NFL Nation: Daniel Loper
In a recent conversation with former Denver general manager Ted Sundquist, he pointed to an article he once read in Ourlads by Joe Landers. Apologies, I couldn’t find the link.
“Using some common sense and a little investigative research, you'll find that it's rare, at least according to Landers’ study, to find a cornerback or running back or wide receiver that's really going to help you in the last three rounds,” Sundquist said. “And yet you'll find teams constantly take a reach on one of these positions.
“Evidence shows you're more likely to find a defensive tackle, offensive lineman, safety or tight end in the later rounds. Why? Most conventional wisdom says don't draft a safety or tight end high due to escalating rookie salaries and the going market at the position. As for defensive tackles or offensive linemen, it’s probably because of the greater numbers at the position. Both circumstances force down talented players at those positions.”
I went back and combed over the AFC South drafts since 2002, to see how many picks they spent on each side of the ledger Sundquist sets forth and how often the Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans did well with a fifth-, sixth- or seventh-round pick at those spots. This is, of course, highly unscientific. Metrics guys can probably shred it. But I thought it worth fiddling with.
Notables are players who played significantly, even if it’s been with another team, or recent picks who appear on track to contribute.
WRs, RBs. CBs: 9
DTs, OL, S, TEs: 14
Most: Six safeties, four receivers, corners and defensive tackle
- Cornerback Brice McCain, 2009 sixth round
- Safety Dominique Barber, 2008 sixth round
- Receiver David Anderson, 2006 seventh round
- Safety C.C. Brown, 2005 sixth round
- Corner Demarcus Faggins, 2002 sixth round
- Defensive tackle Howard Green, 2002 sixth round
WRs, RBs. CBs: 7
DTs, OL, S, TEs: 13
Most: 13 offensive linemen
- Tight end Brody Eldridge, 2010 fifth round
- Receiver Pierre Garcon, 2008 sixth round
- Guard Jamey Richard, 2008 seventh round
- Tackle Charlie Johnson, 2006 sixth round
- Safety Antoine Bethea, 2006 sixth round
- Guard Jake Scott, 2004 fifth round
WRs, RBs. CBs: 12
DTs, OL, S, TEs: 9
Most: Five receivers, four offensive linemen
- Tight end Zach Miller, 2009 sixth round
- Running back Rashad Jennings, 2009 seventh round
- Guard Uche Nwaneri, 2007 fifth rounder
- Defensive tackle Derek Landri, 2007 fifth round
- Safety Gerald Sensabaugh, 2005 fifth round
WRs, RBs. CBs: 14
DTs, OL, S, TEs: 16
Most: Seven offensive linemen, six wide receivers
- Corner Cortland Finnegan, 2006 seventh round
- Running back Quinton Ganther, 2006 seventh round
- Defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, 2007 fifth round
- Offensive lineman Daniel Loper, 2005 fifth round
- Tight end Bo Scaife, 2005 sixth round
- Guard Jacob Bell, 2004 fifth round
- Center/guard Eugene Amano, 2004 seventh round
- Safety Donnie Nickey, 2003 fifth rounder
- Guard/center Justin Hartwig, 2002 sixth rounder
Of the notables from the division drafted since 2002, 73 percent (19) have been from the positions Sundquist says teams should concentrate on late while 27 percent (seven) play positions he believes should generally be avoided.
I'd be fine with the Titans not wasting yet another late pick on a receiver and with the Texans using late-rounders on something other than corners and receivers for sure. But it's not like Houston's spending late picks on safeties or the Colts use of such selections on offensive linemen have paid huge dividends either.
I'd love to read your thoughts.
A team-by-team look at how a continued labor impasse and extended NFL freeze on transactions would affect the division:
Denver Broncos: A long labor impasse would stunt the development of second-year quarterback Tim Tebow. Like all young quarterbacks, Tebow needs time in the offseason to work with his coaches, study the playbook and work with teammates in the system. If Tebow missed an entire offseason, he would have a difficult time catching up once training camp starts, seriously damaging his chances to be the opening day starter.
