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05-25-2005, 04:58 PM
AP reports the Cleveland Browns are expected to ask TE Kellen Winslow Jr. to repay about $3 million worth of bonuses already paid to him. The team is also expected to withhold the $2 million bonus payment due to Winslow Jr. in July. The Browns are trying to decide the right time to ask for the money and right now that appears to be when Winslow Jr. fails to arrive at the team's mandatory minicamp next month.

AP reports 49ers HC Mike Nolan said that Tom Condon, the agent for No. 1 overall draft pick QB Alex Smith, will fly in and meet with team officials over the next three days as they continue working on a contract. Nolan indicated the talks are going well and he?d ?be surprised if we don?t get something done by camp.?

AP reports that the Bills are reluctant to trade RB Travis Henry until they lock up RB Willis McGahee to a long term deal. McGahee has three years left on his contract that is heavily incentive laden. If he continues at his pace, he would hit many of them and then would want to be paid like a top back. Clayton confirms reports that the Titans are the main team interested in Henry's services.

AP reports the NFL voted to outlaw the horse-collar tackle Tuesday at its annual spring meeting. It had been dubbed the "Roy Williams Rule" because the Cowboys safety had injured four players using that tackling technique in 2004. The measure passed by a 27-5 vote with the Cowboys, Detroit, New England, New Orleans and San Francisco all voting against. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even spoke to the group about his opposition, calling the rule "too vague." Atlanta Falcons GM Rich McKay, the co-chairman of the NFL competition committee, made the presentation to club owners proposing the rule change but bristles when he hears it referred to as the "Roy Williams Rule." "I don't like that because he's a good football player and did absolutely nothing illegal," McKay said of Williams. "The way he tackled and the way he went about getting people down was absolutely legal.

AP reports the Minnesota Vikings have signed ex-Bears PK Paul Edinger to a one-year contract. Edinger, who spent the past five seasons with Chicago, was cut by the Bears earlier this month after they signed veteran PK Doug Brien. Edinger, who signed a $7 million, five-year offer sheet with Minnesota in 2003 that was matched by Chicago, is the most accurate field goal kicker in Bears history with a 75.3 percent success rate. He was drafted in the sixth round by Chicago in 2000 out of Michigan State. Last year, Edinger accumulated a career-low 67 points - making only 15 of 24 field goals. He will compete with PK Aaron Elling in training camp.

AP reports Titans rookie CB Pacman Jones returned to the practice field Tuesday but did not participate. Jones, who has missed the majority of mini camp with tightness in his legs, missed Monday's practice returning from an NFL Rookie event. ''He's doing better, I don't anticipate him being out here Thursday, but we're expecting him to be full speed and ready to go when we come back in June,'' HC Jeff Fisher said.

AP reports that a day after TE Ben Troupe injured his foot, the Tennessee Titans were still looking for answers. Titans HC Jeff Fisher declined Tuesday to reveal what X-rays of Troupe?s left foot showed, but said Troupe will see at least one and perhaps two specialists regarding the injury. In the past, most Titans players who have had serious foot injuries have been examined and surgically repaired by Dr. Robert Anderson of Charlotte, N.C. ?Obviously, it?s more than a sprain, and he wasn?t at practice today. So we?re going to send him out and do some more tests,? Fisher said. Speculation appears to point in the direction of a cracked or broken bone in the foot. If that is the case, then depending upon the severity of the break and the location of the injury, the second-year tight end could miss significant time. ?His season is not in jeopardy,? Fisher said of Troupe. ?Worst-case scenario he?ll start the year for us. It?s not like the others that we?ve dealt with. Until we get all the information, we?re just going to wait.? The Titans will also wait about filling in a roster spot at tight end until they are certain of how much time Troupe will miss. The Nashville Tennessean adds Troupe is scheduled to travel to Charlotte, N.C., tomorrow to see Dr. Robert Anderson, orthopedist for the Carolina Panthers. Anderson has performed surgery on a number of Titans over the years, including DE Bo Schobel, who had surgery last offseason to repair his fractured fifth metatarsal. If Troupe's injury requires surgery, he could miss anywhere from 8-14 weeks. The Titans open the regular season Sept. 11 at Pittsburgh.

AP reports Giants TE Jeremy Shockey, who skipped most of the first two months of the voluntary offseason program, participated in full-team, on-field workouts last week and is expected to do so again this week. The three-day, mandatory minicamp begins June 1.

AP reports the Bears have a chance to get OT L.J. Shelton, whom they were interested in obtaining from Arizona before they signed OT Fred Miller in March. After the Cardinals released him last week, Shelton called the Bears to see if they were interested, and he visited Halas Hall on Tuesday. The Bears see Shelton, a former starting left tackle in Arizona, as a potential starter at right guard and a backup tackle. The Bears aren't searching for a starting tackle, so Shelton, 29, is unlikely to wind up in Chicago unless he can't get assurances of starting elsewhere. He has ties to the Midwest: He was Arizona's first-round pick out of Eastern Michigan in 1999 and has family in Chicago. "He had a good visit with the Bears, and he has a high interest level," agent Vance Larimer said. "Right now we're evaluating opportunities." Shelton will visit Houston and Kansas City this week, Larimer said. St. Louis and Jacksonville may be added next week. Shelton already has visited Buffalo, which also was involved in trade talks for him.

AP reports the Ravens signed S Chris Kelley, a former University of Maryland player whose career was slowed by injuries to both knees. "It's always been in the back of my head to never stop believing," said Kelley, who participated in the Washington Redskins' rookie minicamp last month but was not signed. "Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be in the NFL. I'm glad I got the opportunity to come out here and want to make the best of it. I'm going to get out there, bang some heads and make some plays."

AP reports Browns GM Phil Savage tried to downplay it, but the Browns are definitely in the market to sign free-agent LB Peter Boulware. Savage said Tuesday that a priority for the team as the off-season progresses is to upgrade the pass rush. Right now, Boulware is the best available option. ``He's certainly the most qualified... 67 ? sacks; there's probably nobody else out there that's remotely close to that,'' Savage said as the team's ``passing camp'' finished its second day. The Browns have been in contact with Boulware's agent, Roosevelt Barnes. Boulware has visited the Houston Texans but will not make any more visits until next week. The Browns, the Seattle Seahawks (where Boulware's brother Michael plays safety) and the Cincinnati Bengals are generally thought to be the leading contenders, with folks in Baltimore expecting Boulware to wind up in Cleveland. "Are we in it?'' Savage said. "I don't know. We'll see.''

AP reports RB Jerome Bettis took time after the Steelers' 41-27 loss to New England in the title game to consider retirement. He decided to play one more season, but he had not been on the practice field for the Steelers' first minicamp May 6-8 or the start to their voluntary practices last week. He said he wanted his body to heal from a general beaten-up feeling. Yesterday, he took his turn at halfback and said he felt fine. "It was a good rest," Bettis said, "but now it's time to get back to work."

AP reports S Jerome Woods didn't show Tuesday. ?I expect him, but I do not know when. He has some personal problems and he is working those out," said HC Dick Vermeil. "Sooner or later we expect to see him.? Is that disappointing? ?It?s always disappointing because you know he is such a good guy. He has been here his entire career, but he has some personal problems. It would be nice to be able to help him with those problems, but if you don?t know the problems then you can?t help him with the problems. We will see him, but in this league you go on anyway.? WR Dante Hall was back to practice. Last week Vermeil said he might be out these next few OTAs. Why is he back so early? ?Well, going home and seeing his young little boy must have made him feel a little better. That?s good.? LB Kendrell Bell was held out of some of the team drills today, what is his status? ?He had a little strained groin. WR Craphonso Thorpe had a little strained groin as well.? Any status on OG Brian Waters? ?Nope, no status. I haven?t talked to him." Will LB Kendrell Bell will be back at practice this week? ?I would imagine so. I don?t think it is anything too serious. This time of year you are very, very sensitive to any kind of injuries.?

AP reports free-agent WR Jerry Rice is taking a little extra time deciding whether or not to accept a one-year contract from the Denver Broncos, but that could mean he's leaning toward taking it. Rice is talking over the possibility with his family. There are lot of things that appeal to Rice. The Broncos are a playoff caliber team. They run a West Coast offense. HC Mike Shanahan was an offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers and they had a good relationship there. Rice wanted to make his decision Tuesday, but it's starting to look as though he may say yes. Shanahan remains optimistic.

05-25-2005, 05:45 PM
LOts of news: Bettis getting back to work, works for me.

The brownies can have Boulware, hated him as a ratbird I`ll hate him as a brownie, beside he was good, injuries the last season and a half I`m sure have slowed him down, not to mention he won`t be as much of a threat when he is the only threat.

05-25-2005, 06:08 PM
yep, as long as bettis is healthy, our injured players from last year are back at it, and things are progessing as they should, Im happy.

I know my ex boss was pissed off when pacman jones went down w/ that injury. good to see he'll be back at it soon.

05-26-2005, 06:05 PM
AP reports the San Francisco 49ers held more negotiations with Tom Condon, the agent for top draft pick QB Alex Smith today. Smith, who's participating in organized team activities this week, is close to agreement on a contract expected to be worth more than $57 million. Smith has maintained focus on the field. ?You know what, that is something I am not even thinking about. I hired a guy that I trust, and I know he is going to do a good job. It is something between him and the front office,? Smith said Wednesday. ?Right now I am just trying to pick up as much of this offense and trying to get better everyday out on the football field. So I will find out with you guys; he?ll (Condon) let me know when something is happening, but other than that I am just trying to stay in my playbook.? His contract is rumored to be in the neighborhood of 70 pages long; an impressive number, but one that doesn?t scratch the surface of the 49ers playbook. Smith is absorbing as much of the playbook as he can on a daily basis and is finding success translating that knowledge to the field. ?I still feel a long, long way off. I feel that I am getting in there and competing. I feel that I am handling my own, you know taking reps getting in there and mixing it up with the guys,? Smith said. ?It?s hard learning a brand new system, new terminology, new everything. It is hard to get past just the thinking part of it and get out there and try to make plays, so I?m just trying to manage all that right now.?

AP reports HC Dennis Green announced Wednesday his decision to name QB Kurt Warner as the team?s starting quarterback. ?With our team organized workouts starting up again next week, we?re entering an important phase in our preparation for the 2005 season,? said Green. ?I think it?s important during this time that the leadership of the team is established and Kurt has clearly demonstrated that he?s one of our team leaders. From the day he arrived, that?s been evident by the way he performs on the field, the way he prepares himself, and the way he interacts with his teammates. We?re confident that he?s the right choice to be the starting quarterback and will play a big part in getting this team to the playoffs this year.?

