Posted on: March 26, 2010 12:50 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 3/26/10

A report surfaced this morning that free agent cornerback Pacman Jones had "agreed to terms'' with the Detroit Lions and would join the team next week. However, according to a source close to the situation, the team has not reached any agreement with Jones. Another source called it "way off base.'' At the recent NFL owners meetings, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said a Jones signing was not "imminent.''


The Philadelphia Eagles finally are admitting they'd trade Donovan McNabb. Actually, it was Eagles coach Andy Reid, who told reporters during the NFL owners meetings, "I'd say I'm listening. I'm not saying I'm doing anything. I'm keeping my ears open, which we do on every player." There's talk about the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders pursuing McNabb, though the Rams have recently denied interest in McNabb. In my opinion, if the Eagles are ever going to trade McNabb, the time to do it is now while he stills has trade value.


If Donovan McNabb had his say, and he may very well have it, he would prefer to be traded to Minnesota. After Andy Reid announced Wednesday that the Eagles were "entertaining offers" for all three of their quarterbacks, McNabb reiterated that he wants to remain in Philadelphia. But if the team were to ship its franchise quarterback elsewhere, the Vikings would be his first choice, according to sources close to the situation.


The Eagles aren't only receiving offers for their quarterbacks. Other teams have asked about cornerback Sheldon Brown, according to Eagles coach Andy Reid. Reid said yesterday at the NFL owners' meetings that he has received a few calls recently about the 31-year-old defensive back. Last April, Brown went public with his displeasure about the nine-year deal he signed in 2004. He didn't let his unhappiness boil over into the season, though. Brown had one of his better years, picking off five passes and returning a fumble and an interception for touchdowns.


Steady negotiation is how Brandon Marshall will get his dough. Marshall, the Broncos' restricted free-agent receiver, appears to have taken a step closer to the Seattle Seahawks this week. Seattle coach Pete Carroll, at his first NFC coaches' breakfast Wednesday, spoke about his team's interest in Marshall. "Knowing he has a chance to be available — just like any other aspect of building a football team — we're looking for the best guys we can possibly find," Carroll said. "See what we can do with him and see what his individual situation holds, and there's a chance you can find a way to get him." Carroll said.


With no one on the roster yet to back up or compete with new starter Matt Moore, Carolina Panthers coach John Fox is spending plenty of time evaluating quarterbacks. One he acknowledges liking is former Florida Gators star Tim Tebow, who is expected to be picked somewhere in the first three rounds of next month's NFL draft. Count Fox among those not fretting over Tebow's unconventional – some say flawed – throwing motion, which has been under reconstruction for the past two months.


Steve Spagnuolo has studied a lot of film on quarterback Sam Bradford. "The one thing that jumps out is his accuracy," Spagnuolo said. "He's extremely accurate. I was talking to a couple other (NFL) head coaches about him, and that's the first thing they say, too." Last month at the NFL scouting combine, Spagnuolo came away from the Rams' allotted 15-minute interview session impressed with the University of Oklahoma quarterback. "Everything you hear about him, that's said, it's legit," Spagnuolo said. "He walks into a room, you can see he's a quarterback. That was impressive to me."


With the NFL owners meetings wrapping up on Wednesday, the next major event on the Bengals calendar comes Monday when the players return to Paul Brown Stadium to begin offseason conditioning. Whether or not Bobbie Williams is there remains to be seen. Negotiations to sign the veteran offensive guard are ongoing but both sides have been unable to agree. Williams was one of only seven Bengals to start every game last year. In his six years in Cincinnati, the right guard has missed only three games, which was due to an emergency appendectomy in 2006. "I think things will continue to progress forward with Bobbie and get this thing developed," coach Marvin Lewis said.


The Ravens are considering adding two more cornerbacks, coach John Harbaugh said. The moves could become a necessity given the uncertainty surrounding Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington, who are coming off season-ending knee injuries. At this point, Harbaugh said Webb and Washington "are still a ways away." "Here's how the gauge will be: When we get into June, I'm hoping they will be moving around on the field in drills a little bit," Harbaugh said. "If they're doing that, that would be a good sign for August. If they're not and they can't even open up training camp, then they can't. We'll put them on [the physically-unable-to-perform list] and get them healthy…….."


A change at running back could be one of the top storylines for the San Antonio portion of the Dallas Cowboys' training camp. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., that the club has thought about starting Felix Jones rather than Marion Barber. "That has been a consideration, and it certainly is a consideration," quoted Jerry Jones as saying late Tuesday. "Based on a preliminary input from our coaches, you could certainly see Felix in there earlier." It's easy to see why a change is being considered. A first-round pick by the Cowboys in 2008, Jones rushed last season for a career-high 685 yards on 116 carries, an average of 5.9 yards per attempt. In the 34-14 playoff win over Philadelphia, the former Arkansas standout gained 148 yards, including a dazzling 73-yard touchdown run that is the longest in club postseason history. Barber rushed for a club-high 932 yards on 214 carries last season, but his 4.4-yard average trailed Jones and third-stringer Tashard Choice (5.5). If Jones becomes the starter, Barber likely would return to the closer role he excelled at earlier in his career. Jerry Jones made it clear last season he wants Felix Jones' workload to increase. As a Giants fan, I can't believe the Cowboys haven't considered this move sooner. Felix Jones is absolutely explosive. In my opinion, if Jones is the starter next season, the Cowboys are a more dangerous team.


As Mike Shanahan embarks on an active and busy hunt for the Washington Redskins' quarterback of the future, he's not yet ready to make any decisions about the 2010 starter. Shanahan on Tuesday said that he doesn't expect to name a starting quarterback before training camp, which means for the first time in his career, Jason Campbell will enter camp and find himself locked in a battle for the starting position. Shanahan said he'll be closely monitoring Campbell during the team's offseason conditioning program and the upcoming minicamps to determine his exact role next season. So, who will it be. Present starter Jason Campbell? Journeyman Rex Grossman? Or, a QB from the draft?


