Roundup: After losing Wilson to Raiders, Giants add veteran safety Knight

Updated: March 3, 2008, 10:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Three days after losing Gibril Wilson to the Oakland Raiders, the Giants found a veteran replacement at safety in Sammy Knight.

Knight is becoming the on-call replacement when a team needs a safety. He's with his fourth team in five years, but the big thing about his Giants deal is that he gets some long-term security. The 32-year-old safety agreed to a three-year, $5.15 million contract that includes $1.25 million to sign.

"I think this is a great situation for me," Knight said. "This is a great staff, first and foremost, and a great organization. They won the Super Bowl, and they have a lot of people coming back, so the opportunity to win again was definitely one of the determining factors in me coming here."

During his first six seasons with the Saints, Knight was known for his ability to make interceptions and force or recover fumbles. He played two seasons with the Dolphins and two seasons with the Chiefs.

Last year, the Jaguars needed a safety, and he signed with Jacksonville. Knight led the Jacksonville Jaguars with 93 tackles last season. He also had four interceptions and a forced fumble.

"I did a great job for Jacksonville and we talked to them, but ultimately, this was a better place for me," Knight said. "I felt like I had a better chance to win here."

Knight added 20 tackles in the postseason, including 13 in the wild-card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He has 42 interceptions during his 11-year NFL career.
-- ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press

Defensive end Antwan Odom has signed a five-year deal worth $29.5 million with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to his agent.

Odom was coming off a career-best season with 16 starts and eight sacks with the Titans, who drafted him in 2004. But the Titans took a risk in letting Odom test the free-agent market, and they lost him to Cincinnati.

The four-year veteran will receive $11.5 million in guaranteed money in the package. His agent Richard Rosa says the chance to play for Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis was a big factor in Odom's decision.
-- The Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders officially placed defensive tackle Warren Sapp on the retired list, freeing up $4.153 million of cap room.

Sapp announced after the season he was planning his end his potential Hall of Fame career that started with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was considered one of the best defensive tackles of his era and was the anchor the Buccaneers' Cover-2 defense.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

The San Francisco 49ers signed running back DeShaun Foster, quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan and linebacker Dontarrious Thomas.

Foster spent his first five seasons with the Carolina Panthers, rushing for 3,336 yards and 10 touchdowns in 63 games. The former second-round pick from UCLA will be a backup to Frank Gore in San Francisco, and provides depth for coach Mike Nolan.

"I was down there for six years," Foster said of his time in Carolina. "They drafted me, and it was a great organization. It was kind of disappointing, but it is the nature of the game. I am excited to get a fresh start in San Fran. ... I see this team as an up-and-coming team. I feel that you need two backs in this league, and whatever role I play, that's what I'm going to do."

O'Sullivan has been with six NFL teams over six seasons. He has appeared in just six games, including five last season with the Detroit Lions under offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who joined San Francisco for the 2008 season.

Thomas has been with the Minnesota Vikings for his first four NFL seasons, making 145 tackles and 1½ sacks. He'll likely be a backup in San Francisco's 3-4 defense.
-- The Associated Press

The Steelers, who locked up franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Monday with an eight-year, $102 million contract extension, added depth to their offense by reaching a three-year, $4.95 million deal with Vikings halfback Mewelde Moore.

Moore, 25, is an elusive back who was signed to back up Willie Parker and work with big back Najeh Davenport. He was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 2004. In his second season, he started eight games and rushed for 662 yards and caught 37 passes for the Vikings in 2005. Moore will received $1.35 million to sign.

Because he has good speed, Moore has a 4.9 yard per carry average and is considered to be a good pass-catcher out of the backfield.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

The Broncos tried to help their defense Monday by reaching a three-year deal with ex-Seahawks linebacker Niko Koutouvides.

Terms of the deal weren't available, but the average is expected to be in excess of $2.5 million a year. Drafted as a potential starting middle linebacker with the Seahawks as a fourth-round choice in 2004, Koutouvides ended up being a role player on defense and top special teams performer.

Koutouvides becomes the second backup linebacker to leave the Seahawks in two days. Kevin Bentley signed a three-year, $4 million contract with the Texans on Sunday.

The Broncos also didn't take long to fill the spot left by the release of Javon Walker, signing receiver Keary Colbert.

The team also re-signed defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, who missed all of last season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon in a preseason game against Dallas.

Denver severed ties with Walker late last week. The Broncos tried to trade Walker, but couldn't find any takers and released him to avoid having to pay him a $5.4 million option bonus on Tuesday.

Colbert, 25, played four seasons with the Panthers and had 109 catches for 1,424 yards and seven touchdowns. He was a second-round pick out of USC in 2004.

Ekuban had a career-high 78 tackles for the Broncos in 2006, and was second on the team in sacks with seven. The Broncos acquired Ekuban from the Cleveland Browns in March 2005.
-- ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press

The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent linebacker Demorrio Williams to a five-year contract, a move that could knock Napoleon Harris out of the starting lineup. Kansas City also claimed fullback Oliver Hoyte off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys.

