NFL

Newly signed Carrington fit for Bills defense

Alex Carrington
Defensive end Alex Carrington raised his draft stock at the Senior Bowl.
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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at FOXSports.com. He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.

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The Buffalo Bills signed third-round pick Alex Carrington (6 feet 5, 285 pounds, Arkansas State), the team announced. While the team didn’t disclose the terms, a source said the defensive end signed a four-year deal.

Carrington shot up draft boards after his solid set of practices during Senior Bowl week.

The small school product should fit right in for Buffalo’s new 3-4 defensive scheme based on his size. In fact, some scouts believe he could put on 10 to 15 more pounds. Teams that use the 3-4 typically like their ends in the 290-plus-pound range.

As first reported by Profootballtalk.com, Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson has agreed to terms on a new contract with the team. However, no new years have been added, but the team will pay the third-year back more money this season. He was scheduled to earn $550,000 for 2010. Johnson is still signed through 2012.

A source told FOXSports.com that Johnson had a $2.5 million escalator due in 2012 based on receptions, receiving yards, rushing yards and average per rush. It’s believed the team moved some or all of that money, which was due in two years, up two seasons. And by his stellar performance so far, he might have reached all or most parameters of the escalators by the fifth season in advance of that time frame.

Because of the complexities of the “30-percent rule” that limits the base salary growth in contract extensions or renegotiations to 30 percent in an uncapped year, extending Johnson’s contract was going to be difficult. Because of this, the only way the team could look to satisfy the league’s most dangerous back was to give him a contract with a hefty signing bonus. Signing bonuses are not written into the 30-percent rule. But giving him a signing bonus of $30 million to $40 million wasn’t going to happen. So the Titans could really only give Johnson an extra $165,000 on his base salary for this season. They came up with the other option apparently to front his escalator money that he was going to achieve down the road.

It should be noted teams can’t adjust a contract twice within a 12-month period, so even if a new collective bargaining agreement is reached between the NFL and its players, the Titans would have to wait until next July to get an extension done with Johnson.

The Cincinnati Bengals waived/non-football injury backup G Jason Shirley, the team announced.

Shirley, who was drafted as a defensive tackle but got moved to guard during training camp last year, suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury in April while playing in a charity basketball game.

Assuming he clears waivers, Shirley will go on Cincinnati’s reserve/non-football injury list (NFI). Under league rules, the Bengals are not required to pay Shirley’s $395,000 base salary for 2010 because he was injured in non-football activities. Shirley will not be able to play this season while on this list. The only way he could play is if he were released.

As first reported by FOXSports.com, the Cleveland Browns have signed FB/TE Joel Gamble.

Gamble, who spent the final four weeks of last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, is being listed as a tight end by the Browns. The Eagles had signed him to be a fullback.

Gamble is now the fifth tight end under contract on Cleveland’s 80-man roster.

The Dallas Cowboys have signed fourth-round pick Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (6-0, 207, IUP), the team announced. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but a source said the safety signed a four-year deal.

Owusu-Ansah had an inconsistent final season at IUP in 2009 because of a shoulder injury, which was operated on in March. But Owusu-Ansah is known in scouting circles for having solid speed for a player of his size. In fact, he could be used as a special teams returner. Scouts say he was very aggressive as a kickoff returner at IUP. Owusu-Ansah is also capable of playing cornerback.

The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with seventh-round pick Sean Canfield (6-4, 223, Oregon State), the team announced. A source said the quarterback’s deal is worth just under $1.84 million.

Canfield has well less than ideal arm strength, but the left-handed passer is known for his moxie and leadership. He’s now the third quarterback under contract on New Orleans’ 80-man roster. It’s expected the team will sign a veteran to handle the No. 2 role, which means Canfield and second-year Chase Daniel wind up competing for the No. 3 role in training camp.
The Oakland Raiders have signed fourth-round pick Jacoby Ford (5-9, 186, Clemson), the team announced. Terms of the deal were not announced, but a source said the wide receiver signed a four-year deal.

Ford, who posted one of the fastest set of 40-yard dash times in the history of the NFL Combine (4.28, 4.30), will likely get a chance to compete for the kick returner job in training camp against Johnnie Lee Higgins and Jonathan Holland. He’s also capable of returning punts. As he develops his skills, it’s also possible Ford will compete for a role as a slot receiver.

Tagged: Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, Titans, Raiders, Saints, Cardinals, Chris Johnson, Chris Johnson, Jason Shirley, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Sean Canfield, Jacoby Ford

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