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Old 03-15-2008, 10:49 AM   #1
lamberts-lost-tooth
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Default Whispers March 15, 2008

Pro Football Weekly
Whispers
March 15, 2008

*With good size and tremendous strength, some believe Chargers DE Igor Olshansky could slide inside and play the nose if injuries continue to hamper Jamal Williams. Don?t bank on it happening. The Bolts like what the 6-6, 309-pound Olshansky brings to the table on the outside, and they don?t want to worry about shuffling the personnel at multiple positions to fix one.

*The Steelers? signing of Chiefs OLB Keyaron Fox comes as Pittsburgh was looking to both improve its LB depth and special-teams coverage units. Fox, 26, didn?t log much time on defense last season, but he tied for third on the team with 12 special-teams tackles.

*We?re hearing the Browns will likely try to add a cornerback in the draft. Cleveland, of course, does not have picks in the first three rounds because of trades that landed QB Brady Quinn and D-linemen Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers, but it found a potential starting cornerback in Brandon McDonald in Round Five of the ?07 draft.

*Word from Cleveland is that the Browns were comfortable trading CB Leigh Bodden (to Detroit) because his contract was up after the ?09 season and he likely would have demanded a substantial raise. Bodden is scheduled to make base salaries of $1.7 million in ?08 and $1.8 million in ?09.

*With no team as of yet making Steelers OT Max Starks an offer, it will come down to Starks? agent, Eugene Parker, and the club to strike a long-term deal on Starks? worth. Starks, the only NFL free agent to receive the transition tag this offseason, can negotiate with other clubs, but the Steelers have the right to match any offer he gets. A club observer says the Steelers don?t mind when teams extend offer sheets to restricted free agents, as that does all the negotiating for them. That hasn?t happened with Starks, who received a one-year, $6.895 million tender upon receiving the transition tag.

*The way we hear it, the Ravens want C Chris Chester to be more poised in his third NFL season. Chester, whose athleticism has caught the attention of opposing coaches, will replace the departed Mike Flynn as the starting center.

*We?re hearing that the Patriots and Jets are two of the likeliest destinations for CB Ty Law. Law is familiar with each club, having played for the Pats from his rookie season of 1995 through 2004, followed by a one-year stop in New York before heading to Kansas City. The Patriots appear to be the needier of the two teams at cornerback, but if this comes down to a bidding war, expect the Jets to win out. Law, 34, has seen his skills regress over the last couple of seasons, and the Pats are particularly frugal when it comes to doling out money to past-their-prime players. The Jets, on the other hand, have shown this offseason that they?re willing to take their chances on such players, sensing the need to start winning immediately.

*Don?t read too much into The Tennesssean?s report last week that the Patriots have expressed interest in trading for embattled Titans CB-RS Pacman Jones. According to a Patriots insider, all that happened was the team simply listened to the pitch of one of Jones? representatives at the Scouting Combine. The Pats never took a proactive approach in the matter, and there is very little chance of them engaging in trade discussions with Tennessee. On top of that, the Pats would only remotely consider Jones if and when he?s reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell. A decision on that issue is expected sometime prior to the draft.

*John Beck is anything but a lock to be the Dolphins? starting quarterback ? even if they pass on Boston College?s Matt Ryan with their top draft pick, which appears increasingly likely to happen, according to one source. The team is high on recently acquired Josh McCown, a passer who the Fins believe was underappreciated in Oakland and Arizona. Nevertheless, McCown won?t keep Miami from jumping at the chance to add a quarterback such as Delaware?s Joe Flacco or Michigan?s Chad Henne in the second round.

*Following Bryant Johnson?s decision to sign with the 49ers, the Bills will now wait until the draft to address their glaring WR deficiencies. Failing to upgrade the position in free agency only solidifies the belief that they?ll be selecting a wideout with their first pick, No. 11 overall. Texas? Limas Sweed, Oklahoma?s Malcolm Kelly and Michigan State?s Devin Thomas, all of whom fit the mold of the big receiver they?re targeting, are the leading candidates.

*Word is the Texans will try to re-sign UFA P Matt Turk, though they are not in any rush to do so.

*We hear the Niners are currently giving an edge to free-agent addition Dontarrious Thomas, who started 10 games in his four years with the Vikings, over Brandon Moore for the strong-side ILB job that previously belonged to the departed Derek Smith. As we?ve indicated a few times before, the Niners just don?t seem to like Moore, for reasons our sources can?t understand.

*Our Seahawks sources tell us the team couldn?t cut beleaguered RB Shaun Alexander right now, even if they wanted to, because he is still recovering from surgery on his left wrist. If the team released Alexander without some sort of injury settlement, the door would be open for an injury grievance, which would tie up even more money under the team?s already-tight salary cap.

*There are rumblings that Seahawks president of football operations/GM Tim Ruskell absolutely loves Orgeon RB Jonathan Stewart ? perhaps enough to trade up from the 25th spot in the first round to land him.

