Quarterback David Garrard has signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins and says he was told he’ll be given a shot at the starting job.
Miami signed the former Jaguars quarterback Monday after its failed courtships with Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. The Dolphins also hosted 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for a visit Sunday and still may consider signing him.
Garrard says he expects to compete for the starting job with incumbent Matt Moore and perhaps another quarterback the Dolphins acquire.
The 34-year-old Garrard, a starter for Jacksonville from 2005-10, didn’t play last season. He was released five days before the opener by the Jaguars.
Also, a person familiar with the discussions said Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell has been told he’ll be released to create cap space. The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins hadn’t announced a move.
The Dolphins will save more than $4 million in cap space. Bell, 34, has played his entire eight-year career with Miami and became a starter in 2006. He made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and led the team in tackles each of the past four seasons.
Landry a Jet
LaRon Landry is bringing his bone-jarring hits to Rex Ryan’s defense.
The free agent safety signed one-year deal Monday with the Jets, filling one of New York’s most pressing needs. ESPN reported that the deal was for $4 million.
With starter Eric Smith the only experienced safety on the roster, the Jets focused on addressing the position in free agency. Landry visited with New York Sunday, and had a number of other teams interested in him despite finishing last season for Washington on injured reserve with an injured left Achilles’ tendon.
The Patriots were one of the teams interested in Landry, but they backed off when Landry’s physical was more of a concern than they thought it would be.
With Smith and rookie Tracy Wilson, a practice squad call-up, as their only safeties, the Jets spent the last several days trying to help themselves in free agency. They lost out on Reggie Nelson, who was in for a visit but chose to return to Cincinnati, and Brandon Meriweather, who signed with the Redskins.
“When you factor in that Rex coached my brother [Dawan] and the family-oriented demeanor, it just felt like home,’’ Landry said. “It made the decision real easy for me. They have a top-notch support staff and facility and I really feel that I can prosper here.’’
Dawan Landry played under Ryan in Baltimore when Ryan was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator.
New York allowed Brodney Pool to leave as a free agent; he signed with Dallas. Jim Leonhard, a starter the last three seasons, is also a free agent but is coming off a second straight season-ending injury. Leonhard is recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee, and could return to the Jets.
LaRon Landry spent his first five NFL seasons with the Redskins after he was picked No. 6 overall in the 2007 draft out of LSU. He played at both free and strong safety with Washington, and was a two-time Pro Bowl alternate. The hard hitter could be used as a blitzing safety in Ryan’s aggressive defense and be a solid presence against the run - as long as he stays healthy.
Panthers nab Tolbert
The Panthers added more depth to their already deep stable of running backs, signing free agent Mike Tolbert from the Chargers.
Tolbert spent three seasons with Ron Rivera, who was the Chargers defensive coordinator before becoming the Panthers head coach.
“Mike is a very versatile player and is the type of player who [does] a lot of different things,’’ Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. “He can jump in and play fullback, he catches the ball well out of the backfield and plays running back. He’s also an outstanding special teams player.’’
Tolbert’s agent, Joel Turner, said his client signed a four-year contract, but he would not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
However, he said Tolbert was so excited about joining Carolina that he left over $1 million on the table on an offer from San Diego.
Quinn to Chiefs
The Chiefs signed free agent quarterback Brady Quinn and veteran right tackle Eric Winston. Winston was in the fourth year of a $30 million, five-year deal when he was cut by the Texans to save salary cap space. Houston was second in the NFL in rushing last season, and Winston will address a glaring need for the Chiefs. Quinn will back up Matt Cassel, who is coming back from a season-ending injury to his throwing hand . . . The Chargers and free agent tight end Dante Rosario have come to terms on a one-year contract. The 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound Rosario played four seasons for the Panthers after being picked in the fifth round by Carolina in 2007. He played for Denver last season. Rosario has 89 catches for 1,011 yards and five touchdowns during his career.
Raiders get Spencer
The Raiders signed cornerback Shawntae Spencer to a one-year deal in their latest move to bolster their depleted secondary. Spencer played his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers, starting 72 games his first seven years, including all 32 in 2009-10. But he lost his job in training camp last year and spent most of his final season with the 49ers as a reserve . . . The Rams signed free agent Scott Wells, a Pro Bowl center with the Packers, to join the rebuilding effort in St. Louis. The 31-year-old Wells signed a four-year contract for a reported $24 million, with $13 million guaranteed. Defensive tackle Kendall Langford agreed to essentially the same terms Saturday . . . It was overshadowed by the Peyton Manning decision to come to Denver, but the Broncos gave linebacker Joe Mays a three-year, $12 million deal to stay with them.
Flynn says it was made completely clear before he agreed to join the Seahawks that he was going into an open competition with incumbent Tarvaris Jackson for the starting quarterback job. Flynn said during a conference call that when he visited with the Seahawks late last week, the entire situation felt comfortable and felt like the team was moving in the right direction. Flynn chose the Pacific Northwest over the chance to be reunited with former Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin in Miami, where Philbin is the Dolphins’ new head coach. Flynn left the Packers Sunday after agreeing to a three-year deal with the Seahawks . . . Wide receiver Derek Hagan re-signed with the Bills. Hagan caught 13 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in four games with the Bills in 2011 after joining the team Nov. 22 . . . Browns kicker Phil Dawson signed his one-year tender as the club’s franchise player. Dawson will make $3.8 million next season . . . The Bengals signed free agent cornerback Jason Allen from Houston and agreed to a four-year deal with Reggie Nelson, who was one of their unrestricted free agents . . . The Cowboys released starting guard Kyle Kosier, a 10-year veteran who spent six seasons in Dallas. The move wasn’t a big surprise, as the team last week signed seven free agents, including offensive guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau to multiyear contracts.