Tom Brady may have found the front-line receiver he had been missing in recent seasons, as the Patriots have agreed to terms with former Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd.
The move would reunite Lloyd with New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was the coach in Denver when Lloyd led the NFL in receiving yards in 2010 with the Broncos.
In that Pro Bowl season, Lloyd had 77 catches for 1,448 yards and 11 TDs. Lloyd also played the final 11 games of 2011 with McDaniels, after Lloyd was traded from Denver to St. Louis. McDaniels was the Rams’ offensive coordinator last season.
Not yet able to lock up prized QB Peyton Manning, the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night made an attempt to entice with one more big weapon. According to a a league source with knowledge of the situation, the 49ers have acquired New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham with a two-year contract.
Manningham became an instant hero in New York last month with his tiptoe, 38-yard catch down the sideline to launch the Giants’ game-winning drive against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Most believed that play also made him a much hotter commodity on the free-agent market.
The Washington Redskins have re-signed veteran quarterback Rex Grossman to a one-year deal, a league source confirmed.
The Redskins are expected to draft multi-dimensional Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick of the draft, acquired via a blockbuster trade with the St. Louis Rams. Grossman could provide a stand-in until Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner, is ready to play.
Grossman, 31, had an up-and-down season last season, passing for 3,151 yards, 16 touchdowns and 20 interceptions while completing 57.9 percent of his passes. He finished the 2011 season with a 72.4 quarterback rating in 13 games.
San Francisco 49ers veteran free agent wide receiver-kick returner Ted Ginn visited the Baltimore Ravens after visiting the Detroit Lions earlier this week, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
A former Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick from Ohio State, Ginn, 26, caught 19 passes last season, scoring on both punt and kickoff returns.
He ranked second in the league in punt return yardage with a 13.3 average.
Five days into free agency, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson didn’t envision his chance to secure his first big contract going quite this way.
Henderson, 25, is an unrestricted free agent after a 2011 season in which he became a starter for the first time and finished with 91 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Unable to come to an agreement with Minnesota before free agency began on Tuesday, Henderson became one of the top outside linebackers available.
He said during the season he was interested in re-signing with the Vikings, the team that gave him his first break as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2008. The day before free agency started, Henderson again showed his desire to come back to Minnesota, tweeting, "Let’s write a letter. I’ll start it….Dear Vikings,"
But without a deal in place on Friday, Henderson began displaying frustration with the process.
The Tennessee Titans were impressed Saturday after watching free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning’s throwing session for them.
The four-time NFL MVP conducted the workout in Knoxville, Tenn., home of his alma mater, the University of Tennessee. He gathered with the Titans one day after his workout for the Denver Broncos at Duke University.
"This morning we traveled to Knoxville and had a workout with Peyton," Titans general manager Ruston Webster said in a statement. "I thought he looked comfortable throwing the ball and we had a good visit. This is another important step in the process."
Manning missed all of last season after undergoing several surgeries on his neck. He was released by the Indianapolis Colts because of concerns about his health before they were due to pick up his $28 million option.
Patriots closing in on free-agent receiver Lloyd
The New England Patriots were close to agreeing a deal with free-agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, The Boston Globe reported Saturday, citing a league source.
Lloyd made little secret of his desire to join the defending AFC champions leading up to free agency but also visited the San Francisco 49ers this week.
A move to Foxborough would reunite the 30-year-old Lloyd with Josh McDaniels, his former Broncos coach when the receiver blossomed to enjoy the best season of his career in 2010.
The pair later reunited with more success in St. Louis, with McDaniels in the offensive coordinator role he now holds with the Patriots.
Former Redskins safety LaRon Landry was being tipped to join Lloyd as a likely New England starter.
Landry was due to have a physical at the team’s facility, the newspaper reported, to prove his fitness after being limited by an Achilles injury in the past two years.
Source: Wharton joins Bengals on three-year, $10 million deal
The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms on a three-year, $10 million deal with former Carolina Panthers offensive guard Travelle Wharton, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
The deal includes $4 million paid in the first year.
Wharton, 30, was cut by the Panthers earlier this week after starting every game last season.
Baltimore Ravens free agent safety Tom Zbikowski’s three-year contract contract with the Indianapolis Colts is worth just under $5.5 million and includes a signing bonus just over $1 million, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
“Tom is a very dedicated and fiery player,” said Colts coach Chuck Pagano, Zbikowki’s former defensive coordinator in Baltimore. “His competitiveness drives him to perform at a high level and his aggressive style of play parallels the attitude we’re looking for from the defensive unit. We’re very excited Tom will be joining the Colts this season.”
A former third-round draft pick from Notre Dame, Zbikowski is a 5-foot-11, 200-pounder who recorded 23 tackles and one sack in four starts last season for the Ravens before being replaced at strong safety by veteran Bernard Pollard.
Detroit might be the next stop on Eric Winston’s free-agent tour.
A source told FOXSports.com that the right tackle is set to visit with the Lions on Monday if he doesn’t sign Saturday with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Winston spent Friday night in Kansas City after the St. Louis Rams canceled a visit following the signing of Green Bay center Scott Wells. Winston made his first free-agent visit with the Miami Dolphins after his surprising release last Monday by the Houston Texans.