The NFL draft is a month away, but Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said Tuesday at the league's owners meetings that he is "confident" he'll have an opportunity to deal the No. 2 overall pick. "I feel confident that we'll have an opportunity to move back," Mayhew said. "Will that be an opportunity that we want to take advantage of? Will it be a situation where we feel we're getting appropriate value? I couldn't answer that right now." Mayhew danced around several other questions on the topic of trading down from No. 2, something the Lions -- like other teams at the top of the draft -- have said they're eager to do for the right price.


When the Browns traded young, healthy, dependable and high-character linebacker Kamerion Wimbley for a measly third-round draft pick last week -- the lower of two third-round picks owned by Oakland -- they said their depth at the position made Wimbley expendable. Now they are adding to their story. At the NFL owners meetings Tuesday morning, coach Eric Mangini said the trade of Wimbley may give the Browns ammunition to swing another trade, or two, before the draft. The Browns own five of the top 85 picks -- their own in each of the first three rounds, plus New England's (via Oakland in the Wimbley trade) and the Jets' (in the Braylon Edwards trade) in the third round.


Daunte Culpepper is looking for a job. He wouldn't mind if it was with the Buffalo Bills. The unemployed quarterback, who serves as his own agent, was at the NFL owners meetings seeking to convince someone to give him a chance to play next season. He mentioned the Bills as a team he'd be interested in playing for. "I would love to play for them," Culpepper said Tuesday. "It would be great to have a chance to go up there and compete. All I need is the opportunity. Buffalo, give me a call." The Bills haven't made any decisions regarding their quarterback situation. Head coach Chan Gailey said Tuesday he has not talked to Culpepper, but added that no one can be ruled out as a candidate for the starting QB job.


Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is used to getting his man. So when running back LaDainian Tomlinson recently picked the New York Jets over the Vikings, it was a bit surprising to Wilf. Tomlinson left Winter Park on March 11 and three days later agreed to a deal with the Jets. "You have to be very optimistic that things work out in the future," Wilf said Tuesday at the NFL's annual meetings. "Like last year when we couldn't get T.J. (Houshmandzadeh in free agency), it was great that we were able to get a Percy Harvin to take on that role. So we're looking forward to the draft to do the same thing. Ultimately that's where we're going to maintain that consistency and improve our ballclub…...."


The Detroit Lions brought in restricted free agent Anthony Hargrove for a visit and they're continuing to contemplate whether to sign the New Orleans Saints' defensive lineman to an offer sheet. If the Lions do, the Saints will have one week to match the contract offer and keep him. "I won't comment on what we might do if he's signed. I think we'd look closely at it,'' said Saints head coach Sean Payton today at the NFC coaches breakfast. "We want the player back.'' The Saints tendered Hargrove at the third-round level which means if they don't match Detroit's offer, the Lions would have to give up a third-round pick from this year's draft as compensation.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 19, 2010 1:27 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2010 1:28 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 3/19/10

The 49ers are in the process of dismissing general manager Scot McCloughan for personal, nonfootball reasons, multiple team and league sources confirmed Thursday, ending his tenure five weeks before the NFL draft. Technically, McCloughan remains employed while under what ESPN termed an "extended leave of absence." However, multiple sources maintain McCloughan has been relieved of his duties and will not return. McCloughan said nothing to dispute reports of his pending termination, telling AOL Fanhouse via text, "I'm fine and moving forward." The team declined comment through a spokesman, and they are not expected to announce anything until a contractual settlement is finalized.


Alge Crumpler's time as a Tennessee Titan is over. The City Paper first reported that the unrestricted free agent was to close to signing an agreement with the New England Patriots, citing league sources. The deal will be officially consummated sometime next week, but the tight end and the Patriots have agreed to terms on a contract. The Boston Globe is also reporting that Crumpler will sign with the Pats. The Patriots have been desperate for help at the tight end position, having lost Ben Watson to the Cleveland Browns and releasing Chris Baker this off-season.


With less than five weeks remaining before the NFL draft, the Rams continue to cozy up with potential No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford, the quarterback from the University of Oklahoma. League sources told the Post-Dispatch that general manager Billy Devaney and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur made a trip to Florida at the start of this week to meet with Bradford, who has been training and rehabbing in Pensacola since undergoing surgery on his throwing shoulder. Devaney and Shurmur sat down with Bradford and talked football, and also met with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery. Bradford's eagerly anticipated pro day is March 29 in Norman, Okla.


And, the moron of the week award goes to: Giants punter Jeff Feagles. He's 45 years old and coming off the worst season in his entire career; yet, he's demanding more money. Huh? Are you kidding me? In my view, any player half-way to 50 should be counting his blessings that he's still able to play football; let alone still having a job.


With Jeff Feagles currently in a contract standoff with the Giants, the team has taken an interesting approach to their punting situation. The Giants signed former Australian rules football player Jy Bond Thursday after Bond worked out for the team. The 30-year-old Bond has been attempting to kick start his NFL career for a few years and was with the Dolphins from April to June last year. He's never kicked in an NFL game. As we noted in the Feagles story we posted Wednesday night, the Giants' interest in (and now signing of) Bond doesn't close the door on Feagles, as there are several other more proven options on the market the team has yet to pursue.


Jets kicker Jay Feely has scheduled a trip to Arizona to meet with the Cardinals this weekend, according to Feely, 33, made 30 of 36 field goals last season, but the Jets signed Nick Folk earlier this offseason. Feely had an up-and-down playoffs for the Jets. In the wild-card win over the Bengals, he pulled double duty as kicker and punter when Steve Weatherford missed the game. In the AFC Championship loss to the Colts, Feely missed two crucial field goals.


