NFL Free Agent Rumors: Maurice Jones-Drew Close To Joining Raiders; Eric Winston Garnering Interest

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Maurice Jones Drew

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Knowshon Moreno inked a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins Thursday, and fellow veteran running back Maurice Jones-Drew may not be too far behind.

According to ESPN, Jones-Drew and the Oakland Raiders are expected to come to terms on a three-year deal sometime Friday. Earlier in the week, the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers were reportedly in the mix for Jones-Drew.

There was no mention of Oakland until Thursday, when the back arrived in the Bay Area, close to where he went to college at UCLA. With the Raiders, Jones-Drew would share a backfield with former first-round pick Darren McFadden, who re-signed with the team earlier this offseason.

There hasn’t been much action surrounding Eric Winston, but the right tackle told ESPN a few teams have expressed some interest in him.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t re-sign him after the 2012 season, and it seems as if the Arizona Cardinals plan to do the same this offseason. Winston refused to name the teams that have contacted him, but the eight-year veteran said he’s being selective.

“I’m doing fine,” Winston said. “Last year it was frustrating, going on a lot of visits and not signing until camp. Now I kinda know the situation. I know that at some point there’s going to be a team that’s going to need a tackle and at that time I’ll be available to play and ready to go.”

One player who could be on his way back to the Big Easy in center Brian de la Puente. According to ESPN, the second-rated center behind Alex Mack could “very well” return to the New Orleans Saints.

De la Puente visited with the Washington Redskins last week and has reportedly garnered interest from other clubs, but the Saints remain in play.

“It’s still unfolding, so it’d be premature to say, ‘Hey, here’s our plan today,’” Payton said during the NFL owner’s meetings. “We feel we’ve got some good young linemen in the building, and I’m sure that as we get back to New Orleans and we still continue to look at our boards, I wouldn’t be surprised if there possibly is a player signed.

As for more potential returns, both Johnny Jolly and Ryan Pickett remain on the Green Bay Packers’ radar, ESPN reported.

The Pack signed Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion to restock their offensive line during the offseason, but according to coach Mike McCarthy, both Jolly and Pickett are candidates to return.

“Yeah, if it definitely works out, I mean we’re monitoring that,” McCarthy said. “I think Johnny did a nice job last year. You have to be very pleased for where he started and where he finished. I think he gave us every inch of what he had and then some. I was very pleased with Johnny’s contribution last year.”

“We’ll watch what’s going on with Ryan,” he added.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.