Posted on: June 4, 2010 3:55 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 6/4/10

After releasing running back LenDale White, the Seattle Seahawks could be looking to bolster their running back group. Allen Wilson of the Buffalo News reports the Seahawks explored a trade for Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch before the NFL Draft in April, but the price was too steep for Seattle. Now it appears that Lynch is not at Bills workouts, meaning there is friction between him and the team. Reports say Lynch remains in good shape despite missing voluntary workouts with the team this offseason. Lynch is a power running back and would replace White's expected production well if the Seahawks chose to pursue that option.


The Bills finished their sixth spring practice Thursday outside the team's fieldhouse, and running back Marshawn Lynch was absent for the sixth straight session. The Bills begin a three-day voluntary minicamp on Friday. It's a practice just like they have been doing. But it's an extra three-day session that is allowed for teams that have a new head coach. There are two practices scheduled for Friday and Saturday


As the O.J. Atogwe sweepstakes drags on through its second day, the Miami Dolphins may have found their palatable alternative. Former Dallas Cowboys free safety Ken Hamlin has posted on his Twitter account that he is headed to Miami this afternoon. Hamlin, a free agent, doesn't specifically say he's coming to visit the Dolphins, but that sure seems like it could be the plan. "Taken this cab to the airport headed to Miami," Hamlin writes. "Let's see what I get picked up in?" Hamlin, 29, never played for Bill Parcells in Dallas. He was brought there in 2007 after Parcells left the Cowboys; Hamlin played four seasons for the Seahawks.


The Lions' decision-makers declined to talk Thursday about any possible interest acquiring free-agent safety O.J. Atogwe. "I'm never gonna say who we are or we're not interested in, because it doesn't help us in any way," general manager Martin Mayhew said. Coach Jim Schwartz also stuck with his pat answer to speculation about personnel decisions. Sure, the Lions are searching for a starting safety opposite Louis Delmas. And clearly Atogwe, a Windsor native who'll turn 29 this month, makes plenty of sense.


Patriots owner Robert Kraft has assured on several occasions this year that Tom Brady will be a member of the team for years to come. But according to a report yesterday on Yahoo! Sports, there has not been much in the way of substantive talks between the Patriots and Brady's representatives on a contract extension. NFL columnist Michael Silver wrote that "there's a growing sense of disconnect between the two camps.'' Brady declined to comment on the situation with Silver, saying he is uncomfortable discussing the subject. The coming season marks the final year of the six-year, $60 million contract Brady signed before the 2005 season. He has never begun a "contract year'' without a new contract.


For the past two weeks, cornerback Darrelle Revis has been at OTAs with his Jets teammates and said his voluntary presence was a sign he and the team want his contract negotiations to get done smoothly. But the All-Pro player was not at yesterday's session -- and the reason is related to his contract, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions between Revis and the Jets. The people requested anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak openly about the negotiations on behalf of Revis or the team. Both of Revis' agents, Neil Schwarz and Jonathan Feinsod, declined to comment when reached by phone yesterday.


The St. Louis Rams remain the favorites to sign safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, even after their failure to reach a contract agreement with him Tuesday night allowed him to become a free agent, according to two sources familiar with the situation. One of the sources, who has spoken with Rams management in recent days, said negotiations between the sides have remained amicable even in the absence of an agreement. And even though the Miami Dolphins are making a strong push, the environment remains favorable for a deal that would return Atogwe to St. Louis. The Rams want Atogwe back. They just didn't want to pay him the $6.976 million tender it would have taken to keep him off the open market.


Outside of Steve Slaton and Arian Foster, nothing is certain for running backs trying to secure a roster spot, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. The roster carries Ryan Moats, Jeremiah Johnson, Chris Henry and rookie Ben Tate, but Kubiak said someone likely will be cut before training camp. "For those guys, it's a battle," Kubiak said. "We probably won't be able to take them all to camp, so the battle is right now. (They are) good young players, but obviously Foster and Steve are leading the group right now.


Free-agent kicker Shayne Graham arrived in Baltimore on Wednesday, moving one step closer to signing with the Ravens. Graham appears set to take a physical with the team once the sides reach an agreement on the expected one-year contract. Although the deal hasn't been finalized after two days of talks, a Ravens official said he would be "shocked" if the team didn't strike a deal with the NFL's fourth-most accurate kicker. Graham, who has kicked for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past seven seasons, would compete against Billy Cundiff to become the Ravens' kicker this season.


Center Kevin Mawae doesn't appear to be any closer to a new contract than he was five weeks ago. Mawae's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Wednesday the market is quiet regarding the 16-year veteran, who is coming off his eighth Pro Bowl appearance. Mawae has expressed a desire to return to the Titans and the two sides had some preliminary talks on that topic a couple of months ago. But there hasn't been much communication between the Titans and Mawae of late. ``We thought he'd hear back from the Titans a few weeks ago and we haven't heard anything from them,'' Bartelstein said. ``We're kind of at a standstill with everyone else.''


Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan made his most emphatic public overtures to free agent running back Brian Westbrook Wednesday, saying Washington has made Westbrook an official offer to join a full stable of running backs that already includes veterans Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. Asked after Wednesday's offseason workout session if he had heard from Westbrook or his agent, Shanahan told the assembled media, "No, but if you guys hear anything, just tell him that we're ready. "We want him to sign with us," Shanahan said. "Like I said, it could be some great competition. I really like Brian, what he's done and how he's handled himself. I'm sure he's weighing some options. ..."


