Free Agency Blog: 3/4/2010

Join as we track the moves and count down the hours until free agency begins. Here are our entries for Thursday, March 4...

REFRESH THIS PAGE regularly for up-to-the-minute free agency updates and news!
ALSO: Friday's Blog

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/05/2010 1:04 AM ET

Nate Burleson Reaches Agreement

Free-agent WR Nate Burleson (Seahawks) has reached a contract agreement with the Detroit Lions, a league source told No other details were immediately available.

The final year of Burleson's four-year contract with Seattle voided, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.

Burleson joins Calvin Johnson, Dennis Northcutt, Bryant Johnson, and Derrick Williams to form a very deep group of receivers.

Lions: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: John Crist,
at 03/05/2010 2:00 AM ET

Bears Will Address Needs

Although it appears the Chicago Bears will miss out on Antrel Rolle, as the free agent safety is scheduled to meet with the New York Giants and has reportedly already received an offer from the Miami Dolphins, the Bears may still have a big Friday at Halas Hall.

Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna are scheduled to visit Chicago, and there is a good chance general manager Jerry Angelo makes a strong push to sign all three. Peppers would immediately upgrade the pass rush for a defense that depends on pressure from its front four. Taylor can help alleviate the Atlas-like weight on Matt Forte's shoulders in the running game. Manumaleuna is engineered to be the short-yardage and goal-line tight end Kellen Davis never wanted to be. Three glaring needs would be addressed immediately.

The Bears haven't thrown a lot of money around in free agency since overpaying for Muhsin Muhammad in 2005, and even though that move ultimately didn't pan out, Angelo's willingness to be aggressive is a breath of fresh air for fans -- assuming these deals get done, of course.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Nate Caminata,
at 03/05/2010 1:47 AM ET

Lions May Ink Kyle Vanden Bosch has confirmed from multiple league sources that the Detroit Lions are courting DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, and are hoping to have a deal in place by early Saturday. Lions coach Jim Schwartz is behind the push for Vanden Bosch after having previously coached him in Tennessee.

Lions: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/05/2010 1:23 AM ET

Bannan Sets Visits

Free-agent DT Justin Bannan (Ravens) has visits set up with the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns, a source said.

As predicted recently, Bannan could be one of the top sleeper defensive players in free agency because of his versatility.

Denver and Cleveland run 3-4 defensive schemes, similar to the Ravens.

Ravens: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: John Crist,
at 03/05/2010 1:00 AM ET

Bears Fill Their Dance Card

The Chicago Bears are burning up the phone lines at Halas Hall the first hour of free agency. Not only have they struck first to entertain the premier player available on the open market Friday, defensive end Julius Peppers, but they are also scheduled to bring in running back Chester Taylor and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna the same day.

Taylor would be an ideal complement to take some of the pressure off Matt Forte in the backfield, plus he is an above-average receiver that should take to Mike Martz's offense quite well. And when they are actually on the field, Martz prefers tight ends that can block -- Manumaleuna does that as well any player in the league at his position.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Tim Yotter,
at 03/05/2010 1:03 AM ET

Paymah Will Play the Field

The Vikings ended up tendering all but one of their restricted free agents. Cornerback Karl Paymah was the odd man out and will become an unrestricted free agent. All the restricted tenders for the Vikings and links to other free-agent stories involving the team can be found by clicking here.

Vikings: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Tim Yotter,
at 03/05/2010 12:43 AM ET

Frampton gets fifth-round tender

Vikings safety Eric Frampton was given an original-round tender, which would give the Vikings a fifth-round pick as compensation if another team offered him a contract that the Vikings declined to match.

Vikings: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Tim Yotter,
at 03/05/2010 12:21 AM ET

Economic Stimulus Days Ahead

The NFL reports that 531 players will now become free agents. That's a lot of phone calls and flights.

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/05/2010 12:20 AM ET

Bears Chat with Chester

Free-agent RB Chester Taylor (Vikings) is scheduled to visit the Chicago Bears on Friday, his agent, Ken Sarnoff, confirmed.

Taylor could be a very solid backup to RB Matt Forte. He's also excellent in short-yardage and third-down situations.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/05/2010 12:14 AM ET

One Year Deal

The Houston Texans have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with P Matt Turk, his agent David Canter confirmed. His deal with the Texans just expired.

Texans: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: John Crist,
at 03/05/2010 12:12 AM ET

Peppers Will Talk to Bears

According to his agent, Carl Casey, free agent defensive end Julius Peppers has agreed to meet with the Chicago Bears on Friday at Halas Hall. This has to make Chicago the front runner to land the premier free agent on the open market. Expect general manager Jerry Angelo to go into full-court-press mode and not allow Peppers to leave the Windy City without his John Hancock on the dotted line.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Tim Yotter,
at 03/04/2010 11:59 PM ET

Tick Tock!

