NFC West: Kalimba Edwards

How ties can bind in NFL free agency

February, 25, 2009
2/25/09
1:54
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

NFL teams routinely sign players with ties to their organizations. Those ties become more difficult to track this time of year because so many coaches and personnel people have changed teams recently. But we'll make an initial attempt here.

The Bucs' decision to release Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, Joey Galloway and Cato June raises questions about the Seahawks' potential interest. Seahawks president Tim Ruskell and vice president Ruston Webster were with the Bucs when the team drafted Brooks and Dunn. New Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was with all four released players last season.

The Raiders' recent moves -- releasing Gibril Wilson, Kalimba Edwards, Ronald Curry, Justin Griffith and Kwame Harris -- raise questions about the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers. Wilson played for new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo with the Giants.

  • The Rams have quite a bit invested in free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, making it unlikely they would invest heavily in Wilson. But the ties between Spagnuolo and Wilson are still worth mentioning.
  • Harris played for the 49ers before signing with the Raiders. San Francisco is looking to upgrade its depth on the offensive line. The team also needs a starting right tackle. Harris would not be the answer as a starter.
  • Curry played for new Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in Oakland last season. The Seahawks will be looking to improve their depth at receiver. I do not know what Knapp thinks of Curry, but he would be familiar with him.

The Panthers' decision to release receiver D.J. Hackett makes available a familiar name for the Seahawks. Seattle appeared lukewarm in retaining Hackett last offseason. The interest might be cooler given changes to the Seahawks' staff. Mike Holmgren and his coaches knew Hackett, but the offense will be different under Knapp.

These are a few connections to keep in mind. Please offer up others if you have them.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Pass-rush drills make for some of the most entertaining spectating at NFL training camps.

Seattle's Rocky Bernard took down center Steve Vallos with a powerful move at Seahawks practice this morning. Down the coast, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provided a scorecard for the pass-rush drills between the Raiders and 49ers today

I went through and totaled up the results: The 49ers' Joe Staley went 2-0 in his matchups against the Raiders' defensive linemen. Teammate Barry Sims went 2-0-1. The 49ers' Jonas Jennings went 1-0. Teammate and fellow offensive lineman Joe Toledo went 1-0-1.

For the Raiders, defensive tackle Josh Shaw went 3-0, beating Adam Snyder twice and Tony Wragge once. Raiders defensive linemen Terdell Sands went 2-0 against the 49ers. Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly went 2-0-1. No player participated in more than three matchups.

The 49ers' Chilo Rachal, Damane Duckett and Eric Heitmann each won two of three.

Additional results, first for the 49ers: Adam Snyder (1-2), Brian De La Puente (1-1), Cody Wallace (2-2), Alan Reuber (0-1-1), John Booker (0-1-1) and Tony Wragge (0-2). For the Raiders: Gerard Warren (1-2), Derrick Gray (1-2), Greg Spires (0-2-1), William Joseph (1-2), international player Mauricio Lopez (0-2), Jay Richardson (1-1), Trevor Scott (0-2-1), Greyson Gunheim (1-0-1), Kalimba Edwards (0-2), Derrick Burgess (0-1).

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