Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Roundup: Colts, Vinatieri agree
ESPN.com news services
As they sort out Peyton Manning's contract, the Indianapolis Colts agreed to three-year deals with kicker Adam Vinatieri and safety Melvin Bullitt.
Vinatieri's agent, Gary Uberstine, confirmed the move in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Bullitt took to the local airwaves to confirm his deal.
"It was 'Let's get this done, let's move past it, let's get ready for the season,'" he told radio station 1070 The Fan Wednesday afternoon.
Bullitt has been a backup to the oft-injured Bob Sanders since joining the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2007, but is expected to become a full-time starter this season after Sanders' release. Sanders, the 2007 NFL defensive player of the year, signed with San Diego before the NFL lockout began.
The 38-year-old Vinatieri is one of just seven players in league history to score 500 or more points with two different teams (Patriots, Colts). He is headed into his 15th NFL season.
Vinatieri missed much of the 2009 season, but came back and played all 16 games last year, making 26 of 28 field-goal attempts.
Getting both deals completed quickly at least provides some answers for a team scrambling to put its roster together before players report to training camp Sunday.
Still, the biggest concern -- a new long-term contract for four-time MVP Peyton Manning -- has not been resolved . Team owner Jim Irsay has repeatedly promised to make Manning the highest-paid player in league history. Tom Brady currently holds that distinction with an annual average salary of $18 million.
TE Lewis a no-show for Jags camp
Tight end Marcedes Lewis was a no-show when Jacksonville Jaguars players reported for mandatory team meeting Wednesday.
Coming off a career year in which he caught 10 touchdown passes, Lewis signed a one-year franchise tender with Jacksonville. But he officially began holding out Wednesday when he failed to report. The two sides are working on a long-term deal as Lewis continues to work out in California.
The 27-year old Lewis was the 28th overall pick in 2006 and has spent his entire career with Jacksonville.
On Tuesday, the Jaguars agreed to a six-year, $45 million contract with free agent linebacker Paul Posluszny.
Gallery catches on with Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have reached agreement with guard Robert Gallery on a three-year contract, according to his agent.
Rick Smith tells The Associated Press that Gallery has agreed to a three-year deal with the Seahawks. Gallery can't sign his contract with Seattle until Friday.
Gallery will be reunited with former Oakland coach Tom Cable, who was hired following last season as the Seahawks' assistant head coach with the charge of revamping Seattle's run game and blocking schemes. Gallery also solidifies the Seahawks' revamped offensive line, which will likely feature three new starters.
Gallery and the Oakland Raiders mutually decided in the offseason to part company.
Gallery was the No. 2 pick in the 2004 draft, taken ahead of superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He struggled as a left tackle but flourished when he was moved inside to left guard.
Rex names Sanchez Jets' captain
Mark Sanchez will be the New York Jets captain this year, coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday in a conference call.
"I see the way the guys are around him and things, this is really going to be his team," Ryan said. "I'm not big on giving out those captain things ... but we will put the C on his jersey this year because he truly is our captain."
Traditionally, Ryan has rotated the captains from game to game, often giving the nod to hometown players during away games. He said he would still have special-teams and defensive captains, but Sanchez will remain the pick for the offense.
"It is Mark Sanchez, it is his team," Ryan said. "I really never knew the roster the way I know it now, now being our third year here and I'm really comfortable doing this now. Am I trying to drive up the jersey sales for Sanchez? Maybe that's true. But it is something I take seriously. I think he's earned that, I'm excited to see this young man grow."
Sanchez, entering his third season, has quickly earned the respect of his teammates with his work ethic and leadership abilities. He has helped lead the Jets to the AFC championship game in consecutive years and said Tuesday he'd be willing to restructure his contract if it helped the team land marquee free agents.
Meanwhile, the Jets agreed to terms with kicker Nick Folk on a one-year deal.
Folk wrote on his Twitter page Wednesday night that he's "Happy to be headed back to Jersey on Friday." Folk was 30 of 39 on field-goal attempts last season, his first with the Jets after three years kicking for the Dallas Cowboys. He was also 2 for 3 on field goals in the postseason.
New York also has veteran kicker Nick Novak on the roster.
Bengals, Gradkowski agree to deal
The Bengals have reached an agreement with quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who knows Cincinnati's new offensive system and will help develop rookie Andy Dalton.