Just minutes away from the start of free agency and it doesn't look like a deal will be getting done between DT Jimmy Kennedy and the Vikings, at least before he has a chance to field interest from other teams. Kennedy had 29 tackles and three sacks for the Vikings in a backup role in 2009. He will become an unrestricted free agent.

Vikings: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Eric Hartz,
at 03/04/2010 11:39 PM ET

Colts tender DT starters

The Indianapolis Colts used two more second-round tenders Thursday before the free-agency deadline, this time for restricted free agents and starting defensive tackles Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir. Neither was likely to attract much interest in the free-agent market, but the Colts obviously liked what they saw from the improving duo in 2009 and would like to keep them together for 2010. The Colts signed Johnson off the Titans' practice squad in 2008 and Muir was claimed off waivers after being cut by the Packers in 2008.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: John Crist,
at 03/04/2010 11:35 PM ET

Just Like College

According to a blog entry posted Thursday on his personal website,, recently-released Arizona Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle seems to be enjoying his experience as a free agent for the very first time: "This whole situation is like being recruited for college all over again. I can't wait to see what happens."

Cardinals: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam CAplan,
at 03/04/2010 11:26 PM ET

Sapp Available Soon...

Minnesota Vikings nickel CB Benny Sapp will hit the free agent market, a source said. Sapp played in over 60% of the snaps on defense

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/04/2010 11:05 PM ET

Weaver Deal Near?

The Philadelphia Eagles and FB Leonard Weaver are closing in on deal, a league source said. The source adds that there is strong optimism a deal could get done within 24 hours.

Eagles: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: SCOUT.COM
at 03/04/2010 10:52 PM ET

Cromartie to Jets

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer is reporting that Antonio Cromartie has been traded to the New York Jets. More details here on SD Bolt Report...

Chargers: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 10:41 PM ET

Bears Interested in Manumaleuna?

Helping spin the speculation that the Bears might be willing to trade Greg Olsen is their reported interested in Brandon Manumaleuna in free agency. While Olsen is the ultimate pass-catching tight end and doesn't offer much as a blocker, Manumaleuna may as well be a third tackle with the way he can push defenders around in the running game and help protect the passer. New offensive coordinator Mike Martz has never gone out of his way to feature tight ends in his passing attack, plus the 6-2, 295-pound Manumaleuna played for Martz in St. Louis.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by:
at 03/04/2010 10:24 PM ET

Panthers Releasing Delhomme

The Carolina Panthers are releasing QB Jake Delhomme, the quarterback who took them to the Super Bowl. Jay Glazer has the story...

Posted by: Bill Huber, Packer Report
at 03/04/2010 10:19 PM ET

Packers Working Against the Clock

It's the calm before the storm.

The Packers continue talks with the agent for left tackle Chad Clifton in hopes of getting something done before the deadline. Even at his advanced age (he turns 34 in June) and crumbling health (he started and finished nine games in 2009), he enters this offseason as the top-ranked unrestricted offensive tackle. Without a fallback plan at the position, the Packers need to keep Clifton - and no doubt agent Jimmy Sexton knows it.

Their other key unrestricted free agents are right tackle Mark Tauscher and outside linebacker Aaron Kampman. The Packers have T.J. Lang as a fallback in case Tauscher departs, and there's probably little reason for Kampman to sign now with a potential payday awaiting from a team that needs a 4-3 end.

Packers: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam CAplan,
at 03/04/2010 10:17 PM ET

Wiegman Visits Tepee

The Washington Redskins, as expected, had veteran C Casey Wiegmann in for a free agent visit on Thursday. However, both sides couldn't come to an agreement on a contract, a source said. Later in the day, sources said the team was working on re-signing starting C Casey Rabach, who was to be an unrestricted free agent on Friday.

Redskins: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/04/2010 10:06 PM ET

Rams Lose the Ramsey

The St. Louis Rams waived DT LaJuan Ramsey, a league source told

Ramsey, who was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the sixth round of the 2006 draft, was claimed by the Rams off waivers from the Tennessee Titans last September.

at 03/04/2010 10:04 PM ET

Williams to Boomerang Back to Bolts?

The San Diego Chargers released NT Jamal Williams on Thursday, but the veteran should not put his San Diego home on the market just yet. According to the San Diego Union Tribune's Kevin Acee, the Chargers would like to bring Williams back at a reduced rate.

Williams was due a $1 million bonus later this month in addition to his $5 million salary. If he is willing to play on a less expensive, incentive-laden deal, the team would like to bring him back and plug him into the rotation on first and second downs. SD Bolt Report has more...

Chargers: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam CAplan,
at 03/04/2010 09:53 PM ET

Weaving a New Deal?

While the Philadelphia Eagles placed a second-round restricted free agent tender on FB Leonard Weaver, a league source said both sides are still working toward a contract extension. Both sides have been negotiating for several days.

