Andre Rison and David Meggett were among 481 NFL players who officially became free agents Friday, many of them simply because they had priced themselves out of a job.
Of the 481 free agents, 328 are unrestricted players who have four or more seasons of service whose contracts have expired. There is no compensation to their former teams for signing them.
Joining Rison and Meggett, of the New York Giants, as unrestricted free agents are such players as quarterbacks Frank Reich of Buffalo and former Shadle Park and Washington State star Mark Rypien of Cleveland, defensive end Jim Jeffcoat of Dallas, kicker Matt Bahr of New England, defensive back Ronnie Lott of the New York Jets and running back Ricky Ervins of Washington.
The Jets, who are going to try to develop and keep their own stars, reached contract agreements with their top linebackers, Mo Lewis and Bobby Houston.
Lewis, 25, received a stunning contract that puts him among the highest-paid linebackers in the game. He signed a fiveyear deal worth $11.6 million, $3.1 million to be paid this year, including a signing bonus of $2.1 million.
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