the season.
QB D.J. Shockley might not be able to take part in a mid-April mini-camp while he continues he rehabilitation from a torn ACL in his left knee. Shockley is said to be making good progress but it is more important that he be ready for later mini-camps and OTAs.
NT Trey Lewis's season could be in jeopardy. The sixth-round draft pick from Washburn who made Grady Jackson expendable recently underwent surgery to repair damage to the same knee in which he tore his ACL during the season. Lewis supposedly injured the knee while walking down steps. Lewis's rehab will dictate if he's on the field this season, but from what happened the first go-round, the Falcons best have some contingency plans.
DT Dan Klecko, an unrestricted free agent, has visited with the Philadelphia Eagles. Klecko, who also served as a short-yardage and goal-line blocker and receiver on offense, is reportedly being considered as a fullback for the Eagles.
He had a touchdown catch against New England in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, which was played at the RCA Dome.
RB Chris Brown was scheduled to meet with Houston this week, and is also reportedly generating some interest from Chicago.
MLB Nick Barnett entered a plea agreement that will lead to two misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct being droped if he meets requirements. The charges stemmed from a June 16-17 incident at an Appleton nightclub. With the plea, Barnett needs to avoid being arrested before a potential sentencing date on July 2, complete an anger-management course and pay a $500 fine, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
WR Dwayne Jarrett's blood-alcohol level was 0.12 when he was arrested on charges of driving while impaired last weekend. The legal limit in North Carolina is 0.08. His first hearing is April 11.
LB Al Wilson, who visited with Detroit earlier this offseason, met with the Browns and underwent a physical exam Wednesday, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
PK Jason Elam has continued negotiations with the Broncos on a prospective multi-year deal, but the sides aren't close in guaranteed money yet, according to the Denver Post.
OL Chris Myers was expected to meet with Houston on Thurday. Myers is a restricted free agent, and Denver will have a week to match any offer or receive a sixth-round pick as compensation.
LB Danny Clark has agreed to a two-year deal with the Giants. He sarted eight games for the Texans last season.
OG Ryan Lilja is one of several Colts players who have undergone minor surgery since the end of the 2007 season. Lilja recently had arthroscopic work done on his right knee.
"Just had it cleaned up," he said.
DE James Hall, who has his contract terminated by the Rams, was scheduled to meet with Buffalo on Thursday.
LS Nathan Hodel agrred to a four-year deal with the Cardinals. An unrestricted free agent who has spent six years with Arizona, Hodel need to wait for a new contract until WR Larry Fitzgerald's contract was renegotiated.
WR Sam Hurd was awarded $215,495 as part of the league's performance-based pay program, according to the Dallas Morning News.
LB Donnie Nickey is expected to visit with Pittsburgh and possible Buffalo soon, according to the Nashville City Paper. Nickey has 51 special-teams tackles in five years.
TE Dwayne Blakley met with the Titans on Tuesday.
LB Josh Stamer met with the Titans on Tuesday.
K Dave Rayner signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins, likely to serve as a camp leg behind Jay Feely, who made 21 of 23 attempts last season. Rayner is a three-year veteran who made 15 of 22 attempts for the Chiefs in 2007 before finishing the season as the Chargers' kickoff specialist. He might fill the same role for Miami.
S Kalvin Pearson will become a member of the Lions as Tampa Bay will reportedly decline to match Detroit's three-year, $3.5 million offer sheet. A restricted free agent tendered by the Bucs at $927,000, Pearson will not cost Detroit draft pick compensation.
C/G Lennie Friedman, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with the Browns.
DE Josh Cooper, an exclusive right free agent, re-signed with New Orleans.
S Jerome Carter (not tendered as RFA by Rams 2/28), re-signed with the Rams.
LB Roy Manning (released by Bengals 2/12) re-signed with Cincinnati.
CB Travis Fisher, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Detroit.
C/G Blaine Saipaia had his contract terminated by Detroit.
DT Ryan Boschetti
, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with Washington.
More Free Agent News
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Draft Rankings (Top 100, By Position, by School, by Name)
Patriots Player Interest / Visitor List
Rumor Mill: Another LB in the mix?