Best Available NFL Free Agents – Offense

Quarterback
Donovan McNabb
Billy Volek
A.J. Feeley
Jake Delhomme
Patrick Ramsey
Jim Sorgi
Kyle Boller
Luke McCown
Dennis Dixon
J.P. Losman
Jeff Garcia
Mark Brunell
Kevin O’Connell
Rhett Bomar

Running Back
Cedric Benson
Ryan Grant
Thomas Jones
LaDainian Tomlinson
Earnest Graham (FB)
Clinton Portis
Maurice Morris
Melwelde Moore (PR)
Ryan Torain
Carnell Williams
Jackie Battle (FB)
Ronnie Brown
Derrick Ward (KR)
Jerious Norwood (KR)
Sammy Morris
Chester Taylor
Kevin Faulk
Lorenzo Booker (KR)

Fullback
Ovie Mughelli
Ahmard Hall
Moran Norris
Mike Sellers
Lousaka Polite

Wide Receiver
Braylon Edwards
Plaxico Burress
Mark Clayton
Roy Williams
Terrell Owens
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Mike-Sims Walker
Bernard Berrian
Anthony Gonzalez
Patrick Crayton (PR)
Greg Camarillo (PR)
David Anderson (PR)
Bryant Johnson
Jerheme Urban
Chansi Stuckey
Kassim Osgood
Arnaz Battle (PR)
Rashied Davis (KR)
Michael Clayton
Nick Miller (PR) (suspended first four games of 2012)
Jarett Dillard
Logan Payne
Tim Toone

Tight End
Visanthe Shiancoe
Jeremy Shockey
Bo Scaife
Billy Bajema
Tory Humphrey
Anthony Becht
Kris Wilson
Stephen Spach
John Gilmore
Reggie Kelly
Justin Peelle
Anthony Hill

Offensive Tackle
Marcus McNeill (LT)
Kareem McKenzie (RT)
Max Starks (RT/LT)
Chad Clifton (LT)
Stacy Andrews (RT/G)
Tony Pashos (RT)
Brandon Keith (RT)
Tony Moll (RT)
Mark LeVoir (RT)
Tony Ugoh (LT)
Pat McQuistan (RT)
Kirk Chambers (LT/RT)

Guard
Eric Steinbach
Jake Scott
Vernon Carey (RT)
Bobbie Williams
Kyle Kosier
Chris Kemoeatu
Leonard Davis
Derrick Dockery
Montrae Holland
Anthony Herrera
Daniel Loper
Russ Hochstein (C)
Floyd Womack
Adam Goldberg (RT)
Kasey Studdard
Jaimie Thomas
Jason Shirley (DT)
Trevor Canfield

Center
Jeff Faine
Jason Brown (G)
Casey Wiegmann
Jamaal Jackson
Andre Gurode (G)
Scott Mruczkowski
Tony Wragge
Brett Romberg

Long Snapper
Ken Amato
Matt Katula
Chris Massey
David Binn

Punter
Mat McBriar
Daniel Sepulveda
Matt Turk
Jason Baker
Brad Maynard

Kicker
Ryan Longwell
Dave Rayner
David Buehler

Best Available NFL Free Agents – Defense

Defensive Tackle
Aubrayo Franklin
Albert Haynesworth
John Henderson
Fred Robbins
Anthony Adams
Tony Brown
Jovan Haye
Marcus Thomas
Kelly Gregg
Howard Green
Eric Foster
Tommie Harris
Jimmy Kennedy
Trey Lewis
Jay Alford
Myron Pryor
Jason Shirley (G)

Defensive End
Andre Carter (OLB in 3-4)
Aaron Kampman
James Hall
Shaun Ellis
Matt Roth (OLB in 3-4)
Raheem Brock (DT in 4-3)
Antwan Odom
Tyler Brayton (DE in 3-4/DT in 4-3)
Jarvis Moss (OLB in 3-4)
Jimmy Wilkerson
Tim Crowder
Tim Bulman
Ikaika Alama-Francis
Jeremy Jarmon
Victor Abiamiri

Inside Linebacker
Gary Brackett
E.J. Henderson
Stephen Cooper
James Farrior
Andra Davis
Mike Peterson (SLB)
Keith Brooking
Ricky Brown
Keyaron Fox
Niko Koutouvides
Phillip Dillard