Eagles: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 09:47 PM ET

Seven Tendered in Texas

The Houston Texans have offered tenders to restricted free agents DE Tim Bulman, OT Rashad Butler, TE Owen Daniels, RB Ryan Moats, SS Bernard Pollard, MLB DeMeco Ryans, and G Chris White, the team announced.

Special teamer/backup S John Busing was not tendered.

Texans: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/04/2010 09:38 PM ET

Titans Harper to Hit Market

Tennessee Titans veteran CB Nick Harper, who started 38 games for the team over the past three seasons, will hit the free agent market after both sides could not come to an agreement on a new deal.

Harper, who turns 36 in September, should find work fairly soon based on his ability to play in man or zone coverage schemes.

Titans: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: chris steuber
at 03/04/2010 09:35 PM ET

Collins Release Giving Colt Brennan a Shot?

It was a busy day for the Washington Redskins on the eve of free agency. They learned that their All-Pro left tackle Chris Samuels decided to retire, and as an organization they released 10 players.

One of those players was veteran quarterback Todd Collins. Collins' departure means that 2008 sixth round draft pick Colt Brennan is now the teams No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. There's still a chance that the Redskins decide to trade incumbent starter Jason Campbell, even though they tendered him at a first round level on Wednesday.

Through text messages on Thursday evening, Brennan told, "A while back, Mr. Snyder [Redskins owner] told me to get ready for this year. I haven't talked to Coach Shanahan; we all left before they hired him. But I've been in contact with my QB Coach [Matt] LaFleur."

During his rookie season in 2008, Brennan was the Redskins third-string quarterback. But he spent the entire 2009 season on injured reserve, after he suffered a labrum tear in his hip during the preseason, which required surgery.

"I've spent the last two months in Arizona training," Brennan said. "I'm healthy and ready for a fresh start."

That fresh start could be under the tutelage of Shanahan, but there is never any certainty in the Redskins organization. Although, the one thing that is certain is that the quarterback situation has to be addressed in some manner. Despite being tendered, It's hard to imagine that the Redskins go through with bringing Campbell back; a new era is a must. Whether it's Brennan or if the front office uses the No. 4 overall pick to select Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen, a change is needed.

Posted by: adam CAplan,
at 03/04/2010 09:21 PM ET

Three Gearing Up...

In talks with league executives and sources this week, the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, and Seattle Seahawks have been mentioned as teams that could be active over the first few days of free agency.

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/04/2010 09:08 PM ET

Eagles Tender a Flock of RFAs

The Philadelphia Eagles announced they have tendered the following restricted free agents:

CB Ellis Hobbs (1st round compensation), FB Leonard Weaver (2nd round), WR Jason Avant (2nd round), G/C Nick Cole (2nd round), LB Akeem Jordan (2nd round), OLB Chris Gocong (3rd round), G Max Jean-Gilles (4th round), LB Omar Gaither (5th round), and P Sav Rocca (no compensation).

A source said that the Eagles were leaning toward tendering Hobbs at his original draft round (3rd) earlier this week, but chose a first-round level because they wanted to make sure he was around for another season. The Eagles gave up two fifth-round picks to acquire him during last year's draft.

Eagles: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 09:01 PM ET

Browns Tender Six

The Browns have finally released their press release highlighting their RFA tenders. Short version: Everyone gets a second-round RFA: Abram Elam, Jerome Harrison (as JT reported earlier), Jason Trusnik (ditto), Matt Roth (reported earlier), Lawrence Vickers, and D'Qwell Jackson. Trusnik as a second round tender was a mild surprise, as well as the team's decision to give Jackson a mere second-round tender. D'Qwell's late-season injury may be the major complicating factor in any attempt to get the linebacker signed to bigger money. Marcus Benard, Blake Costanze, and Chris Jennings, exclusive rights free agents all, also got tendered, so they're not going anywhere.

A glance at the Browns free agent list would indicate that Brodney Pool did not receive a tender offer. Pool's return, and career, is still questionable following a series of concussions over the last several years.

Browns: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 08:56 PM ET

Texans Want a Veteran RB? Not So Fast...

With Steve Slaton suffering a down second season and the team's obvious need for a power back, it seems that every back looking for a new home is thought to be of interest to the Houston Texans. But with a strong draft class of backs to review and an improving offensive line for their backs to run behind, the Texans don't need to take a flyer on Thomas Jones, LaDanian Tomlinson, or Chester Taylor. More and more, teams are learning the lessons of Shaun Alexander and avoiding picking up expensive and/or aging backs with multi-year expectations. It's among the most fungible of positions, with careers rarely lasting more than a few years, and NFL backs break down very quickly at the end. Houston's best bet is to go after a young power back like Ryan Mathews of Fresno State, or Jonathan Dwyer of Georgia Tech, and pair him with Slaton.

Texans: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan,
at 03/04/2010 08:45 PM ET

Buc About to Be Available

Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran DE Jimmy Wilkerson will likely hit the free agent market, a league source told

Wilkerson set career-highs in tackles and sacks last season.

