Posted on: September 8, 2010 12:23 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 1:53 pm
As per my usual this time of year, here are my picks & predictions for week 1. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and own predictions. 5's for all replies:
Vikings @ Saints-- Aside rom the fact that the Vikings have a ton of injuries at WR, Brett Favre's ankle injury is a pretty bad one. You don't just bounce back from a surgery like this; even when you're still young. Favre will be 41. Don Majkowski had the same type of ankle injury back in the day. He needed eight additional surgeries on that same ankle - AFTER he retired. Between his age and the ankle injury, I just don't see how Brett Favre repeats last season's performance. The Superbowl Champs win big. PREDICTION: SAINTS
Browns @ Buccaneers-- The Browns have the king of turnovers - Jake Delhomme - as their starting QB. That tells me all I need to know. PREDICTION: BUCCANEERS
Dolphins @ Bills-- Chad Henne will make a step forward in his career this season, and it will start in this game against the talent-depleted Bills. Aside from a few exciting running plays by C.J. Spiller, I'm not expecting a whole lot from the Bills in this game; nor their season. PREDICTION: DOLPHINS
Bengals @ Patriots-- The Bengals defense could give the Pats some problems, but Carson Palmer hasn't shown me anything in over a year. Terrell Owens doesn't help this team THAT much. He's almost 40, and I don't think the Bengals have enough on offense to beat the Patriots in Foxboro. Tom Brady does just enough to win. PREDICTION: PATRIOTS
Colts @ Texans-- The Colts starting offense just didn't seem to have it together in the preseason. The Texans, on the other hand, looked sharp on both sides of the ball. Matt Schaub is coming off the best season of his career, and has the best WR in the league to throw to. Manning has Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. Somehow, that combination doesn't scare me much anymore. The Saints proved these guys can be beat. The Texans look better on defense and are ready to take that next step. It starts at home this Sunday against the Colts, who frankly, have looked anything but sharp. Upset special - PREDICTION: TEXANS
Broncos @ Jaguars-- Neither team thrills me. The Broncos have question marks at RB. The Jaguars have question marks at QB and WR. I'll give the edge to the team with the better defense. PREDICTION: BRONCOS
Falcons @ Steelers-- I'm going with the road team; not because the Steelers are without Roethlisberger, but because I think the Falcons are the better team. This team will be back in the playoffs in '10. PREDICTION: FALCONS
Raiders @ Titans-- The Raiders figure to be a vastly improved team on defense, but still have way too many question marks on offense to make any kind of impact this early in the season. Jason Campbell does make them better, but I'll take Vince Young and Chris Johnson over Jason Campbell and Michael Bush. PREDICTION: TITANS
Panthers @ Giants-- The last meeting between these two teams is one of the main reasons the Giants now have a new defensive coordinator. The team feels embarrsed by that performance, and they should. That; their new billion dollar stadum; and the team that shares the stadium - the Jets - crowning themselves the Superbowl Champions already should prove to be motivation enough for the Giants to put a better product out there this time around. Eli & company get it done. PREDICTION: GIANTS
Lions @ Bears-- I'm not buying that the Bears are a sleeper team just because of the hiring of Mike Martz. I'm also not as sold on the Lions coming in last place again as most others are. Matthew Stafford has more talent around him and figures to have a breakout year. He looks sharp so far and makes good decisions. DT Ndamukong Suh is the real deal. The defense was overhauled and should be better. The Bears showed me nothing in the preseason other than the fact that the team is a mess, the QB play is suspect, and the defense is getting old. Upset special #2 - PREDICTION: LIONS
Cardinals @ Rams-- The Cardinals released Matt Leinart in favor of Derek Anderson. Wow. I know Leinart had some character issues, but is Derek Anderson really better? The only guy with a worse QB rating since '08 is JaMarcus Russell. Anderson couldn't beat out Brady Quinn in Cleveland. Mangini thought Jake Delhomme was a better solution than Anderson. What does that tell you? I just don't see how he magically becomes a great QB; even WITH Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. Sam Bradford, on the other hand, is the real deal and proved it throughout preseason and training camp. The Rams won't be great this season, but I think Bradford give them enough of a chance to win their home opener in his debut as an NFL starting QB. Upset special #3 - PREDICTION: RAMS
Packers @ Eagles-- The people that say Aaron Rodgers isn't an elite QB in this league haven't watched this kid play. The Packers bring back most of their 2nd ranked defense from last season, and an offense with plenty of weapons. The Eagles are practically a brand new team. There will be growing pains; starting with their home opener. PREDICTION: PACKERS
49ers @ Seahawks-- The 49ers have the look of a team ready to take the next step. They will be a top 5 defense this season, plus Frank Gore is back healthy with a promising young rookie RB more than capable of coming in to spell for a few carries. The Seahawks have the look of a team rebuilding; trying to patch a team together. It will show in this contest. PREDICTION: 49ERS
Cowboys @ Redskins-- With or without Donovan McNabb, this one won't be close. Simply not enough weapons in Washington to compete with the Cowboys. Romo & the Cowboys big. PREDICTION: COWBOYS
Ravens @ Jets-- Rex Ryan returned a Jets team with the #1 defense from '09, and has already declared the Jets the future Superbowl Champions. Nothing wrong with confidence, but the feeling is Joe Flacco & company make him look stupid. The pressure of Ryan's guaranteed championship gets to the Jets in this one. I'll take Joe Flacco and his new weapons over Mark Sanchez. PREDICTION: RAVENS
Chargers @ Chiefs-- The Chiefs will be better than most people think. The game will be closer than people think. Still, not enough overwhelming talent on this Chiefs squad to hang with Phillip Rivers & company. PREDICTION: CHARGERS
Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:10 pm
Sorry for missing last week. Enjoy:
There will be some new names among the Cardinals' starting units on Saturday in Chicago, but coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't saying how long the starters will play in the third preseason game. "We're mixing some new guys in," he said. "We're going to see how we play. Obviously, there are a lot of things we're still looking to find out about our team, from a personnel standpoint, from scheme. We'll see how the game unfolds." There will be at least three changes in the starting lineup. Derek Anderson will start instead of Matt Leinart at quarterback. Greg Toler will replace Trumaine McBride at left cornerback, and Daryl Washington will start at inside linebacker instead of Pago Togafau.
Bears coach Lovie Smith confirmed that Brian Urlacher, who did not practice for a fourth straight day will not play against the Cardinals during Saturday night's exhibition at Soldier Field. Urlacher did run on an adjacent field under the watchful eyes of the training staff and appears to be improving, however. In other injury news, rookie safety Major Wright is now able to participate in everything except contact drills while recovering from surgery to repair his fractured finger.
As anyone familiar with the team knows, the St. Louis Rams aren't exactly swimming in wide receivers. And they lost one of their starters, Donnie Avery, on Thursday night to what appears to be a serious knee injury. "Donnie probably has a significant knee injury," coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the Rams' 36-35 preseason victory over New England. "We'll know a little bit more after we get the tests (on Sunday). He was a little bit down, and rightfully so. Hopefully, it's not as bad as we think."
Dez Bryant showed some good signs at practice Thursday, running routes for the first time since he suffered a high-ankle sprain last month. Before practice started, Bryant ran some routes for quarterback Stephen McGee under the watchful eye of wide receivers coach Ray Sherman. "I'm excited," Bryant told the Cowboys' official site early Thursday. "I am ready for it. I know I can (cut on the ankle)." But by the end of the session Bryant was jogging through the routes with Sherman going over the proper release techniques and footwork. Full participation in practice could come as early as next week.
Antonio Bryant knows that the final decision on whether he plays a down for the Bengals is not up to him. Although speculation swirls about the team possibly releasing the eighth-year NFL wide receiver, one thing Bryant does know is that he is making progress in rehabilitating his surgically repaired left knee. "I've been on the field doing a couple things here and there," said Bryant, who was signed to a four-year, $28 million contract by the Bengals in March. "It's just a matter of timing. We're getting there. We're getting close." Reports that the Bengals would reach in injury settlement with Bryant picked up some steam Thursday, when Newsday reported the team is set to release him.
Detroit Lions veteran defensive end Jared DeVries, according to his agent, has undergone minor knee surgery and could return to the field this season. However, it's not likely the team will save a roster spot for DeVries and it's more likely he'll be placed on the injured reserve list, effectively ending his season. No decision has been made at this point, but there are a couple of factors that point in that direction. One, the Lions are fairly deep at that left defensive end position. After starter Cliff Avril, the Lions just traded for defensive end Lawrence Jackson, a former first-round pick, and they also have rookie seventh-round draft choice Willie Young, who shows some promise.
Stephen Gostkowski didn't say one cross word about the Patriots when he received a restricted free agent tender instead of a contract extension. Now, the Pro Bowl kicker has been rewarded. The Patriots and Gostkowski agreed to a four-year contract extension worth nearly $14 million, the Herald learned. The deal includes $5 million in guaranteed money and will pay the former fourth-round draft pick an average of almost $3.5 million per season. The deal begins after his one-year salary of $1.759 million, which he received because he signed the RFA tender. The extension will keep Gostkowski in New England through 2014.
The Vikings continued to add to their depleted receiving corps by obtaining Greg Camarillo from Miami. The Dolphins got third-string cornerback Benny Sapp in exchange. Camarillo caught 105 passes for 1,165 yards and two touchdowns the past two seasons. Camarillo is a slot receiver, which should allow Percy Harvin to play more on the outside. According to FootballOutsiders.com, Camarillo was targeted 73 times without a drop last season, tops in the NFL. He signed a three-year, $5.7 million extension with Miami in November 2008. His contract runs through 2011, with base salaries of $1.3 million this season and $1.7 million in 2011.
With his sprained ankle wrapped, Donovan McNabb wore a ballcap turned backward at practice Wednesday afternoon as he watched someone else command the offense he was brought here to guide. Midway through the preseason schedule, the ankle has sidelined McNabb, who is not expected to appear in another game until the regular season begins. Concern over the quarterback's injury has little to do with the Washington Redskins' preseason game at the New York Jets on Friday night and everything to do with their regular season opener against Dallas in 2½ weeks. McNabb's progress picking up the new offense has been inconsistent.
The Lions continue to add offensive tackles. Last week they signed Noah Franklin and on Wednesday they claimed Tyler Polumbus, 25, off waivers from Denver. Polumbus started five games for the Broncos last season, but a change in offensive schemes this season left him the odd man out.
New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross has a tear in the plantar fascia in his right foot according to the team. Ross has been out all week with plantar fasciitis and has had his swollen right heel in a cast. Coach Tom Coughlin initially said that Ross' plantar fasciitis did not involve any tear following Wednesday's afternoon practice. But after receiving the latest report from the team's medical staff, Coughlin was informed there was a tear on Wednesday night. The team said the tear does not change Ross' initial prognosis. He will remain in the cast for 7-10 days -- which will likely keep him out of the remaining two preseason games -- and then will work on "his strength and modality."
Browns rookie running back Montario Hardesty will practice today for the first time this preseason, but is questionable for the Detroit game, coach Eric Mangini said. Hardesty said earlier in the week that he's aiming to get some reps in the final preseason game Sept. 2 against the Bears. Mangini said Hardesty will be limited in practice today and that "it's the next step in coming back, a really positive step.''
Raiders wide receiver Chaz Schilens underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee Tuesday and is at risk of missing at least the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against the Tennessee Titans. Coach Tom Cable said he's hopeful Schilens won't miss too much time based on the minimally invasive procedure performed. "We hope so," Cable said. "That's what I'm waiting for, for him to get back so we know more. We just don't have any of those answers for you right now." Schilens' knee began hurting early in training camp, and the pain persisted to the point where it became necessary to have surgery.
Posted on: August 13, 2010 1:05 pm
After some back-and-forth sniping in recent days, the Jets and the agents for holdout cornerback Darrelle Revis agreed to take the negotiations behind closed doors. The Jets and Revis' agents, Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, issued a joint statement Thursday, saying, "Both parties have had conversations to clear the air and will continue to negotiate with the hopes of reaching an agreement. From this point forward, all discussions regarding these negotiations will remain confidential." Revis' holdout entered its 12th day as he continues to seek an extension.
The hysteria of Darrelle Revis' protracted contract dispute, which reached Day 12 yesterday, has spread a dark cloud over the Jets' bold Super Bowl hopes, but there's actually a silver lining to the mess. There are beneficiaries to the Revis holdout -- other than the Patriots and Dolphins, that is. Jets rookie No. 1 draft pick, cornerback Kyle Wilson, is atop that list because he has been working with the first team -- something he otherwise wouldn't be doing if Revis were in camp. Wilson will start against the Giants in Monday night's preseason opener at the new Meadowlands Stadium.
Coach Mike Tomlin was non-committal today about which quarterback will start and even whether Ben Roethlisberger will play when the Steelers open their preseason against the Detroit Lions Saturday night at Heinz Field. "We're going to make you come to the stadium to find out," Tomlin said. In a morning news conference at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Tomlin said the starter will play anywhere from eight to 12 snaps against the Lions, but he would not reveal whether Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon would be the starting quarterback.
Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson's surgeon told him Thursday that surgery is not necessary and that he could be back in three to eight weeks from a strained right pectoral muscle, a league source told The Plain Dealer. Jackson's surgeon, Dr. Frank Cordasco of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, reviewed Jackson's MRI and other tests taken in Cleveland on Tuesday and reached the same conclusion as the Browns' medical staff -- Jackson could be back in a month or two, the source said. If Jackson makes it back in Cordasco's minimum of three weeks, he could be ready for the season opener Sept. 12 at Tampa Bay.
