The Tuesday FA Wire, 3/14/06 - 8:50 PM EST

The free agency period which officially began at 12:01 AM EST on Saturday has been one of the more active and interesting in recent memory. Scout.com will continue to take you through all the cuts, transactions and rumors, providing our own insider analysis as well.

Update - 3/14/06 - 8:50 PM EST

Jose Miguel Romero of the Seattle Times reports that former Arizona Cardinals DT Russell Davis had a very productive visit in Seattle today. Talks are expected to continue on Wednesday between the team and Davis' agent, Pat Dye.

Mike Sando of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that New York Jets DE John Abraham is in Seattle for a visit.

A great deal of action today - we'll catch you up now and provide the analysis later:

The Boston Globe reports that former New England offensive guard Stephen Neal took a free-agent visit with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Neal started in all 16 regular-season games in 2005, as well as both playoff contests. Suiting up at right guard, he played on a one-year, $1.43 million contract.

The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed unrestricted free agent TE Dan Campbell to a five-year deal. Additional contract terms were not disclosed. Campbell (6-5, 265) is a seven-year veteran that has a proven reputation as both a reliable receiver and a valuable blocking tight end. During his career, he has played in 95 games (65 starts) and registered 68 receptions for 604 yards (8.9 avg) and seven touchdowns. He has played in all 16 games in five of his seven seasons.

The Steelers have signed DE Brett Keisel to a four-year contract. He'll replace Kimo von Oelhoffen, who signed with the Jets, in the starting lineup.

The Steelers added depth to the safety position today by signing free agent safety Ryan Clark to a multi-year contract. Financial terms of the four-year deal were not released.

Clark, who will enter his fifth season in the NFL in 2006, finished this past season with 72 tackles for the Washington Redskins, which was fourth on the team. He also posted his first two career interceptions and added his first career forced fumble. In 2004, Clark tallied a career-high 91 tackles, including 65 solo.

Clark has started 27 games in his four-year career. He was originally signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He spent six games in 2002 on the Giants 53-man roster before finishing the season on the practice squad. He then played in all 16 games with the Giants the following year before signing with the Redskins on the first day of training camp in 2004.

WR David Givens signed a five-year deal and gives the Titans a proven receiver with plenty of years remaining in his prime. "He's young, he's healthy, he's productive, he is as classy as anyone you will ever want to meet, he will be a leader on our young team," Reese said. "And to top it all off, he has more Super Bowl rings than he has fingers for. That's very, very important to us."

QB Jon Kitna agreed to a contract with Detroit on Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

QB Drew Brees has agreed to terms on a six-year deal with New Orleans. Financial details were not immediately known, but Brees is expected to arrive in New Orleans on Wednesday.

scout.com has confirmed he Dallas Cowboys have released WR Keyshawn Johnson. He was due a $1 million roster bonus.

WR Terrell Owens' two-year stint with the Eagles officially ended with his contract being terminated Tuesday. There was no press conference, just a simple one-line statement from the team that read: "The Philadelphia Eagles today announced they have terminated the contract of WR Terrell Owens." Scuttlebutt has the Cowboys and the Chiefs in the lead for Owens' services with the Broncos in the hnt as well.

QB Daunte Culpepper has been traded to Miami in exchange for a second-round draft pick. The Dolphins will officially announce the deal once Culpepper, who is coming off major knee surgery, passes a physical.

WR Kevin Walter has received an offer sheet from Texas; Bengals have until March 20 to match or receive 7th-round pick as compensation.

LB Matt Chatham signed a three-year contract with the Jets. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but the contract was structured so Chatham will make more money should he win a starting job.

OT Mike Williams signed with Jacksonville, where he is expected to push RT Maurice Williams for a starting job. "My goals in Jacksonville are to become the dominant offensive tackle that I know I am and in the process help this team win games," he said.

RG Will Shields will return for a 12th season with Kansas City after agreeing to a restructured four-year contract. Shields, who had been due a $5.1 million salary in 2006, had been in danger of being released.

CB Fakhir Brown signed a five-year contract with St. Louis. An unrestricted free agent, Brown played in 12 games, including four starts, for New Orleans last season.

DE Kalimba Edwards re-signed with Detroit to a five-year deal.

