The Friday FA Wire, 3/17/06 - 10:10 PM EST

The free agency period which officially began at 12:01 AM EST on March 11 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 - 3/17/06 - 10:10 PM EST

Minnesota RFA receiver Nate Burleson has left Seattle and is reportedly going to visit Houston on Monday. Burleson spent Thursday and part of Friday in Seattle. A Seattle source has told Seahawks.NET that no concrete offer was made by the Seahawks to Burleson. That, of course, does not mean that such an offer won't be made at a later time.

If the Seahawks were to sign Burleson, they would likely see him as a #2 receiver, which would put Bobby Engram back in the slot for the most part.

The Vikings tendered Burleson to the minimum qualifying offer of $712,000. If he is signed to an offer sheet by another team and the Vikings decline to match it, Minnesota would receive a third-round draft choice.

Update - 3/17/06 - 9:10 PM EST

--- Our friends at TheRanchReport.com, Scout.com's Dallas Cowboys site, have revealed that the Cowboys have signed former Seahawks TE Ryan Hannam.

A four-year veteran out of Northern Iowa, Hannam has been with the Seahawks since his arrival in the National Football League. For his career, he has caught 22 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, but he is better known for his blocking as opposed to his ability to get open downfield.

The former Seahawk also left quite an impression on the Cowboys last year when he caught a game-tying touchdown against Dallas in a dramatic come-from-behind 13-10 Seattle win in week seven.

Hannam's role with the Cowboys is clear- serve as a back up to one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the league in Jason Witten, and continue to excel as a blocker.

Hannam also received significant interest from the Miami Dolphins. He visited with Miami earlier in the week before speaking with the Cowboys Friday.

Update - 3/17/06 - 8:45 PM EST

--- According to an Associated Press story syndicated to FoxSports.com on Friday night, the New York Jets want to send disgruntled defensive end John Abraham to the Seattle Seahawks.

A person familiar with the negotiations, who didn't want to be identified because the talks were ongoing, said Friday that the Seahawks have presented the best trade package for Abraham: a first-round pick.

The Atlanta Falcons, the other team in the Abraham sweepstakes, is only willing to give up a second-rounder. The source said the Jets are leaning toward Seattle because they want to get the most value for the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

But the situation is more complicated than making a trade happen. The Seahawks must come to an agreement on a long-term deal with Abraham, and that hasn't happened so far.

Abraham, who is from South Carolina, is believed to prefer Atlanta and spent the last two days there visiting with the team.

Abraham visited Seattle earlier this week, after being flown in owner Paul Allen's private plane.

New York placed the franchise tag on Abraham for the second straight year, but he has made it clear he wants out of New York. The Jets have also made it obvious that Abraham has no future with them.

The 27-year-old Abraham is unhappy the Jets have failed to deliver a long-term deal, even though they all but assured him they would if he played in every game in 2005. He did, but was given a one-year, $8.33 million franchise tender.

--- All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson signed a $49 million, seven-year offer sheet with Minnesota last Sunday. It included $16 million in guaranteed money.

But his future will be decided by an arbitration process, delaying the Sunday deadline for the team to match the offer. The NFL Players Association said the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract. The clause would require seattle to guarantee the entire contract if Seattle matched the offer sheet and Hutchinson was not the highest-paid offensive lineman on the team.

Richard Berthelsen, general counsel for the NFLPA, said the union will argue against the Seahawks' and league's claims. "They say the clause circumvents our collective bargaining agreement. It is our belief that it does not," Berthelsen said Friday.

The special master will determine during a Monday telephone conference call if the labor agreement gives him jurisdiction in the case. The league claims it does, Berthelsen said.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed that the NFL had filed the case.

Berthelsen said if the special master determines he has jurisdiction, he will hold a hearing on Monday in Philadelphia. If not, the case will fall to a non-injury grievance arbiter, who will convene a hearing. Either way, a decision would come after the Sunday deadline by which the Seahawks have to match Minnesota's offer.

A victory in arbitration would mean that Seattle does not have to match that clause to keep Hutchinson, who is designated as their transition player.

--- The St. Louis Rams reached a contract agreement with UFA QB Gus Frerotte (Dolphins) on Friday.

"Gus will be our backup quarterback," head coach Scott Linehan said. "Having coached him for the past three years, he has great knowledge of our system. He was 12-6 as a starter for me as offensive coordinator, and he'll be a great asset for (starting QB) Marc (Bulger), as well as our team, because of his background and experience.

--- The Buffalo Bills tendered an offer sheet to Arizona Cardinals restricted free agent OL Reggie Wells on Friday.

--- The Denver Broncos on Friday signed free-agent defensive end Kenard Lang to a three-year contract, Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lang (6-foot-3, 257 pounds) is entering his 10th NFL season and joins the Broncos after playing the last four years with Cleveland. Selected by Washington in the first round (17th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft, Lang spent his first five professional seasons with the Redskins before signing with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent in 2002.