New Denver coach John Fox is not going to be comfortable going with Tebow as his starting quarterback unless he gets ample time to see him perform in the offseason. If the impasse extends well into the summer, Denver may be forced to take a look at Kyle Orton instead of trading him. If there is a quick resolution before the draft, Denver could be tempted to move Orton.
Kansas City Chiefs: The biggest key in Kansas City is Matt Cassel’s continued development. He flourished in 2010 under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. However, Weis is now at the University of Florida. Cassel struggled in the two games after it was disclosed that Weis was leaving.
Kansas City promoted offensive line coach Bill Muir to offensive coordinator. But in addition to head coach Todd Haley, Cassel will work closely with new quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, a former NFL quarterback and head coach. He has a strong reputation for working with quarterbacks.
Cassel and Zorn need time to work together. The two won’t be able to communicate during the labor impasse. It will be troublesome for the two to miss months of study time. This would put Cassel behind. He’d have to cram to learn Zorn’s ways. That could hurt the entire offense.
Oakland Raiders: A lengthy labor impasse would keep Oakland from knowing exactly what this team will look like. The Raiders have locked up defensive players Richard Seymour, Stanford Routt, Kamerion Wimbley and John Henderson in addition to special-teams player Rock Cartwright. They also have re-signed reserves Kyle Boller, Hiram Eugene and Daniel Loper. But Oakland still has many free agents to deal with, including star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, tight end Zach Miller, safety Michael Huff, running back Michael Bush and guard Robert Gallery. Gallery said he is not planning to return to Oakland. Oakland gave tenders to Bush and Miller, but they could end up being unrestricted free agents in a new CBA.
The Raiders have created some risk for themselves with their aggressive strategy of re-signing free agents. If there is a salary cap in the new CBA, they don't know how high or low it will be. So it's possible they have have painted themselves into a corner by giving out too many contracts.
Also, if the draft occurs before the impasse is resolved, the Raiders will have to make some tough decisions, based on the uncertainty of their remaining free-agent class.
San Diego Chargers: Like Oakland, San Diego has a lot of free-agent uncertainty. The Chargers didn’t enter the offseason with as many high-profile free agents as Oakland, but they have key players to deal with. Unlike Oakland, though, the Chargers haven’t been aggressive with their free agents during this uncertain time. The only way San Diego addressed free agency was by giving receiver Vincent Jackson the franchise tag. Keeping Jackson is key.
There are other issues. San Diego needs to figure out what to do with safety Eric Weddle and receiver Malcom Floyd . They put restricted free-agent tenders on them, but there is a chance they could be unrestricted free agents in a new CBA. They are two key players.
The Chargers have a good roster, but it does need to be enhanced. A long impasse will keep the Chargers from fully knowing exactly what their roster will look like. That could create some anxiety for a team that thinks it can make a Super Bowl push with the right moves. However, adding former defensive player of the year Bob Sanders was a sign that when free agency does begin, this team could be active on the open market, which hasn't been the case in recent years.
In this post on March 9, we pointed to the nearly fearless (he’d be completely fearless if he used his name) AdamJT13 who said the Titans would get a third and three sevenths and the Jaguars would get a sixth.
Adam Schefter on Monday reported Tennessee officially got a third (97th overall), a sixth (207th), and a seventh (241st). Jacksonville got a sixth (203rd) and Indianapolis got two sevenths (240th and 246th).
These additional picks are awarded based on a formula that factors in free agents lost last year, their contracts and their production in their first year elsewhere.
A third-rounder is the highest possible. Picks in the seventh round basically allow teams to lock in players they would have pursued as undrafted rookies.
The picks cannot be traded.
From the league release that followed, here are the guys who factored in:
Lost: Darrell Reid, Hunter SmithJACKSONVILLE
Lost: Khalif Barnes, Mike Peterson, Gerald SensabaughTENNESSEE
Signed: Sean Considine, Tra Thomas
Lost: Chris Carr, Albert Haynesworth, Brandon Jones, Eric King, Daniel Loper, Chris Simms
Signed: Jovan Haye, Mark Jones, Nate Washington
Of all the RFAs listed in the post immediately preceding this one, only two did not receive a tender: Linebacker Cody Spencer and defensive end Copeland Bryan. According to the News' John Niyo, defensive end Jason Hunter is the only RFA who got an elevated tender. That means the Lions would receive a second-round pick in compensation if they decided against matching an offer Hunter might receive.
