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Saturday, March 01, 2008

DE Justin Smith Signs With 49ers

Justin Smith has decided to travel west to San Francisco for the opportunity of greener pastures and a completely fresh start with a rising organization.

The green will be overflowing in abundance for the fourth-pick in the 2001 draft after he agreed to a six-year, $45 million plus contract during the second day of free agency. Smith has been assured $20 million in guaranteed money.

At 6-4 and 275 pounds, Smith will be a valuable addition to a defense that ranked
25th last season en route to a 5-11 record.

Fresh Free Agent Signings Around The League

A plethora of impactful players switched zip codes Friday after agreeing to terms with their new teams.

Safety Gibril Wilson, who was instrumental in the Giants first Super Bowl Victory since 1990, signed a six-year, $39 million deal.

Veteran Issac Bruce, who amassed 14,109 yards and 84 touchdowns in his 14 prolific seasons in the gateway city, secured a two-year, $6 million contract with rival San Francisco. Kick return specialist Allen Rossum signed with the 49ers as well.

Todd Collins, who guided the Redskins to an improbable playoff run last season, re-signed with Washington, agreeing to a three-year, $9 million deal.

Bill Parcells remained highly active in free agency,signing wide receiver Ernest Wilford, trading for the Cowboys nose tackle Jason Ferguson and adding former Raiders quarterback Josh McCown.

Due to the departure of Quinn Gray, the Jaguars signed Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon to be their backup. Lemon led Miami to their lone victory last season.

Tampa Bay signed center Jeff Faine after electing to not re-sign John Wade.

Tommy Kelly resigned with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week to a seven-year contract worth more than $50 million. The productive defensive lineman has been assured more than $18 million in guaranteed money.

Rams Jeff Wilkins Retires, Kicker Josh Brown Signs

The same day after 14-year veteran and all-time leading scorer Jeff Wilkins announced his retirement, Josh Brown bolted from the division rival Seahawks to sign with the St.Louis Rams.

Brown agreed to a five-year, $14.2 million contract that includes a $4 signing bonus. Brown's new contract will propel him to the status of highest paid kicker in the league.

During his five seasons in the Northwest, Brown connected on 80% of field goals and 99.6% of extra points. The former Cornhusker has a knack for timely kicks, accumulating four game -winning field goals in 2006, two of which were against his new team.

Undrafted out of Youngstown State in 1994, Wilkins firmly established a name for himself as one of the premier place kickers in NFL history. Since joining the Rams in 1997, Wilkins played in very game except for five in the year 2000. Consistency evolved as the benchmark of Wilkins's career,as he connected on 307 of 375 field goals and 26 that were from 50 yards or greater.

“Throughout my 11 years with the Rams, everybody in the organization has been fantastic - from top to bottom,” Wilkins said. “But retirement is the best for me, my family and the Rams.”

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