|NFL free agency update: Ed Reed’s deal with Texans for 3 years, $15 million||03.22.13 at 1:09 pm ET|
After prolonged negotiations, safety Ed Reed was introduced as a Texan on Friday, signing a three-year, $15 million deal with $5 million guaranteed.
The nine-time Pro Bowl safety reportedly had been hoping for a longer-term contract but eventually agreed on three years with Houston after spending the first 11 years of his career in Baltimore.
Reed is the Ravens’ franchise leader in interceptions, with 61, and his 1,541 return yards off of those pickoffs is an NFL career record. He helped the Ravens beat the Patriots in the AFC championship — a possible reason for the Texans’ interest in him, since they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Patriots.
“I know already what they want to do, and that’s win a championship. I came here to do that,” Reed said at his introductory press conference as a Texan. “Houston already has the attributes. I pray and hope I am the attribute needed to take us to the next level.”
• The Steelers, Ravens and Broncos are the main teams still in play for Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Baltimore and Denver are reported to be the frontrunners.
Those same teams are also looking at Colts defensive end/linebacker Dwight Freeney, and whichever team doesn’t get Dumervil is likely to compete with the Steelers for Freeney.
Denver would like to retain Dumervil, but he and his agent reportedly are hesitant to accept the lower offer the Broncos made him after his attempt to re-sign was derailed by a fax sent too late.
|NFL free agency update: Ed Reed reportedly agrees to deal with Texans; Brian Urlacher parts ways with Bears||03.20.13 at 7:54 pm ET|
A quick free agent roundup as business comes to a close on Wednesday:
• Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reported late Wednesday that veteran safety Ed Reed had agreed on a contract with the Texans. Reed, who will turn 35 in September, has played 11 seasons in the NFL, all of them with the Ravens. The long-time favorite of Patriots coach Bill Belichick figures to be in the final stages of a Hall of Fame career — the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Miami product has 61 picks over the course of his career, and will go down in history as one of the finest in the game at his position.
• The Bears announced Wednesday they were planning to move on without linebacker Brian Urlacher, who has been a fixture in the middle of the Chicago defense since he was drafted out of New Mexico in 2000. The eight-time Pro Bowler, who will turn 35 in May, has 1,229 tackles and 41.5 sacks over the course of his career.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Urlacher was seeking a two-year deal worth $11.5 million, but the team wouldn’t budge from a one-year, $2 million offer the linebacker called a “slap in the face.”
“We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,” general manager Phil Emery said in a statement. “Brian has been an elite player in our league for over a decade. He showed great leadership and helped develop a winning culture over his time with the Bears. We appreciate all he has given our team, on and off the field. Brian will always be welcome as a member of the Bears.”
• And the game of musical pass-rushers continues. Reportedly, Elvis Dumervil was unimpressed with the latest offer from the Broncos, and will reportedly test the free agent market. The pass rusher, who was released last week after a snafu involving a fax machine, has apparently drawn the interest of the Ravens, as well as the Titans and Steelers. However, it’s not sure what teams are on his itinerary at this point. (According to the Denver Post, although Denver head of football operations John Elway wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the new offer, expectations are that it would be a three-year deal for significantly less than the $30 million Dumervil would have been owed under his original contract.)
With that in mind, it was hardly a surprise to hear that both John Abraham and Dwight Freeney are set to visit Denver on free-agent visits. Abraham and Freeney have reportedly drawn the interest of the Patriots, but could be part of a fallback plan that the Broncos have if they are unavailable to come to terms with Dumervil. The 34-year-old Abraham, who recently was cut loose by the Falcons after seven seasons in Atlanta, has spent a total of 13 seasons in the league. The 6-foot-4, 263-pounder has at least 9.5 sacks in each of his last three seasons, and has 122 sacks over the course of his career. As for Freeney, the Connecticut native is an 11-year veteran who was taken in the first round by the Colts out of Syracuse in 2002. Over the course of his impressive career, the 33-year-old Freeney racked up 107.5 sacks, including 13.5 over the last two seasons with Indy.
|NFL free agency update: Broncos make Elvis Dumervil an offer, Ed Reed holding out for long-term deal||at 9:22 am ET|
Despite the situation created Friday, when Elvis Dumervil‘s agent was unable to fax his signed contract to the Broncos before the 2 p.m. deadline, the Broncos still hope to re-sign the defensive end and have made him an offer, according to The Denver Post.
