Here are some NFL tidbits & rumors. Enjoy:
Chris McAlister, 31, is rehabbing from arthroscopic knee surgery in Los Angeles and is expected to be cleared for all football activities by late June. He'd like to stay near his native California. The Seahawks and Chargers have shown interest, as have the Cowboys, who intrigue McAlister very much.
Former Titans receiver Drew Bennett is scheduled to visit with team officials on Monday, possibly the first step of his return to the team. Bennett, a free agent, is scheduled to undergo a physical at Baptist Sports Park. He's also paid free agency visits to Cleveland and Atlanta this offseason after being released by the Rams in March. Bennett played six seasons with the Titans (2001-06) and led the team in receptions for two straight seasons and in receiving yards three straight seasons. He ranks eighth in Titans franchise history with 4,033 yards and ninth with 273 receptions. Bennett signed a 6-year, $30 million contract with the Rams in 2007, but was released by the team after two injury-filled seasons. Bennett had just 1 catch for 4 yards in '08 after suffering a foot injury in Week One. He ended the season on Injured Reserve.
After two spectacular seasons, wide receiver Roddy White and the Atlanta Falcons are in discussions for a contract extension. White, who made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, is entering the final year of a five-year contract. "We haven't come to an agreement," said White, who is set to make $2.28 million next season under his current contract. Preferably, White said he would like to enter the season with his contract situations resolved. White's contract situation is impacted by the blockbuster deal that Arizona completed in March with Larry Fitzgerald, who received a four-year contract worth $40 million. Also, the labor situation between the NFL and the players union is an issue. The owner's have opted out of the collective bargaining agreement and 2010 is set to be an uncapped year.
Welcome to the National Football League, rookies. Next time, maybe get more water and do more stretching before practice. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the seventh overall pick of the NFL draft, missed a second straight practice Sunday with cramping, soreness and fatigue in his hamstring, Raiders coach Tom Cable said at the conclusion of the five-practice, three-day minicamp in Alameda. So ended a splash-less debut for Heyward-Bey, who was shut down by Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on Day 1 and dropped three consecutive passes on Day 2 before coming up limp. Heyward-Bey got in a few deep routes, and made a few catches, but made it clear that, as with most rookies who skipped their senior year in college, much work remains.
The agent for Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield said in a text message Sunday night that talks of an extension with the Vikings have broken down. "There are no active negotiations and there are no further talks planned," Ashanti Webb said in a text message. Asked how he feels about that, Webb said, "Disappointed. Very disappointed." Webb did not return follow-up messages asking whether he or the Vikings cut off talks and whether Winfield would attend the team's mandatory mini-camp later this month. Fresh off his first trip to the Pro Bowl, Winfield enters the final year of a six-year, $34.8 million contract. Due to make $6 million in 2009, Winfield told the Pioneer Press in an interview in March that he wanted to finish his career as a Viking and that he wanted to be "proactive" about his contract rather than wait.
Jason Taylor , the DE/actor; who danced his way into Bill Parcells' doghouse in Miami last year and was traded to the Redskins, who cut him when he refused to participate in their offseason program even though they were willing to insert a $500,000 incentive in his $8 million contract to get him to stick around their facility. Taylor, who lives in south Florida, didn't want to be away from his family. There has been talk of a reunion with the Dolphins, but from the moment Taylor became available, the Patriots seemed the best and most logical match. This has a good chance of happening by mid-June.
Cornerback Pacman Jones still wants to play in the NFL. Whether or not somebody wants him remains to be seen. The Jets have expressed interest, according to someone close to Jones, but are waiting things out. Jones' agent Worrick Robinson said he hopes to get his client signed by training camp and wouldn't discuss which teams are interested. When asked if the Cowboys, Jones' last employer, have requested a return engagement, Robinson said no.
Javon Walker said he did not tell Raiders officials about last month's knee surgery because he didn't want to "bother" them with it before the draft. He said the right knee has bothered him since 2007 knee surgery in Denver, and that he hasn't felt better than 65 percent healthy. The pain was so significant, Walker said it is why he considered retirement during training camp last summer. "It was a situation where I was going to make a decision based off what was going to be beneficial for me and it was nothing to do with the team," Walker said. "I basically did this to keep playing the game."
On his personal blog, Smith34.com, Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith predicted, no wait, promised the Lions will make the NFL Playoffs in 2009. It makes you wonder, did he watch the video tape? "I won't make a prediction about how many games we're going to win, but I will say this: We will definitely make the playoffs this season. "Believe it or not we weren't far off last year. Almost every game we could have won, we were one play or one player short. Except for Tennessee on Thanksgiving, they just came out and beat us to sleep. They manhandled us, but nobody else did.'' The Lions weren't far off? They were 0-16.
When the Giants selected Sam Houston State quarterback Rhett Bomar with their fifth-round pick in this year's draft, Andre Woodson -- last year's sixth-round choice -- insists he didn't start squirming in his seat. "I didn't really have a big reaction," Woodson said yesterday. "I know this is the NFL, and you've got to compete for your spot, so that's what I'm doing." But the pressure is definitely on Woodson, who struggled through the preseason last year and spent the fall on the Giants practice squad. The addition of Bomar means his bid for a roster spot as the third quarterback behind Eli Manning and David Carr will be tighter. At this weekend's rookie minicamp -- which Woodson was eligible for because he doesn't have an accrued NFL season -- he had an up-and-down showing. He underthrew or overshot several targets and also threw three interceptions, one on Friday, two yesterday.
No to trading for Braylon Edwards. So says Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. "I don't want him," Jacobs said yesterday on ESPN 1050 Radio. "There are great players in the league that I don't want. I just think the chemistry between the teammates that I have now is great. We don't need to add a new veteran to the whole group." Jacobs also said no to trading for Anquan Boldin. "I'm good with where we are," Jacobs said. "I'm glad that we didn't go forward and get [Edwards] or Boldin. Those guys are great guys [but] I'm not interested in that idea."