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lamberts-lost-tooth
02-17-2009, 10:46 AM
Pro football Weekly Whispers
Feb. 16, 2009


NFC Whispers

* Among the many moving parts in the complex scenario that free-agent OLB Leroy Hill faces in Seattle, one that can’t be overlooked, according to team insiders, is the plethora of first-round-caliber players available in the draft at Hill’s position this season. No fewer than seven outside ’backers were tabbed as first-rounders in PFW’s most recent mock draft.

*The Eagles almost certainly are going to get help for RB Brian Westbrook, we hear. With a banged-up offensive line, no true fullback and no real inside runner to complement him, Westbrook took a beating this past season, and the Eagles know they can’t afford to expose him like that again. One route could be to use one of the team’s first-round draft picks in this area. It’s a good year for backs, and there’s a chance that a good one could slide in Round One because of the lack of teams needing backs that early.

*Word is the Redskins are kicking the tires on some college quarterbacks perhaps a bit closer than they have in recent years. Jason Campbell’s job is not in jeopardy yet. But it’s possible that the Redskins will consider drafting a QB as someone who can put pressure on Campbell at some point down the road, perhaps in 2010.

*The early thoughts from Lions country is that the team might not be blown away by the QB options at the top of the draft. There are some around the team who feel that a veteran such as Matt Cassel might be a better option than either USC’s Mark Sanchez or Georgia’s Matthew Stafford. The Lions have two first-round picks, Nos. 1 and 20, and could use one of those picks to select a QB or trade one for a veteran, but it’s almost certain they’ll add at least one in the offseason.

*We hear the Bucs are very interested in re-signing soon-to-be free-agent CB Phillip Buchanon. He was arguably the team’s best corner last season, and with 2008 first-round pick CB Aqib Talib still developing, locking up Buchanon has become a high priority for new GM Mark Dominik. Tampa watched as the performance of the team’s other starting corner, Ronde Barber, declined last season, and sources say Barber, a 12-year veteran, is likely headed for a lesser role this year.

*The Falcons lost a key veteran piece of their offensive line when Todd Weiner, who started 11 games last season, retired, but they could look to keep another experienced tackle around to secure some much-needed depth at the tackle position. We hear OT Wayne Gandy, who is heading into his 16th season and wants to play in 2009, became much more valuable to the Falcons after Weiner retired. Gandy will become a free agent Feb. 27 if Atlanta does not re-sign him before then.

*While it was no doubt a noble gesture by Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald to restructure his four-year, $40 million deal if it would help keep fellow WR Anquan Boldin on the team, we hear there really isn’t anything Fitzgerald could do except perhaps free up some cap space, which, in Arizona’s case, isn’t a problem. With that said, a trade of Boldin remains a much more likely scenario, with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, doing everything in his power to grease the wheels.

*Don’t rule out Alex Smith from the Niners’ QB picture just yet. We hear GM Scot McCloughan thinks Smith might actually have a shot at salvaging his career in San Francisco — provided he’s willing to return to the team at a greatly reduced salary.

AFC Whispers

*It’s beginning to appear that for the second straight year, the Colts might very well opt to let one of their O-line stalwarts depart in free agency. Last offseason, Indy chose not to extend OG Jake Scott, and in 2009, C Jeff Saturday could be on his way out of town. The Colts’ limited salary-cap maneuverability makes it incredibly difficult to re-sign the three-time Pro Bowler to the type of deal Saturday would warrant on the open market.

*Patriots free-agent RB LaMont Jordan is likely to be playing on his fourth team since 2004 next season. The Patriots’ swell of running backs on their roster makes Jordan expendable, especially because we hear the Pats are willing to grant the disappointing Laurence Maroney another chance to prove his worth.

*A source close to the club believes the Browns will try to re-sign reserve RB Jason Wright, who will be an unrestricted free agent. Wright rushed 23 times for 85 yards and caught 22 passes for 156 yards and a TD in 2008.

*The way we hear it, it was not surprising that the Browns released veteran QBs Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski, as well as OLB Antwan Peek and CB Terry Cousin. The Browns’ need to upgrade their QB depth was made clear when both Dorsey and Gradkowski struggled mightily late in the ’08 campaign after Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson suffered season-ending injuries.

