NFL free-agency roundup: March 1


New York JetsThe New York Jets and fullback Tony Richardson have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, with $500,000 guaranteed.

New coach Rex Ryan said he wanted the Jets to have an all-weather offense, and bringing back the bulldozing 14-year veteran will certainly help. Richardson, 37, paved the way for Thomas Jones to lead the AFC in rushing last season.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection helped Priest Holmes to three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in Kansas City from 2001-03, and Larry Johnson in 2005. He did it again the following season in Minnesota with Chester Taylor, and was instrumental in Adrian Peterson becoming a star with 1,341 yards as a rookie in 2007.

Richardson is also in his second two-year term as a member of the NFL Players Association's executive committee, the group in charge of finding a replacement for the late Gene Upshaw as the union's executive director.


Denver BroncosPlanning to fill the hole in the secondary created by the release of cornerback Dre' Bly, the Broncos reached an agreement in principle Sunday evening with Dolphins cornerback Andre' Goodman.

The 30-year-old Goodman will play on the other side of longtime Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. According to a source, Goodman agreed to a five-year deal worth $25 million, including easily obtainable escalators based on playing time. Included in the deal is a little more than $10 million in guarantees.

"Andre's very happy about the whole situation," his agent, Jason Chayut, told The Associated Press. "Look at that secondary, it's tremendous. He's really excited."

Goodman becomes the second Dolphin to leave Miami for the Broncos. Two days ago, safety Renaldo Hill signed with the Broncos. The Dolphins re-signed tackle Vernon Carey, linebacker Channing Crowder and safety Yeremiah Bell.

The Goodman agreement leaves the Dolphins with only three remaining unrestricted free agents: wide receiver Tab Perry, center Al Johnson and linebacker Derek Smith. Goodman was a third-round pick of the Lions in 2002. he went to the Dolphins in free agency in 2005. He started 44 games for Miami over the past three years.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com


Cincinnati Bengals Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh found out Sunday night that free agency isn't as easy as he thought. A source said that he couldn't make a decision Sunday whether to stay with the Bengals or go to Seattle or Minnesota.

After spending Sunday afternoon at the Minnesota Vikings facility, Houshmandzadeh checked into a Minneapolis hotel, ordered some room service and decided to sleep on his option. He told his agent, Kennard McGuire, that he should have a decision on Monday, according to a source.

Making the decision tougher are the constant calls from his friend and quarterback, Carson Palmer. Palmer is trying to convince him to stay in Cincinnati, and so far, Houshmandzadeh is listening to the recruiting pitch. He had a good visit in Seattle. The Vikings gave him a strong pitch to go with them.

A decision may come on Monday.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com


Miami DolphinsA Miami Dolphins team source said the club has no interest in signing wide receiver Laveranues Coles and reuniting him with quarterback Chad Pennington.

The New York Jets restructured Coles' contract Wednesday, allowing the veteran wide receiver to become an unrestricted free agent. But, according to the source, Coles' agent contacted the Dolphins after his release from the Jets and was told Miami would have no interest in bringing him aboard.

-- Chris Mortensen, ESPN senior NFL analyst


New England PatriotsSafety James Sanders agreed to a three-year contract to return to the Patriots, the Boston Globe reported.

"It gives him a chance to grow and become a playmaker," agent Steve Feldman said, according to the newspaper. "He stays in the same system with a championship team. They know him. He knows them. It was the right fit."

The Globe reported that Sanders turned down more lucrative offers elsewhere to return to the Patriots, where he is expected to start alongside fellow safety Brandon Meriweather in 2009.


Seattle SeahawksThe Seahawks added much-needed bulk to their defensive line by reaching a five-year deal with Packers defensive tackle Colin Cole.

Cole agreed to a five-year, $21.4 million contract with the Seahawks that included $6 million in guarantees, according to a source.

Cole, 28, is a 330-pound potential run-stopper whom the Seahawks selected in free agency over Cowboys defensive lineman Chris Canty, who is visiting the Giants on Sunday and had been planning a visit to Seattle on Monday.

An undrafted free agent out of Iowa, Cole has spent the past five years with the Packers, mostly as a backup. He had a combined total of seven starts in 2005 and 2006. Even though he didn't start a game last year, he had one of his better seasons, registering 30 tackles.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com


Houston Texans Texans coach Gary Kubiak didn't waste time in finding his replacement for traded backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels.

On Sunday, the Texans reached a three-year agreement with Lions backup Dan Orlovsky. According to a source, Orlovsky agreed to a three-year deal worth $8.5 million. Kubiak selected Orlovsky over Broncos backup Patrick Ramsey.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Orlovsky was a fifth-round choice of the Lions in 2005. He started seven games last season, completing 56.1 percent of his passes for 1,616 yards and eight touchdowns.

Orlovsky became the second Lions quarterback to leave the team in the past two days. Jon Kitna, the Lions' starter at the beginning of last season, was traded to the Dallas Cowboys for cornerback Anthony Henry.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com


Oakland RaidersSpecial teams standout Isaiah Ekejiuba is returning to the Oakland Raiders on a three-year deal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

According to the newspaper, it is expected that Ekejiuba will receive a signing bonus similar to the $1.3 million that Darrell Reid received from the Denver Broncos.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.