On the day they introduced and signed 25-year-old Darryl Tapp to a three-year contract, the Eagles cut the aging and increasingly expensive Kevin Curtis and Darren Howard. Both players, once highly touted free-agent signings who were released yesterday, had underperformed, considering their contracts. With no salary cap in the NFL this year and with the threat of a lockout next season, the Eagles have made "out with the old" their motto. Since the last week of February, they have released or traded running back Brian Westbrook, linebacker Will Witherspoon, wide receiver Reggie Brown, defensive end Chris Clemons, and guard Shawn Andrews.


Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is scheduled to be in town for an official visit at the Lions' headquarters, his agent, Roosevelt Barnes, told


The Tennessee Titans have signed defensive end Jason Babin to a one-year deal worth $1 million.


Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said quarterback Derek Anderson will be given the chance to compete with Matt Leinart for the starting job, but he also made it clear that for now it's Leinart's job to lose. "Certainly Matt has earned the right to be the guy and that's the way we're going forward as we proceed," Whisenhunt said Wednesday, after the Cardinals announced they had signed Anderson to a two-year contract. A free agent released last week by the Browns, Anderson, 26, agreed to a deal worth $7.25 million, of which $3.25 million will be guaranteed. If he reaches maximum performance bonuses, the deal could be worth in excess of $18 million."


Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey said Tuesday there is no front-runner for the starting quarterback job at the moment. Gailey, in brief comments to the media at One Bills Drive, did not rule out adding another prominent quarterback to the team's roster. However, he said the three quarterbacks on the team — Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm — would fight it out for positions if the situation stays the same. "To me, unless something different happens between now and post-draft, to me it's an open competition for the job; see what happens," Gailey said.


On a day the Bears added insurance at cornerback, the future of another member of the defensive backfield remained unclear. Danieal Manning, one of the Bears' four unsigned restricted free agents, is unlikely to attend the start of the offseason workout program March 29 as he awaits a new contract. The Bears tendered Manning, a second-round pick in 2006, at the original-round level, meaning he would earn $1.176 million for 2010 if he signs the one-year offer. The Bears would receive a third-round draft pick as compensation if any team signs Manning away with an offer sheet the Bears decline to match. The deadline to receive an offer sheet is April 15.


The leg injury E.J. Henderson suffered last December was so horrific that his playing career seemed in question. Less than four months later, the Vikings middle linebacker and team captain was resolute Tuesday night. "Oh, I'm definitely going to play football again," he said. "I really don't think that's a question at this point barring some freak occurrence. But I'm definitely going to play football again. It's just a matter of, will I be back in July or August?" Henderson spoke publicly for the first time since he suffered a fractured femur in his left leg against Arizona on Dec. 6.


For now, Green Bay Packers tight end Spencer Havner only has to worry about getting his injured shoulder healed. But in the coming weeks and months he may be facing driving under the influence charges and a sanction from the NFL. The latter, which would fall under the league's personal conduct policy, can be levied even if charges are not filed against him, and can come in the form of a fine or suspension. A California Highway Patrol officer confirmed Tuesday that Havner was arrested Saturday morning for allegedly driving his motorcycle under the influence of alcohol.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 12, 2010 1:51 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 3/12/10

WR Hank Baskett maybe on his way back to Philadelphia. The free-agent wide receiver was an Eagle for more than three season before being cut last September. The Eagles have signed only one free agent in the first week of free agency -- defensive back Marlin Jackson -- and adding Baskett and running back Justin Fargas (formerly of Oakland), would fill some holes. Baskett was released after one game last season when the Eagles had a stacked wide-receiving corps. But since trading Brandon Gibson mid-season, cutting Reggie Brown on Monday and giving ample reason to believe Kevin Curtis could be next to go, the 6'4" Baskett seems all but certain to re-join the team.


Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco added another reality series to his work list recently when he was chosen to be the star of a new VH1 reality show this offseason where he'll engage in a bracket-style dating tournament. The show is called The Tournament. It's scheduled for 10 episodes to premiere in July. With all of these off-field pursuits, it's a wonder that he'll have any time to concentrate on football.


Shed no tears for Jake Delhomme. The former Carolina Panthers quarterback is visiting the Browns today, and a source close to the situation says the Browns "want him bad." In the event the Browns do sign him, it will be another windfall for Delhomme. Unlike the contract discussed here Wednesday with the Eagles and Michael Vick, Delhomme has no offset in his Panthers contract. He'll receive the entire amount owed by the Panthers ($12.68 million), no matter what he might receive from the Browns.


The Seahawks are making calls around the league, including one to Philadelphia about Donovan McNabb, to fill their new quarterback hole. Seattle is in the midst of its first significant shake-up in the pocket since 2005, when backup Trent Dilfer was traded to Cleveland. For the past five years, Matt Hasselbeck and Wallace have been the top two rungs in Seattle's quarterback hierarchy. That changed with Wallace's trade for what turns out to be a seventh-round pick in 2011, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Wednesday. To receive so little in return for Wallace shows Seattle was prepared to release him outright.


The St. Louis Rams are eyeing QB Sam Bradford as a strong possibility for No. 1 overall. As they should be -- provided Bradford passes inspection when doctors examine his surgically repaired right shoulder.


Word is the 49ers have given backup quarterback Shaun Hill permission to seek a trade. Hill does not appear to fit into the 49ers' plans after the club agreed to terms with former Giants back-up QB David Carr on a two-year, $6.25 million contract that includes a $2 million signing bonus. The 49ers now appear set with Carr, Alex Smith and Nate Davis as their three quarterbacks.


The Delaware County (Pa.) Times reported that the Philadelphia Eagles are expected to try to sign Vikings free-agent defensive end Ray Edwards. The report made no mention of a possible timetable. The Vikings tendered Edwards, a restricted free agent, at a first-round level for $2.521 million for one year. If Edwards receives an offer from another team, the Vikings would have seven days to match it. If they don't, the Vikings would receive a first-round draft pick.