Bucs: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 08:37 PM ET

Second Time the Charm?

Two years ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars were snubbed by free agent quarterback Todd Collins, as the veteran decided to stay in Washington. Jacksonville ended up inking Cleo Lemon to a pricey free agent deal and were so enamored with his services that they parted ways with Lemon after just one season. The Jaguars are still in need of a veteran backup and the former object of their affection, Collins is now available. Will the Jaguars get a mulligan?

Jaguars: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 08:32 PM ET

Favre Says the Unthinkable

The Associated Press reports that Brett Favre still hasn't made up his mind about whether or not he will play next year. In other news, the world is still round.

Favre's comments came in a taping of "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno that will air tonight at 10:35 p.m. CT. will have more on Favre's appearance after it actually airs … and if the world is still round.

Vikings: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 08:20 PM ET

Austin a $3 Million Dollar Man?

It's being reported that the Dallas Cowboys placed the highest tender possible on emerging wide receiver Miles Austin. The tender that Austin received is worth $3.168 million and if a team wants to sign him, it will cost them a first and third round draft pick.

The former Monmouth standout was an undrafted free agent in 2006 and had a breakout season in 2009. Austin developed into the Cowboys go-to-guy on offense and hauled in 81 receptions for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns.

At 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, Austin, who will turn 26 prior to the 2010 season, may be worth the draft picks to a team that drafts late in the first round; possibly the Baltimore Ravens or New York Jets. But it's likely that Austin stays in Texas with the Cowboys.

Cowboys: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 08:08 PM ET

Capless Year Enabling Big Trades?

Since the NFL is not going to have a salary cap in 2010, this is a good time for teams to release veteran players previously signed to long-term contracts that still have millions in pro-rated signing bonus money left to be amortized. The Bears, for example, never would have jettisoned cornerback Nathan Vasher last offseason, not because he was an indispensible member of the defense, but because he signed a five-year, $28 million extension in the summer of 2007. Cutting him would have resulted in a crippling $4.8 million cap hit.

Another uncommon occurrence in a capped environment is a star-for-star trade, mostly because dealing a big name to another team is the equivalent of axing him from a cap perspective -- every penny of unamortized signing bonus hit the books immediately. With that not being the case this offseason, might we see some actual player-for-player movement, like we do in the NBA and Major League Baseball all the time? The receiver-starved but tight end-rich Bears appear to be dangling Greg Olsen, while the tight end-starved but receiver-rich Cardinals appear to be dangling Anquan Boldin, so if there was ever a time for these two teams to facilitate a trade that helps both parties, it's now.

Olsen straight up for Boldin would be a blockbuster -- the kind of blockbuster that the salary cap has heretofore made next to impossible.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan, SCout.COM
at 03/04/2010 08:02 PM ET

Redskins Perform Radical Surgery

Not only did Washington Redskins starting OLT Chris Samuels announce his retirement on Thursday, but the team made several roster moves.

They released the following players: QB Todd Collins, RBs Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright, WR Antwaan Randle El, G Randy Thomas, DT Cornelius Griffin, and CB Fred Smoot.

RB Marcus Mason, FB Eddie Williams, and DE J.D. Skolnitsky were also waived.

While the team announced these players have all been let go, the new league year starts on Friday, so teams are still dealing with a salary cap until 12:00 AM ET.

A source said the veterans that were released carried well over $30 million in bonus proration

Redskins: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Barry McBride
at 03/04/2010 07:51 PM ET

More on the Chargers Moves...

For more on the Chargers many moves today, SD Bolt Report has a complete analysis of the Bolts activity.

Posted by: Doug Farrar,
at 03/04/2010 07:40 PM ET

Dansby Ready to Swim with Fins?

As first reported by the National Football Post, former Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Karlos Dansby has a plane ticket for a Thursday night flight to Miami. Now, this could be nothing more than a vacation spot for Dansby, but given the timing of the trip and Miami's needs as the position, we tend to wonder. After getting the franchise tag in 2008 and 2009, Dansby was allowed to test the market by the Cardinals despite that fact that they would greatly miss his versatility and range. He's probably looking for something that guarantees him in the neighborhood of $30 million. The Fins have needs at ILB, and Dansby would look great in Mike Nolan's 3-4 defense.

Dolphins: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam CAPLAN, SCOUT.COM
at 03/04/2010 07:27 PM ET

Ravens Trying to Sign Bannan

The Baltimore Ravens remain interested in re-signing veteran DT Justin Bannan. A source said the team is expected to continue to try to get him re-signed before free agency starts later this evening. Should he become an unrestricted free agent, he could receive significant interest because of his ability to play in 3-4 or 4-3 defensive schemes.

Ravens: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 07:13 PM ET

Verstile OL Gets 2nd Round Tender

Indianapolis Colts left tackle Charlie Johnson has received a second-round tender from the team, the Indianapolis Star is reporting. Johnson, a sixth-round draft pick of the team in 2006, has played four different positions - every one but center - during his career with the team.