The Broncos cut Dumervil after the fax issue to avoid paying him the full amount that would have been required under his previous contract. The Post reports that although Denver head of football operations John Elway wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the new offer, expectations are that it would be a three-year deal for significantly less than the $30 million Dumervil would have been owed under his original contract.
The Patriots, Titans, Ravens and Steelers all have been reported to be interested in Dumervil. The Post mentions that the Falcons may be pursuing him as well.
• The Dolphins signed defensive tackle Randy Starks, who made the Pro Bowl as an alternate, to a franchise tender that will guarantee him $8.45 million this year. He earned $3.72 million in 2012.
Starks, 29, has 32.5 sacks and four interceptions in 140 career games. He made 4.5 sacks and one interception last year for Miami. The Dolphins also re-signed offensive lineman Nate Garner.
• The Texans have made Ravens safety Ed Reed an offer that is between $4 million and $5 million a year but closer to the former, according to the Houston Chronicle. Reed is continuing to hear offers from other teams, hoping for something between $6 million and $7 million.
Reed, 34, is looking for a long-term deal, to which the Ravens don’t want to commit. The Chronicle reports that the 49ers and Patriots are also looking at Reed.
• The Jaguars have re-signed wide receiver Jordan Shipley, according to Shipley’s Twitter account. The deal is reported by the Florida Times-Union to be worth $1.315 million over two years. The Jaguars also have agreed to terms with center Brad Meester on a one-year deal. This will be Meester’s 14th season with Jacksonville.
|Five remaining free agents who might fit with Patriots||03.18.13 at 12:58 am ET|
With almost a week of free agency in the books, most of the big-ticket players have already been signed. But here are five guys who are still available who could ultimately find their way to Foxboro before the craziness concludes:
Emmanuel Sanders: There’s been no shortage of talk about Sanders over the last few days, but as it stands right now, there’s no offer sheet in place from New England that would start the ball rolling on the receiver joining the Patriots. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t think about how the restricted free agent might fit in the New England offense — in his three-year career, Sanders has 94 receptions for 1,290 yards and five TDs, including 44 receptions for 626 yards and one touchdown in 2012. A third-round pick in 2010 out of SMU, he would cost the Patriots a third-round pick if he did sign with New England because of the tender. Sanders reportedly took to Facebook over the weekend to confirm that he has not signed anything.
John Abraham: The former Falcon reportedly paid a visit to Foxboro at the start of the weekend, but left without a deal in place. As we wrote here, the fact that the Patriots kicked the tires on Abraham conjures up memories of Andre Carter, who was in town for one season and finished with double-digit sacks and helped boost an occasionally sluggish pass rush back in 2011. The 34-year-old Abraham, who recently was cut loose by the Falcons after seven seasons in Atlanta, has spent a total of 13 seasons in the league. The 6-foot-4, 263-pounder has at least 9.5 sacks in each of his last three seasons, and has 122 sacks over the course of his career.
Dwight Freeney: The former Colt is in a similar situation as Abraham — he apparently visited New England, but left without a contract. (That’s not to intimate that the Patriots haven’t offered him something — it’s likely that both Freeney and Abraham are going to check out all their options thoroughly before they sign anywhere.) Freeney — once described by former Patriots left tackle Matt Light as the toughest competitor he ever faced — is an 11-year veteran who was taken in the first round by the Colts out of Syracuse in 2002. Over the course of his impressive career, the 33-year-old racked up 107.5 sacks, including 13.5 over the last two seasons with Indy.