In 138 career regular-season games (101 starts), Lang has totaled 528 tackles (374 solo), 44 sacks (280.5 yds.) and three interceptions (85 yds.). The 31-year-old also has recorded 35 career pass breakups, 12 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in regular-season action.

Lang has posted five or more sacks in a year during five different seasons, including a career-best eight sacks (53.5 yards) to lead the Browns in 2003. The veteran has played all 16 games in six of the last eight seasons and has not missed a game in the last two years.

Lang appeared in all 16 games for the Browns in 2005 and started five contests at left outside linebacker. He finished the year with 43 tackles (33 solo), two sacks (7 yds.) and three pass breakups while ranking third on Cleveland with 10 quarterback pressures.

Lang signed with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent on March 6, 2002, after five seasons with the Redskins. He started all 16 games at defensive end in his second year with Washington in 1998, ranking second on the club with seven sacks (25 yds.) and 20 quarterback pressures that season.

At the University of Miami, Lang led the Hurricanes with 11.5 sacks during his junior year and was named Big East Conference Rookie of the Year after his first collegiate season. He also saw brief action on Miami’s baseball team and was a 43rd round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox in 1995.

Named a first-team All-American by Football News and SuperPrep as a senior at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Fla., Kenard Lang was born Jan. 31, 1975, in Orlando.

--- The New York Jets announced today they have acquired quarterback Patrick Ramsey from the Washington Redskins, in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.  The announcement was made by Jets’ General Manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Ramsey, 6-3, 225 lbs., was a first-round selection by Washington in 2002, out of Tulane University and joins the Jets after spending four seasons with the Redskins. The four-year NFL veteran has completed 480-of-861 pass attempts for 5,649 yards while tossing 34 touchdowns against 29 interceptions and recorded a passer rating of 75.0 in 34 NFL games. In 2003, Ramsey started 11 games and completed 179-of-337 pass attempts for 2,166 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions while finishing with a 75.8 passer rating.

“Patrick is a fifth-year veteran who has valuable experience in this league,” said Head Coach Eric Mangini.  “He is a smart, team-oriented player who will mesh well with his teammates and add depth at the quarterback position.”

“I am grateful that coach Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum have brought me here to compete,” said Ramsey. “I understand coach Mangini is going to play the best players, and that is all I can ask for. I have a lot of respect for both Brooks Bollinger and Chad Pennington, and the work they have put into the Jets. I look forward to working with my new teammates and coaches.”

The acquisition of Ramsey leaves the Jets with seven selections in the 2006 NFL Draft.

--- Scout.com has confirmed UFA G Toniu Fonoti (Vikings) has signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Buccaneers and has passed their team physical.

--- The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms on a two-year contract with running back Michael Bennett, who had been with the Minnesota Vikings; agreed to terms with linebacker Anthony Simmons, who had been with the Seattle Seahawks, and safety Omar Stoutmire, who had been with the Washington Redskins.The Saints have also released G Kendyl Jacox.

--- The Dallas Cowboys released offensive lineman Jacob Rogers on Friday.

--- The Falcons announced today that they have agreed to terms with safety Lawyer Milloy on a three-year contract.

"We are excited to have a player and person the caliber of Lawyer Milloy as a member of this organization," said head coach Jim Mora. "He brings a strong, veteran presence to our secondary and he's a proven winner."

Milloy, 6-0, 190 pounds, is a four-time Pro Bowler who has started 149 of 155 games since being drafted in the second round of the 1996 draft by the New England Patriots. He has been a part of two Super Bowl teams (1996 and 2001) as a member of the New England Patriots, which includes a Super Bowl XXXVI 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

In his 10-year career, Milloy has tallied 22 interceptions, 15 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 70 passes defensed, in addition to tallying an average of 103 tackles per season. He has surpassed the 100-tackle plateau in eight of his 10 seasons. In 2005, Milloy registered 106 tackles, one interception, one sack and one fumble recovery for the Buffalo Bills.

Milloy started 106 of 112 games for the New England Patriots from 1996-2002. From 2003-2005, he started all 43 games played for the Buffalo Bills. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003.

--- The San Diego Chargers have signed unrestricted free agent tight end Aaron Shea, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, to a three-year contract. The 6-3, 248-pound Shea is entering his seventh season in the league. Last year, he caught 18 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown while playing in 12 games for the Browns. He started four games for Cleveland last season.

Shea was drafted by Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL Draft with the 110th overall selection. His career totals include 97 catches for 851 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s played in 65 career games with 30 starts.

--- The Buffalo Bills have agreed to terms with RFA LB Mario Haggan and UFA WR Josh Reed.

--- The Miami Dolphins today signed defensive back Renaldo Hill to a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent from the Oakland Raiders. Also on Friday, the Dolphins re-signed running back Travis Minor and tight end Alex Holmes, both to one-year contracts.

