NFC FA Rumors: Ward, Hatcher, Johnson

We passed along some news earlier today that the Lions had shown interest in free agent cornerback Alterraun Verner, but Detroit Free Press writer Dave Birkett was quick to shoot it down, citing the team’s bigger need at safety.

One of the top free agent safeties, T.J. Ward, has reportedly drawn interest from Detroit, reports’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). Rapoport says the team hopes it can create cap space with a re-do of its deal with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who currently carries a $22.41MM number for 2014.

Passing along a few more free agent rumors from around the NFC…

  • Free agent defensive lineman Jason Hatcher has seven to eight teams interested in his talents, per’s Calvin Watkins (via Twitter). Hatcher had 11 sacks for the Cowboys in 2013, more than double his previous career high.
  • Add the Buccaneers to the growing list of teams interested in Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Giants are serious about adding a cornerback, says Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. They’ve already shown interest in Verner, and an NFL source said the team was inclined to place a competitive bid on Sam Shields before he re-signed with the Packers.
  • Free agent defensive tackle Henry Melton has “multiple suitors,” a source tells reporter Michael C. Wright (via Twitter). Melton excelled from 2010-’12 with the Bears, but a knee injury in 2013 coupled with off-the-field issues has curtailed his stock.
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