NFL notebook: Ravens safety Reed headed for Texans, according to reports

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:24 p.m.

Free-agent safety Ed Reed is leaving the Super Bowl champion Ravens to sign with the Houston Texans, according to multiple reports.

Reed, the 34-year-old nine-time Pro Bowler, visited the Texans last week but left without a deal.

According to reports, the Texans offered Reed a 3-year deal worth roughly $4 million per year. Reed earned $7.2 million last season and was reportedly seeking a similar salary.

Reed, the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year, won his first Super Bowl in his 11th and final season with the Ravens, who have experienced an exodus of experience and talent since free agency began.

Bears part ways with veteran LB Urlacher

The Bears are parting ways with veteran linebacker Brian Urlacher after 13 years.

General manager Phil Emery said that the team couldn't agree on a contract with Urlacher, for years the heart and face of the franchise. He is now a free agent after missing the last four games of the season with a hamstring injury.

“We were unable to reach an agreement with Brian and both sides have decided to move forward,” Emery said in a statement.

The eight-time Pro Bowler started 180 games from 2000 through 2012, recording a team-record 1,779 tackles. The ninth overall selection in the 2000 draft has 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles. He was the AP's Defensive Player of the Year in 2005.

Freeney, Abraham set to visit Broncos

Von Miller might have a new pass-rushing partner by week's end.

Free agents Dwight Freeney and John Abraham are set to visit Denver on Thursday, 48 hours after the Broncos submitted a new contract proposal to Elvis Dumervil.

Freeney, 33, and Abraham, 34, are both older and less productive than Dumervil, 29, but might make better financial sense for the Broncos, who had to cut Dumervil last week to avoid paying him $12 million in 2013.

QB Manning considers tweaking deal for Cruz

Quarterback Eli Manning said he'll consider reworking his contract if it would help keep leading receiver Victor Cruz on the Giants.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP indicated the Giants haven't asked him to redo his contract to open cap space. Manning, who spoke at a sponsor event in New York, says he'll consider anything that helps the team.

Shanahan: RG III needs to learn to avoid contact

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Robert Griffin III is “ahead of schedule” in his return from knee surgery.

Shanahan, speaking at the NFL owners meeting, said that when Griffin comes back, he must learn how to protect himself in the face of the fierce defenses in the NFL.

Once Griffin does come back, Shanahan says the young quarterback needs to learn to slide and throw the ball away to avoid the big hits that lead to injuries.

“The one thing that he is going to have to learn to do is how to slide, how to throw the football away, how to protect himself,” Shanahan said.

Pro Bowl returning to Hawaii in January

The Pro Bowl will return to Honolulu in January and again will be played the week before the Super Bowl.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at the owners meetings that the all-star game he once considered scrapping has been scheduled for Aloha Stadium on Jan. 26. He adds that Hawaii will be included “on some sort of rotational basis” in any future Pro Bowl scheduling.

Panthers, safety Mitchell agree to deal

A person familiar with the situation said the Panthers have agreed to a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent safety Mike Mitchell.

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