AP reports the Denver Broncos are expected to have a heated competition at running back. The favorite to start is second-year RB Tatum Bell. He has the best speed, but lacks toughness, durability, and ideal receiving skills. Third-round draft pick RB Maurice Clarett could challenge Bell provided he has a good training camp. While Clarett is not fast, he is a powerful downhill runner and fits Denver's system. He could push Bell, but probably not until well into the season. RB Mike Anderson wants the starting job, but he's coming off of a serious groin injury, he's 31 and his receiving skills are suspect. If Anderson doesn't shine in preseason, he could be buried on the bench or might even be released. Former Heisman Trophy winner RB Ron Dayne and RB Quentin Griffin, who is coming back knee surgery, are long shots to contribute this season.

AP reports WR Jerry Rice on Wednesday agreed to a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos, where he is expected to vie for a spot as the team's No. 4 wideout. The financial details of the deal were not immediately available but it is believed that Rice will play at or near the NFL minimum base salary for a player of his tenure. The signing does not guarnatee a roster spot. Rice will have to win it in camp.

AP reports Titans TE Ben Troupe is believed to have a broken bone in his left foot, but HC Jeff Fisher would not confirm that. Fisher did confirm that the injury is worse than initially feared, but said "his season is not in jeopardy." Getting Troupe back in time for the start of the season is in question, however. Troupe is scheduled to travel to Charlotte, N.C., tomorrow to see Dr. Robert Anderson, orthopedist for the Carolina Panthers. Anderson has performed surgery on a number of Titans over the years, including DE Bo Schobel, who had surgery last offseason to repair his fractured fifth metatarsal. If Troupe's injury requires surgery, he could miss anywhere from 8-14 weeks. The Titans open the regular season Sept. 11 at Pittsburgh. Fisher said there's a possibility Troupe could visit another specialist in addition to Anderson. With Troupe out of the mix the Titans are down to three healthy tight ends ? Erron Kinney, Jimmy St. Louis and Ben Hall. Fisher said the Titans could wind up signing another tight end by training camp, which begins July 30.

AP reports Carolina Panthers RB DeShaun Foster will be the likely starter on opening day. However, second-round draft pick RB Eric Shelton is going to get plenty of carries. Foster comes with durability concerns, and he's had problems with fumbles in the past. Foster has excellent speed and explosiveness, but the Panthers don't want him carrying 25 or 30 times a game. Shelton is a power runner, and HC John Fox and OC Dan Henning like to control the clock. Shelton will get a fair amount of carries early on, and that number could increase if Foster struggles with injuries or fumbles.

AP reports Atlanta Falcons second-year WR Michael Jenkins will have a chance to beat out WR Peerless Price for the starting flanker job during training camp. Last season, Jenkins caught only seven passes while backing up WR Dez White at the X-spot. They had him switch positions before minicamp started, and Jenkins has shown improvement in running routes and catching passes. Price's vision problems, caused by an inoperable retinal disorder, might cause a premature end to his career. Price must get better separation and catch more difficult passes in traffic to keep his job. Regardless of production, the Falcons are likely to keep Price this year. While cutting him after June 1 would result in about $322,000 in savings, the amount of dead money in 2006 would total nearly $5,715,000.

AP reports veteran free agent OT L.J. Shelton passed his physical Tuesday morning, but the Bears will have to wait and see if they can sign him at a reasonable price. Kansas City, Jacksonville and Houston also are interested, and the Texans could plug Shelton into his familiar left tackle role almost immediately. The Bears probably would explore playing Shelton at right guard. The Chicago Tribune adds OG Terrence Metcalf and OG Roberto Garza are the Bears' top candidates at right guard. The Bears have moved OT John Tait to left tackle and replaced him on the right side with ORT Fred Miller.

AP reports it doesn't look like it will take CB R.W. McQuarters long to find work. McQuarters, released by the Bears this week, is expected to visit the Washington Redskins, who already have CB Shawn Springs, first-round pick CB Carlos Rogers and ex-Bear CB Walt Harris at cornerback. He also could fill punt-returning duties as the Redskins are going to cut ties with KR Chad Morton and might not want to use WR Santana Moss in that role.

05-26-2005, 06:06 PM
AP reports if the Titans are able to strike a deal with the Buffalo Bills for RB Travis Henry, it would make one important person happy: owner Bud Adams. "We're interested in Henry,'' Adams said yesterday from the NFL Meetings in Washington, D.C. "He wants to get out of Buffalo. We think he has a lot of ability. We think he has four good years left. Because of where he went to college I think he'd be real popular with the fans. "I think he'd be a real good addition.'' The Titans and Bills first began discussing a trade involving the former University of Tennessee star during last month's NFL Draft, and the two sides continued dialogue on the subject into last week. The Bills haven't moved away from their demand for a third-round pick in next year's draft in exchange for Henry. So far the Titans haven't been willing to go that high. They offered a fifth-round pick for Henry on draft day. With Titans GM Floyd Reese currently out of town, talks with the Bills will probably be on hold for a bit. Henry has only has one year remaining on his current contract with the Bills, so the Titans would likely have to extend his deal as part of a trade. As for the Titans re-signing RB Eddie George, the franchise's all-time leading rusher, Adams didn't sound nearly as optimistic. "Well, I'm not sure,'' Adams said. "Anything is a possibility.''

AP reports moments after the sale of the Minnesota Vikings was approved, the general partner of the team's new ownership Wednesday, Ziggy Wilf, ended speculation that the team is among those that could relocate to Los Angeles. The inability to get public money for a new or renovated stadium prompted Red McCombs to sell the team. And Wilf said he would seek public funding to help build a stadium for the Vikings. But he also rejected the idea that he would move the team to another city under any circumstances. The Vikings had been mentioned along with the Saints, the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills as the clubs most likely to move to Los Angeles if the NFL fills the market with an existing team rather than an expansion team.

AP reports WR Peter Warrick (knee, leg) is still with the uncleared of LB Nate Webster (knee), LB Landon Johnson (shoulder), LB Khalid Abdullah (ankle), CB Rashad Bauman (Achilles), and RB Kenny Watson (leg) and RB Chris Perry (sports hernia). Warrick says he's not sure if he'll go in the mandatory mini. WR Chad Johnson returned this week after an arthroscopic surgery house-cleaning on his ankle. Webster still thinks he'll be ready by training camp. The Bengals can't reach an injury settlement with him because he got hurt last season. If they don't want to pay him his $1.5 million salary but keep him around, they could re-negotiate down his deal and give him incentives in lieu of releasing him. If they don't think he's ready for training camp, they could put him on the physically unable to perform list (PUP), meaning he couldn't practice at all at camp or until the seventh week of the regular season: "He'll be ready when Nate is ready," Lewis said.

AP reports despite his experience, veteran WR Ike Hilliard isn't taking anything for granted. The former Gators star, who spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Giants before signing a one-year deal, said he doesn't expect to be handed a starting spot. "That's up to Coach (Jon) Gruden and the way I perform in training camp," Hilliard said. "I'm looking forward to hopefully finishing my career here, but if I don't play well, there are 12 guys in camp at receiver." Thus far, things are going well. Hilliard still is getting acclimated to his new environment, meeting everybody and learning the playbook, but he isn't exactly lost. During two seasons with the Giants, the team ran an offense similar to Gruden's under OC Sean Payton. "That's when I had most of my success," Hilliard said.

05-26-2005, 09:04 PM
Ty Law: Browns Interested
RotoWire.com Staff - RotoWire.com

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Update:*The Browns are interested in acquiring Law, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Recommendation:*Head coach Romeo Crennel said he would like to bring in Law, the four-time Pro Bowl defender, for a visit to the Browns. The former Patriot is coming off of an injury-plagued 2004 season in which a foot injury forced him to miss the final 12 games, including the team's Super Bowl victory.

Updated on Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:27 pm EDT

05-27-2005, 06:02 AM
I would think a player like Law would likely use a Cleve as a last chance team. He has a ytaste for winning, then to finish up there??? We`ll see if Romeo can pull it off.

05-27-2005, 11:17 AM
Head coach Romeo Crennel said he would like to bring in Law, the four-time Pro Bowl defender, for a visit to the Browns.

I might lose a little respect for Romeo to bring in a former player like that. I understand that Browns need help everywhere, but bringing in one of your old guys could point to not winning over the current troops, or again pointing that the Browns don't want to establish their own identity. They just want to be NE wearing Browns uni's. Case in point mad props to Mike Nolan who flat out told Jerry Rice don't bother. We're good. No thanks. We are moving on. It shows he does have a plan, a vision, a philosophy of not living in the past or on old players. I think Romeo would have learned it in NE that having others step up in place of recognized veterans is key in today's game. Will continue to watch though...

05-27-2005, 12:39 PM
Thumbs up ICC. Good call

05-27-2005, 01:11 PM
AP reports in another sign he intends to return to the NFL, RB Ricky Williams, who retired last summer after failing a third drug test, has requested to be reinstated in the league's drug-testing program, a source said. The program would be a requirement of Williams' reinstatement and includes being subject to as many as 10 tests a month. Participants have to inform program administrators if they plan to leave town, because players can be contacted about tests taking place within hours. After the NFL owners' meeting concluded Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Williams is free to return as long as he meets the league's requirements. "I think he's going to have to live with the policies we have in place that we have collectively bargained," Tagliabue said. "He's got to make some decisions about what he wants to do." It's unclear whether the Dolphins would keep Williams on the roster or trade him.

AP reports Cleveland Browns TE Kellen Winslow apologized to Browns fans on Thursday for his reckless use of a motorcycle and confirmed that he will miss the upcoming season because of injuries sustained in the crash. Winslow tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and suffered unspecified internal injuries on May 1 when he wrecked his high-powered motorcycle while attempting tricks in a secluded parking lot near his home. For the first time since the crash, Winslow confirmed that he will miss his second season as a pro and acknowledged that it was a mistake to take up motorcycle riding. "To those members of the Cleveland Browns family who I have disappointed by my decision to ride a motorcycle, I humbly apologize," Winslow said in the statement. "In hindsight it was unwise to attempt to learn to ride a motorcycle without a professional instructor in a controlled environment. While many of you are disappointed that I will not be on the field with my teammates for this upcoming season, no one is more disappointed in this fact than me." Winslow did not indicate if he will seek a second medical opinion on his knee.

