Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:10 pm
 

Kreutz, Bears break up for good

KreutzPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier today, we told you about the difference in opinion between the Bears and longtime Chicago C Olin Kreutz about how much he was worth. The Bears had offered him a one-year, $4 million deal. Kreutz wanted $4.5 million, and if possible, a longer term than just one season.

Ultimately, with the signing of former Seahawks C Chris Spencer (which you could see right here in our free agent tracker!!!), the Bears made their decision, saying goodbye to Kreutz and possibly upsetting the chemistry of the locker room.

After the decision, GM Jerry Angelo called it “disappointing,” but he also said it wasn’t only about the half-million dollar difference.

“It goes beyond ($500,000),” Angelo said. “There’s more to it than just the dollar signs. It’s a big puzzle and you just can’t focus on one piece. It doesn’t work that way. It has to come together and we have a lot of things happening at a very fast pace. We didn’t have two months to draw things out, to be patient. We have to move now.”

There was also some speculation earlier about how the decision to send Kreutz on his way might be a rift between the coaching staff – which apparently loves Kreutz -- and the front office.

Reese, though, didn’t like hearing about that theory.

“I resent the fact that something was written that said there is a divide,” Angelo said. “Regardless of what anybody says, that’s not true. That’s a lie and it’s fabricated and I resented that when I read that. That to me was dirty pool. We talk about everything. Do we agree on everything? Absolutely not. You don’t agree on everything with your wife. How I’m going to agree with 18 coaches and 15 scouts? It doesn’t work that way.

“But at the end of the day, we’ve got to make a decision and we all agree on one thing, once we make a decision, we’re all for it. We’re going to make it work. That’s what teams do. So we talk through it. Very difficult. Things were said. We weighed them. We did the best. We had an offer. We bumped our offer. We did the very best we could. So now we’re going to just let t he chips fall where they may and we’re going to move forward.”

This might end up leading to Kreutz -- who’s been in the league for 13 years, all with the Bears, and is a six-time Pro Bowler -- possibly ending his career.

“Jerry has been good to me too. He’s given me a lot of money and I’ve been there a long time,” Kreutz told the Tribune in this story. “It felt like maybe it was time to move on. I just got that feeling. If I was right, if I was wrong, if the offer was fair. I have enough money. So the offer wasn’t a big hurdle for me. It was a feel I had, just maybe they wanted to move on no matter what the offer was.

“At this point in my career, the offer of money is not a big deal to me. It’s just a feel I had. I don’t want to taint anyone. Both sides have won since I’ve been here. I’ve won. They’ve treated me good. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked for and I think I’ve played my ass off for them.”

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 6:29 pm
 

Benson re-signs with Bengals

BensonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With RB Cedric Benson looking for a big payday, the Bengals instead had most of the leverage after Benson was arrested yet again for alleged assault. And instead of his long-term contract, the Bengals offered him a one-year deal that was accepted today.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy, the deal is worth $3 million with incentives that could push the worth up to $5 million.

But after his latest arrest -- at some point, he’s going to have to serve a suspension, right? -- his value dropped. In fact, the Bengals reportedly were looking at other RBs, including Ahmad Bradshaw. But it was expected the Bengals would sign Benson anyway.

Said Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis: “I’m happy to have Ced back.”

And Benson, I imagine, is happy to have a job again.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 3:50 pm
 

Marshall explains his mental disorder

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

On Saturday, we brought you the news that Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder as he revealed himself and his disease to South Florida Sun Sentinel writer Omar Kelly in a piece that was extremely very well done.

On Sunday, Marshall participated in a news conference with the rest of the Dolphins scribes.

Give a look and a listen in the video featured at Shutdown Corner. Fascinating -- and courageous -- stuff from a wide receiver who we now know might be the most misunderstood player in the league.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Vonta Leach signs deal; Rice tweets happily

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

FB Vonta Leach, regarded by many as the best lead blocker in the game, has signed a three-year deal worth $11 million with the Ravens, eschewing the Texans in the process, and making Baltimore RB Ray Rice a happy man.

That’s according to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, who reports that the Texans wanted to keep Leach but weren’t willing to put out as much money as the Ravens.

Combined with the re-signing of OL Marshal Yanda, the addition of Leach should help a Ravens running game that slipped to 14th last season (it was No. 5 in 2009 and No. 4 in 2008).

Almost immediately after the news, Rice sent a tweet to Leach that read, “Let the fun begin.”

The rest of the AFC North might beg to differ.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Tarvaris Jackson zooms to top of QB depth chart

JacksonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Seahawks lost touch with QB Matt Hasselbeck and decided instead to bring in Tarvaris Jackson, it made sense that he would battle with backup Charlie Whitehurst and then eventually beat him out for the starting spot.