LB/DE Andre Carter, a free agent from San Francisco, has agreed to a deal with Washington. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. He will likely be the replacement for LaVar Arrington, playing the role of an outside pass-rushing linebacker.

P Bryce Benekos was cut by Houston.

TE Neal Philpot was cut by Houston on March 8.

S Terry Holley was cut by St. Louis on March 9.

CB Chris McKenzie re-signed with Houston.

P Filip Filipovic (released by Eagles 3/4/05) was added to Houston's roster.

WR Bam Childress, an exclusive rights free agent, was re-signed by New England.

FB Doug Easlick was assigned to Pittsburgh on waivers from San Francisco.

OT Brandon Phillips was cut by New Orleans.

DE Kalimba Edwards re-signed with Detroit to a five-year deal.

DE Marcellus Wiley re-signed with Jacksonville on Tuesday. Wiley, 31, played in 11 games with one start last season with the Jaguars. The 6-4, 275-pound defensive end recorded 11 tackles and four quarterback pressures. The 10th year veteran has started 79 of his 135 career games with Jacksonville, Dallas, San Diego and Buffalo. He has 398 career tackles, 44 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He was originally selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL draft by the Bills out of Columbia.

CB Terry Cousin re-signed with Jacksonville on Tuesday. Cousin, 30, played in all 16 games for the Jaguars and started five contests. The 5-9, 185-pound cornerback tallied 56 tackles, four interceptions and a half sack. In his 10th season, he has started 62 of his 130 career games while playing with Jacksonville, New York Giants, Carolina, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago. He has 427 career tackles, 10 interceptions, 5.5 sacks and five fumble recoveries. He was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Chicago in 1997 out of South Carolina.

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Update - 3/14/06 - 10:50 AM EST

Craig Massei of Scout.com's San Fr
ancisco 49ers site reports that San Francisco head coach Mike Nolan said late Monday afternoon that free-agent safety Chris Hope will make a visit to team headquarters at some point in the next few days. While saying that San Francisco never came close to making an offer to Andre Carter that was comparable to what he received Monday to sign with Washington, Nolan indicated that recent developments during the start of free agency have improved the 49ers' chances of re-signing free-agent linebacker and Julian Peterson.

The 49ers would have liked to have brought back Carter, their No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft who has under-performed in recent seasons since his 12.5-sack sophomore season of 2002.

But the Niners were no match for the Redskins, who grossly overpaid Carter on Monday when the unrestricted free agent signed a six-year deal worth a reported $30 million.

“Washington was way ahead of anybody on that one,” said Nolan, who indicated the Niners made Carter a representative offer to return that wasn’t in the ballpark of the figures he was offered by the Redskins.

“I was disappointed for us, but I was happy for Andre,” Nolan continued. “He did a good job and we wanted him back. But at the same time, there’s a value that goes with everybody. It just didn’t work out with us. I was disappointed that he chose to go to Washington , but on the other hand, I’m happy for him. He certainly has to be happy with that deal.”

As Carter drops off the open market, linebacker Julian Peterson conspicuously remains available to all bidders, and the chances have improved that the Niners may be able to work a deal for the two-time Pro Bowler who many observers consider the top outside linebacker available in free agency this year.

Tim Eisenhut of Scout.com's Cincinnati Bengals site has informed us that free agent DT Sam Adams has narrowed his choices down to Miami and Cincinnati. It will be interesting to see how the much-rumored Brew Brees signing in Miami affects this, should it happen.

Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post reports the Seahawks are expected to visit with free agent DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (Steelers).

Mike Sando of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that Seahawks LB Kevin Bentley is visiting with the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee is looking for depth at the position and to strengthen its special teams.

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Update - 3/14/06 - 9:25 AM EST

Yesterday's signings:

Mar 13 2006
- Khary Campbell, LB Khary Campbell has re-signed with Washington. Terms were not disclosed.

Mar 13 2006 - Andre Carter, LB/DE Andre Carter, a free agent from San Francisco, has reportedly agreed to a deal with Washington that he is expected to sign Tuesday. He would likely be the replacement for LaVar Arrington, playing the role of an outside pass-rushing linebacker.

Mar 13 2006 - Adam Archuleta, S Adam Archuleta signed a six-year, $30 million contract with Washington that includes a $10 million signing bonus. He will replace Ryan Clark, who was not re-signed before free agency, and is an insurance policy in case Sean Taylor's legal woes force him to miss any time.

