Just two days after he visited with the Patriots, Wesley Woodyard agreed to a reported four-year deal with the Titans. According to ESPN.com, the contract is worth $16 million.
“Wesley is a player who has experience playing both 3-4 and 4-3 systems and in our new scheme he fits as one of those inside linebackers,” said Titans general manager Ruston Webster. “He is smart and fast. He also brings the leadership qualities and intangible that we look for in a player, which makes him a good fit for us.”
The former Broncos linebacker has served as a captain either on special teams or defense since his rookie season with the Broncos in 2008. He moved to the middle linebacker spot in 2013 after Stewart Bradley suffered a season-ending injury during a preseason game against Seattle.
– The Lions have re-signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew to a four-year deal, Detroit announced Friday. Pettigrew will reportedly make $16 million, $8 million of which is guaranteed.
Over the course of five seasons with Detroit, the 28-year-old Pettigrew has caught 284 passes for 2,828 yards and 16 touchdowns in 71 games. At the same time, Pettigrew has had six fumbles and 34 drops.
– Just hours after the Panthers released him, Steve Smith traveled to visit the Ravens on Thursday.
Smith, who played for North Carolina for 13 seasons, caught 64 passes for 746 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. The 34-year-old wide receiver is also the Panthers’ all-time leader for receptions with 836, receiving yards with 12,197 and touchdowns with 67.
– James Harrison and the Bengals have parted ways, the linebacker tweeted Thursday.
Harrison, a former Defensive Player of the Year for the Steelers, is looking for his third team in three seasons after he could not agree on a restructured deal with Pittsburgh and stayed for just one season of a two-year contract with Cincinnati.
In 15 games with the Bengals, 10 of which he started, Harrison was 12th on the team in tackles and had two sacks as well as one interception. The 35-year-old had a limited role on the team as he acclimated to the Bengals’ 4-3 alignment after playing in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 system.
“It was great for our coaches, players and fans to have James on our team last year,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “He’s a player everyone looks up to because of his ability, his accomplishments and his drive to be the best. He helped us win a division title with his play and with the example he set.
“It’s time for us to go a different direction now, with some younger guys, but we will all still reap benefits from having had James with us as a Bengal last year.”
– One day after the Raiders sent Rodger Saffold back to the Rams because of a problem with Saffold’s shoulder, Oakland agreed with defensive end Justin Tuck and linebacker LaMarr Woodley on reported two-year deals. The players reportedly will make $11 million and up to $12 million, respectively.
Combined, Tuck and Woodley have won three Super Bowl titles and have had 117 1/2 career sacks.
“We know what it’s like to be on a winning team, and we know what it takes to get there,” Woodley said. “I think that we’re both proven guys, had some injuries here and there that slowed us up, but when we’re 100 percent out there on the football field, we bring it.”
Woodley has dealt with injuries over the course of the last three seasons, and, after averaging 11 sacks per season from 2008-2011, he has had just nine sacks in 24 games. Although he was a linebacker in Pittsbugh, he will move to defensive end in Oakland.
“I don’t feel like it’s any different than playing a 3-4 outside linebacker, where you are still kind of the defensive end,” Woodley said. “The only thing about the 3-4 scheme is that you are asked to drop back and cover receivers and you are standing up rushing. You still have to play the run, you still have to get after the quarterback, and that’s no different from a 4-3 end.”
Tuck spent the previous nine seasons with the Giants. During that span of time he won two Super Bowls, was named to two Pro Bowl teams and had 60 1/2 tackles with 20 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.
“Last week, I absolutely did not see it coming,” Tuck said. “It wasn’t necessarily on my radar at that point in time, but everything accelerated pretty quickly, and I’m excited. I really am. I like the direction that this team is talking about going in, and I just want to be a part of it.”
– Jason Hatcher and the Redskins reportedly agreed to a four-year, $27.5 million deal on Thursday, marking the first major move of the free agency period for Washington. The defensive lineman is expected to help upgrade the team, which went 3-13 last season, defensively.
The deal comes after a season when Hatcher, who played with the Cowboys for eight years, had 11 sacks and was selected to his first Pro Bowl.
– After losing backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to a two-year deal with the Titans, the Chargers announced Thursday that they have agreed to a two-year deal with quarterback Kellen Clemens.
Clemens had nine starts during the 2013 season for the Rams after starter Sam Bradford suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Clemens, who was selected in the second round of the 2006 draft, had a 4-5 record in those nine starts and completed roughly 59 percent of his passes for 1,673 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Chargers also reportedly re-signed linebacker Reggie Walker to a two-year deal. During the 2013 season, Walker spent time at all four linebacker positions and finished the season with 36 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble.
– Willie Young and the Bears have agreed to terms for a three-year contract, the team announced on Twitter Thursday.
According to ESPN.com, the deal is worth $9 million with a guaranteed $4 million.
Over the past week the team has also reached an agreement with wide receiver Domenik Hixon, defensive end Lamarr Houston and released defensive end Julius Peppers.
“When we went into free agency, we felt that if we could find a way to get two starting defensive linemen we would have made forward progress,” said Chicago general manager Phil Emery. “We’ve been able to accomplish that. Our goal or our thoughts about defensive players is to get the toughest most aggressive, instinctive players that have a little bit of an old school mentality, a Bear mentality and we certainly feel like Willie has those attributes. Excited about him being here.”
Young became a full-time starter for Detroit after Jason Jones suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3. The 28-year-old played 730 snaps during the 2013 season — more than his first three years with the Lions combined.