Guard Daniel Loper received a low tender. The remaining RFAs received original-round tenders.
Potential unrestricted free agents: Linebacker Darrell McClover, defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.
Potential restricted free agents: Defensive end Mark Anderson, safety Josh Bullocks, safety Danieal Manning, linebacker Nick Roach, linebacker Jamar Williams.
Franchise player: None
What to expect: With no picks in the first or second round of next month's draft, the Bears are gearing up for a relatively major jump into free agency. They're expected to bid for defensive end Julius Peppers and possible safety Antrel Rolle and would also like to re-sign linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa. Tight end Brandon Manumaleuna could also be a target. Manumaleuna played for new offensive coordinator Mike Martz in St. Louis.
Potential unrestricted free agents: Linebacker Vinny Ciurciu, offensive lineman Damion Cook, quarterback Daunte Culpepper, tight end Casey Fitzsimmons, linebacker Larry Foote, tight end Will Heller, cornerback Anthony Henry, cornerback Will James, offensive lineman Jon Jansen, safety Marquand Manuel, quarterback Patrick Ramsey.
Potential restricted free agents: Defensive end Copeland Bryan, offensive lineman Dylan Gandy, defensive lineman Jason Hunter, offensive lineman Daniel Loper, offensive lineman Manny Ramirez, safety Ko Simpson, linebacker Cody Spencer.
Franchise player: None
What to expect: The Lions aren't likely to be as active as they were last year, but general manager Martin Mayhew said over the winter that he could envision a five- or six-man free agent class. Running back, defensive end and defensive back are all positions they will investigate. They'll also need to find a backup quarterback, assuming Daunte Culpepper moves on.
Green Bay Packers
Potential unrestricted free agents: Offensive lineman Chad Clifton, running back Ahman Green, linebacker Aaron Kampman, offensive lineman Mark Tauscher.
Potential restricted free agents: Safety Atari Bigby, defensive back Will Blackmon, offensive lineman Daryn Colledge, safety Nick Collins, defensive end Johnny Jolly, running back John Kuhn, offensive lineman Jason Spitz, cornerback Tramon Williams.
Franchise player: Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett
What to expect: The Packers will have a demanding offseason filled with difficult decisions. To this point, they haven't re-signed either of their starting offensive tackles. They are clearly approaching injured linebacker Aaron Kampman with caution. And they have a long line of restricted free agents who would like long-term contracts, starting with Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins. The Packers have more than enough to keep them busy, but they haven't dabbled much in free agency in recent years, anyway.
Potential unrestricted free agents: Offensive lineman Artis Hicks, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, cornerback Benny Sapp, running back Chester Taylor.
Potential restricted free agents: Offensive lineman Ryan Cook, defensive end Ray Edwards, defensive tackle Fred Evans, safety Eric Frampton, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, fullback Naufahu Tahi.
Franchise player: None.
What to expect: The Vikings are awaiting word from quarterback Brett Favre on the 2010 season, a decision that could impact their offseason plans. They would like tailback Chester Taylor back, but it's possible Taylor will at least test his value on the open market. As a Final Four team, the Vikings will be limited to signing players that have been released by other teams unless they lose one of their own unrestricted free agents first.
1. Tendering a 1-year contract, OR
2. "Non-tendering" the player, essentially cutting ties.
Remember, a restricted free agent (RFA) is a player with four or five years of experience whose contract has expired. Those players are free to seek offers elsewhere, but current teams at least have the right to match that offer and keep the player. Depending on the level of contract tender, the team could also receive draft-pick compensation.
If the player doesn't sign an offer sheet elsewhere, and can't agree on a long-term contract, he plays at the salary in the chart below. (There are slightly higher values for players in their fifth seasons.)
Because of the addition of a fifth year to the RFA list in the uncapped year, an additional 212 players are scheduled to be restricted free agents this offseason. Below is a list of the primary RFAs for each NFC North team.
There have been some reports about individual tenders, but no team has officially released its decisions. That will happen sometime between now and Thursday night. When it does, we'll analyze how easy or difficult it will be for those tendered to move on to another team.
