Friday, March 6, 2009
Packers get a safety and other exciting news
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Let's catch up on some NFC North-related moves as the first week of free agency concludes:
- Green Bay finally netted itself a safety by agreeing to terms with free agent Anthony Smith, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Smith played for new Packers safeties coach Darren Perry when both were in Pittsburgh. We delved into why the Packers were so intent on signing a safety earlier Friday.
- Running back Kevin Jones re-signed with Chicago for reasons that remain unclear to me. Jones was inactive for five the Bears' last seven games in 2008, and offensive coordinator Ron Turner has spoken this offseason about giving Garrett Wolfe a long look as the No. 2 back behind starter Matt Forte. But Turner might have been overruled internally; the Bears gave Jones a $1 million signing bonus and will pay him a total of $2 million this season. That's not third-string money.
- Minnesota re-signed linebacker/special teams ace Heath Farwell to a three-year contract worth about $8 million. Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune reports $3.25 million in is guaranteed. That's a nice contract for a player who has never started an NFL game and missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. But Farwell was one of the league's top special teams cover men before the injury and was on track to be the Vikings' top backup linebacker in 2008.
- Detroit signed free agent offensive lineman Daniel Loper to a one-year contract. Loper is the second former Tennessee player to sign on to play for new Lions coach Jim Schwartz, the Titans' former defensive coordinator. Cornerback Eric King is the other. Loper will provide depth and could compete with Damion Cook for the left guard position.
- Green Bay defensive back Jarrett Bush, a restricted free agent, visited Tennessee on Friday. Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports.
- Minnesota has no visits scheduled for this weekend, vice president Rick Spielman said Friday. But it's possible that cornerback Karl Paymah could visit next week.