Free Agent Whispers
By: Les Barnhart
Category: Washington Redskins News
- The Chicago Bears are looking at having bookend tackles to protect their young signal caller, Rex Grossman, as they added former Chief OT John Tait. The Bears added Tait when the Chiefs elected not to match the Bears offer to the veteran tackle. The Bears are also pursuing ex-Bronco LT Ephraim Salaam. The team’s primary competition for his services, Baltimore, is out of the bidding after re-signing ORT Orlando Brown Thursday. Salaam is seeking “starter’s money", no contract demands have been released.
- Meanwhile, the Chiefs moved to fill the ORT vacancy created by the loss of Tait, as they signed New York Giants UFA Chris Bober to a five-year contract Saturday.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasted no time in replacing P Tom Tupa, who signed with the Washington Redskins, as they signed Green Bay Packers UFA P Josh Bidwell.
- The Lions are among three teams interested in RB Amos Zereoue, who was released by the Steelers Thursday. The plans for Zereoue in Detroit would be a part of a backfield by committee. Detroit failed in an attempt to lure RB Charlie Garner, who opted to sign with Tampa Bay, and RB Duce Staley rejected the team’s offer to sign with Pittsburgh.
- Talk about keeping a tight lip. The St. Louis Rams were interested in Drew Henson right up until the end and yet were able to fly under the radar the entire time. Just this past week, the Rams received a contract proposal from Henson's agent, Tom Condon. Now that Henson is all but in Dallas it is a mute point but considering the quarterback situation in St. Louis, it would have been interesting to see what the Rams would have done.
- The Browns are considering trading WR Dennis Northcutt, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. The paper also reports that contrary to other reports, head coach Butch Davis wouldn’t have many qualms trading QB Tim Couch. … The Browns brought three free-agent guards in for visits Thursday: San Diego’s Kelvin Garmon, Tampa Bay’s Cosey Coleman and Atlanta’s Travis Claridge. Seahawks S Reggie Tongue also visited.
- Buccaneers officials reportedly have contacted Cowboys WR Joey Galloway’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, to try again to negotiate a new contract for Galloway, who has been mentioned in trade rumors for Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson. Galloway appeared on ESPN Radio and stated that he was in the process of selling his house in Dallas as he expects to be playing elsewhere next season. The Cowboys already have a new contract agreement with Johnson in place, and Steinberg told the Washington Post that he should know soon whether the trade will happen.
- The Panthers suddenly find themselves with a good deal of salary-cap room after the Rams decided to match Carolina’s offer for TE Brandon Manumaleuna. The move frees up $1.2 million that the Panthers had reserved for Manumaleuna, and the Panthers may use that money to try and lure Eagles CB Troy Vincent to come to Carolina. … The Panthers also choose to release OT Todd Steussie frees up another $1.1 million and in turn opens the way for second-year standout OT Jordan Gross to move into the starting job on the left side.
- San Diego and Miami are reportedly a little closer to a deal involving Chargers' WR David Boston, but there are a number of hurdles still to be cleared if Boston is to ultimately end up with the Dolphins. Boston reportedly received a contract offer from the Dolphins and is expected to submit a counterproposal soon. Boston is also tentatively scheduled to be in Miami on Tuesday to meet face-to-face with Dolphins coaches and front office people. Boston, who is looking to be teamed up once again with Miami receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, his position coach during his days in Arizona, has agreed to participate in the Dolphins off-season workout program. There is a hurdle to clear before the Boston deal can be consummated. The Chargers and Boston are trying to settle whether the Chargers will hold some of guaranteed money due Boston because of the one game suspension last season. If that happens, the subsequent appeals and delays could cause the move to Miami to fall through.
- The Denver Broncos have signed veteran free-agent WR Willie Jackson. He is being brought in to replace the retired WR Ed McCaffrey.
- The Vikings re-signed S-RS Tyrone Carter Thursday. Carter is a Mike Tice favorite who figures to make an impact only on special teams. … The team made an offer to P Darren Bennett and will talk to Cowboys P Toby Gowin this weekend.
- The Browns are trying to trade Couch before they have to waive him because of his $9.3 million cap figure that includes a base salary of $7.6 million. Why would a team trade for Couch when they can sign him as a free agent? Because a trade is the only way a team can be guaranteed of getting him. Teams that might be willing to do that include SF, SD, Oak, Ari, Buf, St. Louis, TB and the Giants. No matter were he winds up, he will undoubtedly have to restructure his hefty contract to a more cap-friendly number.
- The Jets are considered to be the frontrunners to obtain former Bucs safety John Lynch, are deep into negotiations with Lynch's agent. "Things are moving along well," Lynch said in a phone interview yesterday from his home in San Diego. "It's not done yet, by any means, but things are moving along well." Lynch jokingly denies the inference that his possible signing with the Jets has anything to do with his being godfather to Jets head coach, Herm Edwards' child.
- When Kansas City opted not to match the offer sheet transition OT John Tait signed with Chicago last week, they freed up over $6M in cap space of their own and may use the money to pursue Philadelphia unrestricted free agent CB Troy Vincent.
- Word out of Oakland on Friday confirmed the Raiders are offering a 3rd round draft pick in exchange for Dillon, a 7 year veteran TB. The Bengals are looking for a 2nd round pick. The Raiders, however, are content to stand pat, thinking the longer the Bengals hold onto Dillon; the more likely they are to drop their demands. Raiders officials apparently are convinced that no other team is as interested as they are in Dillon or are prepared to offer such a high pick in trade for him. Denver, another team like the Raiders, in need of an every- down RB since Clinton Portis was sent to Washington, is a second possible trading partner. They, as a result of the Portis trade, have a second round pick at their disposal and could parlay the deal with Washington into a shutdown CB (Bailey) and a quality running back in Dillon.
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