49ers add Pats linebacker Banta-Cain

Updated: March 7, 2007, 1:38 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers added their fourth potential starter to their defense by reaching an agreement Tuesday with Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

He will receive a three-year, $12.2 million contract that will pay him $4 million in 2007.

Banta-Cain was being looked at by 4-3 teams as a defensive end and 3-4 teams as a linebacker. He was replaced by Adalius Thomas in New England.

Banta-Cain, who has good speed, was a seventh-round pick from California and gets a chance to return to the Bay Area.

-- John Clayton

New York Jets: New York continued its busy spending spree Tuesday by agreeing to a contract with former Cowboys defensive end Kenyon Coleman.

Kenyon Coleman is a physical defensive lineman and we like his size and strength up front," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "He has experience playing the 3-4 defense and we're looking forward to having him be a part of our organization."

Coleman played all 16 games for Dallas last season, his sixth in the NFL, and recorded 31 tackles, four sacks and two batted-down passes.

Also Tuesday, the Jets re-signed defensive end Bobby Hamilton, who was released by the team for salary cap reasons on March 1.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh signed 49ers punter Andy Lee, who is a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet Tuesday.

San Francisco has seven days to match the offer. If they choose not to match, they will receive the Steelers' 2007 sixth-round draft choice.

Lee averaged a career-best 44.8 yards per punt last season -- good for sixth in the NFC and seventh in the NFL.

New England Patriots: The Patriots re-signed special teams captain Larry Izzo on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Izzo was named to the Pro Bowl team as the AFC's special team player in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 seasons.

Izzo has led the Patriots in special teams tackles in five of six seasons with New England.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings signed wide receiver Bobby Wade Tuesday night with the pool of free agents at that position dwindling.

Wade, who caught 33 passes for 461 yards and two touchdowns last season for Tennessee, spent the first three years of his career with Chicago. The Bears cut him near the end of 2005 because of fumbling problems on special teams, and the Titans claimed him off waivers.

Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore re-signed running back Musa Smith to a one-year contract Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

"It's good to have Musa back," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Having surgery during the season put him ahead in his recovery. He will be ready for the start of training camp. Whenever we've put him on the field, he's produced. We're looking forward to having a healthy Musa help us."

Smith, a 2003 third-round draft pick, has averaged 4.1 yards per carry in 57 career attempts, gaining 232 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

Washington Redskins: Washington re-signed defensive back Ade Jimoh on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Jimoh, who has been with the Redskins since 2003, is a key special teams contributor, registering 65 special teams tackles in his career.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have agreed to terms with 30-year-old former 49ers center Jeremy Newberry on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

The two-time Pro Bowl center had surgery to repair his damaged left knee last season and was placed on the injured reserve.

The Raiders also cleared up some salary cap room by restructuring the contracts of running back LaMont Jordan and receiver Ronald Curry.

The new deal with Jordan reduces the $4.75 million roster bonus he was due on Wednesday by $1.75 million.

Curry signed a five-year deal that could be worth up to $20 million and includes $5 million in guaranteed money.

San Diego Chargers: Backup center Cory Withrow agreed to a three-year contract Tuesday to remain with the Chargers.

Withrow, who had been an unrestricted free agent, played in 11 games in 2006, mostly on special teams.

He spent the first six years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, logging 13 starts and playing in 80 games.

ALSO SEE