For the New York Jets, the third time may be the charm with Laveranues Coles. Coles, 32, was released last week after one season with the Bengals, and he told a New Jersey newspaper he's interested in a return to the Jets. He was cut by the Jets last February, a mutual parting in which he agreed to forfeit $6 million in guaranteed money in exchange for having the final year of his contract voided. The Jets tried to re-sign him for less money, but the Bengals offered a richer deal. Now the Jets are looking for a third or fourth receiver to play behind starters Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards (restricted free agent). They also have Brad Smith (RFA) and David Clowney, although neither is regarded as a No. 3 receiver.
Tim Tebow has at least two teams interested in working him out. Tebow will throw at the school's pro day March 17, and it will be an unscripted workout, meaning he's willing to do any passes asked of him by scouts. Tebow declined to throw at the NFL Scouting Combine last weekend, but he's now ready to show off his revamped delivery. Tebow also revealed Sunday that he already has individual workouts with the Seahawks and Bills lined up after his pro day. While the Seahawks have committed to veteran Matt Hasselbeck next season, they need a long-term solution under center, and the Bills also are seeking a quarterback.
With David Carr off to San Francisco, it is time for Jim Sorgi to decide whether it is better to backup Eli or Peyton Manning. Sorgi, currently with the Colts, is on a short list of candidates to replace Carr, according to a team source. The Giants are also expected to pursue veteran quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Mark Brunell, who was the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback from 1995-2002 under then-coach Tom Coughlin. Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd is scheduled to try out for the Giants Tuesday, according to his agent, if he doesn't sign with Minnesota Monday.
Though the Redskins missed out on tackle Chad Clifton, San Francisco's Tony Pashos, who played under Washington offensive line coach Chris Foerster in San Francisco and Baltimore, is still a strong possibility for the right tackle spot. In recent weeks, it looked as though the 49ers were close to striking a deal to keep Pashos, but the lineman is now entertaining other offers and could even visit teams after the Redskins. Sources indicated Artis Hicks, a 31-year-old free-agent guard from Minnesota, is also planning to visit Washington, and a league source said the Redskins have had spoken with DE Jason Babin, an unrestricted free-agent who played in Philly last season.
Will he stay or will he be sent away? The Philadelphia Eagles are divided on a Donovan McNabb trade, with one very powerful Eagle blocking a potential deal. The NFL free agency period has officially begun and, as teams make offers and deals, reports say Donovan McNabb could be traded soon. There are many interested teams out there, but right now the Eagles are not accepting any offers yet. Sources tell Fox 29's sports department that the St. Louis Rams are not one of those teams, contrary to some reports. But we're also being told that trading McNabb is not going to be easy because internally the Eagles' brass wants to move him but Andy Reid does not.
If Greg Olsen is the most gifted Bears tight end since Mike Ditka, then why is he supposedly dispensable? Rumors have been rumbling for a week or so that Olsen has asked the Bears to trade him. It's no secret the tight end is concerned about the prospect of his role in the passing game being reduced significantly in Mike Martz's offense. And many people think the Bears should trade Olsen because he doesn't fit the new coordinator's scheme as well as some (read blocking) tight ends do. But the Bears aren't going to get better by trading one of their best players. No team is. Anyone who thinks a team can improve by getting rid of a rising star is thinking too much.
The Bengals and the Seahawks are both interested in possibly trading for Broncos WR Brandon Marshall. But, what exactly would they be getting if they sign wide receiver Brandon Marshall or work a trade with the Denver Broncos to obtain the enigmatic star? Clearly they'd be landing a big-time wide receiver, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound athlete in his prime at 26 who has averaged 102 catches for 1,236 yards over the past three seasons. T.J. Houshmandzadeh calls Marshall the best receiver in the NFL, so it's fair to say he'd have his teammate's respect ... though it's equally fair to wonder if there's enough passes in a game to keep those two happy. But with Marshall, it's never just been about the football talent. He's been in trouble with the law since his days at Central Florida University when he faced charges of assault on a police officer that were later dropped.
Jason Babin, a free agent defensive end from the Philadelphia Eagles, arrived in Nashville Sunday and will be the team's first free agent visitor of the off-season on Monday. Babin, 29, recorded 2.5 sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles this past season and has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks after being a first-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2004. "They've been interested in him all the way through the process," Babin's agent Tony Agnone said. "He can rush passer pretty well and they feel like he has some upside and has a real good future."
The news Sunday that unrestricted free agent and former Dolphins nose tackle Jason Ferguson has had a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs couldn't have been welcome in the Dolphins' offices. While no decision had been made on whether to bring back the 13-year veteran, the mere fact he'll be suspended for the first eight games of the 2010 season makes finding help at the position a priority. The importance of a quality nose tackle was underscored in recent weeks when four teams; New England's Vince Wilfork, Pittsburgh's Casey Hampton, San Francisco's Aubrayo Franklin and Green Bay's Ryan Pickett; put franchise tags on their starters at the position.
Raiders fans might still get to watch Justin Fargas run next season. It just won't be for their team. One day after Oakland released the running back, Fargas said in a phone interview Sunday he has a visit lined up Tuesday with the Chiefs, an AFC West rival during his seven seasons with the Raiders. His agent has also been in contact with other teams, Fargas said, including the 49ers. He said he certainly doesn't mind the idea of moving across the bay to team up with Niners running back Frank Gore, who by all accounts could use a punishing partner in the backfield. "That could be something," said Fargas, whose two most productive seasons came in 2007-08
The Rams are poised to make their second free-agent signing in two days as talks were close to being finalized Saturday night with New York Giants free-agent defensive tackle Fred Robbins on a multi-year deal. Robbins has played 10 seasons in the NFL, the last six with the Giants and was there when Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator. He is listed as 6-foot-4, 317 pounds and can play both tackle positions. Last season, after undergoing microfracture surgery in February, Robbins played 16 games with the Giants and started 12. He turns 35 on March 25, ironically the same day that quarterback Sam Bradford will have his own private workout at the University of Oklahoma.
We now know that at least five of the tailbacks who finished last season as members of the Redskins -- Rock Cartwright, Ladell Betts, Quinton Ganther, Marcus Mason and Eddie Williams -- will be continuing their careers somewhere else. The Redskins need to reload their backfield and one of the top candidates appears to be Pittsburgh's Willie Parker. Parker will visit Redskins Park next week, according to a league source. The visit was first reported by KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. The 29-year-old Parker is an unrestricted free agent this year. He appeared in 14 games last season for the Steelers -- starting only three -- and finished the season with 389 yards on 98 carries.