The 28-year-old quarterback was in Tampa from 2008-09 with Jay Gruden, who was hired as the Bengals' offensive coordinator in February. The Bengals drafted Dalton in the second round in April, but he's been unable to learn Gruden's system from the coaches because of the NFL lockout.
After agreeing to terms, Gradkowski tweeted: "BENGAL fans let's get ready to rock n' roll!!! Can't wait for this great opportunity!!"
Owner Mike Brown indicated on Tuesday that Dalton would get a chance to start. Jordan Palmer is their only other experienced quarterback.
Carson Palmer has told the team he would retire rather than play the last four seasons of his contract with Cincinnati, which has two winning records in the last 20 years. Palmer asked for a trade, but Brown insisted on Tuesday that he won't deal the franchise quarterback as a matter of principle.
Gradkowski was Tampa Bay's sixth-round pick out of Toledo in 2006. He started 11 games as a rookie, his career high. He also played one year in Cleveland and the last two in Oakland. A pair of shoulder injuries limited him to four starts last season. He completed 83 of 157 passes for 1,059 yards and five touchdowns with seven interceptions.
Sources: Lions agree to deal with Durant
The Detroit Lions reached an agreement with former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Justin Durant on a two-year deal, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Durant, the Jags' second-round pick in 2007, made 55 tackles in just 10 games last season.
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Hampton product has played every linebacker position in his four-year career.
Redskins add Gaffney to wide receiver corps
The Washington Redskins added to their quickly growing stockpile of receivers Wednesday by acquiring receiver Jabar Gaffney from the Denver Broncos in exchange for defensive end Jeremy Jarmon.
The 30-year-old Gaffney has 375 receptions over nine NFL seasons with Houston, New England and Denver. He is coming off the best back-to-back seasons of his career: 54 catches for 732 yards in 2009 and 65 catches for 875 yards last year.
"It shocked me. I didn't have any clue it was going to happen," said Gaffney, who had reported to the Broncos and was prepared to go through a conditioning test when informed of the trade. "There's going to be a lot of crazy things going on."
He joins a Redskins receiving corps that will include Santana Moss, Donte' Stallworth and Anthony Armstrong. Moss is re-signing with the team, having agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal. Free agent Stallworth said Wednesday he has reached a deal with Washington and is expected to sign a one-year contract Friday.
The Redskins also agreed to a one-year deal with wideout Brandon Stokley and a three-year, $13.5 million deal with former Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Schefter.
Armstrong remains under contract from last season, and the Redskins also selected three wideouts -- Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson -- in the April draft.
Jarmon, selected by the Redskins in the third round of the 2009 supplemental draft, was an odd man out when Washington switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme last season, fitting in neither as a defensive end nor as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. He played in 16 games over two seasons, totaling just 11 tackles.
Leinart, Jones, Butler agree to stay with Texans
Matt Leinart has agreed to stay with the Houston Texas.
The deal is for two years and $5.5 million deal and contains $3.75 million in guarantees, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Leinart later acknowledged the deal on his Twitter account.
"I am excited to be a Texan," Leinart wrote. "Ultimately, I had to do what was best for me at this point. People can question the decision, but it was the right one for me. I love the organization, coaching staff and my teammates. Excited to get back to Reliant tomorrow and get back to work."
Leinart was released by the Arizona Cardinals during the preseason last August and spent 2010 as a backup with Houston.
The Texans also agreed to terms with free-agent receiver Jacoby Jones and tackle Rashad Butler.
Jones' deal spans three seasons and is worth $10.5 million, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Jones caught 51 passes for 562 yards in 2010, his fourth season with Houston, while the 6-4, 308-pound Butler played in all 16 games last season. He started four games at left tackle when regular starter Duane Brown served a suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Sources: Browns will release Delhomme
The Cleveland Browns will release quarterback Jake Delhomme, two league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Browns are going all-in with second-year quarterback Colt McCoy this season and recently signed backup Seneca Wallace to a three-year extension. The Browns did not select a developmental quarterback in the NFL draft this year.
The Browns paid the 36-year-old Delhomme $7 million last season to throw for 872 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions in five games. Delhomme was scheduled to make $5.4 million in base salary.
WR Moore to remain a Saint
Receiver Lance Moore has agreed to remain with the New Orleans Saints.
Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the deal is for five years.
In a tweet posted Wednesday, Moore said, "Welp, its been real new orleans........But let's make the next five years even more real. I'm coming back baby!!! #whodat."