After Tuesday's practice, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said the roster would likely be trimmed to just three quarterbacks. The team currently carries starter Matt Schaub, backup Dan Orlovsky,John David Booty and college free agent Tyler Sheehan, but Kubiak said with loaded slots at the tight end and kicker positions, a move would have to be made. "I'm trying to get a feel for Booty and take a look at Tyler also," Kubiak said. "I think we go to camp with three, maybe four, but I think it's going to be three. We'll have to make a decision between the two."

Category: NFL
Posted on: May 28, 2010 3:15 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors

Former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Mark Brunell still appears to high on the New York Jets' wish list, according to a report by ESPN New York's Rich Cimini. Just like the Saints, however, the Jets are restricted from signing any unrestricted free agents under the new rule limiting the final four playoff teams. The Jets can't sign another unrestricted free agent until July 22, unless they lose another one of their own unrestricted free agents first. But Cimini speculates that the Jets might have a "wink-and-nod" agreement in place with Brunell. The Saints are free to re-sign Brunell if they want to, but clearly it seems like they're ready to move in another direction.


The Lions are among the teams monitoring linebacker Keith Bulluck, who reportedly is three weeks away from recovering from a torn knee ligament and will begin visiting teams as a free agent. "I think that he's a guy, among others, that we've had our eye on," coach Jim Schwartz said today after an organized team activity. "It just throws a little bit of a monkey wrench into it for him because he's coming off an ACL. But he's a quality player that's played for a long time in the NFL, and when he's available, I'm sure there will be a lot of teams that will be interested in him." Schwartz was Tennessee's linebackers coach in 2000 when the Titans drafted Bulluck in the first round.


Patrick Crayton doesn't know if he'll be with the Cowboys when the season starts. That's not his decision. But the receiver does believe this: "If it's a true open competition, I'll be with the Dallas Cowboys in 2010," Crayton said Wednesday night as he took part in a basketball game to benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters. "If not, and things have already been assigned, then I'll probably be elsewhere." Crayton is working out on his own at the Michael Johnson Performance Center and has not participated in the team's organized team activities.


Finding the money to re-sign quarterback Peyton Manning apparently isn't the Indianapolis Colts' only offseason concern. Robert Mathis' desire for an enhanced contract has resulted in the team's two-time Pro Bowl defensive end avoiding the ongoing organized team activities, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation. The on-field, non-contact practices are voluntary, but Mathis has been a diligent participant in the past. The Colts have held three of their nine OTA sessions, and a fourth is Thursday. The team does not comment on contract issues and Mathis could not be reached.


Washington Redskins star Albert Haynesworth is being sued for $10 million by a Brooklyn exotic dancer who claims he impregnated her -- then abandoned her. Salma Hayek look-alike Silvia Mena,who's nearly four months pregnant, says she met the 6-foot-6, 350-pound defensive lineman in Miami late last year. But she claims in papers to be filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court he dumped her after learning she was expecting in late February. The papers allege that Haynesworth -- who signed a $100 million contract with the Redskins last year -- has refused to talk to her since late March or give her any money toward her medical Bills.


Jaguars veteran guard Vince Manuwai likes a challenge. "I never shy away from competition," he said. "When they run fourth-and-1 on my side, I love it. Some guys are afraid of it." The eight-year veteran, drafted by the Jaguars in the third round in 2003, now faces the biggest challenge of his career. In fact, his career might be on the line. Recently demoted to second team and facing more competition now that the Jaguars traded for guard Justin Smiley, Manuwai knows he has to regain his old form if he's to have a future with the Jaguars. The trade for Smiley was another signal the Jaguars aren't happy with the play of their interior linemen and are looking to upgrade that area ..


In a way, it almost seems unfair. Keith Null was the Rams' starting quarterback for the last four games of the 2009 season. The two players ahead of him on the depth chart for most of the season, Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, no longer are with the team. And yet as organized team activities continue at Rams Park, Null is in exactly the same situation that he was last spring: fighting to land the No. 3 QB job. "Wherever I end up by the season, I trust the coaches enough to put me in the right position," said Null, a sixth-round draft pick last year from NCAA Division II West Texas A&M. Null beat out Brock Berlin to make the 53-man roster as a rookie.


Jeff Fisher figures fair is fair, which is why the Tennessee Titans' coach rejected a recent offer from running back Chris Johnson. "He invited me to participate in his football camp, but I told him I'd like him to participate in mine," Fisher said Tuesday following the Titans' latest organized team activity (OTA). Johnson, the NFL's leading rusher in 2009, was absent again Tuesday, as he has been for all previous OTAs and other offseason activities. He publicly has stated his desire for a new contract despite the fact that he has three years remaining on the deal he signed two years ago when Tennessee drafted him.


The Carolina Panthers opened their organized team activity season, and cornerback Richard Marshall was back. The fourth-year cornerback was on the field Monday morning, according to a pair of team sources. The practice was closed to the media, a first during OTAs in coach John Fox's nine years here. There's been no word of Marshall signing a contract, and messages left with his agent Drew Rosenhaus and general manager Marty Hurney weren't returned. He could have signed the injury protection letter which allows unsigned players to work out with the team without a contract.