The Bears on Thursday finished up their on-field preparations for their first preseason game with a two-hour, half-speed practice at Olivet Nazarene. The on-field temperatures reached 97 and the heat index was 103, but coach Lovie Smith did not cut the workout short. Afterward, he indicated the starters could play as much as one half of the Bears' preseason debut Saturday in San Diego. The starters didn't get a lot of work Thursday, though. Third-string quarterback Dan LeFevour took an inordinate amount of snaps.
Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano revealed Thursday that veteran cornerback Will Allen, a starter for 3 1/2 seasons with the Dolphins before blowing out his left knee last October, has been sent to a medical specialist to have that same knee checked. Allen, the expected starter at slot corner, had been progressing well in training camp until earlier this week, when he began to sit out practices. Allen, who turned 32 on Aug. 5, played in Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage and performed well, but he had been spotted several different times during previous practices limping off the field in apparent pain.
The New Orleans Saints confirmed that tailback Lynell Hamilton suffered a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament in his right knee during Tuesday's practice with the New England Patriots. They have not officially placed him on injured reserve yet, but this certainly means he'll be done for the season, leaving the Saints suddenly thin at a formerly-deep position. Hamilton was expected to replace departed veteran Mike Bell as the Saints' power back this year. Now they have just four tailbacks on the roster - veterans Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, plus young backs P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory.
As the 49ers ran out of patience with Kentwan Balmer's absence, the player said Wednesday that he plans to return to the team as soon as his personal matter is resolved. The third-year defensive end missed practice for the third consecutive day, this time without permission from Mike Singletary. "I talked to Kentwan as simple as I can put it. I asked him to be here. He's not here," the coach said. "Yes, he is under contract, and the fact that he's not here, that speaks to me. What it says, I really don't know." Balmer, in an interview with the Mercury News outside his Santa Clara home, said he simply needs more time to attend to a personal matter.
Percy Harvin's absence from Vikings training camp reached 10 days on Tuesday, and it's starting to look as if the dynamic wide receiver won't rejoin the team until after the first preseason game. Coach Brad Childress confirmed that Harvin is suffering from another bout of migraines, which can be triggered by stress. Harvin left camp July 31 after learning that his grandmother had died. Attempts to reach Harvin have been unsuccessful, and his agent, Joel Segal, referred questions to the Vikings. Childress said Harvin had "some" migraines recently and that he remains in the Twin Cities. "God willing he is going to work through this," Childress said.
Posted on: August 6, 2010 2:22 pm
I'm purposely leaving out Brett Favre news. Sorry.
The Bills today reached an agreement in a five-year contract with first-round draft pick C.J. Spiller, a league source told The News. Spiller is expected to arrive at training camp about noon. The deal will be worth about $20.8 million in guaranteed money and $37.5 million maximum.
Owner Bob McNair admitted Thursday the Texans are interested in former Buffalo defensive end Aaron Schobel. Schobel, who was waived by the Bills on Wednesday, is a free agent who wants to sign with the Texans if he elects to play a 10th season. Other teams are interested in Schobel. "(General manager) Rick (Smith) is talking with our coaches, and they're evaluating things and trying to determine exactly what role a player like Aaron would fill," McNair said. "We all respect him."
The Seattle Seahawks and their top pick, left tackle Russell Okung, have agreed to a six-year deal, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. Okung, the No. 6 overall pick out of Oklahoma State, gets $30 million guaranteed on a deal worth a maximum $58 million, the source said.
The two words Hakeem Nicks used to describe his feelings about the right knee injury that he sustained and avoided were "blessed" and "happy." The Giants feel the same way. Nicks went down in the last minute of Tuesday evening's practice when he went up for a pass in the end zone working against cornerback Terrell Thomas. "I just came down kind of straight-legged and hyperextended it a little bit," Nicks said yesterday. "It was one of those things that just hurt for a second, but they wanted to check it out to make sure that it wasn't anything serious because it looked a lot worse." In this case, looks were deceiving.
Free agent safety Randy Phillips, who was recently signed when the Detroit Lions released Marquand Manuel, took reps with the No. 1 defense today. Phillips took the position that will be filled by Louis Delmas when he returns. After just a couple of days, Phillips has looked good and it's more than just a case of having fresh legs. Phillips is very active in the secondary and shows good awareness. With Phillips joining the fray, veteran cornerback Dante Wesley is seeing less time at the safety position.
There were no surprises in the arthroscopic surgery Lions kicker Jason Hanson had on his left non-kicking knee Tuesday, and he is expected back for the regular season. Hanson, 40, had the minor procedure to repair cartilage damage. He suffered the injury Monday while planting his foot during a drill. "It was exactly what we thought," coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday. "Everything's fine, and we would expect him back fairly soon. He's not day-to-day, but I think he's definitely on track to begin the season. I don't know what that'll be in training camp. A lot of it depends on how he responds."
Green Bay Packers left guard Daryn Colledge came to camp expecting a fight, and what he got was a controlled sparring match. No one has handed Colledge the starting left guard position, but from the number of snaps he has taken with the No. 1 offense and the amount his main competitor, Jason Spitz, has been moved around, it sure looks as though Colledge is sitting pretty. The only thing he has to do is not screw up. "It's made me feel like it's more or less my job to lose," Colledge said. "But (Allen) Barbre's competing for the job, and Spitz is competing for the job. If they perform better than me, it will be their job."
During the spring, Ron Brace spoke of a renewed focus on conditioning for his second season. He aimed to make more of an impact on the field than his eight tackles in 2009. "I just want to feel like I'm part of it," the Patriots defensive tackle said in March. Instead, the 6-foot-3, 330-pound Brace is on the outside looking in. A source close to Brace said the former Boston College star has missed the first 15 practices because he failed his conditioning test. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio disclosed for the first time that the 2009 second-round pick did not pass a physical, though he did not provide additional details.
There isn't a more heated competition for a starting spot at Dolphins training camp than the one Jake Grove and Joe Berger are in, and they have proof. While other players sporadically move up and down the depth chart every few days, these two centers rotate starts every practice. And if that wasn't bad enough, the coaches promoted Andrew Hartline, a second-year player who was on the practice squad late last season, from the third-team unit to the first-team during Thursday's afternoon session. Considering center the Royal Rumble of position battles, coach Tony Sparano says the toughest man wins this wrestling match because he's looking for a center who brings "physicalness,"…….
