Freeman is back on the practice field, feeling good about himself and the future of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The fifth-year pro who's entering the final season of his contract said Monday that he still considers the Bucs his team to guide to the playoffs, despite the club's decision to draft another young quarterback to potentially take his place.
Analysis: Just importantly, coach Greg Schiano reiterated Freeman is his starter before making another attempt to dispel what he said is a misconception about his desire to increase competition at virtually every position, including quarterback. Freeman became Tampa Bay's first 4,000-yard passer a year ago, however his inconsistency contributed to a 7-9 finish and energized speculation about his future with the team.
Woodson will receive quite a greeting from Oakland Raiders fans when he makes a free agent visit to the team's facilities on Tuesday. A few of his potential teammates in Oakland will give him a warm reception as well. Several Oakland fans began an online campaign via Facebook and Twitter asking others to gather at the Raiders facility in anticipation of Woodson's arrival.
Analysis: Woodson spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Raiders after being selected with the fourth overall pick in 1998. He signed with Green Bay following the 2005 season and helped the Packers win a Super Bowl title five years later before being released by the team in February.
Calvin Johnson is downplaying whatever was wrong with his fingers last year. He was coy when asked Monday how badly his fingers were hurt last year, saying he "had a couple injuries to them" - but nothing that affected his play much.
Analysis: Johnson caught 122 passes for an NFL-record 1,964 yards last season, putting up incredible numbers despite the fact that the rest of the offense was inconsistent. The Lions went 4-12, but after signing Reggie Bush in the offseason, they hope Johnson will have a little more help this year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed sixth-round draft pick Vince Williams to a four-year contract. Terms were not disclosed. Pittsburgh selected Williams with the 206th overall pick, the team's second pick of the sixth round. Williams is the second of Pittsburgh's nine draft picks to sign. Fourth-round pick Shamarko Thomas agreed to terms last week.
Analysis: The 23-year-old Williams recorded 140 tackles with three sacks during his junior and senior seasons at Florida State and was an All-ACC honorable mention selection last fall. He is expected to compete for a backup position behind Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote. The Steelers begin organized team activities on Tuesday.
Second-round pick Christine Michael and the Seattle Seahawks have reached an agreement on a multi-year contract just as organized team activities begin. Michael, the Seahawks top pick in April's draft out of Texas A&M, signed with the club on Monday. Terms of his contract were not released.
Analysis: Michael was taken with the final pick of the second round and is the ninth of Seattle's 11 draft picks to sign. Only cornerback Tharold Simon (fifth round) and tackle Michael Bowie (seventh round) remain unsigned.
Washington has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, who authorities have said is the mother of his baby daughter. A Maricopa County Superior Court spokesman says Washington entered the plea Monday. Washington is charged with aggravated assault and criminal trespass. He has been free since he posted $2,400 bond after being arrested May 3.
Analysis: Phoenix police have said Washington's ex-girlfriend claimed he grabbed her by the throat and shoved her to the ground following an argument at her apartment. Washington led the Cardinals with 134 tackles and nine sacks last season. He signed a six-year contract extension in September. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Williams denies ever contemplating suicide, and says private comments he made in text messages are being taken out of context by his ex-fiancee in a lawsuit over the possession of a $785,000 diamond engagement ring. Calling himself "completely fine," Williams says he was "venting" his feelings to someone he thought he trusted.
Analysis: Williams spoke after practice Monday, in his first chance to respond since Erin Marzouki's attorney released a series of texts the two exchanged in November. The texts portray Williams as being despondent over their breakup. In one text, Williams writes: "No money in the world should leave me with suicidal thoughts." Williams says he wrote that out of anger. He adds the decision to release the texts reveal Marzouki's true character.
Johnson has been arrested on charges that he violated probation stemming from an altercation with his now ex-wife, TV reality star Evelyn Lozada.
Analysis: A Broward County judge ordered Johnson jailed Monday until he posts a $1,000 bond. Another hearing was set for June 3. An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month when Johnson failed to meet his probation officer. The six-time Pro Bowl player formerly known as Chad Ochocinco is serving a year of probation after Lozada said he head-butted her during an argument last August. She quickly filed for divorce. They had been married only since July 4.
The Buffalo Bills reached an agreement early Monday to sign receiver Robert Woods, their second-round draft pick, according to a person familiar with negotiations.
Analysis: Woods spent this past weekend taking part in the NFL Players Association-sponsored "Rookie Premiere" festivities in Los Angeles. He was scheduled to return to Buffalo for the start of the team's three-day minicamp Monday. Selected 41st overall out of Southern California last month, Woods was regarded as the most polished among the draft-eligible receiver prospects following a solid three-year college career.
The San Diego Chargers have agreed to a two-year deal with star pass rusher Dwight Freeney that could be worth $13.35 million. The deal to bring Freeney to the Chargers came four days after outside linebacker Melvin Ingram tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a padless practice. The addition of Freeney also helps cushion the loss of outside linebackers Antwan Barnes and Shaun Phillips to free agency.
Analysis: Freeney, 33, entering his 12th season, was Indianapolis' career sacks leader before the Colts decided not to re-sign him in the offseason. His sacks totals declined each of the past three years. Chargers rookie general manager Tom Telesco was with the Colts before being hired by San Diego in January.
Analysis: Beauharnais was picked in the seventh round. He is a 6-foot-2, 230-pound three-year starter at linebacker at Rutgers. He was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award following his senior season.
The Kansas City Chiefs have signed former Kansas defensive end Toben Opurum as an undrafted free agent after trying him out as a fullback during rookie minicamp. The Chiefs announced the move in a statement Friday.
Analysis: The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Opurum began his career with the Jayhawks as a running back, gaining 554 yards and scoring nine touchdowns during the 2009 season. He moved to linebacker as a sophomore and played defensive end the past two seasons, making 109 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks in his career.
Goodson is facing drug and weapons charges after he was found in a car with an acquaintance early Friday morning on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. The Jets said they were aware of the arrest and were gathering information.
Analysis: Sgt. Adam Grossman says both men were charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and three weapons charges stemming from a handgun found in the vehicle. Goodson played three seasons for Carolina and one for Oakland before the Jets signed him to a three-year deal in the offseason.
Woodson has another team interested in signing him. Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, tells The Associated Press that the 36-year-old defensive back will visit with The Oakland Raiders on Tuesday. The 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year would've traveled to Oakland from Denver after meeting with the Broncos on Wednesday, but he had charity obligations this weekend to support Mott Children's Hospital.
Analysis: Poston says the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers along with a couple other teams, who he says don't want to be mentioned, have also contacted him about the eight-time Pro Bowl player. It's clear that not only is Woodson in high, high demand but he's a nice guy to boot from his charity work.