Category: NFL
Posted on: May 21, 2010 2:53 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 5/21/10

Darrelle Revis isn't looking for $20 million per year in his new contract, but he did say yesterday that he's looking to become the highest-paid cornerback in the league. In his first comments since a Monday report claimed that he was seeking more than $20 million per year, the Jets cornerback shot down the report as "false." But, when asked by The Post if he expects to become the highest-paid cornerback, Revis said, "I think that is fair. I have talked to coach [Rex] Ryan and [general manager Mike] Tannenbaum and they believe I should be the highest paid player at my position. They understand that and I understand that. "


Greg Olsen admittedly was alarmed when the Bears hired Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator in February. But Olsen told the Sun-Times on Thursday that he never asked to be traded, and he insisted he's confident that he'll remain a prominent part of the offense. ''The question that immediately arose was, 'Where do tight ends fit in?' I was right there; I wasn't naive,'' Olsen said. ''I know he's one of the best coordinators [in the NFL]. For me, the track record wasn't there. But I feel positive and optimistic, after conversations with him and what we've done on the field, that I'll continue to have a big role in our offense like I have had the last couple of years.''


Steve Wyche of the NFL Network reports that the Seattle Seahawks showed preliminary interest in veteran wide receiver Terrell Owens, making exploratory phone calls to check in on the 36-year-old according to a source. If Seattle indeed made those calls, it's likely that happened during their pursuit of Brandon Marshall before the draft. As it stands now, the Seahawks have 15 receivers on the roster, selected Golden Tate in the second round of this year's draft and have big receivers in Mike Williams, Reggie Williams and Ruvell Martin. So it is unlikely that Seattle is in need of Owens' services, and this is probably a move to generate interest in the mercurial receiver.


Shawne Merriman's change of agents has at least brought about dialogue. Whether this openness ultimately has any effect on the linebacker's future with the Chargers remains to be seen. But there is at least conversation, and who is involved makes it noteworthy. Sources said that Merriman's new agent, David Dunn, met for two hours Thursday afternoon with Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith and Vice President Ed McGuire. While it was characterized as the type of "introductory" meeting that commonly takes place when a player changes representatives, that it was in person and for that length of time might be considered remarkable.


Shaun Ellis still is steaming about the Jets spurning his attempt to get a contract extension, but he said yesterday he expects to remain with the team this season. "The fact is that it's the last year of my deal and it's time to get an extension," the Jets veteran defensive end told The Post. "I tried to work something out and they basically told me, 'No,' and they're making me play it out." Ellis conceded that this "[ticks] me off." "I've done a lot in this league and I have a lot more to do," he said. "My numbers speak for themselves. I feel definitely that I have produced and I've been producing for a long time."


Redskins receiver Santana Moss could be suspended by the NFL, even if he hasn't tested positive for any performance enhancing drugs. Moss only has been linked to Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who is charged with smuggling drugs, including human growth hormone, into the United States. But if Moss, or any other player, is found to have possessed or taken HGH, then he would be suspended, likely for four games.


Rex Ryan guaranteed a Super Bowl today -- not for his team, but for New York City. With the 2014 game to be awarded by the NFL next week, the Jets head coach maintained his usual high level of confidence when predicting the metropolitan area will win out. "I don't see how it's not played here," Ryan said today after a Jets offseason practice. "You've got the best city in the world, why wouldn't you want to hold the Super Bowl there?" Ryan said the location, the state-of-the-art stadium and the fact that two teams (the Jets and Giants) are bidding all outweigh the likelihood of frigid temperatures in February.


New year, different camp and the same old story line for erstwhile starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who deflected questions about Brett Favre's uncertain status — again. "I'm just trying to get better and not worrying about who's not out here," Jackson said. "I've been going through this the last three to four years now. I'm kind of used to this approach, just worrying about myself, trying to get better. That's all I can do." Jackson and fellow reserve Sage Rosenfels shared snaps Wednesday during organized team activities at Winter Park with rookies Joe Webb and R.J. Archer. "That's the only way to get better," Rosenfels said.


Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine says his unit will be better with Brodney Pool at safety instead of Kerry Rhodes. "Brodney will play the run better [than Rhodes]," Pettine told "I think he's a better tackler. I think he'll stick his face in there more than Kerry." Pool was signed as a free agent and will compete with Eric Smith to replace Rhodes, traded to Arizona this offseason after reported clashes with the coaching staff. "Some of the issues with Kerry were off-the-field stuff. Buying in, I think he struggled with that," Pettine said in an interview released today.


Raiders coach Tom Cable went on KNBR radio's Murph and Mac show this morning and shot down a ESPN report that Oakland was interested in receiver Terrell Owens. The free agent is still looking for a team. "We really haven't had any discussion about that," Cable said. "We've got a good, young receiving corps, it's never been a point of conversation."


Keith Bulluck is out of sight, but Coach Jeff Fisher said the longtime Titans linebacker isn't out of mind. Bulluck, a free agent, continues to rehab from ACL surgery. And while the Titans made roster adjustments to suggest they are moving on without the 10-year pro, Fisher hasn't shut the door. "We'd love to see if there is an opportunity where Keith would be able to finish his career here,'' the coach said Tuesday. "But it is very complicated, as you know. You have an unrestricted free agent and you have an ACL rehab. "He is not ready to play now and he is not ready to pass a physical. When that time comes we'll deal with it. I am going to make an assumption that he is going to recover ..."