Except Jackson doesn’t have to worry about the competition any more. At least for now. Seattle coach Pete Carroll announced Saturday morning that the No. 1 job belongs to Jackson.

Considering Jackson is well-versed with former Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who now runs the Seahawks offense, that’s a big advantage Jackson holds over Whitehurst (there’s also the matter that Jackson has started 20 games in his career, as opposed to Whitehurst’s two).

"In this situation, to make it the most competitive for our team, Tarvaris needs to be our starter right now," Carroll told reporters, via Rapid Reporter John Boyle, writing for the Everett Daily Herald. "He comes in as our starter, he’s going to own that position until Charlie and the next couple of fellows at that spot get a chance to catch up, and then the competition will begin from their end.

“Things changed during this offseason ... The more we saw it coming, the more we realized we needed continuity and we needed continuity we could generate in a very short amount of time, and without question as a staff across the board, we realized that because of our background in our offense with Tom and Darrell coming together, if we could capture Tarvaris into this thing, who has been with Darrell for five years, we could hit it running full speed.”

That’s not to say, though, that Whitehurst couldn’t compete and then take the starting job away from Jackson.

“This is just a competitive decision because of the timeframe that we’re dealing with,” Carroll said. “It’s strictly that. This is not the purely competitive situation I would like it to be, but the other side of it, I think that to compete for our team, this is the right thing to do. So that overrides the individual. Charlie, as soon as he can get caught up, then I can say, ‘Charlie, the competition is dead on, let’s go. Let’s see where you sit with us.’”

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Report: Bears, Kreutz only $500K apart

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bears and free agent C Olin Kreutz still haven’t come to an agreement on a new contract, and apparently, the two sides are only $500,000 apart.

That’s the word from the Chicago Tribune, which writes that the Bears have offered Kreutz a one-year deal worth $4 million while Kreutz is seeking $4.5 million.

KreutzDoesn’t sound like a big difference, does it? Especially when you consider Kreutz is a long-time emotional leader on the team and word is that real damage could be done to the team’s psyche if Chicago doesn’t retain his services (not to mention that G Roberto Garza -- who has one career start at center -- might have to slide over if Kreutz doesn’t return).

The paper reports that the Bears initially offered a one-year, $3 million deal while Kreutz’s agent countered with $5 million. Chicago apparently refuses to go above the $4 million mark, and because of that, writer Brad Biggs wonders if there’s a divide between the coaching staff and the front office (the assumption here being that coach Lovie Smith would give Kreutz the extra $500,000).

One team source called the situation a “ticking time bomb,” which certainly doesn’t sound like a positive development. Particularly when, according to Biggs, there were at least six botched snaps at Saturday’s practice.

UPDATED (4:13 p.m. ET): It's been reported that the Bears have signed former Seahawks C Chris Spencer. This means Kreutz is done in Chicago.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:35 am
 

Huzzah! Haynesworth passes conditioning test

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A day after he failed his conditioning test -- or didn’t take it, depending on who you believe -- new Patriots DL Albert Haynesworth has, in fact, accomplished something that took him many, many tries last season in Washington.

He was in good enough shape to pass the conditioning test that will allow him to practice.

That’s the word from the Boston Herald, which writes that Haynesworth actually might not have taken the test Saturday (even though coach Bill Belichick certainly gave the impression that Haynesworth didn’t pass it).

Either way, Haynesworth is scheduled to be on the practice field Sunday for the Patriots.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:01 am
 

Burress finds new home with NYJ

BurressPosted by Josh Katzowitz

He spent most of the day Saturday at Steelers camp, eating breakfast with coach Mike Tomlin and meeting with the front office, and by the end of it, free agent WR Plaxico Burress seemed to have a real shot at landing a spot with his old team.

Instead, as CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman writes Sunday morning, Burress has a new destination in mind -- the New York Jets.

Freeman writes Burress has accepted a one-year deal with the Jets -- it’s worth, according to ESPN, $3.017 million -- even though he had flown west to meet with the 49ers.

Burress told the Newark Star Ledger on Saturday that he had been invited to visit the Jets but that he wasn’t sure he would make it. Instead, it appears he accepted the job without going for an interview.

“I know they have a good team and everybody knows Rex (Ryan), so …” Burress told the Star-Ledger on Saturday, before making his decision. “I think (Ryan) is great. He stands behind his players, I think his players have a lot of respect for him and they play hard for him. … He’s a great coach, great personality. He seems like he’s always upbeat.”

Burress -- fresh off his 19-month prison stint -- gives the Jets another big-name WR signing after they rewarded Santonio Holmes with a five-year, $50 million deal earlier this week. While it seems unlikely that Burress will be good enough to become a star again, he could fill Braylon Edwards’ old role as the No. 2 receiver.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com