Some updated NFL Tidbits & Rumors. Enjoy:
Early in training camp, three-time Pro Bowl linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs goaded the reigning champion Pittsburgh Steelers by wearing a black t-shirt that read, "You Bet Your Sweet A** I Hate the Steelers" on the back. Well, cornerback Frank Walker showed off his own Steelers-themed apparel this morning and the sentiment was similar in tone. Walker wore a black t-shirt that had "Hey Pittsburgh" in big yellow letters and a Raven extending a purple middle finger.
Brandon Marshall did not participate in the Broncos' practice Thursday, although he was at the team's headquarters during the session. It appears Marshall was held out for punitive reasons for his unprofessional conduct during practice Wednesday. In the practice, Marshall was nonchalant during a high-step running drill between cushioned obstacles. A channel 7 video caught him punting the ball away when the drill was finished. Perhaps realizing the video of his petulant behavior may not help him draw interest from other teams, Marshall quickly went into spin control during his ESPN interview. "Me punting the ball was definitely frustration," Marshall told ESPN's NFL Live show late Thursday night. "It was an error in judgment. There was a lot of frustration yesterday coming out of a meeting." Marshall has since been suspended fro an undisclosed period of time.
Wide receiver Roy Williams suffered a sprained left shoulder at practice Thursday night, according to multiple sources. He did not suffer a broken bone, but it is not clear how much time Williams will miss. A prolonged absence would be a blow to an offense that is looking to Williams to play a major role.
The Lions' quarterback competition continues between veteran Daunte Culpepper and rookie Matthew Stafford. "It's still wide open," coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday. "The final decision has not been made." Schwartz is sticking to the same type of plan he used in the first two exhibitions.
At least two teams -- the Ravens and the Jets -- are keeping a close eye on the Eagles' wide receiver situation. The Eagles have an excess of wealth there right now. There's a good chance they'll deal one of their wide receivers -- perhaps Reggie Brown -- before the final roster cutdown.
An NFL source has told me the Dolphins tried to trade Ernest Wilford before terminating his contract but no one was interested. And the Dolphins are not averse to conducting further business both on the giving and receiving end of a trade if the player and the price is right. In fact, GM Jeff Ireland has been working the phones with over a dozen teams in the past 10 days, I'm told.
The Buccaneers have been contacting other teams this week to gauge interest in their quarterbacks after putting off a decision to name a starter, according to league sources. Bucs coach Raheem Morris originally planned to name a starter after Saturday's preseason game against the Jaguars, then postponed the decision for at least one more week. Veterans Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown have been competing for the job, with first-round draft pick Josh Freeman the quarterback of the future. Two NFL sources said the Bucs have been calling teams, willing to listen to offers for Leftwich, McCown or second-year pro Josh Johnson, a player thought of highly internally but who likely wouldn't have great trade value.
It is widely believed that the 49ers won't pay Michael Crabtree a dime more than the Packers gave to defensive lineman B.J. Raji at the ninth overall slot. Meanwhile, we're hearing that his agent, Eugene Parker, is dealing with the Crabtree conundrum on the recruiting trail by blaming the holdout on the player. Parker, we're told, is pointing to the deal he negotiated for defensive end Tyson Jackson at the third overall slot as proof that Parker is willing and able to negotiate a fair deal for a first-round pick.
During Patriots training camp, Tom Brady playfully referred to owner Robert Kraft as "L.R.C." That stands for "lower right-hand corner," which is where Kraft's signature appears on each player's paycheck. The signature on Brady's checks isn't about to change, but it might be time for the dollar amount to. Brady is among the most iconic quarterbacks in the NFL, but he is also among the most underpaid. If Brady is upset about his compensation, it certainly didn't show yesterday.
Plaxico Burress says he plans to return to the NFL after serving a two-year prison sentence on a weapons charge.
Yes, the Titans suddenly have concerns at the receiver position following Monday's hamstring injury to Nate Washington. But no, they're still not calling former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison. The Titans aren't interested, despite the attempts by some folks in the media to keep the idea alive. Coach Jeff Fisher has said on numerous occasions the team hasn't called -- and isn't interested -- in Harrison. At this point, the Titans -- especially Fisher -- couldn't afford to look at Harrison even if someone else in the organization was jumping up and down wanting to.
Never one to relish the spotlight, Brian Urlacher was happier than anyone when the Bears acquired Jay Cutler back in April. Urlacher comfortably returned to the shadows, as much as a 6-4, 258-pound quiet leader of the defense can. "Jay is the face of the Chicago Bears. I love it," Urlacher said in an interview with the National Football Post. "He gets to answer all of the hard questions. Finally, somebody else to come along and do all of that. He deserves it. Look at him. He's our leader. He's unreal. He does things I have never seen in a person before. It's exciting to see."
Jon Runyan is ready to play football again. Now he just needs somebody to offer him a contract. The 35-year-old free-agent offensive tackle, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee in February, was cleared for full contact Monday by Dr. James Andrews, the Birmingham, Ala., orthopedist who operated on him. Asked yesterday whether the Eagles had any interest in re-signing Runyan, an Eagles executive told the Daily News, "I wouldn't rule it out, but right now, it's unlikely."