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Ex-Jets soaring to new locales

The Jets are really taking off this offseason. And that's not a good thing for New York fans.

Coach Herm Edwards lost two free agents yesterday when defensive tackle Jason Ferguson signed with the Dallas Cowboys and running back LaMont Jordan agreed to a deal with the Oakland Raiders.

Dallas also signed guard Marco Rivera, days after Bill Parcells added cornerback Anthony Henry and quarterback Drew Bledsoe to the fold.

"Our plan was to be very aggressive in free agency," said owner Jerry Jones, who wrote $30 million worth of bonus checks this week. "If you're going to go, go and go quick."

Like Bledsoe, Ferguson is a former draftee of Parcells. Parcells has often called the massive defensive tackle one of the best picks he's ever made, mainly because he snagged him in the seventh round for the Jets.

Ferguson was expected to get a five-year deal worth $21.5 million, with a signing bonus of $9 million.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 305-pound Ferguson becomes the anchor of a revamped defensive line, especially if the Cowboys shift from the 4-3 to a 3-4. Regardless, he becomes the block-eating wide body to pair next to perennial Pro Bowl pick La'Roi Glover.

The Raiders finalized a five-year, $27.5 million contract with Jordan to boost their ineffective ground game.

Jordan's agent, Alvin Keels, said Jordan will receive $11 million in guaranteed money and $17.8 million over the first three years of the contract, including $15.7 million in bonuses.

"I'm excited about the opportunity," Jordan said in a statement. "I've played out here in Oakland a couple of times and it's actually my favorite stadium to play in."

Panthers on prowl

The Carolina Panthers signed offensive lineman Mike Wahle and cornerback Ken Lucas to long-term contracts, the most aggressive single day of free agent acquisitions in franchise history. Wahle, who spent seven seasons in Green Bay, signed a five-year deal worth about $25 million. Lucas, a three-year starter in Seattle, signed a six-year contract . . . The San Francisco 49ers signed left tackle Jonas Jennings, acquiring the top free agent available at a problematic position for the club. The Niners allowed 52 sacks . . . The St. Louis Rams added their second free agent linebacker in two days, signing former Lion Chris Claiborne to a three-year, $10.5 million contract . . . Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield, 28, was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 80 days of house arrest for drinking and driving in Olathe, Kan.

Douglas Eagle-eyed

Veteran defensive end Hugh Douglas agreed to a one-year deal with Philadelphia. "It was really important for me to be back with this group of guys here in Philadelphia," Douglas said. "This is a special place to play, there's no question about that." . . . As the New York Giants worked to put the finishing touches on a deal to sign free agent middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, they said goodbye to veteran receiver Ike Hilliard. Pierce, who helped the Redskins become the NFL's third-ranked defense, signed a six-year, $26 million contract before the evening was over. The release of Hilliard came after he refused to take a big pay cut. Hilliard was scheduled to make $1.5 million next season along with a $750,000 roster bonus to be paid March 15 . . . The Houston Texans signed free agent linebacker Morlon Greenwood to a five-year, $22.5 million deal hours after re-signing free agent nose tackle Seth Payne . . . The Jacksonville Jaguars signed free agent defensive end Reggie Hayward to a five-year contract . . . The Minnesota Vikings wasted little time addressing their defensive needs, agreeing to terms with former Bills defensive tackle Pat Williams on a three-year deal worth $13 million.

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