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Thursday, March 20, 2008
Roundup: Rams re-sign key offensive lineman Romberg

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Last year, the St. Louis Rams, saddled with injuries to their offensive linemen, had to reach into their bench and outside the organization to find players who could compete for starting jobs.

Center Brett Romberg, one of those players who helped from the bench, reached agreement Thursday on a one-year deal to re-sign in St. Louis. Terms were not available. Romberg, 28, started nine games and played more than 50 percent of the snaps.

He becomes the third offensive lineman to re-sign. In the past couple of weeks, the Rams reached one-year deals with guard Adam Goldberg and tackle Brandon Gorin. They also signed Jacob Bell from the Titans to a six-year, $36 million deal.

Romberg, 6 feet 2 and 298 pounds, is a success story. He was an undrafted player out of the University of Miami, spent four years in Jacksonville as a backup and joined the Rams two years ago. In those two seasons, Romberg played in 19 games and had 10 starts.

Due to all of the injuries and the return of most of the players who filled those roles, Rams coach Scott Linehan will have a good stable of options with starting experience. Romberg has a chance to start at center, or, if needed, help out at guard.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

The Minnesota Vikings added depth to their defensive backfield by signing safety Michael Boulware.

Boulware spent last year with the Houston Texans. The Texans acquired him in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks with the intent of making him the starter, but he was beat out in camp and played mostly on special teams.

The Vikings needed another safety after parting ways with Dwight Smith and letting Tank Williams and Michael Doss leave in free agency.

-- The Associated Press

The Houston Texans re-signed Will Demps and defensive end N.D. Kalu on Thursday.

Demps appeared in 15 games with eight starts at safety in his first season with the Texans in 2007. He finished with 49 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He also made three tackles and recovered a fumble on special teams.

Demps averaged 6.5 tackles over the last seven games in 2007. He made a season-high 12 tackles at Tennessee on Dec. 2 and he forced and recovered a fumble the following week against Tampa Bay.

The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Kalu played in 15 games last season, recording 13 tackles, including three sacks. His sack total was his highest since 2003, when he recorded 5.5 for Philadelphia. In two years with Houston, Kalu has played in 30 games with four starts and made 34 tackles, including five sacks.

-- The Associated Press

The Broncos, who laid off eight front office employees Wednesday, went about the business of restocking their football team by reaching a one-year, $645,000 deal with fullback Cecil Sapp.

Sapp, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado, will be entering his sixth season with the Broncos, but clearly 2007 was his most productive. He started eight games and was more involved with the offense than ever before. He caught 14 passes for 51 yards and had 18 carries for 59 yards.

Three teams had been talking to Sapp before he decided to return to the Broncos. He becomes the fourth undrafted free agent to re-sign, joining defensive ends Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger and tight end Nate Jackson.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

With only three safeties on their roster, the Panthers don't have much safety as far as depth, which led them to an agreement Thursday with former Cardinals safety Terrence Holt.

Holt, 27, agreed to an undisclosed deal with the Panthers and will have a chance to compete against Nate Salley for a starting job opposite Chris Harris. Holt was considered a hot property in 2007 free agency. He signed a five-year, $15 million deal with the Cardinals after leaving the Lions.

Despite starting 16 games and playing almost every down on defense last season, Holt was released by the Cardinals Feb. 21. Now, he's the fourth Panthers safety on the roster and has a decent chance of getting a lot of playing time if he has a great training camp. In Detroit and Arizona, he started 41 games in the past three seasons.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

The Washington Redskins re-signed punter Derrick Frost on Thursday.

Frost returns for his fourth season with the team. He ranked 18th in the NFL last season with a 41-yard gross average and 21st with a 36.4 net average. He had a career-long 64-yard punt in the team's Week 1 victory over Miami.

Frost also serves as the holder on field goal and extra point attempts.

Frost punted for one full season with the Cleveland Browns before joining the Redskins in 2005.

-- The Associated Press

The Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday signed linebacker Brandon Johnson, a free agent who played special teams for Arizona.

Johnson was a fifth-round draft choice out of Louisville in 2006. The 6-foot-5, 224-pounder played in nine games in two seasons for Arizona.

In six games last season, he had six tackles on special teams.

-- The Associated Press