NFL Notes: Titans ink safety Pollard to one-year deal

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NFL Notes: Titans ink safety Pollard to one-year deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a one-year contract with safety Bernard Pollard, the second safety the team has added in free agency this offseason.

The Titans announced the deal Thursday.

A seven-year veteran, Pollard spent the past two seasons with Baltimore. The 6-foot-1 Pollard also has played with Kansas City and Houston starting 85 of his 105 career games with nine interceptions, nine sacks, 10 forced fumbles and seven recovered fumbles (see full story).

Giants re-sign Carr as Manning's backup
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants don't have to worry about finding a backup for quarterback Eli Manning.

On Thursday, they announced they have re-signed David Carr, who was a free agent. The 2002 No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft has been Manning's backup in four of the last five seasons.

The backup role is somewhat ceremonial for the Giants. Manning has started 135 consecutive regular-season games, a run that started in the second half of the 2004 season.

Carr, who played in San Francisco in 2010, has played in 11 games for the Giants. He has completed 32 of 48 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns (see full story).

Chiefs' Albert signs franchise tender
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert has signed his franchise tender.

The Chiefs announced that Albert signed his deal on Thursday, two weeks after placing the franchise tag on him. Albert will make $9.828 million if he plays under the one-year contract.

That is no sure thing, though. The Chiefs have spoken to his representatives about a long-term contract, and it's also possible that Kansas City will trade Albert in the coming weeks.

Albert is a former first-round pick who has locked down the left side of the Chiefs offensive line the past five seasons. He played all 16 games two years ago, but missed three games while dealing with back injuries.

Last year, Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe did not sign his franchise tender until midway through the preseason (see full story).

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Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

Tim Quarterman: Ben Simmons at PG will 'work out well' for Sixers

There are only a handful of people who have played basketball extensively with Ben Simmons, given he has been sidelined thus far into his rookie season with a foot injury. Those who spent Simmons’ freshman year at LSU with him have firsthand insight into the NBA player he has the potential to become.

“He's definitely a team player,” Tim Quarterman said. “He's a pass-first person. He wants to see his teammates do well. I think when he comes back to play, that's what he'll bring to Philly. He's not one of those people who just tries to go out there to get a 100 points. He's a good teammate.”

Quarterman was the Tigers’ point guard during Simmons’ only season in college. Quarterman left school after his junior year and earned a spot on the Trail Blazers' roster. He and Simmons have different stories: Simmons was the first overall pick; Quarterman went undrafted. Simmons has has been out since training camp; Quarterman, while playing sparingly, has experienced live NBA action. Still, the two have shared in the journey of life in the league. 

“It's a cool process going through our rookie season together,” Quarterman said before the Trail Blazers faced the Sixers Friday. “Even though he's not playing right now, he's working to get on the court. I'm sure he'll do great when he gets back out there. I got a chance to talk to him last night. Everything's been good so far.”

The Sixers got a small glimpse of Simmons during training camp before he suffered a Jones fracture on the final day. He recently began participating in 5-on-0 drills. Simmons also has been putting up shots after practice and doing light courtwork during pregame warmups. 

Brett Brown has said he intends to start the 6-foot-10 Simmons at the one spot when he returns. As part of his multi-faceted rehab, Brown has been giving Simmons written tests in which he has to navigate various in-game situations as the point guard. Simmons played point-forward at LSU, where he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. 

“He'll be able to space the floor,” Quarterman said of Simmons at the point. “He can see over the defense and make passes that some little guards can't. He can defend. He can move his feet well. I think it'll work out well.”

It remains to be seen when the former teammates will both be suited up in the same NBA game. There is no timetable set for Simmons’ return. The Sixers face the Trail Blazers for their second and final meeting of the regular season on March 9 in Portland. 

“It's cool for both of us to be making the best of our opportunity,” Quarterman said.