Bills re-sign Scott, add former Eagle James to secondary
The Buffalo Bills did some work on their secondary on Tuesday.
Safety Bryan Scott re-signed with Buffalo after filling in for injured regulars in the secondary last season.
The Bills also won out a three-team battle to add cornerback William James to their secondary.
A five-year NFL veteran, Scott appeared in 15 games and started the final two for Buffalo last season, finishing with 20 tackles and one forced fumble. He signed with Buffalo prior to Week 2 after starter Ko Simpson broke his ankle.
Initially limited to playing on special teams, Scott eventually gained a starting job in a secondary that finished the year with four regulars on injured reserve. Scott previously played for the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.
James agreed to a two-year contract Tuesday that gives him the chance to make the equivalent of second cornerback in Buffalo depending on his playing time. Details of the deal weren't available.
The Eagles were trying to re-sign James. The Texans were also after him, and the Falcons, preparing to trade DeAngelo Hall to the Raiders, got in the mix in the past couple of days. In the end, though, James looked at the situation in Buffalo and thought there would be a good opportunity to play.
James, 28, started six games for the Eagles last season and played almost half of the defensive downs. He has seven years of experience, playing with the Giants and the Eagles.
-- ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press
The Indianapolis Colts defense, which often loses defensive players to free agency to maintain the payroll of the offense, received a break Tuesday when they were able to re-sign defensive end Josh Thomas.
Terms of the deal weren't available, but the return of Thomas was a key to Indy's defense. Thomas started seven games for the Colts last season and played more than half of their defensive downs.
He was considered more of a run-stopper at the end position, but the season-ending injury to defensive end Dwight Freeney gave Thomas the chance to start and do well. Teams around the league were looking at him as a run-stopping defensive end. His return to the Colts will help run defense and keep a good rotation of ends on running and passing downs.
-- John Clayton, ESPN.com
The 28-year-old Blakley played in 59 games and made nine starts in four years with Atlanta. He had 21 receptions for 189 yards and one touchdown.
Blakley originally was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie free agent in 2002, spending most of the season on their practice squad. In 2003, he played for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe and spent time on the practice squads of the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
Kemoeatu, a fifth-round draft pick in 2005, will make $1,417,000. Essex, picked a round ahead of Kemoeatu in that draft, accepted his offer of $927,000.
Both players were eligible to weigh offers from other teams until mid-April, with the Steelers owning the right to match their offers.
Kemoeatu has played in 18 career games at guard and on special teams and made two starts at right guard in 2006. Essex has played in 24 games at tackle and guard and started at left tackle for the injured Marvel Smith during the Steelers' wild-card playoff loss to Jacksonville in January.
-- The Associated Press
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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.
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• Yasinskas: Five aggressive teams in the market
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