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," DallasCowboys.com 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.