Some more NFL tidbits & Rumors. Enjoy:
With a glut of wide receivers and a 2008 first-round defensive back (Leodis McKelvin) who can return kicks on the roster, the Buffalo Bills are testing the waters for interest in Roscoe Parrish. According to a league source, the Bills are shopping Parrish, primarily as an exploratory measure. Parrish was a second-round pick in the 2005 draft, and he has appeared in 55 of a possible 64 career games. He has served primarily as a kick returner, with only 1,097 total receiving yards in four NFL seasons. He also has more fumbles (seven) than receiving touchdowns (five). Signed for three more seasons, Parrish is due to earn base salaries of $1 million in 2009, $1.025 million in 2010, and $1.025 million in 2011
We heard several weeks ago that the Giants had been unable to get in touch with receiver Plaxico Burress after the 2008 season. During a Thursday interview with Chris Russo of Sirius XM Radio's Mad Dog Unleashed, Giants co-owner John Mara confirmed that Burress wasn't being responsive. And Mara didn't like it. "[G.M.] Jerry Reese had attempted to contact him on a number of occasions and was not able to get a hold of him which, to be honest with you, irritated me quite a bit," Mara said. Mara also explained that the decision to sever ties with Burress resulted from the fact that his pending legal entanglement has not yet been resolved -- and that no resolution was in sight.
If you're looking for a late-round sleeper, there's probably no better one than Webber International University CB Vince Anderson. Anderson had virtually no chance of getting drafted a few months ago, but teams have started to do their homework on the NAIA product, and after his tape has been reviewed, the 6'2" defensive back has started to get attention. As noted several weeks ago by Scout.com, Anderson is set to make a pre-draft visits with the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders, and he's expected to work out for the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New England Patriots before the draft.
At some point, perhaps on the second day of the draft (April 26), the 49ers will select a running back to complement Frank Gore. Here is what coach Mike Singletary told me at the combine about what he envisions: "Frank is a special running back. But I think it would help to have someone come in and share that load, maybe someone who has a different style - someone who adds another dimension to our running game. That would be very advantageous for us."
A league source tells us that Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells was supposed to visit the Broncos on Wednesday. Per the source, Wells missed his flight. And, as a result, Wells didn't show for the meeting. It's unknown at this point whether the Broncos were informed that Wells wouldn't be there, or whether some dude dressed in black is still holding a sign that says "Beanie" in the Denver airport.
Don't count on seeing Jason Taylor in a Jets uniform. The 34-year-old defensive end has been rumored as a target of the Jets, but he made it clear to the Miami Herald that he's not eager to put on green and white. I'd be very, very, very difficult," Taylor said about signing with the Jets. "At the end of the day, if I couldn't find a job anywhere else and the Jets called, I guess I'd have to retire or go play." The Jets reportedly have contacted Taylor, who played 11 seasons for the Dolphins before joining the Redskins last season. During his time in Miami, the six-time Pro Bowler ripped the Jets repeatedly and threw gas on the rivalry between the two teams. The Patriots also are looking at Taylor, and yesterday Taylor admitted he has been talking to the Dolphins about a possible return. "I never said it wouldn't be difficult to play for either, but the Jets are the Jets," Taylor said. "I've had a lot of history saying bad things about Jets fans. The fireman hat guy and all of those people in New York that are Jets fans aren't the ones working on Wall Street. I've said all of those things, so I've got to leave it at that." Taylor is referring to comments he made in 2004 before the Jets played in Miami. He referenced how he expected many Jets fans to be at the game, "a bunch of them chanting their [dumb-bleep] chant and all that other stuff, being the ignorant fans they are. I said it. I don't care if they get mad at me or not. They don't like me anyway. Quite frankly, I don't care . . . I'm just being real. I'm telling the truth."
The Patriots are scheduled to host one of the NFL's more intriguing prospects on a predraft visit at Gillette Stadium next week, as West Virginia quarterback Pat White is scheduled to meet with team officials Monday and Tuesday, according to league sources. White (6 feet, 197 pounds) has been scouted as a quarterback and receiver, with some clubs also projecting him as a returner on special teams. He is considered a top prospect for teams looking for players to implement a "Wildcat" package - the successful strategy used by the Miami Dolphins last season in which running back Ronnie Brown took direct snaps from center.
Vikings coach Brad Childress isn't too concerned about Adrian Peterson's desire to add some size during the offseason. But he doesn't want the Pro Bowl running back playing at 230 pounds, either, the high end of Peterson's expressed range. Peterson said this week that he would like to go from his current weight of 217 or 218 pounds to 225 or 230 before next season. "You know what, 230's awful big," Childress said Wednesday. "From 17 to 30, just put a 10-pound sack of potatoes on your back and think about how that works for you. They're not required to weigh in right now, but I can tell you he doesn't look any different. Maybe even a little bit thinner right now than when he left (at the end of the season)." Childress said he would encourage Peterson to play at whatever weight makes him comfortable and yet still have stamina, speed, explosive movements and continued success. But that apparently won't be 230 pounds. "You just want guys to be efficient with what they have," Childress said. "The 230 or the 12 pounds extra? I don't know where that came from. Did it come out of Adrian's mouth? . . . I'm thinking he's probably not going to get to 230, nor does he want to be at 230, and I would have no trouble telling him that or you."
The Patriots hosted University of North Carolina receivers Brooks Foster (Tuesday) and Brandon Tate (Wednesday) at Gillette Stadium this week, emphasizing that their preparations for the April 25-26 draft are as much about 2010 as they are the upcoming season. With a wide receiver depth chart topped by Randy Moss and Wes Welker - arguably the NFL's top tandem - and veteran additions Joey Galloway (free agent) and Greg Lewis (trade with the Eagles) acquired this offseason, the Patriots wouldn't seem to need another pass catcher as a high priority. Yet as former vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli has noted in the past, the best teams in the NFL fill long-term needs before they become more urgent short-term needs. In that case, the meetings with Foster and Tate - and any other receivers the team might be considering in the draft - make more sense. Both early- to mid-round prospects have medical issues the Patriots probably wanted to double-check before placing a final grade on them, and both are classified as players who would have the luxury of being groomed slowly behind Moss, Welker, and Co.