Posted on: August 11, 2011 4:31 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 8:52 am

Osi cleared; ready to return to Giants?

It looks as if Osi Umenyiora has been cleared to return to the New York Giants.

According to Tony Agnone, Umenyiora's agent, Umenyiora was cleared by a knee specialist in Atlanta, where he went Thursday for a second opinion on his left knee.

Umenyiora, who missed the entire 2008 preseason after undergoing surgery to repair torn meniscus in the knee, had been complaining about soreness and has not practiced this summer. He had already been examined by the Giants' medical staff, and it apparently believed he was ready to play again.

Now, it seems he will.

"Everything's good," said Agnone. "It looks like he's good to go, but we're going to keep monitoring the knee. It looks like everything's in good shape."

Umenyiora has been embroiled in a contractual dispute with the club, with the defensive end seeking a lucrative extension of a contract he first signed in 2005 or a trade to a club that will give him what he wants . The Giants have refused but granted him permission to seek a trade -- only to withdraw the offer two days later.

General manager Jerry Reese said Thursday that he hopes to have Umenyiora back with the club on Monday, but that is contingent, Agnone said, on what happens after he meets with the team's physicians.

Umenyiora last year set an NFL record with 10 forced fumbles.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 10, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 9:38 pm

Eagles' signing of Smith low-risk move

Wide receiver Steve Smith is hurt and will probably go on PUP, yet the Philadelphia Eagles signed him to a one-year, $2.5 million deal. The question: Why?

The Eagles must figure they can get something out of the guy, and they do. In fact, some people close to Smith said he's making so much progress from a knee injury that shelved him last season that he's starting to run pass routes.

That means he might, just might, be ready for the opening of the season, but I wouldn't count on it. The Eagles want to make sure he's ready before they put him on the field. What seems apparent here is that the Eagles' physicians must think that Smith is farther along in his recovery than the Giants' physicians.

Smith's addition would appear to be a hedge against Jeremy Maclin, who still hasn't recovered from a mystery illness and is not practicing, but it's not. In fact, I'm told the Eagles have been studying an addition at wide receiver for some time and locked on Smith because of his success against them in 2009 when he led the Giants with 107 catches.

Smith had 15 receptions in two games vs. Philadelphia that year. He also had 16 vs. Dallas and 11 vs. Washington. Do the math, people: That's 42 catches in six NFC East games, or an average of seven per start.

I guess what I'm saying is that regardless of what happens to Maclin, the Eagles were looking for help at wide receiver and jumped when Smith became available. And why not? It's a low-risk, high-reward signing.

First of all, it hurts a division rival. Smith was a key component of the Giants' passing game. Second, it makes the Eagles stronger at a position where they appear loaded, with DeSean Jackson, Smith, Maclin, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper. Third, no matter when he plays, the Eagles are convinced they found a slot receiver who can catch balls in traffic -- a perfect complement to Jackson and Maclin.

It all makes sense ...again.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 7, 2011 10:00 pm

Eagles may take time with Patterson

Philadelphia defensive tackle Mike Patterson hasn't returned to the practice field, and, according to sources close to the club, probably won't for awhile.

They said the club prefers to proceed slowly with Patterson, who last week collapsed after suffering a seizure, rather than rush him back to practice.

The Eagles' plans run contrary to what Patterson's agent, J.R. Rickert, said late last week. In a statement, Rickert said he anticipated that his client would be cleared to resume "normal team activities within a few days."

Not so, said sources. At least not now. The Eagles may sit Patterson the next two weeks, they said, as a precaution.

Patterson, a six-year starter and key player in the middle of the Eagles' defense, was released from Lehigh Valley Hospital last Friday, two days after he was taken by ambulance from the practice field.

He suffered what the Eagles said was an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) on his brain, a condition where blood vessels outside the brain become tangled. It is believed that it is a congenital condition that went undetected until Patterson collapsed.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:22 pm

Jets' biggest move has nothing to do with roster

What is wrong with this picture? Tom Moore stands on the practice field, studies everything in front of him, then slowly, patiently walks toward his quarterback.

Mark Sanchez.

After years of schooling Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, Moore is with the Jets as an offensive consultant. I'm not sure what that means, but I am sure this will work more seamlessly than, say, when Sherm Lewis was hired as an offensive consultant by Washington. But beyond that I'm not certain. So I asked Brian Schottenheimer, the team's offensive coordinator.

"I'm thrilled he's here," Schottenheimer said.

He should be. Moore is another set of eyes and ears for Schottenheimer and the offensive coaching staff. Though he's at the team's Florham Park, N.J., headquarters now, he won't be during the season. Instead, Moore is expected to help from his Hilton Head, S.C., home, speaking with Schottenheimer by telephone and doing advance work on opponents -- with suggestions on how to attack them or maximize Red Zone efficiency.

"It's going to be terrific for me," said Schottenheimer. "He's probably forgotten more football than I know. He's been around so many great coaches and players, he can grab a player and tell him a tidbit about how Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark work. That's huge for Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller. He's there as a resource."

There can be no overstating the value of Moore's addition. Manning admired and respected him, and the Colts thrived under his direction. Remember, when Indianapolis made its second-half comeback in the 2009 AFC championship game to beat the Jets, it was Moore who was the team's senior offensive coordinator.