Outside Linebacker
Reggie Torbor (ILB in 3-4/SLB in 4-3)
Travis LaBoy (OLB in 3-4/DE in 4-3)
Joey Porter (OLB in 3-4)
Brady Poppinga (SLB in 4-3/OLB in 3-4)
Omar Gaither (MLB in 4-3)
Ernie Sims (WLB in 4-3)
Kevin Bentley (SLB/WLB in 4-3)
David Vobora (SLB in 3-4)
Na’il Diggs (SLB in 4-3)
Xavier Adibi (WLB/SLB in 4-3)
Darryl Blackstock (SLB in 4-3)
Isaiah Ekejiuba (SLB in 4-3)
Prescott Burgess (OLB in 3-4/ILB in 3-4)
Ramon Humber (SLB in 4-3) (suspended first three games of regular season)
Edgar Jones (DE in 4-3/OLB in 3-4)

Safety
Nick Collins
Melvin Bullitt
Chris Crocker
James Butler
Jim Leonhard
Bob Sanders
Jon McGraw
Chris Harris
Husain Abdullah
Hiram Eugene
Paul Oliver
Deon Grant
Gibril Wilson
Hamza Abdullah
Sabby Piscitelli
Gerald Alexander
Anthony Smith
C.C. Brown
Dominique Barber
Derrick Martin
Jon Corto
Bret Lockett

Cornerback
Andre’ Goodman
Leigh Bodden
Chris Johnson
Drew Coleman
Bryant McFadden
Kelly Jennings
Lito Sheppard
Byron Westbrook
Nathan Jones
Benny Sapp
Phillip Buchanon (PR)
Donald Strickland
Karl Paymah
Leigh Torrence
David Jones
Rod Hood
Frank Walker
Brandon McDonald
Anthony Madison
Kennard Cox
Will Blackmon (KR/PR)
Jorrick Calvin (KR)
Cletis Gordon

Source: Lions to Host Routt

Veteran CB Stanford Routt, who was waived earlier this week by the Kansas City Chiefs, is scheduled to visit the Detroit Lions on Friday, an NFL source confirmed.

The veteran defensive back, after being released by the Oakland Raiders on Feb. 9, signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Chiefs less than two weeks later.

Routt, 29, is known in scouting circles for his size (6-1, 195) and physical play.  The Lions have five cornerbacks on their 53-man roster, but none of them are over six feet tall. And Routt has more starts in his career (60) than any cornerback on the Lions’ roster other than veteran Chris Houston.

Routt, who visited the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills earlier this year after he was released by the Raiders, will earn no less than $11 million this season even if he doesn’t sign with another team.

Routt was selected in 2005 NFL Draft (University of Houston) in the second round by the Raiders.

Eagles Work Out Veteran LB

The Philadelphia Eagles have been busy over the past few days.

Not only did they sign starting ORT Todd Herremans to a three-year deal worth over $21 million, but they also worked out a veteran free-agent.

An NFL source confirmed SLB Ben Leber visited and worked out for the team this week.

Leber, who spent most of last season with the St. Louis Rams, was released by the Rams in December.

Sixth-year pro Akeem Jordan is the current starting SLB for the Eagles.

Leber actually drew serious interest from the Eagles during the free agency period of 2006, two sources confirmed, but he wound up signing a multi-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

The veteran defender was originally selected in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.

Going Inside Minicamp – Philadelphia Eagles (Defense)

With the Philadelphia Eagles finishing up with their mandatory minicamp late last week, here’s an overview from what I saw up close from the defense during my time observing practices at the start of OTAs through the final practice:

Defensive Line

– It was very noticeable that the Eagles can go a legitimate 11-deep on the defensive line (6 DE/5 DT), meaning all 11 players are capable of contributing. In fact, I don’t see another NFL team that’s deeper up front. It will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and line coach Jim Washburn use the entire group during training camp.

– Third-year DE Brandon Graham looks noticeably lighter (showed up to training camp last year out of shape—I’m putting it mildly), but whether that transfers to the field remains to be seen. But we really won’t get an idea about his progress until the pads go on during training camp. And with the emergence of Phillip Hunt late last season and the addition of second-round pick Vinny Curry this year, it’s not like Graham won’t have competition to deal with. If Graham progresses sufficiently enough in August and into the preseason, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise if veteran DE Daryl Tapp, who only played in roughly 29.5 percent of the defensive snaps last season, winds up being traded before the regular season starts. Speaking of Curry, you have to like his size, quickness and motor—all three traits from which you could see even without pads on.  I saw the real thing during Senior Bowl practices earlier this year.