Moore, who was a free agent, has been with the Saints since 2005 and steadily worked his way up from the practice squad to become one of quarterback Drew Brees' favorite receivers.
Last season, Moore played in all 16 regular season games and had 66 receptions for 763 yards and eight touchdowns.
Vikings, Longwell agree to 4-year contract
Kicker Ryan Longwell said in a text message to The Associated Press on Wednesday night that he has agreed to terms on a four-year contract to return to the Vikings.
"We're excited to be back!" Longwell said.
The Vikings didn't hesitate to give the steady, 15-year veteran a four-year deal, even though he will turn 37 in August. If anything, Longwell has gotten better with age, posting the two highest field goal percentages of his career over the last two seasons in the comfy confines of the Metrodome.
Last season, he went 17 for 18 (a career-high 94.4 percent) on field goals and 30 for 31 on extra points. The previous season, Longwell made 26 of 28 (92.9 percent) of his field goals.
The deal means Longwell will be back in Minnesota for a sixth season after spending his first nine years in the league with the rival Green Bay Packers.
Source: 49ers, McDonald agree on $20M deal
The San Francisco 49ers reached an agreement with defensive end Ray McDonald on a five-year, $20 million deal that includes $7 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
McDonald was the 49ers' third-round pick in 2007.
McDonald was high on general manager Trent Baalke's list of players to bring back for 2011 and beyond. McDonald could become a starter at defensive end depending on how the roster shakes out. The 26-year-old has started nine games in his first four NFL seasons, all in 2008.
He recorded 19 tackles last season for San Francisco (6-10) and returned his lone interception 31 yards for his first career touchdown.
Bills agree to contract with Florence
The Buffalo Bills have agreed to a contract with cornerback Drayton Florence.
Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter it is a three-year deal worth $15 million.
Florence confirmed the deal on his Twitter account Wednesday.
Florence wrote: "It's official I'm back buffalo see ya at fisher!!!!"
Florence was referring to St. John's Fisher College, where the Bills hold training camp.
The nine-year veteran has spent the past two years with Buffalo and has 14 career interceptions.
Source: Bucs, Black reach agreement
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and linebacker Quincy Black have reached an agreement on a five-year deal, a league source told ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas.
Financial terms weren't immediately available.
But the deal means the Bucs will have one of their starting linebackers back from last season. Black started 10 of the 11 games he appeared in last season and made 61 tackles. The Bucs don't appear to be interested in re-signing middle linebacker Barrett Ruud. If they go with rookie Mason Foster in the middle, the presence of Black should help ease the transition.
Black joined the Bucs in 2007 and has been a starter most of the last two seasons.
A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the Bucs also agreed to a contract with second-round pick Da'Quan Bowers. Bowers, originally expected to be a first-round pick in April's draft, fell to the 51st overall selection due to concerns about his surgically repaired knee.
Packers strike deal with kicker Crosby
Kicker Mason Crosby has agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the Green Bay, agent Mike McCartney told The Associated Press.
In four seasons with the Packers, Crosby has made 78.1 percent of his kicks and missed only one career extra point. He made 78.6 percent of his kicks last year and hit a career-high, 56-yard field goal in the season opener against Philadelphia.
With training camp set to open Friday, the Packers' roster is slowly taking shape. On Tuesday, the team told veteran linebacker Nick Barnett that he would not be returning.
Source: Falcons give Nicholas 5-year contract
The Atlanta Falcons reached agreement with linebacker Stephen Nicholas on a five-year deal, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Nicholas' deal includes $6 million in guaranteed money, with an overall value of $17.5 million.
Source: Chiefs come to terms with McGraw
The Kansas City Chiefs reached a one-year, $810,000 deal to re-sign safety Jon McGraw, a source told ESPN.com's John Clayton.
McGraw is entering his 10th NFL season. He started 14 games for the Chiefs the past two seasons.
Cowboys center has knee surgery
Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode said he had surgery on his right knee in late June.
Gurode said he had arthroscopic surgery on the knee and just started running three weeks ago. There is a chance he could be placed on the physically unable to perform list when training camp opens.
Gurode, a five-time Pro Bowler, hasn't missed a start the past three seasons and it doesn't appear as if he will miss any regular-season games.
Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky, ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas, ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini, ESPNDallas.com and The Associated Press was used in this report.