Mar 13 2006 - David Thornton, LB David Thornton was signed by Tennessee to a five-year deal worth more than $22 million.Thornton will receive an $8 million signing bonus, and brings speed to a defense sorely in need of playmakers.
  
"He's probably a great example of just what we're looking for in unrestricted free agency," general manager Floyd Reese said. "He's young, he's healthy. He's done a lot of things, and maybe most importantly, he's a great guy, classy kid ... and he's coming from a program that's won a lot of games so that's very, very important to us."

Mar 13 2006 - Corey Bradford, WR Corey Bradford signed a four-year deal with Detroit. Bradford, who played for Houston the past four years, reunites with receivers coach Kippy Brown, who was Bradford's position coach with the Texans.

Mar 13 2006 - Eric Moulds, WR Eric Moulds believes the Bills have no intention of keeping him at his current salary and has asked to be released. Moulds, who has two years left on his contract, is scheduled to make $7.1 million next season and count $10.85 million against the salary cap.

Mar 13 2006 - Dexter Jackson, S Dexter Jackson, a free agent from
Tampa Bay, has signed a four-year contract with Cincinnati.

Mar 13 2006 - R.W. McQuarters, CB R.W. McQuarters signed with the Giants. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mar 13 2006 - Greg Jerman, OL Greg Jerman resigned with the Bills. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Mar 13 2006 - Antonio Bryant, WR Antonio Bryant signed a four-year deal with
San Francisco worth around $15 million. He will make more than $6.5 million in 2006. "I understand that the team is young," said Bryant. "I'm one of those guys who is young and looking for the opportunity to come out here and blossom with something new and fresh. I figure if I was going to start over, this was a perfect opportunity."

Mar 13 2006 - Eddie Jackson, CB Eddie Jackson, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a qualifying offer to stay with Miami.

Mar 13 2006 - Alex Holmes, TE Alex Holmes, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a qualifying offer to stay with Miami.

Mar 13 2006 - Yeremiah Bell, S Yeremiah Bell, an exclusive rights free agent, signed a qualifying offer to stay with Miami.

Mar 13 2006 - Andre Goodman, Goodman, a free agent from Detroit, signed a three-year, $5 million with Miami that reportedly includes $2.5 million in incentives. With Sam Madison gone, the Dolphins are seeking a starter opposite Travis Daniels. Goodman, 27, was a third-round draft choice (68th overall) of the Lions in 2002. In his four seasons with the club, he started 21 of the 43 games in which he has played, including career-high totals of eight starts and 15 appearances in 2005. He produced career-high figures of three interceptions and 13 passes defensed last year. Overall in his four NFL seasons, the 5-10, 185-pound Goodman has amassed 131 tackles, five interceptions, 19 passes defensed, a forced fumble and 10 special teams tackles.

Mar 13 2006 - L.J. Shelton, Shelton, a free agent from Cleveland, signed a four-year deal with Miami, and will take over for Damion McIntosh. Shelton, 29, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, having entered the league as a first-round draft choice (21st overall) of Arizona in 1999. He played with the Cardinals for six seasons before spending 2005 with Cleveland, where he started all 16 games at left tackle. Overall in his career, he has started 93 of the 98 games in which he has appeared, at both left and right tackle.

Mar 13 2006 - Sedrick Hodge, LB Sedrick Hodge, a free agent from New Orleans, signed a two-year deal with Miami reportedly worth $2 million with another $1 million in incentives. He will compete for a starting job now that Junior Seau has been released. The 27-year old Hodge has started 43 of the 63 games in which he has played with the Saints, who made him a third-round draft choice (70th overall) in 2001. He has collected 208 tackles, a sack, ten passes defensed, two forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his five previous seasons. He had his most productive campaign in 2002 when he started all 16 games and posted 88 tackles, eight passes defensed, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Mar 13 2006 - Scott Fujita, OLB Scott Fujita agreed to a contract with New Orleans, although details of the deal were not immediately known. He has not missed a game in his four-year career and has started 49 of those 64 contests. In his first three NFL seasons with Kansas City, Fujita led the Chiefs in tackles in 2003 and 2004, starting all 32 games in that span. In 2003, he led the club with 151 stops (110 solo), tied for the fourth-highest total in franchise history. In 2004, he had his second consecutive 100-tackle campaign with 112, and finished tied for third on the team with 4.5 sacks. As a rookie in 2002, Fujita started nine games and had 63 tackles, one sack and added 15 tackles on special teams.

