Monday, August 1, 2011
Source: Bengals, Manny Lawson agree
ESPN.com news services
The Cincinnati Bengals reached a one-year, $3 million deal with former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Manny Lawson, a source told ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton.
Lawson, according to the source, spent Monday night deciding whether to return to the 49ers or leave for another team. The Bengals will likely use him as a strongside outside linebacker or at defensive end.
Lawson had 2.5 sacks in 2010 after a career-high 6.5 in 2009. The former first-round pick has 240 career tackles in 64 NFL games, all with San Francisco.
Source: LB Tatupu visited Raiders
Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu visited the Oakland Raiders on Monday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Tatupu met with coach Pete Carroll on Saturday night and asked for his release after the Seahawks asked him to take a pay cut, ESPN sources have said.
Tatupu was then cut by Seattle on Sunday morning.
It was announced as a "mutual decision," a line that was regularly repeated by Carroll after practice on Sunday afternoon.
Tatupu anchored the middle of Seattle's defense for most of six seasons, including three Pro Bowl appearances, and had a major hand in taking the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl appearance during his rookie 2005 season.
DE Anderson agrees to join Colts
Former first-round draft pick Jamaal Anderson has agreed to terms with the Indianapolis Colts and is expected to arrive at training camp Tuesday.
Agent Joel Segal confirmed the deal Monday night, but would not disclose terms of the contract. Anderson was cut by Atlanta on Saturday in a cost-cutting move, and Segal said he is expected to report Tuesday to Indy's training camp site, Anderson University.
Other teams had expressed interest in Anderson.
The 6-foot-6, 289-pound defensive lineman from Arkansas, could help upgrade a run defense Indy has tried to improve for years. Anderson was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2007 draft and has proven to be a more effective run-stuffer than a pass-rusher in the NFL.
And at age 25, he still has enough time to meet the lofty expectations that made him a top-10 pick.
The Colts made no immediate announcement about the signing or a corresponding roster move, but the signing is out of character for the Colts. Anderson becomes only the second unrestricted free agent on this year's roster. The other is kicker Adam Vinatieri, whom Indy signed in 2006.
"That is our philosophy and we've gotten a lot of criticism over it," team vice chairman Bill Polian said Sunday when explaining why the Colts have primarily stayed out of the free-agent market. "But I'll stack our record up against anybody."
Saints agree to deal with OG Nicks, LB Ingram
Carl Nicks, who has thrived in a starting role for most of his first three pro seasons, arrived at Saints headquarters on Monday, four days into training camp, and signed a restricted free agent tender worth about $2.61 million for this season.
"They took a chance," Nicks recalled in reference to his 2008 arrest for failing to leave the scene of a party police broke up while he was at Nebraska. "I had a lot of questions coming out of college and Payton drafted me, Mickey drafted me, so my loyalty stands with these guys first and foremost."
Nicks' signing was one of a couple transactions the Saints made, including the re-signing of free agent reserve tackle Zach Strief and the signing of free-agent linebacker Clint Ingram, who was with the Saints in 2010 but never played because of his slow recovery from microfracture surgery on his left knee.
The 6-foot-5, 343-pound Nicks, whose ability on the field was highly rated but who fell to the fifth-round of the 2008 draft because of his arrest, started 13 games as a rookie and has remained the starting left guard ever since.
Ingram played four seasons with Jacksonville from 2006-09. He started 46 games during that span, with 159 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and a forced fumble.
The Saints on Monday were still trying to sign their top overall draft pick, defensive end Cam Jordan, who was taken 24th overall out of California.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press the delay resulted from questions over whether Jordan should receive three or four years of guaranteed salary.
The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were ongoing, said the overall amount of money probably would be in the range of $7.7 million for four seasons, based on $7.64 million for four years that 25th pick James Carpenter received from Seattle.
Later Monday night, the Saints added Cecil Newton, a former reserve center for Jacksonville who is Cam Newton's brother.