– At defensive tackle, the Eagles have apparent solid depth and versatility. I kept an eye on first-round pick Fletcher Cox, who isn’t your typical interior defensive lineman. Those guys are typically built low to the ground and aren’t very athletic. But Cox has unusually long arms (34 ½) for a DT and he’s built like a DE. Even without pads on, you can see his short area quickness. And with Cox and veteran DT Cullen Jenkins capable of lining up outside (in the 4-3 or even if they used a 3-4 or other odd-man fronts), Castillo will have plenty of options to throw at opposing offenses. I can’t say this for sure, but fourth-year pro Antonio Dixon looked to be a little down in weight.  And with all of this versatility and depth, the Eagles certainly don’t have to use veteran DEs Trent Cole and Jason Babin on a ton of snaps.

Linebackers

– When judging linebackers with no contact or pads on, it’s hard to make any definitive statements. However, you can see how fluid second-round pick Mychcal Kendricks is. It’s next to impossible to judge his understanding of the defensive scheme this early, but these practices were imperative in order for him to learn playing at SLB, a position which he hasn’t played before. You can see his fluidity of movement and coverage ability—two traits which will be tested once the pads go on in late July.

– Veteran MLB DeMeco Ryans did not look at all limited by the Achilles injury from a few seasons ago. As a high-level personnel executive told me after watching his tape from late last season, Ryans looked like he was all the way back from the injury. I will be interested to see how many plays he can handle each game. He was basically a two-down defender (played in just over 58 percent of the defensive snaps last season) with the Houston Texans in 2011.

– It has been written and speculated that the Eagles will change things up this season at cornerback as far as where those players are lined up. I fully expect the coaches to use more press coverage going forward. Most teams don’t have two starters over 6-feet (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha) like the Eagles do. And both are best used in press position where they can take advantage of their size. I’ve been on record as saying the Eagles will be better off without veteran CB Asante Samuel for one big reason; the ability to get physical with opposing wide receivers. Samuel typically plays deeper off the line (sometimes 8-10 yards deep), which is not the preferred alignment of DRC and Asomugha. For those wanting more information on younger cornerbacks such as Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes and Trevard Lindley, let’s wait till training camp. It’s too early to get a real idea of what their roles might be this season.

Still Some Work to Do

When examining the roster, it’s quite clear that head coach/executive vice president of football operations Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman have put together a very strong group, but there some issues remaining when it comes to depth at more than one position:

Outside Cornerback – The Eagles have plenty of candidates for the slot role (Joselio Hanson and rookie Brandon Boykin). However, what if either starter (Rodgers-Cromartie or Asomugha) couldn’t play? Is Hanson really an adequate replacement on the outside? He’s really solid inside, but is much less effective when lined up outside. He plays better in space or in confined areas. Unfortunately, the group of available veteran cornerbacks on the free agent market isn’t great, and most of them are best used inside.

Running Back – If starter LeSean McCoy got hurt, I’m not exactly sold that second-year pro Dion Lewis is ready to handle a significant amount of touches. While he’s an intriguing player, my sense is the Eagles would have to go with a running back by committee if McCoy couldn’t play. Lewis only saw 42 snaps on offense as a rookie. And with that being the case, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the team signed a veteran at some point for insurance purposes. I’ll break down the offense later this week.

Strong Safety – As of this writing, the Eagles were in negotiations with veteran S O.J. Atogwe. But he’s more of a traditional “range” free safety, which means he’s not really a true in-the-box player like a SS. However, in today’s NFL, safeties have to cover more than ever, and there is less of aligning the FS deeper and the SS just inside the box. So Atogwe, who is expected to sign with the team barring a snag, could line up as a single safety or in different personnel groupings within the Eagles’ 4-3 defensive scheme. At the very least, he’ll serve as insurance at FS in back of starter Nate Allen. It should be noted that the Eagles had been trying to add depth and competition at SS to go up against starter Kurt Coleman and second-year pro Jaiquawn Jarrett, so it remains to be seen how that particular group will shake out.