In 2009, he unseated incumbent starter Tony Ugoh for the left tackle job during training camp. Since the beginning of the 2008 season, Johnson has started 28 of 28 games he has been active for the Colts.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 07:07 PM ET

No Surprise for Sheppard

As we noted in our 3:57PM entry, the New York Jets released veteran CB Lito Sheppard. The move was widely expected since he had a $10 million option bonus due on March 10, a source said.

Sheppard originally entered the NFL as a first-round selection of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002 and was acquired by the Jets in a trade on February 28, 2009.

Jets: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 06:59 PM ET

The Champs Make Their Moves

The New Orleans Saints have released G Jamar Nesbit and MLB Mark Simoneau and will release starting DE Charles Grant on Friday, the team announced.

Grant's pending release shouldn't come to a surprise since the move has been rumored to be on the block for several weeks.

A league source said another reason why Grant will be released is because he has over $11 million left in bonus proration from the extension he signed in March of 2008.

Still, Grant should be able to find work because he's a decent pass rusher and is good against the run.

Simoneau should be able to find work because of his ability to play MLB and WLB.

Nesbit is known in league circles as a solid backup guard.

Saints: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 06:50 PM ET

Vikes Scrambling to Sign Taylor?

Viking Update is hearing that the Vikings remain interested in signing RB Chester Taylor before he reaches the open market at 12:01 p.m. Eastern Friday, but if they don't finalize a deal before the deadline he is expected to attract significant interest from teams that are looking for a two-man backfield rotation or are willing to pay more for him as a backup than the Vikings are with Adrian Peterson as their starter. It likely will be up to the team to make an offer tonight that keeps Taylor out of the free-agent market.

Vikings: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 06:36 PM ET

A Better Deal for the Bears

We are but a few short hours away from knowing whether or not the Bears are truly serious about breaking the bank for free agent defensive end Julius Peppers, or if they were simply taking a spin on the rumor mill to appease their demanding fan base. One thing is for certain: Peppers is going to command in the vicinity of $15 million per year. That's a lot of money to spend even if it happens to be burning a hole in some owner's pocket.

Moreover, even if Chicago somehow signs Peppers, that still leaves glaring holes at running back behind Matt Forte and at free safety behind, well, nobody. Bear Report crunched the numbers, and according to our research, the Bears could ink this Pro Bowl pass rusher, this 1,200-yard back and this All-Pro center fielder for half the price of what Peppers would cost by himself.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 06:24 PM ET

Tendered with a Bullitt

The agent for Indianapolis Colts' safety Melvin Bullitt has confirmed that the Colts have given Bullitt a second-round tender, according to The Associated Pres. Bullitt, a former undrafted free agent, has been a valuable substitute at strong safety for the oft-injured Bob Sanders during his three seasons in the NFL.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 06:15 PM ET

Munching Away

We added and updated a number of mock draft to the Mock Draft Muncher today. Some interesting trends developing, especially at the first three slots... check out the graphs for a birds-eye view of how things are being shaken up a bit following the combine.

at 03/04/2010 05:49 PM ET

Three Walk the Plank

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released the following players: Ps Josh Bidwell and Dirk Johnson and CB Torrie Cox.

The team now has just one punter left on their 80-man roster.

at 03/04/2010 05:44 PM ET

Rolle's Agent: Bears "Attractive" (hint, hint)

Since the Cardinals have now officially released safety Antrel Rolle, which was expected with his $4 million roster bonus staring them in the face, agent Drew Rosenhaus has already put it out there that the Bears would be "an atrractive team" for his client. Coach Lovie Smith was most adamant about one thing when speaking to reporters last Friday in Indianapolis at the Scouting Combine: His defense needs better play at both safety positions. Cursed with a bunch of strong safety-types on the roster, from Al Afalava to Kevin Payne to Craig Steltz, general manager Jerry Angelo has to pick up the phone and inquire about Rolle, despite his often-implied distaste for Rosenhaus.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 05:39 PM ET

Chargers Make Moves

The San Diego Chargers made several roster moves on Thursday. They released starting NT Jamal Williams and veteran RB Michael Bennett.

The team also used the maximum restricted free agent tenders (first/third round pick) on: WRs Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson, OLT Marcus McNeill, OLB Shawne Merriman, and RB Darren Sproles.

They re-signed RFA TDT Antonio Garay. They also tendered contracts to exclusive rights free agents LB Antwan Applewhite and FB Mike Tolbert.

The team also said they will not be re-signing the following veterans: C Dennis Norman, ORT Jon Runyan, and WR/special teams ace Kassim Osgood.