Chargers' Cason has surgery on finger
Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason had surgery on his fractured right index finger on Monday, leaving him in "good position to be ready for the season," coach Norv Turner said.
Turner said it's not known yet whether Cason, who fractured the finger in defending a pass Sunday, will be available for the team's initial two preseason games.
"Cason will be fine," Turner said.
A first-round pick in 2008, Cason is coming off his first season as a full-time starter.
On Monday, rookies Marcus Gilchrist and Shareece Wright got some of Cason's snaps.
Turner praised Gilchrist, a second-round draft pick out of Clemson.
"I like everything that Gilchrist has done," he said.
"One thing that's jumped out -- and I think it's a starting point for corners -- is he's shown he's very physical. He's come up and filled the run. He's been very aggressive."
Veteran Dante Hughes, who can start practicing on Thursday, will also get extra work.
Eagles agree with 1st-round pick Watkins
The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with first-round pick Danny Watkins, their projected opening-day starting right guard.
Terms of the deal announced Monday night were not available.
Watkins, the 23rd pick in this year's draft, missed the first five days of training camp at Lehigh University.
Watkins, 26, did not play competitive football until he was a 22-year-old student of firefighting science at Butte Community College in Northern California in 2007. He played the last two years at Baylor.
The Eagles have been trying to solidify the right guard position since former first-round pick and two-time Pro Bowl pick Shawn Andrews began struggling with a serious back injury soon after the 2007 season.
Titans agree to deal with DE Ball, FB Hall
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to terms with defensive end Dave Ball and fullback Ahmard Hall hours after signing defensive end Jacob Ford.
All three played for Tennessee last year. The Titans have been working their way through free agency and have brought back four players who had not been under contract.
Hall has spent the past five seasons with Tennessee and has been Chris Johnson's key blocker the past three years, including in 2009 when Johnson ran for 2,006 yards.
Ball is going into his seventh season and fourth with Tennessee. He had a career-high seven sacks last season.
The Titans also agreed to terms with Ford earlier Monday. He watched part of practice and couldn't wait to start meeting with his coaches.
Dolphins add ex-Cowboys OT Colombo
Veteran offensive tackle Marc Colombo has signed with the Miami Dolphins, who again tapped the Dallas Cowboys pipeline to acquire a player.
Colombo, a starter for Dallas since 2006, was released Thursday by the Cowboys. He became expendable after they signed top draft pick Tyron Smith.
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland worked for the Cowboys before coming to Miami in 2008. They have frequently signed former Cowboys, including quarterback Matt Moore and linebacker Kevin Burnett last week.
Colombo is expected to challenge right tackle Vernon Carey for playing time. A 2002 first-round pick by the Chicago Bears, Colombo has 79 career starts.
Browns sign DE Mitchell to start
The Cleveland Browns have signed free agent defensive end Jayme Mitchell and completed their trade with St. Louis for offensive guard John Greco.
Mitchell was acquired by the Browns in a trade last season from Minnesota, but the 6-foot-6, 285-pounder was not activated for 12 games by coach Eric Mangini.
This year, new coach Pat Shurmur intends to start Mitchell at left end. He was originally signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2006.
Greco, acquired for an undisclosed 2012 draft pick, started four games in three seasons for the Rams. He spent last season with Shurmur, who was St. Louis' offensive coordinator before being hired by the Browns.
Also, first-round draft pick Phil Taylor missed his third practice Monday in a contract holdout.
Vikings rework Berrian's deal; Put McKinnie on injury list
Receiver Bernard Berrian and left tackle Bryant McKinnie both sat out the Minnesota Vikings' first training camp practice of 2011 on Monday, for vastly different reasons.
Berrian had his contract restructured to reduce his salary cap hit, and league rules prevent him from practicing until the new collective bargaining agreement takes effect on Thursday. McKinnie was placed on the non-football injury list with an undisclosed ailment.
