Jags sign Williams; von Oelhoffen heads to Jets

Updated: March 15, 2006, 10:58 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed offensive tackle and former first-round draft pick Mike Williams on Tuesday, giving them much-needed depth along the line.

Williams was the fourth player picked in the 2002 draft, but Buffalo cut him last month after four disappointing seasons.

In Jacksonville, he could push starting right tackle Maurice Williams for playing time but more likely will replace backups Mike Pearson and Ephraim Salaam.

Pearson and Salaam each started games last season before getting benched in favor of rookie Khalif Barnes. They are free agents and unlikely to re-sign with the Jaguars.

Mike Williams started five games for the Bills last season, four at right tackle and one at left guard. He started 42 games at right tackle over the previous three years.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DE Von Oelhoffen agrees with Jets

Free agent DE Kimo von Oelhoffen, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, agreed to a 3-year, $9.2 million deal with the New York Jets, including a $3.2 million signing bonus.

Von Oelhoffen, 35, is a 12-year NFL veteran who led all Pittsburgh defensive linemen in regular-season sacks last season with 3.

He was a sixth-round pick of the Bengals in 1994 and went to the Steelers in 2000.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

Eagles sign tight end Schobel

Former Cincinnati tight end Matt Schobel signed a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday.

Schobel caught 90 passes for 938 yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons with the Bengals. He's expected to play behind starter L.J. Smith.

Schobel is the third free agent signed by the Eagles in the past week. Linebacker Shawn Barber got a one-year deal last week, and defensive end Darren Howard signed a $30 million, six-year contract on Monday.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Schobel was drafted by the Bengals in the third round of the 2002 NFL draft. He started 10 games as a rookie, but only three since. Schobel caught 18 passes for 193 yards and one TD last season.

Schobel has experience as a holder on extra points and field goals, making him more valuable should the Eagles release longtime holder and backup quarterback Koy Detmer. He also played special teams and was a backup long snapper in Cincinnati.

Redskins sign Collins to be backup QB

In what figures to be a prelude to the trade or release of Patrick Ramsey, the Washington Redskins on Tuesday signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Todd Collins. The two-year contract is worth $2.5 million and includes a $450,000 signing bonus.

Collins played for new Redskins offensive coordinator Al Saunders when the assistant coach served in the same capacity at Kansas City, and almost certainly will supplant Ramsey as the No. 2 quarterback behind Mark Brunell. The Redskins have been attempting for weeks to deal Ramsey, their onetime starter, and a first-round choice in the 2002 draft. The arrival of Collins likely will hasten Ramsey's departure.

The only other quarterback on the roster is 2005 first-round pick Jason Campbell, who did not play a snap as a rookie, but who is viewed as the team's starter of the future.

An 11-year veteran, Collins has played in only 40 games and started 17 and, during his eight seasons with the Chiefs, threw just 27 passes. The former University of Michigan star was the Buffalo Bills' starter in 1997, and started 13 games that year. But he has played in only 12 regular-season contests, with no starts, since then. For his career, Collins, 34, has completed 302 of 546 pass attempts for 3,447 yards, with 17 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
-- Len Pasquarelli

What can Brown do for Rams?

The Rams added their fourth new player on defense by reaching a deal with Saints cornerback Fakhir Brown.

Brown joins defensive tackle La'Roi Glover, safety Corey Chavour and linebacker Will Witherspoon as players joining new Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Glover and Brown played for Haslett in New Orleans.

Brown will compete against Travis Fisher, DeJuan Groce and Jerametrius Butler for playing time at cornerback, and it's not out of the realm of possibility for Brown to compete for a starting job because he knows Haslett's system.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

Ex-Giant Williams agrees with Panthers

Unrestricted free-agent safety Shaun Williams, who started 60 games for the New York Giants during his eight seasons with the team, has reached a one-year contract agreement with the Carolina Panthers and will sign the deal on Tuesday afternoon. Financial details were not yet available.

The Giants' first-round pick in the 1998 draft, Williams didn't always play up to that status, despite being a very gifted athlete. The former UCLA star possesses terrific size (6-feet-2, 218 pounds) and speed but hasn't always played up to his stopwatch time. Still, in going to a winning program where he figures to be the No. 3 safety, Williams will have a chance to revive his career.

Williams, 29, has 310 tackles and 13 interceptions in eight seasons.
-- Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com

Raiders, Fonoti agree to deal

The Raiders made their first move in free agency by reaching a one-year, $1 million deal with Vikings guard Toniu Fonoti.

Fonoti came to the Vikings last year in a trade from the Chargers. He had a monster season in 2004 but had injury problems last year. Though he might have received more money in a long-term deal from the Raiders or other teams, Fonoti preferred signing on with the Raiders on a one-year deal and taking a crack at the 2007 free-agent market.

Fonoti has the bulk that fits well on the offensive line. He's 6-4, 349 pounds, and his weight has been as high as 400 pounds. Fonoti will compete for one of the Raiders' starting jobs at guard.

Included in the deal is a signing bonus of around $400,000.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

Schneck stays with Bills

The Buffalo Bills signed long-snapper Mike Schneck.

Schneck handled Buffalo's long-snapping duties flawlessly in 2005 after being acquired before the season from Pittsburgh, where he spent the previous six seasons. He played in his first Pro Bowl last month, joining punter Brian Moorman as the only two players representing the Bills.

Buffalo didn't have a field goal, extra point or punt blocked in 2005, and all 132 snapping opportunities were successfully handled by the punter or field goal holder.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE