The 49ers are in the process of dismissing general manager Scot McCloughan for personal, nonfootball reasons, multiple team and league sources confirmed Thursday, ending his tenure five weeks before the NFL draft. Technically, McCloughan remains employed while under what ESPN termed an "extended leave of absence." However, multiple sources maintain McCloughan has been relieved of his duties and will not return. McCloughan said nothing to dispute reports of his pending termination, telling AOL Fanhouse via text, "I'm fine and moving forward." The team declined comment through a spokesman, and they are not expected to announce anything until a contractual settlement is finalized.
Alge Crumpler's time as a Tennessee Titan is over. The City Paper first reported that the unrestricted free agent was to close to signing an agreement with the New England Patriots, citing league sources. The deal will be officially consummated sometime next week, but the tight end and the Patriots have agreed to terms on a contract. The Boston Globe is also reporting that Crumpler will sign with the Pats. The Patriots have been desperate for help at the tight end position, having lost Ben Watson to the Cleveland Browns and releasing Chris Baker this off-season.
With less than five weeks remaining before the NFL draft, the Rams continue to cozy up with potential No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford, the quarterback from the University of Oklahoma. League sources told the Post-Dispatch that general manager Billy Devaney and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur made a trip to Florida at the start of this week to meet with Bradford, who has been training and rehabbing in Pensacola since undergoing surgery on his throwing shoulder. Devaney and Shurmur sat down with Bradford and talked football, and also met with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery. Bradford's eagerly anticipated pro day is March 29 in Norman, Okla.
And, the moron of the week award goes to: Giants punter Jeff Feagles. He's 45 years old and coming off the worst season in his entire career; yet, he's demanding more money. Huh? Are you kidding me? In my view, any player half-way to 50 should be counting his blessings that he's still able to play football; let alone still having a job.
With Jeff Feagles currently in a contract standoff with the Giants, the team has taken an interesting approach to their punting situation. The Giants signed former Australian rules football player Jy Bond Thursday after Bond worked out for the team. The 30-year-old Bond has been attempting to kick start his NFL career for a few years and was with the Dolphins from April to June last year. He's never kicked in an NFL game. As we noted in the Feagles story we posted Wednesday night, the Giants' interest in (and now signing of) Bond doesn't close the door on Feagles, as there are several other more proven options on the market the team has yet to pursue.
Jets kicker Jay Feely has scheduled a trip to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals this weekend, according to FoxSports.com. Feely, 33, made 30 of 36 field goals last season, but the Jets signed Nick Folk earlier this offseason. Feely had an up-and-down playoffs for the Jets. In the wild-card win over the Bengals, he pulled double duty as kicker and punter when Steve Weatherford missed the game. In the AFC Championship loss to the Colts, Feely missed two crucial field goals.
On the day they introduced and signed 25-year-old Darryl Tapp to a three-year contract, the Eagles cut the aging and increasingly expensive Kevin Curtis and Darren Howard. Both players, once highly touted free-agent signings who were released yesterday, had underperformed, considering their contracts. With no salary cap in the NFL this year and with the threat of a lockout next season, the Eagles have made "out with the old" their motto. Since the last week of February, they have released or traded running back Brian Westbrook, linebacker Will Witherspoon, wide receiver Reggie Brown, defensive end Chris Clemons, and guard Shawn Andrews.
Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is scheduled to be in town for an official visit at the Lions' headquarters, his agent, Roosevelt Barnes, told mikeoharasports.com.
The Tennessee Titans have signed defensive end Jason Babin to a one-year deal worth $1 million.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said quarterback Derek Anderson will be given the chance to compete with Matt Leinart for the starting job, but he also made it clear that for now it's Leinart's job to lose. "Certainly Matt has earned the right to be the guy and that's the way we're going forward as we proceed," Whisenhunt said Wednesday, after the Cardinals announced they had signed Anderson to a two-year contract. A free agent released last week by the Browns, Anderson, 26, agreed to a deal worth $7.25 million, of which $3.25 million will be guaranteed. If he reaches maximum performance bonuses, the deal could be worth in excess of $18 million."
Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey said Tuesday there is no front-runner for the starting quarterback job at the moment. Gailey, in brief comments to the media at One Bills Drive, did not rule out adding another prominent quarterback to the team's roster. However, he said the three quarterbacks on the team — Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm — would fight it out for positions if the situation stays the same. "To me, unless something different happens between now and post-draft, to me it's an open competition for the job; see what happens," Gailey said.
On a day the Bears added insurance at cornerback, the future of another member of the defensive backfield remained unclear. Danieal Manning, one of the Bears' four unsigned restricted free agents, is unlikely to attend the start of the offseason workout program March 29 as he awaits a new contract. The Bears tendered Manning, a second-round pick in 2006, at the original-round level, meaning he would earn $1.176 million for 2010 if he signs the one-year offer. The Bears would receive a third-round draft pick as compensation if any team signs Manning away with an offer sheet the Bears decline to match. The deadline to receive an offer sheet is April 15.
The leg injury E.J. Henderson suffered last December was so horrific that his playing career seemed in question. Less than four months later, the Vikings middle linebacker and team captain was resolute Tuesday night. "Oh, I'm definitely going to play football again," he said. "I really don't think that's a question at this point barring some freak occurrence. But I'm definitely going to play football again. It's just a matter of, will I be back in July or August?" Henderson spoke publicly for the first time since he suffered a fractured femur in his left leg against Arizona on Dec. 6.
For now, Green Bay Packers tight end Spencer Havner only has to worry about getting his injured shoulder healed. But in the coming weeks and months he may be facing driving under the influence charges and a sanction from the NFL. The latter, which would fall under the league's personal conduct policy, can be levied even if charges are not filed against him, and can come in the form of a fine or suspension. A California Highway Patrol officer confirmed Tuesday that Havner was arrested Saturday morning for allegedly driving his motorcycle under the influence of alcohol.