Post-Draft Review/Future Outlook-New York Jets

Pre-Draft Needs

WR, ORT, OLB, SS, FS, ILB, DE

Draft Class

Round 1 – Quinton Coples/DE
Round 2 – Stephen Hill/WR
Round 3 – Demario Davis/LB
Round 6 – Josh Bush/S
Round 6 – Terrance Ganaway/RB
Round 6 – Robert Griffin/G
Round 7 – Antonio Allen/S
Round 7 – Jordan White/WR

Post-Draft Needs

WR, ORT, OLB

Analysis

After suffering through a non-playoff appearance in 2011 with an 8-8 record, the Jets are looking to bounce back this season with an influx of talent from this year’s NFL Draft. However, they didn’t have selections in rounds four or five. They did, however, have extra picks in rounds six and seven.

To start things off, the team addressed the depth at defensive end with first-round pick Quinton Coples. The issue with Coples has never been talent; it’s been about the desire to get better. When he’s at his best — as we saw during Senior Bowl week — he can be flat-out dominant. Coples, who is expected to start immediately, will line up at DE for the Jets’ 3-4 defensive scheme, but he could slide inside when they go to a 4-3 front. Coples played well inside during his junior season at the University of North Carolina.

Another need was filled in the second round with Stephen Hill. The Jets have needed speed and size for a while at wide receiver, and Hill fill both of those needs. However, he has a long way to go as a route runner and his college stats weren’t overwhelming, so Hill’s maturation process to the NFL level might take a big longer than expected. But as one personnel executive said, Hill’s size and speed makes him a very intriguing prospect for the long haul.

Not only will third-round Demario Davis fill a depth need at ILB, he has a good chance at starting in year two. That’s because current starting ILB Bart Scott, who turns 33 next August, has no guaranteed money left in his contract after this season. His cap number for 2013 is $8.65 million. It’s not a secret that there was a good chance the Jets would have cut or traded Scott had his $4.2 million base salary for this season not been fully guaranteed. One NFL executive said he could see Davis starting for 8-10 years, if healthy, for the Jets based on his talent level, which is strong. The only knock on him is he played against a lower level of competition at Arkansas St., which explains why he wasn’t selected higher.

The next selection, sixth-round pick S Josh Bush, has a legitimate shot to make the team as a fourth safety. A former cornerback in high school, Bush has decent range for a safety. The Jets seemingly had good depth at running back with Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell, but that didn’t stop them from selecting another one with their second of three six-round picks. Terrance Ganaway has good size (5-11, 240) for the position, but he will really need to have a strong training camp and preseason in order to make the team this fall. The final sixth-rounder, G Robert Griffin, has the size the Jets want at the position—big and strong. And because the team has little depth at guard, Griffin could make a strong push for a roster spot in training camp.

Seventh-round pick S Antonio Allen is a long shot to make the team, but has really good size the position. He figures to land on the practice squad this fall. Their final pick, WR Jordan White, suffered a broken foot during an OTA practice, so his chances of making the team aren’t good. However, it’s not like the Jets are deep at the position, either.

The Jets should get three starters out of this draft–and as early as year two. But you also can make a case that their top-three picks have a lot to prove based on various factors.

Grade: B

2012 NFL Combine Notebook

After talking to various NFL executives and player agents over a five-day period during the 2012 NFL Combine, here’s a look the what I’ve been hearing:

Packers Continuing to Get Younger

There’s a belief in some scouting circles that the Green Bay Packers are trying to get younger on offense. And Yahoo! Sports reported that the team would likely cut veteran OLT Chad Clifton and restructure veteran WR Donald Driver’s contract.

Clifton’s contract is up after this coming season. His base salary is $5.25 million and his contract carries a salary cap number of just under $5.6 million. That figure is probably too high for a player who turns 36 in June and has missed 14 games over the last three seasons.

If Clifton is released, the team could turn to 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod or third-year pro Marshall Newhouse, who started 13 games last season.

Driver is signed through 2012 and carries a base salary of $2.6 million. But his cap number of $5 million is a bit too rich for a player who saw just fewer than 48% of the offensive snaps. Driver, who turned 37 earlier this month, has a $1.5 million roster bonus due on the first day of training camp, a source confirmed. With a lesser role expected for Driver this coming season, there’s just no way the team can justify paying the aging veteran so much money.

Buccaneers Poised to Spend?

Some personnel sources believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, armed with a plethora of salary cap space (some reports have them with as much as $60 million+ to use), will be spending a large chunk of it in free agency. And general manager Mark Dominik was quoted by the Tampa Bay Times as saying the team would be active.