AP reports RB Jamal Lewis will report to a halfway house in Atlanta - and not Baltimore - after his release from federal prison next Thursday, the running back's attorney said yesterday. Ravens officials recently said there had been indications that the 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year could serve his two months at a halfway house in Baltimore and expressed disappointment he would not rejoin the team sooner. By being relegated to Atlanta until Aug. 2, Lewis will finish rehabilitating his surgically repaired ankle away from the Ravens' facility, miss two full-team minicamps and report to training camp three days late. Lewis is in his final days of a four-month sentence for pleading guilty to using a cell phone to arrange a drug deal in 2000. He will leave the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Fla., on June 2, two days ahead of his previously scheduled release date.

AP reports OL Ross Verba stated after last season ended that he wanted a new contract from the Browns. Now he's not taking part in on-field activities at the team's voluntary ``passing camp.'' That is Verba's way of demonstrating to the team how unhappy he is with his deal, said a source close to the situation. Verba is not absent from the facility. Another source said the offensive lineman comes in on his own to work out. The day after the 2004 season, Verba said this about his contract: ``I did them a favor. Now it's time for them to show me some respect and love. If they don't then I'll move on.'' He added he wanted a five- or six-year deal worth a minimum of $30 million.

AP reports for the City Paper that Titans TE Ben Troupe underwent surgery in Charlotte on Thursday to repair a broken fifth metatarsal bone in his injured left foot. He suffered the injury in practice Monday and had the foot placed in a walking boot. The Titans are quite familiar with the fifth metatarsal injury, as it is the same injury that cost DE Jevon Kearse three months after breaking his left foot on opening day in 2002. Kearse later had bone graft surgery after the season. Last year, rookie DE Bo Schobel broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot during a June mini-camp. That injury kept Schobel out of action until Nov. 29 last year, when he was restored to the 53-man roster. ?The timetable is up in the air ? but ? he?s not going to miss any time during the regular season,? Fisher said. ?It?s not as extreme or as severe as the last two cases we?ve dealt with, so he should be back sooner than both Bo and Jevon.?

AP reports Titans HC Jeff Fisher said he is pleased with the way the rookies and veterans have come together at the end of the two week mini-camp. ??We actually chart everything that takes place on the field,?? Fisher said. ??And this group has obviously learned to practice together much sooner than some of the groups in the past because our altercation numbers are way down this year.?? Fisher said he wanted the team to focus on protecting each other, which may have led to a few skirmishes. ??You encourage them to protect each other,?? Fisher said. ??But it gets so competitive sometimes that the guys are getting legs tangled.?? While only RB Chris Brown and TE Ben Troupe were injured during the two-week practices, Fisher said that he knows that injuries are inevitable. He has started preparing players like LB Rob Reynolds to cover several different positions.

AP reports Chiefs OG Will Shields, a 10-time Pro Bowl guard who?s 14 months younger, is at home resting his arthritic knees. OT Willie Roaf is gingerly moving around the weight room. He?s 35, he?s been to 10 Pro Bowls, and he?s also gotten the same advice from the Chiefs? coaches: Stay off your feet, until at least July. As the Chiefs wrapped up their second week of offseason workouts Thursday, the offensive line did a quick jog up a hill outside the practice fields. Perhaps they did a quick roll call on the way down. OG Brian Waters, a veteran guard who made his first Pro Bowl in 2004, also missed the first two weeks of workouts. But Waters? absence has nothing to do with time, or any apparent injury, and it has been speculated that he may be staying away because of contract issues. Waters, a sixth-year guard, hasn?t returned phone calls to The Star. He hasn?t talked to HC Dick Vermeil, who hoped to hear from him by the time workouts resumed in two weeks. ?I?d like to believe he?ll be here,? Vermeil said. ?I kind of believe it.? Whatever happens, Vermeil isn?t worried. He said Shields and Roaf will be ready in the fall because for 13 years, they always have. Shields considered retirement this winter and then told Vermeil last month he?d be back.

AP reports free-agent LB Peter Boulware, who played for DC Marvin Lewis with the Ravens, was released and appears headed for Cleveland or Seattle. A source told The Enquirer on Wednesday that there has not been and would not be a Boulware visit to Cincinnati. "Peter obviously has been a fine player," HC Marvin Lewis said after the on-field coaching session Wednesday, "someone we obviously know well. Let's just leave it at that."

AP reports Browns HC Romeo Crennel said Wednesday he remains interested in CB Ty Law, a first-round pick of the Patriots in 1995. ?He knows how I feel about him,? said Crennel, who coached Law in New England for four years. ?I don?t think there?s any question how he feels about me.? Law, 30, missed the latter part of the 2004 season with a broken foot, which kept him from landing the big contract he craved in the 2005 free agency period. ?His injury situation will have to be resolved,? Crennel said. ?I?ve heard he?s running straight ahead.?

05-27-2005, 01:13 PM
AP reports Browns RB Reuben Droughns, who was prepared to hold out, is participating in passing camp and HC Romeo Crennel is pleased. "He's shown a good attitude, he's been working and taking his reps and he's been trying to do it right," Crennel said. "We'll see. You never can tell, but so far it's been good." He said running backs coach Dave Atkins called Droughns while he was back in Denver and told him the Browns wanted him in Cleveland, but Crennel didn't know if that was instrumental in his return.

AP AP reports OT L.J. Shelton is looking for a place to revive his career. Shelton wrapped up a two-day visit with the Houston Texans on Thursday, continuing a free-agent tour that began after the Cardinals released the former first-round pick last week. "This is a great organization. I like what I see so far," Shelton said during a tour of the Texans' facilities. "I have to weigh all my options. I'm kind of waiting to see what happens." Shelton, selected No. 21 in the 1999 draft out of Eastern Michigan, has already visited the Chicago Bears and has a trip set for Kansas City later in the week. Jacksonville is also believed to be interested. Shelton's agent, Vance Larimer, has said his client would like to make a decision by the end of next week.

AP reports free agent CB R.W. McQuarters left Redskins Park without a contract yesterday. HC Joe Gibbs said the Redskins will continue negotiations with McQuarters. Also the Bucs have expressed a desire to meet with free-agent CB R.W. McQuarters. McQuarters, who was released this week by the Bears, finished up two days of meetings with the Redskins on Thursday and is expected to meet with the Giants either this weekend or early next week. Should he not sign with the Redskins or Giants, McQuarters likely will begin a tour of Florida teams, including the Bucs, next week.

AP reports the New Orleans Saints thought they had a good shot to land WR Troy Brown. One problem: His wife supposedly told him either he plays in New England or he retires. The Saints offered Brown more money -- $1.2 million for this season on a multiyear deal to $800,000 from the Patriots -- but Brown decided to stay put with the world champs. For that monetary difference, it's hard to argue with his decision. He also signed a promotional deal with a New England bank that will help make up for the lost money. This was a no-brainer for Brown. The word around the league is the Patriots plan to use Brown more as a defensive back than a receiver. That makes sense since the receiving corps is so deep with players who are much faster than Brown. The addition of WR David Terrell is one that will really pay dividends, which is why Brown could see more time on the defensive side of the ball.

05-27-2005, 04:08 PM

I don't get your point at all. Law can either still play, or he can't. If he can, he's a good guy to have around. He may be a loner, but he loves to win. Bringing a winner into that organization will only help.

05-27-2005, 04:40 PM
My question is, why would he want to go. He is to far along in hus career to just teach winning to a 3-13 team, that shows no sign of improving this year

05-27-2005, 05:22 PM
One reason he might do it is because he's damaged goods right now. He might think that if he signs a one year deal, plays well, he can then get back in the hunt for bigger money.

05-27-2005, 05:28 PM
I should add, that if he feels good, and he can begin to cut without pain, he should give the Steelers a call. That's what I'd do. But, maybe he isn't that confident. Times ticking away, and he still can only run straight ahead.

05-27-2005, 06:07 PM
Hw, to answer your good questions. I don't think he wants to pull a Parcels and bring a Drew Bledsoe everywhere he goes. Just saying sometimes in sports you sever ties. Phil Jackson never hounded Jordan to come away from the wizards to play for him. You just move on. Yes the browns have had bad luck with draft choices, but this team needs new, young players for the team to identify with. They need to stop plugging fingers in the dike and address their identity. Give up 200 yards rushing a game last year, so lets sign a aging/hurt CB.:rolleyes: Not saying you can't add some older veterans for stability, but my brain says Law would be a bad fit in Cleve. I might be wrong.

05-27-2005, 07:38 PM

You're right in that Ty Law is a thoroughbred, and like most thoroughbreds, he's hard to handle. But, Romeo knows that.

You're right to in that he can't carbon copy the Patriots. But, Romeo knows that also.

What has to be done in Cleveland is that the entire franchise, fans, press, etc., has to begin to see that team do things to other teams that they are only used to seeing done to them.

There has to be a total reversal. One way to do that is to bring in a player, or two, who plays with a completely different attitude, and with a completely different style. It's like shock therapy. All of a sudden everybody is seeing an experienced player who hasn't been contaminated by the situation in Cleveland. Then you begin to see other players thinking, hey, wait, we can do this to.

Now, is Law ideal for that role? No. He isn't a great looker room leader. But, if healthy, he's so good on the field, it may not matter.

Then, after a few years of using that method, Romeo's draft picks, and free-agent pick ups, will begin to represent the mold he wants to go forward with.

05-27-2005, 08:11 PM
One reason he might do it is because he's damaged goods right now. He might think that if he signs a one year deal, plays well, he can then get back in the hunt for bigger money.

This would make sense! I could see that!

05-27-2005, 11:04 PM
Yeah he's batting 1000 right now.. a 1st round draft pick who will barely have played in 2 years, and now has to pay back some of his money, a FA RB who's gonna hold out, Trent Dilfer for a QB, ...sorry, but I'll reserve my praises for him, for now.

05-28-2005, 06:13 AM
I`ll be honest I would have never hired Romeo myself, I like starting fresh with a young head coach that can stick it out for the long haul, years and years. Nothing against Romeo I`m sure he was one of the smartest coaches around, but how come it took so long to get picked up.

05-31-2005, 01:18 AM
You're right to in that he can't carbon copy the Patriots. But, Romeo knows that also.
What has to be done in Cleveland is that the entire franchise, fans, press, etc., has to begin to see that team do things to other teams that they are only used to seeing done to them.
There has to be a total reversal. One way to do that is to bring in a player, or two, who plays with a completely different attitude, and with a completely different style. It's like shock therapy. All of a sudden everybody is seeing an experienced player who hasn't been contaminated by the situation in Cleveland. Then you begin to see other players thinking, hey, wait, we can do this to.
Now, is Law ideal for that role? No. He isn't a great looker room leader. But, if healthy, he's so good on the field, it may not matter.
Then, after a few years of using that method, Romeo's draft picks, and free-agent pick ups, will begin to represent the mold he wants to go forward with.

