Here are some NFL tidbits & rumors. Enjoy:
Brett Favre's agent denied another report this evening that the quarterback has agreed to a contract with the Vikings. Two days after the website Pro Football Talk reported that a deal was in place and that the club had approved the production of Favre jerseys, WCCO provided a similar report with a few minor differences, namely that the quarterback's contract includes "heavy incentives." Asked in an e-mail if there was any truth to the WCCO report, agent Bus Cook wrote one word: "Nope."
Roy Williams refuted highly respected NFL scribe Peter King's report that the coachable wide receiver was never on a consistent weight program until this off-season. "That's trying to find something to make something negative out of me once again," said Williams, who has been hit by a barrage of criticism since being traded from Detroit to Dallas. "I started lifting weights in the seventh grade." Williams, a 6-3, 220-pound physical specimen, said he took lifting seriously throughout his high school career at Odessa Permian. He added that he continued to work hard in the weight room at Texas under the guidance of Jeff "Mad Dog" Madden, one of the country's most famous strength coaches. According to Williams, his current weight program isn't much different than what he did during his four off-seasons in Detroit. Williams said he stopped lifting weights during the season after dealing with various nicks, pulls and strains his first two years in the NFL. "The year I didn't lift during the season, I made it to the Pro Bowl," he said.
Devin Hester says he has heard enough. He is tired of hearing the criticism that new Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is not a mature, capable leader. "If you haven't been around a person like Cutler, how could you say something like that?" Hester said before appearing in a photo shoot Monday evening at Soldier Field for an Under Armour commercial. In recent weeks, Super Bowl-winning coaches Tony Dungy and Mike Ditka have been among those who have expressed reservations about Cutler's maturity level.
Like Jay Cutler -- traded by the Broncos to the Bears in April -- Brandon Marshall wants Denver to trade him. The prospect that the Bears, who reportedly might be interested in Marshall, could bring the two Pro Bowlers back together seems to appeal to Cutler. "I talked to 'B' a few days ago," Cutler said during an appearance Monday at William and Mary's Colonial All-Pro Football Camp. "Just checking in on him and seeing how he's doing, because I went through a similar thing that he's going through. "I played with Brandon for three years and I think he's one of the best receivers in the NFL. I think he can be one of the greatest ever to play. "He's big and fast, and can do everything you want him to do, on the field and in the meeting room. I don't know what we're going to do. That's up to the guys upstairs. If we make a run at him, we make a run at him."
Some veterans make up their minds before the season, declaring this will be their last go-around on the gridiron. Such a mind-set can help them power through the grind of one more training camp, maybe even appreciating it more because they know finality is right around the corner. Linebacker Tedy Bruschi isn't one of those players. Entering his 14th NFL season, Bruschi said yesterday this could be the final year of his career. Then again, it may not. Bruschi, whose contract expires after the 2009 season, is leaving his options open.
Redskins running back Clinton Portis said that reports of a rift between him and coach Jim Zorn are wrong. "How this story came about, I have no idea," Portis said. "There's nothing going on. There's no beef between me and Coach Zorn. We're on good terms at this present moment. There's no problem." Portis, who attended many of the organized team activities that finished on June 11 at Redskin Park, had a well-publicized spat with Zorn after the coach benched the slumping running back at halftime of the Dec. 7 loss at Baltimore. But Portis said that flareup was "a long time ago" and that ProFootball Talk was needlessly trying to make trouble where none exists.
Miami entertainment figures Gloria and Emilio Estefan will be announced as Miami Dolphins minority owners Thursday, according to a person familiar with the negotiations between the Estefans and the Dolphins. The source said Monday night the National Football League and the Dolphins are looking to expand their reach to South Florida's growing Hispanic community and are turning to the Estefans as their ambassadors.
A rep from the National Football Post talked to some of the teams that might be interested in former Giant Plaxico Burress if he's free to play this year, and all of them are concerned about the ruling from the commissioner. No one in the league takes the personal conduct ruling lightly, but what concerned one team most was Burress' five brushes with the law as a result of driving since the gun incident. Everyone he spoke to seems to feel the commissioner will come down hard on Burress and is fearful that he might not be able to play. The delay game Burress is attempting is not really helping his situation.
Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell is arranging a week of practice for any of the team's other quarterbacks and all the wide receivers and tight ends, at an undisclosed location. Russell wasn't about to divulge many details. He said he just wants to make sure the quarterbacks and receivers are on the same page when training camp begins July 30 in Napa. That's music to Raiders coach Tom Cable's ears as he yearns for Russell to grow into his role as a starting quarterback and team leader. Cable has made it known that he wants Russell to work harder and grasp better the things necessary to be a successful NFL quarterback.
Ever since he arrived in Santa Clara for the latest minicamp and organized team activity (OTA) sessions, Alex Boone has bunked out at a nearby hotel. And followed one rule. "I just don't go out," Boone says. "That limits the opportunity to be around alcohol. When I met with somebody about all this, they were like, 'You're a smart kid. So you know what to do.' " Four months ago after attending a Super Bowl party, Boone got very drunk and went haywire. How haywire? Boone, at the behest of his agent, was living in Southern California to work out and prepare for the NFL scouting combine. But on Feb. 1, he was arrested by Aliso Viejo police after they answered a disturbance call at an apartment complex. They discovered a 6-foot-8, 318-pound man jumping up and down on the hoods of cars and attempting to smash the window of a tow truck. After being tasered twice, Boone was finally subdued. His blood alcohol level was found to be .24, three times the California legal limit if he had been driving. Boone issued a statement in which he called his behavior "inexcusable" and said he was going "to seek professional treatment." The incident, however, was preceded by an earlier DUI arrest during his college years.
Odds are that Braylon Edwards will remain with the team this season. ... unless a team comes out of nowhere with a huge trade offer late in training camp because a receiver is hurt and it is desperate for a replacement. So far, Edwards has been doing what the coaches have asked.
So, you want to know how Kellen Winslow is fitting in with his new team? The men he will play alongside will tell you he seems right at home after his trade in late February. About the only disagreement is whether he's more receiver than tight end or vice versa. Really, the answer is whatever the Bucs want it to be. But on this there is total agreement: Winslow, 25, will be used extensively. Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said he believes in widespread use of his tight ends, and, being a former tight ends coach with the Packers and Falcons, he is intimately familiar with the position.
Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck received a gift in the mail not long after the Super Bowl. It was from a Steelers fan and included a reminder that Bulluck's Terrible Towel stomp didn't go over well in Pittsburgh. The note read: On behalf of the Steelers Nation we would love to present you with our new Terrible Towel. Hang this up in your locker room. Sincerely, The Black and Gold. P.S. -- I hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl. "I laughed. I thought it was hilarious,'' Bulluck said.