“We’re going to do it in free agency. I don’t want people to be worried we’re not going to spend in free agency. We’ll be involved,” Dominik said.

In recent years, the Buccaneers have mostly stayed out of free agency by choosing instead to build in the draft, but the positions mentioned by various sources that the team would be addressing this time in the NFL’s annual shopping period around were wide receiver, running back, defensive tackle and cornerback. Depth will be addressed at defensive end and other positions.

I was surprised to hear defensive tackle mentioned as a priority considering the team has a potentially solid four-man rotation, but considering starter Gerald McCoy has missed 13 games over his first two seasons. And as one source pointed out to me in a discussion earlier on Sunday, don’t forget the Buccaneers were ranked last in 2011 in stopping the run (156.1 yards per game).

Because the Buccaneers are one of the NFL’s youngest teams, the belief is that the team will be aggressive in attempting to sign veterans to help fortify its roster.

Routt to Have Significant Role With Chiefs

When veteran CB Stanford Routt signed a three-year, $20 million deal recently, it came to a surprise to some since he wasn’t coming off of a strong season with the Oakland Raiders. And the Raiders released him after spending seven seasons with the team. But as multiple personnel sources pointed out, the Raiders defensive scheme last season was easily exposed each week by opposing offenses. The defense had too many breakdowns in discipline and execution. Players were not comfortable with what they were being asked to do.

The Chiefs were aggressive in signing Routt because the plan, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, is to have him line up against the opponents best wide receiver each week this coming season. Routt has played in man coverage for most of his career.

Routt, 28, has good size and is still regarded as one of the fastest defensive backs in the NFL.

What does Wright’s Workout Really Mean?

As for the slow 40-yard dash times for Baylor WR Kendall Wright, it was certainly surprising. It appeared that his issue was more of getting out of a track stance during both runs than anything else. For whatever reason, he didn’t get off cleanly and that clearly cost him precious time. But also keep in mind he won’t be playing out of a track stance at the next level.

And while Wright wasn’t as smooth in the rest of the workout as expected when compared to his outstanding game tape, not much has changed; he’s the most explosive wide receiver in this draft and it’s not even close. I would also mention that any scouting staff that drops his draft grade significantly after one subpar workout should not keep their jobs going forward. After watching four of his game from last season in my ongoing evaluation of Wright, I think the comparison to Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith is still warranted. Both, according to one of my favorite scouting terms, play bigger than their listed size. Both are not afraid to go and get the ball over the middle or go wherever the play takes them.

But when a player comes up short of expectations, even in a shorts and t-shirts exhibition, that will raise eyebrows. I get it. But the game is not played in shorts and t-shirts, it’s played in a uniform, in a stadium, and with players on both sides of the ball. And in that particular setting, the one he’ll play in at the NFL level, he dominated last season.

Cousins Continuing to Climb

The throwing exhibition by Michigan St. QB Kirk Cousins on Sunday could lead credence to the thought that he could wind up being a second-round pick during April’s NFL Draft.

Cousins, who was also terrific earlier this year during Senior Bowl week, was poised, accurate and threw with power during Sunday’s first throwing session.

During his time in Mobile, Cousins threw the ball almost with anger and conviction during practice—almost as though he thought he had something to prove.

The knock on Cousins, according to personnel sources, is that he tends to break down mentally at times and forces some throws. But Cousins only had 7 interceptions during the regular season and threw for 24 touchdowns.

The bottom line is that Cousins, who seems to have put together the best two-month stretch of any quarterback of this year’s class, could be on the same path as former TCU QB Andy Dalton, who was strong from January to February last year.

Dalton was thought to be destined to be a fourth-round pick coming into Senior Bowl week, but a strong pre-draft period pushed him all the way to the second round.

Source: Browns and Josh Gordon Agree to Deal

The Cleveland Browns and rookie WR Josh Gordon have agreed on a four-year contract, an NFL source confirmed.

Gordon, who was selected in the second round of last week’s NFL Supplemental Draft, agreed to a deal worth just over $5.3 million with $3.8 million guaranteed.

Gordon (6’3” 1/8, 224) was the only player selected in this year’s Supplemental Draft.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to become part of such a prestigious organization as the Cleveland Browns.  I can’t wait to get started and acclimated to a new city as well as the team.  I want to be able to contribute to the offense in any way I can, and I am ready to come in and work hard to make that happen,” Gordon said after his selection by the Browns.

