Falcons sign FB, cut 2 on busy day

Associated Press
The New England Patriots released running back Corey Dillon on Friday, which was the NFL's first day of free agency.

Atlanta opened free agency Friday by signing fullback Ovie Mughelli and releasing injury-plagued linebacker Ed Hartwell.


The Falcons also released veteran linebacker Ike Reese, who was used primarily on special teams.

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Mughelli, who spent four seasons with Baltimore, agreed to a six-year, $18 million contract that includes a $5 million signing bonus.

49ERS: San Francisco signed cornerback Nate Clements, the star cornerback from the Buffalo Bills, to an eight-year, $80 million contract.

The 49ers also agreed to terms with safety Michael Lewis.

REDSKINS: Washington agreed to a contract after meeting with free agent linebacker London Fletcher and completed deals with three of their own players, safety Vernon Fox, guard Randy Thomas and fullback Mike Sellers.

PATRIOTS: New England released running back Corey Dillon, cutting ties with the top active runner in the NFL on the first day of free agency.

The Patriots also re-signed running back Heath Evans and guard Billy Yates. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

PANTHERS: Carolina re-signed linebacker Na'il Diggs to a one-year contract.

The Panthers also released safety Kevin McCadam, who played mostly on special teams last season.

RAIDERS: Oakland opened the free agency season by contacting representatives for quarterback Jeff Garcia, who has expressed an interest in returning to the Bay Area.

COLTS: Brandon Stokley, who was due a $500,000 roster bonus, and defensive tackle Montae Reagor, due about a $1 million roster bonus, became the first players to leave the Super Bowl champions after being cut.

LIONS: Detroit acquired another selection in April's draft, sending defensive end James Hall to the Rams for a fifth-round pick.

The Lions also made official the trade of cornerback Dre' Bly and a sixth-round pick to the Broncos for running back Tatum Bell, offensive tackle George Foster and a fifth-round pick.

BRONCOS: Jake Plummer, who lost his starting job during the 2006 to Jay Cutler season reportedly would rather retire than accept a trade to the Bucs, the NFL Network and other media sources reported.

BROWNS: Cleveland has agreed to terms with free agent offensive lineman Eric Steinbach on a seven-year, $49.5 million contract.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh decided not to pursue a free agent running back to complement Willie Parker, choosing instead to re-sign Najeh Davenport to a two-year contract.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville signed right tackle Tony Pashos and kicker Josh Scobee to five-year deals.

JETS: New York released seldom-used backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey.

DOLPHINS: Miami released defensive end Kevin Carter and guard Jeno James.



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