There wasn’t a ton of movement on the free agent front yesterday, but the action should start to pick up with the Patriots [team stats] today as the secondary tier of players start to make their case.
The Pats are set to bring in free agent Josh Reed for a visit today. It’s no secret the Pats are in need of wide receiver help, and the 29-year-old, who has spent his entire career with the Buffalo Bills, would upgrade the depth at the position.
While the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Reed did not enjoy his most productive year last season (27 catches, 291 yards), it’s important to remember the woeful offense he played in, as well as the quarterback troubles the Bills endured.
Reed is not on par with Anquan Boldin, who the Pats attempted to acquire from Arizona on Friday only to lose out to Baltimore, but coach Bill Belichick always has liked him.
Before the Pats’ second meeting with the Bills last season, Belichick heaped a ton of praise on Reed, who has had some very good games against the Pats during his eight seasons.
“He’s very hard to tackle,” Belichick said Dec. 18. “Do you remember the slip screen he caught against us a couple years ago up there (in Buffalo)? He broke about seven tackles on the touchdown run. (He is) tough with the ball in his hands.”
Reed made four catches for 63 yards in that late-season loss to the Pats. The former second-round pick played for Nick Saban - a good friend of Belichick’s - at LSU. Reed, who turns 30 in May, has had a pair of 50-plus catch seasons.
cw-3Meanwhile, free agent cornerback Leigh Bodden flew to Houston last night and had dinner with coach Gary Kubiak and members of the Texans coaching staff. Bodden is expected to meet formally with the Texans at Reliant Stadium today.
Dunta Robinson, considered an elite corner in the free agent market, secured a six-year, $57 million deal from the Falcons. If Bodden is looking for something in excess of $5 million a season, the Texans might not be willing to engage, although the fact he hopped on a plane says a lot.
Bodden last night sounded like a man prepared to move on.
cw-3“I think it’s great having a team like the Houston Texans [team stats] being interested in me,” Bodden said in an interview with TV station Fox 26 Sports at Houston’s Hobby Airport. “I’m just going to go here, meet the coaches, and hopefully everything goes good.”cw-2
Josh Reed’s in town, Leigh Bodden’s not
Bodden indicated the Texans are the first team he’s visited and he has some others scheduled.
“I do, but hopefully I don’t need it,” Bodden said.
Bodden said the process was somewhat nerve-wracking, but also a part of the business.
“Hopefully, I can get things done with the Texans and just move on.”
It sure sounds like he’s moved on, but he hasn’t totally slammed the door on the Pats.
“I had a good year there, but it’s all about who wants me,” Bodden said. “If (the Patriots [team stats]) want me, they can get me. If Houston wants me, they can get me. I’m just here to see what these guys have to offer and just meet the coaches.”
Defensive lineman Jarvis Green is getting ready to test the market this week, although it appeared the Pats still are in the picture.
Then there’s veteran running back Kevin Faulk [stats]. Many assumed this would be a done deal by now, but it’s dragged along.
Free agent Jason Ferguson, a veteran nose tackle most recently with the Miami Dolphins [team stats], has been suspended for the first eight games of next season for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. . . .
The Jacksonville Jaguars [team stats] signed free agent Aaron Kampman as a step toward solving their pass-rushing problems. No terms were announced.
The Cleveland Browns signed linebacker Scott Fujita and offensive lineman Tony Pashos to multiyear contracts as unrestricted free agents.