Former Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme is still in Cleveland today but is scheduled to visit the Saints on Friday and Saturday. He might also draw some interest from the Broncos, but no visit is scheduled yet. His agent, Rick Smith, denied an earlier report that the Packers could also be interested. A source told the Plain Dealer that Delhomme would be interested in signing with the Browns as a starter, but that he has great opportunities to be a backup elsewhere. Apparently, one of those chances is in New Orleans.


Free agent running back Justin Fargas, released last week by the Raiders, visited the Browns today, the club confirmed. There was no word yet on whether or not the team will sign him. He is scheduled to visit the Eagles on Friday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Fargas, a third-round pick of the Raiders in 2003 out of USC, led the club in rushing in 2006-2008, including 1,000-yard seasons in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, he split time with two other backs, finishing second on the team with 491 yards on 129 carries. He also had three TDs. Fargas missed the end of last season with a knee injury, but is believed to be healthy now.


The New Orleans Saints have not yet met with free agent defensive end Leonard Little, who was originally scheduled to arrive Wednesday. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas, that visit was rescheduled. Also, Thomas speculates that the Saints are concentrating more on signing Little's younger teammate, Rams defensive end James Hall -- a New Orleans native who is scheduled to visit the Saints today or Friday.


Last year, Larry Foote wanted to come home. Now he wants to "get back to a winner." Foote, who played at Detroit Pershing and Michigan, signed a one-year deal with the Lions last year. He wanted to stay with his hometown team, but talks regarding a multiyear deal stalled in December, when Foote sat out two games with a foot injury, and rookie DeAndre Levy looked good at middle linebacker. After visiting the Redskins and Cardinals, Foote spoke to reporters today in Arizona. He said the Cardinals had not made an offer but he hoped to sign with them. "They're winning," Foote said. "That excites me. I just came from Detroit, 2-14, and I want to get back to a winner."


Raiders free agent linebacker Jon Alston visited the Jets on Thursday, according to He was limited to nine games last season by a concussion, and likely would be a backup and special teams player, the report says


Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver likes to call Tim Tebow an icon, but indicated Thursday the Jaguars aren't going to deviate from their draft board to select the former Florida quarterback. "Personally, I think Tim Tebow is an extraordinary young man and he's an extraordinary athlete. He's going to be successful in the National Football League," Weaver said during an interview before a Team Teal Rally Thursday. But he said the Jaguars won't force any picks. "What we've got to do is trust our value board in our draft. If we force a pick, then we devalue thousands of hours of work by our scouts. We have to be true to our mission and go take the best player with our pick……"


The Bucs continue to look for help at safety, with Eagles free agent Sean Jones scheduled to visit Tampa today. Jones, 28, played in 15 games with nine starts for the Eagles in 2009. He had 44 tackles and two interceptions, giving him 16 interceptions for his career. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder has started 53 games since entering the NFL with the Browns in 2004. The Bucs also were hoping to meet today with Browns free-agent safety Brodney Pool, 25. But Pool, whose career was threatened by several head injuries, agreed in principle to a one-year contract with the Jets late Thursday. Tampa Bay has been trying to set up a visit for Dolphins safety Gibril Wilson, 28.


Seneca Wallace's addition to Cleveland precipitated quarterback Derek Anderson's departure from the Browns. Could Wallace's departure from Seattle leave a vacancy that Anderson could fill? The Seahawks and Anderson will try to answer that question this week when the free agent visits the team. Or perhaps it will be Charlie Whitehurst, the third-string quarterback from San Diego, who is also expected to visit this week. Or maybe it will be a quarterback the Seahawks choose in the draft. Seattle is in the midst of its first significant shake-up in the pocket since 2005, when backup Trent Dilfer was traded to Cleveland.


The Browns - or any team - would need to give up at least a first-round pick for either Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb, ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reported this morning. The Browns, who have the No. 7 pick in the draft, have inquired about both quarterbacks, according to numerous reports. The Seahawks, who have the No. 6 overall pick, are also interested in McNabb and Kolb, Paolantonio reported. The Seahawks have reportedly been on the phone with the Eagles every day about their quarterbacks. Browns general manager Tom Heckert, who spent nine years with McNabb in Philadelphia and drafted Kolb, has been touting both to the Browns, a league source said.


Panthers' restricted free agent quarterback Matt Moore has decided to sign the team's one-year qualifying offer of $3.043 million, according to his representatives. His agents have reviewed the offer and Moore, who has flown to Charlotte from his California home, is expected to sign the offer today or tomorrow.


NFL quarterbacks seeking work should find the Cardinals an attractive potential employer, partly because coach Ken Whisenhunt treats the position much like any other. Kurt Warner announced his retirement more than a month ago, yet Whisenhunt has yet to officially name Matt Leinart the starter, even though he's the only quarterback on the roster. Whisenhunt has professed confidence in Leinart at every opportunity but also joked that he doesn't have many alternatives. After three years under Whisenhunt, Leinart probably expects nothing more. Some coaches coddle quarterbacks. Whisenhunt, however, seems to prefer the creative tension created by competition for the job…


The Chiefs for the second straight day went into the past of one of their coaches to sign a player. This time, it was wide receiver Jerheme Urban, who played for Todd Haley with the Cardinals in 2007 and 2008. Urban signed a two-year contract. Urban caught a total of 56 passes, six for touchdowns, in those two seasons while Haley was Arizona's offensive coordinator. Urban slipped to 18 catches and no touchdowns last year.


The Cardinals continued to make forays into free agency on Wednesday, re-signing one player and entertaining a handful of visiting candidates. Tight end Anthony Becht, a key to the team's improved running game last year, agreed to terms on a 1-year, $950,000 contract. Tight end Stephen Spach also agreed on a 1-year deal. Those terms were not disclosed. Defensive end Jeremy Clark signed his exclusive-rights tender. Negotiations continue with free safety Matt Ware, despite a report that he had agreed to terms. On Wednesday, offensive lineman Rex Hadnot, most recently with Cleveland, and Chargers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst visited. It's unknown whether the club made contract offers.


