Brees, Culpepper interest Dolphins

By wire services
Published March 12, 2006

MIAMI - The Miami Dolphins met Saturday with quarterback Drew Brees in Birmingham, Ala., but were also considering a trade for Daunte Culpepper, said a person involved in negotiations on the first day of free agency.

There's competition with the Dolphins for both quarterbacks, said the source, who didn't want to be identified because the team has been tightlipped about its personnel plans.

The source said the Dolphins also met in South Florida with David Givens, one of the top free-agent receivers. He caught 59 passes for 738 yards and two touchdowns last year for New England.

The availability of Brees and Culpepper this year is uncertain because both are recovering from major injuries.

Miami coach Nick Saban and general manager Randy Mueller flew to Birmingham, where Brees has been rehabilitating his surgically repaired right shoulder. He went 20-11 the past two seasons for San Diego, but when contract talks with the Chargers stalled, they agreed to let him test the market.

49ERS-REDSKINS TRADE: San Francisco traded leading receiver Brandon Lloyd to Washington for the Redskins' third-round pick this year and their fourth-round selection in 2007. Lloyd was a restricted free agent for the 49ers, who drafted him in the third round three years ago. He was San Francisco's top receiver last season, catching 48 passes for 733 yards and five touchdowns, but alienated teammates and the coaching staff. San Francisco also re-signed kicker Joe Nedney.

BILLS: Tight end Robert Royal signed with Buffalo, agreeing to a reported five-year, $10-million contract that includes a $2.5-million bonus. Royal spent the past four seasons with Washington. The Bills need a veteran tight end after releasing three-year starter Mark Campbell on March 1.

PANTHERS: DeShaun Foster agreed to a three-year, $14.5-million contract with Carolina that finally makes him star running back. Foster, who spent most of the past three seasons playing in the shadow of Stephen Davis, agreed to the deal late Friday night.

BROWNS: LeCharles Bentley and Joe Jurevicius are coming home to play for Cleveland. The free-agent center and the veteran wide receiver, who both grew up in Cleveland rooting for the city's beleaguered NFL team, signed with the Browns, who didn't waste any time spending some of the nearly $25-million they have for free agency. Bentley's six-year deal is reportedly worth $36-million and includes $12.5-million in guarantees. Jurevicius signed a four-year deal, but terms were not released.

BRONCOS: Free agent defensive end Gerard Warren re-signed with Denver, agreeing to a six-year deal. The Broncos also re-signed tight end/long snapper Mike Leach to a four-year contract adn running back Ron Dayne to a three-year deal. Warren, drafted third overall in 2001 out of the University of Florida by the Cleveland Browns, joined the Broncos last season.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville signed free-agent cornerback Brian Williams in a move to bolster its secondary. Williams, a fifth-year veteran, played the last four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings under Mike Tice, now an assistant head coach-offense for the Jaguars.

VIKINGS: Minnesota signed running back Chester Taylor, kicker Ryan Longwell and linebacker Ben Leber after retaining receiver Koren Robinson and safety Willie Offord.

CARDINALS: Arizona signed free-agent defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy to a four-year contract. Clancy played in all 16 games last season for the New York Giants, making 39 tackles, two sacks, forcing two fumbles and recovering one fumble. All were career highs.

RAMS: St. Louis signed free-agent safety Corey Chavous to a five-year contract, hoping to strengthen a defense that ranked 30th in the NFL last season. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Chavous is reportedly expected to make nearly $12-million in the first three years of the deal.