This is the point. With Cleveland you can't do it this way. New coach fro NE. New player from NE. All those Browns players are sick of seeing anything NE related. While glad to see Romeo, I'm sure he doesn't wear his rings around the complex. Its too much, too fast. Esp. since Law is rehabbing. You are telling me a Law on rehab is better than say the Browns incumbant CB#2? That is basically what he is saying. The guys he has are not good enough. What would have happended to Del Rio if he had brought a bunch of Ravens down there? He has to take the pass on Law or else he is just throwing Law a bone, and his coaching pedigree out the window. And if Law is so good, why isn't NE keeping him? Romeo was par t of the group that said he wasn't good enough for NE, oh wait but he's the best thing since sliced bread in Cleve? As a Steeler fan I hope it does happen then blows up big. As a manager/chef, I see it as trouble. Agree to disagree if you like.

05-31-2005, 08:52 AM
I agree with ICC.

Crenell can't bring his old players from NE to Cleveland.He brought Andruzzi over,fine,the Browns O-line NEEDED Andruzzi.But he can't just start bringing in guys from his old team,it won't work.It's plugging holes,and that'll make people NOT wanna come to the team in the future.

However,bring Law in would have it's advantages.Law knows Romeo's system,and can teach it to the Browns players.He's an excellent CB,and I am sure the secondary in Cleveland can learn some things just from watching him.Though I don't think he can shut down a side of the field,I think a QB would still be timid to throw to his side of the field.

But,like I said before,I think it's a bad idea.Like ICC said,the Browns need thier own identity,not New England's.

05-31-2005, 10:59 AM
"And if Law is so good, why isn't NE keeping him? Romeo was par t of the group that said he wasn't good enough for NE, oh wait but he's the best thing since sliced bread in Cleve?"

First of all, nobody knows what Ty Law is now. It's all if he can get healthy again. Secondly, Ty Law's departure from the Patriots had nothing to do with how good he was, or wasn't. A) He burned that bridge. B) He wanted too much money. Third, you take what the free agent market gives you. What team they come from is irrelevant.

05-31-2005, 12:35 PM
Never seen anyone defend two people not on their team quite so much?

05-31-2005, 03:14 PM
I do agree with HW here :o but how does Romeo even know if Law is the best thing since sliced bread, if he still can`t run yet????

05-31-2005, 05:11 PM
I'll agree w/ HW here as well, damn I cant believe Im saying that :rolleyes: but yes, law's departure was being a cap casualty and that he wanted WAY too much money and burned bridges..but obviously not too bad for them to even consider bringing him back or any of their former coaches new team.

I sure as hell wouldnt be offering him the world to come play though.. even if he is healed, he aint no spring chicken no more to warrant any mega deal contracts.

05-31-2005, 06:28 PM
Damn Blitz, we both agreed with HW. We must be getting Soft!

06-01-2005, 11:49 AM
law's departure was being a cap casualty and that he wanted WAY too much money and burned bridges..but obviously not too bad for them to even consider bringing him back or any of their former coaches new team.

This is my point. If you are with NE you view him as not worth the money. Then you get to Cleveland and start thinking he is worth the money? As for sliced bread, its funny how he is expendable in NE but could be the missing puzzle piece in Cleveland? Maybe like the whole helmet issue I'm stuck on my side of the fence on this one guys.

06-04-2005, 06:02 PM
AP reports Cleveland Browns OT L.J. Shelton will report to the Browns passing camp as soon as possible, perhaps as early as Monday, June 6, according to his agent Eric Metz. With OT Ross Verba boycotting the passing camp, Shelton could get immediate work as the starting left tackle. "It's up for the Browns to disclose their plans for him," Metz said. OT Ross Verba responded to the team's signing of OT L.J. Shelton by asking the Browns to cut him. "That's great," said Verba when informed Friday, June 3 about Shelton. "Now they have a left tackle and hopefully they'll cut me. Please cut me now!" Verba has been threatening to sit out the season without a new contract. Browns general manager Phil Savage has already said that he has no plans to redo Verba's deal. "They obviously don't want to pay me what I'm worth, so why don't they just freaking cut me?" Verba said by phone. "They don't even return my agents' phone calls. To be disrespected like that is total B.S." Verba said he'll be happy to stay in Cleveland if the Browns give him the money he deserves. "If not, I'm man enough to walk away with my head held high."

AP reports injured Cleveland Browns TE Kellen Winslow Jr. made his first public appearance since his motorcycle crash, and his father used the occasion Friday night to lambaste the media for its coverage of the accident. The 21-year-old Winslow tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he wrecked his high-powered motorcycle May 1 while doing tricks in a secluded parking lot near his home. He will miss all of next season. Winslow Jr., who missed 14 games as a rookie with a broken right leg, will undergo surgery in the next few weeks. Shortly after arriving at an auction and roast celebrating the Browns' 1964 NFL championship team, the former first-round pick, who didn't limp, said he didn't want to talk to waiting reporters. "No," he said politely. "I'm good." Kellen Winslow Sr., who drove his son to the event and escorted him into the hotel, initially said he would not comment, either. However, a few hours later, the Hall of Famer changed his mind. The former San Diego Chargers star angrily accused the media of turning the younger Winslow's accident and recovery into a spectacle. "I'm disappointed in the way you guys have handled it. Twenty-one-year-old people make mistakes," he said. "He made a mistake. You made it a circus. Remember when you were 21? A human being at 21 makes mistakes. He's not a piece of property." Winslow Sr. was asked if he expected his son to make a full recovery. "It's a long career," he said. "I played nine years in the National Football League. Technically, I played six years - two strikes, two major injuries and I came out OK. We look at it as a long-term career.

AP reports Green Bay Packers rookie QB Aaron Rodgers has been up and down with his performances at the team's current minicamp. He's already gotten plenty of chances to show what he can do at quarterback because QB Brett Favre was excused from minicamp. Although he enjoyed a few bright spots, it was mostly an uphill battle as Rodgers did his best to display his physical tools despite having a very limited grasp of Green Bay's complicated system. "He's overwhelmed by the offense," head coach Mike Sherman said. "You have to understand our offense is an accumulation of a lot of years, and we're constantly challenging a 15-year veteran with our offense and everybody else has to learn what he knows. It's a lot of stuff." At practice Friday, June 3, he struggled at times throwing downfield, held onto the football too long other times and also fumbled after pulling away from the center too quickly. Rodgers has a long way to go if he wants to come out of training camp as the team's No. 2 quarterback.

AP reports contract talks between the San Francisco 49ers and rookie QB Alex D. Smith have broken down and the two sides do not appear close to a deal. A person familiar with the situation said that Smith's agent, Tom Condon, is "taking a moon shot" in trying to land Smith a deal even more lucrative than the one the Giants gave last year's No. 1 overall pick, QB Eli Manning. Both sides are doing their jobs, but it does not look as if it is going to be an easy contract to get done.

AP reports the Tennessee Titans would like to add a veteran, free agent tight end to their roster. One player it won't be is free agent TE Ken Dilger (Buccaneers). His agent said he doesn't see Dilger playing for Tennessee.

AP reports free agent LB Peter Boulware (Ravens) completed his visit with the Seattle Seahawks Friday, June 3. The Seahawks want him to fill the pass-rushing role that LB Chad Brown used to fill. Whether or not Boulware sees himself in that role will be a key to his signing with Seattle or walking away from Seattle. Boulware departed to discuss his options with his agents, Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes. Joining the Seahawks is appealing to Boulware because it would provide him with the opportunity to play with his younger brother, S Michael Boulware. Boulware also has visited the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns, and drawn interest from several other teams.

AP reports Rams S Adam Archuleta, who ended the '04 season with a herniated disc in his back, was cleared to participate in mini-camp practices and took part in both workouts Friday.

AP reports Carolina Panthers LB Dan Morgan is excited about the team's defense for the 2005 season. Morgan said that he expects the Panthers' defense to play better than it ever has, even better than in 2003 when it ranked eighth overall in the NFL and helped the Panthers get to the Super Bowl. "The way I think we're looking on defense right now I think we can dominate every game, no matter who we're playing or how good the offense is that we're facing," Morgan said. "I just think we've got that kind of defense. I think it's going to be hard to score on us. I think we're going to have a real good defense." Morgan took time to discuss the positive changes in the secondary and acknowledged the defense looks good all across the board.

AP reports Denver Broncos RB Quentin Griffin (knee) is working with the team on a limited basis daily. He continues to get back to speed from the torn ACL incurred last October 25. "He's just starting to come back," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's just been practicing the last day or two; he's starting to get a feel for things. He's not in any team drills, but he's in individual drills. I should say that by July camp, he should be back to full speed."

AP reports New York Giants WR Plaxico Burress wants to be used as a downfield threat and from he's seen so far in minicamp that should not be a problem. "We definitely have plays in our playbook that get me downfield," the team's newest starting receiver said after the conclusion of a three-day minicamp in which he regularly went deep. "I would say that was one of the reasons they brought me here." Burress feels QB Eli Manning has the strongest arm of anyone who has thrown him passes. "I have a lot of faith in him and confidence he's going to be one of the great ones," Burress said. Coach Tom Coughlin said Burress brings a "very different look."

AP reports the Bucs cannot sign another player, including their draft picks, without cutting someone. They are expected to cut a couple veterans to make room on the roster and salary cap for those draft picks. The Bucs' payroll is currently $2.049 million under the league's $85.5 million cap. They have been allotted $6.037 million for their draft picks, so they need to create approximately $4 million of cap space to sign them. Todd Steussie, Charlie Garner, Matt Stinchcomb and Kenyatta Walker are among the players who could be cut as the Bucs attempt to clear that space.

AP reports Friday morning's practice, the first of a pair of two-hour workouts on the first of three days of mini-camp at Rams Park, marked the unofficial kickoff for HC Mike Martz's sixth season as head coach. It was a mediocre beginning, he said. "Overall, I thought it was OK," he said. "We're not as sharp in any of the phases that we need to be, but it's the first practice of the '05 season. At least we've got a starting point." In attendance but not participating as they recover from surgery were OL Adam Timmerman, OL Grant Williams and rookie OL Richie Incognito. OL Scott Tercero became dehydrated in the morning session and sat out the second practice.

