NFL Player Notes

Although free agency has slowed to a crawl, teams were still making minor moves in the last week, along with some extensions signed and other player news and notes from across the league.

  • WR Chad Johnson to a two-year extension that also reworks the remaining four seasons of his old contract. Johnson, a Pro Bowl player in three of his five NFL seasons, essentially signed a new six-year contract worth $35.5 million.

  • LB Brandon Short, who played his first four seasons with the Giants, re-signed with the team. "The Giants have always been a class organization and I'm happy to be back and be a part of it," said Short, who played the past two seasons with Carolina. "I have great memories of my time here. There's no place in the world like New York as far as the fans, as far as the media, as far as everything is concerned. There's an enormous amount of attention on you."

  • RB DeCori Birmingham was released by the 49ers.

  • LB T.J. Slaughter signed with the 49ers.

  • LB Warrick Holdman, a free agent, re-signed with Washington. He had 38 tackles in 14 games last season.

  • OT Todd Steussie, an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay, signed with St. Louis.

  • CB Chris Johnson (not tendered as RFA by Rams 3/10) was added to Kansas City's roster.

  • NT Aubrayo Franklin, a restricted free agent, re-signed with Baltimore.

  • LB Dennis Haley, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Baltimore.

  • CB Pete Hunter was cut by Cleveland.

  • OT Anthony Clement, an unrestricted free agent from San Francisco, signed with the Jets.

  • FB Joe Hall (released from reserve/non-football injury, NFLE by Chiefs 10/19) was added to Oakland's roster.

  • OG Cameron Spikes (released by Raiders 8/31) was added to Oakland's roster.

  • S Andre Lott (released from reserve/injured with injury settlement by Redskins 8/16) was added to San Diego's roster.

  • S Marcus Coleman (released by Cowboys 3/1) was added to Dallas' roster.

  • CB Kevin Thomas, who played in 38 games before sitting out last season with a knee injury, was released. He as a sixth-round pick out of UNLV in 2002.

  • K Phil Dawson will have his fourth holder in four years when training camp begins. His holder was Chris Gardocki for the first five seasons, Derrick Frost in 2004 and Kyle Richardson in 2005. It will be Dave Zastudil in 2006.

  • CB Ike Taylor will return to the Steelers one more season after he failed to sign anywhere as a restricted free agent. But getting a long-term deal with him probably won't happen and he could leave next year as a UFA.

  • S Gerome Sapp, a restricted free agent, signed his one-year contract tender.

  • CB Chris Johnson, formerly with the Rams, signed a two-year free agent contract with the Chiefs.

  • G Kelvin Garmon signed a free-agent contract with the Raiders. Garmon started 50-of-52 games for Dallas (2001), San Diego (2002-03) and Cleveland (2004) before suffering an ACL tear.

  • S Willie Offord was arrested and charged with drunken driving on April 18, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. He was charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree drunken driving, meaning his blood alcohol was less than .20. He was assigned an April 26 court appearance.

  • FB Jerald Sowell, released in February by the Jets, signed with the Buccaneers. Jerald Sowell. Sowell, 32, is among the league's best blocking fullbacks and the nine-year veteran also is an excellent receiver out of the backfield.

  • LB Ray Wells, who was out of football last season, signed with the Broncos. Wells was a solid special teams player with Tennessee and San Francisco, and that will be his best chance of making the Broncos.

  • LB Matt Wilhelm signed his tender offer with the Chargers.

  • WR Terrence Murphy was released by the Green Bay Packers on Friday. Another round of tests underscored previous diagnoses that Murphy's neck condition is too severe to allow him to get back on the field this year and possibly beyond. Murphy sustained a bruised spinal cord and numbness in his arms and legs when he collided with Carolina's Thomas Davis while returning a kickoff in the Packers' Oct. 3 loss at Carolina last season. Murphy was ruled out the rest of the season after doctors discovered that he suffered from an existing condition, stenosis -- narrowing of the spinal column.

  • OLB Nai'll Diggs signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. In Carolina, Diggs is expected to compete for the starting outside linebacker job left vacant by the departure of Will Witherspoon to the St. Louis Rams.

  • MLB Gerald Hayes signed a one-year, restricted free agent qualifying offer of $721,600. He was the Cardinals third-round selection (70th overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh.

  • DE Antonio Smith signed a one-year, exclusive-rights free agent contract for about $350,000. He started eight games in 2005 after Pro Bowler Bertrand Berry suffered a season-ending injury. He was the Cardinals fifth-round selection (135th overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma.

  • RB Marshall Faulk is expected to play in 2006. There has yet to be a formal announcement, but it appears Faulk will return for another season, even after undergoing minor surgeries recently on both his knees. "I think he had some loose bodies that needed to be cleaned out," coach Scott Linehan said. "Nothing serious. The older you get, the more time it takes just to kind of get them back to 100 percent. You've got to manage them. You can't take every (practice) snap like you used to. And the offseason's different. It's like you've got to heal up first." As for Faulk continuing to play, Linehan said, "I don't think it's changed. I know he's every positive about it. I still expect him back. I really do."

  • CB Ricky Manning Jr. signed an offer sheet with the Chicago Bears on Friday, April 21. Because Manning was offered the lowest tender offer of $712,000 by the Panthers, the Bears would only owe his former team a third-round pick if they make him an offer that Carolina declines to match in the next seven days.

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