Woody gives Jets four former first-round draft picks on O-line
Having already solidified the left side of their offensive line with the addition of former Steelers standout guard Alan Faneca, the New York Jets have now bolstered their right side, agreeing to terms with former Patriots and Lions lineman Damien Woody to play right tackle.
HashmarksESPN.com's Matt Mosley, Mike Sando and Pat Yasinskas are following the NFL free-agency frenzy and sharing their thoughts. Get the latest news from the always updated Hashmarks.
The Jets have spared no expense in improving their offensive line in the first week of free agency. Faneca signed a five-year, $40 million deal that included more than $21 million in guarantees, making him the league's highest paid offensive lineman. Now the Jets have given Woody $25.5 million over five years with $11 million guaranteed.
Woody spent the first five years of his career as a center/guard with the Patriots, so joining the Jets means a reunion with head coach Eric Mangini.
In 2004, Woody signed a six-year, $31 million deal with the Lions, then the largest ever for an interior lineman. Toward the end of a disappointing four-year stint in Detroit, Woody moved to right tackle and was impressive enough in five starts to earn an even more lucrative contract from the Jets.
"I think his versatility was one of the hallmarks of what we were looking for," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said.
Woody started 76 games with New England, mostly at center, and helped the Patriots to two Super Bowls, although he didn't play against Carolina in 2004 because of a knee injury.
The Lions signed him to a $31 million, six-year contract with a $9 million signing bonus following that season. Woody and his agent, Ben Dogra, agreed to give up $2.5 million in salary this season -- more than half of what he was due to make -- in exchange for voiding the last two years of his deal.
"I'm ecstatic to be with the Jets," Woody said in a statement. "I am familiar with Eric Mangini and [quarterbacks coach] Brian Daboll and it feels good to be reunited with them. I am looking forward to returning to the AFC East and contributing to this team."
Woody started the first three games at right guard last season before being benched by the Lions. After three games on the inactive list, he slowly worked his way onto the field as a reserve, and then became the starter at right tackle.
"Damien is a versatile player that has experience at a number of positions," Mangini said. "I spent four seasons with Damien in New England and know that he is a diligent performer with a good work ethic."
Michael Smith is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- RG III: Goal Week 1 but career comes first
- Cards ink 3rd-round pick Mathieu to contract
- Rodgers wants Pack to retire Favre's No. 4
- Pats' Brady not surprised Welker left team
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2008 FREE AGENCY
NFL teams began shopping for free agents on Feb. 29, with approximately 320 players available. Randy Moss (right), one of the top free agents available, re-signed with the Pats.
• Free-agent tracker
Commentary/Features• Paolantonio: Raiders wasting cash on Hall
• Clayton: Raiders immersed in spending spree
• Yasinskas: Bucs spending wisely
• Third And Short: Free-agent analysis
• Clayton: Best remaining players
• Clayton: Top 10 free-agent gambles
• Yasinskas: Saints rolling dice on Vilma, Morgan
• Sando: Role players cashing in
• Yasinskas: Jets improved, but QB remains issue
• Yasinskas: Browns focused on winning
• Clayton: Moss-Patriots deal meant to be
• Clayton: Winners and losers
• Chadiha: Reese sets the standard for rookie GMs
• Yasinskas: Five aggressive teams in the market
• Pasquarelli: Big payoffs await less-heralded FAs
• Clayton: It's better to keep your own guys
• Research: Top 10 free agents of all time
• Yasinskas: Redskins to try new approach
• Joyner: Evaluating four big names
• Chadiha: Dealing with the franchise tag
• Panthers continue O-line makeover, sign Brown
• Browns help LB depth, sign Orr to 1-year contract March 20
• Pats agree to deal with CB Bryant
• Roundup: Rams re-sign Romberg March 19
• Packers agree with LB Chillar
• Bengals' Andrews signs franchise tender
• Punter Turk re-signs with Texans
• Colts keep defensive end Thomas with new deal