Andre Johnson's new contract with the Texans will make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. Johnson received a two-year extension worth $38.5 million, including $13 million guaranteed. Counting the five years and $35 million he had left on his old contract, his deal is worth seven years and $73.5 million — an average of $10.5 million a year. The extension means Johnson will be with the Texans through the 2016 season. "This will make him a Texan for life," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. The contract also has incentive bonuses and built-in escalators that can make it even more valuable.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to reporters this morning at Steelers training camp and appeared to leave the door open that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's suspension could be fewer than four games. But a spokesman from the NFL in New York later clarified that the suspension will be four games at minimum. Roethlisberger was suspended for the first six games of the regular season with the possibility that it could be reduced to four after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year old Georgia woman in March.
Adrian Peterson sent a subtle message to Vikings management that he wouldn't mind having a conversation about a new contract. During an interview Wednesday morning on KFAN-AM, the Vikings' star running back said he would like to "at least talk about it." Peterson is in the fourth year of a six-year contract worth $40.5 million. "Fans don't understand it, but there's a business side of it," Peterson said. Peterson did not go into specifics and seemed willing to keep the topic from becoming a distraction during training camp at Minnesota State Mankato. "I'll let my agents handle it," he said. Peterson reportedly will earn $3.64 million this season.
LenDale White has always belonged to the Denver family. He is a native son who has made Denver both proud and disappointed. He accomplished much early in life, then started making regrettable mistakes. There were questions about his work ethic, issues about his weight, concerns about the company he kept and, mostly recently, a season-opening, four-game NFL suspension for what White previously admitted was testing positive for marijuana. But just like so many parents who will always, always, unconditionally forgive their own, the Broncos are giving one more chance to the hometown star. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, of all coaches, surprisingly added White to his hamstrung backfield.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Redskins' players Wednesday afternoon, and though he chatted privately with Albert Haynesworth after the team meeting, he did not speak with Santana Moss, who has acknowledged he was treated by a Canadian doctor accused of providing HGH to some clients. Of Haynesworth, Goodell said: "He understands. He wants to get out on that field, he wants to make sure that he's performing as a Redskin. I hope he can do that quickly." Asked if it's a situation that might require the commissioner's intervention, Goodell said he would assist "if I can play a helpful role..."
Dolphins running back Kory Sheets suffered a season-ending injury to his right Achilles' tendon at Wednesday's morning practice, a league source confirmed. Sheets becomes the second Dolphins player in as many weeks to go down for the year with an Achilles' tear. He joins defensive end Phillip Merling, a former second-round pick who was set to enter training camp as a starter. The Dolphins also lost rookie inside linebacker A.J. Edds, a fourth-round draft pick from Iowa, to a season-ending knee injury on Monday. Later Wednesday, the Dolphins placed Sheets on the waived/injured list, meaning he will likely receive a small cash settlement.
Donald Butler was expected to be a big part of all the special teams and battle for significant playing time in his rookie season. But the Chargers lost the linebacker who was their second pick in April's draft to an Achilles' tendon tear that will sideline him for all of 2010. "He's a heck of a kid and a talented guy that I think was going to be a part of what we do," Norv Turner said. "Obviously, we've been through this. We've got to find a way to get the other guys involved. I think we have enough guys in there."
Carolina Panthers right tackle Jeff Otah was back in Charlotte for surgery on his left knee Wednesday, but team officials insisted he should be able to play in the regular-season opener. Otah had arthroscopic surgery, a process that was described by a source close to him as "precautionary" and a minor clean-up. "I think it was a good move and something he'll recover from pretty quickly," Panthers coach John Fox said. Asked if he was confident Otah would be back on the field by Sept. 12 when the Panthers face the New York Giants, Fox said: "As with all injuries, it's hard to predict. But that's the plan."
Offensive lineman Eric Ghiaciuc acknowledged he was surprised to get a call from the Patriots this week. He had been looking for any team to give him a chance at restarting his career. Ghiaciuc (pronounced GUY-check) played four seasons with the Bengals (2005-08), but after his release couldn't stick with a team, and didn't play a snap in 2009. The Patriots, meanwhile, were looking for experience for the interior of their line. Nick Kaczur has not practiced since leaving the field on Day 2 of camp. Kaczur, a right tackle, was filling in at left guard in place of Logan Mankins, who is in a contract dispute with the team.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:19 pm
The Jets are poised to add another player in what has been a busy offseason. Free agent wide receiver Laveranues Coles will work out for his former team in Florham Park, N.J. Friday with the expectation of signing a one-year deal for the veteran minimum, according to a league source. Coles, of course, had two separate stints with the Jets in 2000-2002 and 2005-08 before signing a four-year, $28 million contract with the Bengals last season. The 32-year-old had only 43 catches for 514 yards and five touchdowns in 2009 before the Bengals cut him in the offseason. Although Coles, the Jets' third-round pick in 2000, has lost some of his explosiveness, he should provide some quality depth.
Wes Welker may not have been in pads yesterday, but the Patriots receiver was as active as he could be the first day of training camp. Welker motored through agility drills, showing quick, fluid movements months after undergoing reconstructive left knee surgery. Welker was in view of his teammates as he worked with Joe Van Allen, a member of the training staff. All eyes were on the 5-foot-9-inch receiver, who has been watched closely since he crumbled in the last regular-season game. Welker is the only player remaining on the physically unable to perform list.
Redskins top draft pick Trent Williams agreed to a multiyear contract early Friday and is expected to sign the deal and participate in practices today at training camp, said one of his co-representatives. "We just got the deal done in the last couple of hours," said agent Vincent Taylor, who negotiated the deal along with Ben Dogra. "There are just a couple of things we have to still work out, a few details to work out, but Trent plans to be there [at Redskins Park] to sign it and get going." Taylor declined to reveal terms of the deal.
Veteran linebacker Derrick Burgess, who reportedly is mulling retirement, has been placed on the reserve/did not report list by the Patriots. The designation means he does not count against the team's 80-man training camp roster limit. Also, Sam Aiken, Ron Brace and Darnell Jenkins are on the team's non-football injury list, which is essentially the same as the active PUP list Wes Welker is on in terms of their being able to start practicing at any time. With other teams, players who are injured working out at another facility and/or not on their team's watch, are placed on the NFI list, though it is unknown right now if that is the case with Aiken, Brace and Jenkins.
The summer break did nothing to change one harsh reality for the Patriots: Guard Logan Mankins still isn't practicing. The two-time Pro Bowler sat out the first day of the Patriots' training camp, a move that was expected after he skipped the offseason workouts. Mankins has expressed frustration with his contract, even demanding a trade if the team didn't want to pay him like a top-tier guard. Still, Mankins is not officially a holdout, because he isn't under contract. Mankins hasn't signed his reduced restricted free agent tender that would pay him roughly $1.5 million for one season.