*While the Bears are saying they wouldn?t mind hanging on to restricted free-agent WR Rashied Davis, who has made some key catches for the team the past three seasons, team sources tell us the odds are against him returning. Word is he has received more than a passing interest from a number of teams that especially like the fact they wouldn?t have to compensate the Bears for signing Davis.

*At the very least, our Bears sources tell us newly acquired WR Marty Booker should be a better fit in the locker room than Muhsin Muhammad, whom Booker has in effect replaced on the roster. The way we hear it, Muhammad was a behind-the-scenes grumbler of the highest order who was never reluctant to complain about the team?s quarterbacks or offensive strategy.

*The Roy Williams trade rumors continue to swell, and with Larry Fitzgerald off the market, they might continue to do so. But our Lions sources say the receiver isn't going anywhere. President Matt Millen said as much at the Combine, envisioning Williams and Calvin Johnson teaming up for years.

*Left tackle quickly has become a position the Vikings could look to improve through the draft. With Bryant McKinnie?s legal troubles possibly leading to a suspension or league action, the team would like to add to its depth there, possibly finding a player who could also swing over to right tackle if Ryan Cook struggles.

*The Bucs may have made their best signing of the offseason when they snagged DE Marques Douglas. Douglas, who led defensive linemen in tackles behind the line of scrimmage last season with the 49ers, gives the team a run-stuffing end. He should provide some balance when paired with pass-rush specialist DE Greg White or DE Gaines Adams, who had a strong finish to his rookie season.

*Louisville?s Brian Brohm and Michigan?s Chad Henne are mentioned frequently as potential targets for the Falcons in the second round of the draft, should they not take Matt Ryan with the third overall pick. We hear, however, that San Diego?s Josh Johnson should not be ruled out as a favored signalcaller for Atlanta. Johnson could still be available in the third or fourth round and is very much in the mold of Michael Vick, bringing tremendous speed and versatility.

*A New Orleans source observed that the Saints left no glaring holes on their roster by locking up many of their own free agents on offense while adding CB Randall Gay, MLB Jonathan Vilma and DE Bobby McCray to the defense. While cornerback and defensive tackle remain high priorities for the team, we hear it will employ a ?take the best player available? approach with the 10th overall pick and could be primed to surprise some with its selection.

*The Cowboys? highest priorities prior to the draft include extending talks with two of their tendered restricted free agents, RB Marion Barber and DE Chris Canty, to work out long-term deals. With roughly $3.4 million in cap space, there isn?t a lot of wiggle room, but the team hopes to get something done with the two players so that it can turn its attention in the upcoming months to OLB DeMarcus Ware, whose deal ends in two more seasons.

*Don't be surprised if Michael Strahan?s announcement on whether he'll play ? he earlier promised a decision by the end of March ? lingers a few days into April, but it shouldn?t go much more past that.

*Sources have told PFW that there are grains of truth to the A.J. Feeley-to-Green Bay rumors. Kevin Kolb is expected to be promoted to back up Donovan McNabb, which would make Feeley an expensive No. 3. But you might add Minnesota, which seeks a veteran, to the list of teams interested, and, of course, Feeley knows Brad Childress? system well from their days together in Philadelphia. Don't be surprised if something happens on or before Draft Day.

*The Redskins reportedly have been checking out the draft?s OG class very closely. With starters Randy Thomas and Pete Kendall well into their 30s and little depth behind them, getting younger makes sense.
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW...pers031508.htm
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Whispers March 15, 2008

Quote:
Pats are particularly frugal when it comes to doling out money to past-their-prime players.
Yeah right.

Quote:
*There are rumblings that Seahawks president of football operations/GM Tim Ruskell absolutely loves Orgeon RB Jonathan Stewart ? perhaps enough to trade up from the 25th spot in the first round to land him.
Why? He's expected to slide because of his surgery.

Quote:
*Louisville?s Brian Brohm and Michigan?s Chad Henne are mentioned frequently as potential targets for the Falcons in the second round of the draft, should they not take Matt Ryan with the third overall pick. We hear, however, that San Diego?s Josh Johnson should not be ruled out as a favored signalcaller for Atlanta. Johnson could still be available in the third or fourth round and is very much in the mold of Michael Vick, bringing tremendous speed and versatility.
That would be interesting. If they don't take Ryan I could see Baltimore taking him at #8 then I guess. If thats the case then here's hoping hes another Leaf!!
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Whispers March 15, 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by polamalu82 View Post
Why? He's expected to slide because of his surgery.
That would be a blessing to the Seahawks...the way the draft is panning out...Stewart may not have been there for them if not for the injury....I heard yesterday on ESPN, that he will be ready and healthy by the first day of practice.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Whispers March 15, 2008

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
That would be a blessing to the Seahawks...the way the draft is panning out...Stewart may not have been there for them if not for the injury....I heard yesterday on ESPN, that he will be ready and healthy by the first day of practice.
Well I guess if he passes his physicals....back up he goes.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Whispers March 15, 2008

So are we going to try to keep starks?
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