Free Agency Wire -- 3/1/08

The second day of free agency was just as busy as the first. Here's the wrap-up, in a compilation of Scout.com exclusives and wire reports.

-- Perhaps the biggest and most surprising move of the day occurred when the Chicago Bears re-signed linebacker Lance Briggs. This after some very bad feelings about the franchise tag, Briggs almost being traded to the Redskins at one point in time, and a promise that he’d “never play another down for the Bears” (he subsequently changed his tune on that one). It's a six-year deal that promises about $12 million in guaranteed money, according to FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer, who broke the story..

-- BearReport.com reports that receiver Bernard Berrian has signed with the division rival Minnesota Vikings.

Subtracting leading receiver Bernard Berrian from a pedestrian passing game would have been bad enough for the Chicago Bears, but losing him to a division rival over money is even worse.

Initially rejecting a five-year, $25 million contract from the Bears just before the free agency period began, Berrian signed a six-year deal Saturday with NFC North rival Minnesota. After breaking out in 2006 with 51 receptions for 775 yards and six touchdowns, Berrian led Chicago with 71 catches for 951 yards while scoring five TDs this past season. Originally a third-round selection out of Fresno State, the former Bulldog has reeled in 150 balls for 2,197 yards and 15 scores in four years.

-- The Orange & Brown Report brings the news that former New England receiver Donte Stallworth has signed with the Cleveland Browns.

Lane Adkins told OBR subscribers this morning that, barring things heading south, that WR Donte Stallworth was going to sign a contract with the Cleveland Browns. Things didn't head south, and now Stallworth will add depth to the Browns wide receiver corps.

FoxSports.com is reporting that Stallworth has signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns that includes $10 million in guaranteed money.

The addition of Stallworth adds an additional threat to the Browns group of receivers, which has been badly needed as 2007 demonstrated that neither Tim Carter or Travis Wilson appeared to be developing into the third receiver option that the Browns needed. WR/KR Josh Cribbs continued to display potential, but the team appeared to be concerned about conserving to focus on special teams.

-- JagNation.com tells us that defensive tackle Marcus Stroud has been traded to the Buffalo Bills for draft picks.

The Jaguars have granted troubled defensive tackle Marcus Stroud his wish, as he was dealt to the Buffalo Bills for their third and fifth-round picks in this April’s draft.

Stroud is a former three-time Pro Bowler for the Jaguars that has been injured for most of the last two seasons with various knee and ankle injuries that caused him to undergo microfracture surgery. Along with the injuries, Stroud was suspended for four games last season for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

-- S Gibril Wilson agreed to a six-year, $36 millon deal with the Raiders. While Wilson has experience at both safety spots, he will play on the strong side for the Raiders, who desperately needed to improve their tackling in the secondary. Wilson's presence will allow Michael Huff to slide to the free side.

-- PK Josh Brown signed a five-year, $14 million contract with St. Louis that includes a $4 million signing bonus. He was offered similar money to stay in Seattle, but said the deal was longer and had more backloaded money. "I never felt like we were really, really close," Brown said of the Seahawks. "I felt like we just kept dancing around things, we just kept going back and forth, and nothing was ever being finalized and certain things that I perceived to be important were not being paid attention to."

-- S John Lynch will return for another season in Denver after agreeing to a pay cut. He was due to make $3.12 million next season, a figure that would have led to his release.
"I could probably go make more money elsewhere in the free agent market," Lynch told Denver-area media outlets. "And I had really gone to bed excited about that.
"And then I woke up thinking, 'What am I doing?' I've got four kids who are happy here. I've found a home here and I didn't want to be one of those guys going from team to team. I felt I had earned what I had coming to me but sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture. And the big picture to me was: I had to find a way to make this work."

-- CB Drayton Florence signed with the Jaguars. The free agent from San Diego will compete for the starting job with Brian Williams opposite Rashean Mathis. "We're really pleased to be able to add Drayton," coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a move that will significantly strengthen our secondary. Drayton is entering the prime of his career and he's a real good fit for us and our defense."

-- DE Chris Clemons signed a five-year deal with the Eagles. The 26-year-old had a career-high 8.0 sacks last season. Clemons (6-3, 240) was one of just four players in the NFL to record at least eight sacks while starting in fewer than 10 of his team's contests in 2007. The others were Giants DE Justin Tuck (2 starts, 10 sacks), Packers DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (2 starts, 9.5 sacks) and Buccaneers DE Greg White (2 starts, 8 sacks).

-- QB Mark Brunell had his contract voided by the Redskins, saving the team $3.4 million under the salary cap. The 37-year-old still might return to the team at a lower prce.

-- LB Charlie Anderson signed with the Dolphins. Terms were unknown.

-- FB Oliver Hoyte was assigned to Kansas City on waivers from Dallas.

-- RB Taurean Henderson (failed physical) was waived by Atlanta.

-- S Nate Salley, an exclusive rights free agent, re-signed with Carolina.

-- DE James Hall had his contract terminated by the Rams.

-- LB Antoine Cash (not tendered as RFA by Buccaneers 2/28) was added to Tampa Bay's roster.

-- G/T Chris Bober had his contract terminated by the Chiefs.

-- QB Cullen Finnerty (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Baltimore.

-- DE Simon Fraser (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Cleveland.

-- WR Jerome Mathis (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Houston.

-- WR Craphonso Thorpe (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by the Colts.

-- CB Chris Roberson (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Jacksonville.

-- FB Boomer Grigsby (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Kansas City.

-- RB Samkon Gado (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Miami.

-- OT Cory Lekkerkerker (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Miami.

-- DE Chase Page (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Miami.

-- DT Rashad Moore (RFA) was not tendered a contract by New England.

-- LB Andre Frazier (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Pittsburgh.

-- RB Tyronne Gross (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by San Diego.

-- PK Dave Rayner (RFA) was not tendered a contract by San Diego.

-- CB Michael Waddell (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Tennessee.

-- LB Darryl Blackstock (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Arizona.

-- LB Brandon Johnson (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Arizona.

-- TE Tim Euhus (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Arizona.

-- WR Ahmad Merritt (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Arizona.

-- WR Jerheme Urban (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Arizona.

-- DE Bo Schobel (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Arizona.

-- DT Gary Gibson (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Carolina.

-- DB LaMarcus Hicks (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Detroit.

-- WR Carlyle Holiday (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Green Bay.

-- LB Matt McCoy (RFA) was not tendered a contract by New Orleans.

-- DE Adrian Awasom (RFA) was not tendered a contract by the Giants.

-- RB Rich Alexis (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by St. Louis.

-- S Jerome Carter (RFA) was not tendered a contract by St. Louis.

-- DE Trevor Johnson (RFA) was not tendered a contract by St. Louis.

-- RB Alvin Pearman (RFA) was not tendered a contract by Seattle.

-- CB B.J. Tucker (RFA) was not tendered a contract by San Francisco.

-- RB Nehemiah Broughton (ERFA) was not tendered a contract by Washington.

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