Walls expected to start opposite Bailey

Updated: April 15, 2005, 8:57 PM ET
Associated Press

Denver Broncos: Restricted free-agent cornerback Lenny Walls was re-signed on Friday, a move the team needed to make after losing Kelly Herndon in free agency.

Walls dislocated his shoulder three times last season, missing nine games. Still, the Broncos put a "first-round tender" on him at the start of free agency, meaning any team that signed him would have to part with a first-round draft pick.

Details of Walls' new contract were not disclosed.

Herndon, who started most of last season in place of Walls, was also a restricted free agent, but the Broncos chose not to use the first-round tender on him; when the Seahawks made Herndon an offer, the Broncos didn't match it.

Walls is expected to start opposite Champ Bailey. He missed all of last year's training camp with an ankle injury. Then came the dislocated shoulders. After the third one, Walls had surgery.

In February, he told the Broncos that doctors had told him there was less than a 10 percent chance of the shoulder popping out again.

"I talked to a few guys that had dislocated shoulders and then had surgery, and they said sometimes the shoulder ends up getting stronger than it was before," he said.

Going into his fourth year, Walls has played 36 games -- all with Denver -- and started 17. He has one career interception.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Free safety Chris Hope agreed to a one-year contract.

The Steelers had the right to match any offer to Hope, and the team signing him would have been required to give the Steelers a third-round draft pick. He signed a $656,000 deal.

Hope became a starter last season after two seasons as a backup, finishing second on the team with 97 tackles. He also made his first career interception.

Green Bay Packers: Free-agent safeties Arturo Freeman and Earl Little signed with the Pack.

Freeman, 28, has spent his five NFL seasons with the Dolphins. He played in all 16 games last season and started eight, including the last seven of the season. He had 38 tackles and four interceptions.

Freeman, a fifth-round draft pick of Miami in 2000, played there under new Packers defensive coordinator Jim Bates. Bates held that post with the Dolphins for 4½ years before taking over as coach for the last seven games of last season following the firing of Dave Wannstedt.

Little, 32, is in his eighth year in the NFL, having played six of his seven seasons with the Browns after being signed by New Orleans in 1997 as a non-drafted rookie free agent. He started 11 games and played in all 16 for Cleveland last season, making 81 tackles and one interception.

Washington Redskins: Safety Andre Lott re-signed with the team.

Lott started the first two games last season before yielding the job to rookie Sean Taylor. Lott played in two more games before tearing a pectoral muscle in a loss to Green Bay, ending his season.

Lott was a fifth-round draft pick by the Redskins in 2002.

His signing leaves quarterback Tim Hasselbeck as the team's last remaining unsigned restricted free agent.

Detroit Lions: The club re-signed cornerback Andre' Goodman to a one-year contract.

Detroit drafted Goodman in the third round three years ago. He started the last four games of the 2004 season and finished the year with 23 tackles, one interception, three passes defended and a forced fumble.

Goodman was a starting cornerback at the start of the 2003 season, but he had a season-ending shoulder injury in the third game. He has made two interceptions in his career and 85 tackles.

Houston Texans: Backup offensive lineman Milford Brown re-signed with the team.

Brown, a four-year veteran, has played in six games for the Texans since being selected in the 2002 supplemental draft out of Florida State.

He has started in four games, including the final two of last season.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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