* While Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert recently pointed to the defensive line as a position where the team needs to add youth, it remains to be seen whether the club will have the salary-cap room needed to make a big splash at this position in free agency, considering that it is likely to try to re-sign several of its own free agents — some of whom could be coveted by other clubs.

*The way we hear it, the Texans were impressed by how quickly CB Dunta Robinson came back from a serious knee injury that ended his 2007 season and potentially threatened his ’08 season. Robinson was by no means at full strength last season, but a source close to the club notes the team believes his play picked up throughout the campaign. Slated to become an unrestricted free agent, Robinson is regarded as one of the better players available at his position.

*We hear that the re-signing of LS Joe Zelenka and the release of WR Jerry Porter and CB Drayton Florence epitomize the way that new Jaguars general manager Gene Smith intends to build the club — with hard work, paying attention to detail and having no reluctance to steer clear of bigger-name players who aren’t carrying their weight.

*All signs point to the Chargers and RB LaDainian Tomlinson sitting down to resolve their issues in Indianapolis during the Scouting Combine. It's not known exactly what will go down when the two sides meet, but it's widely expected that San Diego will ask Tomlinson to take a pay cut if he wants to stay with the team. Although still a solid producer, his inability to stay healthy during the past two postseasons has made his hefty contract burdensome on the front office.

* The Broncos are presumed to be in the market for a running back when free agency begins, but sources say the team won’t break the bank for one. Giants RB Derrick Ward has been mentioned as a potential target of the Broncos, but Denver’s coaching staff is still very high on Ryan Torain and Peyton Hillis, each of whom is coming off an injury in his rookie year, so the club likely won’t feel the need to overpay for a free agent.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/The+Way+We+Hear+It/Whispers/2009/wrapup021609.htm

HometownGal
02-17-2009, 10:56 AM
I love watching the chess games and the manuevering the teams do before the combine and the draft. :thumbsup:

*The Eagles almost certainly are going to get help for RB Brian Westbrook, we hear. With a banged-up offensive line, no true fullback and no real inside runner to complement him, Westbrook took a beating this past season, and the Eagles know they canít afford to expose him like that again.


Change the words in bold to "average to below average OL" and remove the "no real inside runner to complement . . ." and this sounds like the same situation the Steelers are in going into the draft.

Jason Campbellís job is not in jeopardy yet.

I thought the Skins might possibly go after Lefty to replace Campbell who really has not been terribly impressive.

C Jeff Saturday could be on his way out of town. The Coltsí limited salary-cap maneuverability makes it incredibly difficult to re-sign the three-time Pro Bowler to the type of deal Saturday would warrant on the open market.


I'm licking my chops at the thought of having Saturday C'ing our line, but a thought is all it is, as the Steelers couldn't afford him. Damn.

Dino 6 Rings
02-17-2009, 11:56 AM
I think we draft D-line in the first round. Unless they pull off a trade and go up in the first round, I don't see any studs for O-line that late in the first round.

The Duke
02-17-2009, 05:41 PM
I thought the Skins might possibly go after Lefty to replace Campbell who really has not been terribly impressive.

.

Campbell is a good game manager, damn I hate that word

but it's true, their offense is based around Portis and quick passes. Byron's not suited for that

imo the skins have worse problems they need to fix other than QB

I think we draft D-line in the first round. Unless they pull off a trade and go up in the first round, I don't see any studs for O-line that late in the first round.

same here. We may all want to improve the oline, but at 32 most likely it is a defensive lineman or a trade (unlikely). just no WRs or runningbacks please....

Dino 6 Rings
02-17-2009, 05:45 PM
LOL, I think we will touch the defensive side of the ball. We went 1 and 2 for defense 2 year ago, then 1 and 2 for offense last year. So I'm thinking Tomlin keeps the trend and goes back to the defensive side of the ball.

The Duke
02-17-2009, 05:50 PM
LOL, I think we will touch the defensive side of the ball. We went 1 and 2 for defense 2 year ago, then 1 and 2 for offense last year. So I'm thinking Tomlin keeps the trend and goes back to the defensive side of the ball.

or maybe he goes for a long snapper :noidea:

Dino 6 Rings
02-17-2009, 05:52 PM
or maybe he goes for a long snapper :noidea:

Or at least get our back-up Long Snapper signed to a long term deal!

Galax Steeler
02-18-2009, 05:09 AM
What a dream it would be to land Saturday but as Hometown Gal stated that will never happen.