Veteran offensive guard Chester Pitts told Sirius NFL Radio last weekend that there are five teams in the mix to potentially sign the free agent and that the Vikings are one of them. Pitts, a longtime member of the Houston Texans, missed most of last season after having microfracture surgery on his right knee and has gone through a lengthy rehabilitation process. He plans to work out for teams on July 15. "I originally took three trips -- Detroit, San Fran and Seattle -- and they're all actually still in the mix, and then Philly and Minnesota actually called last week and said, 'If you're ready on the 15th, we're going to work you out and we have a place for you,'" Pitts told Sirius.



Category: NFL
Posted on: May 14, 2010 1:29 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 5/14/10

Sorry for no blog last week, gang.  Enjoy the read: 

The Redskins are expected to make some additions to their front office soon, and one of the first names to surface is likely an unfamiliar one to most Redskins fans. Jim Popp, the general manager of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League, could soon be joining the Redskins' personnel department, according to a Montreal Gazette report. A message left with Popp on Thursday was not immediately returned, and there was no word coming out of Redskins Park about Popp. Popp has been the Alouettes' general manager for the past 15 years.


Shaun Ellis wonders if he has sacked his last quarterback for the New York Jets. The 32-year-old defensive end, the team's longest-tenured player, is uncertain about his future with the Jets after asking for and being denied a contract extension. He told The Associated Press on Thursday that he's unsure if he'll even be with the team when the season begins in four months. "I don't know," Ellis said. "I think so. Well, I hope so. You never know what they're thinking up there. You've just got to roll with it. We try to control our own fate, but we really can't."


Just as the New England Patriots retained Vince Wilfork, they have done the same with defensive end Derrick Burgess. The Patriots and Burgess reached agreement on a one-year contract, a league source said Friday morning. The agreement enables New England to continue to stockpile defensive linemen. Already this offseason, the Patriots have signed Wilfork and Gerard Warren to go along with pass rusher Tully Banta-Cain. New England and Burgess have had dialogue since before the free-agent signing period started the first week of March.


While all seems harmonious on the exterior with the Jets, there are some internal issues heating up and getting ready to boil. Namely, new contracts for the Jets' core players, beginning with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who said yesterday that management "promised" him a new contract before the start of the regular season. Revis, speaking in between offseason conditioning sessions yesterday at the Jets' Florham Park, N.J., facility, didn't come out and threaten to hold out of training camp, but he dropped this hint: "We'll figure it out when the start of camp comes."


Titans quarterback Vince Young said his recent switch of agents had nothing to do with wanting a new contract immediately or a deteriorating relationship. The move, he said, was about his future. Young dropped Major Adams in favor of a higher profile agent in Tom Condon, whose roster includes Peyton and Eli Manning. "(Adams) understands and he is still my family,'' Young said after Thursday's minicamp practice at Baptist Sports Park. "There's no flaws in our relationship or nothing like that. He basically guided me and respected my decision and things like that. … It was for me to make a decision for my future. I just thought it was the best thing for me to do.''


Nick Mangold is looking for a contract extension from the Jets, and told The Associated Press he spoke with his agent Wednesday night about talking to the team. "We're moving forward with the process," Mangold said Thursday. "It's just one of those things where you can't rush it or slow it down. You kind of just go with the flow." Mangold is entering the final season of his five-year deal. "It's a sense of security for me," Mangold said. "I don't want to blow out a knee or do anything else drastic and not be able to continue on the way I want to. It's a big thing of having security coming into this year." Mangold said communication between the sides has been "vague" so far.


Veteran free-agent running back Brian Westbrook met with Broncos officials at Dove Valley on Thursday about the possibility of joining the team for the 2010 season. Westbrook, who spent eight years with the Eagles, also has visited the Rams and the Redskins. "We had a great meeting with him," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday. "He's not in a hurry. He's a talented player, but certainly we wanted to do our research, so we got him in here. We had an opportunity to speak with him. He's a great person, a great football player and he's healthy now."


The Jets have invited trade offers for Shaun Ellis in the past few months, but have not found any takers, according to a person familiar with the situation. The 32-year-old Ellis, the longest tenured Jet, was denied a contract extension, according to the person. The veteran defensive end is due to make $3.35 million in the final year of his contract. In the past year, the Jets have taken the approach that they will not renegotiate players' contracts, except for those still on their rookie deals, according to a person, who works in the league.


Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson confirmed in a text message that he won't be attending voluntary organized team activities, which begin Monday. "I won't be attending OTAs, but I have a clear head and ready for the season so I can play the best ball I've played of my career!'' Jackson wrote. He added that he has nothing else to say right now. Jackson is one of a handful of Browns restricted free agents -- all starters or key players -- who are expected to the skip the voluntary practices, which lead up to the mandatory minicamp June 10-12. The others are safety Abe Elam, running back Jerome Harrison, linebacker Matt Roth, and fullback Lawrence Vickers.


