Saints' Brown has a job -- and now a contract

Updated: July 30, 2005, 12:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

New Orleans Saints: First-round pick Jammal Brown, already penciled in as a starter at offensive tackle, has reached agreement on his first NFL contract.

The 24-year-old former Oklahoma Sooner, chosen with the 13th overall selection in this year's draft, will sign a five-year contract with a base value of $11 million. The deal includes about $8.5 million in guarantees. Brown was one of only three offensive linemen chosen in the first round and one of just two tackles.

Winner of the prestigious Outland Trophy for 2004, Brown is a massive (6 feet 6, 313 pounds) strongside blocker, a player who combines surprisingly good athleticism with great force coming off the ball. Noted more for his run-blocking skills, Brown has continued to improve as a pass protector.

The Saints will feature a totally revamped right side of the line, with former Eagles standout Jermane Mayberry, signed as an unrestricted free agent this spring, the new guard on that side. New Orleans originally added Mayberry to play tackle but, after selecting Brown in the first round, moved the veteran inside.

Saints coach Jim Haslett this spring compared Brown to perennial Pro Bowl tackle Willie Roaf, who also began his career on the strongside before moving to left tackle. It is not known if Brown will ever play the left side, but he should emerge in time as a Pro Bowl caliber player on the right side.

New Orleans plans to return to a power running game this season, and the combination of Brown and Mayberry on the right side should certainly help running back Deuce McAllister, who signed a lucrative new contract Thursday, have a big season.
-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com senior NFL writer

Carolina Panthers: First-round safety Thomas Davis, the 14th overall player chosen in 2005 and a versatile defender who is expected to make an immediate impact, agreed to a contract.

The former University of Georgia star will sign a five-year contract worth $10.6 million, and the deal includes $7.97 million in guaranteed money. Davis will report on time to camp on Friday evening and be set to practice Saturday morning when the Panthers take the field for the first time.

Davis split his time in college between linebacker, and safety but the Panthers will use him at the latter position. League scouts were split before the draft about what position best suited Davis, an explosive athlete and big hitter.

In 39 games at Georgia, including 29 starts, Davis had 272 tackles, including 17 tackles for losses, three interceptions, nine passes defensed and six forced fumbles. Davis will certainly play in nickel situations as a rookie and probably will challenge for a starting job at some point.

-- Len Pasquarelli

Jacksonville Jaguars: Strong safety Donovin Darius, designated a franchise player each of the last three years by the Jaguars, has finally gotten the long-term contract he has been seeking -- a three-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2008.

Earlier in the offseason, Darius, unhappy at having the franchise marker for another year, had asked to be traded. The Jags had discussions with Miami and Minnesota and almost dealt Darius to the Vikings, but eventually kept him when talks broke down. Darius then signed the one-year franchise qualifying offer of $4.97 million.

The contract is worth $15.5 million, which makes Darius the third-highest paid safety in the league. It includes $6 million in guarantees.

A starter his entire career, the 1998 first-round draft pick is coming off a season that might have been the best of his seven-year NFL tenure: He developed his coverage skills and posted a career-best five interceptions, and also had a career-high 89 tackles.
-- Len Pasquarelli

New England Patriots: The Patriots have signed lineman Jarvis Green and standout linebacker Mike Vrabel to contract extensions.

Green, one of the Patriots' collection of outstanding young linemen, got a four-year extension through 2009. Earlier in the spring, he had signed the one-year restricted free agent qualifying offer of $1.43 million. The five-year contract that results from the extension can be worth as much as $18 million.

It will pay Green, who has never played more than 40 percent of the Patriots' snaps but is an important part of the defense, about $6.5 million over its first two years. The signing bonus is believed to be $3 million to $3.5 million.

Details of Vrabel's extension were not available. He was technically under contract through 2007 but the 2006-07 seasons were so-called dummy years, each with a base salary of $5 million, and the deal needed to be reworked after the coming season concluded.
-- Len Pasquarelli

Detroit Lions: The Lions have signed second-round draft pick Shaun Cody to a four-year contract.

Cody, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle from Southern California, was drafted as the 37th overall pick of the 2005 draft.

Buffalo Bills: Second-round pick wide receiver Roscoe Parrish agreed to terms of a four-year, $2.7 million contract.

The contract includes a $1.32 million signing bonus and features performance incentives that could increase the worth of the deal, Parrish's agent Drew Rosenhaus said.

Parrish led the Hurricanes with 43 catches for 693 yards and led the ACC with eight touchdowns last season. He finished his college career with 81 catches for 1,285 yards and 11 touchdowns and scored another TD on a punt return.

Selected 55th overall, Parrish was the Bills' top draft pick after the team traded its first-rounder to Dallas last year.

Arizona Cardinals: Former University of Virginia teammates Darryl Blackstock, an outside linebacker, and Elton Brown, an offensive lineman, each got a three-year contract.

Blackstock was Arizona's second choice in the third round, 95th overall, and Brown was chosen in the fourth round (111th).

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Blackstock, pegged as a backup strongside linebacker this year, left school early for the draft. He earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors as a junior in 2004 after leading the ACC with 11 sacks.

Blackstock had 27 sacks in a three-year career that included starting 38 of 39 games.

Brown, 6-4, 339, was a first-team all-conference pick last season and second team as a junior, and won the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy both seasons.

The Cardinals signed fifth-round pick Lance Mitchell and seventh-round pick LeRon McCoy earlier. First-rounder Antrel Rolle, second-round choice J.J. Arrington and Eric Green, taken ahead of Blackstock in the third round, had yet to agree to terms.

Washington Redskins: Seeking defensive backfield depth, Washington signed safety Omar Stoutmire on Friday.

Stoutmire was waived by the New York Giants in February after starting 32 games over five seasons with them.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound safety went on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament after last season's opening game. His best season in New York was 2003, when he finished third on the Giants in tackles with a career-high 109.

He began his NFL career in Dallas as a seventh-round draft pick in 1997, and he played one season with the Jets in 1999.

Stoutmire has played in 109 NFL games, starting 51. He has 357 tackles, five interceptions and six forced fumbles.

Also Friday, the Redskins waived offensive lineman Ben Nowland.

Chicago Bears: The Bears claimed former draft pick Leon Joe off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals on Friday and waived defensive tackle Greg Pauly.

Chicago selected Joe, a Maryland linebacker, in the fourth round of the 2004 draft. He made his team debut on Sept. 12 against the Detroit Lions and was waived three days later.

Joe was then claimed by Arizona and played four games for the Cardinals last season.

The Bears signed Pauly, who played at Notre Dame, as an undrafted free agent on April 29. He was placed on the active/non-football injury list on July 20.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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