When you have decided to rebuild your team almost exclusively through the draft, it's probably a good idea to get all of your draft picks signed and in training camp before the start of workouts. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still hoping to achieve that goal. But as today's reporting deadline and Saturday's first set of grueling two-a-day practices drew near Thursday, hope was starting to fade. Though general manager Mark Dominik has spoken daily with the agent for first-round draft pick DT Gerald McCoy, the two sides had not agreed on a deal by the eve of reporting day. And it could be a while before they do.
Jaguars first-round draft pick DE Tyson Alualu will be missing today when the Jaguars conduct their first two training camp practices, but owner Wayne Weaver sounded optimistic Thursday that a deal could be put together fairly quickly. "We're going to try to put a fair deal on the table to get him into camp," Weaver said. "Those conversations are starting now. It doesn't take long to make a deal if you're trying to be fair with somebody." The Jaguars had been waiting to get a sense of the market before making an offer, and Alualu didn't report Thursday with the rest of the players.
Teddy Williams sprang out of bed at 7 a.m. Thursday and got dressed for a workout, not a far cry from his usual morning routine. But once the former UTSA track star later arrived at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where the Dallas Cowboys stay for training camp, he quickly realized this wouldn't be his typical day. "I got valet (parking)," Williams said. "I've never got valet before." And it kicked in — he's actually a Cowboy now. Williams, who hadn't played football since breaking his ankle as a senior wideout at Tyler's John Tyler High School in 2005, signed with the team Thursday as a cornerback.
The bus carrying the Vikings rookies arrived in front of Julia A. Sears Residence Hall on Thursday evening, but Toby Gerhart wasn't on it. The team still was working to sign the second-round draft pick on the eve of the first practice of training camp. The Stanford running back was the only one of the team's eight picks that had not signed a contract as of Thursday night. The Vikings' first practice starts at 4 p.m. Friday, so the two sides still have time to finalize the deal without Gerhart missing any drills. The players selected immediately before and after Gerhart in the second round already have signed, so the parameters should be set. "He needs to get his tail signed," coach Brad Childress said"
With players due to report for training camp Friday, the Detroit Lions still have not signed their first-round draft picks. But coach Jim Schwartz said he expects teams to sign their players quickly after the higher draft picks reach deals. "I think, when you talk about first-round picks signing, there's a domino effect with a lot of those," Schwartz said today in a meeting with reporters. "So many teams wait for another team. And not just teams, agents wait. Nobody wants to be the first to stick their neck out, particularly from an agent's standpoint. That's just part of the business."
Get out your rosters, keep your eyes peeled and prepare for a wild ride in the Lions' secondary during training camp. Coach Jim Schwartz said all bets are off and all comers are welcome in the defensive backfield. From decorated veterans like Dré Bly to a promising rookie like Amari Spievey, Lions coaches will mix, match and manipulate lineups to get the best defensive backs on the field. And identifying the best players, regardless of existing notions of prescribed positions, is what it's going to come down to. "I think our goal is going to be in the secondary to put the best five players on the field," Schwartz said.
The Seattle Seahawks announced Thursday that they have signed free agent offensive guard Chester Pitts. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The former Houston Texan played for current Seahawks offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, starting all 114 games for the Texans after being drafted in the second round (50th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. Pitts suffered a knee injury two games into the 2009 season that required microfracture knee surgery. Pitts attended San Diego State, where he walked-on to the football team in 1998.
Osi Umenyiora heads to training camp Sunday in Albany prepared to participate in the first practice that afternoon. The Giants medical staff firmly believes the lingering issues with Umenyiora's hip can be handled without surgery. Umenyiora, according to a published report, earlier this month sought a second opinion and visited the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., to see Dr. Marc Philippon, a hip specialist who operated on Alex Rodriguez. Philippon's recommendation was surgery to repair the damage still present from the torn hip flexor that forced Umenyiora to miss five games in 2006.
There were no talks Wednesday night between the St. Louis Rams and the agents for No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford. And that meant no 11th-hour agreement that would put Bradford on the practice field Thursday morning when rookies and selected veterans open training camp at Rams Park. The first full squad practice doesn't take place until Saturday. Less than half of the 80-man roster is expected to participate in Thursday's morning and afternoon practice sessions. But for a rookie, particularly a rookie quarterback expected to be the face of the franchise, every lost practice is time you can't get back.
The Jets signed free agent veteran quarterback Mark Brunell to be Mark Sanchez's backup and mentor. Brunell, who visited the Jets in April but wasn't signed because of the "final eight'' rule that prohibited the Jets from signing an unrestricted free agent until one of theirs was signed away, visited again and signed a two-year contract. It's unclear what that means for Kellen Clemens, who's was Sanchez's backup last year, but it would appear most likely Clemens would be released. The Jets also have Erik Ainge and Kevin O'Connell on the roster as reserve quarterbacks, so one or both of them could be in jeopardy of being released if the Jets decide to keep Clemens.
Unless something goes terribly wrong in the next 48 hours, the Green Bay Packers are going to have every member of their 82-man roster signed when their first training camp practice is held this weekend. Two sources indicated Wednesday that first-round pick Bryan Bulaga, the lone Packer still unsigned, was in striking distance of an agreement and was likely to be in camp on time. Given that team negotiator Russ Ball has only one contract to work on, there should be plenty of time for him to get a deal done with Bulaga. Ball and Bulaga's agent have had extensive talks this week, and there don't appear to be many road blocks.
It is that time of year in the NFL when fans scratch their heads and ask the simplest question: Why couldn't this have been taken care of by now? The Bills' first-round draft pick, running back C.J. Spiller, did not report to training camp at St. John Fisher College Wednesday with the rest of his new teammates. That's because like every other 2010 first-round pick, with the exception of Oakland's Rolando McClain, Dallas' Dez Bryant and New England's Devin McCourty, none has agreed to a contract. This is not breaking news, of course. This has been the case for almost every first-round pick as far back as memory serves, this silly game of waiting until camp opens to start talking.
Showing again that they value stability in the highest levels of their organization, not to mention Kevin Colbert's body of work, the Steelers signed the head of their player personnel department to a five-year contract extension Wednesday. Colbert, a Pittsburgh native who has been the Steelers' director of football operations since 2000, was heading into the final year of his contract. The Steelers generally have received high marks for their drafts, around which they have built their teams, since Colbert, 53, returned to Pittsburgh. During his tenure, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls and five division titles.
Defensive line help keeps flowing onto the Dolphins' ever-evolving roster. Wednesday night it was controversial former Saints defensive end Charles Grant who was reportedly headed to Miami. Grant, entering his ninth season, has signed a two-year deal that could be worth up to $4.5 million, according to NFL.com. E-mails to Grant's agents seeking confirmation were not immediately returned. In March he was released three years into a seven-year, $63 million contract with the Saints that paid him $20 million in guaranteed money. Grant was cleared in May of an involuntary manslaughter charge in his home state of Georgia.
