Tag:NFL Combine
Posted on: February 26, 2011 10:42 am

Tyron Smith won't finish OL workouts

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After completing the bench press drill Friday (29 reps) and interviewing with a number of teams, former Southern California OT Tyron Smith has dropped out of the NFL combine because of an injury, according to NFL.com.

Smith told NFL.com’s Steve Wyche that he’s still rehabbing a knee injury and that he was advised by his trainers to wait until his Pro Day March 30 before going through a full workout. Apparently, he’s coming off meniscus surgery about eight weeks ago.

It’s an interesting move by Smith because he’s so highly ranked but also has questions following him. In the CBSSports.com prospect rankings, he’s the second-rated OT and No. 15 overall.

In the CBSSports.com draft guru's mock drafts, Rob Rang has him going with the 19th pick to the Giants, while Chad Reuter has him at No. 12 to the Vikings.

This was an important event for Smith (obviously), because he played right tackle in college but was expected to move to the left side in the pros. Though his talent is undeniable, there are questions about his maturity (check out Rang’s Big Board for more analysis).

Although he seems to have a legit reason for not finishing his workouts, this move probably won’t help his standing with teams.

With his talent, though, it might not matter.

Here’s Smith talking to the media Friday.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 9:54 pm

All for one, one for all? Don't believe it

Posted by Pete Prisco

INDIANAPOLIS -- So four of the power agents stood up together to show their unity for the NFL Players Association Friday?

What? Those guys would stab each other in the back in a minute.

Does anybody really believe that charade? Drew Rosenhaus, Joel Segal, Tom Condon and Ben Dogra, four power NFL agents, got up in front of their brethren during the annual agent meeting to show solidarity.

Nice show, but really?

Rosenhaus is the same agent who got into an almost fistfight here years ago with another agent over allegations he was trying to poach that agent's player. And this is a united group?

I know why they're playing it that way: The agent community is in big financial trouble if there is a lockout of the NFL players in their fight to get a new CBA.

Some have estimated that half of the registered agents would go out of business.

That seems high, but you never know.

The four who joined together to show they backed the NFLPA aren't among that group, but even they would feel the financial sting, according to sources.

Let's not get carried away with this gesture. If you think the agents are unified on anything, I have a plot of swamp land I'd love to sell you.

This was cross-posted from Pete Prisco’s Prisco’s Points blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:46 pm

Combine scene: Friday

So much of the NFL combine has nothing to do with the incoming rookies (Getty).

Posted by Andy Benoit

INDIANAPOLIS -- What continues to stand out about the combine is how little of the focus is actually on the incoming rookie players. Yes, the event is technically about them. And yes, teams are certainly paying close attention to those players. But so many people, both inside and outside the NFL, are here for the networking. The combine is as much a football convention as an actual scouting ordeal.

I spent Friday running from one Indy hotel lobby to another, meeting people from various teams. These meetings were off the record; a lot of front office execs are reluctant to speak without the permission of the general manager. The meetings only reinforced the impression that the rookie players are only part of the scene here. There’s a considerable “behind the scenes” focus on the business/financial side of the sport. There’s almost a casual approach to the combine events themselves.

This, of course, could be because we’re still yet to see any major workouts (only special teamers have gone thus far). Or it could just be the air these execs put off. Nevertheless, what many fans don’t realize is that teams’ draft ideas are deeply entrenched at this point. Obviously, nothing has been finalized yet. But a bulk of the scouting and preparation was done throughout the fall. Scouts are able to visit with college coaches and learn about players by speaking with people around campus. The combine interviews and workouts seem to be, as much as anything, about bringing the general managers and coaches up to speed. (The GMs and coaches, of course, have been busy with their own team and season the past several months.)

If you’re an agent, the combine is HUGE. Team execs and agents seemingly spend their entire time meeting with one another. It will be interesting to see how the mood of the event shifts once the name players actually take the field tomorrow.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 7:16 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 11:18 pm

Redskins likely to lose three marquee players

Posted by Eye on Football staff

INDIANAPOLIS – For those wondering about the status of Donovan McNabb, Albert Haynesworth and Clinton Portis within the Redskins organization, wonder no more. Coach Mike Shanahan, meeting today with the media at the NFL combine, cleared it all up.

Which is to say he didn’t clear up much of anything (though, to be fair, we can take pretty good educated guesses about if those players will return).

On the topic of McNabb:

“I had a chance about two days ago to talk to (McNabb's agent) Fletcher Smith and we talked for about an hour and a half. I thought I had a great conversation with him. Obviously we had a lot of quotes that were out there over the course of the season. I was able to address questions he had and I thought the conversation went well. I think over the next few weeks we’ll get the chance to talk again, and then we’ll make a decision right after the draft of the direction we’ll go. But I thought it was a good initial conversation. We’ll let time take care of itself and we’ll get a chance to spend some more time together in the near future.”

Chances of McNabb playing in Washington in 2011: not great.

On the topic of Haynesworth:

“You never really know. Albert, right now, is appealing a four-game suspension. He’s had a couple alleged instances he’s got to take care of. Obviously that goes through the commissioner and hopefully that comes out positive. There’s a lot of ramifications there, so we’ve got to take care of that first.”

Chances of Haynesworth playing in Washington in 2011: I don’t see how.

On the topic of Portis:

"Relative to free agency and our own, we’re always wanting to sign our players, so we’re constantly talking to their agents. With a guy like Clinton Portis, he’s a little bit different. With a guy with a high salary cap, I’ve always dealt with it a little differently. If we’re not going to sign Clinton to that high salary, I’ll let him test the market out. Not to say we don’t want him, but for a lower price, and obviously we’ll try to find the best deal. It could happen. I don’t want to say right now. If I said that, usually I’m being pretty honest with you. Could be two days from now, could be three days from now. Could be later today."