Chicago Bears: Defensive end Mark Anderson, safety Josh Bullocks, safety Danieal Manning, linebacker Nick Roach, linebacker Jamar Williams.
Detroit Lions: Defensive end Copeland Bryan, offensive lineman Dylan Gandy, defensive lineman Jason Hunter, offensive lineman Daniel Loper, offensive lineman Manny Ramirez, safety Ko Simpson, linebacker Cody Spencer.
Green Bay Packers: Safety Atari Bigby, defensive back Will Blackmon, offensive lineman Daryn Colledge, safety Nick Collins, defensive end Johnny Jolly, running back John Kuhn, offensive lineman Jason Spitz, cornerback Tramon Williams, running back DeShawn Wynn.
Minnesota Vikings: Offensive lineman Ryan Cook, defensive end Ray Edwards, defensive tackle Fred Evans, safety Eric Frampton, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, cornerback Karl Paymah, fullback Naufahu Tahi.
To read all of our award-winning CBAWatch discussion, click here.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Often times mock drafters or fans (or mock drafter fans) who aren't fully aware of a team's depth chart will connect the easiest dots.
The Titans, for example, lost Albert Haynesworth, therefore a lot of people presume they automatically need a replacement defensive tackle and put them down for one at No. 30.
|Mitchell Layton/Getty Images|
|Just because the Titans lost Albert Haynesworth through free agency doesn't mean they are dead-set on a replacement in the first round.|
Except that the Titans drafted Jason Jones in the second round last year and he was impressive as a rookie, with five sacks in 13 games. They signed free agent Jovan Haye, a favorite of defensive line coach Jim Washburn. They like starter Tony Brown very much, and they like Kevin Vickerson as their biggest body -- enough so that he got a contract extension during the 2008 season.
The Titans may well be in best-player-available mode and if Evander Hood is there at their spot and they see him as a great value they could take him.
But it's hardly a foregone conclusion.
Similarly, I believe it's a mistake to cross left tackle off the list of potential picks for Jacksonville just because they signed free agent Tra Thomas. They still need a long-term solution, and if the best tackle at No. 8 is a better value to them than what's left at receiver, defensive tackle or cornerback -- or if they aren't taking a quarterback or trading the pick to someone who wants one -- they may well take a potential offensive line anchor.
The Scouts Inc. needs board looks pretty good to me, so I'd keep an eye on that. It gets adjusted based on any new developments.
Meanwhile, here's an up-to-date rundown of the primary needs, in my view, for the teams of the AFC South:
Defensive tackle: Amobi Okoye needs some help inside to be the player the Texans envisioned, and an effective tackle who demands attention will help the continued push to upgrade the line and produce more consistent pass pressure.
Defensive back: There is evidence that Jacques Reeves wasn't as bad as portrayed last year as the corner opposite Dunta Robinson once Robinson returned from injury. But competition for the second and third spots would be good to add with Reeves and Fred Bennett. And none of the top three safeties are overwhelming -- Eugene Wilson at free and Dominique Barber at strong are the starters, with Nick Ferguson as depth. The Texans should add the best overall defensive back they can find, maybe a couple.
Outside linebacker: The Texans can use a bigger, more rugged outside 'backer who can rush the quarterback and drop into coverage.
Running back: Steve Slaton was a godsend in the third round last year. Now the Texans need to find a bigger guy to take some of the carries and serve as a heavier changeup.
Defensive tackle: The Colts lost the big bodies in the middle of their line, space-eating run-stuffers Quinn Pitcock and Ed Johnson, right at the start of last season and they need to spend to get quality replacements.
Receiver: Anthony Gonzalez can become a full-time guy with Marvin Harrison gone, and he or Reggie Wayne can kick into the slot in the often featured three-wide sets. Still, a third quality wideout is a necessity, and it won't be a surprise if Bill Polian uses No. 27 to address the position.
Outside linebackers: This group needs to be replenished as two guys who've seen significant time in the last two seasons, Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler, appear out of the picture. But the Colts restock their linebackers often through the draft and with undrafted rookies.