After bouncing around the NFL with five teams in the past eight years, quarterback Patrick Ramsey landed back home in Louisiana on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Saints. The Saints also agreed to terms on a four-year deal with rookie tight end Jimmy Graham before players reported for their first meeting of training camp Wednesday night. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. Ramsey's arrival has been anticipated for months, but the Saints couldn't sign him until last week because of new league rules that limit the number of unrestricted free agents that can be signed by the final four playoff teams.
The National Football Post is reporting that Golden Tate and the Seattle Seahawks have come to terms on a four-year deal that will pay Tate $3.261 million and includes $1.471 million in guarantees. In recent days, the 59th selection, Montario Hardesty (Cleveland), signed a four-year deal worth $3.372 Million ($1.52 guaranteed), and the 61st pick, offensive tackle Vladimir Ducasse $3.225 ($1.435 guaranteed) inked his deal with the Jets, so the Tate contract seems to sit right about where it should. Only Russell Okung (sixth pick overall) and Earl Thomas (14th pick overall) remain unsigned for Seattle.
Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:25 pm
If the sun can occasionally splash with rain, it's possible for even a saint like Tim Tebow to become a training-camp holdout. Much to Tebow's chagrin, his baptism into the business aspects of football could put at risk his pristine reputation as one of the world's leading do-gooders. "That's not about Tim Tebow; that's between the agent and the Broncos," former Broncos quarterback John Elway said Thursday after his round at the HealthOne Colorado Open. "The players want to play. Tim doesn't want to hold out. If it's close, he'll be there, I guarantee you." Broncos rookies are to report Wednesday for their first training-camp practice.
The Carolina Panthers have signed rookies faster than ever this summer, but finishing the last one could still provide some deadline drama with just under a week before training camp. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen, the team's top pick (second round, 48th overall), is the last of their 10 draft picks without a signed contract. His will be the most complicated of the lot, and remains stalled like most top picks. By Thursday afternoon, only one first-rounder and two seconds had signed league-wide, and the expectation is that Clausen's deal will take the Panthers all the way into next week. The Panthers report to Wofford College in Spartanburg, Wednesday and begin practice the following day.
Wide receiver Danario Alexander of the University of Missouri still could be on the Rams' radar. According to Alexander's agent, Jeff Nalley, Alexander was cleared medically on Monday to work out for NFL teams following surgery on his left knee in February. If that is the case, general manager Billy Devaney says the team probably will bring Alexander to St. Louis for a visit and a physical. The Rams have yet to see the medical reports. Nalley said in an e-mail that he was working on setting up a workout day for NFL teams in the near future — a belated "pro day" he called it. Alexander posted via Twitter on Tuesday night that the workout would be Wednesday.
Cardinals starting inside linebacker Gerald Hayes underwent back surgery this summer and is not expected to practice when training camp begins next week. Hayes, a starter for the past four seasons, has been troubled by a bulging disc since last season. He missed most of the team's off-season workouts, but he thought he could avoid surgery. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Hayes underwent "a procedure" on his back several weeks ago and will be evaluated next week when players take physicals before reporting to camp in Flagstaff on July 30. "We'll determine then what his rehab protocol is," Whisenhunt said.
Reserve cornerback Cary Williams was suspended two games by the NFL for a violation of the personal conduct policy, the Ravens confirmed. Williams was signed by the Ravens on Nov. 24 off the Tennessee Titans' practice squad. "We've been aware of this since before we signed Cary," general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. It is believed the incident occurred earlier in his career with the Tennessee Titans.
Slowly but surely the Cowboys are getting their draft picks in the fold, reaching a four-year deal with sixth rounder Jamar Wall on Wednesday. Wall, a cornerback, had nine interceptions and 34 pass breakups in 50 games (38 starts) at Texas Tech. As a senior he started 13 games with 58 tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
The Steelers added a veteran guard and placed tackle Willie Colon on injured reserve today. Adrian Jones, a six-year veteran who played for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, signed a one-year contract with the Steelers. Colon, who had surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon last month, will not play this season. Jones stands 6-4 and weighs 330 pounds. The Jets drafted him in the fourth round in 2004 and he started 44 games for them before they waived him late in the 2007 season.
With rookies set to report for training camp in just three days, the Patriots now have signed all but the top four of their dozen 2010 draft picks. They finished off the lower-round deals yesterday by signing the final two of their four seventh-round picks: Kade Weston, a defensive lineman out of the University of Georgia; and Zac Robinson, a quarterback out of Oklahoma State. According to a league source, Weston signed a four-year deal worth a maximum value of just under $2.6 million. His signing bonus was $39,700. Robinson's deal reportedly includes a signing bonus of just under $39,000. The Patriots can now turn their attention to the top four picks.
Brett Favre and Vikings coach Brad Childress might have touched on plenty of subjects Monday, but a deadline for the quarterback to say whether he will play in 2010 wasn't among them. That's probably a good thing considering the status of Favre's left ankle. "The deadline? I don't know,'' Favre told USA Today on Tuesday. "There obviously comes a point where you've probably gone too far, where you just have to move on. He hopes I make the right decision for myself -- one way or the other." Childress, whose team will open training camp next week in Mankato, stopped in Hattiesburg, Miss., to see Favre on his way back to the Twin Cities after vacationing in Florida.
With the start of NFL training camps rapidly approaching and no first-round draft picks signed, the agent for Lions rookie Ndamukong Suh is using only one reference point in negotiations for his client. Suh's value to the Lions is all that counts, agent Roosevelt Barnes insists. That rules out using previous rookie contracts as a negotiating standard -- including the six-year deal signed last year by quarterback Matthew Stafford, drafted first overall by the Lions. Stafford's contract had $41.7 in guaranteed money, a rookie record. Suh, a dominating defensive tackle from Nebraska and one of the most celebrated collegiate linemen in recent years, was drafted second overall by the Lions.
As reporting day for the Rams gets closer and closer, negotiations will intensify between the club and Tom Condon, the agent for quarterback Sam Bradford. The goal is to have Bradford signed, sealed and delivered by the time rookies and selected veterans report next Wednesday afternoon (July 28). There are two practices Thursday and one Friday for the smaller group, before the remainder of the team reports Friday afternoon and the first full-squad practice occurs Saturday afternoon. The latter practice is the more important one for getting Bradford on the field. Clearly, the rest of the league is watching what happens with Bradford's contract.
-Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance. Russell, who was accompanied in Alabama state court by his mother, declined to speak with reporters after being given a preliminary hearing date of Aug. 11. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft was arrested in Mobile on July 5 and was charged with possession of codeine syrup without a prescription. Russell was allegedly caught with a narcotic commonly referred to as "Purple Drank" or "Sizzurp," a concoction of codeine syrup mixed with soda and Jolly Ranchers candy.
