NFL Notebook

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2009

Associated Press
The NFL notebook …
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Kerry Collins agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Titans on Friday after leading Tennessee to an NFL-best 13-3 record last season.
Coach Jeff Fisher had said he wanted the 36-year-old veteran back, and Collins had said he wanted to play again in Tennessee.
“Kerry did a great job for us last year stepping back into the starting role,” Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said in a statement. “He has veteran leadership, tons of game experience and we expect him to continue to play at a high level for us.”
Collins was the fifth overall pick in the 1995 draft by Carolina and signed as a free agent with Tennessee in 2006.
COWBOYSIRVING, Texas ó The Dallas Cowboys took care of one of their top offseason priorities Saturday when they acquired quarterback Jon Kitna as the likely backup for Tony Romo.
Then they went out and signed linebacker Keith Brooking to a three-year deal worth about $6 million ó with about $2.5 million guaranteed ó to provide a veteran defender familiar with coach Wade Philips at a position the Cowboys expect to lose at least one free agent.
The Cowboys got Kitna from Detroit for starting cornerback Anthony Henry.
BRONCOS SIGN DAWKINS
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. ó The Denver Broncos have signed seven-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins, who spent his entire 13-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
So raw were his emotions over leaving Philly that he only wanted to talk about Denver, yet it was obvious from his puffy eyes that he’d spent plenty of time and emotions pondering about what he had left behind.
To the Eagles’ fans who relished his hard hits and big plays while he helped lead the team to five NFC championship games and a Super Bowl, Dawkins couldn’t bring himself to say farewell.
“I’ll have a time to really sit down and have a conversation with them, but they know it. I’ve absolutely enjoyed my time there, and this was a very, very, very emotional decision for me. Very emotional. I’ve been crying,” Dawkins said on Saturday after signing what is essentially a two-year, $9 million deal.
TEXANSHOUSTON ó New Texans defensive end Antonio Smith can’t wait to team up with Mario Williams.
The Arizona Cardinals free agent who had eight tackles and a sack in the Super Bowl signed with Houston on Saturday, and it didn’t take him long to gush about playing opposite the No. 1 pick from 2006.
“I think it’s going to be a great pair,” Smith said. “I think that having him on the other side is going to be fun. I like to have fun out there, and I think that’s exactly what it’s going to be. We’re going to cause a lot of havoc for the offensive linemen out there.”
PANTHER TO BILLS
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. ó Shortly after signing with the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner kidded by overstating his size.
“I’m 6-8, 420 pounds,” Hangartner said with a wink.
He’s not that big, but at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, Hangartner’s addition fills one of two gaping holes on a team intent on rebuilding its offensive line this offseason.
Hangartner, who’s played both center and guard during his previous four years with the Carolina Panthers, will take over at center after signing a four-year deal with Buffalo on the second day of the NFL’s free agency period.
VISITING THE VIKINGS
MINNEAPOLIS ó Free agent wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is visiting the Minnesota Vikings.
In a relatively weak market for receivers, Houshmandzadeh is the prize at his position. His statistics fell last season, to 904 yards and four touchdowns receiving. The year before, Houshmandzadeh had career highs with 1,143 yards and 12 TDs.
TRADENEW YORK ó The New York Jets shored up their shaky secondary Saturday, acquiring two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard from the Philadelphia Eagles for undisclosed draft picks.

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