Browns safety Abe Elam said on his website yesterday that he wants a multi-year contract and is weighing his options. Elam, one of the Browns' restricted free agents, has yet to sign his second-round tender of $1.759 million for 2010 and will most likely skip the Browns' voluntary organized team activities, which begin Monday. Most of the restricted free agents, including D'Qwell Jackson, Jerome Harrison, Lawrence Vickers and Matt Roth have sat out the offseason workout program and are expected to be absent from OTAs -- 11 days of voluntary practices leading up to the mandatory minicamp June 10-12.


The New Orleans Saints signed former Indianapolis Colts receiver Roy Hall to a one-year contract Wednesday. A league source has confirmed the original report by the National Football Post. Hall, 26, has an impressive combination of size and speed. But the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder has been limited to seven games in his three-year career because of injuries, with one career catch for 9 yards.


Roy Williams made a bold, if unfounded, proclamation Wednesday. He is still a starter at wide receiver for the Cowboys. "Like I said when I first got here, ain't no such thing as me sitting on the bench," Williams said while participating in a golf outing with the team's corporate sponsors. "Never in my life." There is a first time for everything. For the first time in his career, Roy Williams faces a prove-it season. He does not start merely by showing up for duty. Something as seemingly trivial as his weight could become important to the Cowboys' lineup decisions.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 30, 2010 1:19 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 4/30/10

Kevin Mawae believes his role as president of the NFL Players Association might be the reason he isn't finding an interested team in the free-agent market. Mawae is 39, but he did make the Pro Bowl last season with the Titans. "I look on the rosters and I know there are teams that are hurt and struggling on the offensive line and yet I still haven't got a call," Mawae told a radio station in Nashville.


Wanting a trade, wide receiver Patrick Crayton has decided not to attend anymore voluntary offseason workouts with the Dallas Cowboys until something can be worked out, according to his agent, Fred Lyles. Crayton has requested a meeting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but that might not happen until next week. Crayton and backup wide receiver Sam Hurd had asked to be traded after the Cowboys used their first-round pick in last week's draft on wide receiver Dez Bryant. There has been some interest in the receivers from other teams, but not enough for the Cowboys to warrant making a deal.


Brett Favre has been informed he requires surgery on his left ankle to play the upcoming season for the Minnesota Vikings, and the quarterback is deliberating whether to have the procedure or simply to end his 19-year NFL career by retiring. Favre, who would turn 41 during the 2010 season, told ESPN the ankle injury that he suffered three months ago in the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints continues to be swollen and painful. That prompted tests to determine why healing had not occurred and Favre sent the results of those scans to orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who told the quarterback his opinion that surgery is unavoidable.


After a courtship period that lasted about 24 hours, the Jaguars failed to come to an agreement Thursday with free agent safety Darren Sharper, who left Jacksonville without a contract and will presumably continue exploring his options, a team source said. Sharper, 34, was a key figure last season as the New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl. He had nine interceptions and three touchdown returns and is believed to be seeking a significant raise from the one-year, $1.7 million contract he received last season. It's still possible the Jaguars might sign Sharper, but a lot hinges on whether both sides can reach a compromise on guaranteed money.


The Dolphins have interest in recently released Adalius Thomas but are waiting for his price to come down, according to the Miami Herald. The report says, "If Thomas indeed wants to play the New England Patriots twice this season as is rumored, and if he is willing to play for a reasonable salary, he might make sense for the Dolphins.


Contrary to the perception that they're not addressing the position, the Chicago Bears could actually be working behind the scenes to bring in a veteran receiver. According to a league source, Chicago has recently been in contact with representatives for unrestricted free-agent receiver Mike Furrey. Given his familiarity with offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system, in addition to his history with Bears head coach Lovie Smith and assistant head coach Rod Marinelli, the acquisition of Furrey would seem to be a logical move.


Running back Chris Johnson, tight end Bo Scaife and linebacker Stephen Tulloch were absent again as the Titans held their second practice of the offseason today at Baptist Sports Park. The trio also missed Tuesday's session, which kicked off a batch of on-field work to be sprinkled over the next two months. Today's practice was open to the media.

The Rams moved to add more depth to their secondary Wednesday, most specifically at safety, when they acquired Kevin Payne from the Chicago Bears for a conditional seventh-round pick in next year's draft. The Rams lose the pick only if Payne makes the roster. The move might not be related to the contract status of restricted free-agent free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe because Payne has been better at strong safety than free safety during his three seasons with the Bears. He is described as a tough player with in-the-box hitting skills. A fifth-round pick in 2007, Payne played just three games and started one in his rookie season because of a broken arm that landed him on injured reserve……


The Oakland Raiders are preparing to release quarterback JaMarcus Russell but have to await the final word from owner Al Davis before they can do so, according to sources. Russell is on the books for $9.45 million this season, including $3 million in guaranteed money. Since trading for former Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell on Saturday, the Raiders have studied Russell's contract and tried to figure out ways to release him to save the organization some money. If he gets the $3 million (and sources expect that he will), Russell will have been paid $39 million since going to the team as a first-round pick in 2007.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 16, 2010 1:30 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 4/16/10

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson plans to sign his one-year, $1.176 million tender with the Vikings, according to NFL sources. That will leave defensive end Ray Edwards as the Vikings' only restricted free agent who has not signed his tender. The deadline for restricted free agents to shop their services was 11 p.m. Thursday, meaning Edwards' rights would belong exclusively to the Vikings unless he received a late offer. That does not mean Edwards is obligated to sign the tender, but he no longer can shop his services.