Chargers: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 05:36 PM ET

Brock Says He's Done with Colts

Veteran defensive lineman Raheem Brock Tweeted earlier this afternoon that he believes he's played his last game for the Colts. Brock has been with the team since 2002

The move, which seems to indicate that Brock has been released by the team, may help to free up the cash for the team to finalize a deal with middle linebacker Gary Brackett. Brock had the eighth-highest salary on the roster in 2009, at $5.3 million, and is slated to make around $5.8 million in 2010.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 05:25 PM ET

Wilhelm Re-Upped

The San Francisco 49ers re-signed veteran LB Matt Wilhelm. He'll provide some depth to their group of inside linebackers.

Niners: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 05:20 PM ET

Another Colts DB Hits Open Market

Several sources are reporting that the Colts have declined to extend a free-agent tender to cornerback Marlin Jackson, allowing the five-year veteran to hit the open free-agent market. Jackson, 26, clinched the Colts' AFC Championship win in the 2006-07 season with a final-minute interception of Tom Brady.

Jackson started all 16 games for the Colts in 2007, but saw his season cut short in 2008 after seven games with a knee injury suffered in practice. He played in just four games in 2009 before a similar injury again ended his season.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 04:58 PM ET

Ryan Clark Needs to Relax

You can't click a link or turn the dial in Pittsburgh without hearing Steelers free safety Ryan Clark whine about a perceived lack of love coming from the organization over his contract status. But Clark should realize that the Steelers planned all along to let him hit the market, field offers and set parameters before engaging him in serious talks. Clark, though, is making himself so upset over the lack of a pre-deadline offer that his complaint could very well turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Steelers: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 04:49 PM ET

Colts Let Two DBs Test Market

The Colts won't offer restricted free-agent tenders to defensive backs Tim Jennings and Aaron Francisco, the Associated Press is reporting.

Jennings, a second-round draft pick for the Colts in 2006, has started 21 games in four seasons with the Colts and has four career interceptions, but has long been a matchup target of opposing offenses, due to his short stature and propensity to give receivers lots of cushion at the line of scrimmage. Francisco was signed during the 2009 season and appeared in 10 games, starting two, for Indianapolis. Known primarily for his special teams prowess, Francisco has the unique distinction of playing in the last two Super Bowls, and losing them both - as a Colt this season and as an Arizona Cardinal in Super Bowl XLIII.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 04:41 PM ET

Sproles Tenderized

According to multiple reports, the San Diego Chargers have given RB Darren Sproles a first- and third-round tender. That will open up the market for other top free-agent running backs like the Vikings' Chester Taylor, who is expected to hit the open market at 12:01 AM Friday.

Chargers: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Jon Scott, Patriots Insider
at 03/04/2010 04:31 PM ET

Pats Release Baker

The New England Patriots announced that Tight End Chris Baker has been released. Baker joined the team as an unrestricted free agent (Jets) in 2009. Baker fulfilled just one year of his 5-year deal, reportedly earning a $1.6 million base with a $1.5 million signing bonus.

With the release of Baker, and the impending free agency of Ben Watson, New England has just two reserve tight ends on the roster; Robbie Agnone and Rob Myers. Both Agnone and Meyers were signed as free agent rookies in 2009, spending parts of the season on the team's practice squad.

Patriots: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Barry McBride, THE OBR
at 03/04/2010 04:24 PM ET

Trusnik Gets a Second Round Tender

The OBR's John Taylor is reporting Browns have tendered LB Jason Trusnik with a second-round tender. The amount is higher than expected and shows how much Browns coach Eric Mangini likes the third-year linebacker and special teamer. Trusnik was one of many ex-Jets acquired by the Browns in 2009.

Browns: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Bill Huber, PAcker Report
at 03/04/2010 04:23 PM ET

Agent Drops the "Col"-Word


With the clock ticking on free agency, it seems like nobody has a good feel for how it's going to play out. By now, you know the specifics: no salary cap (and, maybe more importantly, no salary floor) and 212 players who would have been unrestricted free agents join the restricted free agent list, instead.

Talking to several agents over the last couple weeks, about the only consensus was that many teams are going to use the 2010 season as a way to recoup whatever money they didn't make under the previous collective bargaining agreement.

One agent used the word "collusion" and expected that teams would work together to keep down player costs. So, while he expected some restricted free agents to change teams, he didn't figure it would be many.

On the other hand ...

"I can see where there are several teams that are excited about the lack of a floor to the salary cap," another agent told Packer Report. "They're excited about a chance to clean up their books. I also believe, we're in a very competitive business and there are competitive men who want to win this year. When they see players that can help them win, they're going to go compete for those players. It's hard for me to believe that all 32 teams in this league are going to just sit back. It's hard for me to believe that."

Packers: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:57 PM ET

Sheppard Freed by Jets

According to NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora, the New York Jets have released CB Lito Sheppard. The move wasn't a surprise because he was due a big bonus, but by cutting him it allows any NFL team, including those under Final Eight restrictions, to sign Sheppard.

Jets: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:55 PM ET

Johnson Gets First-Round Tender

The Kansas City Chiefs have tendered restricted free agent LB Derrick Johnson at his original draft round level (first), has confirmed through a league source.