One day after the Cleveland Browns released quarterback Derek Anderson, there is mounting evidence around the league that quarterback Brady Quinn could be next. Cleveland has offered Quinn to other teams, league sources said Wednesday. Not only are the Browns looking into a deal for Quinn, but they also are investigating other quarterback options as well. The Browns are exploring the acquisition of another quarterback through trade, free agency or the draft, according to multiple league sources. These talks come at a time when Cleveland already has added former Seattle backup Seneca Wallace.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 8, 2010 2:03 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 3/8/10

For the New York Jets, the third time may be the charm with Laveranues Coles. Coles, 32, was released last week after one season with the Bengals, and he told a New Jersey newspaper he's interested in a return to the Jets. He was cut by the Jets last February, a mutual parting in which he agreed to forfeit $6 million in guaranteed money in exchange for having the final year of his contract voided. The Jets tried to re-sign him for less money, but the Bengals offered a richer deal. Now the Jets are looking for a third or fourth receiver to play behind starters Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards (restricted free agent). They also have Brad Smith (RFA) and David Clowney, although neither is regarded as a No. 3 receiver.


Tim Tebow has at least two teams interested in working him out. Tebow will throw at the school's pro day March 17, and it will be an unscripted workout, meaning he's willing to do any passes asked of him by scouts. Tebow declined to throw at the NFL Scouting Combine last weekend, but he's now ready to show off his revamped delivery. Tebow also revealed Sunday that he already has individual workouts with the Seahawks and Bills lined up after his pro day. While the Seahawks have committed to veteran Matt Hasselbeck next season, they need a long-term solution under center, and the Bills also are seeking a quarterback.


With David Carr off to San Francisco, it is time for Jim Sorgi to decide whether it is better to backup Eli or Peyton Manning. Sorgi, currently with the Colts, is on a short list of candidates to replace Carr, according to a team source. The Giants are also expected to pursue veteran quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Mark Brunell, who was the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback from 1995-2002 under then-coach Tom Coughlin. Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd is scheduled to try out for the Giants Tuesday, according to his agent, if he doesn't sign with Minnesota Monday.


Though the Redskins missed out on tackle Chad Clifton, San Francisco's Tony Pashos, who played under Washington offensive line coach Chris Foerster in San Francisco and Baltimore, is still a strong possibility for the right tackle spot. In recent weeks, it looked as though the 49ers were close to striking a deal to keep Pashos, but the lineman is now entertaining other offers and could even visit teams after the Redskins. Sources indicated Artis Hicks, a 31-year-old free-agent guard from Minnesota, is also planning to visit Washington, and a league source said the Redskins have had spoken with DE Jason Babin, an unrestricted free-agent who played in Philly last season.


Will he stay or will he be sent away? The Philadelphia Eagles are divided on a Donovan McNabb trade, with one very powerful Eagle blocking a potential deal. The NFL free agency period has officially begun and, as teams make offers and deals, reports say Donovan McNabb could be traded soon. There are many interested teams out there, but right now the Eagles are not accepting any offers yet. Sources tell Fox 29's sports department that the St. Louis Rams are not one of those teams, contrary to some reports. But we're also being told that trading McNabb is not going to be easy because internally the Eagles' brass wants to move him but Andy Reid does not.


If Greg Olsen is the most gifted Bears tight end since Mike Ditka, then why is he supposedly dispensable? Rumors have been rumbling for a week or so that Olsen has asked the Bears to trade him. It's no secret the tight end is concerned about the prospect of his role in the passing game being reduced significantly in Mike Martz's offense. And many people think the Bears should trade Olsen because he doesn't fit the new coordinator's scheme as well as some (read blocking) tight ends do. But the Bears aren't going to get better by trading one of their best players. No team is. Anyone who thinks a team can improve by getting rid of a rising star is thinking too much.


The Bengals and the Seahawks are both interested in possibly trading for Broncos WR Brandon Marshall. But, what exactly would they be getting if they sign wide receiver Brandon Marshall or work a trade with the Denver Broncos to obtain the enigmatic star? Clearly they'd be landing a big-time wide receiver, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound athlete in his prime at 26 who has averaged 102 catches for 1,236 yards over the past three seasons. T.J. Houshmandzadeh calls Marshall the best receiver in the NFL, so it's fair to say he'd have his teammate's respect ... though it's equally fair to wonder if there's enough passes in a game to keep those two happy. But with Marshall, it's never just been about the football talent. He's been in trouble with the law since his days at Central Florida University when he faced charges of assault on a police officer that were later dropped.


Jason Babin, a free agent defensive end from the Philadelphia Eagles, arrived in Nashville Sunday and will be the team's first free agent visitor of the off-season on Monday. Babin, 29, recorded 2.5 sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles this past season and has also played for the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks after being a first-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2004. "They've been interested in him all the way through the process," Babin's agent Tony Agnone said. "He can rush passer pretty well and they feel like he has some upside and has a real good future."


The news Sunday that unrestricted free agent and former Dolphins nose tackle Jason Ferguson has had a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs couldn't have been welcome in the Dolphins' offices. While no decision had been made on whether to bring back the 13-year veteran, the mere fact he'll be suspended for the first eight games of the 2010 season makes finding help at the position a priority. The importance of a quality nose tackle was underscored in recent weeks when four teams; New England's Vince Wilfork, Pittsburgh's Casey Hampton, San Francisco's Aubrayo Franklin and Green Bay's Ryan Pickett; put franchise tags on their starters at the position.


