Seahawks sign Arthur Brown

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The Seahawks have signed linebacker Arthur Brown.

Brown was a second-round pick of the Ravens in 2013. He played three seasons in Baltimore and played with the Jets and Jaguars last season.

The Seahawks will be Brown’s fourth team since the Ravens released him last summer. He played in 12 games for the Jaguars last season and finished the season with the Jets.

Brown visited the Seahawks before signing. He’s played in 48 career games and figures to again be a backup linebacker and special teams player in Seattle.

Bengals keep T.J. Johnson with two-year deal

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The Bengals announced Friday that they’ve signed restricted free agent offensive lineman T.J. Johnson to a new two-year contract.

The team extended a tender to Johnson earlier this month. He was a seventh-round draft choice in 2013.

Johnson played in every game last season and started the season finale at left guard. He played in 12 games in 2015, and bringing him back became a priority when the Bengals lost Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency. Johnson figures to compete for a starting guard spot and again be the team’s backup center.

Geno Smith plans to sign with the Giants

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Quarterback Geno Smith will sign with the Giants, ESPN reported Friday.

Smith, 26, started one game for the Jets last season but suffered a torn ACL during that game. He lost his starting job before the 2015 season after the now infamous punch thrown by then-teammate I.K. Enemkpali. Smith started all 16 games as a rookie in 2013 and started 13 games in 2014 for the Jets.

Smith visited the Giants last weekend. There were rumors that other teams had shown interest, but as long as Smith passes a physical he’ll sign with the Giants.

The Giants also agreed to a deal with quarterback Josh Johnson on Friday. Smith suffered the torn ACL last October, and it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to compete for a roster spot at the beginning of training camp.

Seahawks bring back Luke Willson, DeShawn Shead

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The Seahawks are bringing back tight end Luke Willson and defensive back DeShawn Shead Danny O’Neil of ESPN 710 in Seattle reported.

Both are one-year contracts.

The Seahawks visited with tight end Jared Cook earlier in the week and signed Willson after Cook chose the Raiders. Willson caught 15 passes and two touchdown passes last season and has been the team’s backup tight end over the past four seasons. He’s started 30 of 56 career games and has been a red-zone weapon for Russell Wilson.

Shead visited the Bills earlier this week. The Seahawks didn’t tender him as a restricted free agent but are bringing him back and hoping he’ll eventually be to contribute after recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in January.

Shead started 15 games last year and has two career interceptions.

Seahawks will host Ricky Jean-Francois, Arthur Brown


The Seahawks will host free-agent visits with defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois and linebacker Arthur Brown, NFL Network reported.

Jean-Francois was released by Washington earlier this week. He’s an eight-year veteran who played the last two seasons in Washington and previously played for the 49ers and Colts.

Brown, a second-round pick of the Ravens in 2013, has never been a starter. He played in 12 games for the Jaguars and two for the Jets last season after being cut by the Ravens in September. Brown has played in 48 games over his four-year career.

Report: E.J. Manuel heading to Oakland

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Free agent quarterback E.J. Manuel is “likely to sign” with the Raiders, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

A first-round pick in 2013, Manuel didn’t become the franchise quarterback the Bills have long wanted. Manuel, who turns 27 this weekend, has made 17 career starts but just three in the last two years and has a career 58 percent completion percentage.

Manuel has played in 29 career games. The Bills redid Tyrod Taylor’s contract to keep him and drafted Cardale Jones last year, meaning Manuel wasn’t in their plans.

Matt McGloin, the Raiders primary backup last season, is a free agent. The Raiders drafted Connor Cook in the fourth round last year.

Jared Cook’s Minnesota visit concludes

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Tight end Jared Cook’s visit with the Vikings has concluded, the team announced Wednesday night.

Cook had previously visited the Seahawks. NFL Network reported that the Raiders are interested in Cook and will get his next visit.

The Vikings have been announcing free-agent visitors upon at the conclusion of those visits. The announcement means Cook didn’t sign and remains a free agent.

Cook, who turns 30 next month, caught 30 passes for the Packers last season after being released by the Rams following the 2015 season.

Dolphins meet with Dontari Poe for nine hours

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Free agent defensive tackle Dontari Poe’s meeting with the Dolphins has concluded, the team announced.

Poe has had plenty of interest, but still remains without a contract. The Miami Herald reported that Poe left the Dolphins’ facility after a Wednesday meeting that lasted around nine hours.

Poe is used to this by now. He had previously visited the Colts, Jaguars and the Falcons, and it’s been reported that the Raiders are interested, too.

