If the sun can occasionally splash with rain, it's possible for even a saint like Tim Tebow to become a training-camp holdout. Much to Tebow's chagrin, his baptism into the business aspects of football could put at risk his pristine reputation as one of the world's leading do-gooders. "That's not about Tim Tebow; that's between the agent and the Broncos," former Broncos quarterback John Elway said Thursday after his round at the HealthOne Colorado Open. "The players want to play. Tim doesn't want to hold out. If it's close, he'll be there, I guarantee you." Broncos rookies are to report Wednesday for their first training-camp practice.
The Carolina Panthers have signed rookies faster than ever this summer, but finishing the last one could still provide some deadline drama with just under a week before training camp. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen, the team's top pick (second round, 48th overall), is the last of their 10 draft picks without a signed contract. His will be the most complicated of the lot, and remains stalled like most top picks. By Thursday afternoon, only one first-rounder and two seconds had signed league-wide, and the expectation is that Clausen's deal will take the Panthers all the way into next week. The Panthers report to Wofford College in Spartanburg, Wednesday and begin practice the following day.
Wide receiver Danario Alexander of the University of Missouri still could be on the Rams' radar. According to Alexander's agent, Jeff Nalley, Alexander was cleared medically on Monday to work out for NFL teams following surgery on his left knee in February. If that is the case, general manager Billy Devaney says the team probably will bring Alexander to St. Louis for a visit and a physical. The Rams have yet to see the medical reports. Nalley said in an e-mail that he was working on setting up a workout day for NFL teams in the near future — a belated "pro day" he called it. Alexander posted via Twitter on Tuesday night that the workout would be Wednesday.
Cardinals starting inside linebacker Gerald Hayes underwent back surgery this summer and is not expected to practice when training camp begins next week. Hayes, a starter for the past four seasons, has been troubled by a bulging disc since last season. He missed most of the team's off-season workouts, but he thought he could avoid surgery. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Hayes underwent "a procedure" on his back several weeks ago and will be evaluated next week when players take physicals before reporting to camp in Flagstaff on July 30. "We'll determine then what his rehab protocol is," Whisenhunt said.
Reserve cornerback Cary Williams was suspended two games by the NFL for a violation of the personal conduct policy, the Ravens confirmed. Williams was signed by the Ravens on Nov. 24 off the Tennessee Titans' practice squad. "We've been aware of this since before we signed Cary," general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. It is believed the incident occurred earlier in his career with the Tennessee Titans.
Slowly but surely the Cowboys are getting their draft picks in the fold, reaching a four-year deal with sixth rounder Jamar Wall on Wednesday. Wall, a cornerback, had nine interceptions and 34 pass breakups in 50 games (38 starts) at Texas Tech. As a senior he started 13 games with 58 tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
The Steelers added a veteran guard and placed tackle Willie Colon on injured reserve today. Adrian Jones, a six-year veteran who played for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, signed a one-year contract with the Steelers. Colon, who had surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon last month, will not play this season. Jones stands 6-4 and weighs 330 pounds. The Jets drafted him in the fourth round in 2004 and he started 44 games for them before they waived him late in the 2007 season.
With rookies set to report for training camp in just three days, the Patriots now have signed all but the top four of their dozen 2010 draft picks. They finished off the lower-round deals yesterday by signing the final two of their four seventh-round picks: Kade Weston, a defensive lineman out of the University of Georgia; and Zac Robinson, a quarterback out of Oklahoma State. According to a league source, Weston signed a four-year deal worth a maximum value of just under $2.6 million. His signing bonus was $39,700. Robinson's deal reportedly includes a signing bonus of just under $39,000. The Patriots can now turn their attention to the top four picks.
Brett Favre and Vikings coach Brad Childress might have touched on plenty of subjects Monday, but a deadline for the quarterback to say whether he will play in 2010 wasn't among them. That's probably a good thing considering the status of Favre's left ankle. "The deadline? I don't know,'' Favre told USA Today on Tuesday. "There obviously comes a point where you've probably gone too far, where you just have to move on. He hopes I make the right decision for myself -- one way or the other." Childress, whose team will open training camp next week in Mankato, stopped in Hattiesburg, Miss., to see Favre on his way back to the Twin Cities after vacationing in Florida.