The Chiefs have many holes to fill after a 4-12 season, particularly on the offensive line and defensive secondary, but linebacker seemed to be the least of their least concerns.

Kansas City signed Donnie Edwards and Harris before last season and the group was solid in 2007, combining for 338 tackles and 7½ sacks. Although he led the team with 123 tackles, the Chiefs were disappointed at times with Harris, who signed a six-year deal at middle linebacker. Kansas City also has concerns about Edwards' age. He turns 35 in April.

The 27-year-old Williams played four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, starting the past three at outside linebacker. He will likely be a starter on the outside in Kansas City, with Edwards moving to middle linebacker and Harris dropping to a backup role.

The Chiefs also placed cornerback Ty Law and linebacker Kendrell Bell on the waiver wire, terminating their contracts. In a youth movement run by the Chiefs, the Chiefs have released nine players who are at least 29 years old. Bell, 29, was the youngest of the group.
-- ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press

To add depth to the offensive line, the Carolina Panthers reached a two-year, $2 million agreement with Arizona Cardinals guard Keydrick Vincent.

The 29-year old-guard will be joining his fourth team as he heads into his eighth NFL season. Vincent has started 49 games during his pro career. He started with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played four seasons, starting 27 games there. He went to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency in 2005 and stayed with the Ravens through the 2006 season.

After the Ravens released him, he ended up reuniting with Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, two former Steeler assistants who went to Arizona to turn around the Cardinals.

The addition of Vincent might not be the only move the Panthers make along the offense line. They visited with former Oakland Raiders left tackle Barry Sims while the coaching staff and front office was in Boise State to watch a college workout Monday.

The Panthers also re-signed linebacker Donte Curry to an deal that wasn't disclosed. He's the third player to re-sign since the start of free agency. On the eve of free agency, the Panthers brought back fullback Brad Hoover and backup cornerback Dante Wesley. They have eight unsigned unrestricted free agents. That doesn't included quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who is expected to retire.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

Safety Yeremiah Bell re-signed Monday with the Miami Dolphins after missing the final 15 games last year because of a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Bell signed a one-year deal.

His best season was in 2006, when he started 11 games and had two sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He was a sixth-round draft choice by Miami in 2003.
-- The Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran guard Chris Naeole, parting with a key member of the offensive line.

Naeole, a first-round pick by New Orleans in 1997, started 87 games for the Jaguars over the last six seasons.

But the 33-year-old lineman missed the final eight games last year after tearing a quadriceps tendon. He also skipped a voluntary passing camp last May because he was unhappy with his contract.

It was unclear why the Jaguars released Naeole, who had two years remaining on his contract and would have made $2.1 million next season.

Without Naeole, the Jaguars could turn the position over to durable backup Dennis Norman or second-year player Uche Nwaneri. Jacksonville also might re-sign free agent Maurice Williams, who filled in for Naeole last season.

In addition, the Jaguars signed Bears defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy to an offer sheet to fill the void left at defensive tackle after the trade of Marcus Stroud.

Kennedy was the only unrestricted free agent who had a first-right-of-refusal attached to his contract. The Bears have seven days to match the Jaguars offer and if they don't, he becomes a Jaguars without draft choice compensation. If the Bears match the offer, he stays.

There is strong indications the Bears won't match the offer, which is why he signed a one-year, $705,000 deal.
-- ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press

A few hours after losing Calvin Pace to the New York Jets, the Arizona Cardinals move quickly to reach an agreement in principle with Titans linebacker Travis LaBoy.

The 260-pound LaBoy, who was a defensive end with the Titans, will move to outside linebacker and be a potential pass-rusher in the Cardinals' 3-4 defense. He agreed to a five-year, $22 million contact that included $7.5 million in guarantees. He was a second-round pick of the Titans in 2004.

LaBoy, 26, started 20 games in his four years with the Titans. He had 19 1/2 sacks during his time with the Titans. Last year, he didn't start any games but he had six sacks coming in during pass-rush sitations.

The Cardinals are hoping LaBoy can be a double-digit sack linebacker in their defense.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Buffalo Bills linebacker Leon Joe to a one-year, $645,000 contract with the hopes of using him as a fifth linebacker.

A former fourth-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears, Joe has been with several teams, including the Bucs, as a backup linebacker and special teams player.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

Tennessee continues to take titanic hits in free agency by losing their third player in a little over three hours.

Starting left guard Jacob Bell agreed to a six-year contract with the St. Louis Rams. Terms of the deal weren't available.

On Monday, the Titans, who signed tight end Alge Crumpler on Monday, lost defensive ends Antwan Odom (Cincinnati) and Travis LaBoy (Arizona). During the first couple days of free agency, they lost tight end Ben Hartsock to Atlanta and defensive tackle Randy Starks to Miami.

Bell, Odom, LaBoy and Starks were all part of the Titans' 2004 draft class taken between rounds two and five. From that group, the team lost 42 starts. Each of those players participated in more than a third of downs, headed by Bell, who took 94 percent of the offensive snaps.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com