Berrian is coming off a disappointing season in which he had just 28 catches for 252 yards and no touchdowns in nine games. Entering the fourth year of a six-year, $42 million contract, the Vikings made reducing his $6.2 million cap number a priority as they work to get under the new $120 million salary cap.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Berrian said he had no problems with the new contract that will allow him to become a free agent one year sooner, in 2012.
"I'm definitely pleased with it," he said after practice.
Broncos adding former first-round DE Harvey, DT Bunkley
The Denver Broncos have agreed to terms on a deal with former Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Derrick Harvey.
The former Florida star's production never matched his potential in Jacksonville, which selected the defensive MVP of the 2006 Bowl Championship Series title game with the eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft.
Harvey tallied a meager eight sacks in three seasons with the Jaguars, where he posted 88 career tackles and started 32 of 47 games, playing both right and left defensive end.
Harvey started 26 straight games for the Jaguars before his benching midway through last season.
He'll be looking to jump-start his career as a backup in Denver, where the Broncos are returning to the 4-3 scheme with Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers as the starters.
Meanwhile, Denver acquired defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley from Philadelphia for a 2013 draft pick, two days after the Eagles agreed to send the former first-round pick to Cleveland.
The move was announced Monday. Bunkley was initially sent to the Browns on Saturday for a fifth-round pick in 2012. He reported to Cleveland but did not meet all the conditions of the trade and was reverted to the Eagles, who managed to find a new suitor in Denver.
All trades are contingent on players passing physicals. Bunkley had an elbow injury last season.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said Bunkley was surprised by the trade.
"I think that he enjoyed it a lot here and I think part of the reason was this all shocked him," Roseman said. "He was a first-round pick. I think he thought he'd be here for his whole career. I think he liked the kind of the energy that's going on here and he wanted to be a part of it."
Bunkley had six sacks in 76 games in Philadelphia. He became expendable when the Eagles signed former Packers defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins.
Chiefs OT Richardson signs tender
Barry Richardson signed his restricted free agent tender with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, while the team added free agent linebacker Brandon Siler to help shore up the defense.
Still missing after Day 4 of practice were outside linebacker Tamba Hali, the Chiefs' top pass rusher from a year ago, and third-round draft pick Justin Houston, who is expected to compete with Andy Studebaker for the other outside spot. There was no word when either would arrive, though the coaching staff seemed unconcerned.
"I feel like we are gaining a little traction here," coach Todd Haley said before an afternoon practice at Missouri Western State University, where temperatures Monday afternoon climbed into the triple digits.
Kansas City had placed a second-round tender on Richardson, who started 16 games in a breakthrough year for the Chiefs last season. He filled in at right tackle after Ryan O'Callaghan hurt his groin in the preseason and also started once at left tackle in place of an injured Branden Albert.
Siler spent the past four seasons with the AFC West-rival San Diego Chargers, where he played 63 games and made 13 starts during the regular season and playoffs. He's expected to compete for a middle linebacker job.
Panthers reach deal with draft pick McClain
The Carolina Panthers have reached agreement with their last remaining draftee, third-round selection Terrell McClain.
The team announced the deal Monday. McClain is a 6-foot-2, 297-pound defensive tackle out of South Florida who was the 65th overall pick in last spring's NFL draft. McClain was an all-Big East first team selection his senior year. He is expected to report to camp immediately.
New Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Sunday that McClain had been missing the chance to learn the team's system by holding out from Carolina's first two days of practice.
The Panthers' top selection, No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, signed a four-year, $22 million contract on Friday.
Bucs re-sign LB Hayward
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed linebacker Adam Hayward to a three-year contract.
The team announced the deal with the unrestricted free agent on Monday.
Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris said Hayward was probably the Bucs' special teams MVP last year.
In four seasons with the Buccaneers, Hayward has 58 kick-coverage tackles, including a team-best 20 in 2010.
To make room for Hayward on the 90-man training camp roster, the Buccaneers released rookie running back Deonte Jackson.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.