With the start of NFL training camps rapidly approaching and no first-round draft picks signed, the agent for Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh is using only one reference point in negotiations for his client. Suh's value to the Lions is all that counts, agent Roosevelt Barnes insists. That rules out using previous rookie contracts as a negotiating standard -- including the six-year deal signed last year by quarterback Matthew Stafford, drafted first overall by the Lions. Stafford's contract had $41.7 in guaranteed money, a rookie record. Suh, a dominating defensive tackle from Nebraska and one of the most celebrated collegiate linemen in recent years, was drafted second overall by the Lions.
As reporting day for the Rams gets closer and closer, negotiations will intensify between the club and Tom Condon, the agent for quarterback Sam Bradford. The goal is to have Bradford signed, sealed and delivered by the time rookies and selected veterans report next Wednesday afternoon (July 28). There are two practices Thursday and one Friday for the smaller group, before the remainder of the team reports Friday afternoon and the first full-squad practice occurs Saturday afternoon. The latter practice is the more important one for getting Bradford on the field. Clearly, the rest of the league is watching what happens with Bradford's contract.
-Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. Russell, who was accompanied in Alabama state court by his mother, declined to speak with reporters after being given a preliminary hearing date of Aug. 11. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft was arrested in Mobile on July 5 and was charged with possession of codeine syrup without a prescription. Russell was allegedly caught with a narcotic commonly referred to as "Purple Drank" or "Sizzurp," a concoction of codeine syrup mixed with soda and Jolly Ranchers candy.
The Eagles continue to be mentioned in online speculation about free-agent guard Chester Pitts, whose agent is trying to scare up interest in a 31-year-old client coming off microfracture surgery. A team source termed the signing of Pitts "unlikely." Pitts reportedly worked out for Pittsburgh and Indianapolis yesterday in Arizona and has additional workouts scheduled next week.
Against a backdrop of particularly slow rookie negotiations around the NFL, Bucs second-round pick Brian Price broke from the pack and signed a four-year contract Tuesday, making him by far the highest-drafted player to sign. It was an encouraging development as many clubs brace for intense negotiations and, perhaps, rookie holdouts. Teams begin training camps in the next week, yet Price is only the second second-round selection to sign. No first-round picks have signed. Before Tampa Bay's 35th overall pick signed, the Jets' Vladimir Ducasse (61st) was the highest draft choice under contract. "I'm glad my agent got the deal done, so now I can concentrate on having a great training camp……"
As he enters the final year of his contract, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis remains hopeful of leading the team beyond this season. "I would love to continue to coach here," he said Tuesday. Lewis, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Bengals to their second division title in five seasons, hasn't discussed his contract since late February. But with players reporting to training camp one week from today, Lewis' future will garner more national attention as the Bengals try to earn back-to-back playoff berths for the first time in 28 years. Lewis said he has discussed an extension a few times with Bengals president Mike Brown and that their working relationship is good.
With training camp set to open on July 30, the Dolphins crossed off another to-do on their offseason list Tuesday by signing third-round draft pick John Jerry. That leaves two unsigned draft picks remaining: first round defensive end Jared Odrick and second-round linebacker Koa Misi. Jerry, a 6-foot-5, 328-pounder out of the University of Mississippi, reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth $2.64 million with a guarantee of about $858,000. Jerry, who started 46 of 49 games at Ole Miss, is competing for the starting left guard job left vacant by the offseason trade of oft-injured veteran Justin Smiley.
Mike Teel is on the move again. The former Don Bosco and Rutgers quarterback has joined the Chicago Bears, his third NFL team in two months. Teel's summer of uncertainty began May 21 when the Seattle Seahawks, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft, released him. The New England Patriots claimed him off waivers, but let him go after three weeks.