Gordon registered 43 receptions for 721 receiving yards with seven touchdown catches in two seasons at Baylor University. He also added seven kickoff returns for 139 yards (19.9 average) during his collegiate career.

As a sophomore in 2010, Gordon played in 13 games with five starts and ranked second on the team with a career-best 42 catches for 714 receiving yards and tied a team-high with seven touchdown catches.

Gordon only visited one team because he needed time to get in shape for his pro day.

“I enjoyed my visit there last week, and was very impressed with all of the people I met, including (general manager) Mr. (Tom) Heckert.  I have also had the chance to speak with (head) coach (Pat) Shurmur on several occasions and I am looking forward to the opportunity to play for him. Being taken this high in the supplemental draft and mentioned among the likes of (QB) Bernie Kosar is a humbling experience in itself, as well as a dream come true.”

Gordon did not play last season after being dismissed by Baylor due to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, which was later dropped. While various reports varied on how many drug tests Gordon failed while at the school, the Browns clearly feel comfortable with Gordon’s character.

“It’s something that we really did our homework on, there’s no question about it. We brought the kid in and met with him here then I talked to a zillion guys at both Baylor and Utah. To be honest with you, I couldn’t find anybody to say one bad thing about the kid,” Heckert explained when being asked about if he’s concerned with Gordon’s past. “I really enjoyed meeting with him. It’s something that is out there that we think we have done our homework on. But to say we’re 100%, we’re not 100% on anybody in the draft, but we felt good enough that we think he is going to be a positive influence on our team.”

Gordon posted an average 40-yard dash time of 4.52, but the rest of his pro day workout was very impressive, according to multiple sources at the workout. He posted 36” in the vertical jump, which displays lower body explosion, and a very solid 10’1” on the broad jump.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the workout, however, was his array of receptions during a catching drill—and he did so after suffering a quadriceps pull earlier during his 40-yard dash run. And not only did Gordon catch every pass from former University of Mississippi QB Jevan Snead during the passing drill, he caught a 60-yard pass down field in stride.

The challenge for Gordon will be to learn the Browns’ version of the West Coast offense, which is a complete departure from the offense he played in at Baylor. He’ll get started on his maturation process going forward when the rookies report to training camp on July 24.

Source: Former Baylor WR to Enter Supplemental Draft

Former Baylor WR Josh Gordon will enter the NFL Supplemental Draft, an NFL source confirmed.

Gordon (6-4, 225), who did not play last season after transferring to Utah, is known in scouting circles for his prototype size and athletic ability. Gordon had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. He was suspended by Baylor for the 2011 season due to violation of team rules.

In his last season at Baylor, Gordon posted 42 receptions for 714 yards (17.0 average) with 7 touchdowns. He’s also capable of returning kicks.

Gordon, who has been clocked in the 40-yard dash at Baylor as low as the 4.3’s, could go as high as the first half of the Supplemental Draft based on his upside and play making ability.

The Supplemental Draft is scheduled to take place on July 12, but the NFL has yet to confirm the date or whether there will actually be a Supplemental Draft. However, some player agents and NFL executives have been told the draft will take place on July 12, according to multiple sources.

Source: Raiders Sign Veteran CB

Former Philadelphia Eagles CB Joselio Hanson signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders, an NFL source confirmed.

Hanson, who was surprisingly released by the Eagles last Friday, visited the Raiders on Sunday. The veteran defensive back has been one of the better slot defenders in the NFL over the past four to five seasons.

Hanson was only going to earn $825,000 in base salary with the Eagles, so the decision to release him doesn’t appear to be a cost-cutting move. And Hanson was paid a $125,000 roster bonus in March.  He was on the final season of a two-year deal.

The Eagles targeted fourth-round pick CB Brandon Boykin to take over as the long-term nickel back, so his addition earlier this year clearly played a part in the decision to release Hanson. The Eagles are down to five cornerbacks on the 53-man roster after releasing Hanson and waiving Trevard Lindley over the past weekend.

Hanson was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. He signed with the Eagles prior to the 2006 season.

The Raiders, before signing Hanson, had six cornerbacks on their 53-man roster, but didn’t appear to have a true slot defender.

It’s not known what Hanson’s base salary will be with the Raiders, but since he’ll be on the opening week roster his salary will be guaranteed because he’s a vested veteran. Veteran base salaries become guaranteed on Saturday.

The Raiders open up the 2012 season next Monday evening at home against the San Diego Chargers.