AP reports Bills RB Willis McGahee has missed the first two weeks of organized team activities. Like several other former University of Miami players, he is working out at his old school where the training program is considered very rigorous. His agent said that McGahee will join the team for next week's OTAs. Also missing as the week ended were Eric Moulds, Travis Henry, Lawrence Smith, Uyi Osunde, and Aaron Schobel. Remaining out with injuries were Mark Campbell, Tim Euhus, Kevin Thomas, Kahlil Hill, Ben Sobieski, and Ross Tucker.

06-05-2005, 07:23 AM
Speaking of Winslow, his dad has issues also. He did atleast prove himself on the field. But he has way to much attitude.

06-07-2005, 02:15 PM
AP reports the NFL has suspended Minnesota Vikings RB Onterrio Smith for the entire 2005 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The announcement had been expected for several weeks, ever since Vikings HC Mike Tice suspended Smith indefinitely following an embarrassing run-in at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Smith was stopped April 21 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after his bag set off a screening device. A search found several vials of dried urine and "The Original Whizzinator,'' which is marketed as a way to beat drug tests. Smith told police the gear was for his cousin. He wasn't charged by police, and the NFL has said possession of the device alone isn't enough to violate league drug policies. The NFL's news release did not give a specific reason for Smith's suspension. Smith was expected to battle for the starting running back job with RB Michael Bennett and RB Mewelde Moore after leading the team in rushing in 2004. Smith missed four games last season for violating the league's drug policy, and had two strikes against him before the latest violation. The third strike in the program comes with an automatic one-year suspension.

AP reports according to police, Redskins FS Sean Taylor fired no shots in Wednesday night's incident in southern Dade County, a crucial fact given Florida's stiff mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes. The fact Taylor didn't fire any shots could be crucial because of Florida's "10-20-Life" law. By not discharging the weapon, Taylor could face a mandatory minimum sentence of just three years rather than 20. The "10-20-Life" law was instituted in 1999 as part of Gov. Jeb Bush's effort to get tough on crime. The law set minimum sentences of 10 years if a gun is present when certain crimes are committed, 20 years if the gun is fired and 25 years to life if someone is shot. Taylor is subject to the "10" level, but aggravated assault is one of three crimes that qualifies for just a three-year minimum sentence. The loophole closes at the "20" level, meaning he could have faced 17 more years in jail if he had fired the gun, even if the shots went nowhere near the victims. Meanwhile, two sources familiar with the investigation said there is a second phase of the case in which Taylor is the apparent victim. In the first phase, according to police, Taylor pointed a gun at two victims and physically assaulted one. Subsequently, sources said, there was a retaliation in which shots were fired at Taylor. Detective Mary Walters of the Miami-Dade County Police Department, who confirmed Taylor did not fire his gun, declined comment on the second phase of the case. It was unclear when police might release information in connection to the shooting. The two pieces of information uncovered yesterday helped clear up some of the uncertainties that lingered in the wake of Taylor's arrest Saturday night on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, a third-degree felony, and one count of simple battery, a first-degree misdemeanor. Taylor is scheduled to be arraigned June 24, five days after the Redskins conclude minicamp, the final element of their offseason workout program. HC Joe Gibbs said Taylor has been excused for the remainder of the workout program. The move was somewhat superficial, considering Taylor hadn't shown up for the program or even talked to Gibbs this offseason, but the team seemingly wanted to make clear that Taylor has no Redskins commitments for the foreseeable future.

AP reports the Jacksonville Jaguars have quietly discussed a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for RB Shaun Alexander. The return price for Alexander is a third-round draft pick. The strange part, according to Schefter, is the Jaguars are the ones balking at the deal. Right now, they're not willing to pay the Seahawks or Alexander. The Jaguars, if they made the trade, would get themselves valuable insurance for RB Fred Taylor. His health status still remains cloudy.

AP reports Washington Redskins S Sean Taylor has put his bonus in serious question for questionable behavior off the field. Taylor has $10.475 million worth of signing and option bonus payments, including a $3.32 million bonus payment not yet paid and due in April 2006. There is a chance that bonus could be withheld given his arrest this weekend. Taylor's contract has specific default language that could wind up costing him. If he is convicted, and unable to report to the Redskins, he would be in a position where he could lost even more money.

AP reports Dolphins HC Nick Saban and new GM Randy Mueller were not available for questions Monday but issued statements through the team. ''I am looking forward to my responsibilities with the Dolphins,'' Mueller said. ``This is one of the great franchises in the NFL with an unmatched tradition of success, and it's going to be special for me to be a part of that legacy. Beginning with Wayne Huizenga, the organization is well-known for being first class in every respect, and I know everyone here is committed to working together for the long-term success of the franchise.'' Said Saban: ``He is respected throughout the league and has a strong background in player personnel. He will help us in our continuing efforts to build a team that will not only achieve success, but sustain it on a long-term basis.'' Mueller agreed to a three-year deal worth approximately $750,000 annually. Unlike when he was in New Orleans, Mueller will not have final say on personnel issues with the Dolphins. That power lies with Saban.

AP reports Rams OT Kyle Turley has failed a physical exam administered in Arizona, where he had been rehabbing the back injury that cost him the entire 2004 season, and has been released. Officially, Turley was designated as "waived - failed physical," which means the Rams owe him $250,000 but that the effect on the salary cap is the same as if he simply had been released. The "hit" is $1.82 million this year and $5.47 million in 2006.

AP reports the Washington Redskins have signed free agent WR Kevin Dyson (Chargers) to an undisclosed contract.

AP reports for the City Paper that Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese has downplayed the seriousness of the Titans? pursuit of RB Travis Henry, but with RB Chris Brown out with a broken hand and fifth-round pick RB Damien Nash missing time after arthroscopic knee surgery, the lack of depth at running back continues to be a major concern for Tennessee. When the Titans concluded their May organized team activities, undrafted rookies RB Walter Reyes and RB Terry Jackson were running atop the depth chart. QB Steve McNair is one who would welcome the addition of Henry, if the Titans were to land him in a deal with the Bills. ?I feel like he would be a good addition to the team and take a little bit of the pressure off of Chris,? McNair said. ?But if not, Chris can handle the load. As an offense, we?ve just got to stay healthy and stay within our right frame of mind. If [the trade] happens, great. But if not, life goes on and we have to continue to get better and improve this offense some kind of way.? Various reports have had the Bills seeking at least a third-round pick for Henry, something the Titans would be reluctant to do without at least a contract extension, as Henry is in the final year of his contract.

AP reports DE Bryce Fisher and CB Andre Dyson, free-agent additions, practiced with the Seahawks for the first time Monday. Fisher missed the post-draft mini-camp because of foot surgery, while Dyson was on his honeymoon. Dyson worked at left corner with the No. 1 defense. Fisher was at left end with the No. 2 defense. The Seattle Times adds QB Seneca Wallace (illness) was absent Monday, as was OT Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, who is dealing with a family matter in his native Mississippi but should be back when it is resolved. RB Shaun Alexander is not attending the Seahawks current mini-camp. He has not participated in team functions since being given a $6.32 million tender when named the franchise player in February. "He has to sign the tender before we can negotiate a long-term deal. He wants a long-term deal, but won't sign the tender," said HC Mike Holmgren, who talked to Alexander last Friday. "It's like 'Catch-22.' "

AP reports for the City Paper that Tennessee Titans GM Floyd Reese has downplayed the seriousness of the Titans? pursuit of RB Travis Henry, but with RB Chris Brown out with a broken hand and fifth-round pick RB Damien Nash missing time after arthroscopic knee surgery, the lack of depth at running back continues to be a major concern for Tennessee. When the Titans concluded their May organized team activities, undrafted rookies RB Walter Reyes and RB Terry Jackson were running atop the depth chart. QB Steve McNair is one who would welcome the addition of Henry, if the Titans were to land him in a deal with the Bills. ?I feel like he would be a good addition to the team and take a little bit of the pressure off of Chris,? McNair said. ?But if not, Chris can handle the load. As an offense, we?ve just got to stay healthy and stay within our right frame of mind. If the trade happens, great. But if not, life goes on and we have to continue to get better and improve this offense some kind of way.? Various reports have had the Bills seeking at least a third-round pick for Henry, something the Titans would be reluctant to do without at least a contract extension, as Henry is in the final year of his contract.

06-07-2005, 02:17 PM
AP reports Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, CB David Macklin and CB Antrel Rolle worked together for about 30 minutes after Monday's practice. Fitzgerald said the three gave each other tips on what to look for in opponents' route-running and pass-coverage tendencies. "Anything I can do to help them and what they can do to help me, we're all going to be up for it," Fitzgerald said. "We all got to be ready for Sept. 11 (the Cardinals' first regular-season game)."

AP reports Steelers RB Jerome Bettis believes he's building momentum toward what likely will be his 13th and final season in the NFL. "I feel OK," Bettis said after practice yesterday. "I mean, I know I'm older now, I feel it more, but I feel good." Bettis, 33, announced in March that he would return to play this season after contemplating retirement for a month. He issued a qualifier, though, that he would play only if there were no "setbacks" this spring. To help guard against any, he did not participate in the May 6-8 mini-camp that kicked off spring drills. But he joined teammates in practice May 24 and has experienced no problems since then. "I'm where I thought I'd be," Bettis said. "I knew where it would be I wasn't going to play like a spring chicken. I knew that was the price I would have to pay, so I'm comfortable with that." Bettis concedes the starting halfback job to RB Duce Staley, who opened last season as the starting tailback and rushed for 707 yards after seven games before a hamstring injury ruined the second half of his season.

AP reports the holdup with CB Deion Sanders is more of a logistical problem than a medical one. His physical at the Ravens' training complex could not be completed because the surgeon who performed minor work on a toe on Sanders' left foot this offseason is not in the area. The results of Sanders' magnetic resonance imaging test were sent overnight to his doctor, who will discuss them this morning with Leigh Ann Curl, the team's chief orthopedic surgeon. The Ravens are likely taking a cautious approach with the 37-year-old cornerback, and a team official said this snag is not any cause for concern. Once the Ravens have medically cleared Sanders, the seven-time Pro Bowl defender will sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract that could balloon to $4 million with playing-time incentives. Sanders left the Ravens' complex yesterday without comment.

AP reports Giants secondary coach Ron Milus said the three-way competition between S Brent Alexander, S Shaun Williams and S Gibril Wilson for the two starting safety spots will be settled in training camp. "We started minicamp with Brent and Gibril as our two primaries, knowing full well Shaun is capable of playing both positions," Milus said. "It's still a long process." Also four days after TE Jeremy Shockey called on the Giants to make greater use of him as a downfield receiver, he received an endorsement from a somewhat surprising source: the coaching staff. While defending the use of Shockey as a blocker last season, OC John Hufnagel said Monday that a priority for this season was developing more schemes to use Shockey as a vertical weapon. "We need to get Shock more into the game," Hufnagel said at an annual spring news conference for assistant coaches. "To be a playmaker for us consistently, game in, game out. I know he's looking forward to that challenge. He wants it so bad, we just have to make sure we're doing everything we can offensively to help him."