Raiders fans might still get to watch Justin Fargas run next season. It just won't be for their team. One day after Oakland released the running back, Fargas said in a phone interview Sunday he has a visit lined up Tuesday with the Chiefs, an AFC West rival during his seven seasons with the Raiders. His agent has also been in contact with other teams, Fargas said, including the 49ers. He said he certainly doesn't mind the idea of moving across the bay to team up with Niners running back Frank Gore, who by all accounts could use a punishing partner in the backfield. "That could be something," said Fargas, whose two most productive seasons came in 2007-08


The Rams are poised to make their second free-agent signing in two days as talks were close to being finalized Saturday night with New York Giants free-agent defensive tackle Fred Robbins on a multi-year deal. Robbins has played 10 seasons in the NFL, the last six with the Giants and was there when Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator. He is listed as 6-foot-4, 317 pounds and can play both tackle positions. Last season, after undergoing microfracture surgery in February, Robbins played 16 games with the Giants and started 12. He turns 35 on March 25, ironically the same day that quarterback Sam Bradford will have his own private workout at the University of Oklahoma.


We now know that at least five of the tailbacks who finished last season as members of the Redskins -- Rock Cartwright, Ladell Betts, Quinton Ganther, Marcus Mason and Eddie Williams -- will be continuing their careers somewhere else. The Redskins need to reload their backfield and one of the top candidates appears to be Pittsburgh's Willie Parker. Parker will visit Redskins Park next week, according to a league source. The visit was first reported by KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. The 29-year-old Parker is an unrestricted free agent this year. He appeared in 14 games last season for the Steelers -- starting only three -- and finished the season with 389 yards on 98 carries.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 26, 2010 2:59 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2010 10:05 am

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 2/26/10

- ESPN analyst Adam Shefter believes that after pro days are done, the Rams will look to take QB Sam Bradford with the #1 overall pick in April. I think they should consider it. Shefter has a good point. While the "experts" unanymously think that DT Ndamukong Suh is the best player in the draft, the fact remains that the Rams need a QB more. Marc Bulger is 34 and hasn't exactly been carrying this team on his back. His back-ups are even worse than him. As for the Michael Vick rumors, Vick is 30 years old himself. He might sell tickets, but he is not the long term answer. Suh is a stud, but unless they switch him to OT or G, he can't help that anemic offense.


- Tim Tebow will be at the Palm Beach Autographs at the Avenues Mall from 1-5 pm on March 6th. However, if you actually want his autograph, it will cost you $160.00. Though the proceeds do go to Tebow's charitable organization, $160.00 is still a steep price to pay for a QB who hasn't even joined the NFL yet.


- Word has been that NFL scouts were concerned about Rhodes Scholar and former Florida State SS Myron Rolle's commitment to football. Rolle answered those questions recently in an interview, stating that he is committed to football and would like to play the game for at least ten years before retiring and going to medical school.


- SS Eric Berry has been the most talked-about safety to come out of the draft in quite a while. He's drawing the inevitable comparisons to Ed Reed. But, because he is a safety, some analysts don't see him being drafted too high. I saw a mock draft recently that had Berry falling to the Jaguars at #11.


- I just don't understand the Carolina Panthers. They're undecided whether or not to sign QB Matt Moore to a long term deal, and they apparently have no plans to add a QB this offseason via the draft or otherwise. Not a single mock draft I've seen has the Panthers drafting a QB in round 1. So, what do they do when Moore's contract is up? Go back to Jake Delhomme? Huh? I guess I just don't get it.


- Former Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour had a chance to shine at the combine and up his draft status. Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Jimmy Clausen, and Tim Tebow will ALL be spectators at the combine. With none of these QB's throwing at the combine, it was a chance for LeFevour to improve his draft stock. Instead, he's not throwing either. I don't get it. If this is going to become a yearly trend, why don't they just stop inviting QB's to the combine all together? None of them want to throw there anymore, so what's the point?


- WR Randy Moss does not expect to be a member of the New England Patriots beyond this coming season. At a recent charity event, he passed a comment which indicated that the Patriots are cheap with their wallets. He cited the "nature of the business" as the reason for his comment.


- Word out of Chicago is that the Bears are interested in draft prospect OT Sam Young from Norte Dame. Young figures to be an early second day draft pick.


- And the winner of the moron of the week award goes to........... Dolphins CB Will Allen. He approached a posted road closed sign in his Lamborghini while he was drunker than Parys Hilton. Instead of simply taking the detour road, he asked police officers at the site if he could go through the closed road. He was promptly arrested for DUI shortly after.


- Former pro bowl DE Osi Umenyiora recently met with the Giants to discuss his future with the team. He is apparently undecided whether or not he wants to remain with the team. Upset with his demotion last season to spot duty, I guess he doesn't feel that his inability to stop the run, pressure the QB, and his half-assed efforts were good enough reasons to bench him. The consensus is that he feels he should just be handed the starting job because of his past accomplishments; never mind earning it. I guess someone forgot to tell Osi that this is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport.  And, stop with the injury excuses.  Previous injuries do not account for poor effort. 


- The Titans have finally reached out to OLB Keith Bulluck about remaining with the team. They are in discussions, but have not finalized a deal yet. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.


- The Cardinals signed head coach Ken Whisenhunt to a four year contract extension. This not only makes Whisenhunt one of the highest paid coaches in the league; it also makes him the first coach since the team's move to Arizona to be awarded a second contract. He took this once-laughable franchise and made them Superbowl contenders. Smart move by the Cardinals to extend this guy. This time, they got it right.


- Word is Mike Holmgren plans to meet with the agent of QB Derek Anderson to discuss the QB's future. The consensus is he will be released if he does not agree to restructure his contract.


- Word out of Indianapolis is that the Colts would very much like to keep MLB Gary Brackett around. They're just not willing to place the franchise tag on him to do it. Either they will work out a long-term contract, or Brackett will hit the free agency market in March.


- Antonio Bryant is going to be released from the Buccaneers in a conscious effort by Raheem Morris and the team to get younger.


- Word out of Detroit is the Lions are open to trading away their #2 pick to move down and collect more draft picks. The consensus is that they want to rebuild the team through the draft and they figure to earn two more draft picks by moving down. A smart strategy, considering how free agency has worked out for them lately.


