Free Agency Watch: Sunday stories

Doug Farrar



The St. Louis Rams are close to a deal with former Giants defensive tackle Fred Robbins(notes). For those who think this somehow alters the team's possible draft plans, consider that they're probably not putting Robbins, a 32-year old swing tackle who lost his starting job to Chris Canty(notes) last season, in the same category as Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. If they shy away from DT in the draft, it will be because they can't resist Sam Bradford, and we won't know that until Bradford throws at his Pro Day on March 25.

Speaking of tackles, Miami's Jason Ferguson(notes) was handed an eight-game suspension by the NFL for what is believed to be a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. Ferguson is a favorite of Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano, but the Fins had to see the writing on the wall here -- Ferguson missed seven games in 2009 with a quadriceps injury, he's 35 years old, and the team has made some major investments in its defense with Mike Nolan and Karlos Dansby(notes). Nobody knows better than Parcells that a 3-4 defense won't work without a dominant nose tackle, and many assumed they'd refill the position in the draft. Ferguson is a free agent, and it's possible that he may retire, as offensive lineman Ryan Tucker(notes), who got the same suspension, did recently.

Are the Browns ready to trade Shaun Rogers because he freelances too often, and because they believe Ahtyba Rubin(notes) is their nose tackle of the future? Rogers is dominant in 3-4 sets, but can get washed out in double teams when the Browns switch to four down linemen.

Titans running back LenDale White(notes) wants to be traded, presumably to a city with a high number of Burger Kings and a low number of 2,000-yard rushers.

The Rams' interest in Brodney Pool could be a precursor to their losing defensive cornerstone O.J. Atogwe.

Leigh Bodden(notes) is on his way to Houston to talk about replacing Dunta Robinson(notes). Bodden's a better man than zone cornerback, but he'd still be a great option for a team that suddenly needs a lot of help at the position.