NFL NOTEBOOK: Pittsburgh Steelers get active in free agent market

  • Tue Mar 9th, 2010 9:02pm
  • Sports

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers, normally one of the quietest teams in NFL free agency, suddenly are one of the busiest.

The Steelers made a pair of surprise moves by re-signing safety Ryan Clark and bringing back wide receiver Antwaan Randle El on Tuesday — a day after signing two backups who excel on special teams, safety Will Allen from the Buccaneers and wide receiver Arnaz Battle from the 49ers.

There’s more, too: They’re also bringing in offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, who played the last two seasons in Buffalo under new Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler. Scott started eight games last season but wasn’t given even the lowest tender offer to stay with the Bills.

Browns release Anderson

CLEVELAND — Quarterback Derek Anderson’s uneven five-year stint with the Cleveland Browns is over. The team released the one-time Pro Bowl quarterback Tuesday, one day after the Browns acquired backup Seneca Wallace in a trade from Seattle. The former Oregon State star made the Pro Bowl in 2007 when he threw 29 touchdown passes and led the club to a 10-6 record. However, his promising career has been in a tailspin ever since. He lost his starting job to Brady Quinn at the start of last season, got it back, lost it again, returned to the starting lineup when Quinn got hurt, and won Cleveland’s last two games.

De Niro to play Lombardi

BRISTOL, Conn. — Robert De Niro is set to play Vince Lombardi in an upcoming movie. ESPN announced Tuesday that the Academy Award-winning actor has agreed to play the Hall of Fame coach in the film it is developing with Andell Entertainment and the NFL. “Lombardi” will chronicle the years in which he transformed the Green Bay Packers from the NFL’s worst team to league champions. It is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2012 during the weekend between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

Schobel ponders next move

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Aaron Schobel is in no rush to collect his $2 million roster bonus because the Buffalo Bills defensive end still hasn’t decided on whether he’ll come back for a 10th NFL season. The two-time Pro Bowl selection was due to be paid the roster bonus on Tuesday. Schobel remains a member of the Bills, but the payment remains on hold because there’s a provision in his contract that he must first pass a physical. That’s fine with Schobel, who told The Associated Press by phone on Tuesday that he’s not willing to take the physical until he’s made up his mind on whether or not to continue playing.

Chiefs sign Jones

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have signed free agent running back Thomas Jones, who led the New York Jets to the AFC championship game last season and was the NFL’s third-leading rusher. The Chiefs announced the deal Tuesday but declined to disclose the terms. Jones had career highs of 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

Broncos sign free agent

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos continued beefing up their defensive line with the signing of unrestricted free agent Jarvis Green, who spent his first eight NFL seasons in New England. Last season, Green had 47 tackles in 13 games, including 12 starts.

Giants sign backup QB

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After six years backing up Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, Jim Sorgi will get a chance to do the same for Peyton’s brother Eli. The New York Giants announced Tuesday that they have signed Sorgi to a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed.

Patriots re-sign Bodden

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have kept another free agent from leaving, re-signing cornerback Leigh Bodden to a four-year deal. Bodden’s deal, which was announced by his agent on Twitter, comes on the same day the Patriots confirmed that they re-signed defensive lineman Vince Wilfork. Wilfork and his agent announced the deal on Saturday.

Saints to keep Torrence

METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has agreed to re-sign reserve defensive back Leigh Torrence to a one-year contract. Torrence has been with the Saints since being claimed off waivers in November 2008. He played in five games for New Orleans in 2009 before injuring his shoulder and finishing the year on injured reserve.