Raiders, Eagles, Pats lock up top picks

Updated: July 26, 2005, 9:38 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Oakland Raiders: First-round cornerback Fabian Washington, expected to challenge for a starting spot in a refurbished Raiders secondary, reached agreement in principle Monday on all of the key financial parameters of his rookie contract.

The former University of Nebraska player, drafted by the Raiders as the 23rd overall pick, will sign a five-year contract. The deal is worth $7.8 million total, which represents a 10.7 percent increase over the corresponding slot from last year. The deal includes $5.3 million in guaranteed bonuses.

Washington, 22, brings tremendous speed to an organization that has always valued that commodity highly. He has been consistently timed in the 4.3-second range and, with the trade of former starter Phillip Buchanon to the Texans this spring, will have the opportunity to carve out considerable playing time.

For now, the Raiders list third-year veteran cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha at the top of the depth chart opposite Charles Woodson, but Washington is so highly regarded as a cover man and such a fluid defender, he might force his way into the lineup.

A three-year starter in college, Washington finished his Cornhuskers career with 145 tackles, 11 interceptions, 38 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two recoveries. He had at least three interceptions in each of his three seasons and he returned one pick, in 2002, for a touchdown. The Bradenton, Fla., native twice earned All-Big 12 honors.

-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior writer

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles reached a five-year, $6.6 million agreement Monday evening with first-round draft pick Mike Patterson, a defensive tackle from USC.

The deal will pay Patterson $3.3 million in 2005. His guaranteed money of $3.9 million is $100,000 less than the $4 million received by Mankins, but Patterson made up the difference by having a higher base salary, making made his deal worth $200,000 more than what Mankins received.

Patterson was the 31st player selected in the first round. Mankins was 32nd. Those signings set the market for Steelers first-round choice Heath Miller, the 30th pick in the round.

--- John Clayton, ESPN.com senior writer

More Eagles picks sign: Also Monday, the Eagles signed two late-round draft picks to four-year contracts: sixth-rounder Calvin Armstrong, an offensive lineman from Washington State, and seventh-rounder David Bergeron, a linebacker from Stanford.

New England Patriots: The Patriots became the first team to sign a first-round pick by reaching a five-year, $6.4 million deal with guard Logan Mankins, the 32nd pick in the 2005 draft.

Mankins reached agreement late Sunday night and signed the contract. Including a signing and option bonuses along with a $350,000 roster bonus this year, Mankins received $4 million in upfront guarantees, John Clayton reported.

The key to the agreement was getting the Patriots not to force a six-year contract on him. Last year, the Patriots signed tight end Ben Watson, their first-round choice in 2004, to a six-year contract. His agent at the time, Tom Condon, refused to sign a contract that long for a pick that low in the first round and resigned as Graham's agent.

Watson didn't sign until Aug. 16, after an 18-day holdout. He played in the season opener, was inactive for the second game and was then placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Negotiations heated up Friday when Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer, worked with the team to resolve the length of the contract. For the Patriots, it was important to get Mankins into camp on time because he is expected to be a starter as a rookie.

The 307-pound Mankins played at Fresno State, where he blocked for quarterback David Carr, now with the Houston Texans. Mankins, who started 40 games in four college seasons, did not allowing a sack in his final college season.

The Patriots rookies reported Sunday night. Mankins was in Foxboro and ready to sign the contract once it was completed.

His signing brings all seven of the team's 2005 draft choices under contract as the Super Bowl champions prepare for their first full-squad workout of training camp on Friday.

On Sunday, the Patriots signed undrafted rookie wide receiver Brandon "Bam" Childress and released rookie running back Earl Charles and first-year defensive tackle Demarco McNeil.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ray Oldham, a 10-year NFL cornerback who won a Super Bowl ring with the 1978 Steelers, has died. He was 54.

Oldham died Saturday while training for a bicycle ride. Heritage Funeral Home had no other details on his death.

He went to Middle Tennessee State from 1969 through 1972 and was a runner-up to Jim Youngblood for Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the year in 1972. His league record for longest interception return still stands, a 100-yard return against Chattanooga in 1970.

Oldham was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1973 in the eighth round, and he played with the Colts through 1977. He played only one season in Pittsburgh, when the Steelers won their third Super Bowl title in January 1979. He joined the New York Giants in 1979 and finished his career with three seasons with the Detroit Lions.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns signed two more rookie draft picks to contracts, but have yet to reach a deal with first-round selection Braylon Edwards.

The wide receiver may miss the start of training camp.