- According to the Washington post, there is word about a possible deal that could sent Redskins QB Jason Campbell to the Bills for FS Donte Whitner and a draft pick.


- The consensus out of New York is that the Jets will release RB Thomas Jones if he does not agree to take a substantial pay cut to remain with the team.



Category: NFL
Posted on: February 19, 2010 2:18 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 2/19/10

- Jamal Lewis was released by the Browns this week, but it wasn't only because of the emergence of RB Jerome Harrison. He failed the team physical. The consensus is that Lewis' days as an NFL RB are over.


- Word out of Foxboro is that the Patriots are interested in soon-to-be free agent DE Julius Peppers. The Panthers do not intend to use the franchise tag this year, so expect the Patriots to be one of the first teams to make him an offer. Like in the past, the Patriots are not afraid to go after 30-something year old defensive players. Not sure how he would fit in their 3-4 defensive scheme, but power to them.


- The Chargers are trying to trade troubled CB Antonio Cromartie to any team willing to deal a RB. But, don't expect too many NFL teams to beat down A.J. Smith's door trying to get this deal done. Cromartie has at least seven children with six different women; in FIVE different states. Furthermore, he's apparently not paying his child support payments on time. This isn't exactly boosting his trade value nor making his current GM happy. This is thought to be just one of many character flaws leading to the Chargers decision to try to trade him.


- Cowboys WR Miles Austin will be a restricted free agent on March 5th. But, don't expect Austin to be playing anywhere else but Dallas next season. The team plans to sign him to a long term contract, and it is unlikely any team would be willing to fork over a first and third round draft pick to get him.


- Apparently, QB Jimmy Clausen will not be participating in the combine drills next month. His toe is not fully healed. He will, however, be present at the combine and be available for interviews.


- Speculation out of Los Angeles is that the NFL could return to LA by 2011. There is currently a proposal to build an $800 Million stadium in City Of Industry.


- Word out of Oakland is that if the Raiders and DE Richard Seymour can't agree on a long term contract extension, they will use the franchise tag on him. The Raiders had to trade away their 2011 1st round draft pick to get Seymour, so it makes sense to do what's necessary to keep him.


- Despite all the rumors and the mock drafts showing the Redskins drafing a QB with the #4 overall pick, don't expect QB Jason Campbell to give up his job without a fight. After a talk with head coach Mike Shanahan that Campbell says was "positive", the QB expects to be on the team next season. It should be noted that despite having one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year, Jason Campbell actually had his best season as a pro.


- Ravens all-time leading WR Derrick Mason is undecided if he'll return to the team. Word is he won't come back unless the team is willing to sign him to a multi-year contract. I don't think Mason has much leverage here. He's 36, which is ancient for a WR. With a decent WR class coming out of the draft, a multi-year contract for Mason seems unlikely, at best.


- Word out of Cleveland is that the Browns and special teams stand-out WR Josh Cribbs are close to agreeing on a three-year extension.


- The Cardinals do not intend to use the franchise tag on LB Karlos Dansby and are prepared to let him test the free agency market. They intend to monitor the offers he gets; then decide if they wish to make an offer of their own. So, his days as a Cardinal are not necessarily over.


Just asking, but (AFC)................


- Why are the Bills saying Trent Edwards has a 50-50 chance to be their starter next season? How do they sell this to their fans? Didn't he get benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick last season?


- Are Tom Brady's best days behind him?


- Will the Dolphins stop this wildcat non-sense and let Chad Henne air it out next season? How about getting the kid some weapons? Seriously, do Ted Ginn and Davone Bess really scare opponents?


- Rex Ryan - confident coach? Or, just a big-mouth trash-talker?


- Holmgren's not commiting to either QB on the roster, so why in God's name do just about all of the mock drafts have the Browns taking Florida CB Joe Haden in the first round?


- Anyone have a clue why the Bengals think Pacman Jones and Matt Jones will make their team better? Anyone????


- For pitisakes, Ravens GM - will you please get Joe Flacco some talent already? Derrick Mason is 36. Isn't it time to move on?


- Have the Steelers officially become a passing football team?


- Just a bad game for Peyton Manning? Or, were the Colts exposed in the Superbowl?


- Is this the season the Texans finally overtake the Colts in the division?


- Tebow might help the Jaguars sell more tickets, but can he really help them win?


- Hey, Jeff Fisher, isn't it time for the Titans to get younger on defense? Stop drafting running backs already!


- The best part of the Broncos team was their defense in '09. So, why the hell was Mike Nolan fired?


- Is Matt Cassel REALLY the answer in Kansas City? Really?????


- How badly will the Raiders screw up their first round draft pick THIS year?


- Aside from RB, how about improving that O-line down in San Diego?

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 12, 2010 2:41 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2010 2:51 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 2/12/10

Enjoy the read gang:


- The Bengals are looking to make a splash early in free agency. They have signed WR Matt Jones, and are reportedely working out CB Adam "Pacman" Jones. The Titans were also interested in WR Matt Jones and offered him a contract, but he chose to go to Cincinnati. I have no idea why two teams were competing for this guy. He's been nothing but trouble the past few seasons. Apparently, the Bengals like Jones' size and the fact that he came at a cheap price.


- Word has it the Saints may ask Reggie Bush to restructure his contract. If he refuses and is released, there are a number of possible landing spots that makes sense for Bush. The Seahawks need a RB, and under this scenario, Reggie Bush would be reunited with his former college head coach Pete Carroll. It is also believed that the Lions and the 49ers would be interested in his services.


- The latest trade rumor involves Cowboys RB Tashard Choice being traded to the Chargers for CB Antonio Cromartie. A rumor is likely all this is. An actual trade is unlikely. Choice is happy in Dallas in his back-up role, and the Chargers are most likely to turn to the draft for their RB of the future.


- Free agent WR Donte Stallworth recently worked out for the Detroit Lions.


