And Just After the Clock Struck Midnight…


Here it is!  Free Agency has started.  Let’s hit this thing as it happens.  I’m gonna spend

the first two hours of the signing period updating this entry.  Hopefully, I don’t get too punchy in the wee hours and start typing garbage.  Let’s begin!

Actually things started five minutes before the start of free agency…

11:55pm – The New England Patriots signed wide receiver Kelley Washington.  Maybe not the deal they wanted with a wide receiver (Randy Moss) but it’s what they got.  (Boston Globe)

And the first free agent to sign is….12:43 am – Guard Justin Smiley!  He’s on his way from the 49ers to the Dolphins.  A report from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat says the deal is for 5 years and could pay $25 million with a $9 million signing bonus.  Sounds like a lot to pay for a guard but the Dolphins were first to pony up and somebody had to, right?

And the first Panthers news after the opening bell…12:53 am –’s Adam Caplan reports the Panthers have set up a visit with free agent DL Tyler Brayton.  Brayton, like current Panther Damione Lewis, can play tackle and end, though he’s fallen far short of expectations since being a 2003 first-round pick.

12:01 am – Speaking of Randy Moss (or as we refer to him Dr. Dredlocks), there was no deal in place with the Patriots to prevent him from hitting the open market.  This one could get interesting.

12:03 am – ESPN is reporting that the Saints have contacted the Giants about obtaining Jeremey Shockey.  This one is not likely to happen.

The Chiefs could be meeting with free agent center Jeff Faine and kicker Josh Brown as early as today.  (Kansas City Star)

Sorry, old story – Tedy Bruschi agreed to remain in the game and in Foxboro according to Yahoo! Sports.

12:13 am – The St. Petersburg Times reported just after midnight that they have “it on good authority” that Asante Samuel will sign with the Eagles.

12:23 am – ESPN’s Ed Werder reports LT Flozell Adams’ six-year contract with Dallas is worth over $42 million, including $15 million guaranteed.  {It came from ESPN and Ed Werder, imagine that!  And it was a Cowboys story!  Wow!!!  I’m freaking shocked!}

12:27 am – The Jets appear prepared to make Alan Faneca, a free agent guard from Pittsburgh, a deal worth around $8 million per season.  (New York Daily News)

12:42 am – Bernard Berrian is setting up a visit to Minnesota to visit with the Vikings, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

12:51 am – The Titans are saying they want to “take a look” at Javon Kearse, the defensive end who was released by the Eagles just hours ago.  (Tennessean)

What’s the score at the end of the first hour of free agency?

"Players signed – 2  (One is a rumor)Players Traded – 0Not too exciting, huh?"

1:04 am – The Vikings seem to be busy setting up meetings as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the team is scheduled to meet with Bengals defensive end Justin Smith.

1:09 am – Fox Sports reports that Cleveland has acquired Corey Williams from the Packers.  The deal sent a second round pick to Green Bay.  The Browns are expected to sign Williams to a lucrative contract.

1:12 am – The Buccaneers have signed center Jeff Faine previously of the Saints.  (St. Petersburg Times)

1:14 am  – Newsday reports that Giants safety Gibril Wilson is expected to sign on with the Raiders.  The deal is reported to be worth between $6 and $6.5 million per season.

1:15 am – The same report tells us that the Jets are expected to announce a trade with the Saints on Friday that would send linebacker Jonathan Vilma to New Orleans for a conditional draft pick.  So much for the deal with the Panthers.

1:19 am – Raiders wide receiver, Jerry Porter is set to meet with the Jaguars on Friday and may have already reached an agreement.  (Fox Sports)

1:22 am – Falcons free agent linebacker Demorrio Williams has set up meetings with the Bucs, Chiefs and Bears.

1:29 am – A league source passed along some info to Pro Football Talk that the Raiders have signed former 49ers tackle Kwame Harris.

1:37 am – Cowboys free agent cornerback Jacques Reeves has set up meetings with the Texans, Rams, Chiefs and Saints.  (Dallas Morning News)

1:40 am – The Saints have retained both defensive tackle Brian Young (3 years $12 million) and linebacker Mark Simoneau (no contract details reported).

1:51 am – Do we end with laughter?  Pro Football Talk tells us that league members are laughing at the deal the Raiders made with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.  He has 13 career sacks.  Go figure.

2:00 am – Maybe we don’t end with laughter but snoring!

Finally, let’s check the score at the end of the second hour of free agency:

"Players signed – 4 (One is a rumor, remember?)Players Traded – 2Players Retained – 2Not terribly exciting but getting better!"

And more will be coming later today, of course…provided I can get out of bed!