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AFC Whispers

Ravens hope Redding regains effectiveness

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By PFW staff

• The Ravens may have gotten a bargain in former Seahawks DL Cory Redding, whom they signed to a two-year deal reportedly worth $6 million. The 29-year-old Redding played like a potential Pro Bowl defensive tackle earlier in his career, displaying excellent quickness and power — as well as a good motor — and racking up a career-high eight sacks in 2006. The Lions gave him the franchise tag the next offseason, and he later received a seven-year, $49 million contract from Detroit. He hasn't been nearly as effective since, but the Ravens are banking on him contributing at defensive end in their 3-4 front and also at tackle when they employ a four-man defensive line. He's expected to be a starter. Redding's arrival helps compensate for the loss of DLs Justin Bannan (to Denver) and Dwan Edwards (Buffalo) in free agency. Also, it comes with Baltimore having just five picks in April's draft.

• Despite the fact that the Bills have two quality backs on the roster in Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, head coach Chan Gailey said at the NFL owners meetings that he will be looking to upgrade the position during the draft. It won't be a high priority, but Gailey feels his squad could use a change-of-pace "water bug," a speedy option who can come in on passing downs and provide a home-run threat. It's likely an issue he'll address in the middle-to-late rounds.

• The Dolphins already have 10 draft picks, but they're looking for more. Miami is shopping OG Justin Smiley because of concerns about his durability, and the team would like to unload WR Ted Ginn Jr., as well. Backup QB Tyler Thigpen may be available, too.

• We hear both of the Colts' recent free-agent additions to the offensive line — OG Andy Alleman and OT Adam Terry — could figure prominently in the bigger, stronger unit that team president Bill Polian is pushing for. Said one team insider of the line's state of flux: "I suspect center (Jeff Saturday) and right tackle (Ryan Diem) are the only settled positions, but that's not even a given."

• Don't be surprised if the Jaguars use the 10th overall pick in the draft to select a defensive lineman. Despite making a splash in free agency by signing DE Aaron Kampman, GM Gene Smith has made it clear that moves in free agency will not affect his drafting philosophy, which is to always select the best available player.

• The Jaguars still have more than 5,000 season-ticket holders who have not renewed for the 2010 season. While they are far ahead of last year's pace, when 17,000 season tickets were not renewed, we hear there is real concern that home games in '10 could be blacked out once again.

• The way we hear it, Jacksonville coaches feel the season-ending injury to Reggie Hayward in Week One last year had a negative impact in particular on fellow DE Derrick Harvey. The club expects big things out of Harvey this season with free-agent addition Aaron Kampman being plugged in on the right side of the line.

Darren McFadden and Michael Bush will be competing for the job of Oakland's featured back this offseason now that Justin Fargas has been released. Head coach Tom Cable said at the owners meetings that he wants an every-down back to emerge from the battle. McFadden hasn't proven to be durable enough to handle that kind of workload yet, but he's healthy, and word is the team is hoping he will claim the job.

• Word out of San Diego is that the Chargers have interest in CB Nathan Vasher, who was released by the Bears on March 17. Although Vasher's play has steadily declined — he has just three interceptions over the past three seasons — he had his best year playing for former Chicago and current San Diego defensive coordinator Ron Rivera in 2005, when he had eight picks. With the Bolts suddenly thin at corner, the veteran could provide depth behind starters Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason.

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