The club reached deals with defensive back Brodney Pool and defensive lineman David McMillan. Pool received a five-year deal and McMillan signed for four. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Browns, who open training camp on Friday in Berea, Ohio, have signed six of their eight picks with Edwards and quarterback Charlie Frye, a third-round pick, as the only current holdouts.

Cleveland general manager Phil Savage has talked with Edwards' agent, Lamont Smith, in the past two weeks, but the sides remain apart.

Detroit Lions: The Lions signed cornerback Stanley Wilson and quarterback Dan Orlovsky to three-year deals. Wilson was the Lions' third-round draft choice and the 72nd pick overall. Orlovsky was a fifth-round pick who was chosen 145th overall.

Wilson started in 27 games in the last three years at Stanford. He had 54 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception in his senior season.

Orlovsky threw for 3,354 yards and 23 touchdowns in his final season at Connecticut. He is the only quarterback in school history to have thrown for more than 3,000 yards in a season.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts signed fourth-round draft pick Matt Giordano.

Terms of the deal were not released, though it is believed to be for three years.

The Colts are hoping the safety from California can give them a more physical presence in the secondary. Giordano, a 5-foot-11, 192-pounder, had a reputation as a big hitter in college.

Giordano, the 135th pick overall, is the third draft pick to sign with the Colts, joining kicker Dave Rayner and defensive lineman Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns.

Later Monday, the Colts also agreed to terms with guard Dylan Gandy on a three-year deal that is expected to be finalized on Tuesday. Gandy was chosen in the fourth round out of Texas Tech.

Six other players remain unsigned, including first-rounder Marlin Jackson and second-rounder Kelvin Hayden.

The Colts start training camp Wednesday.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars signed rookie running back Alvin Pearman, leaving the team with two unsigned draft picks.

Pearman, a fourth-round pick, ran for 2,394 yards in four years at Virginia. He added 1,396 yards receiving and scored 27 touchdowns. He also averaged 11.2 yards on 28 punt returns as a senior.

Pearman could see action sooner than expected, with the uncertainly surrounding star running back Fred Taylor.

Taylor had offseason knee surgery to repair damage to two ligaments in his left knee and will be limited when training camp opens Friday.

First-round pick Matt Jones and sixth-rounder Chad Owens remain unsigned. The Jaguars hope to get them under contract before camp begins.

Green Bay Packers: The Packers signed safety Marviel Underwood and linebacker Brady Poppinga, their two fourth-round picks from this year's draft.

Eight of the team's 11 picks are under contract.

At 5-foot-10 and 197 pounds, Underwood was a three-year starter at San Diego State. Underwood had 222 career tackles, including nine tackles for loss with one sack.

Poppinga was a four-year letterman at Brigham Young and earned first-team All-Mountain West honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Poppinga played defensive end for his first three college seasons before he was moved to outside linebacker. He had career totals of 193 tackles, including 20 sacks and 39 tackles for loss.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens signed draft picks Justin Green and Derek Anderson to three-year contracts.

Green, a fifth-round pick out of Montana, rushed for 1,784 yards and 22 touchdowns in two years as the Grizzlies' fullback.

Anderson, the Ravens' sixth-round selection, is the only quarterback in Oregon State history to lead the Beavers to three bowl games.

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers waived second-year running back Joey Harris and defensive tackle Cleveland Pinkney, four days before the start of training camp.

The team also waived injured safety Scott Farley, who ended last year on the practice squad, and signed tackle Ben Johnson from NFL Europe.

Harris ran for 53 yards on 15 carries in four games for Carolina before injuring his hamstring and being placed on injured reserve. He was expected to start a game last year against San Francisco due to a slew of injuries at the position, but injured himself in practice two days before the game.

The Panthers have plenty of depth at running back with the return of Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster from injuries, along with second-round draft pick Eric Shelton of Louisville and last year's supersub Nick Goings.

Washington Redskins: Fifth-round draft pick Robert McCune signed with the Redskins.

The linebacker from Louisville started 27 games with the Cardinals over four years and had six sacks and two interceptions. He attended Louisville after serving three years in the Army National Guard, including three months in South Korea and three months in Kuwait.

The Redskins have three more picks to sign: third-round selection Manuel White and first-rounders Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell. Players report for training camp Sunday.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans agreed to terms with rookie wide receiver Roydell Williams.

Williams, of Tulane, was a fourth-round draft pick.

Terms were not announced.

He became the fifth of the team's 11 draftees this year to agree on a contract.

Information from The Associated Press also was used in this report.

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