"Offensive consultant is such a vague term," said Schottenheimer. "We brought Tom in during the lcokout, and he grinded, he was prepared and he came in and we talked football for nearly three straight days, 15 or 16 hours a day. That's when we said, 'You know what? This would be great for us to have a guy who loves the game, loves coaching and whom we could bounce some things off -- basically, someone with 40 years of experience who would be great sounding board for me and my staff."

It might wind up being the Jets' most important offseason move.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:12 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 10:14 pm

No migraines for Vikes' Harvin

Even though they lost Sidney Rice, the Vikings feel pretty good about themselves at wide receiver. And here's why: Percy Harvin, who was bothered by migraines the past two seasons, hasn't experienced one in over seven months, according to people close to the team.

"It's not a problem," said a source.

Harvin, however, might be. First of all, he becomes the Vikings' lead receiver. Second, he has Michael Jenkins --a physical receiver -- to complement him. Third, there's no hint of the migraines that last summer had him pass out during an August practice. Most important, he's driven to produce.

People with the Vikings tell me that Harvin doesn't think he's appreciated by his peers in the league as a premier talent. So he's determined to show him what they're missing. If he succeeds, Percy Harvin becomes the headache.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:10 am
Edited on: August 3, 2011 10:14 am

Source: Giants' price for Osi hasn't changed

A league source on Wednesday denied a report that the New York Giants have lowered their price for disgruntled defensive end Osi Umenyiora from a first-to-a-second-round draft choice. According to the source, the Giants still are asking for a top pick, which hasn't produced interest to this point.

Umenyiora's agent Tony Agnone would neither confirm nor deny the report when reached Wednesday morning.

Umenyiora insists that the Giants have not been fair with him and that GM Jerry Reese in 2008 promised him a new contract or a trade if he had two good seasons of play. Umenyiora, who is under contract with the Giants the next two seasons, set a league record in 2010 with 10 forced fumbles and believes he lived up to his end of the deal.

The Giants apparently don't. They have not changed their position with him, other than to grant him permission to seek a deal -- with a first-round draft pick the price. Under terms of the new agreement between players and owners, firsrt-round draft choices cost considerably less -- about 40 percent less -- which increases their value.

Result: Clubs are more reluctant to part with them now than they were a year ago.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 2, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 5:24 am

McNabb on Eagles: The heat is on

Enough already.

One day it's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The next it's Nnamdi Asomugha. Then, Cullen Jenkins. Now the Philadelphia Eagles have reached a one-year deal with running back Ronnie Brown.

When does it end?

Once upon a time, the Eagles were so reluctant to make offseason splashes that former quarterback Donovan McNabb had to go public to urge the club to add playmakers. So it did ...  but only after McNabb exited for Washington, and, now Minnesota. Now that he's far, far away he has a intriguing perspective that he shared with me Tuesday afternoon after practice.

"I was there for 11 years, and the biggest thing we brought in was T.O. [Terrell Owens]," said McNabb. "Now they’re getting the so-called 'Dream Team.' It’s amazing, but I look back on my career and what they’re doing now ... that’s great; that’s excellent. But you’re seeing another side. You’re seeing Andy (coach Andy Reid) taking that chance. It’s not just taking that chance on one guy. They’re taking a chance on a bunch of guys. And they’re spending money. That’s amazing. Ever since the lockout [ended], teams have to spend money."

The Eagles have brought in a raft of free agents on offense and defense, including former Tennessee quarterback Vince Young, and the idea is clear: Identify the enemy, and load up. The Eagles have, and they're stalking Green Bay.

Once upon a time it was good enough to win the division and make the playoffs. Not anymore. With the moves Philadelphia keeps making the pressure grows on Reid and the coaching staff to deliver a Super Bowl, and McNabb knows it. As he said, he was there for 11 years, and he understands what fans will say about the Eagles because he's been there ... only not like this.

"With T.O.," he said, "after the first two or three weeks of training camp we felt like we had something. But you never say, 'Aw, we’re going to win the Super Bowl. Fans say that. Radio says that. But now they expect them to win.

"Now they bring in a Cullen Jenkins, and we all know he’s a dominant force. They bring in a Nnamdi Asomugha. You have Rodgers-Cromartie, who is the one they don’t mention the most because they have Asante Samuel, too. The problem is: What do you do with Asante Samuel?

"Then, you've got to worry about DeSean (Jackson). When he comes back are you going to give DeSean the ball or throw it to (Jeremy) Maclin? Remember, you have to give LeSean McCoy the ball, too. And then at the end you still have to pay Mike Vick. They have more problems than people are looking at."

We'll see.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 4:30 pm

Frazier, Vikes show McKinnie who's boss

It's unclear what forced Bryant McKinnie's release: His physical condition or his salary. My guess is that both forced coach Leslie Frazier's hand, and Frazier acted swiftly. The Vikings cut the former Pro Bowl left tackle Tuesday afternoon.

"This decision, while not an easy one, is in the best interests of our football team as we move forward preparing for the season," Frazier said in a prepared statement.

Frazier's comments would seem to support the idea that McKinnie's exit is addition by subtraction. McKinnie showed up in such poor shape that he was placed on the Non-Football Injury list and not allowed to practice. That didn't help his cause. Neither did his $4.9 million salary nor his reported failure to take a pay cut.

If you're a first-year coach putting together a club it's important the players understand who is in charge -- and it's you, not them. Maybe McKinnie didn't get the message. He has now.


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Category: NFL
Tags: NFL cuts
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