Giants Quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride said the improvement QB Eli Manning made between his first four starts last year and his final three can be traced to a train ride back from the 37-14 loss to Baltimore on Dec. 12. Gilbride told Manning to provide more feedback for the coaching staff. "If there was something that was causing him undue duress, we needed to know about it," Gilbride said. Later that week Manning spoke to HC Tom Coughlin and Hufnagel about which plays he was comfortable running. A few days later he compiled his highest passer rating of the season -- 103.9 against Pittsburgh.

AP reports Kansas City Chiefs OG Will Shields (knees) attended the team's practice session Monday, June 6, but did not work out. Shields has been given time off to rest his arthritic knees and to contemplate his NFL future. When asked if he'd made an official decision about returning this season, Shields said, "I am just going to come out here and do the things I have been doing in and out. I am not really worried about everything else. I am just going to come out and do what I have to do and move on. Coach (Vermeil) knows where I am going and how it's going to work and we will go from there."

AP reports agent Drew Rosenhaus said on an interview Sunday, June 5, on WSVN-TV that it's likely that Miami Dolphins DT Tim Bowens will retire because of back problems very soon.

AP reports Green Bay Packers TE Bubba Franks was still a no-show Monday, June 6, as the team started its second week of minicamp. Franks, the team's transition free agent, wants a long-term deal from the Packers.

06-07-2005, 04:29 PM
looking forward to ratbird sanders coming back. Mr. I can`t tackle. Would love to see Heath Miller catch a pass in his flat and turn it up field , one on one.

06-07-2005, 10:10 PM
And to see Mr. Ward take Mr. Sanders' head off w/ a devestating block down field!

06-08-2005, 01:35 PM
Good call Blitz, that would be sweet.

06-08-2005, 03:31 PM
AP reports the following aspects about the Rams recent mini-camp stood out: The level of competition was considerably higher than last summer. "Absolutely. You can see it out there," third-year LB Pisa Tinoisamoa said. "Whether it's the first or the second team, guys are flying around, even the third-team guys when they get out there. They're ready to compete." The quality of the depth at several positions runs deeper. "That's the one thing on every squad that you try to have," HC Mike Martz said. "If you're strong at the bottom of your roster with young players, then it's going to put a lot of pressure on the stars that you have. That makes you better." The defense, which a year ago was getting its first exposure to new DC Larry Marmie, was perhaps the most impressive unit during minicamp, even though at least five new faces were manning first-team spots. "Everybody looked real good; there's a lot of competition," defensive end Leonard Little said. Martz was particularly enthused about the play of the cornerbacks, even though first-teamer CB Travis Fisher missed the last two practices because of a hip injury. "It was outstanding," Martz said. "We had the corners make more plays in these practices than we've had since all the time I've been here in practice. So that showed up real big, in my opinion."

AP reports Jaguars top pick WR Matt Jones picked up Tuesday where he had tentatively left off two weeks ago. Jones, the former Arkansas quarterback trying to convert to wide receiver in the NFL, participated in several non-contact pass drills as the Jaguars resumed organized team activities at the Alltel Stadium practice fields. It was Jones' most significant work since straining his left hamstring April 29 in just his second practice as a pro. Jones took part in some drills May 26, but not to the extent he did Tuesday. "I was able to do everything, so it went well,'' Jones said. "I'm healthy." The Jaguars weren't yet ready to declare Jones at full strength, but he is expected to practice again today and Thursday, and when OTAs continue each of the next two weeks. Training camp opens July 29. "It's good to be out there and be able to go everything and not have to hold up and wait for a while before you can go do the other things," Jones said, referring to his hamstring-related stint on the sidelines last month. The Jaguars scoffed at a report by The NFL Network that they had discussed a trade with Seattle for disgruntled RB Shaun Alexander but had balked at the Seahawks' demand for a third-round pick. "It's a bunch of nonsense,'' Jaguars pro personnel director Charlie Bailey said. "Where do these things get started?'' Jaguars' battle at right cornerback continues this week with veteran addition CB Kenny Wright getting most of the repetitions with the starting defense. Wright, a former starter signed away from AFC South rival Houston, is considered the leading candidate to open the season as the starter, but played behind second-year pros CB David Richardson and CB Chris Thompson last month. New secondary coach Dave Campo is rotating several players in with the No.1 defense in offseason passing camps.

06-08-2005, 03:32 PM
AP reports CB Deion Sanders has passed his physical and joined the Baltimore Ravens as they continue with their mini-camp. Ravens TE Todd Heap, who had offseason surgery on his ankle and shoulder, has begun lifting weights and running. The two-time Pro Bowl tight end said he wants to be able to run routes by training camp but doesn't know how much he'll participate in the early practices. WR Mark Clayton, the Ravens' first-round draft pick, made two touchdown catches despite double coverage. LB Ray Lewis declined to talk to the media and S Ed Reed was not made available to comment. Both are attending their first off-season camp.

AP reports Broncos WR Nate Jackson has bulked up to 235 pounds in order to try out at tight end. Jackson believes that his foot speed has been relatively unaffected by the 18 additional pounds -- and if it is, it'll be offset by going up against linebackers and safeties as opposed to cornerbacks. "(Jackson is) kind of a hybrid tight end like Jeb [Putzier] was a couple of years ago," QB Jake Plummer said. "We're counting on Jeb now to be more of an every-down tight end, but Nate's looking good out there.

AP reports Rams WR Isaac Bruce was cleared to resume football activities Tuesday after further examinations for an abnormality in his heart. Bruce missed all of the team?s veteran mini-camp over the weekend because of, what was called an abnormality in his heart. Dr. Douglas Pogue said there was indeed an abnormality, but it wasn?t enough of a concern after Dr. Steven Pieper evaluated it to hold Bruce out any longer.

AP reports Carolina Panthers DT Brentson Buckner is not planning to retire yet. "I still have something left in the tank," Buckner said this week as the Panthers went through offseason coaching sessions. "I don't want to retire and leave it in the tank. I want the tank to be empty before I get out." Even though Buckner can pretty much write his post-football ticket with potential jobs in broadcasting or coaching, he took six weeks to ponder his options. Buckner said his body feels well enough to keep playing. Buckner, who played in the 315- to 320-pound range earlier in his career, weighs about 308 now and the plan is to drop even lower before the start of the season. He's talking about playing at less than last season's 305 pounds. Buckner isn't likely to play as much as he did last year when injuries forced him to stay on the field for more than 80 percent of the defensive snaps.

06-09-2005, 06:08 PM
AP reports while Miami-Dade County police have completed their criminal investigation into Washington Redskins FS Sean Taylor, they are continuing to investigate other events that occurred last Wednesday night in conjunction with Taylor's arrest on felony assault charges. A police source said yesterday that no more arrests are anticipated at this time. Taylor is not a subject in this ongoing investigation. Also if Redskins FS Sean Taylor is found guilty of any of the criminal charges he faces, and thus violate the NFL's personal conduct policy, the team could reclaim a significant portion of the bonuses that make up the bulk of his six-year contract -- worth a maximum of $40 million. If Taylor were to default on his contract by missing any mandatory practices or games due to his legal problems -- a scenario likely only if he was convicted -- he would "relinquish his right to future bonuses," according to a source with direct access to his full contract. Taylor is scheduled to receive $13.045 million in bonuses over the first three years of the contract, which was signed last year. If he were to default on his contract in 2005, the Redskins would be eligible to reclaim $6 million of his $7.2 million signing bonus, according to the source. The same contractual language applies to Taylor's option bonuses, worth a total of $4.475 million ($3.3 million of which is payable next April). So, if Taylor's arrest were to cause him to miss mandatory work, and the Redskins opted to take this course of action -- which is hardly assured and something the team would not likely consider until after the legal process was complete -- he could end up having to return more than $10 million in 2005. -- Police Complete Taylor Investigation -- Thu Jun 9, 2005 --from FFMastermind.com

AP reports Jets QB Chad Pennington still is on schedule to test his surgically repaired shoulder by the end of the month, but he missed his last chance yesterday to throw in an official practice before training camp. The Jets wrapped up their offseason program, which included three weeks of practices, and Pennington didn't participate in any of the sessions, according to a team spokesman. The practices were closed to the media. That Pennington didn't throw isn't necessarily a setback. Even though HC Herm Edwards indicated at the post-draft mini-camp in late April that there was a possibility of Pennington throwing in the June OTAs (organized team activities), the coach never gave a specific return date, saying it would be "some time in June." Edwards still has three weeks to be proved right. Through a team spokesman, he confirmed that he expects his $64 million quarterback to start throwing before July 1. With the team scattered until training camp, which opens July 29, Pennington will have to resume throwing in informal workouts at Hofstra, not organized drills.

AP reports persistent back problems led DT Tim Bowens, 32, to call it quits after a quietly stellar 11-year career. Bowens, who tried to deal with the pain by taking an epidural two weeks ago, was technically waived/injured by the Dolphins after failing a physical. But he had indicated to HC Nick Saban that he planned to retire. ''Tim talked to me and said he wanted to retire as a Dolphin,'' Saban said in a release. "We wanted to accommodate his request. Today's transaction is a procedural method to allow him to do that.'' Bowens was not available for questions. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Bowens had returned to his native Mississippi and didn't want to talk. However, Bowens expressed his gratitude to the team in the release. ''I am grateful to the Dolphins for all the years I have been able to play in Miami,'' Bowens said. "I appreciate all of the support I have received throughout my career from the fans, from my teammates and coaches and from the rest of the Dolphins organization.''

AP reports Green Bay Packers first-round draft pick QB Aaron Rodgers appears to be doing everything right off it so far. "He's not rubbing anyone wrong, like some guys do - like that (expletive) over there," veteran C Mike Flanagan said, motioning to the empty locker of CB Ahmad Carroll, the Packers' No. 1 pick last year. "Compared to some of the No. 1's we've had in the past, he's trying to learn as much as he can, rather than talking (trash) and that stuff. I think it'll benefit him in the long run." After his eighth day of minicamp practices - three at the post-draft minicamp, and five during the organized team activity camp that ends Thursday - Rodgers admitted Tuesday he hasn't come close to showing his on-field abilities yet. But he's smart enough to know winning the respect of his teammates is about more than just how he plays. It likely won't be until 2006 or 2007 that Rodgers takes over the Packers' offense. Starting QB Brett Favre said he might play beyond this season, and Rodgers said he is fine with that.