Browns fans have big dreams in the days before the NFL Draft, and team president Mike Holmgren tried to quash the biggest Thursday. Holmgren said it was highly unlikely that the Browns would move up from No. 7 to get Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford. To get the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, they might have to trade with the St. Louis Rams to leap to No. 1. Holmgren said he doesn't foresee a scenario like then-coach Mike Ditka pulled off with the New Orleans Saints in 1999, giving all of the team's picks and a first-rounder in 2000 to the Washington Redskins to get University of Texas running back Ricky Williams.


The Bengals on Thursday re-signed linebacker Brandon Johnson, a restricted free agent. Johnson is entering his fifth NFL season and third with Cincinnati. He played in 16 regular-season games with three starts last season and also started the playoff game. He was seventh on the defense with 67 tackles and also had 11/2 sacks and a fumble recovery. He tied for second on special teams with 12 tackles. The Bengals waived cornerback Mike Mickens, a former University of Cincinnati player who spent six games on the practice squad last season.


The Jaguars have sent a message to the rest of the league: They're ready and willing trade out of the first round for more draft picks next week during the NFL Draft. And they didn't wait until the day of the draft to start trade talks. General manager Gene Smith and his top deputy, director of player personnel Terry McDonough, said they have been talking with teams since the scouting combine. "We've been networking with the league and having constant dialogue," Smith said Thursday at the team's annual pre-draft luncheon.


As Thursday evening's deadline approached for restricted free agents to receive outside offers, all was quiet for Rams RFAs Oshiomogho Atogwe, Alex Barron and Clifton Ryan. Once the midnight (Eastern time) deadline passed, the only option for most restricted free agents is to sign their one-year tenders. But Atogwe's situation is different because he was tendered at such a low level by the Rams. As a result, if the veteran safety does not sign his tender offer by June 1, the Rams must pay him 110 percent of his 2009 salary - which would be $6,976,000. If the Rams decide not to do so, Atogwe becomes a free agent.


The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't talked with other teams about dealing embattled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but they've had significant internal discussions about the matter, a source with knowledge of the situation said Thursday. According to the source, Steelers ownership remains dismayed and embarrassed by Roethlisberger's actions this offseason and finds his string of off-the-field incidents troubling. The team has been closely monitoring the public backlash against Roethlisberger. "The Rooneys are livid," the source said.


Sam Bradford to the Rams with the No. 1 pick in next week's draft has the feel of a foregone conclusion, but it's still not without its potential complications. A source close to the situation told FanHouse on Wednesday that Bradford is "not doing a deal, period, until he is drafted." That would represent a change in recent trends. The last two No. 1 picks -- Matthew Stafford of the Lions in 2009 and Jake Long of the Dolphins in 2008 -- agreed to contracts before they were selected, as did Mario Williams of the Texans in 2006.


The Jason Taylor decision is taking longer than some folks in the Jets' organization expected, but they're giving him his space and it looks like they will be rewarded. The word close to Taylor is that he's leaning heavily toward accepting the Jets' offer, believed to be a two-year contract. Not sure why it's taking so long, but don't be surprised if it goes into next week. Obviously, the Jets want to know before the draft, next Thursday, because it could have a dramatic impact on their draft strategy.


RB Leon Washington, a restricted free agent, will sign his one-year tender tomorrow -- an amount of $1.759 million, according to a source. Washington has been rehabbing and working out at a facility in Pensacola, Fla., skipping the Jets' voluntary program. He had hoped to attract a suitor, but his leg injury caused teams to shy away. The RFA signing period ends today.


Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said the team is not shopping Marshawn Lynch in a trade, and he warned fans not to get too focused on the team's needs in the first round of the NFL draft. Lynch has yet to show up at the Bills' voluntary offseason conditioning workouts. He lost his starting running back job to Fred Jackson last season. And it's believed he would welcome a trade out of Buffalo. Nix, speaking at the Bills' annual pre-draft news conference, said the team needs and wants Lynch. "Our intention is for Marshawn to be here," Nix said. "He's under contract. We think he's a good back. We need two backs. Our intentions are for him to be here…."


Falcons running back Jason Snelling signed his one-year restricted free agent tender on Thursday, according to his agent Scott Smith. "He has enjoyed his time with the Falcons so far and he looks forward to helpiing the team to succeed in the future," said Scott, who is based in Madison, Wis. "He's really happy there." Snelling was tendered at the second round level and will receive a base salary of $1.684 in 2010. Snelling, a seventh round pick (244th overall) in 2007 from Virginia, rushed for 613 yards on 142 carries last season. He played some fullback and running back as the team was beset with injuries in the backfield. In the season finale against Tampa Bay, he rushed for 147 yards.


Veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard is visiting the Detroit Lions according to a tweet from the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora. LaCanfora also reports the Vikings, Bears and Raiders could emerge as suitors for Sheppard.


