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JerseySTEEL 05-25-2005 05:58 PM

News Around the NFL
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.

clevestinks 05-25-2005 06:45 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
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.

BlitzburghRockCity 05-25-2005 07:08 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
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.

JerseySTEEL 05-26-2005 07:05 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
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.

JerseySTEEL 05-26-2005 07:06 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
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.

hardwork 05-26-2005 10:04 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
Ty Law: Browns Interested Staff -

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

clevestinks 05-27-2005 07:02 AM

Re: News Around the NFL
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.

ironcitychef 05-27-2005 12:17 PM

Re: News Around the NFL

Originally Posted by hardwork
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...

clevestinks 05-27-2005 01:39 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
Thumbs up ICC. Good call

JerseySTEEL 05-27-2005 02:11 PM

Re: News Around the NFL
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.?

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