AP reports OT Ross Verba will be released by the Cleveland Browns once he repays a $465,000 roster bonus. Verba and the Browns have agreed to the amicable split rather than drag out a contract dispute that began when the eight-year veteran said the club reneged on a promise to redo his current deal, which will pay him $2.9 million in 2005 and 2006. Repaying the bonus he received in March was one of two options the Browns gave Verba and his agent, Tom Condon. The other was to give Verba permission to seek a trade. A club spokesman said Verba has not yet returned the bonus, but once he does he will likely be released.

AP reports when asked if he'll practice today at mini-camp, Ravens CB Deion Sanders said, "Hopefully they'll allow me to do so. I feel good and I look good. If women weren't present, I would take off my shirt and show you how good I look." The seven-time Pro Bowl defender estimated that he'll be able to cut "soon." "They're being cautious and they want to take it slow because they want me 110 percent the first [regular-season] game instead of 110 percent the first preseason game," Sanders said. Sanders attempted to practice yesterday, coming out of the locker room wearing a white No. 2 jersey and holding his helmet. But team officials told him that his surgeon and Ravens doctors hadn't talked yet, meaning he had to wait a couple more hours before being medically cleared. There is a concern about rushing Sanders back, especially after toe and hamstring injuries forced him to miss seven games last season and fail to finish two others. HC Brian Billick said the team might pace Sanders and put him on the "Todd Heap plan." Heap, who is recovering from offseason ankle and shoulder surgery, is scheduled to miss most of training camp and possibly half of the preseason games.

AP reports that veteran S Scott McGarrahan, who spent two years in Tennessee as a valuable special teams player and sub-packages performer, is still on the market, as is LB Justin Ena, who contributed both on special teams and at outside linebacker after being claimed off waivers. McGarrahan's agent Brett Tessler said his client is "on the list" for several clubs right now, though nothing is imminent. Likewise, Ena's agent Ethan Lock said several clubs have voiced an interest in the former Brigham Young linebacker. The Titans apparently have not had any recent contact with either player, though McGarrahan, who was a special teams captain and a favorite of HC Jeff Fisher's, could help the Titans' thin safety situation, where S Tank Williams is recovering from knee surgery, and S Lance Schulters is expected to be a cap cut any day now. PK Gary Anderson also remains unsigned, but is likely to retire back to fly fishing in Canada.

AP reports that free agent QB Doug Johnson, who spent last season as the Tennessee Titans' third-teamer, recently worked out for the Cleveland Browns and apparently made a decent impression. "I believe they may have some interest in him," Johnson's agent, Mark Rodgers, said. Apparently that is more than the Titans now have in Johnson, as Rodgers said his telephone calls have gone unanswered for several months now in Tennessee. "They told us they'd get back with us when I talked to them awhile back, but they haven't returned our calls," Rodgers said. "It's a business, and that's fine. That's their prerogative." Johnson, a former University of Florida star, saw limited action in the season's final two games after injuries to both starter QB Steve McNair and second-stringer QB Billy Volek. He completed 6 of 12 passes for 68 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

AP reports HC Dick Vermeil commented on the team's wideout situation. Does he anticipate a new receiver coming in from the ones you visited with this week? ?I don?t know," Vermeil said. "I think both receivers that were here really enjoyed their stay. I think we?ll make a move, or try to make a move on one of them and see what happens. I had a nice visit with WR Az (Hakim). When you?ve been as close to a player and gone through the experience that we did together in St. Louis there?s a bond. You?re excited to see him, whether he ends up here or not depends. He?s got other teams that are interested in him and we don?t have any money. But there?s always that possibility.? Is that the guy he wants over WR Freddie Mitchell? ?There?ll be more than one guy involved in that decision-making process. We?re debating those kinds of things right now.?

AP reports DE Jay Williams' second tour of duty with the Rams ended Wednesday, when he was released. Williams, 33, was signed to a three-year, $2.65 million contract in March as a free agent after being released by Miami. Williams has played five of 10 NFL seasons with the Rams. He left St. Louis after the 1999 season for Carolina as a free agent. The Panthers traded him to the Dolphins in 2002.

06-09-2005, 06:10 PM
AP reports having already bobbled a snap during his debut against Seattle, Bucs QB Chris Simms' inability to secure several more during the finale against Arizona convinced the Bucs they had a problem on their hands. As it turns out, the problem was with Simms' hands. For as long as he has played quarterback, the left-handed throwing Simms has taken snaps with his left hand on top of his right. Now the Bucs have changed the way Simms takes his snaps, putting his right hand on top. So far, the results are encouraging. Simms said he bobbled a snap on the first day of voluntary practices April 5, but has not had any trouble since and believes the problem has been corrected. ``The first month I felt real awkward coming out from center and grabbing the ball with my right hand on top,'' Simms said. ``And then I bobbled one that first day and I'm thinking, `Oh man, they're going to think I'll never get this.' ``But now, it's second nature. I don't even notice it. The whole thing is a lot smoother. I just feel like I'm getting the ball a lot cleaner now. It's hitting hard there every time. ``When I was doing it the other way, with my left hand on top, even the snaps I was getting, I would get it here [in the back of the palm] a lot and a lot of times I was just catching it. That's not happening anymore.''

AP reports Jets CB Donnie Abraham, once thought to be leaning toward retirement, participated in the three-week session. The club expects Abraham to play in 2005, but it's still not a guarantee. The Jets have expressed interest in veteran ORT Scott Gragg, cut recently by the 49ers, but they're in no rush to make a move. They're still hopeful that OT Adrian Jones can nail down the starting job in training camp.

AP reports Buffalo Bills first-year starting QB J.P. Losman is winning over many veterans in the locker room. They believe Losman's strong arm and athleticism will give the offense a jolt, and they are even more impressed with his work ethic and leadership skills.

AP reports the Indianapolis Colts have not discussed a contract extension with PK Mike Vanderjagt, even though he's entering the final year of his deal. The team likely is waiting to see how he performs early this season before committing to him further.

AP reports Bengals CB Rashad Bauman (Achilles) returned this week for his first practices of the spring. ROLB Khalid Abdullah (ankle) said he?ll back for the mandatory camp. Second-year RB Chris Perry (sports hernia) hopes he be back for the July 29 start of training camp. HC Marvin Lewis called MLB Landon Johnson (shoulder) and WR Peter Warrick (knee) questionable for next weekend. OLB Caleb Miller (ankle) is also questionable for next weekend. CB Keiwan Ratliff is likely to participate in mandatory minicamp even though he sat out Wednesday with what looked to be muscle soreness. Bengals HC Marvin Lewis said that incumbent starting LDE Duane Clemons, a no-show for all the voluntary practices, is expected for next weekend?s mandatory minicamp, but that he is running behind starting ends Justin Smith and Robert Geathers. HC Marvin Lewis said first round draft pick LOLB David Pollack and second round draft pick MLB Odell Thurman are headed to the starting lineup. Second-year MLB Landon Johnsn is still rehabbing an injured shoulder. "Both guys came out very well coached at Georgia, so it's an easy transition just like it was last year with Robert Geathers," said Lewis of the defensive end the Bengals took out of Georgia in the fourth round. "It would surprise me if both are not first day starters. Nobody is ahead of (Thurman) right now. Everybody else is losing ground." WR Chad Johnson reiterated Wednesday that he won?t hold out even though agent Drew Rosenhaus has gone on record saying he thinks his client is ?sorely underpaid.? ?My agent doesn?t run me, I run myself. He works for me,? said Johnson after the voluntary practice. ?If there was ever any type of holdout going on, it would be going on right now with all the others going on ... (No.) 85 ain?t going nowhere." Johnson, who got a $26 million extension through 2009 during the 2003 season, is second in yards and third in catches in the NFL the past two seasons.

06-13-2005, 01:13 AM
AP reports the NFL will hold this year's supplemental draft on July 14. The final players who have applied include USC DT Manuel Wright, Kentucky LB Chad Anderson and Clemson WR Roscoe Crosby according to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson. Anderson had his most productive year in 2003, when he had 125 in tackles, but he struggled last year and eventually had his time with the Wildcats curtailed by academic problems. Crosby was a freshman All-American at Clemson before he left the school to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals. None of the three players is expected to go higher than the fourth round of the supplemental draft.

AP reports Patriots S Rodney Harrison said after yesterday morning's mini-camp practice that he was contemplating sitting out the rest of the weekend because he -- like AWOL DE Richard Seymour -- is irked at his contract situation. Harrison made the comment after speaking at length with a group of media members about Seymour's holdout and the often blurred line between off-field business and on-field play. Harrison, 32, ultimately practiced in the afternoon. Still, he left no doubt he feels the Patriots are doing him wrong. "I've always heard, 'You get back what you put into it,' " he said yesterday morning. "You can look at that a number of ways. You can look at that financially, you can look at that from victories or tackles or accolades. I can look in the mirror and say I've done everything I can to help this team and this organization and been respectful of the fans. I'm not one of the highest-paid safeties. I'm not even in the top 10. Would I like to be? Yes, I would like to be. But what do you do? You just keep working hard, keep fighting and keep doing the best you can do." DE Richard Seymour missed his second straight day of the New England Patriots' mandatory mini-camp Friday.

AP reports OG Toniu Fonoti missed the opening day of the San Diego Chargers' mini-camp Friday, and nobody knew where he was. "I don't know what to say," GM A.J. Smith said. "We are surprised based on the information we had." Smith said Fonoti's agent, Steve Feldman, told the Chargers the player was coming to camp. "I was informed yesterday that he would be here," HC Marty Schottenheimer said. The coach said he was surprised, "particularly in light of the fact we were told without reservation he would be here." Agent Steve Feldman wouldn't say why Fonoti was absent. "At this point all I'm going to tell you is he'll be there first thing in the morning," Feldman said. "It just doesn't serve any useful purpose to say anything else. Whether it was a mixup or some kind of unnecessary concern, he'll be there first thing in the morning." First-round draft pick LB Shawne Merriman continued to stay away from the Chargers' offseason workouts on the advice of his agent, Kevin Poston. Poston wants the Chargers to change the language that protects unsigned players in case of injury, and the Chargers have refused.

