Roundup: Receiver Caldwell leaves Redskins to join Rams

Updated: March 25, 2008, 10:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Reche Caldwell still hasn't cashed in on a big contract yet from his 61-catch season with the Patriots in 2006, but he's hoping to strike gold in St. Louis.

Caldwell agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $645,000 contract with the Rams. He had a minimum salary offer to stay with the Redskins and he also had an offer from Carolina.

He becomes the second Redskins backup to leave for the Rams. Last Friday, cornerback David Macklin signed a one-year deal with St. Louis.

The Rams will be the 28-year-old receiver's fourth team in four seasons. His career started in San Diego where he was a second-round pick of the Chargers in the 2002 draft.

He had 15 catches last season with the Redskins.

-- John Clayton, ESPN.com

Chiefs cornerback Benny Sapp explored the free-agent market hoping to find more money, but instead he found a good opportunity, reaching a one-year, $705,000 deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

Sapp, 27, spent the past four years as a backup in the Chiefs' secondary, a veteran unit that featured Patrick Surtain and Ty Law. He had six starts during his four seasons and had two interceptions.

The Browns were among a handful of teams he talked to since free agency opened, but he flew to Minneapolis on Monday and decided that was the right spot. Sapp was an undrafted player out of Northern Iowa.

The Vikings also signed linebacker Heath Farwell to a one-year deal.

Farwell, a restricted free agent, has been a special teams star for the Vikings for the last three seasons. He had 32 special-teams tackles last year, which is the third highest total in franchise history.

-- ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press

The Houston Texans released center Steve McKinney, one of the franchise's original players, and re-signed punter Matt Turk on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4, 302-pound McKinney started the first three games of last season before going on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament. The Texans traded their sixth-round draft pick for Denver center Chris Myers last week.

McKinney was signed by Houston as an unrestricted free agent in 2002, before the Texans' first season. He started all 16 games in Houston's first four seasons. He's one of only four players to have appeared in the Texans' first 80 games.

Turk played in all 16 games last season, averaging 41.7 yards per punt with a net average of 37.4, both team records. Turk also set a team record with a 44.5-yard net average in the regular-season finale against Indianapolis.

-- The Associated Press

The Detroit Lions signed linebacker Gilbert Gardner to a one-year deal on Tuesday.

The 6-1, 228-pound Gardner spent last season with the Tennessee Titans, who claimed him off waivers after he was released by the Indianapolis Colts.

Gardner was originally selected by the Colts in the third round (69th overall) of the 2004 NFL draft. Through four seasons, Gardner has played in 50 regular-season games and registered 98 tackles, one sack and one interception.

-- The Associated Press

Defensive end Kevin Carter re-signed with Tampa Bay on Tuesday less than a month after the Buccaneers released him in a cost-cutting move.

Carter, who would have been due a $2 million roster bonus, was cut just before the start of the free agent signing period.

The veteran of 13 NFL seasons ranks third among active players with 101½ career sacks. He played 12 years with St. Louis, Tennessee and Miami before spending the 2007 season with Tampa Bay.

Carter started 14 games and had three sacks last season. He's appeared in 208 consecutive games and has had five or more sacks in a season 11 times.

-- The Associated Press

James Hall, released by the Rams last month, re-signed with the team on Tuesday.

Hall joined the Rams in 2007 after seven seasons in Detroit. He had 59 tackles and 2 sacks in 2007.

-- The Associated Press

The Chargers re-signed offensive tackle Jeromey Clary, wide receiver Malcom Floyd, safety Steve Gregory and defensive tackle Brandon McKinney to one-year deals Tuesday.

All four were exclusive-rights free agents.

Clary moved into the starting lineup in December, taking over at right tackle in place of Shane Olivea.

Floyd saw action in six games, catching seven passes for 97 yards. Gregory played in all 16 games, seeing most of his action on special teams. McKinney became a regular on the Chargers' defensive line rotation, playing in 14 games with two starts at defensive tackle.

Cornerback Cletis Gordon is the Chargers' only exclusive-rights free agent who has yet to sign a contract.

-- The Associated Press

The Seahawks signed linebacker D.D. Lewis and defensive end Chris Cooper to one-year contracts Tuesday, bringing each back to the team after recent stints.

Lewis started his career in Seattle in 2002 after he made the team as an undrafted free agent out of Texas. He played in 48 games, starting 18, in five seasons with the Seahawks, with 141 tackles (103 solo) on defense and 26 more stops, plus a blocked punt, on special teams.

Lewis eventually lost his starting outside linebacker job to Leroy Hill and then signed with Denver as an unrestricted free agent before the 2007 season. The Broncos released him last October after he played in five games for them.

Cooper, entering his seventh season out of Nebraska-Omaha, went to training camp with Seattle in 2006, but was released and signed by Arizona. He spent the last two seasons with the Cardinals. The veteran of 78 career games with 12 starts has also played for Oakland and San Francisco.

-- The Associated Press