Coach Tony Sparano has often said the Dolphins are happy with their wide receivers. Well, I guess one would have to define happiness if, as I suspect, the report Ted Ginn is on the trade block is correct.'s Jason LaCanfora tweeted that Ginn is being shopped by the Dolphins. My question is who would buy and for how much? Ginn is coming off a year in which he regressed in 2009. He caught 38 passes for 454 yards and one touchdown. He also dropped eight passes, which was among the NFL leaders in that category.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 9, 2010 4:00 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 4/9/10

Quietly, uneventfully, time ticks on what may be Brandon Marshall's final days as a Bronco. The gifted but trouble-prone receiver is a restricted free agent whose opportunity for receiving an offer sheet from another team expires next Thursday. If the offer sheet process expires, the Broncos could open trade talks with other clubs. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed his team's interest in Marshall during the NFC coaches' breakfast March 24 at Orlando, Fla. The question is whether that interest transforms into an acquisition of Marshall between now and April 22, when the NFL conducts the first round of its draft, and when many deals involving high-profile players often occur.


Shortly after Donovan McNabb was traded to the Redskins,'s Peter King reported that the Eagles have expressed interest in University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. "I have heard the Eagles will now focus on Tebow and are likely to join the parade of teams working him out and spending time with him," King wrote. With all due respect to what Peter heard, the Eagles aren't expected to be participating in any predraft Tebow parade. According to a league source, they currently have no plans to bring Tebow in for a predraft visit or work him out elsewhere.


LaDainian Tomlinson hasn't been with the Jets very long, but that didn't stop him from trying to get Jason Taylor to join him. Tomlinson was one of several Jets players who met with the free-agent pass rusher today at the team's New Jersey complex. "I pitched my part in trying to get him here," Tomlinson said, according to The Associated Press. "Hopefully, things get done because we can definitely use him." Tomlinson, who signed with the Jets last month after nine seasons with San Diego, said Taylor gave no indication of his intentions. He finished his two-day visit with the team this afternoon and returned to Miami without agreeing to a contract.


Time to go back to another Redskins item that didn't make the cut on Donovan McNabb Day. According to CSN Washington, Redskins GM Bruce Allen told SIRIUS Radio on Tuesday that the team has contacted the agent for former Cowboys offensive tackle Flozell Adams. For the Redskins, kicking the tires on the five-time Pro Bowler makes sense. Following the retirement of Chris Samuels, there's no in-house replacement on the roster. Holding the No. 4 pick in the draft, it's also a possibility the Redskins won't get a shot at the highest-rated left tackle, Russell Okung, without trading up.


The standoff between Albert Haynesworth and the Redskins is about much more than defensive schemes and positions. What's really at play here is Coach Mike Shanahan's need to exert his will over the football operation -- and Haynesworth providing an obstacle to that end. Shanahan has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with Haynesworth for his decision to train on his own rather than participate in the Redskins' voluntary offseason conditioning program at Redskins Park. And earlier Wednesday, it was learned Haynesworth probably will not attend Washington's first voluntary minicamp that begins April 16.


Help should be on the way soon for Panthers receiver Steve Smith, says former Dallas Cowboys scouting guru Gil Brandt. Brandt, now a draft analyst for, said he has seen Carolina general manager Marty Hurney and coach John Fox frequently at recent pro day workouts for draft prospects and expects them to select a wide receiver with their opening pick, the 48th overall selection midway through Round 2. "I think they would like a wide receiver," Brandt told the Observer Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. "I see Marty Hurney every place and John Fox is every place, so I think you know they've done their homework."


ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said Wednesday that the Buffalo Bills will likely pass on Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen in favor of filling the need at left tackle with Iowa's Bryan Bulaga. Kiper, however, projects the Bills will select Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in the second round. The Bills select ninth overall in this month's draft and have a glaring need at left tackle, a position where plenty of prospects are available. As many as four could be selected in the top 10.


The Washington Redskins are interested in trading defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and the Detroit Lions are interested in acquiring a big playmaking defensive tackle. Haynesworth has not only played in the head coach Jim Schwartz's defensive system before, he's played for Schwartz himself. Also, Haynesworth's contract -- $16 million over the next three years - would fit into the Lions' budget. He'd come at more than a 50 percent bargain over Ndamudong Suh (if the Lions were to draft him with the second overall pick).


The Browns have signed former Bengals offensive lineman Eric Ghiaciuc, according to Adam Caplain of Ghiaciuc (pronounced guy-chuck) was a fourth-round draft choice of the Bengals in 2005. In four seasons in Cincinnati, he made 42 starts, mostly at center. He spent time with the Chiefs and Chargers in 2009.


Things have been quiet with Leonard Little since a scheduled free agent trip to New Orleans was postponed last month. The veteran defensive end told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday that he is still weighing his options about whether to play football in 2010. For the time being, Little is spending time with his family, and away from football. He has instructed his agents not to schedule any visits, "or anything dealing with football right now." Little, 35, is an unrestricted free agent but has been considering retirement since the season ended. He has recorded 87½ sacks over his 12 NFL seasons — all spent with the Rams — with 87 of those sacks coming over the past 10 seasons.

And, the moron of the week award goes to..................Daniel Snyder - owner - Washington Redskins
That's right.  I call the Redskins the morons in this deal.  Why?  Snyder gave up multiple draft picks for a 35 year-old QB who hasn't played in all 16 games in a season since 2006.  They would have been better served using those draft picks to rebuild this team.  Instead, they gave up a lot for an aging QB who can't seem to make it through a season without winding up on the bench due to injuries.  Having the #4 pick in the draft, this move made no sense to me.  Even if they passed on a QB in round one, they could have gotten a decent QB with the round 2 pick they gave up for McNabb.  They opted for a quick fix instead of a long term solution.  Not the way to rebuild your team where I come from. 