- Sal Paolantonio reported that the Browns, Broncos, and Bills have all had conversations with the Eagles about Donovan McNabb. However, word is the Eagles are telling teams that McNabb and Kevin Kolb are "off limits". League insiders believe the Eagles are simply posturing to up the trade value of the two QB's, and beleive at least one of these QB's will be traded at some point this offseason. It is believed that the price the Eagles would want for McNabb would be at least a 1st round pick. More realistically, they'll settle for a 2nd and perhaps a 5th.


- It is believed that Bears CB Nathan Vasher could be released this offseason. He is due to make just under $3 million in 2010, and was nothing more than an occasional contributor last season.


- Bengals LB Rey Maualuga is scheduled to enter rehab at the end of the month for about 30 days; maybe longer. It is possible he will miss the beginning of the team's offseason conditioning program, which will begin in late March.


- The Bills have hired former Lions special teams coordinator Stan Kwan as an assistant in the same capacity.


- The Broncos have hired former Kent State LB's coach Craig Aukerman as a defensive assistant.


- Word out of Tampa is that the Buccaneers will not be very active in free agency and will look to build the team through the draft.


- In a move that surprised almost no one, the Giants have released MLB Antonio Pierce.


Just asking, but..........................



- Do the Eagles really think they're fooling anyone when they claim they're keeping all 3 of their current QB's?


- How long will Brett Favre keep the Vikings hanging THIS season?


- Is Mike Martz REALLY the answer in Chicago? What happened to the Bears being a running football team?


- Will Michael Turner bounce back from an injury-plagued, dissapointing '09 season and return to '08 form?


- Why do the Panthers have NO plans to pursue a QB this offseason? Can somoene explain that one to me? Anyone???


- With Raheem Morris known for liking to run the ball, do the Buccaneers go after a RB this offseason?


- Why are Cardinals fan panicking? Is Matt Leinart really THAT horrible? He did OK in spot duty last season, the coaches believe in him, and he's got the best WR's in the league to throw to. What are you guys worried about? What's the problem?


- Is it time for the 49ers to upgrade at RB? Or is Glen Coffee their future? Their plan to be a power running team failed miserably last year. Just saying.............


- Pete Carroll seems happy with Matt Hasselbeck as his starting QB. Should Seahawks fans be worried? Where are the Seahawks plans for future QB? Hasselbeck is turning 35 next season, and didn't exactly light it up in '09.  Just saying..............


- If the Rams draft DT Ndamukong Suh like 19 out of 20 mock drafts predict, what do THEY do at QB? Can they really go through Marc Bulger for another year? Or, do the Michael Vick rumors become a reality?


(AFC questions in my next blog)

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 5, 2010 1:14 pm

NFL Tidbits & Rumors - 2/5/10

Enjoy the read:


- Broncos WR Brandon Marshall has made it a point to conduct himself more professionally this offseason. When asked about his future with the Broncos, sources say he was contrite, stating he would just let things play out and go with the flow. He is OK playing for the Broncos, but would also be OK with being traded. He is no longer demanding trades like he was last season. Good to see someone in this league learning from their past mistakes.


- Word from San Diego is that LaDanian Tomlinson believes he has played his last game as a Charger. He believes he will be traded or released in the coming months.


- The Patriots and OLB Adalius Thomas have not been in contact since their season ended. There is known tension between Thomas and Belichick, and Thomas believes he will be playing with another team next season.


- The NFL is still considering fining Vikings LT Bryant McKinnie for how he conducted himself during probowl week; during which he skipped practices and meetings with no explanations. Still, McKinnie has offered no apologies and has made it known that he felt too much was made of the situation. I guess he feels that the rules only apply to everyone else. Must be interesting going through life with that approach. Good luck getting probowl votes next year, Bryant.


- There are many within the Jaguars organization that would love to see the team draft Tim Tebow in April. But, don't count RG Uche Nwaneri as one of them. His scouting report of Tebow on his Twitter page was brutal; basically stating that he can't throw nor read coverages "PERIOD", and that the wildcat will not work in the NFL. Pretty brutal comments considering Nwaneri only has 3 years experience in the NFL.


- Despite the consensus that Chad Pennington, has seen his last days in a Dolphins uniform, the former starting QB has said he wants to stay in Miami; even if it means backing up QB Chad Henne.


- Despite the recent rumors that at least one Eagles QB is going to be traded, Michael Lombardi reports that Eagles intend to keep Michael Vick despite his desire to start on another team. That a surprise to me, especially considering that he's due $5 million in 2010 for basically being a gimmick player/3rd string QB.


- Former Giants WR Plaxico "Quick Draw" Burress recently told NFL today that he vows to play football in the league again once his prison sentence is over. Well, Michael Vick killed dogs, went to jail, and now is once again richer than any of us will ever be, so why the hell not let Burress back in?


- Word At the Senior Bowl was that the Dolphins would like to add a pass-catching TE with speed this offseason. It has not been determined whether they will do so through the draft or free agency.


- Jeff Fisher has finally done something this offseason that makes sense. After Chris Johnson publicly made comments that he intends to seek a contract extension this offseason, Jeff Fisher responded; stating Johnson's plans for a renegotiated contract are "premature"; pointing out that he is only finishing up his second year of a six year deal.


- Word is Chad Ochocinco is lobbying for the Bengals to sign Terrell Owens. Good grief - can you imagine these two on the same team? One changed his name to a number, and the other is always insulting his QB's. Not so sure this pairing would work. Call it a hunch.


- Browns new GM Tom Heckert has a different take on QB prospect Tim Tebow than most scouts do. He likes Tebow, and thinks that his leadership abilities, toughness, and competitiveness will make up for what he currently lacks in mechanics. He also believes Tebow will play in the NFL as a QB, not a TE, HB, or anything else. In short, he thinks the guy's a winner, and can correct the mistakes he made at the Senior Bowl. "It's really hard to overlook the other stuff. I think somebody's going to get a good player......."

Category: NFL
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