Johnson would receive $1.226 million or 110% of his base salary for last season, whichever is greater. Johnson's base salary for 2009 was $2.25 million, so he'll earn $2.475 million on a one-year tender.

Johnson was selected in the first round by the Chiefs in the 2005 draft.

Chiefs: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:51 PM ET

Cards Dump Rolle

The Arizona Cardinals released starting FS Antrel Rolle on Thursday.

Rolle was due $8.1 million in base salary for 2010 and also was due a roster bonus of $4 million, sources said. Recent reports indicated that the Cardinals will attempt to re-sign Rolle at a lower base salary.

Cardinals: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:49 PM ET

Cincy Cuts Coles

The Cincinnati Bengals released veteran WR Laveranues Coles on Thursday.

Coles signed a four-year, $27.1 million deal last year. A league source said Coles made over $9 million last season based on his roster bonus, base salary, and signing bonus.

Bengals: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:36 PM ET

Chiefs Ink Vrabel Again

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed veteran OLB Mike Vrabel. The team announced that the deal is actually an extension. Vrabel's current contract was set to expire at 12 AM ET Friday.

Vrabel came over to the Chiefs along with QB Matt Cassel last season via the trade route. Vrabel started 14 games for the Chiefs in 2009.

Chiefs: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:22 PM ET

Beekman Odd Man Out

Despite starting 16 games at left guard in 2008 and doing an acceptable job, Josh Beekman was unseated by career backup tackle Frank Omiyale in 2009 and seems to be the odd man out again next season. Once thought to be the heir apparent at center for Olin Kreutz, the Bears' activity in Indianapolis suggests Beekman isn't in the team's future at all. Bear Report has the inside scoop on a guard and a center Chicago added to its draft board at the Scouting Combine...

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 03:15 PM ET

Jags Re-sign Two

The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed DT Atiyyah Ellison and G Kynan Forney. Ellison was scheduled to become a restricted free agent and Forney was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.

With the Jaguars scheduled to transition back to a 4-3 defensive scheme this coming season, Ellison should play inside. Forney should provide Jaguars solid depth for the interior of their offensive line.

Jaguars: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 02:59 PM ET

Manning Surgery Won't Muss Contract Talks

Wednesday's announcement that Peyton Manning had a small procedure to relieve pain from a pinched nerve in his neck shouldn't have adverse effects on his re-negotiation process with the Colts. The team revealed Wednesday that the pinched nerve has given him pain on and off for the last four years, but Manning has won the last two MVP awards and led the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2009, so it's unlikely the injury effected his play on the field. Team owner Jim Irsay said during Super Bowl week he intends to make Manning the highest-paid quarterback in the game, so look for the seven-year, $106-million contract younger brother Eli signed in August to serve as a starting point for the negotiations. Manning, who turns 34 on March 24, is signed through the 2010 season for the Colts.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 02:49 PM ET

RFA Rules Increase Demand for Ibuprofen, Other Headache Medications

The NFL clarified some confusion about the tenders to some restricted free agents. In essence, if a first- or second-round tender is given to a player that was drafted lower than that, then every original-round tender to a player drafted in that round would yield compensation one round lower than where he was actually drafted. Teams don't pay as much for the original-round tender as they do for first- or second-round tenders.

Here is how it worked with the Vikings (and at least one other team). They tendered a player (Fred Evans) at a second-round level who was drafted lower than that (seventh round). So when they tendered another player (Tarvaris Jackson) that was drafted in the second round with an "original-round tender," his compensation to the Vikings was lowered to the third round if he signs a contract with another team that his original team declined to match. The same holds true when a player drafted lower than the first round is given a first-round tender. Any other player drafted in the first round who is given an original-round tender would then have a second-round compensation tied to him.

So when that's why you see some players reported as receiving a third-round tender even though there technically isn't a third-round tender. Confused? We can further confuse you with this report on the Vikings' tenders from Wednesday:

Posted by: Aaron Wilson, Ravens Insider
at 03/04/2010 02:30 PM ET

Bengals Tender Six

The Cincinnati Bengals announced restricted free agent tenders for six players, including the second-round tender for linebacker Brandon Johnson.

The Bengals tendered five other players at their original draft status level: linebackers Abdul Hodge and Rashad Jeanty, cornerback David Jones, offensive guard Evan Mathis and defensive end Frostee Rucker.

Bengals: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: tim yotter, vikings update
at 03/04/2010 02:25 PM ET

Cook Gets a Cool Million+

Vikings offensive lineman Ryan Cook got an original-round tender from the Vikings, worth $1.176 million dollars, according to a source. Cook can still receive offers from other teams, but the Vikings hold the right of first refusal and would receive draft-pick compensation if they decline to match an offer from another team. That leaves safety Eric Frampton as the only restricted free agent with the Vikings whose status is unknown.