--- The Oakland Raiders re-signed UFAs S Derrick Gibson and G Corey Hulsey on Friday.

--- The Kansas City Chiefs signed UFA RB Quentin Griffin to a one-year deal on Friday.

--- The Green Bay Packers signed linebacker Tracy White, who had been with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, and waived linebacker John Leake on Friday.

--- The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed cornerback Deshea Townsend to a multi-year contract on Friday.

--- The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed QB Josh McCown to a two-year deal and RB Arlen Harris to a one-year deal. Additional contract terms were not disclosed

Update - 3/17/06 - 9:30 AM EST

--- Sean Jensen, of the Pioneer Press, reports that restricted free agent WR Nate Burleson (Vikings) is scheduled to head to Houston for a meeting with the Houston Texans Monday, March 20. Burleson is currently visiting with the Seattle Seahawks.

--- A source who has spoken to the agent of Miami RB Sammy Morris says that Morris is very optimistic about his recent visit to Seattle. However, he said they weren't expecting any indication of whether or not he would get an offer until the Steve Hutchinson situation was settled. Morris is getting some interest from the Dolphins about re-signing.

--- In the wake of Detroit's signing of Josh McCown, QB Joey Harrington has parted ways with the Lions. Some of the teams rumored to be interested in him include the the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.

--- The 49ers signed WR Jason McAddley to a one-year deal. McAddley (6-2, 200) is entering his fifth NFL season. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent last April after playing two seasons with Arizona (2002-03) and one season with Tennessee (2004). He was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2002 draft out of Alabama. Last season with the 49ers, McAddley played in 12 games with two starts. He caught seven passes for 125 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 122 yards. McAddley also registered 10 special teams tackles.

--- The Niners also signed S Kris Richard (5-11, 190), who is entering his fourth NFL season. Richard signed with the 49ers before the last game of the season (12-27-05) and was active, but did not record any statistics in San Francisco’s victory over Houston (1-1-06). Richard was originally a third round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2002 draft. He has played in 39 career games.

--- WR Reche Caldwell visited Foxboro to meet with the Patriots.

--- Scout.com has confirmed DE DeQuincy Scott has a visit set up with the Denver Broncos.

--- Updating a previous report earlier Thursday, TheRanchReport.com has learned that the Dallas Cowboys will announce the signing of Terrell Owens, possibly as soon as early next week.

Sources close to the Cowboys indicated late Thursday evening that a deal has been reached between Dallas and Owens, however a contract has not yet been signed.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Barring an unexpected change of events, Owens will arrive in Dallas the subject of much controversy. On the field, he has proven to be one of the most effective wide receivers in the National Football League. Off the field, he has created a firestorm in the locker room of the only two teams he's played for in the NFL- Philadelphia and San Francisco.

How he will fit in with the Cowboys remains to be seen, but he has already received the public support of QB Drew Bledsoe, who was quoted earlier this week as saying he would be open to the idea of Owens playing in Dallas.

The Cowboys are expected to announce the deal after owner Jerry Jones returns from St. Barts, where he has been vacationing with his family this week.

--- As of the afternoon of March 16, here is Scout.com's list of the best available free agents:

QB
Kerry Collins, Aaron Brooks, Jay Fiedler, Brian Griese.

RB
Sammy Morris, Maurice Morris, Michael Bennett, Steven Davis.

FB
Fred Beasley, William Henderson, Tony Richardson, Mack Strong, Jerald Sowell

WR
Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens, David Boston, Tim Dwight

TE
Jeb Putzier, Chris Baker, Aaron Shea, Mark Campbell

K
Adam Vinatieri, Todd Peterson, Paul Edinger, Mike Vanderjagt

P
Jason Baker, Kyle Richardson, Tom Rouen

G
Tutan Reyes, Ron Stone, Steven Neal, Toniu Fonoti

OT
Damion McIntosh, Tom Ashworth, Jon Runyan,
Jason FabiniBrad HopkinsBarry StokesOrlando Brown

C
Mike Flanagan, Jeff Mitchell, Trey Teague

DT
Russell Davis, Brenston Buckner, Sam Adams, Jason Fisk, Ron Edwards, Grady Jackson, Lional Dalton

DE
Lance Johnstone, DeQuincy Scott, Brady Smith, Duane Clemons, Kenard Lang

ILB
Ben Taylor, Rocky Calmus, Nick Griesen (WLB), Earl Holmes, Sam Cowart, Chris Claiborne

OLB
LaVar Arrington, Na'il Diggs, Julian Peterson, Jamie Sharper, Tommy Polley, Chad Brown, Jamie Winborn

CB
Charles Woodson, Ahmed Plummer, Eric Warfield, Duane Starks, Ty Law, Will Allen, Deshea Townsend, Andre Dyson

S
Lawyer Milloy, Idrees Bashir, Marcus Coleman, Tebucky Jones, Brent Alexander, Tank Williams


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