Running back: Was Joseph Addai banged up and suffering behind an injured line, or is he not going to be able to carry the load? The Colts like Mike Hart, who's coming off a bad injury. But they haven't re-signed Dominic Rhodes and need more.
Receiver: A perpetual need. They are down Reggie Williams, a free agent they have no interest in, and Matt Jones, who was cut after a new round of trouble. To get a true read on David Garrard, he needs real weapons on the outside.
Defensive tackle: GM Gene Smith has talked a lot about building from the inside-out and the Jaguars thrived when John Henderson and Marcus Stroud gave th
em an identity. Their plans to replace Stroud after a trade failed, and they need a better partner for Henderson that will help toughen them and could be a good influence on him.
Cornerback: Brian Williams can play opposite Rashean Mathis or he can play safety. Free-agent safety addition Sean Considine is an X factor here. But even if he's in the lineup and the Jaguars have their two starting corners, they need nickel candidates and depth badly.
Left tackle: As mentioned above, the addition of Thomas does not mean the Jaguars are done addressing this spot. Garrard needs not only better weapons but better protection and the offense is built around running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who needs consistent long-term blocking.
Receiver: They hope for big things from free-agent addition Nate Washington, but considering how long they've lacked a dynamic weapon outside, they can't have enough candidates for the role. A legitimate big-play threat can help create things for Chris Johnson, the running back who's the centerpiece of the offense.
Cornerback: Beyond starters Cortland Finnegan and Nick Harper and nickel Vincent Fuller, the Titans have only unproven Cary Williams. The expectation is the Titans will draft a corner who would be in line to replace Harper in 2010 and they need the depth now after losing Eric King and Chris Carr in free agency.
Outside linebacker: Stalwart Keith Bulluck is heading into a contract year and should the Titans have trouble holding on to him or decide not to, they could use an heir in place and it's unclear if Stanford Keglar can be that guy. Better depth and a player who could be a big special-teamer will be nice to have in 2009.
Offensive tackle: Daniel Loper was a versatile swing guy who backed up both Michael Roos and David Stewart and could move inside to play guard. He went to Detroit as a free agent. Maybe Mike Otto is the new third tackle, but a versatile lineman is a need for depth.
Cornerback Jacques Reeves wasn't great, but he was better than a lot of fans thought, blogs John McClain.
Megan Manfull says the Texans are counting on a big Year 3 jump from Amobi Okoye.
Lance Zierlein ponders Andre Smith.
John Oehser says don't wait on the Colts to re-sign Marvin Harrison or Edgerrin James, if James gets out of Arizona.
Gene Frenette makes the case for the Jaguars to trade down in the first round.
Charges against free-agent receiver Reggie Williams have been dropped, reports Michael C. Wright.
The National Football Post says a trade that would have sent Torry Holt to the Titans fell apart. I expect Tennessee will show interest now that Holt's been release, but if he wouldn't restructure his contract for a trade, he's likely going to have to reassess his value if he's to land in Nashville.
Free-agent offensive tackle Trai Essex visited the Titans Friday, says Terry McCormick. The Titans need a backup tackle after losing Daniel Loper as a free agent to Detroit.
Let's run through our nightly catch-up of today's free agency news around the NFC North. Check back for late-breaking updates:
- Detroit re-signed running back/kick returner Aveion Cason and also signed former Tennessee linebacker Cody Spencer. That makes three former Titans who have joined new Lions coach Jim Schwartz: Spencer, cornerback Eric King and offensive lineman Daniel Loper. Spencer is primarily a special teams player who spent the past three seasons with the New York Jets. Cason has been with the Lions off and on since 2001.
- Minnesota re-signed cornerback Benny Sapp, who served as the Vikings' nickel back after Charles Gordon dislocated his ankle midway through last season. Gordon re-signed last month.
- Green Bay fullback John Kuhn, a restricted free agent, was scheduled to visit Cincinnati. The Packers will have the right to match any offer Kuhn receives.
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.
Our NFC West ace Mike Sando has been keeping track of free-agent movement by division and put together this excellent chart, which doesn't factor in any deals that may have been completed Friday morning.
The most significant names by team, with asterisks denoting players still believed to be of interest by their current clubs:
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
We link to a player blog for the first time this morning (see Jaguars). Know of any others? Please point me to them with a note in my mailbag.