The Chiefs have already replaced Poe by signing Bennie Logan. Poe, 26 could end up signing a one-year contract and hitting the market again next season. He’s been a starter for all five of his seasons with the Chiefs but his statistical production has dropped off significantly over the last two seasons.

Washington releases Ricky Jean-Francois

Ricky Jean Francois
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Washington has released defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, a source told PFT.

Jean-Francois, 30, played in every game the last two seasons for Washington and started seven games last season. He had 3.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

A veteran of eight NFL seasons, Jean-Francois was a seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2009. He played his first four seasons in San Francisco, then two with the Colts before coming to Washington. He’s started 36 of 109 games in his career.

Michigan draft prospect facing misdemeanor domestic violence charge

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Former University of Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis, a prospect in this year’s NFL Draft, was recently charged with misdemeanor domestic violence .

Per, Lewis is accused of assaulting his 20-year-old girlfriend early Wednesday morning in Ann Arbor. The report says no date for his arraignment is set.

Lewis participated in the NFL Scouting Combine last month, though the NFL has started to keep players with criminal charges in their backgrounds out of the event. Lewis will have questions to answer about the incident for NFL teams over the next month, and it is possible that the incident could affect his draft status.

Lewis was a two-time All-Big Ten player and an All-American last season.

Steelers will sign Justin Hunter


The Steelers plan to sign wide receiver Justin Hunter,’s Jeremy Fowler reported.

Hunter has bounced around the league, but the Steelers are apparently intrigued with his size and speed. The Steelers aren’t sure about the status of wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who was suspended for all of last season, and the addition of Hunter could indicate the Steelers aren’t expecting Bryant back. It could also could be a not-so-subtle message to Sammie Coates that he needs to be better.

Hunter, 25, was a third-round pick of the Titans in 2013. He wound up with 10 catches for 189 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games for the Bills last season after being cut by the Titans and later by the Dolphins.

The Steelers have had some free agents in on visits but hadn’t previously signed one. Hunter visited the Patriots last week and visited the Steelers earlier this week.

Howard Jones will visit the Jets

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Free agent defensive end Howard Jones will visit the Jets Friday, reported.

Jones hit the market when the Buccaneers declined to offer him a contract as an exclusive rights free agent. Jones had five sacks for the Bucs as a rookie but suffered a torn ACL midway through last season.

With the Jets appeared to be headed for a rebuild, a player like Jones would seem to fit their plans if he can get healthy. The ESPN report said Jones is “ahead of schedule” in his rehab.”

Jones, 27, started five games as a rookie and played in eight last season before the injury. He would likely be a 3-4 outside linebacker if he signs with the Jets.

Andre Smith returning to Bengals

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Free agent offensive tackle Andre Smith is returning to Cincinnati, ESPN reported.

After one season in Minnesota, Smith will sign a one-year deal with the Bengals. He played his first seven seasons in Cincinnati after signing with the Vikings last March.

Smith, 30, was limited to four games last season due to an arm injury, and the Bengals have snaps waiting for him after losing offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency last week. Smith was the Bengals’ starting right tackle when healthy for six seasons and could return to that role, though the Bengals are trying to find a full-time spot for third-year player Eric Fisher.

Smith had also taken a free-agent visit to Buffalo.

Raiders could get next visit from Jared Cook

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Jared Cook’s free agent tour could also include a stop in Oakland, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The veteran tight end left a visit in Seattle Tuesday for a visit with the Vikings. The report said the Raiders have interest and plan to host Cook on a visit if he doesn’t sign with the Vikings before leaving Minnesota.

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph is coming off a career season, and pairing him with Cook would give an added dimension to a Vikings offense that has some question marks and will have some new faces in next season’s lineup.

Cook, who turns 30 next month, caught 30 passes last season for the Packers, but he won’t be back in Green Bay after the Packers signed Martellus Bennett. Cook came to Green Bay after three seasons with the Rams and has 17 career touchdown receptions.

Raiders sign Cordarrelle Patterson

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Free agent wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has signed with the Raiders.

Patterson never lived up to his first-round draft status after the Vikings used the No. 29 pick on him in the 2013 draft, but he played in every game the last four seasons had a career-best 52 receptions last season. He’ll give the Raiders more speed in what shapes up to be a talented receiving corps for quarterback Derek Carr.

Patterson, who turns 26 later this week, had two touchdown catches and a kickoff return for a touchdown last season. He’s a two-time Pro Bowl pick as a kick returner and has caught 132 passes in his four seasons with the Vikings.

With the Vikings planning to retain restricted free agent Adam Thielen and wanting 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell to have a role next season, Patterson’s departure comes as no surprise.