The Eagles continue to be mentioned in online speculation about free-agent guard Chester Pitts, whose agent is trying to scare up interest in a 31-year-old client coming off microfracture surgery. A team source termed the signing of Pitts "unlikely." Pitts reportedly worked out for Pittsburgh and Indianapolis yesterday in Arizona and has additional workouts scheduled next week.
Against a backdrop of particularly slow rookie negotiations around the NFL, Bucs second-round pick Brian Price broke from the pack and signed a four-year contract Tuesday, making him by far the highest-drafted player to sign. It was an encouraging development as many clubs brace for intense negotiations and, perhaps, rookie holdouts. Teams begin training camps in the next week, yet Price is only the second second-round selection to sign. No first-round picks have signed. Before Tampa Bay's 35th overall pick signed, the Jets' Vladimir Ducasse (61st) was the highest draft choice under contract. "I'm glad my agent got the deal done, so now I can concentrate on having a great training camp……"
As he enters the final year of his contract, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis remains hopeful of leading the team beyond this season. "I would love to continue to coach here," he said Tuesday. Lewis, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Bengals to their second division title in five seasons, hasn't discussed his contract since late February. But with players reporting to training camp one week from today, Lewis' future will garner more national attention as the Bengals try to earn back-to-back playoff berths for the first time in 28 years. Lewis said he has discussed an extension a few times with Bengals president Mike Brown and that their working relationship is good.
With training camp set to open on July 30, the Dolphins crossed off another to-do on their offseason list Tuesday by signing third-round draft pick John Jerry. That leaves two unsigned draft picks remaining: first round defensive end Jared Odrick and second-round linebacker Koa Misi. Jerry, a 6-foot-5, 328-pounder out of the University of Mississippi, reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth $2.64 million with a guarantee of about $858,000. Jerry, who started 46 of 49 games at Ole Miss, is competing for the starting left guard job left vacant by the offseason trade of oft-injured veteran Justin Smiley.
Mike Teel is on the move again. The former Don Bosco and Rutgers quarterback has joined the Chicago Bears, his third NFL team in two months. Teel's summer of uncertainty began May 21 when the Seattle Seahawks, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft, released him. The New England Patriots claimed him off waivers, but let him go after three weeks.
Posted on: July 16, 2010 1:17 pm
Brett Favre said during the ESPY awards show on Wednesday night in Los Angeles that he would "love to play" for the Vikings this season but still hasn't decided if he will return because his surgically repaired left ankle continues to give him problems. "I still have a little bit of time, and believe it or not, [I'm] not completely healthy," Favre said during a backstage interview at the Nokia Theatre that was aired on the ESPN3 website after the show ended. "I guess at 40 I may never be. I'm not getting any younger, but I am working hard trying to feel as best I can……"
Chris Johnson said contract talks with the Titans are at a standstill after receiving the ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete on Wednesday. He says he wasn't sure about reports the Titans were talking with his agent about converting incentives into a $2.5 million bonus to get him more money this year. "I'm letting my agent and the team handle that. Right now we're at a standstill, and hopefully when camp starts we'll have an outcome," Johnson said.
The St. Louis Rams and quarterback Sam Bradford's representatives are scheduled to meet Friday in St. Louis, according to a league source. It is thought to be their first face-to-face meeting since the Rams selected Bradford with the No. 1 overall pick. The two sides spoke before the draft, but could not complete a deal and tabled talks.
The Titans have agreed to terms with their sixth of nine 2010 draft picks and have added a veteran tight end as well. The team agreed to contract terms with rookie linebacker Rennie Curran and free-agent tight end Sean Ryan. Curran's deal is believed to be for four years with minimum base salaries of $320,000 in 2010; $405,000 in 2011; $490,000 in 2012; and $575,000 in 2013.
The Arizona Cardinals signed quarterback John Skelton, a fifth-round draft pick, to a four-year contract. Terms were not disclosed. Skelton (6-foot-6, 244 pounds) set Fordham records with 9,923 passing yards, 69 touchdown passes, 802 completions and 1,363 attempts after starting in 41 of 43 games played. The native of El Paso was an All-Eastern College Athletic Conference first-team choice in 2009 and had 12 games with more than 300 yards passing and four with more than 400 yards passing in his collegiate career.
With 15 days remaining until training camp begins July 30, the Texans have six of their nine draft choices under contract. Cornerback Kareem Jackson (first round), running back Ben Tate (second) and tight end Garrett Graham (fourth) are the only unsigned picks. Receiver Dorin Dickerson, the seventh-round pick, agreed to a four-year deal worth $1.85 million on Wednesday.
Amid speculation that the Philadelphia Eagles may make a move with backup QB Michael Vick, sources familiar with Philadelphia's decision-making process said the only way the team would release Vick is if he forced them to do so — meaning he lied about what happened in the early morning hours of June 25, after his 30th birthday party. Sources said the Eagles have invested a lot of time in Vick, and they're inclined to see him finish out this season, the final year of his two-year contract. As for the monetary investment, it's pretty big considering he's a backup, not a starter. Vick's base salary for 2010 is $3.75 million, with $1 million of it fully guaranteed.
The Miami Dolphins have signed safety Reshad Jones, a fifth-round draft pick, to a four-year contract worth approximately $1.8 million. Jones is expected to contend for the free safety spot that has been occupied in minicamps and organized team activities mostly by Chris Clemons.
Another Browns draft pick reportedly has agreed to contract terms. Safety Larry Asante, the team's fifth-round pick, has signed for $1.96 million over four years, reports Adam Caplan of FOXSports.com. Asante joins defensive lineman Clifton Geathers and receiver Carlton Mitchell as rookie draft choices under contract. Geathers and Mitchell both were taken in the sixth round.
The Chargers confirmed Monday night that the NFL has suspended wide receiver Vincent Jackson for the first three games of the 2010 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The Chargers issued a news release saying the NFL has told the team Jackson will be eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 27. He is eligible to participate in training camp and exhibition games. It had been reported two weeks ago that Jackson would miss three games without pay. He has been convicted twice for driving under the influence, stemming from incidents in 2006 and 2009. He pleaded guilty to the most recent charge in February.
Barring an unforeseen change of circumstances, a Pro Bowl linebacker could hit the free-agent market next season. The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided not to give outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley a contract extension before the start of the 2010 season, a source told ESPN.com on Monday. Woodley is in the final year of his rookie deal and will make $550,000 this season, making him one of the NFL's best bargains. It's extremely rare that the Steelers negotiate with players during the season, which means Woodley would be set to become a free agent next March.
There was speculation when Adrian Peterson missed the Vikings' mandatory minicamp in June that the running back might be unhappy with his contract. Former NFL executive Michel Lombardi, who now works for league's website and NFL.com, has heard that Peterson definitely isn't pleased with his deal. Under the "Things I Hear" section of his new column, Lombardi writes that Peterson will be the next player to complain about his contract. Peterson has three years left on the six-year, $40.5 million deal he signed after being the seventh-overall choice in the 2007 draft, but the reality is the final year (2012) of the deal is going to void. Thus, Peterson really has two years left.