Mar 13 2006 - Akin Ayodele, LB Akin Ayodele signed a five-year deal with the Cowboys. Ayodele was a disappointment with the Jaguars, but the Cowboys believe the former college defensive end will be a good fit for their 3-4 scheme. Ayodele was once a Cowboys ball boy while growing up in Texas. He is expected to replace Scott Futija, who signed with New Orleans, on the strong side.

Mar 13 2006 - Mike Anderson, RB Mike Anderson, who agreed to a four-year deal reportedly worth $8 million with Baltimore, will now share the rushing load with Jamal Lewis. Upon re-signing Monday, Lewis said he will be happy to team with the former Broncos star.
  
"He's one of those multipurpose backs," Lewis said of Anderson. "He can play fullback and he can play tailback. He's a good asset to this team and I will love to play with him."

Mar 13 2006 - Jamal Lewis, RB Jamal Lewis agreed to a three-year, deal worth around $25 million on Monday. With Taylor gone, Anderson will now share the rushing load with Lewis.
  
"We are so excited to have Jamal back," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. "If you look at his history, he always rebounds in a big way from adversity. He had a tough 2005 that started with surgery, his incarceration, and then dealing with all of the turmoil during the season with the contract hanging over his head. We expect big things from him."

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Update - 3/14/06 - 12:45 AM EST

As Seahawks.NET first reported last week, former Miami Dolphins RB Sammy Morris is in Seattle, and the Seahawks are trying to work out a deal with Morris.

In 2005, the 6'0", 218-pound Morris carried the ball 16 times for 58 yards and a touchdown in an offense where Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams made playing time for any other back near-impossible.

Morris' best season was in 2004, when he rushed 132 times for 523 yards and 6 TDs. Originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 5th round (156th overall) in 2000, Morris also can catch the ball and has logged a lot of time on special teams, which speaks to the versatility needed in Seattle for a backup RB.

Maurice Morris, Seattle's current backup to Shaun Alexander, is an unrestricted free agent and has been linked in various reports to several teams, inclusing the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.


Updated signings with analysis from Scout.com's Lane Adkins:

WR
Eddie Drummond (Detroit) – Drummond offers very little in the passing game due to his smallish stature and lack of strength to combat defenders at the point of attack. Possesses excellent speed and vision, which makes his role of a return specialist in Detroit, fitting.

Brian Finneran (Atlanta) – Finneran is a solid possession type receiver which understands his role and plays it well. Not a deep threat, Finneran has displayed the uncanny ability to find soft spots in the defense, providing the quarterback an option. While not known as a blocker, he will sacrifice his body and will fight for yardage. The questionable overall state of the Falcons receiving corps needs a stable, experienced influence such as Finneran.

Corey Bradford (Detroit) – Bradford has been a relatively inconsistent performer over the past few seasons. Despite better than average speed and quickness, Bradford struggles to gain separation against ordinary defensive backs. Bradford does not run routes fluidly, which is a basis for his average numbers in the Houston passing scheme. Will fight for the ball and is capable of making the spectacular play, though he can be explosive in the open field. The Lions looking for additional talent on the offensive side of the ball, have added a depth player in Bradford. With a stable of receivers including Charlie Rogers, Mike Williams, and Roy Williams, the signing of Bradford is rather interesting and could be a note that a receiver could be on the move in Detroit.

DT
Damione Lewis (Carolina) – Lewis has shown flashes of excellence while a member of the St. Louis Rams, but his career has been marred by inconsistency. Has the size and strength to excel in the middle of the defensive line, either as a nose or defensive tackle, though tends to play at a lazy pace. Despite his size, Lewis has had trouble fighting off blocks and does not play aggressively. A change of scenery will do Lewis well, and Carolina head coach John Fox should be the perfect coach to get this young tackle to play to his potential.

LB
Matt Chatham (NY Jets) – Chatham is yet another former New England Patriots linebacker that could evolve into a consistent performer, if given the opportunity. A superb special teams player, which is trademark of the Bill Parcells / Bill Belichick mode, Chatham could be a linebacker that can rush the quarterback coming off the edge of the defense. A heady, aware special teams player, Chatham appears to possess solid recognition skills, in his limited playing time on the defensive side of the ball. In New York, the Jets are looking for a stabilizing presence, and a player which has the ability to add depth, which Chatham fits the bill.