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 2, 2010 1:03 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors 4/2/10

The Eagles have traded cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong to the Browns for fourth and fifth round picks and linebacker Alex Hall, the team announced. The Eagles will have the 104th overall pick in the fourth round and the 137th overall pick in the fifth round. They now have eight draft picks.


Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith changed agents, switching from Ralph Cindrich to Neil Cornrich, according to the NFL Players Association. The change officially occurred on March 23, the NFLPA said. Cindrich has publicly expressed Smith's desire to be traded from the Ravens over the past four months. In early March, Cindrich indicated that Smith specifically wants to go to the Cleveland Browns, saying, "He would crawl from Baltimore right now to be able to play in Cleveland."


The Lions might be closer to trading for Seattle guard Rob Sims. Citing league sources, reported Thursday that Sims, a restricted free agent, signed his one-year, $1.101-million tender early this week. That means, according to the league's Web site, that "Sims very likely will be dealt before this month's draft." Sims' signing of the tender means Seattle is entitled to a fourth-round draft pick as compensation but also can accept less in a trade. The Seattle Times reported that the fact that Sims has paved the way for a trade by signing the tender means the Seahawks likely would accept less in return.


The Eagles will bring Michael Vick back next season, team sources said today. Vick is currently third on the quarterback depth chart and is slated to earn $5.25 million in total salary. That salary would be an exorbitant amount for the Eagles to pay a third-stringer. But if he were to be the backup, Vick's salary would not be significantly more than what other NFL backup quarterbacks earn. And with his additional role in the Eagles' wildcat/spread formation offense, Vick would warrant the higher scale, according to one team source.


The Washington Redskins hold the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft -- and it appears that former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen is on their radar. The Redskins have scheduled Clausen to fly to Washington Friday night and spend Saturday visiting with team officials, including coach Mike Shanahan, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Redskins also will hold a private workout with Clausen in South Bend, Ind., on April 15, a workout that Shanahan is expected to attend, the source said. Last week, Shanahan said he would not name a starting quarterback ahead of training camp.


The National Football Post reported Tuesday that Oklahoma State cornerback and kickoff returner Perrish Cox is scheduled to visit the Lions and the Tennessee Titans. Cox, 5-feet-11 and 195 pounds, is listed as the sixth-rated cornerback draft prospect by Scouts Inc. Cox had four interceptions as a senior and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe award as the nation's top defensive back.


There is a buzz around the league that Bears general manager Jerry Angelo might consider doing something he only has done once previously in his regime: trade up in the draft. The Bears are in need of a safety and when coach Lovie Smith appeared at the South Florida pro day Tuesday, speculation immediately was fueled that he was there to get a close look at the Bulls' Nate Allen. Smith doesn't hit the road often in the spring looking at draft prospects and when he does, the Bears aren't sending up smoke signals. It was Smith who proclaimed at the scouting combine that the Bears needed to "invest" more in the safety position.


As NFL executives flock to Austin, Texas, to watch quarterback Colt McCoy's pro day Wednesday, it turns out the St. Louis Rams want to take an extended and more personal look at the former Texas star. A league source tells that the Rams will hold a private workout for McCoy in Austin before the NFL draft begins April 22. The exact date of the workout is unknown. This is an interesting development because the Rams are the favorites to draft Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the No. 1 overall pick.


The speculation surrounding whether the Dallas Cowboys are shopping starting running back Marion Barber is just that. Multiple team sources said Tuesday that the Cowboys haven't discussed trading Barber, who is coming off two injury-filled seasons where he failed to rush for more than 1,000 yards. The NFL Network reported Monday that NFL executives have said Barber is available via trade.


The Eagles signed linebacker Omar Gaither to a one-year contract. Gaither, who had been a restricted free agent, signed his tender offer. Gaither, 26, has 329 career tackles, five sacks and two interceptions during his four-year career with the Eagles. In 2009, Gaither registered 38 tackles and 1.5 sacks in five games before being sidelined with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot.


Tim Tebow on Monday visited with the Buffalo Bills, one of the five teams that have been publicly identified as interested in meeting the former Florida quarterback before the NFL Draft. The other four are the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. Tebow had dinner Sunday night with former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who told USA Today last November that it was time for the Bills to bring in a new quarterback. "It's time to find somebody who is the future of the Buffalo Bills. If I'm the owner, that's what I'm thinking," Kelly said.

And, the MORON of the week award goes to:  Cleveland Browns DT Shaun Rogers
Seriously, how in God's name does ANYONE think they're going to get away with trying to sneak a gun past airport security these days?  Is this guy really THAT stupid??   Airport security is tighter than its ever been' especially since 9/11/01.   What made him think he'd get away with this is beyond me. 

MORON of the week Honorable mention:  Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants
They re-signed a 45 year-old punter to the team that was horrible last year, and gave him a raise.  Yep - you read that correctly.  Jeff Feagles was not only re-signed, but received an increase in pay; at 45 years old; coming off the worst season of his career.  Nice going guys.  If this is the kind of intelligent decision making Giants fans can expect for the rest of this offseason, somebody - please shoot me now.  Embarassed

Category: NFL
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