Ed Reed: We made our feelings clear on a partnership between Reed and the Patriots here, but to this point, New England doesn’t appear to be on Reed’s radar screen. The newly-minted Super Bowl champ has spent much of the week flirting with the Texans, but while he spent some quality time in Houston the last several days, he remains without a contract. (Reportedly, the Ravens are preparing what some are calling a final offer to Reed that will be presented to him in the coming days.) Reed, who will turn 35 in September, figures to be in the final stages of a Hall of Fame career — the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Miami product has 61 picks over the course of his career, and will go down in history as one of the finest in the game at his position.
Antoine Winfield: The 35-year-old corner was cut loose by the Vikings earlier this month, and while there’s already been a lot of talk in the Twin Cities about his potential return, the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder reportedly has several visits lined up. It’s not known if New England is on his itinerary, but you have to wonder if the Patriots’ decision to re-sign Kyle Arrington as their slot corner took them out of play when it comes to Winfield. Winfield, who has played for both the Vikings and Bills, had a great season last year with Minnesota, finishing with 101 tackles (72 solo), 12 passes defensed and three picks.
|NFL free agency update: WR Greg Jennings reportedly will visit Vikings||03.14.13 at 9:41 am ET|
With Wes Welker and Danny Amendola under agreement, the NFL free agent wide receiver focus is on Packers free agent Greg Jennings. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jennings has a visit scheduled with the AFC North rival Vikings on Thursday. The Vikings have a hole after sending Percy Harvin to Seattle.
Jennings, 29, has spent all seven of his NFL seasons in Green Bay. He has 425 career receptions for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. Last season he was limited to eight games due to injuries, and he had 36 catches for 366 yards and four touchdowns.
• Ravens free agent safety Ed Reed has a visit with the Texans on Thursday, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The Ravens are believed to be interesting in re-signing Reed, especially after releasing safety Bernard Pollard.
• Defensive back LaRon Landry signed a reported four-year, $24 million deal with the Colts. Landry, 28, spent last season with the Jets, making the Pro Bowl after recording 100 tackles (76 solo), two interceptions and four forced fumbles in 16 games. He previously played five seasons for the Redskins, who drafted him sixth overall in 2007 out of LSU.
• The Lions lost a couple of defensive stalwarts, as tackle Sammie Hill agreed to a reported three-year, $11.4 million deal with the Titans and end Cliff Avril accepted a reported two-year, $15 million contract from the Seahawks.
|NFL free agency update: Ed Reed a possibility for 49ers||03.12.13 at 10:58 am ET|
Safety Ed Reed might join former Ravens teammate Anquan Boldin with the 49ers, according to ProFootballTalk.com (crediting a league source). Reed just hired David Dunn of Athletes First to be his new agent, and Dunn also represents 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.
The 49ers could lose safety Dashon Goldson, leaving them a hole that Reed could fill.
Meanwhile, Boldin, speaking from Africa where he’s on a charity mission, told ESPN that he was surprised to be traded to the 49ers, reportedly for a sixth-round draft pick.
“It was an initial shock because I had no clue that I was going to be traded,” Boldin said, adding: “It is also a good thing. … When I look at the organization and what they’re about … and as a football team, the talent that they have … I think it’s good, a good place for me to be.”
|Ed Reed: Bill Belichick a ‘good’ coach, but I plan on being a Raven||03.04.13 at 12:37 pm ET|
On “NFL AM” Monday morning on the NFL Network, Ravens cornerback Ed Reed — who is set to hit free agency later this month — was asked if the Patriots would have won a Super Bowl with Reed on their roster.
“They’d win two [Super Bowls]. At the Super Bowl, I was asked if I would play for Coach Belichick and my answer was: ‘What player wouldn’t play for Coach Belichick?’ He is a good football coach, has a great mind for football. I met Coach Belichick at a Pro Bowl. He is a great guy, great competitor and seems to understand his players. I was just asked the question at the time [but] I am a Raven, plan on being a Raven. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else, but if it happens, I am a football player, I can adapt to any situation.”
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