Andre Carter (Washington) – If there is one thing Andre Carter can do, it is rushing the quarterback. With great speed and quickness for an OLB/DE, Carter has the agility and focus to fight off defenders due to his speed and hand-play. Average against the run, Carter can be consumed at the point of attack in the running game and has shown the tendency to run himself out of the play. Washington sought a pass rusher coming off the corner of the defense, Carter has had injury issues while a member of the San Francisco 49ers, but the pro’s outweigh the con’s and he is a natural fit which should excel in Gregg Williams’ defense.

Brandon Moore (San Francisco) – Moore was inconsistent during the 2005 season, but progressed nicely as the season wore on, his first under the direction of head coach Mike Nolan. Run awareness was improved, though Moore still tends to over-react to plays in front of him, leaving himself out of position. Tackles well, but does not make impact plays, while learning to play consistently. Moore’s second season in the Nolan defense should be even better.

Scott Fujita (New Orleans) – Fujita is a solid outside linebacker which possesses better than average coverage skills and has displayed the ability to play the run. One knock against Fujita is he is rather non-descript, as he doesn’t make many impact plays and can be neutralized when bodied-up. Fujita can rush the quarterback when called upon in passing or blitz calls, but can become too aggressive and miss on opportunities. New Orleans needs to improve its run defense, intermediate pass defense, and pressure on the quarterback from other than the defensive line. Fujita should be a solid acquisition for the New Orleans Saints.

Akin Ayodele (Dallas) – If the game didn’t include the pass, Akin Ayodele could be one of the best in the league. He does not play the pass well, and has difficulty in the back-pedal, which is surprising due to his athletic ability. Plays the run well, fights through blocks when engaged, which isn’t easy for an offensive player due to his speed and quickness. Physically strong, Ayodele can penetrate the backfield and make impact plays. A well above average tackler, he will square-up on a ball carrier and drive the player back. Ayodele has the mentality and desire to excel in a blitzing role and is very effective moving toward the line of scrimmage. The Cowboys were looking for a physical defender to upgrade the overall look of the linebacker position, in Ayodele, Dallas has landed that player.

CB
R.W. McQuarters (NY Giants) – McQuarters is a solid run support type of cornerback due to his aggressive nature. In pass defense, he struggles due to a lack of speed and quickness, though he is adapt at recognizing the play and reacting. He has shown the tendency to be beaten in pass coverage due to inconsistency and a lack of speed. McQuarters is a serviceable player which should provide depth to a team like the Giants looking to improve a below pass defense.

Andre Goodman (Miami) – Goodman is an exceptional athlete that possesses coverage ability, but lacks the overall skills to become a top-notch talent. Goodman is average at best in run support, questionable tackler in the open-field, and does not sport the size and strength to fight through a receiver or blocker. An overall average cornerback, Goodman could be a fit in the Miami defensive scheme which is gearing towards extreme pressure on the quarterback and more support from the safeties against the run (less time in coverage).

S
Omare Lowe (Atlanta) – Lowe is a former cornerback which has converted to safety at the professional level, Raw and inexperienced, Lowe is basically a depth and special teams type player at this point in his career, which is what the Falcons expect from him.

Dexter Jackson (Cincinnati) – Jackson depends on experience, solid recognition skills and quickness to be successful in the defensive backfield. Will contribute in run support and is a general in the backfield. Makes few mistakes, but can be too aggressive at time when looking to make an impact play. A consistent player, Jackson plays very well when the play is in front of him. Lacking overall speed, receivers can get behind Jackson if he is caught looking into the backfield. In all, a very strong signing for a Cincinnati club wanting to improve their overall talent on the defensive side of the ball.

Quentin Harris (NY Giants) – Quentin Harris is an asset as a safety playing the run. Physical and strong, he will attack to get to the ball-carrier, while maintaining a reasonable awareness of his surroundings. Has displayed an improving ability against the pass, but attacking the line of scrimmage is his strength. The Giants are looking to improve the play in the defensive backfield, Harris has displayed an improving resume which could warrant good things in New York.


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