While most of the focus at the moment is pointed towards the NFL Draft, there are still good free agents to be signed, as the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders have shown to kick off the week, signing defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (going to the Pats) and cornerback Mike Jenkins joins the Raiders.
These weren’t the only signings of a rather busy Monday, as the New Orleans Saints added safety Jim Leonhard from the Denver Brocnos, while the Jacksonville Jaguars are the team that eventually landed with the best wide receiver left on the free agency board, Mohamed Massaquoi.
After the New England Patriots used Kyle Love and Brandon Daedrick to split the starting position next to Vince Wilfork last season, bringing in Tommy Kelly from the Oakland Raiders means they’ll probably have a more solid and reliable player at the position of inside tackle. Kelly played for the Raiders since 2004, notching up 34.5 sacks in 129 games. Besides his size and power (6’6), Kelly has started all 16 games for the Raiders over the past 5 seasons. Kelly signed a two-year deal with New England.
Quite a few teams were interested in Jenkins, who was a starter at cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys between 2009-2011, but the drafting of Maurice Claiborne and the signing of Brandon Carr relegated him to a bit-player, eventually costing the 2009 pro bowl selection his place on the Cowboys roster. He signed a one-year deal with the Raiders, who have made him their second cornerback signing of the off-season, joining Tracy Porter, who they brought in last week.
Leonhard & Massaquoi
Mohamed Massaquoi didn’t have the year of his dreams in 2012, an injury limiting him to only nine games, catching 17 passes for 245 yards. The Jags have been stocking up on wide receivers, which some think is suggesting they’re building on Blaine Gabbert to make quite an improvement this season, while others think they’re going to take a quarterback, possibly Geno Smith, in the NFL Draft.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with Jim Leonhard, who has played for the Bills, Ravens, Jets and last season for the Denver Broncos in his 8 year NFL-career. The safety is also an adequate special teams addition, being part of the punt returning game for the Broncos to go along with his two interceptions. He joins Rob Ryan (the new DC), the brother of Rex Ryan, who was Leonhard’s coach during his time with the Jets.