Former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Mark Brunell still appears to high on the New York Jets' wish list, according to a report by ESPN New York's Rich Cimini. Just like the Saints, however, the Jets are restricted from signing any unrestricted free agents under the new rule limiting the final four playoff teams. The Jets can't sign another unrestricted free agent until July 22, unless they lose another one of their own unrestricted free agents first. But Cimini speculates that the Jets might have a "wink-and-nod" agreement in place with Brunell. The Saints are free to re-sign Brunell if they want to, but clearly it seems like they're ready to move in another direction.
The Lions are among the teams monitoring linebacker Keith Bulluck, who reportedly is three weeks away from recovering from a torn knee ligament and will begin visiting teams as a free agent. "I think that he's a guy, among others, that we've had our eye on," coach Jim Schwartz said today after an organized team activity. "It just throws a little bit of a monkey wrench into it for him because he's coming off an ACL. But he's a quality player that's played for a long time in the NFL, and when he's available, I'm sure there will be a lot of teams that will be interested in him." Schwartz was Tennessee's linebackers coach in 2000 when the Titans drafted Bulluck in the first round.
Patrick Crayton doesn't know if he'll be with the Cowboys when the season starts. That's not his decision. But the receiver does believe this: "If it's a true open competition, I'll be with the Dallas Cowboys in 2010," Crayton said Wednesday night as he took part in a basketball game to benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters. "If not, and things have already been assigned, then I'll probably be elsewhere." Crayton is working out on his own at the Michael Johnson Performance Center and has not participated in the team's organized team activities.
Finding the money to re-sign quarterback Peyton Manning apparently isn't the Indianapolis Colts' only offseason concern. Robert Mathis' desire for an enhanced contract has resulted in the team's two-time Pro Bowl defensive end avoiding the ongoing organized team activities, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation. The on-field, non-contact practices are voluntary, but Mathis has been a diligent participant in the past. The Colts have held three of their nine OTA sessions, and a fourth is Thursday. The team does not comment on contract issues and Mathis could not be reached.
Washington Redskins star Albert Haynesworth is being sued for $10 million by a Brooklyn exotic dancer who claims he impregnated her -- then abandoned her. Salma Hayek look-alike Silvia Mena,who's nearly four months pregnant, says she met the 6-foot-6, 350-pound defensive lineman in Miami late last year. But she claims in papers to be filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court he dumped her after learning she was expecting in late February. The papers allege that Haynesworth -- who signed a $100 million contract with the Redskins last year -- has refused to talk to her since late March or give her any money toward her medical Bills.
Jaguars veteran guard Vince Manuwai likes a challenge. "I never shy away from competition," he said. "When they run fourth-and-1 on my side, I love it. Some guys are afraid of it." The eight-year veteran, drafted by the Jaguars in the third round in 2003, now faces the biggest challenge of his career. In fact, his career might be on the line. Recently demoted to second team and facing more competition now that the Jaguars traded for guard Justin Smiley, Manuwai knows he has to regain his old form if he's to have a future with the Jaguars. The trade for Smiley was another signal the Jaguars aren't happy with the play of their interior linemen and are looking to upgrade that area ..
In a way, it almost seems unfair. Keith Null was the Rams' starting quarterback for the last four games of the 2009 season. The two players ahead of him on the depth chart for most of the season, Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, no longer are with the team. And yet as organized team activities continue at Rams Park, Null is in exactly the same situation that he was last spring: fighting to land the No. 3 QB job. "Wherever I end up by the season, I trust the coaches enough to put me in the right position," said Null, a sixth-round draft pick last year from NCAA Division II West Texas A&M. Null beat out Brock Berlin to make the 53-man roster as a rookie.
Jeff Fisher figures fair is fair, which is why the Tennessee Titans' coach rejected a recent offer from running back Chris Johnson. "He invited me to participate in his football camp, but I told him I'd like him to participate in mine," Fisher said Tuesday following the Titans' latest organized team activity (OTA). Johnson, the NFL's leading rusher in 2009, was absent again Tuesday, as he has been for all previous OTAs and other offseason activities. He publicly has stated his desire for a new contract despite the fact that he has three years remaining on the deal he signed two years ago when Tennessee drafted him.
The Carolina Panthers opened their organized team activity season, and cornerback Richard Marshall was back. The fourth-year cornerback was on the field Monday morning, according to a pair of team sources. The practice was closed to the media, a first during OTAs in coach John Fox's nine years here. There's been no word of Marshall signing a contract, and messages left with his agent Drew Rosenhaus and general manager Marty Hurney weren't returned. He could have signed the injury protection letter which allows unsigned players to work out with the team without a contract.