The Green Bay Packers have signed tight end Andrew Quarless, a fifth-round pick. Quarless started 29 games at Penn State. He finished his career as the Nittany Lions' all-time leader in receptions by a tight end (87) and second in receiving yards by a tight end (1,146).
The Lions have signed veteran quarterback Shaun Hill to a one-year contract extension through the 2011 season. The Lions acquired Hill, an eight-year veteran, from the 49ers for a seventh-round pick in the 2011 draft this offseason. The upcoming season was to have been the last year on his contract.
The Raiders announced the signing of cornerback Walter McFadden on their Twitter account Monday, as well as on Raiders.com A fifth-round draft pick out of Auburn (No. 138 overall), McFadden will be given a chance to win a job as a nickel back, according to coach Tom Cable. McFadden is the third draft pick to sign, following third-round pick Jared Veldheer and fourth-rounder Bruce Campbell, both offensive linemen. According to a source familiar with defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, contract talks are expected to begin this week.
Falcons wide receiver Kerry Meier, a fifth round draft pick, is set to come into the fold soon, according to his agent Vann McElroy. "We're close," said McElroy, Meier's Houston-based agent via phone Tuesday morning. "We're real close." The Falcons do not comment about ongoing negotiations. Meier was the 165th player taken in the 2010 NFL draft. Of the 38 fifth round picks, 28 have signed. The Falcons have signed four of their six draft picks. Meier and Falcons first round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon are the remaining unsigned rookies.
Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:55 am
Sorry there hasn't been one of these for a while. Enjoy:
Titans running back Chris Johnson worked out at Baptist Sports Park this week, according to sources, despite his repeated denials that he was at the facility. But the All-Pro didn't indicate the two sides had come any closer to reaching a new deal. Johnson, who wants a new contract, didn't take part in any of the team's 14 organized workouts this offseason. Instead, he decided to work out the majority of the time with a personal trainer in Orlando, Fla. With coaches and many of the players on vacation after wrapping up June's minicamp last week, however, Johnson worked out at the facility on two occasions, most recently Wednesday.
As details continue to emerge about the timeline of Michael Vick's departure from the scene of a shooting last week, the Eagles face a deadline for a decision on their backup quarterback. A discrepancy has emerged between what Vick's lawyer told reporters about when the Eagles' quarterback left a party last Friday, and when a codefendant in Vick's dog fighting case was shot. The question for the Eagles is: What happens if Vick does not return to the team because of this incident? The Eagles did speak with 40-year-old Jeff Garcia's agent in April, but nothing came of those conversations. Rookie Mike Kakfa is currently the third quarterback, behind Vick and starter Kevin Kolb.
There is no question Vincent Jackson would fit in the Bears' offense. But for now, the Chargers receiver is not an option. A source familiar with the Bears' thinking told the Tribune on Wednesday the team has no plans to pursue a trade for Jackson at this time. Strings attached to Jackson -- compensation and a new contract -- are factors the Bears do not want to burden themselves with a month before training camp. The Bears, like many teams, would love to have a 6-foot-5, 230-pound target such as Jackson to throw to, particularly in the red zone. Jackson is unhappy with the one-year, $3.268 million tender extended to him by the Chargers.
The Jets have made a cursory phone call about former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, ESPN.com reports. The former No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft was released by Oakland in May, and the Jets seemingly have a need for a backup quarterback, with Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge behind Mark Sanchez. The report says the call is part of GM Mike Tannenbaum's strategy to investigate every available player. It lists the Cardinals and Vikings as Russell's most likely destinations. Russell is considered one of the all-time draft busts after being selected out of LSU in 2007, getting $39 million for seven wins in 25 starts, according to ESPN.
Willie Colon, the Steelers' longest-tenured starter on the offensive line, will miss the 2010 season because of a torn Achilles tendon. Colon, who was scheduled to have surgery 6/30/10, started 54 consecutive games at right tackle, including the playoffs. His recovery period is expected to last nine to 12 months, agent Joe Linta said. Linta spoke extensively with Steelers team physician Dr. James Bradley. Linta predicted that Colon, who suffered the injury while working out Monday at the team's facility, will make a full recovery for 2011. "It's a classic deal where the Steelers are very positive Willie will be back 100 percent," Linta said Tuesday.
Vincent Jackson might not be a Charger for long. No one is predicting he will be shipped off soon, and it does not appear other teams have been officially notified the Pro Bowl receiver is on the trading block. But several sources confirmed the Chargers talked with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month and have made it known Jackson will remain available. The Seahawks maintain interest, as do "several other teams," according to one source. Among those teams, sources said, are the Washington Redskins. It is not known whether the Redskins have spoken to the Chargers regarding Jackson. Two league sources said it was the Chargers who declined the Seahawks' overtures.
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, said he fully expects to be under contract in time to open training camp in late July. "At this point right now (agent Tom Condon) hasn't given me any indication that there's going to be any problems getting a contract done," Bradford said Tuesday while at the NFL Rookie Symposium. "I expect to be in camp, on time." Rams officials are on vacation this week, so a deal might not come together until early to mid-July.
Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is coming off the best season of his career, but he's working out this summer as though he still has a lot to prove. Shiancoe led the Vikings last season with 11 receiving touchdowns, third among NFL tight ends, and caught a career-high 56 passes. Given those lofty numbers, it wasn't surprising when a report surfaced earlier this week that stated Shiancoe's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has talked with the Vikings about a contract extension. Pro Football Weekly reported Shiancoe would like to be paid about $5 million to $7 million per season, which would make him one of the five highest-paid tight ends in the NFL.
The Steelers may go outside the organization to find a replacement for injured right tackle Willie Colon. Mammoth free agent tackle Flozell Adams (6-7, 338) was at the Steelers' practice facility earlier this week visiting with the organization. Adams went through a workout and physical with the team. Adams, 35, was a five-time Pro Bowl selection with the Dallas Cowboys after being drafted in the second round in 1998 out of Michigan State. Adams started 173 of his career 177 games with the Cowboys, most of which came at left tackle. Adams played his first season in the league at right guard.
The Lions are looking for a big season. And by big season, that could mean anything more than two wins. But as said in this space recently, the Lions have a lot of things going for them. All of that, however, could be derailed with a lengthy holdout by first-round pick Ndamukong Suh. Thankfully, for Lions fans, Suh is saying all of the right things, according to the Detroit Free Press. "Like I've always said, I hope and plan to be in training camp," Suh said Friday after the Lions ended a three-day minicamp in Allen Park. "Where the contract stands? I have no clue. My agents are handling that right now.