For those who hoped for a quick reconciliation between the Bengals and quarterback Carson Palmer, those hopes have grown dim. Instead, this has all the makings of a standoff. Team president Mike Brown said Palmer met with him a little over a week ago and asked for a trade. Brown said that he told Palmer that the Bengals were not in a position to do so. "He is key to our plans. He's central to us," Brown said. "He was told that and that we count on him going forward."
Rex Ryan wants both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards back next season but the Jets head coach doesn't know "how feasible it's going to be" to re-sign both wide receivers. If the Jets can't bring the pair back, Ryan apparently can have a new dynamic duo. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco –- who like to call themselves Batman and Robin –- said they would love to play for Rex and be Jets on their reality show "The T. Ocho Show." It's probably an unlikely scenario but that didn't stop Ocho and T.O. from talking about it.
Bears coach Lovie Smith will get a contract extension. It's only a matter of when. "We very much want to extend Lovie," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "Our intent is to extend Lovie. "We wanted to wait until the season is over. The season is officially over for us. That will be part of the business at hand in these next several weeks." Smith, whose contract expires after the 2011 season, matter-of-factly said that "I love being the head football coach of the Chicago Bears every day I've been here and hope to be there for many years to come." Smith is believed to average $5 million on his last four-year extension. He has led the Bears to three NFC North titles……
Defensive tackle Trevor Pryce said Monday that Rex Ryan has asked him to return next season. But the 14-year veteran, who was picked up by the Jets after the Ravens waived him in late September, is pondering retirement. Pryce said he will make a decision in a few days, and he will base it on his ability to work through his grueling offseason training regimen. "The hardest part for me is the offseason," said Pryce, who is a free agent. "It becomes a thing where that's harder than football at times. ... If I can do that (offseason training), then I'll come back."
A word of warning to the Jets: Proceed with caution as you decide whether to sign Santonio Holmes to a lucrative long-term contract this offseason. In the immediate aftermath of the Jets' AFC Championship Game loss to the Steelers on Sunday night, there was a measurable crack in the good behavior that Holmes has displayed this season in a contract year. In what can only be described as a petty snit-fit during which some of his true colors came pouring out in public, Holmes threw offensive coordinator Brian Scottenheimer under the bus while speaking to a handful of reporters in the losers' locker room. That alone should serve as warning to Jets management as it mulls a long-term deal for him.
Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said last week that "nobody's given up" on quarterback Chad Henne, who threw more interceptions than touchdowns in his first season as the opening-game starter. But that doesn't mean the Dolphins aren't looking at all their options at quarterback, including finding help in the draft. So it was no surprise Monday to see General Manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano sitting side-by-side at the first Senior Bowl practice of the week, watching one of the most intriguing players on hand - Washington quarterback Jake Locker.
Former Carolina Panthers running backs coach Jim Skipper interviewed with coach Ron Rivera Monday, but signs aren't promising for him returning for a 10th season. Skipper said Monday afternoon he thought the meeting with Rivera went well, as they spent "a good bit of time," going over the team's personnel and scheme. However, a league source said the Panthers have planned more interviews for the vacant position, and that the Panthers gave Skipper little indication he was a legitimate candidate for the job. That would come as a disappointment to the team's returning backs, all of whom had lobbied for Skipper in recent weeks.
Because of his erratic performances and his high salary, the future of Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris is uncertain. Asked Monday if he expects to be back with the Bears, Harris responded: "On paper, it looks that way ... if they want me." Harris showed signs of his former dominant play late this season, but will it be enough to justify bringing him back?
The gears to generate a landmark contract for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning are in motion. Team officials met with Tom Condon, Manning's agent, on Thursday at which time a contract proposal was issued, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Condon confirmed Sunday afternoon that he drove to Indianapolis from his St. Louis home to meet with the Colts, but declined to elaborate. "It was pretty uneventful,'' he said. It's believed the Colts' offer would make Manning, the NFL's only four-time MVP, the highest-paid player in league history. That would mean eclipsing the four-year, $72 million extension given by the New England Patriots to quarterback Tom Brady in September. That deal included $48.5 million in guarantees. Manning, who turns 35 in March, is one of 22 Colts whose contracts will expire. He's also one owner Jim Irsay is committed to retaining, likely for the remainder of his career. Irsay could not be reached for comment, but recently stressed "the hope is to get something done before March 3. I look for it to get quietly done.'' The league's collective bargaining agreement with the players expires at 11:59 p.m. March 3. A lockout is anticipated, which would preclude teams from signing players until a new labor agreement is reached."
The contract of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau expires after this season, according to league sources. LeBeau is regarded as arguably the league's top defensive coordinator. He was instrumental in the success of former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. If LeBeau doesn't retire or return to the Steelers, he may land in Arizona. The Cardinals boast former Steelers assistants Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm and currently have an opening at defensive coordinator after firing Billy Davis.
With the remaining playoff teams cut in half after Sunday's conference title games, the Eagles' public list of candidates for their defensive coordinator opening could be growing. Of course, if the Eagles were hoping interview coaches from either the Packers or the Steelers - slated to meet each other in Super Bowl XLV - they will have to wait until Feb. 7 to do so. They did finally get around to interviewing one candidate. Saints assistant Dennis Allen met with Eagles coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman for a formal interview at the NovaCare Complex on Sunday. The 38-year-old defensive backs coach flew back to New Orleans later in the day, a team spokesman said.
The Baltimore Ravens are on the verge of a long-term deal with kicker Billy Cundiff, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Cundiff is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he set a record for touchbacks and solidified the kicker position for the Ravens after a year of instability in 2009. Cundiff and the Ravens have been working on an extension and have made significant progress, according to the source, who is in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. The sides are very near a deal and it is expected to be finalized this week.
Two media outlets in Canada reported Saturday that the Vikings are close to signing B.C. Lions wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, who played college football at Alcorn State. A Vancouver radio station reported that Arceneaux has agreed to terms on a three-year deal. Vikings director of player personnel George Paton told TSN that the deal is not complete but the team hopes to finalize things on Monday. We've confirmed the team is still trying to iron out the final details of the deal.
Former Browns head coach Eric Mangini has emerged as a candidate for the Titans' defensive coordinator position, sources familiar with the situation said. But there have been no contract discussions between the two sides, and there were indications Friday the Titans will take their time to make a decision. Titans Coach Jeff Fisher is expected to talk to a number of candidates about the vacancy in the coming week, sources said. Fisher could not be reached for comment Friday night. Efforts to reach Mangini also were unsuccessful. The Titans are looking for a new defensive coordinator after firing Chuck Cecil on Thursday after two seasons.