In one of the league's slowest times of the year, there are still a few player extensions and signings to report, including that of a former Viking.
WR Aaron Hoscack signed a two-year contract with the Saints. Hosack, 25, comes to New Orleans after spending the spring of 2007 with World Bowl runner-up Frankfurt Galaxy. After making the All-NFL Europe team in 2006 with the World Bowl champion Galaxy, he had nine receptions for 289 yards and four touchdowns this season. Hosack is a former Minnesota Gopher and spent time in camp with the Minnesota Vikings in the past.
CB Nate Vasher's five-year, $28 million contract extension ensures that the Bears will keep at least one of their starters beyond this season, when both he and Charles Tillman were scheduled to become free agents. But Vasher's deal, which includes $14 million in guaranteed bonus money and runs through 2012, probably means Tillman will be an ex-Bear after the 2007 season, since they're already paying nickel corner Ricky Manning Jr. $21 million over five years. "It's a great relief that we could get this process done to where I could just focus on the season," Vasher said Monday when the deal was announced. "I know that a lot of people have contract issue stuff about this time. It's one less thing that I have to worry about." Vasher was picked by the Bears in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2004 draft and was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2005 season. He is the Bears' active leader with 16 career interceptions, and is the first player in almost 50 years to record that many picks as a Bear in his first three seasons. The 16 interceptions are tied for fifth most in the NFL over the last three seasons. In 2005, Vasher set the NFL record for longest play, since tied by teammate Devin Hester, when he returned a missed field goal 108 yards for a touchdown vs. San Francisco.
S Chris Reis, who will try to earn a roster spot as a backup and special teams performer when training camp opens in late July, was named to the All-NFL Europa League team. Reis, who signed with the Saints in January and was allocated to the Cologne Centurions, ranked second on the Centurions' defense with 54 tackles in 10 starts. He had one interception for 21 yards and one touchdown, seven pass defenses and four special-teams tackles. The Georgia Tech product was chosen as the NFLE Defensive Player of the Week in Week 3.
WR Tramain Hall signed a two-year contract with the Saints. Hall, 25, joins the Saints after spending the past spring with the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europa, where he made 16 catches for 273 yards and two touchdowns. Hall also returned four punts for 68 yards, nine kickoffs for 217 yards and had one special teams tackle. Hall, who played his college ball at North Carolina State, went to training camp with the Tennessee Titans in 2006.
DT Fred Evans was cut by the Miami Dolphins after his arrest on charges of battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest. A police report said Evans became physically violent, injuring two officers after he refused to leave the backseat of a taxicab where he had earlier passed out. The officers eventually used a Taser to subdue the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Evans. If this were an isolated legal problem, the Dolphins might have been more inclined to stick with Evans. But Evans was reportedly on probation stemming from an arrest earlier this year on marijuana possession in Texas. Evans now risks having his probation revoked along with a potential suspension from the NFL that could deter interest from other franchises who weren't already deterred by his off-field issues. The Dolphins waived Evans despite the fact he was considered an emerging player on a team with significant questions at nose tackle. Keith Traylor will be 38 years old entering the season and, while a quality run-stuffer when healthy, has struggled with knee problems at times during the past two years with Miami. Traylor also has shown a tendency to wear down as the season unfolds. Evans, a 2006 seventh-round draft pick from Texas State, received his first NFL action in the 2006 season-finale against Indianapolis. Evans was taking snaps with the first-team defense earlier this off-season as Traylor recovered from ankle surgery.
FB J.R. Niklos has been signed by the Browns. His NFL odyssey began in 2002 as an undrafted rookie with the Seattle Seahawks. He has never played in an NFL game, though he has played three seasons in NFL Europe. He played with the Frankfurt Galaxy this spring and carried 12 times for 39 yards. He caught seven passes, also for 39 yards. The Browns needed a fullback for training camp after cutting Alan Ricard at the end of minicamp. Lawrence Vickers is the clear-cut starter at fullback.