NFL Free Agent Workout Notes

With less than 24 hours before the kickoff of the Week Nine games, here's a look at the recent free agent workouts and other notes around the league.

Buffalo Bills - Perhaps looking for a practice squad quarterback, the team worked out free agents Omar Jacobs, J.T. O'Sullivan, and Bradlee Van Pelt earlier this week.

The team also worked out five free agent receivers this week including former Denver players Charlie Adams and Darius Watts who has worked out for close to a dozen teams since the regular season started.

Chicago Bears - Because of the season-ending injury to SS Mike Brown, the team worked out free agent S Derrick Straight recently who has tried out for at least a half dozen teams since being released by the New York Jets.

You might recall he was traded to the Cleveland Browns but it wasn't completed after RB Lee Suggs failed the Jets' physical. 

Cincinnati Bengals - Because of the injuries at receiver, the team worked out free agents Kevin Johnson, Kevin Kasper, Darius Watts, and Cliff Russell this week. Kasper and Russell are capable of returning kicks and that role could be an issue since they lost KR/PR/WR Tab Perry for the season.

Because he's played so well, don't be surprised to see the team stick with rookie MLB Ahmad Brooks as a starter the rest of the season. Veteran WLB Brian Simmons had been playing inside after taking over for Odell Thurman but has been bothered by a neck injury recently.

The team, possibly looking for depth at tight end, worked out free agents Matt Kranchick and Joel Dreessen.

Denver Broncos - Because of injuries at fullback and running back, the team recently worked out of note Troy Fleming and Lee Suggs.

Fleming lost his starting job with the Tennessee Titans to rookie FB Ahmard Hall.

Perhaps looking for depth on their offensive line, the team worked out free agents Jacob Rogers, Tyson Walter, and Dave Yovanovits. 

Detroit Lions - Perhaps looking for a practice squad quarterback, the team recently worked out free agents Stefan LeFors and Randy Fasani. LeFors has had a bunch of tryouts over the last two months with various teams.

Because of injuries on the offensive line, the team worked out free agents of note Stephen Peterman, Dave Yovanovitz, and Ross Tucker.
Because of a lack of depth at receiver, the team worked out free agent receivers Eddie Berlin and Kevin Kasper earlier this week. They signed Kasper who is a better fit for offensive coordinator Mike Martz's scheme. Kasper could also return kicks if needed. The Minnesota Vikings cut the oft-injured, former Unversity of Iowa player in early September.

The team also recently worked out free agent receivers Glenn Martinez (signed to the practice squad) and Dante' Ridgeway who played under Martz with the Rams.

Defensively, the team worked out free agents Ss Michael Stone, S Derrick Strait, and CB Bruce Thornton. Strait played under defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson with the Jets.

Houston Texans - Because of the struggles of their running game, the team worked out free agents Andre Hall, Kay-Jay Harris, and Lee Suggs last week but passed on signing any of them due in part to the rapid progress of rookie Wali Lundy.

Looking for depth, the team worked out free agents Glenn Martinez and Scottie Vines last week.

At linebacker, the team worked out of note Cie Grant and Roderick Green.

Grant was seen as an upside player at one time with the New Orleans Saints but the team gave up on him after having recurring knee problems.

Minnesota Vikings - Of the free agent players to work out this week for the team, DB Derrick Strait is the one of note. Strait played in a similar scheme earlier in his career with the Jets and he can play safety or cornerback.

New York Giants - Over the last two weeks, the team worked out several players including of note QBs Omar Jacobs and Adrian McPherson, TE Joel Dreessen, G Will Whitticker, and LBs Chris Claiborne, Ronald McKinnon, James Davis, and Earl Holmes.

Claiborne signed with the team and is the most versatile of the four linebackers of note who worked out. He can play inside or on the weakside.

Philadelphia Eagles  - As first reported by and on Thursday, the agreed to a seven-year contract extension with DT Mike Patterson on Thursday.

The former 2005 first-round selection's extension is worth between $32-$40 million with $9 million in guaranteed money.

Patterson signed a five-year deal as a rookie and will play under the final three years of that contract then the new deal will extend him through 2016.

An interesting side note about the deal was the discussion of both sides on possible holdout language, which was basically the club looking for protection against Patterson should he try what former Philadelphia WR Terrell Owens tried last year. The language, however, was not included.

The Eagles, like many teams around the league, are looking to sign their young, upside players before the November 6 deadline to use their remaining salary cap money for the current league year on this year's cap.

Other players that could be under consideration for contract extensions are RB Correll Buckhalter, OL Todd Herremans, TE L.J. Smith, DE Trent Cole, and DE Juqua Thomas.

Buckhalter has done a great job coming back multiple knee surgeries and has looked as good as ever this season. Herremans can play tackle or guard and could be the eventual successor to veteran RT Jon Runyan. Smith is having his finest season in his four-year career. Cole is headed for double-digit sack totals in just his second season. Thomas, a former waiver wire pickup during the 2005 pre-season, has done well for the club as a situational pass rusher.

Elsewhere, the team worked out free agent RBs Antoine Bagwell and Aveion Cason earlier this week.

Cason, earlier in his career with the St. Louis Rams, was seen as a decent kickoff returner and if he signed with Philadelphia, he could fill that role.

Pittsburgh Steelers - The team worked out free agent LBs Monty Beisel and Nick Speegle earlier this week.

Beisel, at one point in his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, was seen as an ascending player but he never was the same after signing with the New England Patriots. He struggled to learn their defensive scheme and fell down on the depth chart and was released before the 2006 regular season began.

Seattle Seahawks - Because of the lingering toe injury to backup WLB D.D. Lewis, the team worked out free agent LBs James Davis, Rod Davis (signed with the Minnesota Vikings later in the week), and Saleem Rasheed earlier this week.

St. Louis Rams - The team worked out free agent WR/KR Willie Ponder earlier this week. Ponder was recently released by the Seattle Seahawks.

Ponder had two kickoff returns for scores earlier in his career with the New York Giants.

They also worked out free agent WR P.K. Sam recently. The former 2004 fifth-round pick of the New England Patriots has good size but couldn't over come some nagging injuries and inconsistency.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - No team has worked out more free agents since the season started than this team (close to 90).

Mostly recent of note to try out were RBs Damien Anderson, DeAndra Cobb, and Cedric Humes (signed with Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad earlier this week) and Ps B.J. Sander and Todd Sauerbrun.

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