Chances of Portis playing in Washington in 2011:
Not gonna happen.

Bythe way, looks like CBSSports.com's own Clark Judge and I have similar opinions.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 6:11 pm

Gabbert humble, cocky at same time

Posted by Eye on Football staff

INDIANAPOLIS – During his time in front of the media today at the NFL combine, former Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert was respectful and humble*, and when asked about Auburn QB Cam Newton, he had nothing but nice things to say.

*Also, his head of hair was awfully impressive.

“Cam is an explosive athlete,” Gabbert said in the video below. “He has all the talent in the world. We’re going to compete and fight it out and may the best man win.”

But he wasn’t quite as low-key in an interview on Sirius NFL Radio, via Pro Football Talk. That’s when he said he was a better quarterback than Newton.

“There’s no question,” Gabbert told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon. “I’m going to outwork everybody. My parents have raised me that nothing’s ever going to be given to you in life. You’ve always got to earn it. And that’s what I’ve applied to football and academics, that you’ve got to work for everything you’re going to get.”

I just wish he had said that when CBSSports.com had our cameras rolling.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:43 pm

Frazier says Vikes have extended Rice a contract

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

INDIANAPOLIS -- Leslie Frazier's in Indy to check out prospective Vikings draft picks, the most important of which is probably whoever might step in to replace Brett Favre at quarterback.

But he also dropped some surprising news during his news conference -- Minnesota has extended a contract offer to wide receiver Sidney Rice.

"Our medical staff has assured us that he’s going to be fine and he’s going to be able to play and be productive for years to come and that’s how we’ve approached it," Frazier said. "That's one of the reasons that we extended him a contract and conversation about getting him a contract. So, we feel good about Sidney."

Chad Greenway was hit by the Vikings with the franchise tag last week, which opened up the strong likelihood that Rice could become a free agent.

However, Frazier's news is interesting in that it would appear Minnesota actually believes he's healthy enough to produce at the same level he did in 2009, despite some concerns that he wasn't 100 percent healthy even when he returned last year.

Rice would probably love to get paid before the CBA deadline, but it also seems he'll be interested in who's throwing him the ball if he stays in Minnesota. Frazier addressed that as well, pointing out that the Vikes will explore every option available to them -- free agents, veterans and draft picks -- in finding their next signal caller.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:14 pm

Pre-draft workouts in jeopardy without a CBA?

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL combine is critical for teams to evaluate potential draftees, but it's not the whole shebang, either. Pro days at individual schools and, perhaps MOST importantly, individual workouts with candidates give teams a good idea of whether a player represents a sound investment.

The last two could be in serious jeopardy, though, according to what's leaking out of NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith's meeting with a group of agents at the combine, where the one thing Smith apparently didn't discuss was the mediation that went down in D.C. recently.

He only told, according to our own Mike Freeman, the group of agents there was "some" progress while prepping them for lockout contingencies.

That's good news only in that if a ton of mediation-related information started leaking out right after his talks with agents -- and it would if he talked about it -- the owners might not take too kindly to him violating the media blackout.

The owners might not be too thrilled with some of the reports about what kind of access they'll have to rookies, either.

Adam Caplan of FOX Sports reports that, according to agent sources present during Smith's presentation, teams won't be able to talk to agents about rookies at pro days during a lockout.

Even worse is the news that Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reported -- the individual meetings with teams might disappear entirely.

"[I'm] being told teams will not be able to do individual pre draft workouts," a source told Wilson. "The union considers that communication in regards to financial situations for the players.

"[I] don't see that happening."

Contradicting all of that, though, is NFLPA spokesman George Atallah.

"We'd be hard pressed to stand in the way of a player doing something he needs to do," Atallah said Friday.

But that's the Catch-22 -- the players need to talk with teams to make more money (and, inherently, so do the agents) and teams need to talk to players in order to figure out who they want to draft. Unfortunately, the labor cloud keeps looming and we have to keep wondering when the next public dust-up will occur.

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 2:23 pm

Little on UNC probe: It will 'haunt me forever'

Posted by Andy Benoit

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the more intriguing storylines of this draft is the amount of North Carolina Tar Heels who a) are projected to go in the first few rounds and b) carry "character baggage" as a fallout from the NCAA agent violations.

Wide receiver Greg Little -- the 14th-ranked WR by CBSSports.com -- was one of two Tar Heels who achieved the rare "permanently ineligible" designation (the other was DE Robert Quinn, our seventh overall prospect, who is soaring up the mock draft boards and could soon be projected to go No. 1 overall).

Little and Quinn received travel accommodations and jewelry from agents, then lied about it all to investigators. NFL teams have undoubtedly had questions for Little about his conduct, and, naturally, the media has been the same way. To Little’s credit, he was very direct in answering it at his combine press conference Friday.

"It was tough to know that essentially I started the whole investigation," Little said. "And that was one of the things that was very bearing and very hard to deal with. It was something that will haunt me forever to know that my team could have won the national championship [had] I played along with them."

Little was asked how he got in the situation in the first place. He shrewdly used that as an opportunity to shift the spotlight to his personal growth.

"Without saying this the wrong way, I think it was one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life," Little said. "It was a very pivotal point and a defining moment in my life where I said, 'Hey, this is not who you are. This is something that you've done. You've made a mistake.' But you have to move on, and that's what I'm doing. This has definitely been a great start to my path of redemption. I'm just out to prove that even though we make mistakes, you can still progress and go through."

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