AP reports OT Ross Verba, 31, is the top offensive tackle on the open market and is free to sign with anyone. He said his agent, Tom Condon, told him that 10 teams have already called to express interest. He wouldn't reveal which ones, but did name a few he'd like to play for. "I'm interested mostly in the teams that need tackles," he said. "I'd like to play for San Diego, Houston, Buffalo, Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco, someone like that." He said he'll start making visits next week. But those with little cash to spare need not apply. "I'm telling teams, 'If you're not willing to give me a big multiyear contract, don't even bring me in," he said. How big? "$35 million," said Verba. "If I don't get what I want, I'll walk away from the game and hold my head up high."

AP reports the Detroit Lions have reached a contract agreement with former Bears CB/KR R.W. McQuarters on a one-year, $1.6 million deal. The Lions edged out the Vikings, Giants, Redskins and Dolphins for McQuarters. The move by the Lions to sign McQuarters could end their bid to get former Patriots CB Ty Law, who visited the team last month. Prior to the draft, the Lions identified cornerback as a need.

AP reports free-agent WR Az-Zahir Hakim has reached an oral agreement with the Chiefs, a source close to the situation said Friday night. Hakim is expected to be in Kansas City for next weekend?s mini-camp.

AP reports in windy and rainy conditions, Dolphins players were slowed during drills. After the morning practice, HC Nick Saban said the weather wasn't an issue, but the Dolphins ended the afternoon session approximately 30 minutes early, as the rain became heavier. With players such as WR David Boston and S Chris Akins recovering from knee surgery and already limited, the possibility of re-injury or simply another injury was too risky. Beyond that, QB Gus Frerotte, QB A.J. Feeley and QB Sage Rosenfels were progressively less effective throwing the wet ball as it got heavier. The Dolphins' offensive players already are learning to adjust to new OC Scott Linehan. WR David Boston was wearing a red jersey at mini-camp Friday, signifying hands off to the defense. Surprisingly, the organization didn't apply a hands-off approach to Boston when it re-signed the oft-troubled receiver after a nightmarish 2004 season, which included two knee surgeries, an arrest and a four-game suspension for violating the league drug policy. "I want a fresh start," Boston said in his first interview since re-upping with the Dolphins on May 18. "I want to come out here and compete every day and help the team out any way I can, and that's where my mind-set is. "That's the most important thing going on right now in my head when I come to the Dolphins' facility," added Boston, 26. "Also, I just had a daughter Alaia five weeks ago and my life has changed a lot. I'm just ready to go out there and get better." Rookie CB Travis Daniels worked with the first-team defense Friday in the first full-squad Dolphins minicamp practice made open to the public this offseason. Although HC Nick Saban said the Dolphins are far from finalizing their starting lineups, the fact Daniels received the nod ahead of veterans CB Reggie Howard and CB Mario Edwards indicates he has a legitimate shot at becoming the replacement for the departed CB Patrick Surtain (Kansas City) at left cornerback. S Chris Akins said he has undergone four knee surgeries since suffering a severe injury last August in a scrimmage against Houston. Akins hopes to regain the form that made him one of the NFL's better special teams players before his injury. "I was never worried I probably wouldn't come back," said Akins, who resumed limited on-field work last Monday. "I just was hoping the timeframe on my rehab to this point would allow me to participate in the drills. I'm just starting on a lot of that stuff." WR David Boston, DT Larry Chester, LB Eddie Moore and CB Shirdonya Mitchell were either limited or didn't practice as they recover from knee injuries. DE Jason Taylor missed the morning practice due to illness but returned for the afternoon session. FB Ben Moa is expected to miss the entire 2005 season after tearing his Achilles' tendon while playing in NFL Europe.

AP reports at some point before the start of the regular season, Buffalo Bills RB Travis Henry will be traded. There remain multiple teams interested in securing Henry, still a quality back despite losing his starting job to RB Willis McGahee last year, and a guy who has a couple 1,000-yard campaigns on his r?sum?. Sooner or later (probably later), some team is going to meet the Bills' asking price, believed to be a third-round draft choice, and pull the trigger on a deal. That team probably won't be Houston, which continues to consider upgrading the No. 2 spot behind RB Domanick Davis, but doesn't appear as interested in Henry as a few other teams. That's notable because a report indicated this week that the Texans are the only club still talking with Buffalo about a Henry deal. Not true. A league source tells us Tennessee and Jacksonville are still in the mix for Henry and there have been "extensive" discussions between Titans officials and Henry's agent. In the Henry matter, Seattle is still a dark-horse landing spot, should the Seahawks ever find someone to take unhappy RB Shaun Alexander off their hands.

06-13-2005, 01:15 AM
AP reports the smart money is on the Pittsburgh Steelers's doing the right thing and signing WR Hines Ward to a pricey contract extension right around the time training camp opens. How do we know that? Because the Rooney family indicated that Ward is a priority and Steelers ownership almost always does the right thing. But it's not as if the negotiations are surging ahead yet. "The Steelers do things at their pace and, when they are ready, I'm confident we'll get it done," agent Eugene Parker said. In the meantime, at a period when there are a lot of wide receivers skipping offseason practices because they are seeking new contracts, Ward is typically unflappable. "My performance will take care of my contract," said Ward, who is scheduled to earn $1.7 million in 2005. That said, Ward recently took out a $5 million injury protection insurance policy.

AP reports the agent for Cincinnati Bengals OT Willie Anderson, who is second on the club's list in years of continuous service, met with Cincinnati officials last week to propose an extension for his client. In the wake of the deals signed by OT Orlando Pace (St. Louis), OT Walter Jones (Seattle), OT Ryan Diem (Indianapolis), OT Jonas Jennings (San Francisco) and OT Kareem McKenzie (New York Giants) this offseason, agent Terry Bolar is seeking similarly big dollars for Anderson, a nine-year veteran who has played his entire career in Cincinnati. But there doesn't figure to be a quick resolution to this negotiation. Anderson is still rehabilitating from offseason knee surgery and isn't scheduled to get onto the field until training camp. Given that Anderson turns 30 next month, the Bengals are inclined to wait until camp, and then assess his recovery. Plus Anderson has two years remaining on his current contract, at base salaries of $3.85 million for 2005 and $4.75 million for 2006 and Cincinnati doesn't usually discuss an extension with a player who has more than one year on his deal. Bolar, who is looking for a five-year extension that would take Anderson through the 20ll campaign, when he would be 36 years old, makes some good points: Anderson has been a Pro Bowl player and an All-Pro, no small feats in Cincinnati, and is a guy who has embraced a franchise some peers have shunned. Signing Anderson to a long extension, in essence making him a Bengal for life, would send a positive message to some of the club's younger players. For now, though, Bengals officials aren't biting on the five-year model. They have floated a three-year deal with guaranteed money in the $10 million range (not exactly what Bolar had in mind, but still a positive starting point), and are likely to stick to an offer in that area.

AP reports the Carolina Panthers made one of the first big moves for the future by locking up S Mike Minter to a four-year, $10 million extension that will keep him with the team through the 2009 season. Minter, 31, was scheduled to be a free agent after the season. With the selection of Georgia S Thomas Davis, there was some question whether the Panthers would make an effort to re-sign him. But in the Panthers' eyes, Minter is one of the defensive leaders and they had no plans of letting him go. In signing roster and option bonuses, Minter received $5.2 million. He was scheduled to have a base salary of $4 million. The way this contract is structured, the Panthers will have a significant cap savings from the $5.943 million cap number they currently have on the books. Minter is the first future free agent to sign an extension. There have been extensive talks with LB Dan Morgan and LB Will Witherspoon.

AP reports Minnesota Vikings HC Mike Tice believes the team needs more depth at the position in the wake of RB Onterrio Smith's year-long suspension. Having gone through a series of practices shorthanded at running back has convinced Tice a personnel move needs to be made, certainly before training camp begins. "We'll look at some other guys," he said. "It's so hard to find someone who can come in and help you win at this point. We're not going to go trade for a running back. The guys we have all can play. [But] I don't know that there is any chance in heck we can go to camp with the numbers we have. We need to bring another guy in. Whether it's a guy to take reps off of players we have that can play, or if it's a guy who can give us something return-wise, we'll look at that." Tice added that he is not giving up on Smith. "The most important thing with Onterrio is he and his family and us -- his extended family -- have identified that he needs to go and take care of some things," said Tice in his first comments following Smith's season-long suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. "And we'll be there to support him and looking forward to having him back in a year, that much more mature and that much smarter." Tice took exception to suggestions that the team would be better off cutting all ties with Smith. "I don't understand when it's written by people that everything should be punishment and wash your hands of people," Tice said. "I don't think anybody who writes those things would do that to their children. I certainly would not do that with my children or my extended children."

AP reports Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin, due to make $380,000 and $460,000 in the next two years, has said he will report to training camp July 31 in Flagstaff, new contract or not. The Cardinals and agent Drew Rosenhaus have discussed extensions from four to six years, and the team has offered Boldin a contract that includes a guarantee of between $8 million and $10 million in signing bonuses.

AP reports the Patriots coaches have seen nothing but positive things from WR David Terrell, who wore out his welcome after four years in Chicago and was repeatedly dogged by maturity concerns. ``I like a lot of things about David,'' HC Bill Belichick [news] said. ``He works hard, he's very conscientious. He wants to know what to do, how to do it. He hasn't really missed anything since the day he got here.He's done everything he's supposed to do - all workouts and everything. And he's done a lot more. I think football is really important to him. And I think he takes a lot of pride in what he does, and I have a lot respect for that.'' On the field, Terrell's impact has yet to be determined. While Terrell (6-foot-3) has been noticeable as a size target amid the Pats' sea of undersized receivers, he appears to lack much of the quickness and explosion that players like WR Deion Branch and WR Troy Brown possess. Still, QB Tom Brady has looked comfortable hooking up with his former Michigan teammate on several plays in the back of the end zone. The hope is that Terrell's presence will allow Brady to utilize a heretofore unseen weapon in the playbook: the fade pass. ``I don't think there is anything we wouldn't want to do if we felt like it was productive,'' Belichick said. ``I'm all for it. Fades. Curly-ques. Slants. Gos. Ins. Outs. I wouldn't discriminate on any of those routes.'' Patriots second-year WR P.K. Sam made a nice jumping catch on a pass from QB Tom Brady in the back of the end zone in the drill during Friday's minicamp practice, although NFL Europe intern official Rodney Harrison ruled the play out of bounds from his viewpoint beneath the uprights. OT Matt Light, OG Russ Hochstein, C Dan Koppen, OG Stephen Neal and OT Tom Ashworth manned the first offensive line during first team offensive drills on Friday. Rookies Logan Mankins and Nick Kaczur worked at left tackle and left guard, respectively, with the second unit.