Megan Manful blogs that the Texans still have a lot of depth issues to address.
Alan Burge thinks the Texans and Dunta Robinson need to make peace. I don't see a problem with Rick Smith's plan to let things settle down while other issues qualify as more pressing.
Jeff Saturday's deal could be worth $13.3 million and came with a $7.45 million signing bonus, reports Mike Chappell. Also, tackle Ryan Lilja took reduced base salaries and Adam Vinatieri restructured in moves that got the Colts additional cap room. And Freddy Keiaho visited Buffalo.
Ace Seth Wickersham looks at how the late increase in the salary cap helped keep Jeff Saturday a Colt.
The Jags are not interested in Terrell Owens, says Michael C. Wright.
Tight end George Wrighster recently reached out to the AFC South Blog to point us to his own blog. I'm just catching up now, and he recently wrote he's expecting to be traded.
Albert Haynesworth tells Jim Wyatt how close he was to a deal with the Titans last year,
Wyatt offers a solid analysis of what's to come as the Titans figure out Vince Young's future.
Daniel Loper is scheduled to visit the Falcons on Friday, says Wyatt.
Look for the Titans to just say no to T.O., writes Terry McCormick.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Mike Mayock of NFL.com lists the top five draft prospects by position.
With Cedric Benson back in Cincinnati, the Texans will likely look to the draft for a back to join Steve Slaton and Ryan Moats, writes John McClain.
New site alert, or at least new to me: Check out John Oehser's The Indy Football report.
Peyton Manning talked to a giant group of Boy Scouts in Birmingham, says the Birmingham News.
Tra Thomas' talks with the Jaguars were very informal and didn't include an official visit, reports Michael C. Wright.
Clark Judge looks at good free-agent signings from the recent past and includes Jaguars defensive back Brian Williams on his list.
Drayton Florence landed in Buffalo and Tim Graham blogged about what it means for the Bills.
Cole Pepper considers how adding Thomas would work for the Jaguars.
Maurice Jones-Drew spoke with Dave Richard about his desire for a new contract.
Titans free agents are traveling Wednesday: Chris Simms to Denver, Daniel Loper to Detroit. Gary Estwick with details.
Let's catch up on some Black and Blue-related free-agent visits:
- Free agent defensive tackle Grady Jackson is scheduled to arrive in Detroit on Tuesday, according to NFL.com. General manager Martin Mayhew has said he wants the Lions' interior defense to get bigger, and they don't get much bigger than the 350-ish pound Jackson. He played last season in Atlanta but is no stranger to the NFC North following a three-year stint in Green Bay from 2003-05.
- In Green Bay, the Packers are hosting free agent safety Mike Adams. Read about the visit in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Green Bay Press-Gazette and Wisconsin State Journal. The truncated version: Adams, who turns 29 later this month, has started 23 games during a five-year career with San Francisco and Cleveland. He intercepted two passes last season for the Browns.
- Detroit was scheduled to host offensive lineman Daniel Loper on a visit starting Tuesday night, according to the Detroit Free Press. Loper spent the past four seasons in Tennessee while new Lions coach Jim Schwartz was an assistant there. Loper, 27, has never started a game.
- Baltimore is hosting center Matt Birk, according to the Star Tribune. Birk has been with Minnesota since 1998, but could replace departed free agent Jason Brown if he signs with the Ravens.
- Another one of the Vikings' free agents, linebacker Heath Farwell, is scheduled to visit New England.
Cedric Benson talks about a visit with the Texans Monday that didn't produce a deal, writes John McClain.
Richard Justice says he'd like Benson in Houston but offers a reminder of the downsides.
In his new mock draft, Lance Zierlein has the Texans taking Brian Cushing.
Nothing Tuesday morning.
The Jaguars are now looking closely at Philadelphia free agent tackle Tra Thomas and Jets defensive lineman C.J. Mosley. The team has also laid off eight employees, reports Michael C. Wright.
Punter Craig Hentrich has told the Titans he wants to return and the team's indicated it will sign him, says McCormick.
A look at the free agent plans for Chris Carr and Daniel Loper from McCormick.