Vikings: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Adam Caplan, SCOUT.COM
at 03/04/2010 02:22 PM ET

A Little Breathing Room

Although the league business closes at 4:00 PM ET every day, the restricted free agent tender deadline is actually 12 midnight ET. The Philadelphia Eagles media relations department confirmed the RFA tender deadline to

at 03/04/2010 02:09 PM ET

Bear Has Legal Problems, But No Tender

The Monsters of the Midway extended tender offers to five of their six restricted free agents Wednesday, with defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek the only player not to get tendered. Originally a third-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, in no small part because he and Pro Bowler Tommie Harris lined up next to each other in college and became close friends, Dvoracek has played only 13 of 64 games because of various injuries and finished each of his four seasons in Chicago on IR. Compounding Dvoracek's ability to find a new employer is the fact that he was arrested Jan. 17 in Norman for public intoxication, assault and battery and interfering with official police business.

Bears: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Barry McBride
at 03/04/2010 02:07 PM ET

Falcons Re-Sign Brian Williams

The Falcons have re-signed one of their injured starters from last year. Alex Marvez has the story.

Falcons: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 02:01 PM ET

The 411 on the Jags $$$

With the current state of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement or lack thereof, teams now have the opportunity to as prodigal or thrifty as they'd like, with no maximum or minimum salary structure currently in place. How will the Jaguars spend their limited dollars? JagNation's Charlie Berstein has dug into it, and has the answer.

Jaguars: News | Forums | Roster

Posted by: Jon Scott, Pats INsider
at 03/04/2010 01:38 PM ET

Pats Tender Three

The Patriots announced that they've made free agent tenders to some of their restricted free agents prior to the League's March 5th deadline. OG Logan Mankins, LB Pierre Woods and K Stephen Gostkowski were all tendered today the team announced.

Mankins received the high tender 1st and 3rd level tender, Gostkowski received a 2nd round tender and Woods received a low tender (first right of refusal).

at 03/04/2010 01:32 PM ET

Clock Ticking on Colts, Brackett

The Indianapolis Colts are flirting with the free agency deadline when it comes to re-signing their top priority, MLB Gary Brackett. Team owner Jim Irsay has said the Colts will make a "sizeable commitment" to Brackett with a multi-year deal, but with just 12 hours left to the deadline and no deal announced, the two sides still have some negotiating to do. Brackett and kicker Matt Stover - who is not expected to be retained - are the team's only unrestricted free agents.

Colts: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 01:27 PM ET

Avant to Get Second Round Tender?

A league source told that Philadelphia Eagles WR Jason Avant, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on Friday, is expected to receive a second-round tender.

If Avant does wind up getting a second-round tender, he would earn a one-year base salary of $1.759 million. As a restricted free agent that's tendered, the Eagles would have a chance to match any offer sheet he signs. If the Eagles declined to match it, they would receive a second-round pick in this year's draft as compensation.

Eagles: News | Forums | Roster

at 03/04/2010 12:53 PM ET

Mr. Weigmann Goes to Washington

Veteran C Casey Wiegmann, who was released by the Denver Broncos last week, is expected to visit the Washington Redskins on Thursday, a league source told

Wiegmann played for new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan for one season (2008) during Shanahan's final season as the head coach of the Broncos.

With starting C Casey Rabach unsigned, the Redskins could be starting to look for his possible replacement. Redskins News | Forums

at 03/04/2010 12:41 PM ET

Wallet Open in Detroit

Just owner William Clay Ford Sr.'s wallet matters this year, and it's looking like he's got it open. According to my estimates, the Lions are already committed to spending more money this year than last year and that's before RFA commitments, UFA signings and the draft; granted their may be some savings from releases, but the Lions will spend more cash this year than they did last year or the year before. Lions News | Forums

at 03/04/2010 12:35 PM ET

Colts' Bethea Gets First-Round Tender

The Indianapolis Colts gave a first-round tender to Pro Bowl safety Antoine Bethea on Wednesday. The tender, worth $2.521 million for the position, means the Colts will have seven days to match any offer by another team, and if Bethea were to depart Indianapolis, the Colts would get that team's first-round draft choice. That likely means Bethea will be back with the team in 2010. Colts News | Forums

at 03/04/2010 12:29 PM ET

Bears' Olsen on the Block?

Rumors continue to swirl in the Windy City that tight end Greg Olsen could be on the market. While Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told reporters at the Scouting Combine that he isn't in the business of trading his best players, the local NBC affiliate cited friends of Olsen saying the former first rounder isn't happy Mike Martz is Chicago's new offensive coordinator. Martz has never featured tight ends in his passing game, preferring beefy-types that can block.

One potential destination that keeps popping up is New England. The Bears have no picks in the first two rounds because of previous trades for Jay Cutler and the late Gaines Adams, while the Patriots have three selections in Round 2. Tom Brady has always thrown to his tight ends liberally, and Olsen led Chicago in both receptions (60) and receiving touchdowns (eight) this season. Bears News | Forums Top Stories