It did not take long for teams to start making moves, cutting players and setting up visits with others as the NFL Free Agent period began at Midnight. The first few official announced signing came with two offensive linemen getting new deals, as well as a running back. The Cleveland Browns, coming off an awful season, signed center Hank Fraley to a four-year contract. Fraley wasn’t even supposed to be a Brown a year ago, but had to save the day when center LeCharles Bentley went down with a knee injury on the first day of training camp. It now appears that Bentley will not play again in 2007.
The Giants also moved quickly Thursday night, inking one of their own linemen, center Shaun O’Hara. The mulit-year deal is believed to be about six years and worth about $24 mil. O’Hara came to the Giants from the Browns, and has done a solid job on their line opening up holes and protecting Eli Manning for the past two seasons. The team also spoke with defensive end Michael Strahan on Thursday about possibly his current contract. Strahan missed the second half of last year with a foot injury, and still has two years left on his deal that is set to pay him $4 mil a year.
Jacksonville also announced that running back Fred Taylor is going to likely hang around to end his career there. The 31-year-old inked a three-year deal with the Jags on Thursday. Taylor had a solid 2006, running for 1,146 yards and five TD’s. He also ran for a career best 5.0 yards per carry. Taylor, along with rookie back Maurice Drew-Jones last season ran for a combined 2,087 yards and 18 TD’s.
Friday is going to be a hectic day around the league, as teams will look to move quickly to sign not only their own players they want back, but begin talking with other unrestricted free agents around the league. Two players that Cleveland are eyeing are CB Nate Clements, and guard Eric Steinbach. Reports say that GM Phil Savage was to start sending contract proposals out at 12:01 am Friday to those two players. Steinbach, who has been with the Bengals the past four seasons, is slated to be in Cleveland to visit today.