Some updated NFL tidbits & rumors. Enjoy:
The Michael Crabtree saga took a new turn Thursday when the wide receiver's cousin and adviser suggested he is prepared to sit out the 2009 season and enter the 2010 draft if the 49ers do not offer him "fair market value." "We are prepared to do it," David Wells told ESPN.com. "Michael just wants fair market value. They took him with the 10th pick and you have Darrius Heyward-Bey getting $38 million (from the Raiders)? This week is crucial." Crabtree's agent, Eugene Parker, broke from his customary media silence and told ESPN.com, "I don't know where this came from, but no such threat has been made." However, according to ProFootballTalk.com, Parker did indeed make the threat and is reportedly looking for a contract in excess of what the Raiders gave Heyward-Bey, the seventh pick in the draft.
Talks on a new contract for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, while considered inevitable for months, have not begun. That may soon change. Both sides have long intimated that nothing would get done with Rivers until Eli Manning's numbers in New York were settled. The Chargers will contend that Rivers doesn't have the Super Bowl hardware both Roethlisberger and Manning possess. Rivers' agent will likely point out that Rivers' numbers are better than both those quarterbacks', as well as superior to most quarterbacks ever in their first three seasons as a starter.
After practice on Thursday Raheem Morris called out tight end Kellen Winslow for controlling his emotions. The Buccaneers traded a second and fifth round pick to the Clevelnd Browns for Winslow in the offseason, and gave him a contract extension during the offseason. Morris has talked about Winslow stepping up and being a leader throughout the offseason. Morris referred to some past problems. "Oh, he's definitely talented, but I'm also starting to get an idea of the problems he's had," said Morris. "But I think it's the first time anyone has ever addressed him, talked to him about it. He understands, he looks me in the eye, I look him in the eye and that's it-my bad. If he does something good, I'll tell him my bad. Sometimes his emotional energy is going to give us a lift and other times it hurts. He's got to know when it's the right time."
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson's non-answer to a question about Michael Vick was more than just Ted being Ted. The team is doing thorough due diligence on the former NFL quarterback and has had legitimate discussions about the idea of signing him, according to sources.
If you're counting at home, this is now Day 10 of Michael Crabtree's contract impasse with the 49ers. Allow me to detail the action thus far: Crabtree was picked 10th in the draft, asked for way more money than the 10th pick is slotted to earn and, well, there's been the sound of crickets chirping from that point forth. agents like Eugene Parker are operating in the era of the super agencies. Eleven of the top 15 picks in the most recent draft, for example, are represented by just three agencies, and landing the top players has become cutthroat. If an agent makes a splash with a contract in 2009, he'll advertise it in neon lights to reel in the top players in 2010. If he doesn't make a splash, you can bet that his competitors will use that against him. Add to that the uncapped year that is looming on the NFL horizon, and you can see why agents are being careful about setting themselves up for the future. Perhaps more than anything, this explains why nine first-round picks still remain unsigned.
The tone of Roddy White's negotiations with the Falcons has taken a turn for the worse. There were discussions Tuesday that went well into the evening. White, who is under contract for the 2009 season, wants a contract in the financial neighborhood of Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, who recently signed a four-year $40 million deal. The Falcons apparently are not willing to go that high. Before Tuesday's talks, general manager Thomas Dimitroff thought things were going well and was hopeful that White would be in camp soon. Now, the Falcons are considering withdrawing their offer and asking White to play for the $2.28 million he's set to receive for the 2009 season.
The price tag figures to be staggering when the time comes for the Indianapolis Colts to lock up their Manning in the same manner the New York Giants locked up theirs. Yet the Colts intend to keep Peyton Manning. At the latest, that would be shortly after the end of the 2010 season, when Manning's contract expires. It's conceivable Polian and Tom Condon, Manning's agent, will iron out something prior to that.
The Jets' quarterback competition is incomplete at the moment. Coach Rex Ryan conceded yesterday that, through six days of training camp practices, the battle between Kellen Clemens and rookie Mark Sanchez is at a relative deadlock.
On a couple of occasions over the past couple of months, rumors have surfaced that the Cowboys might re-sign cornerback Pacman Jones. To date, it hasn't happened. As one league source explained it, Executive Vice President Stephen Jones has been acquiring more juice within the building, as evidenced by the decision to dump Terrell Owens. So while owner Jerry Jones might be tempted to give Pacman another chance, we're told that Stephen Jones is squarely against it -- and that as a result it most likely won't be happening.
Former Detroit Lions and Michigan State receiver Charles Rogers will be featured on an episode of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" later this month. During his interview with Free Press alumna Jemele Hill, he admits that he used to smoke marijuana "every day."