Some more NFL Tidbits & Rumors. Enjoy:
Neither Michael Vick nor Plaxico Burress know when they'll be stepping on a football field again, but both will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before they do. And the commissioner was tight-lipped yesterday about when those meetings would occur and what their outcomes might be.
Former Browns tight end Kellen Winslow revealed details about the staph infection he suffered last season in an interview with ESPN The Magazine, saying doctors drained fluid from his testicles so he could play in an Oct. 19 game at Washington and that teammates should have defended him more. That was the game when Winslow, now playing for the Buccaneers, told The Plain Dealer afterward that the Browns treated him like a "piece of meat" during his hospitalization visit. The Browns suspended him for a game because of his remarks, but that suspension was later rescinded when text messages revealed a Browns staff member told Winslow not to disclose he had staph.
Edgerrin James, unsigned and hoping to enter his 11th NFL season as a running back, projects a carefree attitude regarding his future. "There are not 32 backs out there who are better than me," James said with a smile. Most NFL training camps begin at the end of next week. "I want to continue to play. I can play at a high level. My NFL training camps begin at the end of next week. "I want to continue to play. I can play at a high level."
Though the Dolphins started contract talks with potential 2010 free agents Ronnie Brown and Matt Roth, they have not with Anthony Fasano and want to see more. ``He's a solid tight end, not special,'' one NFC personnel director said. ``You would like to find a better No. 1 ideally.''
If Brett Favre were deciding upon a 19th NFL season that involved a venue closer to his Hattiesburg, Miss., home -- say New Orleans -- the answer would already be yes. If there was a regular-season game to be played in two weeks, his answer would already be yes. Minus those deal-makers, Favre is mulling the potential deal-breakers. He thinks his body -- and specifically his arm -- can withstand season-long exertion. He questions whether he wants to endure the toil of a training camp, a preseason, and all of the mandatory NFL minutiae. Ultimately, the Minnesota Vikings expect the answer to be yes. And those closest to Favre do, too. They expect that he will provide his answer well before the July 30 deadline he recently offered. They expect that he will reveal his decision by Friday.
If Michael Vick manages to get reinstated into the NFL, don't expect to see him playing for the Giants or Jets. Both John Mara and Woody Johnson shot down any possibility the former Falcons quarterback, whose 23-month sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring ended yesterday, would suit up for either team. "No," Giants owner Mara said with a laugh. "On a lot of levels, no." Johnson was also adamant about Vick not becoming a Jet. "There's no interest," said Johnson.
The Cardinals and former Bengals offensive tackle Levi Jones apparently are interested in each other, but neither side is motivated enough now to do anything about it. Jones' agent, Kenny Zuckerman, confirmed an ESPN.com report that the Cardinals had expressed interest in Jones. But Jones is looking to be paid like a starter should he win a job, and the Cardinals aren't willing to give that assurance, Zuckerman said.
While the NFL has been the hottest ticket in Denver for decades, it appears Broncomaniacs bummed out by the triple whammies of Mike Shanahan's painful dismissal, Jay Cutler's contentious departure and a sluggish local economy have softened the demand for seats. So you think there might be less than universal, enthusiastic approval for franchise owner Pat Bowlen's choice for coach?
A 49ers source told me this week of an episode this offseason that rubbed some of Michael Crabtree's teammates the wrong way. The source said that Crabtree, rehabbing his foot, showed up late for a meeting, prompting coach Mike Singletary to prescribe extra running for the entire team. Crabtree, per the source, did not say a word to his teammates about it - no apology. But since that episode, Crabtree has come around and his teammates are warming up to him, the source said.
Mike Shanahan said Friday that he plans to coach again in the NFL and that he had the opportunity to interview for head-coaching jobs for the 2009 season, but "it just didn't feel right at the time." In preparation to coach again, Shanahan said he has spent the past few months staying sharp should the right opportunity present itself. "I plan on getting back," said Shanahan.
As training camp approaches, the Browns really are determined to give both quarterbacks a chance to win the job. The coaching staff believes a major key to the position is handling pressure, and they plan to put Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson under the most pressure possible, especially in practice.
Whether it's planting a steel-tipped spear between the shoulder blades of an elk or his Vikings helmet between the numbers of a quarterback, Jared Allen is all about the hunt. But even the most patient of hunters has his limits, and Allen pretty much has reached his when it comes to the Vikings' months-long pursuit of Brett Favre. "If we get Brett, then that's a bonus," the All-Pro defensive end said in a phone interview. "But let's either get it done and get moving on with it or let it go. "It's not so much that it's a distraction because we're professionals and don't really buy into that. But it's annoying."
Though the transformation hasn't been quite as dramatic as Jared Fogle of Subway infamy, Redskins offensive lineman Mike Williams has lost nearly 100 pounds. He started at 450. A source with knowledge of the situation tells us that Williams currently bends the springs to 354. His goal? 345 pounds by the time training camp opens. A far more impressive feat would be for the fourth overall pick in the 2002 draft, a relatively rare first-round bust at the tackle position, to make the final 53-man roster after two full years out of football.